In the past, Google bots only recognized text, even for its Image Search, which is why the responsibility of adding alt text, image description, meta tags, SEO-friendly file names, and creating image sitemaps fell on the shoulders of the website owner. Today, this has changed quite dramatically thanks to technological innovations such as image recognition (CamFind), reverse image search (TinEye), and more.
Although Google has tried to make worthy changes in visual search, from its Google Goggles in 2010 and its own reverse image search in 2011, it was only within the last year that we saw product images and details launched on search results, similar item recommendations and style ideas.
Despite Google’s continuous development of its visual search technology, the search engine giant isn’t the one leading this particular innovation (for now). It’s interesting, really. Particularly since Pinterest and Bing have been aggresively developing their modern visual search modes for the past year, ahead of Google’s announcement of its mobile-based image search Google Lens in mid-2017.
But you know Google is deep in development in this space, since its own company DeepMind (under the Google banner) is at the forefront of visual search innovation. Google Lens will reportedly be linked to both Google search and Google Maps.
What is Visual Search Exactly?
Visual search has been around for many years, but it had relied on text-based query to find the best picture to match the user’s request. With the modern visual search, everything will be based on images (you input an image, you get images as output) thanks to complicated algorithms, a combination of schema and multi-step networks that rely on patterns to identify images.
The technology has been hard to incorporate into search engine algorithms, simply because unlike the human brain, machines require multiple tests in order to identify objects based on size, color, shape, and other factors. There’s no human intervention with visual search (no human assisting the machine which factor to prioritize when identifying objects), which is why Google, Bing, and other leaders in this field have been mastering their version for quite a while now.
Facebook has used some kind of visual search technology with its tagging feature, which is why it could recognize a friend’s face immediately when you upload a photo. But it can still fall short sometimes.
In terms of accuracy of visual search results, Pinterest Lens has been making impressive progress with its app’s newest tools and partnerships from ShopStyle, Refinery29, Olapic, Curalate and Project September. By uploading a picture, users can now “shop the look” straight off Pinterest from brands like Target, Macy’s, Amazon and more.
Bing is also making a bit of noise in this space since it relaunched its visual search in July 2017. It’s available on desktop and provides accurate object recognition. Plus, Bing is open to advertisers using its visual search for product placement.
Visual search in 2018 will continue, as companies strive to bring user experience to the next level. And while huge companies like Google and Bing works on becoming the go-to visually-focused search engine, anyone with a website should take notice and find a way to get in on this trend.
2018 SEO Strategy for Visually-Focused Content
For ecommerce websites, it is now the best time to work on rich visuals and engaging content. But beyond adding photos to your site, you’ll need to optimize these visually-focused contents for SEO and reap the rewards in 2018. How do you do it?
First, you need to understand that like text-based search results, visual search results are also algorithmically ranked, which means an authoritative site that features the particular product being searched will rank higher than other sites. Of course, Google may also prioritize a particular product type over others when ranking for visual search.
If you’re selling a product online, working on SEO for visual search should be your priority. Even if visual search on Google, Bing, Pinterest and other search engines are still being improved, you can already work on these 10 things:
1) Don’t forget Meta Data Description
Meta data goes beyond a proper image file name. It should also include important keywords and additional relevant details, such as price, availability, currency, and more. Since search engines are still going to give you some points with a complete meta data description of your images, there’s no harm in going through this tried-and-tested SEO technique.
2) Post Tags and Keywords Help with Visual Search
With proper keyword research, you’ll be able to use keywords throughout your site not only to help with regular web search results, but also with visual search. Aside from squeezing in keywords into a photo’s meta data, you should also incorporate them on post tags. Don’t forget to use synonyms and similar phrases that your target audience may be using for search.
3) Continue Adding Alt Text and Captions
Alt text tags (HTML codes included in image descriptions) that help search engines with “understanding” what a picture contains. Captions provide the specifics (names of people, locations, brands, and so on). Both alt text tags and captions also help visually-impaired users who may be using screen readers to search through your site.
4) Go for High-quality and Appropriately-sized Photos
Make sure you seek balance when re-sizing your photos. Make it too big, which can affect your page load speed. Make it too small, but it could prevent search engine bots to recognize patterns and shapes. Finding the right balance will help your photos rank on search engines. This is also a good SEO practice in general.
When it comes to picture quality, experts like MarketGoo marketing manager Larissa Murillo advises on keeping pictures simple without noisy backgrounds. Avoid blurry subjects, focus on products (if you’re selling a product), and use all-white background whenever appropriate. This is because visual search algorithm is increasingly capable of “recognizing” shapes based on an object’s edges and categorizes this object into similarly-shaped objects. Keeping your photos clean help search engines determine your photos’ content.
5) Photo Placement is also important
You may have added meta data, keywords, and alt-text tags successfully, but if this isn’t enough to rank your photos, you could check photo placement throughout your site. When you place a photo near text that describes that particular photo, it helps search engines identify additional details about the photo.
For example, your photo of a Lenovo tablet has the proper Lenovo-modelnumber-tablet.jpg file name with captions and meta data description. But if you placed it near your content that describes the size as “small,” color as “yellow,” or category as “kid-friendly,” your photo might be selected as one of visual search results for those looking for a kid-friendly yellow Lenovo tablet.
6) Implement Schema markup properly
If you want your product images featured on visual search results, you have to make sure that schema markup is properly implemented. This pertains to file category related to your site, may it be for products, recipes, thumbnail images of videos, or any other multimedia content.
You can check if you’ve implemented it successfully and included SEO-friendly information with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Note that depending on the search engine, it could take about a week for bots to crawl a particular site. In addition, creating a schema markup doesn’t guarantee that your items will be displayed on visual search results. But Google does give you credit if you’ve implemented a quality markup.
There’s another way to check if Google has indexed your images. You can perform a YourSite.com query on your mobile browser (mobile should be your priority instead of desktop) and see if images included in your markup appears on the results. If not, you might have implementation issues and need to repeat the process.
7) Take Advantage of Google Maps and Geo-tagging
Geo-tagging your images based on a particular location can provide users performing local searches with relevant query results. Google and Pinterest both have search engines that can filter out results based on location. While this may not be appropriate for every picture, it’s beneficial to include it with your site’s “photo guidelines” for instances where it fits.
Those with brick-and-mortar stores should also take advantage of Google Maps and pin their locations on the platform. Upload relevant photos and list down company information, contact numbers, and other important details as well.
8) Infographics are the most shareable multimedia content
The best thing about creating infographics is that people love this kind of content. They love it so much that if your infographic ends up in the visual search results, there a good chance that they’ll visit your site for more. Which means you’ll have more visitors and possibility of a sale.
9) Add Open Graph Tags on Your Images
The open graph tag is an HTML code that lets you control how your content is shared on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other websites. Adding this tag creates a dedicated image, which ensures that your chosen image will be featured whenever someone shares your content on third-party sites.
10) Pinterest Isn’t Just For Personal Use
Don’t leave Pinterest out of the picture of your SEO efforts. What used to be a platform for hobbyists to pin their dream homes, craft projects, recipes, and other to-do lists, Pinterest has now been turned into an image-centric platform where businesses can post their entire product inventory without charge. And reap SEO juice from it.
The most interesting tidbit about adding photos on Pinterest is that the social media network has one of the most advanced visual search programs today.
The Bottom Line
The future of visual search is here and the applications to them in the ecommerce world are far and promising. Search engines may not have perfected the algorithms yet, but you can be sure that Google, Bing, Pinterest, and other sites will crack it soon. It wouldn’t harm you to get ahead with the SEO planning and testing to give your photos a real chance at ranking on visually-focused search results.
The travel industry has taken the internet by storm and has successfully built a strong niche to provide consumers with plenty of travel options, assistance, and deals no matter where they come from. With the demands of the industry also come more opportunities for those looking for online work in the travel industry.
Aside from travel bloggers who share their personal travel experiences and actually earn through sponsorships and ads, travel-focused professions like booking agents, cruise marketers, and airline customer service jobs (among others) are now being offered as work-from-home opportunities.
Today, we’re going to focus on one specific profession: travel itinerary planner or travel consultant, which anyone who is exceptional at planning, organizing and traveling on a budget can perform with ease.
Travel Itinerary Planner Job Requirements
As a travel planner, your job is mostly like a tour guide, but instead of joining the tourists around towns, attractions, nature, and other off-the-beaten paths, your job is only to create a solid plan based on a customer’s requests and budget. You don’t even have to meet them formally.
To become successful with this profession, you’ll need:
A website – It’s always a good idea to set up a website as your portfolio and a means for people to contact you. If your time permits it, posting on the blog would provide you organic traffic from keywords like “travel planning service” or “(place) itinerary.”
Extensive knowledge in the travel industry – You need to know the ins and outs of the travel industry, including when to score low-priced airline tickets, wide range of accommodation options beyond 5-star hotels, and other travel specific considerations.
Real-world travel experience – While the job is mainly conducted online, either through emails or a hosted platform like UpWork.com, you still need to be well-traveled and not just on popular destinations. Having first-hand experience allows you to plan and recommend properly since you know how much expenses are “really” locally, or have been through popular and unpopular destinations.
Excellent communication and negotiation skills – Most itinerary planners also negotiate deals with hotels, travel agencies and other companies. Of course, you’ll have to make sure you profit more from the deal to sustain your business.
Connections with the travel industry – This doesn’t just involve big hotel chains, airlines and cruise companies. You’ll have to expand your connections to be able to bag deals, especially those that require prior booking.
Advanced marketing skills – Freelancing is tough, so it’s important to learn marketing techniques in this modern world. Aside from your website, you should also have online presence on social media networks, forums, and more.
How Much Can You Earn as a Travel Itinerary Planner?
Generally, online travel agents earn an average salary of $30,000 per year. The biggest perk with this job is the amount of travel deals you can receive, which you can either use personally or sell for extra income. However, because freelancing is a very fluid thing, this income could either go up or down, depending largely on the effort, time and capital you plan to invest in this profession.
In some cases, you can charge a fixed amount per itinerary, or base your fees on the travel budget of your clients. The great thing about freelance travel jobs is that you have total control of pricing your services, unless of course you apply for a full-time home-based travel agent job with a third-party company.
If you’re willing to invest in marketing your services, you can earn more by targeting potential clients through Facebook Ads, Reddit Ads, or even Google search.
Finding Jobs as a Travel Itinerary Planner
Realistically speaking, getting leads from a newly-built website is near impossible, unless you spend a lot of money promoting the site and posting ads everywhere you can. If you’re ready to go and provide travel itinerary planning services now, instead of waiting for your site to hit it big, you can always find work actively.
Freelance job sites like Elance, Freelancer, and PeoplePerHour are great sources of work-from-home opportunities. You can also find consultancy jobs on travel agencies that welcome freelances regularly.
Do note that you shouldn’t abandon your blog, even if you’re bagging clients left and right from job sites. Add posts regularly and if you can, make your posts personal with stories about locals you’ve met, new experiences you discovered, food you want to share, and tons of pictures. The best portfolio travel itinerary planners could provide is an interesting blog post with plenty of personality, useful content, and engaging photos.
The Bottom Line
Planning other people’s trips can be a challenging, yet fulfilling profession. What’s interesting about a job as a travel itinerary planner is that since you combine blogging with freelancing for work, you won’t notice that you’ve been building a self-sustaining blog in the long run. And since people can make a full-time income with their blogs, it’s a win-win having both a passive income-generating blog and quick-cash-making freelance jobs.
Those who grew up in the 90s have hated doing homework at one point in their lives.
Today, with the internet connecting millions of people from around the world, kids can easily post their homework online (anonymously), send in some cash, and have someone else complete the homework for them… just in time for the deadline.
But if you’re looking for a new money-making online opportunity and prefer not to hand completed homework on a silver platter, this list of online tutoring jobs will allow you to make money while helping students actually learn the material.
How much do online tutors make?
Online tutor rates average around $20 per hour. Higher degrees yield higher rates.
Most of the websites listed below allow you to break up lessons into 15, 30, or 60 minute sessions.
When you apply to become a tutor, you will typically fill out an application, take a practice exam demonstrating you know your field, hold a mock tutoring session, and then have to pass a background check before you are hired.
Tutoring companies want to provide the best possible experience for their students and can be strict about making sure you meet all of their qualifications.
The Best Online Tutoring Jobs
Here are 10 websites that would pay you to help students with homework:
This online tutoring website has hundreds of topics covered, from high school algebra to mechanical engineering courses. Most tutors on the site come from top universities, but this is not a requirement. You can join regardless of location, but you’d need to prove your expertise in a particular subject.
Plus, Chegg has an app, if you’d be tutoring students while on-the-go. Payments start at $20 an hour, which is paid weekly.
Tutor.com offers the best online tutoring jobs for college students!
Available for only US or Canada-based tutors, this website has been one of the oldest in the industry.
You can apply as a tutor and start helping students with their homework even if you’re just a college sophomore, but application can be thorough (taking one to three weeks) and require several tests, a mock session, and even a background check. Tutors are paid hourly depending on the subject of expertise.
Unlike other tutoring sites on this list, EduBoard is a unique take on helping students with homework. The site utilizes an interactive whiteboard, file-sharing and voice/text chat features, which helps tutors explain the subject more vividly classroom-style.
EduBoard allows tutors to price their services, but the site takes 20% commission. Generally, online tutoring sessions are about $20/30 minutes, while a video tutorial ranges from $15 to $50. Q&A-based tasks start at only $2, but can go up to $25 per question.
Dubbed as the “marketplace for school homework,” School Solver is a different site in that each answer equals a fee. Plus, other students following a particular question can also chime in and ask additional questions, which means tutors can earn continuously for a popular subject over time.
School Solver has been widely recommended by TechCrunch, Mashable and Forbes. Students include an amount they’re willing to pay for an answer to their questions and tutors decide whether to answer or not.
TutorMe is similar to Tutor.com, but provides a wider scope of subjects and extensive options for foreign language.
TutorMe also provides test prep for professional help with some of the most popular universities and courses. Fees start at $18 per hour with opportunities to increase rates because of it follows a sliding scale.
This tutoring site has some of the most renowned people on its database. Their tutors are made up of MBA holders, PhD professors, mathematicians, scientists and more. The site’s goal is to help students reach their potential by properly guiding them one assignment at a time. To join, one must have a Master Degree in the subject of choice and pass several tests.
TutorCare provides short tutorial sessions for one-off assignments and long-term tutoring packages that ensure you have at least 2 hours of tutoring work guaranteed. TutorCare lets you decide on your hourly rate and pricing for other tasks like Q&A or prep tests, but they take a big chunk of commissions (a flat rate of $12).
You may think that this site only caters to tech subjects, but GeeklyLab handles over 350 topics across different studies.
One of the coolest things about GeeklyLab, aside from its name, is that it has an “Honor Code” that ensures tutors that they won’t receive any requests from students asking them to “just complete a paper on their behalf.” Geeks are paid up to $20 an hour to help students with homework.
The best thing about US-based Growing Stars is that it assigns a tutor for every student and promotes monthly packages, which means tutors will have a steady source of income.
Applying to Growing Stars is simple (just fill-up a form and attach your CV). Your students will be young children (from grades 3 to 12) and each week, you’ll get to teach them within a one-on-one session hour.
CourseHero is a Q&A-based tutorial site, wherein students post questions, tutors answer them and provide an in-depth explanation.
Course Hero accepts educators like professors, teachers, instructors, lecturers, and tutors at institutions across the world. The Course Hero platform has a rating system, which means your educator profile rating and rate increases every time you answer a question or upload a study resource.
The Bottom Line
Tutoring is just one way teachers can make money from home. It provides an opportunity for students to get the education they need, and for you to make some extra money on the side.
Note that the websites listed above mostly ban tutors from finishing the homework for their students, but student paper mills and freelance sites do exist (if you’re looking for that kind of gig).
Some of sites, like Transtutors.com, even have a “do-the-homework-for-you” service aside from their tutoring services.
The great thing about these tutoring websites is they don’t require exclusivity, which means you can join as many sites as you want and manage your time in order to earn as much as possible.
Depending on the time and effort you invest, you can even turn helping students with homework a full-time career.
Many cartoonists have tried to earn cash online through YouTube in the late 2000s and found the hard way that the platform isn’t too friendly with creators. While YouTube still provides them with a wider reach for new audience, YouTube isn’t the best monetization option for cartoonists. Today, more and more money-making options are becoming available to cartoonists worldwide, and they could earn straight from the comforts of their own studio.
What do Cyanide & Happiness (a group of artists), The Oatmeal (Matthew Inman), Awkward Yeti (Nick Seluk), Planet Prudence (Prudence Geerts), Fowl Language (Brian Gordon) and other successful cartoonists have in common? They treated their artwork as a business and have earned through multiple income streams by doing what they love – create web comics and one-off cartoons.
If you have a talent in comics and are wondering how to monetize your passion, here are several tried-and-tested ways to turn it into a full-blown, money-making online business:
1) Create a website and earn side hustle with greeting cards and stock or clipart sites – The first thing most of these artists did were create their own websites. Next was to bring in traffic and readers, which can take a bit of time depending on your invested effort. During this time, you’ll need to create as much content as possible for your site.
Unfortunately, building a website doesn’t convert to money instantly. This is especially true since many artists with a newly-built site only rely on ads like AdSense for income.
So if you’re in need of cash at the early stages of your website, you can earn money online with part-time gigs like creating greeting cards for Oatmeal Studios, or direct client work. For something more passive, join online stock art companies like iStockphotos.com or CartoonStock.com where you can display your cartoons, retain copyright, but still earn cash from licensing them.
2) Sell an eBook/book – Making a book or eBook would take time, but it is one of the most effective ways of earning from cartoons, especially for those who don’t have much capital except for their talents. Artists can either find one-off projects and sell copyright of their work for a client’s book, or host the eBook and self-license to earn money from royalty fees. You can also submit your eBook to Amazon and other eBook marketplaces.
eBooks have been widely accepted in recent years and they cost much less than good old traditional books, so selling your artwork through eBooks allow you to connect to a wider audience and gather new followers without having to worry about publishing, and other processes involved in traditional book marketing.
3) Join Print On-Demand (PoD) Sites – The cool thing about today’s internet is that it allows individuals with no brick-and-mortar stores or plenty of cash to create and sell products that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Print On-Demand sites are great for cartoonists because they have their artwork frame, sold and delivered without the hassles of finding suppliers, shipping the items or finding buyers.
4) Sell Merchandise – This is where real money is made. For those without capital, print-on-demand sites would allow you to add your artwork and let customers choose which product to have it printed. These can be anything from clothes, caps, mugs, bags, posters, and more. If you reach the point where you have the financial freedom to find manufacturers and suppliers for your planned merchandises, then sell your merchandise directly from your site. This way, you’ll be able to keep 100% of the profit instead of just receiving royalties from PoD sites.
5) Seek Sponsors – If your cartoons are reaching more and more people every day and you’re building up a fan base, one of the easiest ways to sustain your business is to seek sponsorship. Pantreon was created solely for this purpose – to support an artist of your choosing on a monthly basis in exchange for some rewards. The rewards can be anything from early access to cartoons, character recommendations, free wallpaper monthly, exclusive daily cartoons, and other exclusives that the artist decides to offer.
You’d be surprised at the amount of support you can gather from Kickstarter. Like Pantreon, Kickstarter supporters choose a pledge amount based on the rewards they want. Artists have the freedom to dictate pledge amounts and rewards for every Kickstarter campaign they host.
The Bottom Line
If you’re serious about cashing in with your cartoons, make sure to hire an agent once you’ve made enough money. This is important if you’re planning to spread your income both online and offline.
Those new in the business could learn a thing or two by reading interviews of successful cartoonists. It’s never too late to shift careers and go back to your passion of creating funny, inspirational, controversial, or even heart-warming cartoons. Just look at The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman, who was one of the co-founders of now-legendary SEOMoz and quit the SEO biz completely in 2009 to build his website. Look at where he is now.
As I mentioned earlier, the key to succeeding as a cartoonist online is to consider your art as a business. Of course, don’t let money-making be your priority – your art should still come first at all times. But having a business plan and goals won’t hurt either.
A VA (virtual assistant) is the modern-day secretary.
Tasks include answering phone calls, responding to e-mails, organizing tasks, and more. General VAs earn somewhere from $4 to $10/hour, while those with specialized skill (such as marketing or programming) earn higher.
Note that bilingual jobs should be priced higher than English transcriptions.
4. Web Research
Research is highly lucrative because most companies have no time to go through the nitty-gritty of compiling thousands of local business e-mail addresses or mining a list of cosmetologists within a specific state.
Either get hired by someone and begin blogging away on the client’s website, or start your own blog and monetize it.
Of course, the first option is better if you need money more quickly since blogging from scratch won’t make you rich overnight.
If the blog owner pays you for the posts you publish, you’ll receive a nice paycheck at the end of each month.
If you’ve got flair for words, copywriting should be your go-to specialization.
Copywriting is one of the most expensive types of writing, with the most in-demand writers bagging 20 cents to $1 per word projects easily.
Marketing copy for websites, email campaigns, landing pages, etc. are often sought out by companies.
Freelance is the way to go – so copywriters can juggle multiple clients at a time and earn the biggest chunk of commissions.
9. Web Content Writing
Writing for the web is similar to blogging, except copyright of all the content you craft such as ebooks, manuals, articles, magazine features, technical writing, blog posts, and other texts will be passed on to the client.
Depending on the job agreement, a web content writing position may be paid on a per-word basis, weekly or monthly.
It is rare to find writing jobs with hourly rates.
Writing academic papers has been a booming business for years, even if the whole idea of writing essays or papers for lazy students who are willing to pay ghostwriters has been debated since the start of these websites.
Essaywriters.net, for example, lets you pick a topic you wish from the database, let you work on the essay, and get paid upon approval.
12. Resume/Cover Letter Writing
Writing resumes and cover letters require very specific rules and styles.
If you’re skilled at making resumes look impressive to the eyes of an HR personnel, then you can try your luck at this writing subsector.
You can join a company like Resume Writers so you skip marketing and go straight to writing, or market your own writing service on a platform like Fiverr.
13. News Writing
If you know the who’s, what’s, where’s, when’s, why’s and how’s of stories you read day in, day out, your journalistic talent may be trying to get out.
You can either write news for a single blog, or a news network site.
Either way, payment will mostly be done on a weekly or monthly basis. You can also try to apply to SmartBrief and summarize news stories in exchange for $14/hour pay.
14. Email Marketing Specialist
If you have experience with internet marketing and a proven track record with successful copywriting, this career path would be perfect for you.
Not only does it offer up to $50/hour pay, it also introduces you to an entire group of internet marketing clients, who will more than likely keep you busy for years once you’ve proven your copy to work wonders.
15. eBook Writing
The cool thing about writing an eBook in this day and age is that there are endless tools to make it a breeze.
As a writer, offering an eBook package to your clients allows you to focus on one topic at a time and serve as a break from demanding deadlines.
If you know someone who could help with eBook cover design as well, then best to pair up for the service package.
In the long run, you can even write your own eBook, market it yourself, and keep 100% profit of your passive-income generating eBook.
16. Online Dating Ghostwriting
Yes, you read that right.
If you’re a natural flirt with a strong romance game going on, why not help other people get their love lives started?
This type of ghostwriting is kind of underground and in the gray area when it comes to ethical writing, but has existed for years on popular online dating sites like Match.com and Bumble. You’ll even find some help-wanted job ads for ghostwriter on Tinder.
If you’re interested in a seasonal, part-time job, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) opens up slots for online test scorers for tests like TOEFL, GRE, and more.
24. Online Fitness Coach
There’s a growing community of online fitness coaches who are making videos of exercises and fitness programs.
You can do this by creating an exercise and diet plan in exchange for a one-off fee.
Graphic & Design Work From Home Jobs
25. Draw Cartoons and Caricatures
Many artists are selling customized work online.
Whether you’re good at caricatures or crafting unique cartoon characters, there’s a special niche you can choose for your drawing business. A great place to showcase your work is on DeviantArt or Fiverr.
If you have experience in video production, you can find telecommute or work-from-home jobs that cater to the production of videos from start to finish.
From freelance motion graphics artist to post-production editing, there are tons of available opportunities to choose from.
Hourly rates vary, depending on your experience, skill and job description.
40. Create Animated Videos
Creating short animated logos, banners and videos could earn you from $50 to $500 a pop.
If you’re good at 3D animation, this can add up pretty quick and give you a substantial monthly income.
Fiverr and Upwork have tons of gigs available for animated video work, so make sure to check out what’s available.
Better yet, build a website for your portfolio, so you could market your animated video work more effectively.
41. Write Lyrics
Poets and those with a flair for lyrics can have a career in video production.
Marketing companies regularly hire people to write music lyrics for ads, and other types of content.
You can even write lyrics for a client’s romantic engagement plans, or have it in Spanish, Hebrew, or any other language. Rates for lyrics range from $20 to $500.
42. Create a Jingle
Creating jingles have been a popular side gig for musicians for decades, but the advent of YouTube and online marketing has refreshed its popularity and it seems to be a growing sub-niche in video production.
Whether you’re using a ukulele or any other instrument with your jingle, or just your voice in English, Spanish, or another language, you’d find that each custom, 30-second jingle can earn you anywhere from $30 to $200.
Not bad for a day of hard work, right?
43. Sing or Rap for Videos
If you’re not fond of jingles, but has the voice chops for a brandable song, you can always sing or rap for cash.
As long as you have a home studio set-up and an amazing voice to boot, you can advertise your skills and earn up to $500 per song. To give you a perspective on the income potential as an online singer, there’s a popular opera singer on Fiverr who earns $1,000 for every 1-minute song produced.
44. Produce Sound Effects for Videos
Audio engineers can make a killing online earning from sound effect work.
Whether you love making zombie sounds, or adding sound effects for animation, mobile games, apps, podcast, short ads, commercials, corporate videos, there’s always a need for professionally created, royalty-free sound effects.
Earn about $10 for every 10-second sound effects and if you’re pretty good, this could add up quickly to a sufficient monthly income.
45. Compose Original Music
Musicians looking to cash in on their guitar or piano skills can compose original music for clients in exchange for cash.
The soundtrack can be used for a wide range of industries, and included in YouTube promos, TV ads, presentations, trailers, branding, and more.
Depending on the genre of music you could provide, rates can be as basic as $100 a pop, or up to $1000 for corporate jobs.
Web, Mobile & Software Development Work From Home Jobs
46. Search Engine Evaluator
Help Google, Bing, and other companies ensure that their search engines are working effectively.
You can earn up to $15/hour by testing web search inquiries of its relevancy, sending reports to the company, and cashing in monthly.
For those who are lucky to have a knack of writing technical material, such as programming tutorials, there’s a very special place for you in the online world.
It’s rare to find people with both exceptional writing skills and tech knowhow, which is why technical writers earn anywhere from $30 to $75/hour rate, plus more if you decide to do consulting as well.
53. Web Developer
There is never any shortage for websites that need creating, so web developers continue to be in-demand.
The great thing about this career is you can build a portfolio from past projects, so it’s easier to market your work in web dev.
54. IT Project Manager
With many virtual offices being put up, even managerial positions can be done from home.
Such as the case of IT project managers, whose main job is to oversee tasks of a work-from-home team from start to finish.
Much like its office-based counterpart, IT project managers communicate with the team, end users and customers throughout the duration of a project.
Earning potential is lower than $100,000 a year.
55. System Administrator
Remote technologies have given sysadmins an opportunity to perform their jobs from home.
Today, system administrators can develop systems, install, maintain and upgrade computer systems even without being on-site.
While the office-based sysadmin can earn about $70,000/year, note that the home-based version usually has lower rates.
Internet Marketing and Social Media Work From Home Jobs
56. Social Media Marketer
Do you know the ins and outs of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media networks?
Do you have your own following? Is it easy for you to communicate on social media?
And if you go the freelance route and take in more clients, the earning potential is limitless.
61. E-mail Campaign Copywriter
Newsletters and email campaigns require a special kind of writing skill because it involves keyword and market research, strategically-placed call-to-action buttons, and a bit of psychology that would encourage readers to join, buy, or perform any other goal.
Depending on what works best for you, you can set an hourly rate of $35 to $50/hour, or a one-off fee ranging from $200 to $1000 for the entire campaign.
62. E-mail Marketing Expert
This internet marketing professional is the go-to guy in everything involved in creating effective marketing strategies and proper distribution techniques of email newsletters.
The e-mail marketing expert uses statistical analyses and social media cues to increase sales.
The average pay range of this career is about $50,000.
63. Affiliate Marketing Executive
If you’ve been in the make-money-online space for years, you know exactly what affiliate marketing is and how it works.
Those with proven track results of growing revenue via affiliate marketing will have the opportunity to earn up to $80,000/year, plus commissions depending on the deal you made with your clients.
64. Social Media Influencer
Marketing agencies are always on the lookout for big names in social media.
If you have a huge following and can “influence” this audience by promoting products and services, you can turn your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media accounts into a money-making portfolio.
Generally, social media influencers are either paid per post or per campaign and the rates are dictated by the amount of followers you have.
65. Analytics Master
Those who know their way around Google Analytics and can analyze the website data and use this to improve traffic, convert leads, enhance page loads, and ensure that search engines crawl through the web site regularly.
A Google webmaster is a very specific job, which means competition is low but qualifications can be grueling.
If you’re confident of your skills, you can earn from $40 to $50 an hour working as a Google Webmaster for each client.
66. Social Media Evaluator
Social media evaluators are hired by social media networks (or third-party companies hired by the big social media) to assess certain parts of the platform and improve relevancy of the newsfeed for better user experience.
In some cases, ad placements, navigational menu, or newest updates on each social media platform are evaluated.
There’s no specific requirement to become a social media evaluator, which is both a good thing (no certifications or advanced skills needed) and a bad thing (competition can be tough).
Social media evaluators are usually paid $10 to $15 an hour.
Miscellaneous and Odd Work From Home Jobs
67. Online headhunter or Virtual Recruiter
The cool thing about globalization is that even jobs that have been exclusively performed in the office can now be done from home.
As an online headhunter or virtual recruiter, your job is to find skilled talent for a company or client’s specific requirement.
While majority of online headhunting positions are commission-based, look further and you’d be able to see opportunities with a base salary of around $47,000/year with commissions.
Banks and other financial institutions have welcomed the potential of generating leads online and have begun hiring virtual mortgage loan officers that work from home.
As a loan officer, your main role is to help people get approved for a home loan.
And like most opportunities in the financial industry, the income potential is impressive.
On top of an average of $60,000 annual income, loan officers may also take home up to 2% commission for every loan closed.
69. Assistant General Counsel
Even attorneys can work from home and earn a substantial income.
As an assistant general counsel, your job is to help companies comply with relevant laws and regulations by developing policies and business practices in line with state, federal and international laws. On average, assistant general counsels can make up to $190,000 annually.
70. Problem-Solver or General Researcher
Do you love Googling various information every day? Are you a natural at researching?
If so, there’s a sub-niche of online workers whose main goal is to solve problems of clients.
On Fiverr alone, online private lessons in this category go from solving a mechanical engineering problem, to answering police questions.
71. Online Counselor
Online counseling is just like the traditional counseling, except your patient won’t have to visit your office.
You could just “meet” online instead. Those with counseling experience and educational background can earn from $15 to $25 per hour, while senior-level counselors with over 10 years of experience can even make up to $50/hour.
If you don’t have qualifications and still want to become an online counselor, give relationship or life advice, post an ad on Fiverr instead.
72. Nutrition Planner
Nutritionists with a knack of writing can consult or write features for fitness websites for up to $500 per piece.
If you want a more stable income stream, you can provide a service to create customized meal plans with exercise programs and earn about $100/month per client.
Those who wish to employ with a company can take home up to $44,000 annually from a work-from-home nutritionist position.
73. Genealogy Researcher
Genealogists (those who study family history or family trees) can work online with flexible hours and enjoy the freedom to take on multiple clients.
Those with certifications can earn up to $100/hour, while hobbyist genealogy researchers are paid from $15 to $25/hour or on a per-project basis.
74. Gaming Coach
Are you exceptionally amazing at a particular game?
Are you willing to share your well-kept secret on how to move past a popularly-difficult level on Dark Souls 3?
Can you create a custom Minecraft world?
If you have a specific skill on any game and want to coach someone in exchange for cash, there’s a community of gamers open to welcoming you as a gaming coach any day.
Your earnings, of course, depends on the job you complete.
75. Local Travel Guide
Even travel guides don’t have to be in the field anymore.
As a local travel guide, you can be paid by creating a custom itinerary for tourists based on their requirements (kid-friendly, nature trips, beach stop, etc.). Some even go further by creating a budget spreadsheet, or including basic local phrases for the trip.
Notary services are more in-demand than most people expect.
The cost to get setup is minimal and it’s a great way to pull in some extra money each week from the comforts of your own home.
Becoming a fashion stylist is a dream to many. Imagine getting paid to pick out and put together someone else’s wardrobe.
With the right connections, you can even make it big in some circles in Hollywood.
Here’s a full breakdown of everything you need to get started and different companies that are currently looking for fashion stylists.
78. Medical Billing
As a medical biller, you will handle billing of doctors patients and insurance companies alike.
You will be responsible for sending, appealing, and even denying claims. This job usually requires a background or training first, but once you get that out of the way, you can perform all of your work remotely.
Blogging has been around since the late 90s with the creation of free blogging platforms LiveJournal and Blogger, followed by WordPress in the early 2000s. At the time, blogs were used as an online diary of sorts with political views, and mostly personal stories shared to everyone. But when Google released the AdSense advertising platform in 2003, people saw the money-making potential of blogging and began taking blogs seriously.
Passive income is income that comes from regular cash flow, which is obtained with minimal to no extra effort done by the recipient. In real world, the best example of passive income is monthly dues collected from rental properties.
When it comes to online earning, passive income follows the same concept, except there’s no brick-and-mortar business. If you’ve read popular blogging-focused blogs, you’ve probably read the term “making money in your sleep,” which is actually what passive income is all about. So if you’ve been working hard on your blog and want to earn money while you sleep, here are 10 tried-and-tested, passive income-generating methods you can try:
1) AdSense and other Contextual PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Ads
One of the easiest ways to earn from your blog is by placing ads for your readers to click on. Regardless of the ad network you choose, whether it’s Google AdSense, Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN), or any other network, you’ll only need to place a code for the ad to become visible on your site and that’s it. While you’ll only earn cents for every click on the ad, imagine if you had 10,000 readers. The amount will add up quickly.
Of course, you have to test ad placements and ad formats (size, color, font, etc.) regularly until you find the right one for your blog. Make sure to track these tests properly and one at a time, so you’ll know which one works and which one doesn’t.
Simply put, affiliate marketing involves joining a marketplace like ClickBank, Amazon, or Commission Junction, among others. When you’re writing a blog post, you can find products on these marketplaces that fit your topic, and once you do, you include a link going to the sales page. Every time you direct a reader to the sales page and they buy from the marketplace (even after a week or so since they clicked the link), you earn a commission.
Commissions are small and depend on the marketplace you choose. For instance, Amazon pays roughly 5% to its affiliates. Like AdSense, these small commissions could add up pretty quick if you have a big audience.
The cool thing about affiliate marketing is that it is highly adaptable regardless of niche. For example, a cooking blogger can share a recipe and list down ingredients (with recommended products linked to Amazon), or a parenting blogger who’s reviewing a new toy.
3) CPM (cost per impression) Ads
When compared to AdSense and other pay-per-click ads wherein readers have to click on the ad for you to earn, CPM (or cost per impression) ads require no action from your readers. This means your readers don’t have to buy a product or click on a link; instead, they simply need to visit the page where you place the CPM ad and you’ll earn with every page view.
The main problem with CPM ads is that new bloggers can’t join CPM ad companies like Tribal Fusion so easily. Their blogs have to meet certain traffic requirements, such as 100k page views monthly, in order to display CPM ads. But if your blog is already established, send an application (that takes around a week to complete) and reap more passive income from CPM ads.
4) Sell eBooks
If you’ve been blogging for months consistently, creating an eBook would be a walk in the park. The main different between blog posts and an eBook is that eBooks are formatted similar to traditional books, so you’d have to think of your table of contents and write as comprehensively as possible. Because you’d be writing the eBook once and reaping from sales for months (or even years) to come, selling eBooks is a passive income technique you should try.
This may not work quite as well for new bloggers, but if you’re an authority within your niche, you can make a killing if you release an eBook to your loyal readers. A great example of this is ProBlogger’s Darren Rowse who cashed in $72k within a week of releasing his eBook.
And while you’re at it, turn your eBooks into an audiobook and earn additional passive income. You may have to invest in an audiobook a bit more, especially if you’re going to hire a voice-over artist. But the future of audiobooks is bright, with more and more people embracing the technology and taking advantage of being able to finish a book while on-the-go.
If you host your audiobook on services like Audible, you’d receive commissions amounting to 10% to 20% of your ebook sales. Pretty good for a one-time effort, right?
6) Produce Courses for Paid Members
If you’re already an authority on a particular subject, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from creating a course that would benefit your readers. The great thing about selling courses straight from your website is that you’ll skip fees you’d have been required to shell out if you hosted them on Udemy, Teachable and other sites that host and market courses in exchange for a cut.
When you offer 6-month or 8-week course on your website, you can make this available exclusively for your readers who are willing to pay. You are completely in control of the amount you want as membership fee, but consider factors such as number of visitors, complexity or uniqueness of the topics on your course, niche, and your expertise.
7) Create a Paid Private Forum
Like for-member-only courses, adding a private forum to your site gives you an additional source of income. Unlike courses that you only have to work on once, you’ll need to invest time sharing content on the forum. If this isn’t possible, you can always hire someone to man the forum for you, but make sure he/she is just as competent when answering questions on the forum. Remember that the reason people joined the forum, even with a month fee, is to pick your knowledge about issues they may face.
8) Add More Videos on Your Site
If you’re not making any videos for your blog, start producing them now. Not only does adding other types of multimedia content on your blog help with SEO (search engine optimization) or getting traffic to your site, it also gives your audience more reasons to stay.
Plus, you can join the YouTube Partner Program and monetize your videos. The only problem is that YouTube only lets you earn from your videos once your channel reaches 10k views collectively. (It’s a 2017 policy, so if you joined early on, good for you!) The money you make from every view isn’t a lot, but if it turns viral, or viewed by thousands of people, you’ll get to take home a nice passive income from years to come.
9) Extend Your Blog Money-Making Efforts to Social Media
Setting up an account on the major social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest) doesn’t take much time. You can even automate and schedule posting with a tool like Hootsuite.
You won’t be directly earning passive income by having an active presence on these networks, but sharing your blog posts across social media gives you additional audience who might be interested with your content, eBook, audiobook, private forum, and other money-generating techniques you use on the blog.
10) Find Partners
When you’ve proven your worth after a few years of blogging and have become an authority figure within your niche, it’s easy to partner with other companies that you wholeheartedly believe in. These partnerships work like affiliate marketing, except you only promote one company. A great example of this is Neil Patel’s partnership with Bluehost. Every time someone uses the Bluehost coupon he posts, Neil Patel earns a portion of the sale/subscription.
The Bottom Line
These 10 ways of earning passive income is easily achievable, especially if you’ve been blogging for years. If you’re new to the blog world, you can still join in on the fun with AdSense and affiliate marketing, but the longer you blog and bigger your audience, you’ll have more monetization options that will let you earn even while you sleep.
Globalization has made communication a priority in more languages beyond English, Spanish, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, German, French, and other major languages used in business. Today, even the most obscure languages are used in social media, business, and other industries in hopes of becoming more inclusive and reach more people as possible.
This provides unique opportunities for bilingual people (or even people native to a particular language) who are looking for a way to earn extra money online. Translating text from one language to another is becoming a fast-growing online profession. And the requirements are pretty easy too, so virtually anyone can become a translator part-time, or even full-time.
As a translator, you should have advanced reading, writing and comprehension skills. It doesn’t matter if you know only your native language or more than one language, but it’s important that you are well-versed with your expert language, which includes spelling, grammar, punctuation and other language rules. When you join online translation agencies like gengo.com and verbalizeit.com, you’ll have to follow style and formatting rules as well.
Spanish is the most in-demand language, followed by French, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Aside from these major languages, you’ll discover that the more obscure the language, the higher the demand and fees.
Most translation jobs require text-based translation. In some cases wherein you’d be translating live, you’ll need Skype to join conference calls or conduct one-on-one translations with a client.
How Much Can You Earn?
Full-time translation jobs and extensive one-off projects are paid on an hourly basis. You can expect to earn around $12 an hour, but technical, legal or scientific content often pay up to $40/hour. Those with translation certification are given higher-paying jobs.
For smaller projects, such as brochures, lyrics, one-page document, slogans and the like, translation fees come on a per-word basis (around $.10 to $.20/word).
The language being translated to is also a huge factor when it comes to fees. If you check Gengo’s translator income “calculator,” you’ll see that different languages bag different fees. Chinese, German and Japanese translators can earn up to $500/month, while Greek, Russian and Bulgarian translators may earn up to $250 monthly.
Where to Find Translation Jobs
If you’re interested in this profession, check out the following translation agencies, job boards, directories and other resources:
Gengo – You’ll be e-mailed or notified on your dashboard when a job fits your expertise. You can then check out the deadlines, reward amount and other details of the jobs, and simply choose the one you want to work on.
Unbabel – This website provides a platform for translators and companies looking for professionals to meet. Payment for translators is $8/hour, paid via PayPal.
Translatorscafe.com – This is a free online directory of translators, where you can post your resume and apply directly to jobs posted by hiring companies.
TranslatorsTown.com– The translation jobs available in this website accommodates over 100 languages, which makes it a great resource for translators.
Translate.com – Tasks on this site range from translating short social media posts to more technical support tickets. You have to be quick to check through the jobs, since they are on a first come, first served basis. Payments can be requested via PayPal anytime.
OneHourTranslation.com – While you’ll need to undergo an application and exam to join the platform, OneHourTranslation has one of the widest options for payout. The company even has its own MasterCard, alongside wire transfer and PayPal.
Tethras – Ideal for the tech-savvy translators, this platform hosts a number of translation jobs focused on mobile apps. Payments are sent via PayPal.
Rev – This website pays 0.05 – $0.07 per word to translators who work on captions and other documents.
Translation Directory– This portal may look outdated, but it hosts plenty of translation jobs from across the world. There’s an annual membership fee amounting to almost $100 for both companies and translators.
TextMaster – This web content company hires two kinds of translators – semi-professionals (those native to a particular language) and professionals (those who hold translation certifications). You can earn up to €15¢ per word and paid via PayPal or Payoneer.
Translationdirectory.com– This massive online community (of over 300k language professionals) doesn’t just provide a job board for those looking for translation gigs, but also tons of tools and resources for anyone who want to take up this profession.
Lionbridge – Lionbridge has been helping brands from around the world with translation tasks for over 40 years. Today, the company accepts applications from both freelancers and translation agencies to become Lionbridge partners. It has its own software, the Unify Technology platform, where more than 2500 linguists use to fulfill translation jobs.
TRADUguide – This job board is translator-friendly, since linguists dictate pricing of posted jobs via a price quote.
Acclaro – Acclaro is a translation company aimed at helping businesses with over 60 languages. They always have available jobs for in-house translators and freelancers. You’ll need expertise in memoQ and other similar TM tools.
Languages Unlimited – This company recruits certified translators and interpreters from all over the world. It is home to over 13,000 freelance linguists. There’s an application process and you dictate your own rates for various tasks, such as document translation, on-site translation and video remote translation, among others.
WordExpress – If you’re in California, WordExpress continuously hires in-house language professionals (translators, interpreters, voice-over talent, etc.). There are also remote positions available for translation services of over 100 languages.
Linguistic Systems Inc. – Specializing in legal, IT, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and publishing industries, LSI is always looking for talented translators to join their 7000-strong team. You’ll need a Bachelor’s Degree, a minimum of 2 years translation experience, and pass a short test.
Aberdeen Languages Services – Canada-based Aberdeen provides round-the-clock translation services to businesses, which means jobs are available 24 hours a day. Application is a bit tough, since they require over 5 years of translator experience and a University-level degree.
American High-Tech Transcription and Reporting – This Florida-based company provides translation and transcription services to the government and law enforcement agencies, so expect to undergo background checks when you apply. There’s an opening for English to Spanish, but most jobs require English translation to other languages. Certified translators are preferred.
GlobaLink Translations Limited – GlobaLink is focused on medical and pharmaceutical research. The company is always looking for new translators and translation reviewers.
The Bottom Line
Translation jobs are also available on freelance websites like Guru.com, Fiverr.com, PeoplePerHour.com, Freelancer.com, UpWork.com, and more. Deadlines for these jobs are mostly tight, but since majority of translation jobs come from various parts of the world, you can work any time of the day or just skip a job when you feel you can’t make the deadline.
You can turn translation into a full-time career. However, like many freelance jobs, it depends largely on the time and effort you invest on this profession.
Forex, or the foreign exchange market, used to be exclusive to banks, hedge funds, financial institutions, investment management firms and wealthy people who can afford to hire a private broker. Because of the internet, the forex market has become accessible to anyone from most countries. As long as they’re armed with forex knowledge and an online brokerage account, individuals can buy and sell currencies quickly with the click of a mouse under your own roof.
What is Forex?
FOREX is the largest financial market in the world, where people can exchange a specific currency for another in hopes of a profit in the future. And because the Forex market operates 24/7 (it doesn’t have a physical location), anyone can participate in forex trading any time of the day, no matter where you’re from.
Forex trading focuses on major currencies, like USD or Euro, which allows you to analyze the market more precisely instead of calculating risks for currencies from every country. This is the major difference between forex and stocks, which will confuse the hell out of a newbie trader when faced with thousands of stocks available for trading.
Currencies are traded and priced in pairs. For example, a quote for a EUR/USD pair of 1.2345 means the euro is the base currency (worth 1 unit) while the U.S. dollar is the quote currency (1.2345 in this example). The quote means that every 1 euro you have buys you 1.2345 U.S. dollars. If you invest €100,000 against USD with this rate, and the value of EUR goes up against the USD in the future to 1.5432, you collect a profit of $30,870 when you sell.
In the same vein, if the EUR’s value depreciates and you decide to sell at that particular time, you’re going to lose money you’ve invested.
Seems easy, right? Yes, but not quite. Forex trading has its pros and cons, and it would be wise to learn about them before you invest your hard-earned cash.
Pros of Forex Trading
Hiring Brokers are Optional – In the past, you had to hire a personal broker to trade foreign exchange currencies. But with online access to trading platforms readily available, you’ll be able to waive very high broker fees completely. You still can hire a broker to do the job for you, but it’s no longer a requirement.
Trade Forex 24/7 – You’re also no longer tied to the trading floor and broker operating hours, since the forex market now operates round-the-clock.
Free training – Online trading platforms encourage beginners to trade forex, which is why many of them provide educational materials and access to a demo account, allowing anyone to “practice” trading and get used to how forex works.
Lower cost and entry amount – Back in the day, brokers require a “minimum” amount to be able to trade forex. These days, you can invest for as little or as much you want without constraints. There are still transaction fees involved though, which can be easily monitored and reduced by timing your investments properly.
Cons of Forex Trading
Risky and Volatile – Like all markets, the forex market can be volatile at times. If you don’t have experience in forex trading, the risk levels increase tenfold. And since you don’t have a personal broker to ask help from, there’s a chance that your trading strategies become unprofitable or even lead to huge losses.
Minimal regulation – Should anything go wrong with your transactions done from the trading platform of your choice, there is very minimal regulation or recourse you can take. This is because trading in the forex market isn’t carried out on a centralized exchange.
Go against Big Traders – Although the forex market has become accessible thanks to the internet, banks, financial institutions, hedge funds, and other organizations continue to be major players in this market. With over $5 trillion traded every day, these major players can influence price movements. As such, those with smaller amounts to trade may face some disadvantages if you don’t stay up-to-date with these price changes.
Can You Turn Forex Trading into a Full-Time, Work-from-Home Job?
Forex trading can be a lucrative source of investment, but only for the right people. While it has become accessible, it isn’t for everyone. Learning the ins and outs of the forex market is important, so you’ll be able to create an effective system that allows you to pinpoint risky pricing changes, sustain losses and maintain or profit from your investment despite market fluctuations.
Note that because of the volatility of the forex market, you shouldn’t rely on the potential profits of your forex trading as your income. This is particularly true if you’re just starting out. Many online trading platforms will encourage you to quit your job and trade full-time, but you shouldn’t give up your main source of income just yet.
Realistically, you should have enough capital to be able to maintain your lifestyle even if you quit your job in hopes of trading forex full time. If you really want to end your 8-to-5 job, make sure you’ve spent plenty of time trading forex live and have conducted trial-and-errors multiple times when creating your own trading system.
However, you should also know that you can always trade forex on the side and still become consistently profitable, even if you have a full-time job. You just have to be emotionally prepared, armed with trading knowledge, and are passionate at trading forex. Your success in the forex market will boil down to how much capital and effort you’re willing to invest with forex.
Continuing with my advertising plugin for WordPress series, I’d like to talk to you about another effective advertising plugin called Ads Pro.
This plugin is only available on CodeCanyon and to my knowledge doesn’t have any free version to test, so it’s daunting to put money on the line when you’re not sure if it fits your needs or not.
As such let’s go through the plugin and see how it functions.
Ads Pro Setup
This plugin is pretty easy to set up. To begin with it’s a standard install with no other requirements – it’s self-contained unlike Advanced Ads which required Woocommerce.
The plugin is usable without the purchase code but some features are locked until you add it in, meaning use on a development site might potentially get tricky.
Other than that, the settings are straightforward for things like payments and notifications.
The settings also allow you to customize the look of things without needing to resort to CSS. This can be good for those with no or only rudimentary CSS skill but if you know CSS fairly well you may find the styling options limiting.
The plugin integrates with BBPress and BuddyPress so has appropriate options. It also has a “hooks” area where you can add advert shortcodes at specific points such as after the 4th paragraph of content or after the content.
Before you can create adverts you need to add a Space. These are effectively groups and they cover everything from the cost of the advert to the number of adverts shown, order, devices etc.
Each space allows you to limit the number of adverts, which is great especially if you’re looking to sell advertising space.
This is also where you’ll be adding the style of advert, which I found odd, but you can select from a wide range of display types including:
Carousel – slide or fade
Top or Bottom Scroll Bars
Floating (4 options)
It’s also here that you’ll define the template or dimensions of the adverts. There are a lot of standard sizes here such as 125×125 and 728×90 and so on.
A somewhat unintuitive feature is available to create custom sized templates. This Standard Ad Creator menu doesn’t appear at first and its wording didn’t tell me what it was. Still, you can create custom template sizes which is good.
Creating an Advert
Once a space has been defined creating adverts is really easy.
As you can see it is pretty much selecting the billing model (if you need that) and adding a URL and image.
The one thing I fell afoul of was image file size. The plugin doesn’t really state what to use and I noticed that larger image sizes got rejected and that rejection reset all the data I had added.
If you’re not using the inbuilt hooks or the (very basic) widget then you can also display adverts by adding their shortcodes to locations in content or if you’re technically minded by adding a PHP snippet to theme templates.
Here’s my test advert after the 4th paragraph using an Amazon logo as my advert image.
Whilst pretty and effective I found the analytics area for Ads Pro to be messy and overwhelming and this is before I added any adverts!
I think it’s made worse by having sections for the extensions even though those extensions were not installed.
Overall though you do get the data that you need in order to see how the adverts are performing.
I also noticed that additional clicks/views per user account were not recorded which is usually a good thing.
Ads Pro also includes an A/B testing system for the adverts (though again this only becomes visible after you create an advert).
A/B testing is a great way to check how an advert is performing and is also a great selling point.
However, the A/B tests that Ads Pro provides are very flawed. Instead of what you would expect of one or the other advert being shown to see which advert performs best, Ads Pro basically just compares the data of the two adverts.
Really this is not an A/B test as both adverts are still shown at the same time!
Once you have some Spaces set up you can sell adverts to people. This is as easy as adding a shortcode to a page.
It’s a simple method to sell adverts that look professional. The only thing that seemed to be missing was how to provide more information and direction to potential customers for example about image sizes. Sure you can this to the Space title but that’s limited.
As well as being able to select certain pages/posts and categories to display ads, Ads Pro supports geolocation at the Space level.
This means that each space can be only shown or hidden for specific countries. You can even narrow it down to specific cities or zip codes.
Support is done via Code Canyon and the author seems responsive enough, often answering within hours or a query.
There Are Extensions
The core plugin for Ads Pro is sufficient for most people’s needs, but it does have several extensions that you can buy to expand its feature set:
Ad Templates for Cornerstone
This extension adds integration for the Cornerstone builder plugin making it easy to insert adverts into those templates.
WordPress Affiliate Program
This extension allows you to leverage affiliates for generating more advertising leads.
WordPress Marketing Agency
Want to sell adverts on other people’s sites? Then this extension is for you as it allows you to become an advertising agency.
Is it Developer Friendly?
Can this plugin be easily extended? Well it depends on what you are trying to do. For minor things it should be fine as I found 16 action hooks and 15 filter hooks in the version I tested.
That being said, the use case I needed to modify the plugin for could not be done due to a lack of hooks in the right places, probably because 12 of the action hooks focus on content alone.
As such if you have a complicated use case then I would say there’s no decent way of extending this plugin.
The Bottom Line
Ads Pro is a great plugin but it has flaws. It looks great but seems to lack in certain areas and is quite unintuitive.
I was also dismayed by the completely wrong implementation of A/B testing! It’s effectively useless.
If you’re looking for an affordable advertising system for your own use then Ads Pro is definitely a contender. If you’re looking to sell adverts then the plugin is viable, and certainly looks the best out of all the plugins I’ve reviewed, but it’s not perfect.
As mentioned the A/B test is laughable and the inability to provide direction on a per Space basis is unfortunate.
Overall the plugin has great potential and if the developers decide to invest more time in the development, it could become a powerhouse in the WordPress advertising plugin market.