10 Cryptocurrency Scams That Could Rob You

Cryptocurrencies have been around since 2009, but only really hit mainstream last year as Bitcoin began 2017 under $1,000 and ended December at a whopping $13,000+. This meteoric rise also saw a similar rise in cryptocurrency scams.

The upward climb was also evident with Ripple, Litecoin, Ethereum (it started at $8.17 in 2017 and reached about $850 by the start of 2018), and other popular cryptocurrencies.

The cryptocurrency craze remains at an all-time high in 2018, despite the rise of cryptocurrency scams and the relentless creativity of scammers taking advantage of people’s interest in everything Crypto.

And because millions of people around the world are taking notice, from average Joes to millionaires like boxer Floyd Mayweather, scammers have a never-ending supply of target audiences to scam.

The Unparalleled Explosion in Cryptocurrencies

A lot of the interest revolving cryptocurrencies come from the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) the cryptocurrency startups create. Like in traditional IPO (initial public offering), an ICO raises funds by selling a percentage of that currency (hard cash in exchange for tokens) in order to help the startup launch. So it means a lot (up to millions of dollars in funding) to crypto startups whenever a celebrity endorses a particular cryptocurrency.

Celebrity Endorsed Cryptocurrencies

And there are a lot of celebrities heavily invested in cryptocurrencies.

Sure, 50 Cent was lucky enough to have forgotten his 700 bitcoins collected as payment for his 2014 album Animal Ambition. Those bitcoins, which were valued $600 each in 2014, ballooned to $10,000 per bitcoin when he remembered and announced about his treasure in January 2018. (That’s some serious passive income.)

Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher (who is turning into an IT investor genius) and Richard Branson (of the Virgin Group empire) who have bitten the Cryptocurrency bug earlier than the 2017 boom are definitely reaping the rewards much more than those who joined the party late.

But even if the likes of Katy Perry entered the Crypto world only when she sought the advice of Warren Buffett about his thoughts on cryptocurrency in late last year, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that their investments would triple by the end of 2018.

Warren Buffet & Katy Perry Talk Crypto

However, like every other product endorsed by celebrities, you shouldn’t just buy that product and believe these celebrities hook, line and sinker. Cryptocurrencies are not created equal, and many of them have been proven to be a scam.

Just look at former action star Steven Seagal’s latest endorsement – a suspicious cryptocurrency venture known as Bitcoiin2Gen (yes, that’s Bitcoin with two “i”s) and you’ll understand how easy for “startups” to make claims.

How to Spot a Cryptocurrency Scam

With over 1384 digital currencies in existence (as of January 2018), how will you know which really is “the next Bitcoin” and which is just out to scam you?

There are two common ways investors lose out their money to cryptocurrency scams:

  • First is when hackers attack the coin “bank” (this could be anything from the mining company, digital wallet, exchanges, or even your web hosting provider) and steal coins directly. Just imagine the staggering stats of stolen Bitcoins – about 980,000 bitcoins valued at around $15 to $18 billion has been stolen since 2011 (this includes the $460 million hack from Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox in 2014 that resulted in the company closing shop for good).
  • Second is when the scammers directly contact people to become investors in order to seek “funding” for a nonexistent crypto startup, steal personal details to gain access to your digital assets, fool you into clicking phishing emails, or other devious schemes.

Learning about the existing cryptocurrency scams could lessen the risks involved in investing in this market.

10 Most Common Cryptocurrency Scams

1. Fake Wallets & Shady Exchanges

Because cryptocurrency has to be stored somewhere investors could check it, the first choice is to go with virtual wallets. Not all of these wallets are dangerous, but those fake ones made specifically to steal your savings are. A good example of this is the scam site mybtgwallet.com (My Bitcoin Gold Wallet), which was built so people would associate it to the popular Hard Fork Bitcoin Gold and ultimately steal over $3 million.

The legit wallets are being proactive about this. For instance, MyEtherWallet warned its users and other people that may be interested in downloading the app that a copycat app is rising to #3 spot in the iOS App Store’s finance category.

My Ether Wallet Fake App

To avoid fake wallets, you can either use an offline hardware wallet or choose a service recommended by the cryptocurrency platform.

When it comes to exchanges… they’re everywhere, and are continuously competing to get investors’ attention and earn from transaction fees that come with the service they provide. Many of them are legit but have ridiculously high fees. But the worst exchanges are those that disappear into the night with your coins still stored with them.

If you plan to buy cryptocurrency but don’t know where to go or exchange your altcoins, start with these trusted cryptocurrency exchanges:

  • GDAX – Supports the big 3 (Bitcoin, Ethereum & Litecoin) with 0.25% taker & 0% maker fees
  • Kraken  – Supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and smaller altcoins like Augur. Has 0.26% taker/0.16% maker, but fees can be negotiated if you transact with them regularly.
  • Coinbase – Support Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Known for exceptional support.
  • Poloniex – Also supports the big 3 and a whole lot of altcoins. Offers 0.25% taker & 0.15% maker fees.

This is just a tiny list, out of the hundreds of exchanges operating 24/7 around the world. Whether your coins are stored on a digital wallet or on an exchange, the best way to prevent theft is to invest in an offline hardware wallet and transfer them daily. After all, it only takes a few minutes to transfer them back digitally.

2. Crypto Ponzi Schemes

Scammers have also adapted Charles Ponzi’s famous 1920s scheme to the world of cryptocurrencies and is leaving victims left and right. In a Ponzi scheme, the first group of people who invested in a product (like stocks or cryptocurrency) believe that their investment are successful not knowing that the returns they’ve received come from money invested by later investors (and not the product actually bearing fruit).

The most popular Ponzi-styled crypto scam comes from the Mumbai-based company called OneCoin. It ran on a private blockchain managed by Onecoin Ltd and was able to gather $50 million USD within a span of a year thanks to upselling, a strong social media marketing strategy, positive media coverage, and investors’ lack of knowledge about the technology being sold.

The main Onecoin business sold trading-focused educational packages that cost 100 to 118,000 Euros and included tokens to mine Onecoin token in Hong Kong and Bulgaria. The company tried to claim that they were only selling educational material (and not selling cryptocurrency).

By 2016, dozens of countries either banned or released public warnings about OneCoin. In April 2017, OneCoin held an event and was raided by Indian police. 18 OneCoin representatives were jailed for operating a crypto Ponzi scheme, but the company had already moved about $350 million.

Onecoin isn’t the only one. There are over 100 known crypto Ponzi schemes and more will pop up in months and years to come, so research extensively before investing in any of them. 

Don’t believe anyone telling you that you’ll need a “broker” to invest bitcoins for you, or claiming “guaranteed returns” on a cryptocurrency. As with any investment, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

3. ICO Fraud

ICO, or Initial Coin Offerings, is when a newly-invented cryptocurrency is introduced to investors. Like how IPOs operate, ICOs are announced even before the technology or product is truly ready, which means investors only have to rely on a whitepaper.

The Securities and Exchanges Commission is aware of ICOs and the risks involved in them, but ICOs are mostly unregulated, especially since cryptocurrency and altcoins pop up so quickly for the SEC to keep up.

Cryptocurrency Scams: ICO Fraud

ICO fraud can be due to crypto startups overestimating the value of their product, or true-blue scammers aimed at taking advantage of the gold rush.  The most obvious ICO fraud involves a fake company creating a dubious ICO in order to steal any funds investors give them. In December, SEC froze the assets of PlexCoin for promising a 13-fold profit in less than a month. The company raised over $15 million from thousands of investors within a 5-month ICO period.

Because the technology behind cryptocurrencies can be confusing to those new to the market, victims of ICO fraud increase by the year.

It doesn’t help that cryptocurrency has the potential for large short-term profits, so scammers advertising discounted Bitcoins or pre-sale of mining hardware may seem like such a good deal to investors.

The only thing you can do to avoid falling from ICO fraud is to do your own research to triple-check the legitimacy of any ICO you’re interested in. If in doubt, check SEC’s tips on ICO investments.

4. Phishing Scams

Bittrex Phishing Scam

Like any other phishing scams, the scammer pretends to be a legit company and invites the would-be victim to invest in the company. In most cases, the scammer uses a copycat email address and website, Facebook page, or any other branding that may associate them with the real crypto company.

Once a person clicks on the e-mail and redirects him/her to a phishing site, he/she pays for the digital currency thinking the investment would go to the official ICO, only to find out later that he/she has been duped.

It may seem like a pretty obvious scam, but you’d be surprised at the number of people victimized. Chainanalysis reports that about $225 million from 30,000+ investors were stolen from January to August 2017.

Even worse, hackers are now using Unicode to disguise their URLs and make it look like you are on a legitimate website.

Make sure you enable 2-Factor Authentication on every exchange. Use a password manager like LastPass to fill in your passwords as well.

5. Crypto-stealing Malware, Malware Mining, & Ransomware

There are two kinds of malware you need to know if you’re involved in cryptocurrency – the malware designed to steal your coins and malware aimed at stealing PC resources for crypto mining.

With the first type of malware, it could attack your system and steal coins in various ways, from getting it from your wallet, stealing your information, or even bypassing security channels while you’re in the middle of a cryptocurrency transaction.

In both malware mining and ransomware, scammers access another person’s (or company’s) computer. In the first type, there is little to no interaction between attacker and victims since scammers hijack the victims’ PCs and use them to generate cryptocurrency without the victims’ knowledge. Check Point Software estimates that around 55% of businesses have been victimized by crypto mining applications, either from browser extensions, third-party programs, or apps.

Malware mining isn’t going anywhere soon. Just recently, it’s been reported that around 526,000 computers around the world are infected with the crypto mining botnet Smominru thanks to the leaked NSA exploit.

Ransomware is different because scammers access the victims’ PC, infects the system with ransomware, and then demands a ransom payable in cryptocurrency. A great example of this would be HBO’s 2017 dilemma about paying hackers Bitcoin as ransom, or else they would leak a ton of content including a new episode of Game of Thrones. Netflix also had the same problem, but the ransom was the entire new ‘Orange is the New Black’ season in exchange for “tens of thousands of dollars in electronic currency.”

6. Phone Porting

Phone-porting, or mobile phone identity theft, occurs when thieves seize a person’s phone number and tricks his/her mobile provider into giving them control of the victims’ account. Once they’ve successfully do this, they’ll try to hijack a digital wallet and drain its coins.

Unfortunately for the real account holder, he/she would lose everything stored in the wallet since cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible.

Your best bet to avoid phone porting is to change passwords regularly, add a unique PIN and verification question, or perform any other available identity theft protection.

7. Non-Existent Coins

In August 2017, London police arrested a man who ran a call center within the financial district. Apparently, his cryptocurrency business had been cold-calling people to sell non-existent digital currency. Unfortunately, the scam has victimized at least nine unsuspecting investors with combined losses exceeding over 160,000 pounds.

Some scammers use legit cryptocurrency, but with a twist. For instance, Trusted Reviews has spotted that a ton of Facebook ads have been promoting a non-existent funding round for TON, Telegram’s upcoming Bitcoin rival.

Unlike two years ago, trading cryptocurrency isn’t a hush-hush activity anymore. There are plenty of resources to double-check authenticity of cryptocurrencies or digital currency news. Be aware that most legitimate ICOs wouldn’t be cold-calling people to invest. And should that ever happen to you, list down the caller’s name, his/her company name, business address, and other company information available.

Don’t deal with the caller just yet – check with the SEC first before handing over your hard-earned cash.

8. Cloud Mining Scams

Cloud mining is the process of using a remote datacenter with shared processing power that would enable users to mine cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, even without hardware management. Companies offer cloud mining services to people interested in having another stream of passive income, but without learning all the technology involved with mining per se.

Technically, cloud mining isn’t a scam, but because these companies often oversell their services to encourage clients to subscribe to its monthly fee (or sometimes, on a price per hashing rate), and then fail to deliver due to volatile cryptocurrency prices and difficulty of actually mining… it’s understandable that those who were fooled would call cloud mining a scam.

A popular example of this type of cryptocurrency scam comes from cloud mining company HashOcean, which successfully provided the service for an entire year until finally disappearing when they couldn’t pay out users anymore.

9. The Classic Pump and Dump

In finance, pump and dump is a securities fraud practice wherein a person encourages investors to buy shares in a company in order to inflate the price artificially, and then sells one’s own shares while the price is high.

When it comes to cryptocurrency, the prices of major players like Bitcoin and Ethereum can no longer be manipulated. However, hundreds of smaller altcoins are still existing, so be wary about groups of investors (from Telegram, Discord and other platforms) gang up to inflate a cryptocurrency’s value artificially. These groups are known to hold regular meetings and a monthly vote to determine which altcoin they’d target next.

10. Market Manipulation

Aside from pump-and-dump practices, other market manipulators such as spoofing are being used. Spoofing involves “bidding with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before execution.” The idea is to create panic among other traders that somebody with influence or money is preparing to buy or sell.

Spoofing and similar practices aren’t actually scams, but just shady habits you should be aware of, since other people can be doing it to the coin you’re currently trading without letting you know. For more real-world samples of market manipulating techniques, check out this in-depth guide of spoofing and how you can protect your coins from spoofers.

The Bottom Line

Financial analysts have been warning people about cryptocurrency since Bitcoin was launched in 2009. Aside from being too volatile, cryptocurrency is mostly unregulated and unprotected. The SEC isn’t able to go after all of the cryptocurrency scams, but they’re trying to be on top of things by filing complaints against companies or individuals trying to rip people off.

Unfortunately, having clearer rules won’t wipe out cryptocurrency scams overnight.

Human beings have been trying to steal each other’s money for thousands of years, it’s just that cryptocurrency is the latest market they could test their practices out. Your protection against these scams is to do your due diligence, and research everything you can about an ICO or investment opportunity before handing over your cash.

And if you’re serious about cryptocurrency, mining coins, blockchain technology and everything in between, consider investing on additional security measures first. Encrypting the internet with a VPN (virtual private network), buying hardware wallet, and using advanced antivirus program for your phone and PCs can already avoid half of the cryptocurrency scams listed above.

Lastly, as with any investment, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Internet Careers Online Review: Avoid this Scam!

There are many ways to make money online, but can I tell you a secret? There are no shortcuts!

Just like in the “real world”, making money on the internet takes time, perseverance and a little luck.

That’s why at I’ve Tried That we review as many systems as possible that claim to be able to make you money online easily. You see, more often than not, they turn out the be scams, or at the least not very good.

Today, we have Internet Careers Online by Kelly Scott, and boy is this one misleading.

Internet Careers Online by Kelly Scott

For such a specific product name you may be surprised to learn that Internet Careers Online actually has nothing to do with careers.

Instead it is focusing on a very specific way to make money, something they call “link posting” which I’ll explain shortly.

There are also a number of red flags raised on the sales page for this product which concern me greatly and should concern you too!

Link Posting

First off let me explain the concept of link posting.

The idea is that you place links or adverts online in places like Facebook or Craigslist and when someone clicks it you earn money – or at least that’s what all the link posting scams tell you.

Internet Careers Online - 123

The reality is there is no immediate payment to you when someone clicks the link; instead they need to complete an action after clicking the link, usually in the form of buying something.

When they do buy something you get a commission from the sale. This is called affiliate marketing and is a legitimate way to make money online.


Kelly Scott is dressing up affiliate marketing as something it’s not. She is lying about the opportunity, process, earnings, and amount of work required to get started.

“Link posting” tarnishes the tried and true method of affiliate marketing.

Companies Don’t Want This

According to the sales page for Internet Careers Online big name companies like Apple, Dell, Microsoft and Best Buy will pay you to post links on the internet.

They claim that the companies will pay you to do it as it’s cheaper than hiring staff.

Internet Careers Online - apple

This is all utter nonsense!

First off, these companies aren’t “hiring” people to place links anywhere. What you can do is sign up through their affiliate platforms and link to their website from your own. They will then pay you a commission if you send someone to their site who then buys.

These companies aren’t hiring anyone. You aren’t staff. If anything, you’re an independent contractor who gets paid if, and only if, you refer a sale.

The claims made by Internet Careers Online are, at best, misleading.

Ever Heard of Spamming?

The problem I have with link posting scams is that they all tell you to take the pre-created links and post them on Facebook, Craigslist, in forms and other social media outlets.

The thing is you will be one of many people posting the same links on the same sites and you’ll all be doing it without context.

What this means is that you’ll be effectively spamming. It will likely result in you being blocked, banned and labelled as a spammer depending on how vigorous you are at it.

Affiliate marketing works because you create a site or a brand on social media that interests’ people and who people can trust and you promote products to them that they may find interesting.

When was the last time you clicked a random link on the internet, especially in the age of malware and viruses?

On the flip side, when was the last time you listened to someone you know (even virtually) who recommended a product to you?

See the difference?

Internet Careers Online isn’t interested in whether you succeed or not they just want your money!

Paying to Work?!

Internet Careers Online - 97

On the subject of handing over money, the product offered by Internet Careers Online costs $97.

The mantra “never pay for a job” holds true here. In this case, it looks like if you pay to sign up, you’ll be given a position where you can post links and get paid to do so.

There is no guarantee that you will ever make money here. You will be paying for information.

The Guarantee Doesn’t Hold Water

You might be thinking that I’m crazy and it doesn’t matter if you pay out the $97 because there is an iron clad 60-day guarantee.

Well, I hate to break it to you but the terms suggest otherwise.

Internet Careers Online - terms

The terms state that “All we ask is that you examine everything and put forth an honest effort for the first 30-days”.

This is a very vague statement to make and effectively creates a loophole in the guarantee – you ask for a refund, they ask what you did to put in “honest effort” and they say it wasn’t enough so there’s no refund.

I obviously can’t guarantee that this will be the case, but the loophole exists and that should make you nervous.

The Company is Dormant

The company supposedly behind Internet Careers Online, one Internet Careers Online, LTD (I know, inventive right?), is a real UK company.

It’s also listed as a Non-Trading company, meaning it’s dormant and inactive, and only registered back in February 2017.

As it’s non trading, it should not be taking your money!

The Bottom Line

Link posting scams are numerous and I should know as I’ve now reviewed dozens of them.

They all follow the same patterns and none of them are legitimate.

Essentially, they are selling you affiliate marketing training. Affiliate marketing is a real and legitimate business, but it is not as easy as Kelly Scott would have you believe.

In the end, this one will cost you $97 and leave you with a bad taste in your mouth and no clue on how to make money online.

SurveySay Review: Not a Job, Just a Waste of Time

Didn’t I already give SurveySay a review?

I could have sworn this program looks familiar.

Surveysay Form


That’s right. It’s just BigSpot with an even worse logo.

Bigspot or Surveysay?

I wasn’t a fan of BigSpot back when I first reviewed it in 2011 and it doesn’t look like much has changed since then.

SurveySay isn’t hiring, despite the jobs ads.

Odds are, you saw a job posting on Snagajob (another site I recommend you steer clear of) advertising either a part-time, or full-time, ‘Online Survey Taker’ job opening.

There isn’t much more to the job posting than that. However, the ad is currently airing in pretty much every town across America.

While I write this article, there are currently 2,489 active job postings on Snagajob alone.

Surveysay on Snagajob

These guys are busy to say the least.

The job posting is just as shallow as their website. The title and ‘apply’ button both take you directly to the signup form where you can “Start getting paid for your opinions!” just after you hand over some of your personal information…

Is SurveySay a Scam?

Well, yes and no, but mostly no.

Yes, in the sense that they aren’t actually hiring online survey takers.

Instead they are merely collecting your personal information and then showing you a list of survey companies that are currently accepting members.

I filled out the application form with a temporary email just to take a look inside…

Inside SurveySay

As you can see, they are simply listing affiliate opportunities and nothing more.

There is no “job” here.

SurveySay and whoever is behind the mysterious VarsityPlaza, LLC gets a few bucks from each of those companies if you were to fill out an application.

The “no” in the not a scam, is that these companies are free to join. Plus, they are reputable survey companies.

The real problem I have with SurveySay is that you need to hand over some of your personal information just to view a list of companies.

SurveySay was created by VarsityPlaza, LLC and they operate BigSpot as well.

The company does have a solid BBB listing with only one negative review. Their Privacy Policy does state that they do not sell or share your personal information “without your explicit consent.”

While reassuring, they are still requesting your personal information when they have no need for it.

SurveySay and Snagajob

I found it interesting that SurveySay has over 2,000 active job postings on Snagajob when Snagajob only allows employers to post a max of 3 job postings for $249/month.

Snagajob Pricing

At those prices, SurveySay would be paying Snagajob over $200,000 per month to keep their listings up.

We both know that’s not happening.

I couldn’t find any links to the two programs being related, but Snagajob appears to be allowing them to advertise through some sort of partnership.

Snagajob is filled with other affiliate programs masquerading as jobs. For instance, there are nearly twice as many Uber job postings. Uber is free to join and you do not have to apply through a job board to work there. However, if you refer a new driver to Uber, you can get paid up to $2,250.

Snagajob Uber

While not particularly noteworthy, it does raise some questions about the validity of their offerings.

Can you get rich taking surveys?


Absolutely not.

Online surveys have been plagued with the falsehoods that you can make a full-time income just answering questions in your spare time.

In reality, you will spend weeks, or even months, answering questions to even see if you qualify to take a survey. In the off chance that you are invited to fill out an actually survey, you will usually be compensated anywhere from $1 to $10 for 15-20 minutes of your time.

I like finding a random five dollar bill as much as the next guy, but I’m not going to spend a month of my time searching for one.

Treat surveys as found money. Don’t go seeking it out, but if you get an invite to participate in one, and don’t have anything better to do, by all means, fill it out.

But, for the love of God, do not ever pay money to take a survey and do not trust anyone telling you that you are going to get rich overnight filling out surveys.

That’s never going to happen.

Alternates to Surveysay

If you still want to take surveys, I do have an approved list of survey companies I recommend. Better yet, I won’t charge you an email address just to gain access.

Why trust me over SurveySay or BigSpot? Because these are programs that I have used for years, cashed out hundreds of dollars from each, and can verify they are legit.

Here are my top 3 survey companies:

  1. Swagbucks – Surveys are just one part of the Swagbucks experience. You can watch videos, play games, participate in polls, and they all pull in cash. If there’s only one program you join today, pick this one as I’ve personally cashed out over $900 just by using them in my spare time.
  2. SurveySavvy – Here’s your more traditional survey site. They send out surveys regularly and invite you to take part in longer studies as well. I’ve had a few $50+ survey invites.
  3. PaidViewpoint – PaidViewpoint is all about market research. They connect you with surveys that you absolutely qualify for and do not kick you out just before the final question. It’s fun, easy, and well worth checking out.

Those three should keep you busy enough.

The Bottom Line

While SurveySay isn’t technically a scam, it’s still a colossal waste of time.

They are unnecessarily collecting your email and personal information to showcase a list of companies for which they make money if you sign up and join.

I still don’t like that they are advertising on job boards seeking work at home applicants to become online survey takers. It’s misleading to say the least.

Online surveys are just about my least favorite ways to make money online. There are just a million better ways to spend your time, especially if you are looking to start pulling in some real money.

You can also check out my top recommendation here if you are interested in learning how to make serious money online.

10 Online Passive Income Ideas You Can Start Today

Are you thinking about earning some extra cash on the side on a regular basis while not having to worry about it too much? It’s time to get inspired with a few passive income ideas!

Passive income is an income stream received regularly with zero or very little effort on your part. I mean, who wouldn’t want to make money while they sleep?

Also, a consistent cash flow, especially one that comes from multiple sources, supplements income sources that aren’t as steady, so it’s particularly attractive to freelancers or small business owners.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take a sick day or simply a mental health day and continue to earn?

Today, I’ve compiled a list of passive income ideas to inspire you to start setting up this year!

10 Passive Income Ideas to Get You Started

Just a note before we dive into the list.

There are plenty of passive income ideas out there, but I focused on passive income ideas you can do online.

If you have a computer and an internet connection, you can get started today!

1. Create a blog and monetize it.

Being a blogger isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of deal. Obviously, you’ll have to write articles, respond to comments, and maintain your website.

However, if you pick and choose the right ways to monetize your blog, you can set it up so that an article that you wrote once can generate income long after you’ve written it.

One of the most basic ways you can earn passive income through blogging is through displaying website ads, and one of the most reliable ad networks to join is Google Adsense.

Google Adsense

It’s certainly not the highest-paying passive income stream, but it’s one of the most reliable. If you can regularly produce useful content for a niche audience, then you can show them targeted, relevant ads.

You earn in cents per ad you show your visitors, but if you have a high volume of website visitors, the cents can really add up to real money.

Another way to monetize your blog is via affiliate marketing.

You can join one or a few affiliate networks, find products and services that fit your target audience, publish articles about these products or services, and put in an affiliate link that your readers can click so they can buy these products. In return, you get a commission for everyone who purchases through the links you posted.

If this is something you’re interested in, you can read our complete guide to starting on affiliate marketing.

2. Write an ebook.

If you have a knack for writing, writing an ebook could be a good source of passive income for you in the form of royalties.

Whether you’re into fiction or you prefer writing about a particular topic you’d like to share your knowledge about, creating an ebook and working with a publisher or even self-publishing it can earn you money for months or years to come.

You can even add to your income by creating audiobooks and expanding your audience. Some people simply prefer listening to books rather than reading them, especially those who like to listen while doing something else like driving or cleaning their house.

Check out our guide to self-publishing your ebook if you want to know more.

3. Become a vlogger.

Become A Vlogger

Are you comfortable in front of a camera? Is there a pressing topic you’re just bursting to talk about in front of an audience?

Becoming a vlogger just might be the passive income stream for you!

You can start a channel on YouTube or on Twitch with nothing but basic equipment: your computer, a webcam, a microphone, and your knowledge.

The main source of YouTubers’ income comes from Google’s YouTube Partner Program, which is made available for accountholders who meet certain criteria.

Once your account gets approved for this program, every video you upload on YouTube is served with AdSense ads and you earn from them continuously.

It’s a different story with Twitch; vloggers earn on Twitch mainly through affiliate marketing and sponsorships.

Whether you go with YouTube or Twitch or some other platform, being a vlogger is definitely a workable passive income idea.

4. Start a podcast.

Fun fact: 57% of US consumers over the age of 12 listen to podcasts, and nearly 75% of podcast consumers enjoy listening to podcasts to learn new things.

Why not share your knowledge about an interesting topic and get some passive income out of it?

A podcast is a periodic digital broadcast available for streaming and downloading to a mobile device or a computer. It’s similar to radio shows, except the sound doesn’t go through the airwaves; it goes through the internet.

Podcasters usually earn passive income from ads, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing, and you can further increase this if you do your podcast in front of a web camera as well and then publish it as a vlog. That way you get double the passive income opportunities.

5. Become an influencer.

According to the official HopperHQ List 2021, Cristiano Ronaldo was the top-paid Instagram influencer that year, with a fee of around $1.6M per post.

You might never get to command a fee like that, but if you’re social media savvy and you can amass a following or you already have one, being a social media influencer is a viable passive income idea.

The first thing you need to do before this becomes a regular source of cash is to build up your follower count on various platforms: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or YouTube.

And you do this by posting relevant, timely content on a regular basis, as well as engaging with your audience. Genuine engagement with your followers goes a long way to growing them. Reply to their comments, follow back your most popular followers, and like some of their posts, too.

When you have enough followers to qualify for affiliate programs and ad networks, then you can start gaining passive income through those.

Plus, when you have enough followers to get noticed by brands, you can become a brand ambassador, too.

You do have to post regular content for you to earn regularly from ads and affiliates, but as you grow in popularity, the amount of money you can charge per post also goes up.

6. Sell digital media.

Artists and creators nowadays realize that the internet is a boon. It gives artists a chance to work with new media, explore new ways of creating, and showcase their art to new audiences.

Of course, the obvious downside is that there is plenty of competition, but if you keep at it and manage to get your creations in front of a paying audience, you can potentially earn passive income while getting to do something you love.

Here are some ideas for digital media to create and sell, either on your own website or through digital marketplaces like Envato.

  • Stock photos
  • Photoshop filters and presets
  • Wallpapers
  • Digital art
  • Graphics
  • Logos
  • Icon sets
  • Emojis
  • Fonts
  • Designs
  • Patterns
  • Instrumental music
  • Ringtones
  • Beats
  • Sound effects
  • Applications
  • Website design themes
  • Website plugins
  • Printable journals and trackers
  • Printable meal prep guides
  • Printable workout guides
  • Templates

7. Sell online courses.

Online Course

If you enough about a topic to be able to teach it to everyone who’s interested, you can create and sell online courses. That way, you only have to plan it and create it once and then students can buy it continuously for the foreseeable future.

You’ll have to update your courses according to your students’ feedback as well as with new information in that field, but other than that, once it’s up on an online course platform or on your own website, it’s going to earn passive income as long as it’s up and as long as students are enrolling.

Similarly, this opens up additional passive income streams from an accompanying ebook and possibly a membership website where interested students can subscribe for bonus content and an exclusive forum where virtual classmates can discuss the lessons and swap additional knowledge.

8. Set up and automate a dropshipping store.

Dropshipping is an amazing ecommerce business model that lets an online store owner sell products without an inventory or storage facility. In order to make this work, the owner sets up connections to merchants who will handle everything from processing the order to shipping them out.

In return, the dropshipping store owner either receives a cut from the sale or is paid a referral fee by the merchant.

A dropshipping online store can become a lucrative business, but it still requires a ton of work after setting up. In order to really turn this into a passive income-generating business, you’ll have to automate the whole process (from forwarding an order to sending the customer an email about their order details).

Setting up the store is as easy as setting up any website or blog. If you really want the easy way, you can even check out ready-made stores from providers like Shopify. Do note that because you’ll be hosting your store on Shopify’s database, Shopify gets a cut from every sale.

9. Rent out your assets.

A good source of passive income is getting assets that you don’t use or barely use to work for you.

You can sell these assets, but it’s a one-and-done deal.

Renting out a room or a house you own that’s not lived in, or a car you barely drive, or useful stuff around the house you aren’t using every day can help out other people who do need them while you earn some passive income out of it.

You’re going to spring for maintenance of your properties, but for the most part, you can earn some side cash out of these assets on a regular basis.

10. Invest in equity microfunding.

This one may be for those who have a bit more money earmarked for investing, aka money you can afford to risk for a greater reward.

But if you’ve built up one or more passive income streams and have no immediate need for the money, you may be able to place the funds into this type of investment and potentially make even more.

Traditionally, startup businesses raise funds through loans or appealing to angel investors or venture capitalists.

Equity microfunding is like crowdfunding but with higher stakes; that is, investors in equity microfunding get equity ownership in the business.

Startup businesses create online profiles on crowdfunding platforms where potential investors can see their pitches, financial statements, and other relevant information about their businesses.

You as an investor get to pick and choose the businesses you believe in. There are guidelines in place regarding how much you can invest in a certain time period, and you’d need to educate yourself about these guidelines.

Equity microfunding is the riskiest one yet out of this list, and yet it has the greatest earning potential, especially if you invest in the right startup businesses.

Here are some crowdfunding platforms offering equity crowdfunding:

The Bottom Line

Having a 9-to-5 job sounds so much better than being unemployed.

But being stuck in a job that you don’t really love and more than likely won’t make you rich is the worse.

Unfortunately, we’re all here trying to win the unbeatable rat race with regular jobs. To finally become financially free, you have to find ways to earn passive income.

Earning money while you sleep is completely possible, but people who have successfully done so had to put some conscious effort and work into getting there. If you are serious about running a business that earns income passively, you have to accept that the initial workload would be challenging.

Don’t believe anyone that says building a passive income-generating business is easy.

It isn’t.

But the rewards are definitely worth the effort. Just imagine earning an extra $100, $500, $1000, or even up to $10,000 a month just because you’ve set up multiple sources of income streams a few months back. 

What are you waiting for?

List down the passive income ideas relevant to you, and start working on them now.

Jingle Writing Jobs: Get Paid to Write Catchy Tunes

If you’re musically gifted and obsessed with catchy tunes, maybe you’d be interested in jingle writing jobs.

Maybe you’ve been making tunes in your head your whole life, never knowing you can turn this passion into a full-fledged job.

Have you ever heard an advertisement on TV or the internet once, had it stuck in your head the whole week, and found yourself humming it a month later?

Maybe you thought to yourself: I can do that too!

With the right equipment and skills, you’re in luck. You can turn these tunes from imagination to reality! 

The internet and advanced technology opened up opportunities for all types of artists to be seen and hired by anyone from individual entrepreneurs to SMEs to big companies. And not just locally, too! Clients can be from anywhere in the world.

Do you think you have what it takes to write commercial jingles? Read on to learn where to start.

What Do You Need to Create Your Own Jingle?

Before you land jingle writing jobs, you’ll need to create jingles first.

Jingles are those tunes you hear in a video or audio ad for a company’s product or service, normally with a memorable tagline that becomes the hook.

Either the company’s slogan is made into the hook, or the hook eventually becomes the company’s slogan.

Whichever it is, the goal is to create a jingle that makes people think of the brand when they hear it.

As such, jingles should be able to reflect a company’s values and highlight what the product can offer their target market as well.

Striking the right balance between creativity and product marketing is important, but extremely hard to do.

Like many careers, you have to have the passion for crafting jingles, or the result wouldn’t be as good as Dr. Pepper’s “Wouldn’t You Like to Be a Pepper Too?” or Kit Kat’s “Give Me A Break.”

Your heart should be in the right place before you can turn jingle-writing into a money-making career.

You’ll also need:

1. Writing Skills

Take away the music of a jingle and you should be left with awesome taglines that consumers will associate with a company.

Writing lyrics requires advanced composing skills, and a good mix of extensive vocabulary, knowledge of proper phrasing, and a deep love of rhymes.

2. Musical Abilities

Memorable slogans won’t be enough to make a successful jingle.

To create an irresistible jingle that anyone would instantly recognize, you have to pair the words with beats and tunes that would blend perfectly together.

You don’t necessarily have to be an amazing singer to do this job well. However, you should know what it takes to compose music.

Of course, having the ability to play the piano, keyboard, or other instruments help in turning your idea into reality.

If you have recording experience, then composing jingles would be much easier.

3. Creativity

Clients usually only provide simple instructions about what the jingle should include and what message it should convey.

Here’s an example of something a client would ask for: “A happy tune conveying rainbows and sunshine” or “gloomy low tune with an inspiring ending.”

As such, jingle composers must be creative enough to work with even the vaguest of creative briefs or “client requirements.”

4. Extensive Knowledge of Jingle Culture

What makes a jingle an ear-popping success?

You should know that it isn’t just about the tunes, but also about bringing out emotions to anyone who hears the jingle.

It can bring out laughter, tears, childhood memories, and a bunch of emotions we never knew we had.

In short, your jingle should be able to make an impact on people. And with short-form videos and online ads, the impact has to be made within mere seconds.

5. Pop Culture Knowledge

You have to know what’s hot and trendy for a jingle to work.

Guy Bommarito, former creative director of Austin-based ad agency GSD&M, wrote the ever-so-popular “I Want My Baby Back Baby Back Baby Back Ribs” jingle for Chili’s in the 90s.

Bommarito had never tasted Chili’s ribs. But he did have enough pop culture knowledge to complete the client’s project.

But the jingle got a life of its own, appearing in the movie “Austin Powers.” It had since been mentioned on popular TV shows “The Office” and “Scrubs.” It was even given an NSYNC commercial version at the time.

Chili's Baby Back Ribs

Jingle Writer Education and Experience 

There’s no educational background or special degree needed to become a jingle composer.

If you’re looking for an office job, the most common requirement you’d find is experience working in ad agencies.

As a jingle writer, you have the option of working a full-time job at ad agencies.

Some jingle creators also opt go freelance and offer their jingle-writing services to multiple clients.

Freelancers must have excellent marketing skills. Since you’re the boss, marketing department, and jingle maker in one, you’d have to be a master in representing yourselves in front of would-be clients and ad agencies.

How much can you earn writing commercial jingles?

The average fee per jingle is about $10,000 if you’re catering to local or regional markets.

But if your jingle-writing gig expands to the national market, it could go as high as $50,000 per jingle.

There are various factors that may dictate the amount you could get as a jingle writer.

These factors include years of experience, past successful jingles, connections, your portfolio, and the client’s requirements.

Jingle writing jobs are often completed on a freelance basis.

You need to build a network of contacts from the fields of advertising, entertainment, media, arts, and public relations, among others. Thus, the field can become extremely competitive but highly lucrative if you’ve got the right skill set and know the right people.

For jingle composers who are employed at ad agencies, income may be as low as $20,000 a year or as high as $85,000 annually, depending on the same factors.

This means that if you have master composing skills and an impressive jingle portfolio, you won’t have difficulty bagging work since you’ll be on the top of ad agency heads’ minds whenever the need for a jingle composer arises.

Veteran jingle composers can earn more than their per-jingle fees if they negotiated terms, such as earning royalties or agreeing to a deferred compensation agreement.

In these cases, the upfront fee would be smaller than average, but you’ll be earning commissions whenever the jingle is played or receiving extra cash if the jingle goes viral in the future.

Writing jingles for a living has an optimistic future with a 10% expected growth from 2010 to 2020. Do note that this job outlook isn’t as high as the 15% (or higher) outlook of other arts-related occupations.

Home Music Studio

How to Start Your Career Writing Commercial Jingles

There are several ways to start your jingle composing career. All of them require you to build a portfolio (often called a reel) and improve your online presence.

Here are FOUR routes you can take as a jingle writer:

As a freelancer with ad agency connections

You need to find as many advertising agencies online or even locally. You should also have an insider who will give you tips whenever a client requires a jingle made.

Every time you discover a jingle project, you’ll still have to compete with other composers wanting to bag that job.

Unless your jingle-writing reputation is unmatched and ad agencies choose you as their first pick, you need to prove your worth as a jingle composer and build your connections.

As a freelancer seeking online-based jobs

Scan all the job boards, from Freelancer.com to Fiverr.com, for jingle writing jobs.

Not only does this help you build an online portfolio complete with client feedback, it also improves your communication and analytical skills, both of which are important in turning a client’s ideas into a real ear-popping jingle.

Probably the best job board for talent like you is Gig Salad, a platform wherein thousands of entertainers, performers and other artists showcase their work and offer their services to potential clients.

Guru is another platform where you can offer your services and allow potential clients to contact you.

As a blogger writing about jingle making

Whether or not you’re new to the field, this route is always recommended because it provides multiple income streams and serves as an online portfolio as well.

You can upload your jingles on YouTube (and earn from them too!), embed the videos on your website, and talk about what jingle composing is all about.

And since you already have a knack for writing, you can use your voice to build a following and hopefully catch the attention of big-ticket clients through your blog.

Plus, there’s always a chance to earn passive income with a successful blog.

As a social media influencer

Not feeling the blog experience?

You can always stick to social media instead.

Open up a Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram page, YouTube, and other social media accounts that you can handle.

Make sure to keep them updated with your jingle samples, trivia about the industry, and other insider tips you might want to share.

What’s great about opening an account on social media platforms to promote your jingles is that you can also earn money from these platforms. Want to know how? Read up more on how to earn money from TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn.

Word-of-mouth remains one of the most effective ways to promote your service, so whichever route you plan to take, make sure you focus on showing off your jingle-composing talent, and if you do it right, jingle writing jobs will come to you.

Do all FOUR Routes at the Same Time

To increase your chances of succeeding in the jingle writing industry, you should try all routes possible:

  • Networking with ad agencies,
  • Building your freelance clients,
  • Maintaining your own blog where you can showcase your talent, and
  • Growing your social media audience.

And if waiting for clients to come feels too slow or doesn’t work for you, you can always market your talent more aggressively.

Prepare several types of jingles that you’ve crafted, and present them to local businesses, ad agencies, PR firms, political campaigns, sports organizations, and other types of companies that may advertise on TV, radio, or social media.

You can do this online, but focus on companies from your city first so that you can attend meetings if a client decides to try your services out.

5 Important Tips to Land Jingle Writing Jobs

As I’ve mentioned, jingle writing is a competitive field.

Here are some tips from seasoned pros to help you launch your jingle writing career off the ground.

  • Manage your expectations.

In recent years, the jingle market has shrunk considerably as companies are increasingly licensing, using, and remixing existing tracks instead of hiring jingle composers.

Opportunities are still around, but you need to brace yourself for a lot of disappointment before you can truly make it big time.

Take into account the fierce competition in this industry as well. The number of opportunities and clients are significantly lesser than the jingle writers looking to land the gig.

  • Always have your demo reel ready.

Put together your best seven or eight compositions, take 45 to 60 seconds of each one, and edit each snippet together in one audio file.

This is the sample you can burn in CDs and save in little flash drives and send to brands and ad agencies.

Save it in your smartphone as well so you can whip it out when potential clients ask. You never know when a job can drop in your lap so it pays to be ready.

You can also upload a sample of your work on platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud, Google Drive, or even on your own portfolio website.

  • Know your strengths so you can take risks.

As a composer, you’ll have particular styles or genres that you’re good at. Those tend to be your comfort zone as a jingle composer.

If you know which musical genres you’re good at, you should also be aware which ones you’re not very good at so you can work on studying them and take a risk composing something that you’re not very familiar with.

Being diverse is always better than being a one-note composer. You may be good at EDM beats, but other companies will be looking for pop or country tunes, and you need to be able to compose for them, too.

  • Use technology to your Advantage.

Like most jobs under the arts umbrella, jingle writing jobs have been included in the list of jobs that are expected to be automated.

But this is definitely still debatable.

While you can still find a demand for traditional jingle-making, other clients may require you to use new tools to make the jingle pop or sound “new.”

Be up-to-date with automated music production tools and AI tech. Master them and incorporate this knowledge into your craft.

  • Find an Edge. 

Writing jingles can pay well, if you land the project or job.

The problem is fierce competition, so you need to dig deep and find an edge. Something you can create that other jingle writers cannot do.

          This edge will be your secret to making it in this competitive line of work.

Jingle Writing Job Outlook: Crafting Jingles in 2024

The income of jingle writers isn’t listed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

You know why?

It is probably like with many freelance jobs, the amount you earn totally depends on your skill, perseverance, and how well you’re able to market your talent online and in the real world.

Jingles aren’t like what they used to be in the past. This means your vocabulary and taste in music should also adapt to modern trends.

However, because the internet is a gift that keeps on giving, what used to be side gigs like jingle composing can now become a full-time income-generating career for the right people.

If you’re determined to make money from music, explore our list of online jobs for musicians or different ways you can get paid to listen to music.