10 Cryptocurrency Scams That Could Rob You in 2020

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.

HOWEVER.

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

Ah!

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?

No.

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.

25 Passive Income Ideas that Generate Money While You Sleep

Imagine setting up an income stream that makes money for you for years to come.

Or, let me do you one better:

What if you set up 25 different streams?

And every one of them pulled in a passive income for you month after month.

I’ve sat down and gathered 25 different passive income ideas that you can start implementing TODAY.

How to Make Passive Income Online

Everyone who wishes to be freed from the 9-to-5 job model should aim to receive passive income. Aside from starting a business, having multiple sources of passive income is one of the most realistic ways of becoming financially free.

Many freelancers have been openly supporting this “passive income” movement because it’s all about a workable solution to scalability. It’s no secret that freelancers have to work double the time to make up for any day that makes it unable for him/her to work.

Wouldn’t it be nice to sit back, relax and continue to earn (even measly cents at a time) even if we’re off on a sick day? 

25 Passive Income Ideas to Get You Started

I’ve researched 25 foolproof ways of making money in your sleep.

This list doesn’t include passive income examples of businesses in the real world, so real estate, vending machine business, or a laundromat, and other similar business ideas. Instead, we’re focusing on ONLINE money-making ideas that can generate a passive income for you and your family in years to come.

1. Blog and earn with AdSense

Many people began making money online through AdSense. It isn’t the highest-paying out of all passive income-generating models listed here, but it’s definitely one of the most reliable. If you crank content on your blog regularly and maintain focused on a specific niche (such as weight loss, parenting, beauty, etc.), ads can become highly targeted.

Google Adsense Logo

You earn cents from every click on the AdSense ads you post on your blog. It may seem small, but imagine having thousands of visitors clicking through your website day in, day out… those ‘measly’ cents would add up pretty quickly.

To join Google AdSense, the publisher must be 18 years old (or above) and has maintained the blog for at least 6 months with high-quality content that follows AdSense policies and terms. Once you’re approved, you’ll be given an AdSense dashboard, where you can see all the stats and create ads to suit your needs (banner ads, text ads, etc.).

Leave the ads alone and let it earn for you while you sleep; Google knows when you’re trying to game the system so don’t ever click your own ads.

2. Blog and earn with Affiliate Marketing

Technically, you don’t “set up and forget” a blog, but using affiliate marketing with a blog can be included in this list because you promote a product once, and you can receive commissions from this for months or years to come.

Blogging about a product or service is one of the most popular ways to earn. All you need is a blog, a niche you’re interested in, and dedication to put in the work to publish posts regularly and market the blog to achieve much-needed traffic.

You’ll need to join one or all affiliate marketing programs and find products that are related to your blog’s niche, and publish a review, informative piece, or any other promotion about that product with a link that redirects to that particular affiliate marketing program.

You can receive about 5 to 20% commissions every time a person clicks on your link and makes a purchase. The cool thing about affiliate marketing is that there’s wide time allotted to your readers, which mean they could click a link from any of your promoted products, forget about it after a couple of days, continue making their purchase after two weeks, and you’d still be receiving commissions.

3. Write an eBook 

Write an Ebook

If you are an expert in any given topic and have a knack for writing, you can craft an eBook and share your knowledge to anyone who wishes to read your ebook. This can be anything from fiction like E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, to non-fiction topics such as a “Making Money Online” ebook.

Because you’d be in total control of the cover, number of pages, formatting, and everything in between, you’ll be spending much less than traditional publishing. You have several options once you’ve decided to “sell” your ebook – First, you can showcase it on your blog and let your readers have a go at it. Or second, submit the ebook to an online library along with other ebooks.

As an ebook author, you can even create an affiliate program and let your readers sell the ebook for you. You’ll be paying them a piece of the sales, but you’ll have an army to help you promote the book for you.

4. Create AudioBooks

If you published your own ebook, you can create another income stream by turning this ebook into an audible book. Yes, you heard it right. You’ll just have to expand your target audience and offer your ebook to a market that depends largely on hearing, whether they’re on-the-go folks or visually-impaired.

The coolest thing about turning an ebook into an audiobook? You’ll only be working for it once, and you get to double your earnings from the ebook sales.

Some people don’t even write an ebook anymore. They just skip the ebook publishing steps altogether and go straight to audiobooks. We don’t recommend this though, since you’ll be leaving out an entire marketplace for nothing.

When producing an audiobook, you can either use your own voice to record the narration, or hire someone to do it for you. You’d be amazed at the number of talent readily available in job boards like Fiverr.com.

Create Audiobooks

5. Automate a Drop Shipping Online 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 set-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 his/her 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 off from every sale.

6. Sell an Online Course

Selling online courses is similar to ebook and audiobook production, except that your goal is to create a more streamlined outline of content that’s best for educational purposes. Note that you should only be thinking about creating an online course if you have valuable information to share, the demand for it is there, and that you know who your competitions are within that niche.

For those who are known in their respective fields, selling an online course through their own website will do just fine. However, if you’re new to the online-course market, the best route is to join sites like udemy and let them handle marketing for you. These sites accept text-based, video-based or a mixed-media course, so you’ll be able to take advantage of different teaching techniques.

Selling courses on udemy does have its pros and cons, but since your courses that are hosted on udemy can be sold multiple times, you’ll have a continuous stream of income to enjoy even months after making your online course live.

7. Create YouTube videos

YouTube is a fascinating place wherein anyone can upload videos of themselves playing with their kids, doing makeup, sewing a dress, touring a place, and doing everything else under the sun. Some people upload videos just for fun, but the rest join YouTube to earn passive income. And why not? With 6-year-old kids reviewing toys on YouTube earning $11 million a year, why shouldn’t you take a slice of the YouTube pie too? 

Passive Income Youtube

The main source of YouTubers’ income comes from Google’s YouTube Partnership Program, which is made available for accountholders with about 10,000 views on their YouTube channels. 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.

There are other ways to take advantage of YouTube and earn from videos you’ve uploaded, but splashing ads on the videos is the most laidback approach and requires no additional effort.

8. Develop a Mobile App

Flappy BirdApps continue to be a hot market, even if the Android and Apple markets seem to be overloaded with games, tools and tons of other apps. If you wish to get into this lucrative market, but don’t have the programming skills necessary to turn your app idea into a reality, don’t fret. You can always outsource the work to a capable programmer and retain ownership of the app. Or learn to do it yourself using an app builder (there are dozens available both free and paid).

You can earn from mobile apps mainly through ads and in-app purchases, both of which provide passive income. The only problem you’d have to tackle after app development is how to promote the app to everyone you know, but once you’ve learned how to build an app that makes you money, you can earn plenty of cash even while you sleep.

9. Run a membership or subscription site

A subscription site is more like gym membership, wherein people pay a monthly fee voluntarily to access valuable information, programs or any other product. In the case of gyms, it’s access to exercise equipment. But when you’re offering digital products, you can build a site that focuses primarily on anything under the sun from industry news to white paper reports, video tutorials from authority figures, webinars, and a whole lot more.

People mostly join membership sites to learn something specific, so if you have an idea in mind that you think will have a good demand, this may be the passive income-generating business for you.

Aside from the membership fees you’ll collect monthly, you could also serve AdSense or other ads into your site.

10. License Your Photos

Image result for passive income with photographyYou don’t need to be a pro photographer to turn your creativity into a money-making machine. Even those without a pro camera can take stunning pictures and sell them in exchange for royalties. It’s the oldest trick in the book (check out Getty and other official media sources), but with the internet opening up opportunities, you don’t have to be a journalist or someone popular to join in.

Stock photography websites like Graphic River, iStockPhoto, Shutterstock and more welcome anyone willing to upload their photos and be paid a royalty every time another person buys a copy for digital use. The key here is to create photo sets with a specific theme that would be attractive to users, such as ‘Weight Loss’ sets or ‘Make Money Online’ set.

The best thing about this is that you don’t have to do it in one go. You can add one photo at a time to your library until you’re earning enough royalties to be able to quit your 9-to-5 job.

11. Get into Lead Generation

Business owners know the importance of continuous new leads, since they’re basically what make any business survive. Those with an internet marketing experience can take advantage of this need and create a website (or two) that captures uber-specific leads, pile up their data, and sell to relevant businesses.

For example, a wedding-related website that offers a free ‘Boho Chic Wedding Guide’ ebook can give out the book as a freebie in exchange for customer details that include a real name, e-mail address, or phone number. Once this website gathers enough customer information, the owner can contact wedding suppliers (wedding coordinators, photographers, etc.) who may be looking for new clients.

It’s an interesting concept that has worked for many sites in the past. You do need to be aware of the ethics behind lead generation and how to handle customer data responsibly.

12. Run a Unique Newsletter Campaign

Whether you have a website of your own or a huge list of email subscribers, running a newsletter campaign can be a success if you have the right idea. For example, sending out daily travel deals to people who love to travel will work wonders. You do have to find a unique twist or niche, such as that offered by Secret Flying (wherein deals are offered due to weird mistakes like long layovers.

You can earn through newsletters by going the affiliate marketing route, opening up a lead generation business, or serving ads throughout your email campaign. If you have connections with businesses, you can even offer up ad slots and feature them on your newsletter in exchange for a fee.

13. Master the Art of Domain Flipping

Buying domain names and flipping them continue to be a great business model even in 2018. There are people like Matt Stevens who are making a killing on flipping 10-dollar-domain names into $100 or $1000 worth domains, and it’s nothing but fascinating. Unfortunately, like those involved in real estate, you’d have to have a reasonable amount of experience flipping domain names in order to reach that level of success. 

Passive income domain flipping

There’s no huge secret when it comes to buying and selling domain names for huge profit. The key here involves brainstorming and presentation.

What makes many domain flippers succeed in this business is that they focus on specific industries or go local. For example, these flippers make up domain ideas for local wedding business, and then present the domain to the targeted businesses after a couple of months. If the business owners bite, the flippers quickly earn double (or even triple) their investment.

14. Sell Your Creative Web Design Elements and other Digital Goods

Creatives also have a chance to earn passive income through their artwork. If you’ve been working on web design elements like logos and banners for years, it would be easy to sell your work through sites like Icon Finder, Creative Market and Envato Market. If you offer freelance creative services to clients, your web design library you upload on these marketplaces can also serve as your portfolio.

The cool thing about selling your digital goods is that you can do this on the side of a full-time job. It’s completely possible to host these digital goods on your own website, but since many of the marketplaces available handle the promotion side of things, you can just focus on creating your digital content and not worry about how to market your products to the world.

Aside from selling digital products, one of the most common ways creatives earn passive income is through reselling hosting packages, WordPress elements (themes/plugins), or other products that will be used for web design and development. Commissions from these affiliate commissions can pile up pretty quick and add into a surprising source of passive income.

15. Design Shirts and Get Royalties

The world of dropshipping has expanded to industries not related to ecommerce. For example, t-shirt designers can now offer their designs to customers, even without a factory to have t-shirts printed or process shipments.

Passive Income from T-Shirts

With Print-On-Demand websites, anyone with creative juice can post their designs on the website like Threadless, Design by Humans and other PoD sites, wait for people to order a custom item, and get paid royalties for your design.

The best thing about this business model is that once you’ve created the design, it is offered as a calendar, notebook, tshirt, hoodie, and a whole lot more. You wouldn’t even have to know how these products are manufactured, or how your customer will receive the item. This is because the PoD site will handle everything for you. You’ll just sit back, focus on crafting your art, and wait for checks to arrive.

Of course, the PoD site does get a huge chunk of the sale, and your “store” will be hosted on their website forever, but if you’re OK with these two downsides, then you can pretty much make a killing earning passively as a PoD designer.

16. How to Create Passive Income with no Money: Write for Revenue-Sharing Sites

People who love to get paid to write can still earn passive income, even without maintaining their own blogs. If you’re someone who wishes to earn from writing, but don’t know where to start, all you have to do is join revenue-sharing sites. These sites are made specifically to provide a community of authors a place to share their knowledge and earn passively through ads posted on your work.

There are several benefits to joining revenue-sharing sites like HubPages, InfoBarrel, Snipsly, Daily Two Cents, or Seekyt (among others). These include:

  • No domain name or hosting expenses – Because you didn’t choose to set-up a blog, it also means you’re free from the monthly or annual fees associated with maintaining a self-hosted website.
  • No need to think about traffic – The revenue-sharing sites will technically handle most of the traffic-generating tasks for you. This could mean paying for traffic, or performing search engine optimization (SEO) techniques continuously. It’s great if you’re just starting out with no funds for ads, or if you find internet marketing complicated.
  • Earn passively – As long as the website is live and offering shared revenue to authors, you’ll be paid every month for every article that gets published on the site.

Revenue-sharing sites have different policies. For example, InfoBarrel used to require authors to have Google AdSense accounts (wherein 75% goes to the author and 25% stays with InfoBarrel). As of 2018, InfoBarrel now pays authors directly thanks to IB Ads system and PayPal. Others have 20/80 payment ratios.

17. Buy an Existing Site & Flip for Income

Empire Flippers

If you really want to build a portfolio of digital assets, but have no time for actual web development, content writing, and internet marketing, your best bet is to buy an existing blog and go from there. The main disadvantage of this “short cut” is you’ll be investing quite a lot of money, starting from $1,000 to $500,000.

What’s great about going this route is that you can compare niches, income, level of work involved, and other details before you buy a blog. Website brokers like Flippa.com and Empire Flippers list sites for sale every day. These brokers vet the seller’s proof of income, traffic details, and other important information before adding his/her site to the marketplace. Of course, as part of making sure you’re not scammed throughout the process, these website brokers take 12% to 15% in commissions upon successful sale.

If you’ve made the right choice, buying a blog with existing income ensures that you’ll be able to earn money in the long run. In most cases, the seller also provides additional training or guidance as part of the sale, so you’ll be able to maintain (or even expand) the site’s monthly income. You do have to take the buying decision seriously, since most site brokers don’t offer a refund.

18. Invest Your Money

For those who are good with numbers and finance, investing your money may be the solution you’re looking for. This route isn’t for everyone, but if you’re really interested in passive income, you have to check these out:

  • Personal InvestingBetterment provides “optimized investment returns” for IRA, 401k and rollover accounts. What’s great about it is that you can start investing any amount, and Betterment would auto “rebalance” your account for you. If you have $50,000 or more to invest, you can take advantage of having your own financial advisor at Vanguard. The wealth management tools offered by Personal Capital are exceptionally impressive, but it does require a minimum of $100k to invest.
  • Peer-to-Peer Lending – If you want to lend other people money to earn interest over time, but is scared of not being able to get the money back, peer-to-peer lending can be the solution you’re looking for. Check out Prosper, Lending Club, or other similar sites if you’re interested in becoming a legit loan shark, but lesser risks associated with traditional loans.
  • Real estate lending – This type of investment is similar to peer-to-peer lending, except you’ll be lending your money to companies and entrepreneurs who need extra financing for real estate projects. Awesome examples of this are PeerStreet (that lets you join for only $1k to start) and RealtyShares (with $5k minimum investment).

What’s great about these investment opportunities is that you don’t have to visit the bank or company to invest your money – everything can be done online.

19. Publish an Extensive Guide on a Very Specific Niche

Security Guard Training HQIf you’re scared of the commitment level involved in maintaining a blog, or have no extra funds yet to buy an existing website, you still have another option: create an extensive guide on something you already know and mix several passive income-generating techniques into that single website.

You may want to check out internet marketing guru Pat Flynn and his niche project SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com for this. The website is all about security guard training in the United States. The site greets you with a map, which you can click by state to learn about all details you need for security training in Texas or California, and so on.

This route has a ton of benefits for the passive-income hunter, since it’s a set-and-forget kind of business. Meaning,

  • You write the content once
  • You set-up the website layout once
  • You add affiliate links and AdSense ad codes once
  • You convert all website content into a downloadable eBook (and sell it for a fee, or give it away in exchange for customer information)

Other applicable sub-niche topics include travel guides to a specific city (not country), how-to home improvement guides for plumbing, electrical, etc., a review site that showcases or compares various products similar to Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes and a whole lot more. When you’re done with the content and set-up, the comprehensive guide can generate income on its own. You can add videos, pictures, articles to bump up monthly earnings in the future, or you can leave it earning cash while you sleep. It’s totally up to you.

20. Become a Podcast Star

Monetize Podcast

Podcasting is the recording of digital audio made available for live broadcast or for downloading to a mobile device or computer. It is similar to radio shows, except that podcasts use the internet instead of going through the air waves.

Podcasting has plenty of money-making potential, from selling your coaching services to seeking sponsorships, but for those focusing on passive income, here’s how a successful podcast could give you a never-ending income stream:

  • Turn the podcasts into ebooks (earn from ebook sales for as long as you wish)
  • Squeeze in affiliate links everywhere (when you recommend a product on your show, it would automatically be translated into written form. Make sure your transcriber includes hyperlinks to redirect your “listeners” to the affiliate merchant.
  • If you’re hosting a podcast on your blog, serve AdSense ads as well.

Unfortunately, earning passively from podcasting won’t happen just to anyone. You should have at least a significant amount of followers to be able to earn month after month from podcasts you’ve done in the past.

21. Create and Sell WordPress themes and plugins

For web designers and developers who are looking for a way to earn while they sleep, here are two tried-and-tested ways you can do it by taking advantage of WordPress’ popularity.

  • Build plugins – If you’re a WordPress user, you’ll know that plugins make the entire WP completely customizable to your needs. While many plugin develops offer these “apps” for free on the WordPress.org plugin directory, if your plugin serves a unique purpose and solves a particular problem, then you could offer it as a premium plugin and earn from the plugin continuously.
  • Create themes – While you’ll need a knack for design, knowledge in SEO, and advanced programming skills, creating WordPress themes can be lucrative to the right person. It’s going to take more time than building plugins for WordPress, but since premium themes are priced much higher, it would lead to bigger earnings in the long run.

In both cases, you can sell your WordPress products either on your own website or sites like MOJO Marketplace. Do note that the WordPress theme market can be a competitive one, so only go through this route if you’ve got the design or programming chops to get the attention of the WP crowd.

22. Buy Music Royalties

Even musicians should think about earning passive income, especially since many of them don’t hold 9-to-5 jobs, or have employment with benefits. The oldest way of earning through music is to ensure that you have ownership to royalty rights. Fortunately, the process is easier today since you’d only have to register with a royalty collection company, which will be responsible in tracking a song’s usage in behalf of its clients.

If you’re not a musician, but is looking for industries to invest in, you may want to buy royalty rights of music and get paid every time a radio station, movie, or any other media plays the song. The cool thing about investing in music is that royalty rights do not get affected by any financial markets, so the potential for passive income is always there. Find out what’s available in the market by checking out Royalty Exchange.

23. Run an Online Forum or Job Board

It may sound like a tedious plan, especially since both a forum and job board are flocked by numerous people every day, but if you automate the process or outsource daily repetitive tasks, you can set-and-forget a forum or job board and earn passively for months or years to come.

  • Build a forum – When you build a paid membership forum, people have to pay to get access into the community. Of course, you should be offering a space wherein they’d be able to learn valuable info, or talk to reputable people not available anywhere else. The cool thing about owning a forum is that you can set-up ads, paste affiliate links, and offer ad slots to anyone interested – and you can do this even if you’re not active in the forum.
  • Build a job board – Like a forum, job boards can now be easily installed on any blog with just a WordPress plugin. You can set it up once and hire someone to man the board. You have an option of turning it into a paid job board, or seek other income-generating opportunities like ads and sponsored posts.

This won’t work for new blogs though, since you’ll need a ton of followers to join the forum or job board. But if implemented properly, adding these spaces for your followers creates not only a special space for your readers, but also adds a no-brainer source of income for you.

24. Create and Sell Digital Products

Aside from the most popular digital products like ebooks, audiobooks, tshirt designs, web design elements, and more, you’d be amazed by huge number of digital content types you can create and sell for passive income. These include vlogs and vines, polls, PDFs, wikis, white papers, literary works, cost sheet, editorial animation, news releases, quizzes, maps, pinterest posts, infographics, and a whole lot more.

And what’s interesting with digital products is that every one of them can be sold either upfront or for royalties. You just need to find where to sell the type of digital content you’re planning to create, or build a marketing plan to bring noise to your product.

25. Accept Donations

Passive income donations

It may sound so outdated, but accepting donations still work in 2018. You’d be surprised by the generosity of your readers, especially if you’ve been providing information, entertainment, or any kind of your work for free.

Asking for donations would only be effective if:

  • You are providing something of value.
  • You make it easy for people to send money your way. Make it a 2-click or 3-step payment button. Add as many possible payment options.
  • You share the donate button every once in a blue moon, but leave a link or donate button somewhere on your blog.

Donations are popular for WordPress plugin and theme developers, since majority of these talents start out offering their work free. Cartoonists, such as Brian Gordon of Fowl Language Comics, have also maintained donation buttons or pages to support their work.

We put donations at the end of this list because it can provide you with a passive income, but you shouldn’t rely on it too much since the amount you’d receive will rely only on your readers’ generosity. Just be grateful if someone donates any amount your way.

The Bottom Line

Having an 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 even 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.

Leave me a comment below and let me know what ideas you are pursuing and any success you’ve seen pursuing an idea so far.

Jingle Writing Jobs: Get Paid to Write Catchy Tunes

Do you love getting jingles stuck in your head for days at a time? Have you been making up tunes your whole life? Do you have the musical skills, and equipment to turn a your love of catchy songs into a jingle writing job?

Well, with the internet opening up opportunities for people with almost every kind of talent, it’s not surprising that master jingle composers would have a chance to earn big bucks in this day and age.

Sounds too good to be true? Of course, you need to have what it takes to write commercial jingles. If you’re wondering where to start, read on…

How to Create Your Own Jingle

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.

Jingles are made as a video or audio ad for a company’s product or service.

As such, it 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.

You’ll also need:

1. 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.

2. Musical Abilities

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

The beats and tunes paired with the words should blend perfectly together to create an irresistible jingle that anyone would instantly recognize.

You should know what it takes to compose music using piano or other instruments, and be able to turn your idea into reality. If you have recording experience, then composing jingles would be much easier.

3. Writing Skills

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

This requires advanced composing skills or a combination of extensive vocabulary, knowledge of proper phrasing and love of rhymes.

4. Creativity

Clients only provide a simple instruction about what the jingle should include and what message it should convey.

As such, jingle composers must be creative enough to work with even the vaguest of ‘client requirements.’

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. He never tasted Chili’s ribs and only had 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,” and 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

There’s no educational background or special degree needed to become a jingle composer, but most traditional jingle writers have experience working in ad agencies.

You have the option of working a full-time job at ad agencies, or go freelance and offer your jingle-writing services to multiple clients.

Freelancers must have excellent marketing skills, so that they’ll be able to represent themselves at various ad agencies or directly when facing a client.

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 – these 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 field of advertising, entertainment, media, arts and PR, among others.

Because of this set-up, the field can become extremely competitive and highly lucrative if you’ve got the right skill set.

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 set of factors listed above for freelancer fees.

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 fee-per-jingle 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, but note that this 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, but all of them require you to build a portfolio and improve your online presence.

As a freelancer with ad agency connections:

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

Every time you discover a jingle project, you 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 rapports with your connections.

As a freelancer seeking online-based jobs:

Be a regular at job boards, from Freelancer.com to Fiverr.com.

Get as much experience catering to clients as you can.

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.

As a blogger talking 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!) 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, so a blog remains the best online portfolio for you.

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, 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.

Word-of-mouth remains out 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, clients will flock your way.

And if “waiting for clients to come” won’t work, or is too slow of a progression 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 radio or TV.

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.

The Bottom Line

The income of jingle writers isn’t listed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, probably because like 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, which 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.

While you’re here, explore 8 different types of online jobs for musicians or 10 different ways you can get paid to listen to music.