Audiobook Narrator Jobs: Here’s How to Read for Profit

Voice actors have been around for a long time, but audiobook narrator jobs have become a surprisingly big part of that industry in recent years.

If I had to venture a guess, I’d say it’s thanks to people’s long commute times and the boredom that comes along with that. Whatever the reason, it’s great for anyone who’s been looking for ways to read and make money at the same time.

If eloquence and precise articulation get you excited then maybe becoming an audiobook narrator is your calling.

It definitely sounds like an incredibly fun career track to pursue.

Before I start telling you all about this profession and how you can land your first gig, there’s something important you need to know first:

In voice acting, your voice is the thing that’s going to get you hired.

It sounds obvious, I know, but think about that for a moment.

You need to have a pleasant voice.

Unfortunately, no amount of training or preparation can give you that.

Like with other forms of acting – you either have it or you don’t. That doesn’t mean audiobook narrating doesn’t require training or preparation, because it certainly does.

But those things need to be fueled by natural talent.

What skills do you need to apply for audiobook narrator jobs?

I’ve marveled at the unbelievable talent some people have for manipulating their own voices.

There’s something wonderfully entertaining about hearing someone tell a vivid story, or seeing a fictional character come to life thanks to the voice behind it.

People don’t always realize the amount of skill and talent that actually go into audiobook recordings.

You have to consider the right pacing and tone but keep it entertaining, speak clearly, bring life to the story and the characters, and stay true to the original intent of the text.

All of these are necessary skills that you need to work on.

On top of that, very successful book narrators can modulate their voices to portray different characters (in what is known as solo narration), including ones of different genders and with different accents.

This isn’t a dealbreaker skill, but it can open up a lot of doors for you.

Narration is a technical art form and requires dedication and stamina.

You have to coordinate with the publisher and other voice actors (if there are any), you have to deliver hours upon hours of reading work, and you have to be your own director.

Reading a book out loud is like directing a story that you’re telling; during every moment of the read-through, a narrator has to stay focused on the rhythm, characters, intonation, and enunciation.

Any mistakes means doing it all over again.

Possibly one of the most important skills an audiobook narrator should have, however, is good organizational skills.

Books often have a lot of characters to keep track of and it’s important for continuity that the voices of each and the pronunciations of words stay the same throughout the book or sometimes a series of books.

How to Get Started as an Audiobook Narrator

Finding audiobook narration training is a good option, but it’s not necessary.

Someone who has had voice training or acting lessons can also make for great narrators. Which is why classically trained actors regularly branch into this line of work with a lot of success.

Mainly, you’ll need recording equipment to get started.

This could mean a considerable investment from your part, but you don’t have to own the best to start out with.

Having somewhere quiet with few distractions to record the audio is much more important.

On top of that, you’ll also need audio recording and editing software.

Most of the time, you’ll send over the raw-edited audio files, which means that there’s still a bit of editing involved to remove any mistakes or piece the recordings together, depending on whether you prefer a punch and roll technique or a straight recording (I’ll explain the difference below).

Some publishers provide a studio where audiobook narrators can go record their lines, and they do all of the editing themselves.

This rarely happens with fledgling narrators or smaller publishers, though.

Meaning you’ll more than likely have to invest in some equipment to get started in this industry.

You will probably feel nervous for your first reading, whether it’s at home or a studio.

Being prepared is one of the best ways to counterbalance that nervousness.

Preparing for a reading requires getting the manuscript beforehand so you can read through it and mark important details.

For instance, things like character descriptions and dialogue tags (such as “she sneered”, or “he shouted”) should be noted beforehand so you can accurately read the dialogue and make it sound the way it was intended to sound.

Being a professional means being prepared.

5 Different Types of Audiobook Narration

There are three main types of audiobook narration:

1. Solo Narration

This involves just one person reading out all of the lines.

They could be acting out different voices for different characters, or use one tone of voice throughout.

It depends on the publisher’s needs and the type of book.

2. Duet Narration

This is where two people are reading different parts of the book.

It could involve one person as the narrator and another acting out the characters or both acting out different characters.

Sometimes, a book has two different points of view, of which each is then read separately by the two people.

3. Full-Cast Narration

A full cast is a whole production where a group of people is each assigned a different character role to read for.

Sometimes a person can still have more than one role.

As I mentioned earlier, there are also different methods of recording the audio:

4. Punch and Roll

This method of recording involves rolling back the audio a bit to before a mistake was made and then “punching” in a new recording that continues where that part left off.

C.C. Hogan does a great job of explaining this method if you’re interested.

5. Straight Record

The recording keeps rolling until you decide to stop. T

his includes mistakes and rereadings to correct those mistakes. You then have to go back later and edit out the parts where mistakes were made.

How Much Do Audiobook Recording Jobs Pay?

According to established audiobook narrators like Krystal Wascher, someone that’s just starting out in this line of work (even those with no experience) can expect anything around $80 per recorded hour.

From what I’ve gathered, there’s a lot of fluctuation in how much voice actors, in general, get paid. There are too many variables and branches of voice acting to get a solid number.

That said, audiobooks can be a great source of both active and passive income, depending on the deal.

Sometimes, a gig pays a flat rate (usually per hour) and other times the narrator will get a percentage of the royalties paid to the writer over a number of months or years.

A ‘recorded hour’ does not refer to the number of hours you put in, but the length of the audiobook.

Some narrators say it takes them about two hours of recording per one recorded hour depending on the number of mistakes, stops, and retakes involved.

Where to Apply For Audiobook Narrator Jobs

Searching for audiobook narrator jobs on sites dedicated to that specific area is one good option.

Stick to the following popular voice talent marketplaces:

They offer hundreds or thousands of new opportunities that you can take advantage of.

The competition on these sites may be fierce, however, with many other experienced applicants competing for the same roles as you.

Looking for voice acting or audiobook narration gigs on freelancing sites like PeoplePerHour, Upwork, and Fiverr may be a better bet when you’re just starting out.

There should be less competition and more people willing to give a newbie a chance.

The Bottom Line

Audiobook narration is only one branch of an over-arching voice actor industry.

There are plenty of other ways to earn a part-time or full-time gig with your voice, though you have to be dedicated and know where to get started.

This isn’t always an easy industry to get into, but it can be a very rewarding one with plenty of career satisfaction.

11 Best Weekend Jobs to Help Earn Some Extra Cash

While many see weekends as a time to relax and catch up on the stuff they can’t get to during the week, some see weekend jobs as the perfect opportunity to rake in extra cash and reach their goals or pay off some debt.

Plenty of unique options open up during the weekend, and those looking for weekend jobs are in an excellent position to catch them.

If you thought that finding weekend only jobs is impossible, think again. It’s much more common than most people realize and there are many flexible job options to consider.

Getting a job that fits your skills and schedule is an entirely reachable goal. You just have to know where to look for those opportunities and then go for them. I went ahead and found ten types of part-time weekend jobs that anyone can do.

Some of them can even turn into full-time gigs if that’s something you’d want to pursue.

11 Weekend Jobs to Consider

People are often too busy or lazy to go get their own takeout or walk their dog, or do a myriad of other small but necessary things.

This is where you come in.

There’s a huge market for catering to people’s errands and obligations, and they’re willing to pay handsomely for it, which is why companies like Uber Eats are making a killing. Here’s how to get yourself a piece of that pie.

1. Play the Chauffeur

While some people might think of it as something akin to Driving Miss Daisy, in reality, being a driver for ride-sharing companies like Uber or Lyft can be a lot of fun.

If you have a car and a good driving record then signing up with one of these companies can be a fantastic way to make extra income.

Some people even do it full-time.

But the flexibility of this type of part-time work is what makes it so perfect as a weekend job. Not only can you choose which hours you want to work, you also get to meet interesting new people.

The pay-out mainly depends on the type of car you own and the distances you drive.

2. Get Delivering

Don’t like having people in your car? Well, food doesn’t talk back!

The years when food delivery services were limited to teenagers on motorcycles are long gone. Now, anyone can deliver food part-time or even full-time if they have a car.

Companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats offer their drivers the option to choose their own hours and days.

Thus, again, the hours are extremely flexible and your income would depend on how many deliveries you make.

3. Do People’s Taxes

No one escapes the taxman (sure it’s corny but no less true), yet the red tape and paperwork can be an incredible nightmare to work through for most people.

You don’t have to be certified to help people prepare their tax returns, you just need the required knowledge to help them do it accurately. You cannot, however, legally file it for them.

Starting a part-time weekend job as a tax preparer requires just a few steps.

4. Walk Dogs or Pet Sit

People are always looking for someone to help out with their pets, whether it’s taking their dogs to the park or having someone stay in to look after the pets while they’re away

The best way to find a pet sitting gig is to look on job marketplaces and social media groups, or become a paid house sitter.

House sitting gives you the unique opportunity to both get away during the weekends and make some extra cash while doing so.

5. Try Babysitting

Sure, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s a reason this type of work is still in high demand.

People like to run errands or go out with friends on the weekends and need someone to take care of their kids.

If you like hanging out with children or are good at working with them then babysitting is still a solid option as a weekend only job. Just make sure to let your potential clients know that your services are only available on those two days of the week.

6. Become a Tutor

There’s an endless list of possible tutoring gigs out there, depending on your skill set or talents.

People often do it from their own homes or travel to their clients and advertise their services via social media and word of mouth, meaning there’s virtually no set-up costs.

You can help kids with their homework, teach them how to swim, or even show people how to start couponing. The possibilities are virtually endless.

The internet is a vast network full of interesting money-making opportunities. These aren’t always time-sensitive and allow people to work on their own terms and determine their own workload.

Just like the jobs below.

7. Manage Social Media Accounts

Every small to medium business out there is looking to expand their horizons onto social media but they don’t necessarily have the expertise or manpower to reach their goals.

If you’ve got a background in marketing or working with social media accounts then this is a great way to earn an extra income.

Managing companies’ social accounts part-time on weekends is possible thanks to scheduling and automated publishing tools like Hootsuite. You can spend your weekends scheduling social media posts for the week ahead.

The best place to find social media gigs is on freelancing sites and job marketplaces that advertise open positions.

8. Become a Search Engine Evaluator

It’s important that search engines like Bing and Google provide accurate results on their pages, no matter what people type in.

That’s a lot of work. So companies contract the work out to capable evaluators.

You’ll have to register on the relevant company’s website and go through an evaluation yourself before you can start receiving assignments.

However, once you’re in then you can decide which assignments to take and can stick to those that don’t have short deadlines so you can only work on weekends.

A word of warning here though – be on the lookout for scams and shady “job opportunities”.

You should never have to pay for anything to be able to get a job as an evaluator.

9. Fill in Online Surveys

Filling out surveys may not always be the most exciting work but it can be a continuous source of extra income.

No one will ever earn enough from this to live off of, but it’s a brilliant way to get a few more bucks each month without investing too much time.

Anybody can start filling in surveys as it doesn’t require any special skills or knowledge and brands are continuously looking for opinions and feedback.

It’s really easy to get started too:

Just sign up on apps/websites like Survey Junkie, Survey Voices, or Swagbucks and start searching for open surveys. Some have demographic requirements which you’ll have to fit to be paid, while others welcome feedback from anyone.

Alternatively, you could also look into signing up for research studies, which sometimes require more of a commitment but can also pay more.

10. Rent Your Stuff to Other People

There are many reasons why people would want to rent furniture or gadgets from others.

A couple may be visiting a city for a week with their baby but they can’t take a stroller along on the plane ride.

If you own a stroller or any other necessary baby furniture then you could rent it out to them for that week.

Similarly, some people or businesses will rent a drone from you – if you own one – to shoot footage for an ad or a special event, because it’s much cheaper than to go out and buy one. You could also just look into setting up your own drone-based business, but that’s another matter entirely.

Sites like Fat Llama provide a reputable platform from which to rent out your stuff in a way that protects both you and the renters.

11. Mobile Bartending

Most people go out on weekends and spend their money on drinks.

You can do the opposite and use bartending as a means to make extra cash on the weekends.

Mobile bartenders show up to places that don’t typically have bars and companies contract out bartenders for private events allowing you to put everything you’ve learned in college to good use. Finally.

The Bottom Line

Setting up a source of supplementary income takes time, which is a precious resource in any busy household. Weekends are often the only days that aren’t beset with work, studies and other responsibilities.

Surprisingly, they’re also perfect for anyone looking for part-time work.

Besides the companies and websites I mentioned above, some good places to search for part-time weekend jobs include Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn.

20 Good Luck Plants to Brighten Up Your Home Office

Working from home without coworkers or your own little space at the office can sometimes make you feel quite isolated and that’s where good luck plants can help.

Feelings of isolation and even depression are natural, especially if you’re still adjusting from a traditional office to your freedom-embracing, home-based office.

If you’re feeling a bit down, stressed with deadlines, or just downright lonely, how about decorating your home office with some lucky plants to brighten up the office?

What is a Good Luck Plant?

A good luck plant is any kind of plant that is believed to bring good luck, happiness, love and prosperity to those around it.

Good luck plants come in different forms, depending on which mythology you’re following.

In feng shui, there are guidelines to follow when choosing and decorating with indoor plants (or else your luck won’t be too good). For instance:

  • If you want ornamental plants, pick flowering plants with smooth-edged leaves, rounded leaves, or clustered leaves in a favorable number.
  • Go with plants that “purify” the air.
  • Plants with thorns or spiky shapes are bad for feng shui became they “break the positive flow” of wealth and success.
  • Keep indoor plants in pairs when decorating your home. This balances the yin and yang of your home office.
  • Be sure to “bring in” only the number of plants you can commit to. Taking care of plants is just as hard as caring for pets. Make sure you keep it clean to promote the “positive flow of chi” around you.
  • Never keep dead plants indoors – they will cause energy to stagnate.

8 Best Lucky Indoor Plants

For those who don’t have time to plant outdoors, or have no view of the garden, you can bring lucky plants indoors too!

More and more people have embraced the chicness of urban indoor jungles, and there’s no need of getting your hands too dirty – most of the lucky plants for home office can be bought by the pot, ready to bring you some positive vibes as they are.

1. Lucky bamboo

In Feng Shui, the bamboo plant is generally lucky, but how much luck it brings you would depend on your plant’s number of stalks. Interestingly, each number has a specific meaning:

  • 3 stalks – happiness, wealth and longevity
  • 5 stalks – wealth
  • 6 stalks – good luck
  • 7 stalks – health
  • 8 stalks – growth
  • 10 stalks – completions

4 is unlucky in Feng Shui, so don’t keep bamboo plants with 4 stalks.

The jackpot number is 21, wherein it is believed that you’ll be blessed with immense wealth and enduring health.

2. Moth Orchid

Orchids used for good luck

In Asia, business centers are decorated with moth orchid for good luck, mainly because the flowers look like moths (which are actually the ones that symbolizes good luck).

You’d have to place your pot in a shady area with just a bit of sunlight.

3. Palms

Ideal as room dividers or just to remove formaldehyde from carpeting, the Chinese believed that adding this plant to a room can become a Feng Shui element you didn’t know you needed.

4. Philodendron Plant

The leaves of the Philodendron plant mimics the movement of fire.

As such, people who follow Feng Shui believe that the plan could brighten up areas in your office with low energy.

5. Hawaiian Ti plant

Hawaiian Ti good luck plant

Early Polynesians believe that the indoor Ti plant had mystical powers, bringing good fortune to everyone at home.

Like bamboo, it’s believe that if the Ti plant has two stalks in one pot, you’ll be blessed with double the luck and love.

6. Money tree

In Feng Shui, the money tree is believed to bring the grower good luck.

Like bamboo plants wherein the number of stalks dictate your amount of luck, money trees braided into 3 or 5 plants are said to bring more luck.

Never bring in a group of 4 money trees braided together to avoid bad luck.

7. Peace Lily

Peace lilies are known as natural air purifiers perfect for indoors.

In Feng Shui, these lilies are considered a symbol of harmony and good luck.

8. Jade plant

Good luck jade plant

Jade’s rounded leaves are good luck in Feng Shui.

Many Chinese business owners receive Jade while launching a new store.

Placed near the entrance of a shop, Jade plants are believed to bring good fortune, prosperity and success.

If you consider your home office, your place of business, there’s no reason why Jade plants wouldn’t bring you the same fortune.

12 Best Outdoors Good Luck Plants

Does your home office have a view?

If you look out the window, what do you see?

For those who have their backyard within their view, it’s about time you make your sightseeing bring in some luck.

After all, you’re spending most of your day working at that spot. For outdoor plants known to attract positive vibes, check out this list:

1. Peony

It is believed to attract good fortune and prosperity, this flowering plant is named after Paeon (the Green physician of the gods) and used as medicine in the olden days.

2. Citrus and lime trees

Got space for trees? Not only are lime and citrus trees useful in the kitchen, they’re also considered bringers of good health, wealth and longevity.

If you’re bringing in a dwarf citrus indoors, the best time would be Chinese New Year for good fortune directed at your business.

3. Oak

Here’s another tree, but this one can withstand generations, so if you’re interested in passing down America’s national tree to your kids some day, it’s time to get planting.

In the Greek mythology, Zeus believed the oak trees are sacred.

So does Thor, the god of thunder, in Norse mythology.

4. Rubber plants

Rubber plants symbolizes wealth, good fortune and abundance.

Make sure to choose rubber plants with round leaves, since this is where the magic comes from.

5. Lotus

Add lotus to your garden – it brings positive energy, luck and purity.

But make sure to trim wilted flowers or any dead parts regularly to maintain the good vibes.

6. Spider Plant

Not only do spider plants absorb electromagnetic radiation (which come from your PC and gadgets), they’re also known to purify air.

7. Clover

In Ireland, the three- and four-leaf clover is known as a symbol of good luck (It’s why St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with white clover everywhere).

8. Sage

It is believed that if you burn sage, it could shoo away evil spirits and bad energy.

So why buy every time you feel disrupted by bad juju?

You can have sage in your own backyard 24/7.

9. Morning glory

Need peace and happiness in your workplace?

The morning glory is worth the wait when it blooms early morning in the summer, brightening up your work day.

10. English Ivy

These aren’t trees or flowery plants, but English Ivy are vines that soften “poison arrows” and keep your place of work or sleep peaceful.

11. Jasmine

Jasmine is said to attract money and love when grown as part of your home’s garden.

Do note that Jasmine has its unique fragrance that could bring your allergies out.

12. Rowan Tree

According to Welsh, Norse and Greek mythologies, the Rowan tree was used in warding off evil. It’s the reason many churches are surrounded by this tree for protection.

The Bottom Line

There’s no harm in surrounding your home office with lucky plants indoors and outdoors.

If you don’t believe mythologies, you should at least believe in science.

According to numerous studies, going green in the office reduces depress, stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Not only does bringing plants into your home office make air to breathe cleaner, it also increases your productivity and creativity.

Plus, if noise has been a constant problem with your home office setup, you’d be please to know that plants absorb sounds, which help reduce noise levels significantly.

Decoration-wise, lucky plants for home are quick and easy ways to spice up your workspace.

4 Best Places to Sell Your Hair Online

Just recently, I told you how to earn extra cash by selling blood, “donating” plasma, and putting breastmilk for sale.

Would you even still be shocked to learn that you can also sell hair?

Yes, a lot of people prefer real hair as wigs and hair extensions (than synthetic ones), so you’d be surprised at how alive the market is for real, human hair.

And since hair grows back again, you can sell your hair multiple times throughout your life.

If you always get compliments about your shiny, bouncy hair, you might consider selling your hair in exchange for hundreds to thousands of the dollars.

How to Start Selling Hair

Selling hair isn’t as straightforward as you’d think… and not everyone can do it, unfortunately.

1. Determine if you’re qualified to sell hair

  • Untreated hair – Buyers are looking for virgin hair, which means your hair should be free from hair dye and chemical treatments. The hair must also be free from unnatural heat, such as hair straighteners, blowdryers, or hot irons.
  • Healthy hair – If you have a smoking habit, your chances of getting picked goes down quickly. This is because drinking alcohol regularly and smoking affects your entire body, including your hair, nails and bones.
  • Daily shampooed hair – Not everyone knows this, but shampooing your hair everyday makes it dull with increased chances of split ends.

It most cases, buyers would prefer longer hair lengths (about 10 inches or longer), so they could cut, style, trim, and do anything they desire with the hair.

The cool thing about selling hair is that you can be a man or a woman, and still get to earn from your natural locks.

2. Find the best online marketplace

You wouldn’t want to be negotiating your hair sale in a dark alley. Fortunately, you don’t have to. All the hair-specific buy and sell marketplaces are online, which means you can make the sale at the comfort of your own home.

Just make sure you pick a site that would work best for you.

I break down the 4 best online marketplaces for selling hair below.

3. Work on Your Listing

Each site above has different forms and categories you’re required to fill up, but here are general guidelines when working on your listing:

  • Measure your hair. You’ll need the length and thickness (in inches) because this is one of the biggest factor for buying hair.
  • Complete details about your hair. Is it blonde with a tinge of red? Is it thick or thin? curly or straight? Make sure you describe your hair as accurately as possible.
  • Hair care habits. This is where buyers will have an idea about the quality of your hair. Indicate if you drink, smoke, or take any kind of drugs. Open up about the shampoos, conditioners, and other treatments you use for your hair. How do you style your hair and what equipment do you regularly use?
  • Ask a friend to help you take high-quality pictures of your hair. Go out in the sunlight, so you can showcase the color of your hair.
  • Price it right. Compare pricing from other sellers on the sites, so you’d be able to price your hair fairly.

4. Close the deal

Almost all the sites above allow you to communicate with potential buyers first before deciding if you want to sell or not.

Sometimes, buyers will ask for discounts.

Other times, they’ll just double-check details about your hair.

Once you’ve sold your hair, you need to go to the salon to have it professionally cut (or do-it-yourself).

Your clients would choose which method they want hair removed from your head.

Secure the hair with bands afterward and ship it properly. Purchase insurance or delivery confirmation for your protection.

I’ve also seen quite a few ads that offer the buyer the chance to cut the hair themselves. You may want to decide if this is something you’d be comfortable offering before you make a listing.

Something tells me you might get a few requests of this nature.

How much can you make selling hair?

The price of human hair vary significantly. For example, a 20-inch long, 3-inch thick lock of hair can pull in somewhere between $100 to $1000. This will depend on various factors like your location, ethnicity, color and quality of your hair, and so on.

The average length of hair being sold is around 20 inches, but hair measuring 28-inch and up bag higher prices.

Natural colors (blonde, brown, etc.) are the most sought after, followed by red and black.

If you have long locks of hair that you’ve cut in the past and want to sell, this won’t be accepted anymore because buyers prefer hair to be freshly cut.

If a buyer decides to pay for your old hair, it’s likely to be tagged a lower amount. This is also the case for dreadlocks, which literally has no value in the buy-and-sell hair market.

Can you get paid to donate hair?

If you’ve been trying to sell your hair for months and you don’t want to pay a listing fee anymore, you can consider donating your hair to charity instead.

Unlike “donating plasma” but still receiving cash, donation of hair means you’re giving it away completely without any monetary compensation.

You’d probably get teary-eyed doing it too, since most of the recipients are kids and adults who suffered from medical hair loss.

If this is something you’re interested in, check out Locks for Love, Pantene Beautiful Lengths and Little Princess Trust – all of which cater to patients who’ll use your hair for wigs.

4 Best Places to Sell Hair

If you’re committed to selling your hair and have taken all of the above preparations, here are the 4 best online marketplaces to get started.

Be sure to check them all out as every site can make an offer different from the next.

1. HairSellon

Most people who want to sell their hair go straight to Hair Sellon.

What I like best about this site is the calculator.

Hair price calculator results

It gives you an estimate how much your hair is worth based on the length, thickness, and color. You control the price of your hair here, and potential buyers can negotiate with you directly.

2. BuyAndSellHair

Next up is BuyAndSellHair.com which touts itself as the #1 Human Hair Marketplace.

BuyAndSellHair

I’ll be honest. Their inclusion of the word “human” in their headline does creep me out a bit.

Either way, there’s a fee to list your hair here of $14.50 per 3 months. The platform looks more modern than HairSellOn, and there’s a chance you’d get featured at the home page.

There are a number of success stories here and you can browse recently sold hair.

3. Online Hair Affair

Launched in 2008, this website lets you post hair-for-sale ads for $10/month or $15/2 months.

It isn’t as active as the first two sites, but you do have a bigger space to advertise your hair.

There’s also a category for gray hair here, which isn’t available on other sites.

4. World of Wigs

You can sell your hair directly to wigmakers.

They price hair differently here, going by weight instead (about $3 to $5 per oz. of hair).

You’d have to send your hair to World of Wigs, and only once the company receives your hair and assessed it will you be paid.

The Bottom Line

Selling your hair may seem odd to some people, but if you’re in need of extra cash, it could definitely help out.

$500 to $1000 for 20-inch long hair isn’t small change – it could pay off a bill or take care of groceries for a week or two.

That’s still money you wouldn’t have earned if you didn’t know about the human hair market otherwise, right?

How To Become A Dog Walker: Join These 5 Sites

Dog walking has been a traditional side cash opportunity for decades, and remains one of the easiest ways to get paid to walk and earn extra cash within your own community.

If you’re a pet lover, learning how to become a dog walker may just be a “walk in the park.”

However, with the advent of new social apps, there are new rules to follow and even better, more opportunities than ever to get paid to walk dogs.

Below, we’ll explore the different websites and apps you can use to find gigs, and walk you through the steps of setting up your own dog walking business if that’s the route you want to take.

How to Become a Dog Walker

A dog walker picks up dogs at the clients’ respective homes, lead them through pre-planned walking routes, feed the dogs, and make sure the dogs are healthy under his/her care.

You may not need traditional educational attainment like a college degree, but there are still specific requirements to become a professional dog walker:

  • High school diploma, GED, or any equivalent – Most clients don’t care about your educational attainment, but if you’re planning to work for a dog walking company, know that they prefer high school graduates. It’s a plus if you took high school courses in animal science.If you haven’t finished high school or taken a GED, you could check complete training programs for animal caretakers and even become certified.
  • Driver’s license – You may need to drive the dogs to the vet during emergencies, or picking up dogs far from your home.
  • Business license – Check with local laws if you’d need to obtain permits to walk dogs as a profession. (This is a must if you’re opening up a dog walking business though).
  • Experience – Being a dog lover isn’t enough. You need to have experience and knowledge when it comes to controlling their behavior, transporting them on cages, handling restraints, giving first aid treatments, animal nutrition, and so on.
  • Physically fit – Because the job entails literal “walking,” you need to be physically fit enough to walk extended periods and be ready to run when needed.
  • A phone – Most dog walking companies work much like Uber, so you’d have to log on to an app, and check for active gigs near you.

Do you need insurance to become a dog walker?

Professional dog walking involve structured activities, but anything can happen from pick-up of the dogs to the actual walk, and even as you drop off the dogs to your client’s home.

Fortunately, there is insurance available customized for this specific profession to protect pet sitters and dog walkers like you from possible legal action if a dog causes damage while under your watch. A good example of a company you can talk to is Pet Sitter Insurance.

Do you need a license or permit to walk dogs?

In some states, yes. In others, not anymore.

You need to be up-to-date about licensing requirements from the city you’re offering your services to. Determine if your city has limits on the number of dogs you can walk at a time. Learn all about leash requirements and procedures for animal transportation (especially for public transportation), dog waste disposal, or reporting of lost pets.

When it comes to permits, most cities would require you to obtain one if you’re walking dogs within parks.

Those who are certified dog walkers would have to renew their certifications by taking an exam, paying a renewal fee, or completing continuing education.

Self-employed professional dog walkers may need to record dog license numbers and vaccination history.

5 Sites to Find Dog Walking Jobs

Aside from online boards and traditional community centers, you can also check these sites/apps out:

1. Rover

Rover benefits

Rover doesn’t just offer dog walking services. It also allows experienced dog sitters to provide house-sitting, doggy daycare, and dog boarding.

Rover is available in over 50 cities, so you’ll have a better chance of becoming a dog sitter here. Plus, you can choose what kinds of services you’d like to offer, based on what you can accommodate or commit to.

To join Rover, just create a profile, accept requests, and get paid two days after an assignment. Rover boasts that dog sitters can earn $1000/month just by playing with dogs.

Most dog walkers earn around $25/hour, but dog boarding pays the most.

2. Wag!

Benefits of working for Wag

This company only accepts experienced dog walkers who will pass two kinds of tests – one is to gauge dog knowledge, and the other is for situational assessment showcasing how well you can handle unpredictable situations.

Wagwalking is available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Washington DC, Dallas, Miami, and Philadelphia so far, so if you reside in these cities, this company may be a perfect fit for you.

Wag! pays its walkers around $15 to 17 an hour, but your location, competition and reputation can make your personal rates go higher or lower.

3. Barkly Pets

Barkly dog walkers

Barkly Pets is a digital marketplace app designed for independent local dog walkers across the country to customize and grow their businesses. As the only commission-free dog walking app, Barkly Dog walkers set their own rates for services and keep 100% of their earnings — ensuring quality of service by attracting the industry’s most elite dog walkers.

When customers use Barkly to discover an independent, professional dog walker in their neighborhood, they book directly with the walker of their choice each and every time.

To become a dog walker for Barkly Pets, there’s some extensive vetting (criminal background check, etc.) involved. You’d also need to attend one of the company’s “walker onboarding,” a kind of meet-and-greet with fellow dog walkers.

All Barkly Pets walkers are bonded and insured. As a dog walker, you have to create detailed reports after every assignment.

4. PetBacker

Petbacker
PetBacker is similar to Rover because it offers services beyond dog walking.

If you’re willing to become a dog sitter, groomer, or a temporary home, PetBacker will match you to dog owners who need your services. You can access PetBacker via its website, Android app or iOS app.

What makes PetBacker different from the rest is that its rating and review system is more comprehensive.

You can also chat with a potential dog walker first and get a feel of his/her personality before making a decision. Plus, PetBacker is available in over 50 countries.

5. Care.com

Care.com

Care is probably the oldest one on this list because the site began like a classified ads for child or senior caretakers and expanded to housekeeping services and pet care. It is available as an app, and via website.

If you’re an animal lover, you can begin your dog walking business here. You’ll need to fill up an extensive form, detailing your location, experience, services and rates, availability, number of employees, license, certifications and so on.

Rates range from $10 to $30 an hour, depending on your location and type of service you provide. City-based dog walkers usually price their services higher.

What’s great about Care.com is that everything is transparent – you can see address, reviews from past clients, business information, and other important details that other dog-walking apps lack.

Which Do You Choose?

Unfortunately, if you’re a professional dog walker choosing between these companies, your choice would probably go down to which company allows you to work near where you reside.

Rover has the most locations in the United States, but it also has the most number of negative reviews.

PetBacker is more beloved by dog owners and is available in 50+ countries, but the company’s vetting system is strict (Only 30% of applicants make the cut to be a sitter on PetBacker).

Now that Barkely has opened up nationwide and completely revamped their business model, their offerings are looking more attractive than ever.

If you’re planning to scale up your dog walking gig into a business in the future, but just want to dip your toes into the industry first, Care.com would be your best fit.

As you can see, I can’t pick for you. Try one, try them all. Just find one that feels right to you.

How Much do Dog Walkers Make?

Dog walkers who join sites like Wag and Rover can earn about $17.50 per walk for the $20 to $30 fee paid by the dog owner. Wag or Rover takes a cut from the fee.

If you build your own dog walking business and do it freelance, you can make from $20 to $40 per walk and be control discounts and other pricing details, the number of dogs you can bring per walk, and the services you wish to offer.

Dog walkers who are doing this part-time can earn legitimately for extra cash (but not as main income). If this is where your passion takes you and you want to bring it up to the next level, start your own, private dog walking business.

How to Start a Dog Walking Business

If you came from Rover or any other dog-walking companies, you already know the strengths and weaknesses of each one. You can start by listing these things down and making a business plan based on what you’ve experienced.

Dog walker

However, if you’re coming into the business as a dog walker who wants to scale up his/her services, follow the guidelines below:

1. Acquire an LLC

Get a lawyer, or check out LegalZoom.com if you’re setting up an LLC for your dog walking business.

While there are other types of business structures you can choose, an LLC fits because it separates your liability with your company’s liabilities.

This will prevent clients running after you if ever something bad happens while their dogs are under your company’s supervision.

If you don’t have enough funds for an LLC, visit your city hall or state and see your options for filing a DBA, a.k.a. “Doing Business As.”

2. Build a website and online presence

Websites are so easy to create these days. You just need a domain name (www.domainname.com), a hosting provider where your domain will call home, and a pre-built theme.

Fill-up the content, add pictures, place your company’s information, and leave a form or contact details…and it’s ready!

You do have to spread the word about your website, since visitors won’t just come popping by once you build the company website.

Here’s where your online presence (Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media and Web 2.0 platforms come in.

3. Secure permits, licenses and insurance

Park permits, business license, permit to walk more than 5 dogs at a time, and other legal requirements should all be in place before you open shop.

Note that permits and license requirements vary between states.

Insurance is also a must, since it will protect you against future liabilities.

It’s wise to talk to an insurance provider, since general insurance won’t cover everything your business provides. For example, if you’re planning to add dog grooming to your services, you’d need a specific type of insurance as well.

4. Find the right software or build an app

Even if you only have a handful of clients (at the top of your head), you should think big and plan ahead by choosing a scheduling software to keep things organized.

Some freelance dog walkers only use Google calendar and Google sheets for this, but you can choose a provider like Time to Pet (a dog-walking scheduler that costs $35/month) if you’re planning to scale up quickly.

If you have extra funds, you can invest in your own custom software or app, where your contractor dog walkers can log in, find assignments, and check their accounts. Consider a platform with invoicing feature for your customers as well.

5. Know legalities (employment laws, regulations, etc.)

Be up-to-date with local and state laws that could affect your business.

If you’re hiring people, check out employment laws. If you plan to groom dogs on top of animal boarding, see what limitations and rules you need to follow.

Learning the legalities and following rules as they chance will prevent any future problems you may face as a business owner.

6. Be Realistic

Compare pricing across your competition in the area you plan to serve.

This is important, since rates vary between cities and states.

Crunch the numbers and determine how much your business needs to earn. While you’re at it, you can also think about prices of your services.

It’s important that you don’t go overboard.

You may get excited and include dog training with your services, but your finances cannot handle hiring a certified dog trainer.

7. Market Your Business

Promote your business everywhere. Print flyers, fill-up online ads (go for free first, then check out paid ads later).

Ask your favorite vet if you can place a poster or leave calling cards there. Stick posters at community centers, your church and other commercial areas nearby.

At the end of the day, word of mouth still is the most effective way of promoting your business, so once you get a client, provide the best service you can give.

Referrals will work to your advantage.

The Bottom Line

I hope this post gives you an idea about the income professional dog walking and a dog walking business can bring you.

If you’re planning to become the next hottest petcare hotel, see what you need to start an at-home dog daycare business. Read up on other ways you can make money with animals.

How to Make Money with a Print on Demand Store

Print on demand, as its name suggest, is a process wherein you work with a supplier to “print” your own designs on white-label products and sell them under your own brand.

Your product could be anything from t-shirts, mugs, artwork on canvas, pillows, and so on, as long as they are sold on a per-order basis.

Print on demand was made popular within the publishing industry in the 1960s.

It was common practice for authors to complete a book, make a deal with a publishing house to print x number of books, and authors only receive a commission for books sold.

When print-on-demand became an option, publishing houses no longer have to pay authors at the beginning of a contract.

Instead, authors were paid after the book has been sold.

This resulted in authors no longer on the mercy of publishers, since they can sell books per-order basis and keep bulk of the profits.

What this meant for other industries is that sellers no longer have to buy in bulk, or stock a huge inventory of their products all the time.

It also meant new businesses can open up shop without big investments, since you don’t pay the supplier for any product until you’ve actually sold it.

What is a Print on Demand?

Print on demand is the process of adding your own designs to white labeled products as they are ordered. For example, instead of ordering hundreds t-shirts that may or may not sell, you take the order first, and then you have to the t-shirt printed.

If you’re a cartoonist, graphic designer, painter, or any kind of artist or business-minded entrepreneur, a print on demand store can be the platform you need if you don’t have much money for inventory, or lease money for a brick-and-mortar store.

Setting up a print on demand store has several benefits:

  • Earn passive income – Create a design once, and wait for sales to pour in. You have total control about marketing your work, so you can either go big or take it easy.
  • 100% manageable from anywhere – Because you won’t be doing any t-shirt screen-printing, or any other “production” process, you can manage your business from anywhere in the world.
  • No after-sales – You own the designs from your store, but even if a customer orders from you, the supplier will handle everything from printing to shipping and even after-sales support. Meaning, you don’t even have to have a lot of time to manage your store.

If you join print on demand sites instead of building your own website, you don’t have to think about hosting and domain name fees, back-end maintenance, and other tasks involved in keeping a website live.

Can you make money with print on demand?

Print on demand sites encourage artists and entrepreneurs to join their websites for free.

Yes, you don’t need to pay upfront to join any PoD site. However, they do get a cut for every item sold from your store.

With this in mind, you may be wondering: “can you make money with print on demand?”

The answer is a huge YES.

Here are 3 solid reasons why I say there’s a huge potential for earning big money with print on demand products:

1. You don’t need to worry about equipment

As a merchandise store, the first thing you’d probably worry about is printing equipment.

And sometimes, you’ll need more than one piece of equipment. Equipment used for making phone cases can’t be used in printing clothes, while canvas printing cannot use the same equipment as laser printing.

When you open up shop with a print on demand site, all you have to invest in are you designs.

No thousands of dollars wasted buying equipment you’re not sure how much you’re going to use.

2. Talk to just a single third-party company

Regular online stores talk to multiple companies, from suppliers to shipping companies, outsourced support, marketing agencies, and so much more.

Negotiating and communicating with these third-party companies just to ensure your store operations go on smoothly day in, day out can be quite exhausting. On top of this, you also have to make sure customer experience remains high, so you need to answer inquiries, follow-ups, complaints, returns, etc.

Print on demand sites take care of everything for you, so you can focus on what matters most: the designs.

If problems arise with your earnings, you only have to talk to the support team of your chosen PoD site.

3. Print on demand sites have fair fees

All Print on Demand sites do not have membership fees, but they do get a huge chunk of the item’s price.

This is absolutely understandable, since they’re the ones investing in equipment, handling daily operations, shipping products and marketing your designs. Plus, your designs are all hosted within their main site.

The advantage here is that you have control over the pricing of your products, which means you can place discounts during popular sale seasons (Thanksgiving, New Year’s, etc.), and then bring it up during peak seasons for your niche.

BUT WAIT…there’s a catch:

There is one major problem you might encounter as a designer at PoD sites.

You have to be willing to market your own “store” because there will be hundreds of artists to compete with.

If you’re lucky to be featured regularly on the Print on demand frontpage, then this might not be such an issue anymore.

But the reality is that even though you can earn big money in print on demand sites, it won’t come overnight. PoD sites do not guarantee that you will have a sale once you set-up your business and upload your designs.

Like other passive income generating businesses, you have to work at it as well to succeed.

What is the best print on demand site?

If you’re ready to begin your adventure selling print on demand merchandise, remember these factors to consider when picking the best print on demand site for your niche:

  • Where you can sell you design – Some Print on Demand sites allow you to sell within their marketplace exclusively, while others allow you to manage your own website and still benefit from their production services.
  • Traffic – The main advantage of PoD sites is the traffic they already have. You’re joining an already-existing, successful website upon launch of your store, so there’s a bigger possibility that your target market is already there.
  • Different products – If you’re just after t-shirt production and sale, you’d have plenty of options. However, if you want to sell various print on demand products at the same time, check what kinds of products are available before signing on to a POD site.
  • Quality of products – Of course, the quantity shouldn’t just be your deciding factor. Even if a particular print on demand site offers over 100 types of products, if the quality of these products are below-standard, then repeat customers may be less likely.
  • Payment and shipping methods – The more options you give customers when it comes to paying and shipping, the more customers you’ll be able to bag. Yes, many customers just go to the next store if you don’t offer their payment method of choice, or if the only shipping company you have charges high fees.
  • Low base cost – This amount refers to the amount your supplier spent to produce your product. If the base cost is low, it means you get to take home higher profits.

Last time, I wrote about 5 of the most popular Print on Demand Sites (Read more about Zazzle, Design by Humans, DeviantArt, RedBubble, CafePress, and Threadless here).

Here are 5 more print on demand sites that are worthy of checking out:

1. Society6

Leaf Group (formerly Demand Media Inc.) acquired Society6.com in June 2013.

This POD offers gadget cases, t-shirts, art prints, wall clocks, shower curtains, mugs, blankets, throw pillows, and more.

What makes Society6 Stand Out: Target features hundreds of artists from Society6 and sells artists’ designs as part of its home decor department.

Imagine how much more people will be able to see those designs (both online and offline), simply just by joining Society6.

Earning Potential: The biggest problem with Society6 is that the POD site has pre-determined base price.

You only receive 10% from the retail price.

You do have control over the price of art canvas, art prints and framed art.

2. Sunfrog

Launched by computer programmer Josh Kent in 2013, Sunfrog quickly became a force in the print on demand space that it sold over $60 million t-shirts, hoodies, shirts, mugs, hats, leggings, etc. by 2015.

Products are printed in the USA and shipped internationally.

What makes Sunfrog Stand Out: Probably the most striking thing about Sunfrog is that they know how to market the site.

The traffic grows each year because Sunfrog works on its social media and search engine optimization.

Earning Potential: Sunfrog pay artists 45% commission for each item sold, which is considerably higher than all other print on demand sites.

3. GearBubble

It’s only been around since September 2015, but this POD site definitely caught up with the rest.

By March 2018, it has shipped over 2 million products across its 150,000+ sellers.

What makes GearBubble Stand Out: Unlike other print on demand sites, GearBubble allows you to sell on Etsy, Shopify, eBay, or Amazon through seamless integration.

This is rare for POD sites, since they prefer to be in control with the sale and day-to-day operations.

Earning Potential: GearBubble is more than just a POD site – it’s a dropshipping/fulfillment provider as well.

As a vendor for GearBubble, you can sell t-shirts, hoodies, necklaces, pendants, hats, mugs, pants, etc. and receive payment via PayPal at the end of each month.

4. Fine Art America

Choose another POD site if you’re looking to sell print on demand shirts alone.

Here you can also sell curtains, cushions, pillowcases and so much more.

What makes Fine Art America Stand Out: This print on demand site boasts hundreds of high-end designs from artists and turn them into house decor items.

Earning Potential: Fine Art America has both free and paid ($30/year) plans.

5. Printify

This print-on-demand service provider allows you to customize over 200 white label products, and then dropship the products directly to your customers.

What makes Printify Stand Out: Printify has unique white label products you can’t find on other POD sites, such as jewelry, water bottles, clocks, and so on.

It can also integrate with Shopify, Etsy and Woocommerce.

Earning Potential: Available as both a free or premium plan ($29/month).

The Bottom Line

Many people have been designing and selling t-shirts since the internet paved the way for people to earn money from the comforts of their own homes.

With print-on-demand products, you can build a small store or scale it up into a massive store, without having inventory on hand, without investing in expensive equipment, and without having to set up your own website.

This is definitely a legitimate way to start an online business, especially if you have limited resources.

Drone Pilot Jobs: How to Make Money with Drones

Drones used to be just a fun new pastime for hobbyist photographers looking to get cool aerial shots, but now drone jobs are a thing and people are making money with their drones.

When the toy drones boomed two years ago, just about everyone of all ages were playing with these remote-controlled toys.

Now, drones are no longer just used as a hobby. It has actually helped many photographers to scale up their services (wedding aerial photos/videos), create several types of high-paying drone jobs, and allowed people to open up shop that revolved around drones.

According to a study by Research and Markets, the drone service market around the world is projected to grow 51.1% now until 2027.

If this sounds interesting to you, check out how to monetize your ability to fly a drone.

How to Make Money with a Drone

Making money with drones can be achieved in two ways: get hired as a drone pilot or create a drone business.

This post will tackle both income generating methods, so you can weigh which route you’d prefer to take.

Drone Pilot Jobs

Flying a drone has become a profession on its own, but since it is relatively a new niche, drone pilot jobs are still being discovered.

Here’s what you need to know:

The jobs you’d find available for drone pilots are mostly freelance basis. Skylogic Research published a 2018 study that says about 62% of drone services providers are self-employed.

Depending on how you look at things, this bit of detail can be either a good thing or a bad thing.

On one side, as a self-employed drone pilot, you have total control of your business and how big you’re willing to scale it up.

On the other hand, there’s no stable 15/30 paychecks for you, so you’re going to need to hustle to reach your goal monthly income.

  • Drone pilot – You are the one controlling the drone from the ground, so you need to have experience flying these things. The equipment are not cheap, which is why your skills matter a lot for this job.
  • Drone instructor – You need to be highly knowledgeable and experienced in flying and troubleshooting drones of different kinds. You should have the reputation and work to backup your teaching service.
  • Drone engineer – If you’re already in the aviation, electronics or electrical engineering industries, consider switching to a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) engineering path for higher pay. Because this industry is still pretty young, you can find work in the product development, research and technical support with less competition.

Many industries are still discovering how to incorporate flying drones into the respective industries, so more and more types of drone pilot jobs appear every day.

In fact, you can check out “drone jobs” or “UAV pilot” in sites like Drone base, DroneJobs.org, or Indeed.

How much does it cost to become a drone pilot?

This isn’t just about taking photos with your phone. Flying a drone is an entirely different thing and it needs very specific skills, training and certification.

To become a done pilot, you’ll need to invest in education, equipment and certification.

Education

You can take a course (similar to Drone Pilot Ground School) for $300 or more, or learn on your own. Flying drones require a lot of practice, so you should be able to handle various models and brands without anyone’s help.

If you’re planning to build drones, you’ll need a more extensive course (in technology, engineering degrees).

Equipment

Freelancers must provide their own drone for their services. It is probably the only disadvantage of going self-employed (instead of employed), since a quality drone can cost up to $1,500. If you’re looking for a trusted brand, there’s nothing better than DJI hands down.

You’ll also need a couple of extra batteries, a photo/video editing software, and other drone accessories, such as professional filters.

Certification

Before making money with a drone, you’d have to get licensed first.

You must visit the Federal Aviation Administration, and take the test (it costs $150 complete with study materials and training lectures) within 2 years from payment. Once you pass, you’ll be able to fly a drone as a service provider.

How much can a Drone Pilot make?

Full-time drone pilots can make anywhere from $38,000 to $130,000 per year, according to PayScale.com.

The money you can make as a drone pilot depends on several things, including what line of business you decide to focus on (weddings, agriculture, security, engineering, mapping, etc.), how much time you spend marketing your services, the quality of your work, your reputation, and more.

Freelancers have more flexibility when charging clients.

If you were contracted to take drone photos, you can get paid from $70 to $250 per picture. Mapping, inspection, deliveries, or search and rescue fees are usually set on a case-to-case basis.

But this can still depend on which client you have.

For example, real estate agencies getting a drone shot of a million-dollar property can bank higher than other gigs. In most cases, you’ll be able to charge higher to corporate clients, than individuals.

Drone Business Ideas

The following drone business ideas can help you discover specific niches where you’d like your career to go.

Note that if you prefer working as an employee, this list will give you an idea what companies may be looking out for a talented drone pilot.

1. Aerial Photography and Videography

This category is probably the most familiar way people use drones. If you’re interested in aerial photography or videography, you can have a career or business in various industries, including:

  • >Wedding – The biggest craze are those aerial shots of churches, gardens and other wedding venues.
  • Real estate – Showcasing the property from all angles help in advertising real estate. This also works with commercial properties such as hotels and resorts
  • Advertising – You can sell PR and ad agencies anything as big as aerial videography and cinematography because it’s still a new concept and can still be explored creatively.
  • Sports reporting – While drone shots of sports have been very popular lately, it’s slowly extending to general news reporting (from crime to other beats).
  • Film – Aerial cinematography is on a league of its own, but it does exist. You’d likely be handling more powerful equipment than wedding photographers/videographers use.

You can also go freelance and sell your aerial photographs, or create a YouTube channel to showcase your work.

2. Inspection

Drones are also great as tools for inspection of hard-to-reach areas, such as communication towers, wind farm, pipelines, bridges, wells, rooftops and chimneys of everything from houses to skyscrapers, cables, remote stations and so much more.

These jobs required helicopter or airplane use in the past.

Drones are better alternatives because they complete the tasks without any danger to human life.

And since drones are equipped with advanced cameras and video transmitters, they’re capable of inspecting these facilities properly.

Note that you’d have to be highly skilled in flying drones because it can be dangerous to crash into towers, or damage extremely-expensive equipment.

The upside to higher risk of liabilities is that you’ll be paid better than regular aerial photography gigs.

3. Mapping

You don’t need to exclusively target a specific group of people or building when flying with drones.

In some cases, clients will just request you to survey a parcel of land.

Not only will this work for city planning, construction, and topography, many more industries that require mapping and surveying can benefit from flying drones.

If you’re offering this service, check companies and government agencies involved in mining, forestry, archaeology, oil and gas.

4. Agriculture

Agriculture is an industry benefiting from the popularity of drones, and the development is quite interesting to witness.

If you’re an experienced farmer, you can combine your skills with technology and farming by flying a drone to produce crop health imaging, control pests, spray crops, plant crops, detect soil composition, and switch up farming strategies.

5. Search and Rescue

While often a voluntary position, you can find search and rescue employment with the government, Red Cross, and other organizations.

It’s also very rewarding, especially if you’re trying to deliver food to people affected by natural disasters, find missing people, and so on.

Flying drones during emergencies (earthquakes, hurricanes, flood, etc.) can be extremely successful, especially in areas not accessible by water or land.

6. Drone Deliveries

Drone delivery is a thing.

Big retailers like Amazon and AliExpress use drones for deliveries.

Non-profit organizations, hospitals, institutions and other private companies have been incorporating drone deliveries to clients located in areas hard to reach by vehicles.

However, investing on delivery drones can be expensive, since the equipment are more heavy duty than regular photography drones to be able to carry loads seamlessly.

7. Security

Professional security agencies can explore drones as an alternative to surveillance of wide areas.

While drones cannot shoo trespassers on the spot, video capture can help in guarding or documenting multiple areas at a time.

Drones are also being used in private investigation, making it safer for people in the security and surveillance industries do their jobs. And because drones today have thermal imaging, HD videos, and other advanced features, drones can survey an area even at a distance and still reach the intended target.

8. Passive Income via Blog or YouTube

You can begin an online business and see where it goes.

For example, you can earn cash by maintaining a blog and placing Google AdSense ads all over. You can post aerial photos of real estate, agriculture, flowers, and other niche that you may find interesting that fits into your drone adventure.

If blogging isn’t your cup of tea, you can go the YouTube route and publish footages from your drone instead.

Other Drone Business Ideas

  1. Drone sales – Of course, if you have the marketing skills, you can always go the reselling route, but you’d have to be perfectly knowledgeable and passionate about your products. Drone insurance may also be included as part of your portfolio, so you might want to check that out as well.
  2. Drone rentals – I don’t recommend going into the drone rental business, since the these drones are vulnerable to damage.
  3. Environmental conservation – Government agencies can hire you to fly drones for them, checking areas and see if businesses are complying with conservation or other environmental regulations. Researchers can also seek your help in getting aerial imagery of their studies of polar bears, birds, or other hard-to-reach animals.
  4. Filmmaking – Aerial cinematography is on a league of its own, but it does exist. Because drones do not need cranes and other heavy-duty equipment to carry cinema-quality cameras, more and more filmmakers are trying out drones for movie production.

The Bottom Line

Drones do work with a sophisticated remote control, but it doesn’t mean everyone who has had video game practice can do this.

Flying drones is still a unique skill and the drones themselves aren’t cheap, so you’d have to be careful with your equipment while mastering how to fly.

Now that you know how to make money with a drone, you’d have to practice religiously and learn everything you can about the local and state laws of flying drones. Generally, the FAA has authority of all things flying over the skies, but this agency also won’t save you if your drone flying ways break local or state laws.

Whether you’re going to do this as a freelancer, or set up a business around drones, make sure you give a leeway for maintenance (or replacement). Track the drone’s mileage and prepare money for emergencies (missing/damaged drones).

If you’re really interested in flying drones as a way of income, you have to understand that this isn’t an easy way to make money. You do have control how far you want to scale this business and since the market isn’t saturated yet, there’s a chance you can break into a niche industry that nobody hasn’t thought of yet.

12 Apps That Pay Out Free Gift Cards

I love finding new free gift card apps because I hate paying full price when I don’t have to, especially on items I don’t really need.

(Is there an Amazon Prime Anonymous?)

I’ve always been a bit of a frugal person and love trying out new ways to save (this blog stands as a testament to that) but I wouldn’t call myself a master at saving.

I don’t normally put in the effort and go to thrifty extremes to save as much money as possible.

Instead, I just turn to easy ways to spend less or get more out of my money – like getting free gift cards on mobile apps.

Here’s what makes them so great:

They offer one of the best ways to shop for what I want without all the guilt of spending more than I should. Plus it appeals to my greener side too – no paper!

It’s surprising how many apps out there give out free gift cards – and it’s just as surprising to see how few people actually know about it. Which lead me to create this list of the best free gift card reward apps.

If you’re looking for an app that will suit your pocket and your lifestyle then scroll on.

I’ve divided the apps into several categories so you can find what you’re looking for to start earning gift cards straight away.

Don’t have time to try out all the apps I’ve listed below? Then simply have a look at my top 4 picks for the best gift card apps and try those few out instead.

4 Best Apps for Free Gift Cards

Quickly find the app that best fits your needs and lifestyle:

For the best money > time spent ratio: Ebates

For the simplest gift card system: Ibotta

For the best assortment of gift cards: instaGC

For the easiest way to earn gift cards: Swagbucks

My absolute favorite app for free gift cards is Swagbucks. It’s super simple to use, offers a good points rewards system, and is still one of the most legitimate ways to earn free gift cards.

How do you earn free gift cards?

It’s never been easier to get free gift cards than now thanks to the many apps and websites out there that offer them.

Do keep in mind that while the gift cards are technically “free” you do have to exchange something for them.

Most of the time it is access to your personal information, whether it is shopping habits, location history, browsing history, or whatever. Research companies use this data to better refine their algorithms to get you to buy more. They pay out in gift cards in exchange for this information.

Others will have you perform a task or complete surveys.

By far the easiest way to earn free gift cards is to join a program that pays you a percentage back on your purchases. You don’t have to do anything differently and you get paid. It’s win-win-win.

12 Free Gift Card Apps

I’ve broken down the 12 recommended apps into three different categories.

Starting with apps that pay you to complete tasks.

1. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is one of the most well-known get paid to (GPT) apps on the web.

Probably because it’s so incredibly easy to use and offer gift cards for Amazon. I also have a great list of ways to earn other Amazon gift cards if you’re looking specifically for those.

With this app, you get paid to do a variety of simple tasks that won’t take longer than a couple of minutes a day.

They’ll have you do things like watching videos, answering polls, taking surveys, and playing games.

When you complete a task, you earn SB points and one SB point comes down to about $0.01. So 300 points will equate to $3.

2. InboxDollars

InboxDollars is another popular app that lets you earn by completing different tasks.

You can earn cash back and gift cards for activities like searching the web, watching videos, and shopping online.

I really like this one because you can earn cash back by doing things that you might want to do anyway – like downloading an app or shopping online.

If you’re really keen on that idea, then check out my article on super easy ways to earn money with your phone.

3. MyPoints

This is Swagbucks’ sister site so the two look very similar and both require the same type of tasks.

But they differ when it comes to points per task as well as the values you can redeem for gift cards.

It makes sense to join both in order to maximize your rewards.

4. instaGC

instaGC works pretty much just like the other apps listed above. You have to complete different tasks like watching videos, completing surveys, and surfing the web.

They have a huge selection of gift cards too, with over 350 options to choose from.

Up next we have apps that pay you to complete specific tasks.

5. Perk Pop Quiz

This is a really fun app that lets you play quizzes and trivia games and reward you with gift cards.

Scroll down on their home page to find the app “Perk Pop Quiz” to start earning perk points which can be converted into gift cards.

6. iPoll

This survey app is unique in the sense that it uses your location to provide location-specific polls and surveys.

You can earn gift cards for Amazon, iTunes, and PayPal, as well as entries into the quarterly draw.

7. AppTrailers

Earning gift cards have never been easier – all you have to do is watch some movie trailers.

They’re usually around 30 seconds and you earn points that rack up which you can then redeem for gift cards or cash.

The points start at 500, which translates to $0.50.

8. Toluna

Earn gift cards by voicing your opinion with Toluna.

All you have to do is answer a few simple surveys about various subjects and earn points for your answers (there’s no right or wrong answer of course).

You can then use these points for gift cards at popular places like Banana Republic and Groupon.

Finally, we have apps that pay you back a percentage on your purchases.

9. Mobee

Ever heard of mystery shopping?

Well, with this app you don’t necessarily have to buy anything to earn. You’ll have to apply for “missions” where you evaluate the shops and restaurants close to you.

According to the app, each trip will only take a couple of minutes and you’ll have to answer 10 or less questions to complete the mission.

You’ll earn points with every mission which you can then spend on gift cards for popular places like Dunkin’ Donuts and Walmart.

10. Drop

If you want to get rewarded for shopping then Drop is your best friend.

While using this app, you’ll get to peruse their exclusive deals with various stores like Target.

If you see a deal you like, then you can head to the store to make a purchase and earn Drop Points.

You can then use those points to redeem gift cards when you have built up enough points.

11. Ibotta

Ibotta is great because it lets you earn gift cards for something you’re already doing – buying groceries.

By scanning your receipts, you earn cash back for buying everyday products like bread or toothpaste.

Sometimes you have to buy specific brands and other times you just have to buy the type of product.

12. Ebates

Ebates is a really awesome free gift card app to use because they’re supported by thousands of online stores and you can earn up to 40% back.

You can shop through their site, but they offer additional discounts for mobile users via their gift card reward app.

You can redeem your gift cards at major retailers like Amazon, Starbucks, and Home Depot.

Or, you can get a big fat check if you prefer cash!

The Bottom Line

The great thing about gift card reward apps is that they’re pretty much instant in terms of gratification.

They’re conveniently right there on your phone and you can usually redeem them whenever you want.

That said, there are a few other options out there for those who are a little bit more patient. Like getting free samples by mail. It’s not exactly gift cards or fast, but getting free samples of stuff you want is just as fantastic.

Let us know what you think if you give any of these apps a try.

And make sure to share the love if you know of any great apps where you can earn free gift cards!

How to Extreme Coupon and Save Buckets of Money

Not everyone has the time or means to set up a side-hustle. Sometimes our work and lives just take over, and at the end of the day, it’s impossible to add another thing onto our plates. Learning how to extreme coupon, however, is an easy way to save money in a way that keeps those plates full (but in a good way).

Here’s the secret:

Living well isn’t about earning the big bucks (though that certainly helps), it’s about using what you have to your advantage and doing it in a smart way. Extreme couponing isn’t for poor people, it isn’t hard to do, and it certainly isn’t “gaming the system”.

All of us have to buy groceries anyway, and coupons are freely available to anyone. Everyone who’s genuinely interested in being smart with their money will take advantage of that opportunity.

Extreme coupon clipping might seem a tad eccentric, but there’s a reason why this “hobby” was popular enough to get its own television show – it works and anyone can do it.

Well, maybe not with the intensity that they take it to on television.

Still, couponing has helped plenty of people stretch their money as far as it can go.

And the trend is catching.

Are you ready to start saving? I’ve gathered everything you need to know about how extreme couponing works below, along with some extreme couponing tips to help get you on your way.

What is extreme couponing?

Extreme couponing is a much more involved process than simply using a few coupons every now and then. People who use coupons on a regular basis save a bit here and there, while extreme couponers go shopping with the specific purpose of spending as little as possible thanks to sales, offers, and extreme couponing techniques.

Planning and diligence are definitely required to become an extreme couponer, especially in the beginning when you start learning the “tricks of the trade” as it were.

Luckily, as with most hobbies, the process becomes easier with time as you learn the skills necessary to complete your goals and find what works for you.

After a while, you’ll be a true coupon connoisseur and it will feel as natural as regular shopping feels now.

How to Start Extreme Couponing

To start off with, you’ll need to get the right supplies, and set aside some time to find and sort through your coupons.

You will then have to find the coupons – there are plenty of ways to do this.

The most popular ways to find coupons include newspapers, magazines, coupon websites, physical and digital store sales fliers, forums, and via machines at the store.

I go into much more detail about how to start basic couponing in this article, in which I outline where you can find coupons and how they work. That article contains all the information you’ll need to get started as an extreme couponer.

Like I’ve said, extreme couponing won’t take up as much of your time as taking on a side-cash opportunity will, but it will still take up a couple of hours a week.

The amount of time you put in really depends on how dedicated you are to finding and organizing the coupons.

Also, just remember that the key to making this worthwhile lies in keeping up the habit of collecting, sorting, and using coupons.

There’s no such thing as “I’ve saved enough” – that’s not the extreme couponer’s way. Instead, make this part of your lifestyle, and eventually, it will become a natural part of how you shop, helping you save thousands.

How do I get coupons for free?

There are plenty of ways to find free coupons.

These are the main ways extreme couponers gather coupons for free:

  • Find printable coupons online. There are plenty of websites that list them and forums where people give away coupons they don’t use.
  • Look for coupons at the store. They can come from fliers located at the front of the store, next to the products in the aisles, or by the cashiers.
  • Sign up for online newsletters from stores and coupon websites. They often send digital coupons in their emails.
  • Get a loyalty card. Stores like to offer special discounts and deals to the people that have loyalty cards. They sometimes also have special coupons that can only be redeemed by using this card.

Sometimes it’s worth it to spend a little money to get great coupons, like subscribing to a newspaper or buying them at a discounted price from people online.

Just make sure these are coupons for products that you will actually use, and that you can redeem them at a store near you.

Which stores offer double coupons?

It’s very hard to get a comprehensive list of stores that offer double coupons because this differs from one state (and sometimes even county) to another.

Store policies change regularly too, meaning that any list I put here could be outdated in a month or two.

That said, there are a few coupon websites that try to keep up to date.

For a list of stores that accept double coupons in the US, for instance, check out the Grocery Coupon Network.

In the end, though, you might want to contact your favorite local stores directly to find out about their policies, even if they’re on the list.

Which stores let you stack coupons?

The following stores, to name a few, do allow coupon stacking for certain coupons at the time of publishing this article:

  • Target
  • Kohl’s
  • Walgreens
  • CVS
  • Dollar Store
  • Family Dollar
  • Petco

A Few Extreme Couponing Tips

1. Sign up for store emails.

They will send you electronic copies of their sales fliers, saving you the extra time it would take to get those fliers from the store.

It also means you can plan ahead, which is a big part of extreme couponing.

2. Poke around on couponing forums.

As well as comments sections on coupon sites. The extreme couponing community like to give tips and updates on current coupons that you might have otherwise missed. This helped me out a lot back in 2009 when I first started looking for bulk coupons online.

3. Make money with extra coupons.

You can even make a bit of money off of couponing by sharing any online coupons that you know about.

Some sites will pay you for the (valid) coupon codes you submit.

4. Don’t buy what you don’t need.

Not every coupon will be valuable to you.

It isn’t worth it to purchase something just because you have a coupon if you won’t end up using it.

So instead, organize a coupon swap with a fellow extreme couponer so you can find coupons you want while getting rid of those that you won’t use.

It’s a win-win!

5. Know when to wait.

One of the core pillars of extreme couponing is to only buy items that are on sale and to then combine that with coupons and other discounts.

This means that you won’t necessarily get brands or food items that you would normally buy.

But it does lead to some creative thinking when it comes to meal preparation.

6. Research store polices.

Make sure you know the store policies ahead of time and choose an off-peak time to shop.

Unlike on the “Extreme Couponers” show, cashiers won’t be all too thrilled to see you plop down your stack of coupons.

Neither will those people in the line behind you.

It will take some time to go through everything, so try to make the process as smooth as possible.

The Bottom Line

If time is a big issue and extreme couponing isn’t enough for you, then you could consider looking at some fast ways to make money online.

But saving up and using coupons is a really great way to stretch your income as far as you can.

Plus you can save a bit even if you only put in minimal effort.

Have any extreme coupon clipping tips of your own? Make sure to share them below so we can help each other out!

Here’s How to Make a Million Dollars

Making a million dollars isn’t just a dream anymore.

It has become a necessity.

Recent studies have shown that for millennials (people born in the early 80s to late 90s) to retire comfortably by their 60s, they have to save around $1.8 to $2.5 million.

Imagine: that amount is just for your nest egg.

But what if your goal is to become financially free (waaay beyond your retirement fund)?

This post gives you an idea how to earn your first million dollars, and continue building your savings while you’re at the peak of your life.

How to Make a Million Dollars, According to Modern-day Millionaires

There is no single blueprint to reaching your first million dollars, but these guidelines have been used by many self-made, millionaires, so they’re a good starting point.

Depending on your financial standing or unique situation, you can skip some steps, or mix-and-match to reach you goals.

1. Get out of debt

Ask any financial advisor how you can begin your journey to your first million and this step is always a must.

You can’t save, invest, or double your money through any means if you’re knee-deep in debt.

Doing so will be discouraging since every time you go forward, you need to go backward to pay off some debt.

2. Create an emergency fund

One of the easiest ways of going into debt is being unprepared for accidents, hospitalization, and other expenses you didn’t account for.

Having an emergency fund gives you a buffer for unemployment, car repair, appliance replacement, or other unexpected expenses.

Experts recommend building an emergency fund starting with at least three times your monthly expense amount. So if you need about $2,000/month for bills, food, and other day-to-day expenses, then you should try saving up at least $6,000.

When saving money, automate transfers from your payroll account to your savings, emergency fund, or other accounts. This way, you’ll never forget about your savings and you’ll train yourself to just spend what’s left.

3. Develop multiple streams of income

Unfortunately, relying on your salary won’t get you any inch closer to becoming a millionaire (unless of course your job is a CEO of a massive company).

But becoming an entrepreneur and creating multiple streams of income is a realistic way of reaching your goal.

In fact, about 47% of the world’s wealthiest people are business owners.

Business doesn’t mean a brick-and-mortar business either. You can mix the old with new businesses.

Your time is valuable, so set up a business (or multiple businesses) once, perform minimal upkeep and just basically wait for them to earn while you sleep. The revenue you collect from these sources are called passive income.

When choosing between money-generating businesses, pick the business that can bring in passive income. For example:

There are plenty of other passive income generating businesses out there. Find which ones would fit your personality, commitment level and fund availability.

4. Become an expert of your craft

Aim to be one of the best in your industry, whether you’re a doctor, graphic designer, copywriter, lawyer, and any other profession.

When you’re at the top of your game, you can command higher salaries and even land higher positions.

CEOs earn somewhere between $10 to $20 million annually depending on how big the company is.

Investing in your skills also doubles your salary, so earn a MBA, learn a new technology, take up another specialization, and so on.

Your hard work will pay off in the long run.

Here are several things you can do to master your craft:

  • Polish communication and negotiation skills (no matter your profession). Comedian Melissa McCarthy talks about how these skills can help you reach your million-dollar goal)
  • Completing a MBA, Doctorate degrees automatically ups your value as an employee
  • Outsource admin tasks. Know the value of your time by only using it for tasks no one else can perform but you. Hire an assistant for general tasks like email correspondence, calls, bookkeeping, etc.

As an expert of your field, you can even turn your career into a business.

For example, you can offer consultation services, build a blog, write a book about everything you know, become an influencer, and so on.

Filmmaker Spike Lee has made a name for himself in the film industry and knows his value. He told Wealthsimple in 2017 that he has “no problem asking people for money” because he “believes in my talents, my storytelling abilities, and also the people I surround myself with on the projects that I make.”

5. Invest your money

When it comes to investing your money, self-made millionaire and best-selling author (of Personal-finance blog Grow from Acorns) David Bach recommends “diversifying investment, but keeping it boring.”

You invest the money you already have so it could work for you. You don’t need to dig deep into trading stocks or investing in startups, you just have to stick to a solid strategy.

Examples of this include:

  • Investing in real estate. If you have extensive knowledge about real estate and construction, you can even flip it for profit.
  • Rent out unused homes, apartments, condo units, or even rooms via Airbnb
  • Invest in the stock market (learn about index funds and how it could bring in passive income)
  • Build a portfolio of high divided stocks and real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  • Buy an established blog and resell it 24 times its monthly income.

3 Tips from Millionaires

Earning a million dollars won’t come overnight. It will involve a lot of hard work, so you better buckle up.

To increase your chances at reaching your goal, I cherry-picked three of the most common advice given by millionaires:

1. Build a routine

Millionaires value their time and make sure that every minute counts. Sticking to a routine allows rich people from living their lives as balanced as possible.

Key routines millionaires follow include:

  • Wake up early to meditate, exercise, walk, stretch, and other stress-relief activities
  • Read (Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and other highly successful people read every day)
  • Work smart (delegate, outsource, and focus only on priority work)
  • Leave work at the office
  • Sleep at least 7 hours a day

Building a routine takes practice. When you find a routine that would work for you and let you become the most productive, then stick to it.

2. Find a mentor

There’s a reason why millionaires spare time for reading – learning through other people who have done it better than you is probably the most valuable resource you can find.

You don’t need to hire a mentor during your journey to earn your first million dollars (but if you can afford it, there’s no reason why not).

Just make sure the mentor you choose is the best resource person in the industry you’re trying to climb up to.

For example:

How about the smaller guys? TubofCash.com owner Timothy Kim (who earned his first million only in 2017) invested about $70k within a span of six months for a mentorship under several people, including Instagram influencer Jason Stone’s Millionaire Mentor program, real estate mogul Grant Cardone’s 10X Growth Conference, and internet sensation Tai Lopez.

If you don’t have the funds for world-class mentors like these, you can try the next best thing: check out their books, videos, seminars, online courses, and other resources.

3. Spend well

It wouldn’t matter if you’re halfway through your million-dollar goal if you don’t know how to spend your money properly.

Unfortunately, spending is easier than earning, which is why you should follow these personal finance tips:

  • Automate savings and bill payment – If you automate paying for monthly expenses and transferring savings between your accounts, you’ll be able to get out of debt and only spend the necessary cash.
  • Buy in bulk. Heck even billionaire Mark Cuban buys 2 years’ worth of toothpaste if he encounters 50% off promos.
  • Audit expenses and track spending. These things can change over time, so if you’re not using your Hulu or HBO subscription, you can strip it from your expenses and transfer that cash for other more important things.
  • Use coupons – Make couponing into a habit. It’s like free cash! Most coupons are available for items we use every day, from shampoo to laundry detergent, pet food to clothes, and a whole lot more.
  • Follow a meal plan – Eating out is one of the most common culprits of living beyond your budget. Prep your week’s meals during weekends, so you can avoid eating out and spending extra on a whim.
  • Be vigilant with your energy consumption – Consume less energy, so you pay for cheaper electric bill.

Most importantly, don’t fall for the lifestyle creep.

Earning thousands of dollars doesn’t mean you have to start wearing luxury clothing or drive a sports car.

Remember how Steve Jobs only wore his trademark black long-sleeved shirts and jeans for most of his career?

Keep your spending simple.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, there isn’t one simple path to take to make a million dollars.

You need to practice both financial and mental discipline.

The 5 methods listed above should help you get started.