10 Ways to Obtain Free Government Money

Ever wondered if you can get free government money?

Well, you can’t.

The government doesn’t technically give away free money.

What it does provide are free government grants and federal benefit programs to help those citizens who need it the most.

Applying for these grants and assistance programs involves meeting certain criteria and submitting specific requirements.

Such government assistance is funded every tax season, so if you’ve been paying taxes your whole life, consider this “free government money” as the benefits of religiously doing your responsibility every tax season.

10 Kinds of Free Government Money Available

All types of free government money programs will check your credit and finances (the government serves the most in-need first).

1. Money for Childcare

Childcare is expensive, from paying for daycare so you can earn a living to buying supplies like milk and baby food, the expenses will continue until a child becomes a teen.

Fortunately, you can get government assistance for childcare typically for children 13 years old or under.

The Child Care and Development Fund, which operates under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides assistance for daycare funding, pediatrics, and nutrition.

Know that this program is income-based and will be offered by your state CCDF.

2. Free Government Money for Groceries and Free Food

If feeding your family becomes a struggle, you can check out three government assistance programs developed to help those with financial hardship well-fed (at least until they could support themselves).

  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka “food stamps”) – This is income-based, so you’ll need to apply and send proof that your household cannot afford enough food for everyone. If you’re eligible, you’ll receive SNAP benefits from a monthly Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which works exactly like a debit card and used to buy groceries. You can go to your local grocery store and hunt for “SNAP eligible” tags to see which items are covered by your card.
  • WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) – As its name suggest, this free government money is exclusive to low-income women who are either pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking care of her child 5 years old or younger. It covers fund for food and health care.
  • School Lunch for Kids 18 and below – School-aged kids can get free (or discounted) lunches every school day. The National School Lunch Program (under the US Dept. of Agriculture) has fed over 4.8 billion nutritional lunches to children nationwide in 2018. To qualify, the child should be part of a household under other Federal Assistance Programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or based on their status as a homeless, migrant, runaway, or foster child.

3. Home Repair and Winterizing Assistance

If you live in an urban area and are 62 years old (or up), you could be eligible for a government grant amounting to up to $7,500 to repair your home, or remove hazards such as weak structures, mold, or lead paint.

The Rural Housing Repair Loans and Grants program offers loans (20-year-terms at 1% interest) and grants (free government money you don’t need to repay) exclusively to homeowners in rural areas.

Those who are interested in winterizing their homes in hopes of reducing electricity consumption could seek government assistance through the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center (WAPTAC) program.

While this program prioritizes households with children or a family member with disability, you still have a chance since about 30 million homes are reportedly eligible for winterizing grants.

4. Utility Bills Government Grants

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program has been helping people who are struggling to pay for heating and cooling costs for years.

This grant, which is under the U.S. Department of Health, is issued via states, which is why eligibility and income levels may vary between states.

5. Free Phone Service

If you need a phone plan, but your income does not let you have one, apply to the Lifeline program.

This assistance program helps qualifying, low-income individuals stay connected to family, emergency services and jobs right at the comfort of their fingertips.

You do have to meet eligibility requirements (mostly income-based).

6. Free Government Money for Housing

If you’re a low-income family and you want to buy a home in the private market, you might be eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) homeownership program. To apply, you need to contact your local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs), which administers this program with federal funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

On the other hand, if you are struggling with mortgage payment and at risk of foreclosure, you can seek the help of Homeownership Preservation Foundation’s HOPE program.

Call 888-995-HOPE or visit 995hope.org and you’ll be greeted by someone willing to help you not only settle your backlog, but work with you to come up with a plan to suit your current income level, or modify your mortgage for those who got victimized by a mortgage scam.

7. Free College Education

A college grant is probably one of the most significant free government money you can receive.

Some students are lucky to land a scholarship, but most people who finish university end up with a massive student loan that they’ll pay for the majority of their adult lives.

Fortunately, college grants give students a chance at paying for college without getting drowned in debt.

The federal Pell Grant, for example, can provide up to $6,000 per year per student, but the amount would depend on factors such as financial need, enrollment status, and total tuition fees.

In most cases, the student has to shoulder at least some of the fees.

8. Free Government Money for Healthcare

Everyone should have access to medical care.

If you don’t currently have health insurance, you can sign up for a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. While not exactly free money, if your income is below a certain threshold, you’re eligible for a premium tax credit, essentially making your medical insurance free.

You can also find out if you’re eligible for Medicaid. Different states have different eligibility criteria, so look up the eligibility rules carefully.

Uninsured children and pregnant women in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to afford private coverage may be eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Similar to Medicaid, the exact eligibility criteria vary per state.

The website InsureKidsNow.gov is another great resource to read up on health insurance for families and kids.

9. Government Assistance for Unemployment

If you’ve recently been laid off and are struggling to settle financial responsibilities or buy basic necessities like food, you can apply for unemployment assistance with the Department of Labor.

The help could be enough to get you through this rough patch until you find replacement employment.

Not everyone is eligible though, so make sure to check first.

10. Free Government Money for Veterans and Senior Citizens

Veterans can obtain free government money from various departments.

For example, if you’re sick and need medical assistance, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can find you a suitable grant for this particular requirement.

This is also the case for senior citizens.

In fact, the National Council on Aging has made it easier for our older citizens to find over 2,500 federal and state benefits (as well as some from private companies) with the BenefitsCheckUp tool.

With this site, senior citizens can find benefits from food to hospital stays to prescription meds, and so on.

Collecting Unclaimed Money

If you aren’t qualified to get free government money from the options above, maybe you’re forgetting some unclaimed money years or decades ago.

People or companies can owe you money from past deposits, refunds, and other similar payments that they were unable to send your way due to various reasons. Maybe you moved to another state or changed contact numbers.

The good news for you is that you can still claim these funds even years later by going to unclaimed.org.

You can also check if you have unclaimed back wages or unclaimed life insurance funds (for veterans).

Here are 5 other types of unclaimed money:

  1. Pension – If you were once employed by a company that went bankrupt, or moved to another company without claiming money from a pension plan, you’d be surprised that you can still receive this money. Go to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and search for your name if you’re included in the “Unclaimed Pensions” page.
  2. Bank or Credit Union Failures – Everyone knows that banks insure depositors for up to $250,000 per account, right? If you were a depositor of a failed bank, you can still claim your money back by visiting the FDIC website. It is the same process with failed credit unions and the money you invested at the time they were active. Visit National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for possible unclaimed deposits.
  3. Tax Return – You can receive state or federal tax refunds that you weren’t able to receive in the past. Just check with the IRS or your state revenue department to see if you have unclaimed tax refunds left to collect.
  4. United States Savings Bonds – You can recover any savings bond you have that has been damaged or stolen, as long as you still have the bond serial number. The U.S. Treasury will help you even if you don’t have the serial number anymore, but remember date of purchase.
  5. Refunds for Past FHA Mortgage – If you got FHA-insured mortgage in the past, you can check the U.S. Housing and Urban Development database to see if you are owed a refund.

These aren’t technically ways of finding “free” money, since they are actually owed to you.

However, it can help you collect on funds you didn’t even know you were missing.

A Note About Free Government Money Scams

Make a quick Google search about “free government money” and you’ll discover several grant scams luring you in.

While they’re very easy to spot, some people might still prefer to play with their luck and hand over their hard-earned money in exchange for longer, more stable government assistance.

Unfortunately, once scammers have gotten your money, they would most likely leave you hanging with about $20, $50, or $100 less from your savings.

And if the scammers don’t collect fees, it may just be that they’re trying to steal your information (which can lead to something as serious as hacking your online accounts, to worst-case-scenarios like identity theft).

So, Who Wants Free Money?

Every year, the federal government gives away millions of dollars in grants and monetary assistance.

It’s more practical to think of these grants as free government money that you need to use for the grants’ intended purposes and you never need to pay back.

Combine as many of the government grants you’re eligible for so you can relax a little if you’re struggling to make ends meet.

If it’s your birthday, make sure to check this big list of birthday freebies (or this list if you hate giving away personal info).

Got kids in your household? You can also get a ton of free baby samples, free books for kids, and other samples that you can receive by mail.

Have you ever applied for a grant or been eligible for benefits? Help other readers by telling your stories in the comments.

Get Paid to Rent Your Stuff: 62 Ideas to Try

You probably have plenty of things lying around that you only use once in a while. Why not put these to work and get paid to rent your stuff?

Help other people who need to use these things but plan on only using them once or simply can’t afford to buy them.

At the same time, you maximize the use of your items and make it less likely that it ends up in the landfill.

Of course, the potential for side cash is a good perk, too.

Here is a list of things you can lease to others to earn some side cash as well as some apps you can use to make the process easier.

50 Things You Can Rent Out for Extra Cash


1. House

This is the most common of all rentals, and I talked quite a bit about the Airbnb era and how to rent your house out either on a short-term or long-term basis.

If your house is in a vacation hotspot, such as a lakeside cabin or a beach house, you can also register it through VRBO.

2. Extra room

Don’t waste that real estate you got lying around.

If you’re willing to rearrange your living arrangements, rent out your extra room to people who might need a place temporarily.

3. Garage

Sometimes, people need an extra garage to park their cars for less than city or condo rates.

You can also rent out your garage for those who need extra space for storing stuff.

In this case, you can list your garage on websites like STOW IT.

4. Garden, Yard, or Other Outdoor Spaces

If you’re lucky to have a massive backyard or garden, you can have it rented for events like weddings.

Those who are willing to commit more to this rental can even turn the outdoor space into “glamping” (glamorous camping).

Check out this site if you’re willing to list your land, backyard, or outdoor accommodations such as treehouses, yurts, or teepees.

5. Piano room

Professional piano retailers often have programs that allow clients to rent out the piano first, so they’d discover if the piano student can last longer than a couple of months of practicing.

If you have a grand piano or keyboard lying around, copy this genius marketing trick and offer your piano room for rent.

6. Recording studio

Follows the same concept as the piano room, except your music room is complete with more instruments and recording equipment.

If you don’t know how to price this room, check with local recording studios and price your listing cheaper than “market” prices.

7. Portable playground

Did your kids graduate from their inflatable playgrounds or giant Little Tikes toys?

If so, you can make a new generation of kids happy by renting these out to other families.

8. Parking space, empty lot, boat slip

Sometimes, people need an extra parking space or empty lot to park their cars less expensively than city or condo rates.

This also goes for boat slips (the parking counterpart for boats).

If you’re renting out your space, there’s no app/company better to mediate than CurbFlip.

9. Office Space

Do you have an office you don’t use anymore?

If you’re right smack in the middle of a major city, check out Deskpass or LiquidSpace for possibly renting out your table or room to someone who needs it temporarily.


10. Car

If you don’t want to drive your own car and earn the Uber way, you can always do it old school by renting out your car.

The advantages of using car-sharing apps are that they usually do background and DMV checks on renters (that is, you don’t have to do it yourself) and they usually cover the insurance while someone else drives your car.

11. Seat in your car

Those who ride their cars to and from work daily can use apps like Zimride or BlaBlaCar to rent out a seat in your car (or all seats) to other people who have the same office area as you.

It is basically like carpooling, except the people riding with you are strangers.

12. Pickup truck

From hauling to delivery service, pickup trucks are versatile because of their size and ability to carry heavy-duty items.

You can also rent out your pickup truck and earn up to $600 a month.

13. Bicycles

If you have a perfectly working bike lying around and you live in a bicycle-friendly city like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, you can make extra cash by sharing your bikes with travelers, racers, and enthusiasts via Spinlister. or LfistN

14. Motorcycles

Bike lovers may have second thoughts about renting out their beloved motorcycles, but the process becomes easy with services like Riders Share – a site that vets renters of your motorcycle and provides insurance for both the renter and the owner.

15. Boat

People with boats who have little time to sail but do not want to sell either can rent out their boats, with the peace of mind of a hull and liability insurance policy all included in deals offered by Boatsetter.

Other apps to list your boat for rent include Click&Boat, RentABoat, and GetMyBoat.

16. Moving Equipment

Help people who might need to haul heavy stuff from point A to B.

Rent out your furniture, appliance, or utility dolly, if you have one lying around.

These dollies can be rented out for $5 to $20 a day.

17. Mobility Equipment

Do you have a wheelchair, mobility scooter, knee walkers, or rollators you no longer use?

Many people need these to move around temporarily (after surgery, during an injury, or to support them when they’re in pain).

Not only are you helping people when you rent these out, but you also earn cash that you wouldn’t have earned if you just left the wheelchair or scooter to get dusty in the garage.


18. Furniture and appliance

Perhaps you have an extra couch, dining set, oven, freezer, and any other furniture or appliance you’re not using.

Make them work for you too!

Check out what items you have that are accepted by Loanables.com.

19. Sewing machine

Sewing machines are very popular to rent out, especially to people who need to do occasional projects such as Halloween costumes and do not find a need to buy their own machines.

When it comes to sewing machines, go to peer-to-peer renting site Zilok to rent out your equipment, so you’ll be safe with a security deposit every time it gets rented out.

20. Home Improvement tools

Like sewing machines, there’s also a demand for power tools, carpentry equipment, ladders and cutting tables, and other home improvement equipment.

Your best bet is to go to Loanables.com and list your stuff for rent.

21. Snowplow attachment

If you live in cities that suffer from snowstorms each year, share your snowplow attachment to other locals by renting it out after using it.

While this may only work every winter, it’s still good money if you fill up your calendar with rentals upfront from sites like FedeRent

22. Lawnmower

There are local companies that offer rent-to-own schemes for lawnmowers, but if you have one often left unused at the garage, you can lease it out.

List your lawnmower on Craigslist and other peer-to-peer rental sites.


You may have begun to be involved in sports while attending school or later in life, but now have less time to actually golf, surf, go kayaking, ski, and so on.

Here are some examples of in-demand sports gear you can rent out:

23. Golf clubs

24. Volleyball set

25. Skateboards and longboards

25. Kayak

26. Canoe

27. Camping gear

28. Hiking gear

29. Mountain climbing gear

30. Surfboard

31. Paddleboard

32. Scuba or free diving gear

33. Ski equipment

34. Snowboarding gear

35. Gym Equipment

Try to list them on Craigslist, FriendWithA, RentNotBuy.com, Spinlister, TheQuiver, and Expeerent, among others.


If you have a lot of baby gear (especially branded) in used but good condition, you can rent them out through goBaby or BabyQuip. The safety of babies and kids is at stake, so make sure what you’re renting out is clean, working, and well-maintained.

36. Crib

37. Baby to toddler stroller

38. Toys

39. Booster seats

40. Car seats and booster seats

41. High chairs and booster chairs

42. Changing tables

43. Baby bathtubs

44. Baby carriers

45. Baby monitors


This is perfect whether you’re a musician looking to earn extra bucks for instruments you no longer use, or a hobbyist who can’t let go of their piano, guitar, saxophone, DJ equipment, or any other instrument, but will happily lease it out to other people.

You can list your instruments on general peer-to-peer rental sites like Fat Llama, or a music-specific rental marketplace like Fretish.


If you love electronics, photography, and the newest gadgets in the market, you can rent out your stuff for a daily rate ranging from $20/day to thousands of dollars daily for professional gear.

47. Cameras

48. Projectors

49. Sound system

50. Drone

51. GoPro

52. GPS Receivers

53. Dashcam

54. Video Game Consoles

55. Video Karaoke Machine

Depending on which of the gadgets above you have, there’s plenty of peer-to-peer rental sites where you can rent your stuff out. These include: ShareGrid, LensRentals.com, KitSplit, BorrowLenses, Parachut, FatLlama, and LensProToGo, among others.


When it comes to medical equipment, the only ones who rent out hospital beds, oxygen, and other hospital-grade medical equipment are the manufacturers.

Unfortunately, there’s no peer-to-peer rental marketplace for medical equipment just yet. However, there will always be a need wherever you are, so you can either start your own rental business or list the items on Craigslist or Zilok.


If you’ve collected event equipment, such as party tents, chairs, fondue maker, and catering equipment during birthday parties, reunions, weddings, baby showers, and so on, you don’t have to hide them in drawers for the next big event to happen.

You can rent your stuff out for other people to use while you don’t need them.

57. Formal Wear

Did you spend $5,000 on your wedding gown? Why not share it with other brides-to-be, make their day, and earn back some of that cash?

Preownedweddingdresses.com, Style Lend, Nearly Newlywed, BravoBride, and other sites like them let you list your pre-loved wedding dresses, party dresses, suits, and other formal wear and earn from these pieces of clothing.

58. Tents

59. Party Chairs

60. Popcorn maker

61. Fondue maker

62. Catering equipment

Websites like Tradesy are perfect for leasing any item related to events, including decor, dresses, cutlery, table centerpieces, and more.

3 Big Tips Before You Rent Your Stuff Out

Before you rent your stuff out, make sure to follow these reminders:

  1. Protect your stuff with deposit fee and insurance – This is very important, especially for high-priced items like cars, musical instruments, boats, and so on. Most peer-to-peer rental sites include the deposit fee with every listing, but insurance may vary from site to site. Double-check before listing your items for rent.
  2. Commissions – The peer-to-peer rental sites come with commission fees because (some) validate the users who will rent your stuff out, others go as far as doing background checks for you. If you’re leasing cars or homes, this commission fee is very well worth the trouble.
  3. Taxes – You won’t probably need to pay taxes for renting out stuff, unless of course, you earn several hundred dollars annually. To be sure, get legal advice.

If you have plenty of stuff you want to lease, you can open up a rental business locally.

However, before you plan to expand (buy more catering supplies, drones, etc.), make sure you do your research first.

Get Paid to Rent Your Stuff!

Renting out your stuff is a great way to earn some steady side cash out of things you already own.

Of course, if you’re ready to let go of your preloved possessions, you can try selling these items for cash and say goodbye to them permanently.

Have you ever gotten paid to rent your stuff? What apps or services did you use? Tell us if it worked for you in the comments!

How to Be a Movie Extra: 20 Casting Call Sites

Ever wondered how to be a movie extra, or in TV shows, commercials, music videos, theater productions, and other cool productions?

If you love everything about the entertainment industry and want to try your luck with movie extra jobs, this post is for you.

Today, you’re going to learn how to be a movie extra, where to find jobs, and what to expect when you go down this path.

What’s a Movie Extra?

What is a restaurant scene without waiters walking by and diners eating at the other tables?

What is a street scene without other pedestrians?

What is a football scene without spectators cheering their team?

They’re simply unbelievable. If these scenes are unbelievable, audiences are distracted and cannot immerse themselves in the movie or show.

Known as “atmosphere,” or “background actor,” an extra is someone who adds life and authenticity to a scene in a movie, TV show, stage, or any other production. These extras often have non-speaking characters and just pass by main characters, stay in the background, or serve as one person in a crowd.

Extras are especially valuable in war and historical films that typically require crowds numbering in the thousands.

How to Be a Movie Extra

Do You Need Acting Skills or Experience?

The best thing about movie extra jobs is that you don’t really have to audition for a role.

As such, regular folk like you and me can become an extra in a movie, as long as the casting director thinks we have the right look, hair color, height, size, and other physical characteristics they might need.

Requirements: Things You Need before Hunting Movie Extra Jobs

Before you find movie extra jobs, here are several things you should prepare (and don’t need to prepare):

1. Paperwork

Like most jobs, you’ll need to fill out an application to become a movie extra.

You’ll need proof of citizenship, IDs, filled-up tax forms, union details (if you’re a member), and so on.

2. Background check

In super-secret productions, background-checks may be part of the application process.

3. Headshots

Most of the time, the photos you bring won’t be needed because agencies and productions use Polaroids to document movie extras.

So if you’re thinking of investing in your headshots, you can skip it for now (do it when you decide to become a professional actor).

Get an Agent vs. DIY Job Hunt

In the past, the norm was to go to a casting agency, pay money upfront (about $20 to start), then wait for the agency to notify you about movie extra jobs.

As a rule, if you want to join a casting agency, go for those that do not charge a dime.

They may ask for a lot of requirements (ID, work permit, resume, etc.), but as long as no upfront fees are charged, then go for it!

With the internet and social media providing a venue for movie extra job hunters, it’s possible to find extra casting calls directly from casting directors and production companies looking to hire extras.

Most of the time, these production companies would email job details to casting agencies or post directly on online job boards.

20 Extra Casting Call Sites to Check Out

1. Backstage

This is one of the most renowned resource for anyone serious about a career in the entertainment industry.

It costs $8/month if you sign up for a year, but they have the largest selection of extra job postings on this list.

2. Extras Access

Free to create an account with 2 profile photos and a resume.

However, if you want to add more elements, you have to pay up.

3. Playbill

Love the theater? Check if you can become an extra on any theater productions near you.

4. Central Casting

Only available for New York, Los Angeles, Louisiana, and Georgia productions, so you might need to travel if you get a job from these locations)

5. Casting Frontier

Free to join, but offers premium account (about $100/year) for those who want extra features.

6. Sylvia Fay/Lee Genick & Associates Casting

Known for 30 years of experience casting background actors

7. Casting Networks Inc.

There’s a $25 annual fee for movie extras who don’t have agency representation, but free to everyone else.

8. Level Talent Group

Information is scarce on the website, but submit your resume and photos and they’ll contact you if they’re interested.

9. NYCastings

If you’re based in New York, this is a good source of casting calls.

10 iActor

If you decide to join SAG-AFTRA, this is the official casting directory for SAG-AFTRA members.

11. Mandy.com

Probably has the most number of jobs posted daily (3000+/day) out of all free casting agency websites.

12. Actors Access

Actors Access offers actors a comprehensive platform. They can submit themselves for various roles and connect with casting directors.

Anyone can join for free, but the Actors Access Plus is $68.00/year or $9.99/month and provides actors with additional space for headshots, unlimited job submissions, and other perks. 

13. Explore Talent

Explore Talent isn’t just exclusive for actors. This platform also helps models, and musicians find casting opportunities in various entertainment industries.

There is a monthly fee to access the job board, which is quite busy and updated regularly. You can try the platform for 7 days for just $2.

14. NYCastings

NYCastings connects actors with casting opportunities in the New York area, providing a platform for self-submissions.

To join NYCastings, you can pay a weekly ($4/week), monthly ($14/month), quarterly ($33/quarter), or yearly ($90/year) fee. You can also get the lifetime plan and pay a one-off fee of $275.

15. Casting Workbook

Casting Workbook offers casting solutions for actors and industry professionals, allowing for self-submissions and collaboration.

Casting Workbook works with casting directors and agencies in-house. As such, you can connect to these industry people directly from the platform.

It doesn’t matter if you’re repped or not. You can submit for multiple roles and even pay-as-you-go.

With your membership, get FREE classes every month with Top Acting Schools worldwide to perfect your art.

16. Talent Pages

It is one of the few 100% free casting call sites you can find online. However, the problem with non-paid resources like this is that the competition can be fierce, and the listings are limited.

But as I always say, take advantage of any online space where you can showcase your work.

17. Casting Elite

Casting Elite Casting Directors have a surplus of gigs, and they’re searching for motivated and reliable talent. The platform connects talent with casting opportunities, providing a platform for actors, models, and influencers.

The best thing about Casting Elite? Membership is FREE!

18. Project Casting

Project Casting lists casting calls for actors, models, and crew members across the United States. Most of the jobs are located in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta, so it’s more suitable for talented residing near these cities.

Free members can check out the job board, view agencies and directors, and maintain their online profile on Project Casting. However, only premium members (billed around $20/month) are able to apply to jobs directly and receive job matches daily.

19. Casting Calls America

Casting Calls America is a platform that lists casting calls and auditions across the United States for actors, models, and other talent.

Casting Calls America network is an IMDbPro listing partner, which means more producers and casting professionals are using the platform to find talent.

Opportunities offered range from first-time filmmakers to experienced professional productions and everything in-between.

Note that paid membership is required at Casting Calls America.

20. StageMilk 

Join the Club for just $7 and be part of a huge training program and community. Members of StageMilk review each others’ work regularly for everyone to improve their crafts.

This isn’t a job board like other casting call sites above, but I believe this is one of the most comprehensive guides on how to become a movie extra, TV actor, ad background actor, and other similar roles.

Depending on which casting site you joined, the application process may vary a bit. Most of these sites have a job board in place for you to check out current extra casting calls.

You’ll want to steer away from websites that charge you a monthly fee just to send you information on casting calls because it’s rarely worth it. You don’t get priority status anyway and you can find a lot of these casting calls on your own if you’re willing to do the work.

Sometimes, you can just follow their Facebook page, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social media accounts and see extra casting calls posted there.

Apply and wait. If you receive a phone call, text message, or any communication from casting directors, then you’ve tackled the first phase.

What Extras Should Expect on Set

So let’s say you got the job.

What happens next?

If you’re lucky to receive a booking notice, this would detail everything from wardrobe to call time, makeup requirements, hairstyle, etc.

You’re probably going to be responsible for your hair and makeup, unless you’re working on a set like The Walking Dead (where extras require plenty of makeup/prosthetic work done), or Game of Thrones (where extras have to do costume and makeup first).

Here are some things that movie extras need to do and keep in mind:

  • Be on time – Background actors are easily replaceable. If you’re not on the set by the call time indicated, expect to be replaced.
  • Be ready to spend the whole day on the set – If you get hired as a movie extra on a certain day, make sure you free up the whole day. Production days ideally last for eight hours, but it could get longer for any number of reasons. Bring something to pass the time.
  • No phones allowed – Don’t bring your phones anymore, since they’ll most likely be put in a locker on closed sets, or kept turned off for security reasons.
  • Bring IDs and paperwork – Be sure to keep your IDs or other documentation ready to show when casting crews ask for them.
  • Take direction – Either the Second Assistant Director or the Wrangler will give you very specific directions: when to come out, where to go, how fast you should be going, your expression, etc. They’ll also tell you who you can and cannot speak to on the set.
  • Don’t lose your voucher – Every day that you work, you’re given a pay stub showing the number of hours you worked.

If you have a costume on or holding props for the scene, the crew might get this voucher from you as collateral, then give back your income voucher after returning the props.

If you worked in a SAG-AFTRA production, you get a SAG voucher. These are important for tax purposes, and the SAG vouchers are essential if you want to get a SAG-AFTRA card (more information below).

  • Don’t disturb actors or crew – Even if you’re a huge fan of the actors, directors, or anyone on the crew of a movie you’re assigned to, don’t bother them unless they initiate the conversation. This is a job, so they’re there to work just as much as you are.
  • Take the job seriously – If you’re lucky, the casting director may take notice of your work ethic and hire you there on the spot for future work.

Should I Join SAG-AFTRA?

SAG-AFTRA is a labor union representing film and TV actors, voice actors, radio professionals, artists, singers, broadcast journalists, and other media professionals.

As I mentioned above, when you work in a SAG-AFTRA production and the role you play is covered under a union contract, you get a SAG voucher. You can earn your SAG-AFTRA card when you get three SAG vouchers.

There are some pros and cons to consider before you decide to join SAG-AFTRA.

Having a SAG card means you get higher pay rates than nonunion movie extras and you’re eligible for bonuses or pay bumps for things like bringing your own props or having certain skills. Casting people also tend to hire SAG card-carrying extras.

But you can only maximize these benefits if you live in a city where plenty of SAG-AFTRA productions are made. Having a SAG card disqualifies you from working on nonunion productions and roles, which are more plentiful even if they do pay lower. SAG-AFTRA also requires a high initiation fee and annual dues.

How Much Do Movie Extras Make?

Half of the people who work as extras to do for fun and see how it feels like to be on “the big screen.” Half of the people who work as extras do it for extra cash. Regardless of which group you belong to, extras get paid an average of $100 to $200 per day as an extra on a movie.

However, there are things you should know about the income of movie extras:

  • Earn $800 or more if you land a speaking part
  • The first 2 overtime hours are usually paid 1.5x the hourly rate, while the next 6 hours after this are paid double time
  • If you’re still working at the 16th hour, you’ll receive your daily rate per hour.
  • Some productions offer bonuses for extras who don’t use their lunch breaks. (It’s illegal to not feed movie extras after working 6 hours straight since call time. Productions may pay penalties if they don’t follow this)
  • You’ll get paid mileage (around 50 cents per mile) for driving your car to the set. Your car can be turned into an extra too! And you’ll be paid additional for it!
  • Working as an extra in unfavorable environments (smoke-filled, water-filled, muddy, etc.) can give you additional take-home cash.

Can Working As A Movie Extra Lead to Other Acting Gigs Down the Road?

If you’re looking for information on how to be a movie extra because you’re planning to become a professional actor, being an extra shouldn’t be your first step.

Instead, find agency representation, which would work in finding you real acting jobs, voice acting jobs, brand ambassadorship gigs, and other media and acting jobs you have in mind.

In fact, many casting companies specializing in background actors remind these extras to lower their expectations. You looked for movie extra jobs, you applied, and you got the job.

As far as being seen, extras are literally the background for a movie, TV show, or any other production.

Forget about being discovered. Your chances of becoming a professional actor from your gig as an extra are slim to none.

Your next best bet is to land the job of a stand-in, or the person used as a substitute for the actor before the actual shoot.

Stand-ins are important since they help the production get the lighting, camera setup, and other technicalities perfect for filming without paying the main actors a premium and without wasting their time.

If you do love the industry and want to get more stable work as an extra, make sure to network in every production. Introduce yourself to the production assistants, crew, and other people involved in the production whenever there’s downtime.

Absorb everything you can about the production while you’re on set.

The bottom line is, be a good movie extra and it can open up more opportunities for you and make this a lucrative side gig.

Here’s How to Sell an Idea to a Company

Selling ideas isn’t exactly new.

For as long as there have been inventors, they’ve been turning their ideas into profit.

Have you ever had a lightbulb moment and thought of a product, service, application, or process that you think may benefit people and be profitable at the same time, but you didn’t have the time or resources to turn it into reality?

Don’t you regret letting your potentially million-dollar idea go to waste just like that? Don’t you sometimes wonder if that idea may have made you rich by now?

Well, wonder no more!

Today, let’s discuss how to sell an idea to a company so the next time you have a life-changing thought, you’ll know exactly what to do.

How to Sell an Idea

Selling an idea might not be a new concept, but it’s rarely simple and straightforward.

Here is a step-by-step guide to selling an idea to a company.

1. Research Your Idea.

You may think your idea is ground-breaking but is it really?

First, look up patent, trademark, and copyright records and see if your idea really is new or someone already beat you to it.

If you find a match, sorry to say, it’s over. Move on to the next idea.

Once you know that your idea is really unique, check if there’s a demand for your idea.

Your idea may be amazing in theory but the world may not be ready for it; that is, there isn’t a large enough customer base for it.

You’d also need to research the industry involved if you’re not already working or studying in it. How fast do things change in this industry? How long do you possibly have before your idea becomes obsolete?

2. Develop Your Idea.

Creating a detailed analysis and framework of your idea (if the idea is abstract or intangible) or designing a prototype (if your idea is a physical product) allows you and others to visualize your idea so that it’s not just in your head anymore.

Doing this also allows you to flesh out the details of your idea, along with its potential benefits and pitfalls. This way, you can sell your idea more effectively.

While you’re developing your idea, ask yourself the following questions:

What problem is your idea solving? Who benefits from this problem being solved? Do other solutions currently exist? How is your solution different?

What strengths and weaknesses does your idea have? Why is your idea better than other existing solutions? Why might your idea fail?

What are the opportunities and threats? Is your idea profitable? How large is the market for your idea? Who are your potential competitors?

3. Protect Your Idea.

You can’t sell your idea without telling someone about it.

But if you tell someone about it, what’s to stop them from claiming your idea as their own and thus stealing your profit?

This is why patent and copyright laws exist. But a layperson can certainly be intimidated and abandon their idea because the process of ownership seems too daunting to even start.

So here’s a quick lesson on patents and licensing.

A patent gives its owner “the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.”

It’s a form of intellectual property. For reference, a trademark is an intellectual property that protects your brand (e.g., the name “Coca-Cola®” and its image on bottles are protected by trademark; no other brand can use that name or image).

On the other hand, copyright is another form of intellectual property that protects intellectually created works, such as movies, music, software code, etc. from other people copying, distributing, and profiting from the works without the copyright holder’s permission.

For idea makers such as yourself, patents are important because they grant you exclusive rights to sell an idea or invention, essentially keeping copycats from bringing the same idea into the market.

You apply for a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office.

If you believe in your idea 100% and you can afford the costs (the fees alone are at least $600; hiring a lawyer to do all the filing and legwork will cost you up to $10,000), applying for a patent is the best way to protect your idea.

However, if you can’t afford to patent yet, your next best choice is to get a provisional patent.

A provisional patent covers the same legalities as the real patent, but it only gives you 12 months of legal protection and rights to sell your ideas.

Benefits of a provisional patent:

  • Cheaper application fees. This can be submitted for as low as $65.
  • Earn money without the huge upfront costs. Because you didn’t spend hundreds or thousands of dollars in patent fees, you can enjoy the earnings of your idea
  • Easy to file. You can file a provisional patent application with the USPTO online.

The problem with a provisional patent is that within the 12-month period, you need to convert this patent to a non-provisional patent.

A non-provisional or utility patent is the “regular” or full patent, but will only protect your idea or intellectual property for as long as the patent is in effect.

It’s more expensive than a provisional patent with fees ranging from $900 to over $15,000 depending on several factors, including:

  • The type of invention or intellectual property – Is it a software-related invention? app invention? complex science invention? and so on
  • The size of your business – If you’re just an individual filing a patent, you’d likely spend less than as an owner of a small business.
  • Your location – Some states have more expensive patent applications than others.

Of course, utility patent cost will increase depending on the legal team you hire.

Assuming you do get a patent, how can you now sell your idea without selling it? That is, how do you get a company to invest in your vision without giving up your ownership of it?

The answer is to license your patent.

Patent licensing is like renting out your idea to a company and letting them use your idea to generate products or provide services.

The licensing arrangement benefits both you and the company: you get to earn from your idea while not having to shell out time or money to manufacture products or deliver services, while the company gets to earn from selling the products while not having to invest in the research and development phase.

I’ve previously written about how to make money from licensing your invention.

4. Create Your Pitch

Your pitch is the story behind your idea, why it’s important, and how profitable it can be for both you and the company you’re selling your idea to.

First, write down the story in your own words, so when you create the presentation for the companies, you have a reference ready.

Write down your non-negotiables as well. While selling your idea, some negotiation will be involved. But there are supposed to be some boundaries that you don’t want to overstep.

For instance, you should have a minimum amount or percentage in mind, below which you’re not willing to pursue a deal.

Make a presentation that addresses the problem that your idea solves, how your idea can solve that problem, how the idea can be implemented, and how everyone benefits from this idea: consumers, you, and the company.

5. Find Companies to Sell Your Idea.

List down potential buyers of your idea. Whether it’s an individual entrepreneur or a multinational company, what should matter is if the company has enough capital to take your idea and make it into a reality.

So how can you identify companies that are a good fit for you and your idea?

If it’s a consumer item, research similar products and who manufactures them.

Another way is to find trade associations or organizations of the industry involved and go over their membership list to find companies.

Sometimes, a simple Google search can work wonders and give you plenty of results.

In addition, here are some trusted sites that can help you find companies to work with.

1. IdeaBuyer
This site has been around for over a decade and has helped made ideas of individuals and small companies into a real, functional business.

They do not guarantee million-dollar deals for you, but prefer a partnership with idea-makers in working hard to meet specific goals, whether this goal is a successful retail outreach or help with patents.

Simply put, “Idea Buyer does not buy ideas. Idea Buyer does, however, provide opportunities for an idea to be bought.”

2. InventRight
This site has partnered with over 1,000 companies that are actively looking for bright ideas.

Although this site is focused more on invention ideas for fields like sports, kitchen, hardware and toys, you should definitely look around and check what companies are look for.

You might be surprised that your secret idea has been waiting to find its perfect company to adopt it.

3. InnoCentive.com
Maybe you don’t have just one idea to sell, but dozens and dozens of ideas.

If this is the case, take on the challenges from government agencies, non-profit orgs or private corporations and get a chance to win up to $1 million.

The ideas needed here range from math to engineering, sciences to design, and so much more.

5. Make Your Pitch

Now, the key is to be able to convince companies that they should license your patent.

Contact all of the companies on your list and ask for meetings to present your pitch. Write up a letter of introduction explaining why you’re contacting them and attach a sell sheet, which is a quick summary of your pitch.

Do note that this route requires you’re a top-notch communicator, since you’ll be pitching and selling your idea to numerous boardrooms. If you can’t communicate your ideas properly, it’s impossible to impress a company into licensing your idea.

If you’re going to show detailed information about your idea, like design plans or even your prototype, make sure you’re already advanced in the negotiation phase such that everyone is comfortable with signing non-disclosure agreements.

Familiarize yourself with the following payments make sure you’re offered a fair price.

Upfront payment – This is paid by the licensee (the company) to the licensor (you) for the rights to use your idea. It can be an outright payment or a payment against future royalties. The usual minimum asking price for this is the cost of filing the patent plus 10% as good faith.

Royalties – These are the payments made to you based on a percentage of the sales. Depending on the industry, the usual is 2% to 5%, but can go as high up as 15%.

Annual minimums – This is a contractual amount that the company agrees to pay you, regardless of the actual royalties due. The purpose is to make sure the company does their part to maximize sales of the item.

Exclusivity – If your idea is sufficiently unique and significant, companies might want to pay an extra percentage to guarantee exclusive rights to your idea.

What do you do if the company wants to buy you out?

If your idea is definitely one-of-a-kind and valuable to a specific industry, the first company you pitch to would likely offer you a massive payoff.

While this is a good thing, especially if this is your first big idea, make sure you weigh the pros and cons first before deciding.

Are you 100% willing to let go of this idea to the first company that offered a buyout?

If not, licensing your idea is perhaps a better option. With this route, you will work with a company to bring your idea to reality, but with full knowledge that the company will brand it, manufacture it, promote it and control many functions of that product or service.

You may have some control throughout the process, but it depends largely on your licensing contract. When it comes to revenue, you will be given somewhere between 5% and 15% commission from every sale of the product.

6. Make a Decision.

Know that the day you make the pitch is not going to be the day a deal is made.

It can take a number of negotiations, meetings, and conversations before a contract is finalized.

Consider all the factors: profits, pros and cons, and the company itself before deciding to accept or decline an offer, or changing it to a more acceptable one.

If the sale is successful, document everything and have contracts looked at by a lawyer and notarized as soon as possible.

On the other hand, if a company rejects your idea, it doesn’t mean your idea was not a good one; it’s possible that the company knows that your idea isn’t ready to go to market yet, or that they are not a good fit.

Either way, don’t get discouraged. Keep on selling your idea until you’ve gone through your list and then some. If all you get are “no’s” then move on to your next idea.

Sell Your Idea Today!

If I could sell my idea for a million dollars days after my lightbulb moment, I would.

Realistically, it is best to sell your ideas through a reputable, already-existing company before launching your own company. This route gives you hands-on experience of everything from applying patents to dealing with copycats and eventually selling your ideas to the right buyer.

Selling your ideas is best if you have a mind filled with profitable ideas but lack the acumen for actually building a business from the ground up.

But once you have the right knowledge, experience, and capital to launch your own startup, don’t let anything stop you from sharing your ideas to the world.

Ever tried to sell an idea? How did that go? Share your stories with us in the comments!

How To Become A Local Tour Guide And Make Bank

Do you know your city inside and out, its hidden gems, and its deepest, darkest secrets? Do you love meeting new people, showing them around your city, and having them see it through your eyes? If so, then becoming a local tour guide may be a great way for you to turn your passion into profit!

Local tour guides show guests around and have them experience the local places, spots, shops, food, and adventures just like someone who has lived there all their lives would experience them.

Today, we look at what a local tour guide does, what it takes to be one, steps to offer your services as a local tour guide, and companies to join as a local tour agent.

What Does A Local Tour Guide Do?

Simply put, a local tour guide is someone who is intimately familiar with a particular city or region and is able to show visitors around.

While there are no specific educational requirements to do this job, there are plenty of good training materials out there.

The main requirement is that your heart is in the right place, and you’re 100% in love with traveling and spreading the love of travel.

A local tour guide may or may not also be a licensed tour guide. You normally need to be one if you’re planning to guide tourists in a museum or if you’re employed by the government, non-profit environmental organizations, and private companies with any nature-based industry.

These are the qualities you need to have to become a local tour guide:

  • Knowledgeable about your city – Even if it is your hometown, remember that your customers are paying you for more in-depth knowledge and they expect you to know everything about each and every destination on your tour.
  • Extraordinary storyteller – That said, you’ll need to present your knowledge in a memorable way. Catch the attention of your group while discussing a destination’s history, facts, myths, and so on.
  • Enthusiastic – The information you share might be interesting, but if your delivery is flat, your customers will sense it and they wouldn’t care about what you’re saying. Make them feel how much you love your city.
  • Responsible – You are leading tourists who are unfamiliar with your city; you need to be mindful of their safety and comfort.
  • Well-informed about different cultures – It doesn’t matter if you’re only touring locally. People from different cultures and backgrounds may be part of your tour, so it’s ideal to know the basics, or at least enough that you don’t inadvertently offend them.
  • Superb communicator – Ultimately, leading local tours means you’re going to be talking to people every day. Not only that, but you’ll also need to listen to them to know what they want and need. You should be able to do both.
  • Adaptable – You should be able to adapt to any situation quickly, especially emergency situations. This also means you should be able to get along with your tour group, as they have different personalities and different things they want to get out of your tour.
  • Physically fit – Long walks, running, and standing for hours are par for the course for local tour guides, so you need to make sure that you’re up to these physical demands.

Join a tour company or be your own boss?

If you’re hoping to become a local tour guide, you can either do it as a part of a tour company or as your own boss.

You can land a local tour guide position, tour manager, itinerary maker, tour guide supervisor, and so on with traditional travel agencies. These jobs are also available at theme parks, museums, cultural centers, and other tourist destinations.

Do note that except for managerial positions, most tour guides are usually only hired during certain seasons.

The main benefit of being employed in a company is that you won’t have to worry about organizing your schedules, finding clients, and marketing your services. This leaves you free to be the best local tour guide you can be.

On the other hand, if you start your own company, you will be in total control of everything, from the packages and itineraries, themes and gimmicks, etc. As such, all of the income will be yours as well.

However, you’re going to be wearing more hats as an owner and local tour guide, since you’d have to continuously network and market your business to fill in your calendar. It can be quite exhausting, to say the least.

I recommend you begin as a contractor or employee for another company to dip your toes into the industry, then launch your own service when you’re experienced enough to tackle all facets.

How To Become a Local Tour Guide On Your Own

With the advent of the internet and social media, it’s never been easier to offer your services as a local tour guide and start your own business. Here are the important steps to take if you want to become a tour guide.

1. Education and qualifications.

As mentioned, this job doesn’t have specific educational requirements, but if you can do some training or research more on the most interesting places and facts about your city, that will certainly help you become a better tour guide.

If you’re a history, geology, anthropology, archaeology, or something similar, you may want to apply to be a licensed tour guide, especially if your area has plenty of museums and other historic tourist destinations.

2. Decide what kind of local tour you’re going to offer.

If you live in a city with plenty of sights to see and adventures to undertake, it may be overwhelming when creating an itinerary that covers as many significant places as possible.  Here are some ideas of different types of itineraries you can plan as a local tour guide:

Tours centered around teaching a new skill. Consider activities or experiences that visitors new to your town or city would be happy to learn that they don’t get to do every day.

Think samba dancing in Rio, or cheesesteak-making in Philly.

For example, if you live by a body of water, you could create a tour that teaches visitors how, where, and what to fish. If you live by a state park or preserve, you might offer tours that teach people how to spot and pick edible wild mushrooms.

Tours centered around historical events, people, or places. Old cities and towns are perfect for this kind of tour, as chances are that the history of that place is interesting.

Washington, DC is a good example of a historic place.

Tours centered around activities. If you live in a scenic place, try to create a walking or hiking tour that provides plenty of sights. Maybe even have an overnight camping tour.

If the thrills in your area are more of the urban type, maybe a tour of your local amusement park and shopping centers is more appropriate. Or maybe a ghost tour or abandoned buildings tour at night can thrill your audience.

Customized tours. You might also provide different itinerary options, with portions that swap out for others in case the client wishes to create his own customized experience.

3. Promote your services.

Use social media or go as far as creating your own website to advertise your tours. Harnessing both is better, of course.

It may also be a good idea to team up with some local businesses, where you might grab a discount or incentive in exchange for bringing in tourists. These businesses can also advertise your tours to their own clients, thus expanding your reach.

4. Set your price.

To be able to set your price, consider your time and effort in creating the tours, your add-ons such as meals, drinks, souvenirs, etc., and the local competition. Check online prices of similar tours to have an idea of how much to charge.

How Much Can Local Tour Guides Make?

If you offer a tour that is a good value for the tourist and take them places where traditional tours don’t go, you can easily charge $200 for 2 hours. Add in a few incentives like a guide book or complimentary appetizers and drinks, and you can charge even more.

When it comes to tours, you’re better off creating a quality tour that costs more money than a “value-priced” one that just about anyone can complete on his own.

You can easily earn more money if you are fluent in languages other than English (Spanish, Japanese, French, Mandarin, Korean and Italian are the top in-demand languages).

Tourists have disposable income and are looking more for an incredible experience that they can brag about back home than for a way to save money. So don’t be afraid to create some amazing experiences and charge premium prices for them.

If you already have a touring business setup and you’re looking to make more money from it, Matthew Newton’s Sell More Tours is a must-read.

8 Companies Hiring Local Tour Guides

As I’ve mentioned, starting with tour companies and studying how they operate can help you get the knowledge you need to go on your own.

The following companies can help you kickstart your local tour guide gig, whether you plan to do this on the side or set-up a full-scale tour guide business.

1. Rent a Local Friend

Rent A Local Friend

This website describes itself as “a community of people who love to travel and be in touch with different cultures.” You’ll need to send an application to join, but once you’re in, you’re automatically known as a “local friend.” Fill in your profile completely.

For $100/year membership fee, this company provides you with a personal web page and marketing help in exchange for signing up.

As a local friend, you can accept or reject a request from a client. If you do accept the gig, the clients pay Rent a Local Friend 30% of your fee, then receive the rest after successfully completing the scheduled tour.

2. ToursByLocals

Tours by Locals

To join ToursByLocals, you’ll need to pass two phone interviews, pass a background check and provide local legal requirements.

Once you’ve been accepted, you can create your services page and begin marketing your business.

This company doesn’t require upfront fees to join, even if they provide free training, marketing, payment processing, and a $3 million in liability insurance.

However, you will need to share 20% of your fee with them every time you complete a successful gig.

3. Context

Context Tours

Context provides private tours or small group tours with a maximum of 6 people in every major city across the globe.

Extensive knowledge of your city, local hot spots, and the biggest attractions are a must.

Most tours fetch between $100-$200 per hour, and that’s not including any tips you may receive from your group for doing an exemplary job.

Context’s dedication to sustainable tourism and making a minimal impact on local culture make them one of the most premier touring companies out there.

4. Withlocals


Withlocals works with individual freelancers who want to show their city and share their passions.

This Netherlands-based company follows the same process as ToursByLocals – you post an “experience” or customized tour, wait for clients, do the job, and then wait for your income.

Withlocals deduct their 10 to 20% fee from you every time you complete a job.

5. Shiroube


Shiroube (pronounced shi-ru-bé) is an international company boasting 5,000+ tour guides in over 3,000 cities.

This is a bit different than other companies.

Shiroube does not charge upfront fees, nor does it collect commissions for every job. Shiroube also doesn’t charge travelers any fees.

So how does Shiroube earn money? Apparently, the company worked out sponsorship plans with corporations to avoid charging people fees.

Everyone gets a free account by default. With this free account, you can create 3 ads to promote your local tour guide services.

6. Traveling Spoon

If your city or town is known for its cuisine and you’re an expert in the kitchen (whether you’re a professional cook or a next-level home cook), being a host for Traveling Spoon may be a great side gig for you.

You can go through the whole application process, even the interviews, online.

Once you’re approved, you can start hosting tourists. You get paid at least 8 hours before your guests arrive.


FREETOUR allows you to create your own tour and share it with the world through their platform.

As the name suggests, the tours here are mostly free, with your guests paying you in tips. You still have the option of setting your tour as a paid one, with guests paying 20% upon booking and the rest when the tour is over. However, you’ll get way fewer bookings this way.

Think of free tours as a promotional offer for you to advertise your services as a tour guide so you’ll have existing contacts when you do start your own venture.

8. Showaround

This website connects tourists with locals who know their city better than anyone else.

When you sign up as a local to Showaround, you get to determine your hourly rate, your tour itinerary, and who you want to show around your hometown.

The more tours you go on, the more reviews you’ll collect, and the more you establish your reputation on the site and the higher you get ranked on their search algorithm.

The Bottom Line

Becoming a local tour guide is simple as long as you have the heart and right skills to do the job. However, like many freelancing gigs, the challenging part is marketing your service to your target audience.

With these 8 companies hiring local tour guides, you’ll receive free training on how to network, market, and expand your business.

And when you’re ready to scale up, I’d recommend you build your own website, so you’ll have your own, safe online space if any of these companies decide to close shop in the future.

You can also consider planning travel itineraries for other people or landing a work at home travel agent job.

Do you think you have what it takes to become a local tour guide? Does this seem like a business you can do? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

How to Self Publish a Book: A Comprehensive Guide

Many of us have toyed with the notion of writing a book. Now, thanks to the internet and technological advances, even amateurs can learn how to self-publish a book.

Who knows? You might just be the next breakout bestselling author!

Contrary to popular belief, self-publishing a book isn’t exclusive to mediocre

Don’t believe me? Here are some successful works that were self-published:

  • “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James
  • ”Switched” by Amanda Hocking
  • ”Diary of a Mad Fat Girl” by Stephanie McAfee
  • ”No Thanks” by E.E. Cummings
  • ”Still Alice” by Lisa Genova
  • ”Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman
  • ”The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield
  • ”The Martian” by Andy Weir
  • ”Eragon” by Christopher Paolini
  • ”A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf
  • ”The Wake” by Paul Kingsnorth
  • ”Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
  • ”Double Persephone” by Margaret Atwood
  • ”Spartacus” by Howard Fast
  • ”A Naked Singularity” by Sergio De La Pava
  • ”Ulysses” by James Joyce


In today’s article, you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to self-publish a book, the 12 best self-publishing companies for authors, and tips to be a successful self-published author.

2 Major Reasons to Go the Self-Publishing Route

Want to learn more about self-publishing and why it is the better choice than partnering with publishers?

Here are the two best reasons:

1. You can earn more money with self-published books

In traditional publishing, new authors often have no choice but to sign away rights to their book for a certain number of years.

In exchange, the author earns a book advance of about $5K and around 5% to 8% royalties on all book sales.

Bigger publishing companies do this and continue supporting the author with marketing, book tours, promotions, and follow-up possibilities.

Unfortunately, this is rare. Authors usually have to deal with their book’s own marketing and shoulder PR campaigns themselves, which can cost anywhere from $5k to $10k per campaign.

In contrast, a self-publishing author pays for the printing costs upfront. With options like print-on-demand (POD), this isn’t such a burden even for first-time authors.

You may pay as little as a few bucks for each printed book (and far less for an ebook), which in turn allows you to price your book fairly and to keep more money for yourself.

2. You keep 100% of the publishing rights with you

Traditional publishers shoulder the initial costs of your book production but get most of the control over the rights of the book for up to 5 years.

For some unlucky authors who didn’t know better, they may have unknowingly signed away all their rights to their book(s) forever.

The one with a bigger percentage of publishing rights can control many details of the book, including retail price, ebook promotions, potential follow-ups of the book, and so on.

As such, giving away your publishing rights will tie your hands regarding the success/failure of your book.

You simply can’t decide on anything major about the book’s production, promotion, or sales.

Meanwhile, self-publishing your book removes the middleman, leaving you total control of everything: from printing to marketing to the expansion of the book into a series, or adaptation into an ebook or audiobook, maybe even into a film or television series. You never know!

How to Self Publish a Book

The steps to self-publishing a book may be slightly different between personal situations, locations, budgets, and whatnots, but most authors follow either of these two paths:

  1. Authors become their own publisher – With this route, you’ll be the author and publishing house in one.
  2. Authors join Self-Publishing Companies – With this route, the author will decide everything from editors, book art, book format, pricing, and then upload the complete book on his/her chosen self-publishing website. As the author, potential buyers buy your book from the website, which then prints the book and ships it straight to the buyer. You then receive royalties of your book at a scheduled payout, or if earnings are allowed to be withdrawn at any time.

For those wishing to be their own publisher, here are the steps you need to take:

How to Self-Publish a Book in 7 Steps

1. Write your book

Of course, we shouldn’t even be discussing self-publishing if you don’t have a book to publish.

Think long and hard about what you want to write about, think about your target audience, create your manuscript, and proofread it.

If you can, find a few trusted friends who are able to provide honest feedback about your book and have them read your draft. Revise your draft according to your reader feedback.

The next step is to copy edit your book yourself, but you may be too close to your work to be able to effectively and objectively copy edit it. It’s a good idea to hire a freelance copy editor to do this part for you.

2. Design and format your book

When you’re done writing your book, spend considerable time thinking of a book title that will catch your intended audience’s eye and sound good in marketing materials.

Aside from the book title, your book cover is one of the first things that potential readers will look at when shopping around, especially if you’re selling print copies of your book.

If you’re a designer or an artist, you might want to design your book cover yourself, or you can hire a professional.

You’ll also have to format the interior of your book; the fonts, spacing, indentations, illustrations (if any) have to be formatted correctly.

3. Pick a publisher name and incorporate

Once you have a book, you’re ready for the next step, which is to officially be a publisher.

When thinking of your publisher name, take inspiration from big publishing houses like HarperCollins or Random House. Choose a catchy name you’ll be proud of, but don’t use your real name.

Make sure you incorporate your publishing business into an LLC.

This will protect you from potentially losing personal assets if your business is being sued by employees, consultants, freelancers, and even other people your company didn’t hire. Click here for more information on why you should form an LLC.

4. Buy ISBNs in bulk

The International Standard Barcode Number (ISBN) is a 13-digit number that identifies a book as well as different formats of that book (e.g., edition, audiobook, ebook).

Most booksellers and distributors require an ISBN before they will list a book. Libraries also use ISBNs to locate book titles.

It doesn’t make sense to buy a single ISBN, especially if you mean to publish your book in multiple formats and plan to write sequels or follow up versions.

5. Copyright your book

If you want to protect your book from being re-published as someone else’s “original” material, you’ll need to copyright it.

You also can’t sue anybody for copyright infringement of your book unless you first register that book with the US Copyright Office (assuming you live in the U.S.).

6. Print your book

There are many book printers out there and, as a new publisher, you are going to be best served by a printer that is linked to Ingram Content Group, a large, U.S.-based distributor of books, music, and other media.

Currently, Ingram distributes to over 38,000 retailers, libraries, schools in 195 countries.

If you’d rather stick with just one distribution channel such as Amazon, you could print your book through CreateSpace, which is a subsidiary of Amazon.

The main benefit to setting Amazon as an exclusive distributor is that you get a higher profit margin on your book. And because Amazon has no rights to the book, you can switch your distributor at any time.

7. Market your book

Create a website for your publishing company as well as your book(s).

Work the social network circuit and post your business as well as its product(s) on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Talk with other small publishers and find out how they are promoting their products and through which channels.

If you’re self-publishing an ebook, you can work with book promotion websites that place your book in front of new readers. There are both free and paid book promotion websites, such as Goodreads and BookBub.

14 Best Self-Publishing Companies

If you choose to self-publish, you will likely work with a self-publisher that will provide you with a set of services including formatting, cover design, copyright registration, distributor listing, etc. in exchange for a set fee.

The cost of printing is fairly even across the board with most self-publishers—or at least it should be—because most self-publishing companies use either an in-house or third-party print-on-demand service provider of their choice.

For those looking to work with the best self-publishing companies, here are your top choices:

1. Kindle Direct Publishing

The most popular of all self-publishing companies simply because it is directly from retail giant Amazon, so your book will be included in the Kindle store.

KDP has its own platform to layout your book if you haven’t done so.

Uploaded books will be reviewed in under 10 minutes, so if your book passes, it can go live on the Amazon marketplace hours after being accepted.

There’s no fee to self-publish with Kindle Direct Publishing, plus you earn 70% of book royalties.

2. Smashwords

Many indie authors feel right at home here, since Smashwords isn’t like traditional publishing companies.

Authors receive up to 80% royalties and receive monthly PayPal payments (with only a penny payment threshold).

It partners with Findaway Voices for audiobook production and distribution.

3. Kobo Writing Life

Kobo (yeah the ebook reader brand) followed the footsteps of Kindle Direct Publishing with its own Kobo Writing Life service.

There does seem to be a huge difference.

Kobo lets authors keep their downloaded ePub file after the conversion, which means you’d be able to share a digital copy of your book with your friends and family instead of asking them to pay.

Authors keep 70% of royalties as long as your ebook is priced more than $2.99, but you are in control of prices and promotions.

You also own the rights to your books completely and you’re allowed to publish elsewhere too.

4. Blurb

Although this UK-based company became famous for printing photography books, Blurb also has a platform for authors to lay out their work, promote and distribute the books through its own Blurb store, Amazon, Ingram, and other self-publishing sites.

5. Outskirts Press

Probably one of the lowest rates in the self-publishing industry, Outskirts Press has been a favorite among authors for years now.

This Colorado-based company makes it homey for authors, giving out prizes to “Best Book of the Year” with a $1,500 price annually, promoting books day in day out, and millions of dollars in royalties since it launched in 2002.

6. Lulu

This site offers pretty much the same self-publishing options as the rest of this list, but they’ve been known to have superb editorial and marketing add-on services.

7. Xlibris

Known for professional customer support and an easy-to-use interface, Xlibris gives its authors royalties ranging from 10% to 50%, depending on factors such as when you joined Xlibris, type of book (printed vs. digital), and so on.

Xlibris is popular for its author events, which definitely provide a much-needed push, especially for new authors.

8. BookBaby

Don’t be fooled by the cuteness of its name.

This company provides a complete self-publishing experience (if you need to) and mix-and-match self-publishing services if you just need help with printing, or distribution, or ebook conversion, and so on.

9. Barnes & Noble Press

Barnes & Noble has a pretty strong ebook sales record, even if it doesn’t go outside the United States.

This company is a solid publishing house with a massive collection of books, so it is definitely worthy of a spot while you’re considering which of the best self-publishing companies to go for.

10. IngramSpark

Ingram Book Company is the largest distributor and wholesaler of books in the US.

It is also one of the best self-publishing companies around the world with its 50+ years of history in the field.

11. Draft2Digital

Like the other services on its list, Draft2Digital offers complete self-publishing services, from formatting, publishing, marketing, and tracking sales of your book.

With its user-friendly interface and excellent customer service, Draft2Digital is one of the most trusted self-publishing platforms for up and coming authors.

12. PublishDrive

PublishDrive is one of the newest companies on this list, but it works with both local and international publishers, opening up your ebook to millions of potential readers.

Also, once you’re an established author and making plenty of money, you have the option of paying $100 a month in exchange for keeping 100% of your royalties.

13. Apple Books

Apple sells the majority of the world’s ebooks, after Amazon of course.

As an author, you can join Apple Books as an author and sell your ebook and audiobook.

14. Google Play Book Partner Center

Of course, if you’re taking on Apple, make sure you cover the Android crowd as well.

How much money can you earn from a self-published book?

For every book sold, the self-publisher and you will split the profit- also known as the royalty- in some way.

Hopefully, the split is at least 50/50. There is also the book printing cost to consider, as well as any discount rates offered by a retailer like Amazon.

In the end, your profit margin might look like this:

  • Retail price of your book ($14.95) – printing cost ($5.00) – discount rate ($2) = profit ($7.95)
  • profit x (0.50 publisher royalty) = $3.98 royalty for you, $3.98 royalty for self-publisher
  • A hypothetical $3.98 from a book that costs $14.95 is not very much profit for you; however, this is at least a healthy 26.5% royalty. By comparison, consider how traditional publishers often give authors only a 5-8% royalty, meaning a profit of just $0.74 – $1.20 per book sold.

However, even if a self-publisher states that it takes only 50% of the profit, there are ways that it can pad its bottom line.

That padding is typically done by pumping up printing costs.

As a result, it’s imperative that you know the expected price of printing a book.

7 Must-Follow Tips on Self-Publishing a Book

Want to know how to self publish a book successfully?

The answer all boils down to marketing.

Here are 7 book marketing tips you can do, even without experience or tons of funds:

1. Learn about your target audience

When you’re writing a book, the aim shouldn’t be to sell to everyone.

Find your niche; that is, the topics that you know you can confidently write about and certain people will value.

Get to know who your target audience is: a group of people who will find your book valuable and useful.

Think about problems you can help solve, or who will be interested in your expertise.

2. Brainstorm heavily for your title and cover

I know I’ve mentioned it, but I can’t stress it enough: First impressions last.

Your book title and book cover should be interesting, professional, and invoke something in the reader that grabs their attention.

Another important thing to remember is that your book cover should be able to convey what your book is about, or at least its tone.

For instance, serious nonfiction books should have more somber color tones and images, such as a gray or dark blue palette. Holiday-themed books may have red and green, while young adult books may have bright colors.

3. Pick the right author bio and picture

This is particularly important for new authors since your author bio introduces you to the world.

Remember that your bio is there so that readers can get a bit more of a feel for who you are because they are not just buying a story or a self-help book; they’re investing in a person: you.

In the same vein, you have to pick your author photo carefully as well.

4. Prepare your synopsis

Your synopsis will affect sales quite dramatically.

If the synopsis makes the story sound dull or the contents sound uninspiring then the potential purchaser will move onto the next one.

Consider the synopsis to be your initial sales pitch: it has to grab the user, based on the genre and suck them in.

5. Join or build a community

Self-published authors are generally lone writers, and marketing your book is hard work.

It might then be worthwhile to join a “tribe” (I recommend Self-Publishing School) of your fellow authors to help spread the load a bit.

This can be as little as just chatting with people online to share tips and advice, or you could go a similar route as Discover Sci-Fi. This group is a bunch of Sci-Fi authors who have self-published on Amazon and have banded together to help promote each other’s books and sales.

This method allows for a greater reach, especially if each author promotes the group to their own audience.

If done correctly, it becomes a win-win situation: authors gain a wider reach and readers gain access to unknown authors and read something new.

6. Maintain a website and build a mailing list

There are zero excuses for an author to not have a website.

A website is a focal point for the author to sell or presell books, as well as a way for your readers to gain better insight into your mind.

A website can be as basic as a single page with a blurb and link to buy your book on booksellers like Amazon. Or it can be more fleshed out, with a blog, About page, Contact page, Media page, and other useful information.

From a marketing point of view, a site with a blog is an absolute minimum.

A blog allows you to gain SEO advantages and also to give a glimpse into your life, connect with your readership, promote sales events, announce new book releases, and update your audience with what’s going on with you.

While you’re at it, consider building a mailing list. This is where you’d be sending freebies, news about your books, and other ways of promoting your book.

Make it count.

7. Make your online presence felt

There are so many social networks out there that using social media as a method of marketing can be daunting.

My advice here is to pick one or two (say Twitter and Facebook) and focus exclusively on them.

Social media should be considered as a way to promote you as an author rather than a specific book. That’s not to say that you can’t let your followers know about your books and any offers etc. but it should not be the main focus.

Use these networks instead to connect with people, discuss topics in your preferred genre, and to give shoutouts for other authors and books that you respect or enjoy.

How To Self-Publish A Book Successfully

I hope this comprehensive guide helps you self publish a book successfully.

Know that book publishing is both a personal and professional decision that is not undertaken lightly.

There is a ton of work involved in just completing the manuscript, then having it ripped up (I mean, edited), and finally in promoting the book.

But for some professionals, publishing a book helps promote their careers and give them legitimacy. For others, being a self-published author becomes their career.

Maybe a book is a chance to leave some kind of legacy. And for still others, a book can be the key to eventual fame and fortune.

Planning to self-publish a book soon? What’s it about? Share it with us in the comments!

10 Websites to Find Online Consulting Jobs

Traditionally, working as a consultant meant meeting with companies and individuals who need their expert advice. Thanks to advances in software and the internet, online consulting jobs are now available to experts in various fields and industries.

Businesses and brands that want to grow and improve their products, services, or company processes are willing to pay consultants to make suggestions, recommend changes, and provide expert advice.

Consultants are paid for their expertise as well as their time and effort in talking with company executives, studying their processes, and providing the best solutions for their problems.

Today, modern tools are in place so that consultants can do all these online from their homes or anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

If you’ve conducted research, taught in a specific field, built a successful company from scratch, or simply have extensive experience in a certain trade, you may be on the right track to score high-paying online consulting jobs.

In today’s article, you’ll learn how you can start being a consultant and where to find online consulting jobs.

How to Build an Online Consulting Business

By definition, a consultant is “a person who provides professional or expert advice in a particular field.”

It is as general as it sounds, which is both an advantage and a disadvantage; it means that anyone can be a consultant, but also that competition can potentially be great.

To navigate your way around this new path and become the authority in your chosen field, here’s how to build an online consulting business from scratch:

1. Identify your niche and prove your worth.

You can be good at two or more things, but find something that you’re exceptional at, then prove it with real-world examples (e.g., case studies, portfolio, certification, awards, and other credentials) that would sell your talent to clients.

Building expertise in one niche takes time. Sometimes, consultants spend their entire careers mastering their craft.

Open up to the idea that although you’re superior at what you do, you still have to hone your craft continuously.

2. Maintain an online portfolio.

Creating a portfolio and making it available online makes it easier for potential customers to know about you, your career, and your consulting business, sometimes even before they send you a message or hire you as a consultant.

You have two choices here: maintain a LinkedIn account and keep it up to date, or build a portfolio website that would serve as your modern-day résumé and calling card.

Whenever people Google your name, the main search results should include your LinkedIn profile or your website.

Aside from your basic information and contact details (don’t include sensitive information, though), your website or LinkedIn profile should have a list of services offered, credentials, and awards.

If you can collect client testimonials, make sure to showcase them, too!

3. Find online consulting jobs.

Here’s where it gets interesting:

When you begin your consultancy business, you’re lucky to get more than two clients at a time.

It is totally OK.

Many consultants begin with no clients at all.

But you shouldn’t just wait for people to go your way. You must actively find projects, at least at the beginning of your career.

There are plenty of websites (see below) that connect consultants with potential clients for a specific job, campaign, or project. These websites are your best starting points to find consulting jobs online.

You don’t have to pay membership fees for most of the sites, but you often do need to register as a member and provide some information.

Make your profile interesting and include as much information about your specialization as you can since clients will be deciding whether to message you based on this profile.

Note that depending on the site you joined, some inquiries may not be forwarded to your registered e-mail address, so check the sites regularly.

4. Price your skill appropriately.

Consulting rates vary significantly depending on factors like the field of industry, size of the project, the company size of the client, your own expertise, the platform where you found your client, and more.

For this reason, many consultants do not publish a rate card on their websites or job board profiles.

However, it’s important that you set up a fee structure for specific tasks that are frequently requested.

For example, if you’re a personal finance consultant and a client needs help in dividing his income into investment and savings, you should be able to quickly give this potential client a quote for this service.

You’ll need to learn how to price your services appropriately based on your skillset and how much value you can bring to the table.

Be prepared for clients asking for discounts—these things happen all the time. Stick to your rate and respect your own skills and expertise.

If you notice your calendar is getting too cramped, consider increasing your rates. It means that your advice is in demand and that people are willing to pay higher consultancy fees for it.

5. Market your services.

Proactively spreading the word about your online consultancy service helps you turn this freelance gig into a full-fledged business.

If you’re confident that your expertise is sellable, invest in yourself through marketing. You don’t even have to leave your home to do this.

Take advantage of online networking and marketing.

Create email campaigns and send them to your friends, family, colleagues, and other contacts.

If you don’t already know how, learn social media marketing and engage with other people in your industry or field through LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

6. Know when to say no.

Saying “no” to jobs can be hard, especially if you’re new to freelancing and still experiencing that anxiety of having nothing to work on the next day or the next week.

However, indiscriminately saying “yes” to everything can result in you committing to projects you don’t have the heart or time to do.

Learn how to stick up for yourself and decline projects that you know you won’t be able to do.

How Much Do Online Consultants Make?

On average, those new to online consulting jobs charge around $175 per hour. Some consultants charge as low as $50 an hour, while others have $500 per hour or higher rates. As you might guess, online consulting jobs do not have uniform rates.

Consultants compute their fees by doubling their hourly wages, using daily rates, quoting per-project, quoting per-performance, going by industry rates, and so on.

10 Sites to Find Online Consulting Jobs

Now that you know how to start freelancing as a consultant, here are 10 legitimate websites that either list online consulting jobs or connect clients to providers.

1. FlexJobs

I strongly advise starting your consultancy job search at FlexJobs.

When you go through FlexJobs, you can rest assured that the job opportunities you find are real and legitimate. Each and every one of the companies that submit jobs for posting has gone through FlexJobs’ checks to verify if they are legitimate companies.

Starting your search with FlexJobs saves you the time and the headache of doing the research and the checking yourself.

Click here to go over the online consulting jobs that you can apply for now.

2. Clarity

Clarity Homepage

Launched in 2012, this website focuses on start-ups, so the experts they need must have knowledge in entrepreneurship, start-ups, business processes, and so on. Here’s how Clarity works:

  • Experts create a profile with a per-minute and hourly rate included ($60 per hour is the minimum hourly rate and experts can control this rate)
  • Clients find an expert and set up 3 calls (specifying 3 different dates and times when they’re available)
  • If an expert thinks they can handle the question/inquiry, the expert chooses a meeting schedule ideal for them and accepts the job
  • The client confirms the conference schedule, connects with the expert, and pays the per-minute rate

Clarity charges the expert a 15% fee for successful jobs.

To start your application, you’ll need to sign up and complete your profile first to access the application page.

3. ExpertConnect

ExpertConnect Homepage

This New York-based company is always looking for experts in the fields of healthcare, life sciences, technology, media, telecommunications, industrials, policymaking, legal affairs, accounting, business services, finance, real estate, consumer goods, and retail.

  • Experts join (for free) and fill out your profile, attach your résumé, and other credentials. As an expert, you can also import your LinkedIn profile instead and set your hourly rate.
  • ExpertConnect will contact you (or other experts) when a client requests a consultation. You will be notified via e-mail.
  • The job details the project, compensation, and other information.
  • Experts have the last say—they can accept or decline the consultation.

Your compensation will be based on the hourly rate you set and the projects you accepted. Experts have to send ExpertConnect an invoice to receive consultation fees incurred.

4. Maven

Maven Homepage

Maven calls itself the world’s largest microconsulting company, with thousands of experts (or Mavens) from all walks of life and fields of industry from 200 countries.

From scientists and doctors to farmers, barbers, auto mechanics, and truck drivers, there’s a home here to become a Maven as long as you know a lot about a subject.

To become a Maven:

  • Sign up using your LinkedIn, Google, or Facebook credentials
  • Fill out a profile and set your hourly rate. (Note that Maven accepts $25 per hour as the lowest possible rate you can set). If you’re unsure, you can check the rate calculator to see potential rates for your field and experience.
  • Wait for clients to contact you for projects. If you receive an invitation to a phone consultation via email, you can either accept or decline the job.

Maven’s consultations are not just limited to phone conversations. Aside from online consulting jobs, you can also be invited to face-to-face sessions or a more long-term consulting position that may last weeks or months. Note that these extended consultations require pre-screening and extra interviews.

If you want to earn more, refer people to Maven and earn 10% of all your referral’s earnings.

5. GLG

LG Homepage

GLG’s clientele comes from different industries, including life sciences, technology, consumer goods, investments and private equity, and market research. It boasts a 1,400-strong client base that has successfully been supported by over 650,000 GLG experts from around the world.

It has a network of academics, CEOs, subject-matter experts on every topic imaginable, policymakers, and more.

GLG experts can set their own rates, depending on their experience, designation, and practice area. On average, GLG experts in a non-tech field can charge somewhere between $200 and $1000 an hour to talk to clients.

6. Zintro

Zintro Homepage

Zintro connects clients posting projects of various sizes, from microconsulting requests to long-term projects worth thousands of dollars or more.

Clients fill out a form with details of their requirements, Zintro matches these requirements with Experts in their network, matched Experts contact clients back with their qualifications and why they’re a good fit for the project, and then clients choose which experts to engage with.

Aside from your fee as an Expert, you can earn additional cash for referring other consultants to sign up on Zintro as Experts.

7. GrowthMentor

Growth Mentor Homepage

GrowthMentor prides itself on vetting its mentors so their clients can have the best possible advice.

To be even considered as a growth mentor, you’ll need to have 5 years of demonstrable experience in their chosen field, listening skills, and the ability to empathize with their clients.

When you apply, you’ll go through a culture fit interview, a practical assessment, and a final interview with the founder of GrowthMentor before you can finally get online consulting jobs through their website.

Mentors need to have three reviews before they can charge for their services and ten reviews to charge more than $100 per hour.

Membership fees for clients start at $75 per month, paid quarterly

8. Conrati

Conrati Homepage

Conrati is a platform for people (Advice Receivers) who need mentorship to receive advice from experts (Advice Providers) to connect with each other while taking care of bookings and calendar integrations, phone and video consultations, as well as invoicing and payment processing.

Conrati charges their Advice Providers 10% of the hourly fee paid by Advice Receivers as a platform fee.

9. Consultport

Consultport Homepage

With more than 3,000 management, business, and digital consultants, Consultport is one of the popular consulting platforms online.

Similar to other websites on this list, once you’ve applied and then accepted to be a consultant, you can start being notified of projects that fit your expertise.

You can then submit a pitch that highlights why you’ll be a good fit for the project and when approved, you can start working on it.


COMATCH Homepage

COMATCH is a Germany-based global consultancy marketplace with state-of-the-art matching of projects with independent consultants from all over the world.

You’ll need to have either 2 years of experience in a high-class consultancy environment (e.g., management consultancy or financial consultancy) or at least 10 years of professional experience in your field if you don’t have consultancy experience.

The Bottom Line

Online consulting jobs offer some of the best-paying work-from-home jobs we’ve ever seen.

If you have extra funds and want to kickstart your business by landing more online consulting jobs, you can also purchase a spot (pay for a listing fee) to be featured as an expert on one of the sites above.

You don’t have to be an inspirational speaker, CEO, or successful entrepreneur to share your knowledge.

If you have extensive experience in writing, business, finance, advertising, human resources, computer science, counseling, sewing, teaching, driving, or other specific jobs, you can land online consulting jobs as long as you’re willing to help and assist individuals and companies with their problems.

How does online consulting as a career sound? Did we miss out on other consulting companies you can apply to? Tell us in the comments!

How to Start an Investment Club: What You Need to Know

Investment clubs are popping up all over the country and little wonder: Investing as a group is much more easy and fun than investing alone and this is leading to more and more people wanting to learn how to start an investment club.

Whether you’re just starting out as an investor or have been investing for years, investment clubs provide the following advantages:

  • Risk is spread throughout the group. By diversifying your investments, you minimize your risk of losing all your money on just one or two investment vehicles. By investing at regular intervals throughout the year (i.e., dollar cost averaging), you reduce your chance of buying an overpriced stock, property or other commodity.
  • Members are better informed. As evidenced in the past stock investment article series, sound investments take a long time to fully research. Having extra members to assess financial documents such as the income statement and balance sheet can save time and result in everyone having more information about a company, franchise, etc.
  • Emotional investing is minimized. You won’t be able to justify your investment choice to other club members      by simply stating “I have a good feeling about this one.” As a result, you’ll also minimize making impulsive investment decisions.
  • Investing discipline is maintained. Most investment clubs require that their members make a monthly contribution. This forces you to regularly set aside and save some money every month.

How to Start an Investment Club

While this isn’t a comprehensive guide, these are the first basic steps you need to take:

1. Select your members.

Do you know several (online or other) friends or relatives who have mentioned investing and who are responsible with their money?

If yes, then these individuals could be valuable members in your investment club.

Try to pick individuals who would be willing to dedicate their time and their money to an investment-focused group and meet their commitments faithfully month-to-month.

Otherwise, your investment club will simply become a social club (and probably serve beverages of a refreshing nature, à la Homer’s Hunting Club).

2. Decide on your club’s size and geographic range.

Investment clubs can be small (fewer than 15 members) or large (more than 15 members) and local or online.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each club type. For example, a small local club can get business done quickly and easily and have lots of face-to-face contact.

The disadvantage of this approach is that every member may have the same, narrow investment viewpoint.

Alternately, a large online club offers its members many different investment viewpoints and a wide range of experiences.

The disadvantages with this type of club are that virtual meetings may seem impersonal and full member attendance will almost never occur.

3. Decide your club’s investment vehicles.

Your club could focus solely on stock investments or diversify with real estate, person-to-person loans, mutual funds or some other investment vehicle.

Deciding on your choice of investment now will determine if your club needs to open a brokerage or other account type later.

4. Name your investment club.

Giving your club a name should take some time and effort and be agreed upon by all its members.

The name of your investment club will also be used on its bank account, member statements and tax reports, so make sure it’s a name that you and your club members can all agree on.

5. Draft and sign a partnership agreement.

For business as well as federal taxation purposes, you will need to draft a partnership agreement and have all club members sign and date it.

The partnership agreement should contain the club’s formation date, fiscal year and profit/loss sharing structure.

Member initiation and termination rules should also be included here. A sample partnership agreement is located at iClub.com and can be used as a template when creating your own club partnership agreement.

6. Draft your club’s constitution and rules.

Your investment club’s constitution and rules need to be carefully considered and stated in order to protect it from being audited by the IRS or even sued by a disgruntled member.

Be sure to include the following items in your club’s constitution and rules and have all members sign and date the document:

  • Number of allowed members, including new member initiation procedures and requirements.
  • Number of officers, election rules and service terms.
  • Required monthly contributions from all members.
  • Bank account details such as the account’s purpose (e.g., to collect member dues and club income) and signatories (i.e., who can write and cash checks).
  • Brokerage account details such as the authorized investor/trader and investment/trading rules.
  • Member voting powers and expectations as well as what voting percentage constitutes passage of a motion.
  • Grounds for member expulsion.
  • Monetary procedures following member expulsion, resignation or death.
  • Tax collection and procedures.

A more complete guide to generating your club’s constitution and rules is located at TimetoTrade. You can also use this guide as a template for your own documents.

7. Elect club officers.

Decide who will fulfill the roles of president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and designated investor/broker.

Typically, the president or vice-president calls the club to order and makes announcements.

The treasurer is in charge of collecting member contributions and filing forms with the IRS.

The secretary records meeting minutes and attendees and later distributes this information to all members via mail or email.

The designated investor/broker holds the account in the club’s name and makes the actual investments/trades. 

Additionally, there may be a designated auditor who is not an officer and audits the club’s accounts.

Requirements to Running an Investment Club

These items exist because anytime you have a business entity that is making money, the law and (especially) the IRS will be very interested in your club’s dealings.

This is NOT a comprehensive list.

Please check with your local and state laws to make sure your investment club is in full compliance. This list is just an idea of some things you may need.

1. Investment Club Tax ID or EIN

Once you have named your investment club and its officers, you will need to obtain an employer identification number (EIN), which will be used when you file the club’s tax return.

The EIN is, in essence, like a social security number that identifies your club as a unique entity to the IRS. 

Despite its official sounding jargon, the EIN can be obtained in a matter of minutes by going to  the IRS website and filling out Form SS-4.

You can also call 1-800-tax-form (1-800-829-3676) for help.

2. Club Accounts

It is imperative that you open one or several bank accounts in the investment club’s name and use them solely for the purposes of club business.

Unless your investment club forms an LLC, you will first need to obtain a “doing business as” or DBA (i.e., Registration of Firm Names) document from your local city hall.

If your club starts investing in equities (e.g., stocks), you will also need to open one or more brokerage accounts also in the club’s name.

Some brokerages may charge significant fees to facilitate equity transactions like stock purchases.

To this end, you and your club partners may want to look into becoming members of the National Association of Investors Corporation (a.k.a. Better Investing), a non-profit organization which provides its members with discounts on stock trades.

The NAIC also offers a wealth of educational materials, accounting software and legal forms.

And now for the not-so-fun stuff…

3. Filing Tax Returns as a Club

Filing club taxes is usually the duty of the club’s treasurer and can be a stressful task for him or her; however, by following these guidelines, the process should become simpler with time (and more rewarding if followed by several gifts of beer from other club members).

To begin with, the investment club, if formed as a “pass-through entity” (e.g., partnership), is not required to pay federal or state taxes.

Instead, all club partners are expected to report their investment profits (or losses) on their personal tax returns.

Still, just because the club itself is exempt from paying taxes doesn’t mean it gets off scot-free; investment club treasurers must file an information return, called Form 1065 (U.S. Return of Partnership Income), each year by the April 15th deadline.

Furthermore, if even one of the club’s partners resides in a state other than that of the investment club, the treasurer should contact that state to find out if it requires its own return (e.g., IL-1065 for Illinois) as well.

Keep in mind that Form 1065 is applicable to all kinds of partnerships and not just investment clubs.

In fact, the majority of Form 1065 has nothing to do with investment clubs. Thus, especially if this is your first year gathering partner data and filing out the form, it may be better to utilize the services of a tax professional or accountant.

Alternately, the NAIC provides tax software that can easily track club investments, profits and forms for each partner.

Each club partner must be provided with a Schedule K-1 which details that partner’s investment profits, costs and transactions.

As such, the K-1 is akin to Form 1099 which brokerages and other financial institutions send to their clients each year. Unlike the Form 1099, though, which has a “send-by” deadline of February 15th, the K-1’s “send-by” deadline is actually April 15th- yes, April 15th.

This is because the IRS realizes that investment clubs may need extra time to gather up investment materials as well as all the 1099 forms from their brokers (at which point they can file for an extension).

However, if you, as the club treasurer, decide to wait until the morning of April 15th to notify fellow club members about how much they owe the IRS on their personal returns, you may end up with several of those members never speaking to you again. So, DON’T wait until April 15th.

Ideally, given that all the 1099 forms should be received by February 15th, your investment club should shoot for a K-1 “send-by” deadline of late February.

4. Club Partner Expectations

Once all the legal and tax obligations are settled, your investment club’s success will depend on each partner fulfilling his or her obligations to the club.

In most cases, those obligations are as follows:

1. Attend all club meetings.
2. Pay club dues.
3. Research current and pending club investments.

Each club partner should understand that the investment club is a business and, like any business, will probably not see a profit in its first few years of operation.

Thus, any partner who decides to “cash out” of the club cannot expect to get back all the money that he or she originally invested. 

There is also the matter of trust in the formation of an investment club:

Since you are going into business with 15 or so other individuals, you should be able to trust those individuals (and vice versa).

Hopefully, you will also like your partners and enjoy their company as you consider your mutual investments and learn from one another. After all, these are the end purposes of forming an investment club.

The Investment Club Bottom Line

Starting an investment club is a little more complicated than just asking a few friends to pool some money. You are taking risks with your money, and more importantly, other people’s money.

Take the proper steps in making sure your investment club is legally compliant and talk with a local accountant to make sure everything is being done above board.

10 Places to Find Paying Online Proctor Jobs

As education moves toward the virtual space, there is an increased need for online courses, online instructors, and online proctor jobs.

While creating online courses or being an online instructor take a while to delve into and master, being an online proctor is relatively straightforward. Plus, it’s something you can do either full-time or part-time.

If you’re a teacher looking for an online job, this is definitely one possibility to consider.

What Does an Online Proctor Do?

An online proctor is a hired “test giver” who checks in and verifies the identities of the test-takers, delivers and collects the online exam, and assists test-takers in the event of technical difficulties.

The online proctor is also responsible for maintaining academic integrity during the test by having the students’ web cameras open and observing them.

Online proctors also verify student identities using a webcam and by checking their school IDs. In most cases, students are also asked to answer some personal questions (e.g., age, grade level, major, etc.).

You might be wondering how an online proctor can really prevent cheating; students might have notes tucked away on their desk or cheat sheets taped to their monitor.

Thorough online proctors, however, will ask for students to use their webcam to scan around the room and show their desk, chair, background, etc.

Proctors can request that students use a mirror or smartphone to show the computer itself.

Virtual proctors are also trained to watch for eye movements and to listen in for possible “helpers” during the exam.

Keystroke frequencies, typing speeds, and mouse clicks may also be recorded and analyzed for any suspicious activity. Different test items have different difficulty levels, and thus should be answered at different speeds. If the specific pattern for a test-taker strays too far from the norm, it may indicate cheating.

If any suspicions are raised, the online proctor can pause or stop the exam.

How much can test proctors make?

Online test proctors can make anywhere between $9.81 to $15.59 per hour, according to PayScale, depending on the company hiring and the experience of the proctor.

Because online proctor jobs typically work from verified off-site testing centers, you won’t need your own computer or webcam equipment.

Where To Find Online Proctor Jobs

I’ve rounded up a few sites that are periodically hiring online proctors to administer tests.

Make your way through this list to find something that works for you.

1. FlexJobs

FlexJobs is a jobs database that features only vetted job opportunities, saving you hours of research and ensuring that you’re only applying to legitimate companies.

Right now, there are hundreds of jobs available under the Education and Training category, and while there aren’t openings right now specifically for online proctors, it’s still worth bookmarking this page and checking back.

Start your job search here!

2. Kryterion


Launched in 1999, this Arizona-based online testing company periodically offers part-time gigs to individuals who are computer literate and can devote 15-25 hours/week to online proctoring.

Much of the work is completed in the early mornings or evenings or during weekends.

Proctors are required to learn and know Kryterion’s online test-taking software system, Webassessor, and must also pass a background check.

Corporations, trade associations, and government agencies also use Kryterion for administering tests and conducting interviews. While this means that there are many different types of customers you can work with, it also means that the sheer number of different clients will require that you work with more than one test-taker at a time.

Luckily, your pay per hour is also better than that of most other online proctoring companies; online proctors with Kryterion report earning $15-$25/hour. There is also the opportunity to get promoted and advance within the company.

3. Meazure Learning

Headquartered in Hoover just outside Birmingham, Alabama, Meazure Learning was formed when ProctorU and Yardstick merged in 2020. After acquiring Scantron’s Certification and Licensure business in 2022, Meazure Learning is now one of the largest digital solutions company for test administration and delivery, test proctoring, test development, psychometrics, and data analysis.

They periodically hire Pro-Proctors to virtually proctor exams from their office as well as serve as liaison between operations staff and test-takers in case of technical difficulties.

4. PSI Online

PSI Online

PSI Online covers basically anything you could possibly imagine when it comes to testing; from development to administration and delivery.

They’re currently hiring for in-person and online proctor jobs (sometimes called Test Center Administrators) in their test centers nationwide. Hourly rate ranges from $12 to $16 depending on location.

5. Examity

Examity is an online proctoring service provider for academia, business, and certification agencies.

They periodically hire Test Proctor Specialists to work in their Needham, Massachusetts headquarters as in-person or virtual exam proctors.

6. Applerouth Tutoring Services

For more than 20 years, Applerouth Tutoring Services has helped students prepare for various standardized tests (e.g., ACT, SAT, GRE, etc.), as well as provided private tutors for those taking AP and IB classes.

They seasonally hire in-person and online proctors to work in one of their offices (in Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle). Salary varies depending on the location (from $14 to $21 per hour).

They have offered remote proctor positions but not through their website; you’d have to go to other job boards to look for them.

7. Honorlock

Honorlock is a Florida-based company providing online test proctoring services mostly to academic and educational institutions.

Their proctoring services combine AI monitoring software with human test proctors designed to monitor test sessions and intervene if problems are detected.

Currently, there aren’t any openings for proctors on their site, but these do open up from time to time, so if you’re in Boca Raton, it’s worth checking back on their site.

8. Prometric

For over 30 years across 180 countries, Prometric has provided testing solutions to licensing and certification organizations, schools and universities, as well as government agencies.

They’re currently looking for Proctors for their Bridgeport and New Haven, Connecticut locations, but you can check back for openings at their other locations in the US.

9. Galen College of Nursing

Galen College of Nursing is one of the largest private nursing colleges in the country, with 14 campuses in 8 states as well as an online school.

They periodically hire Virtual Proctors to schedule and administer their entrance exams, monitor students, and coordinate with the Admissions Director whenever there are testing irregularities.

Aside from comprehensive health benefits, Virtual Proctors may be given the option to work from home but only if they live within driving distance of a Galen campus.

10. United States Military Entrance Processing Command (USMEPCOM)

USMEPCOM is a Major Command under the Department of Defense managing 65 Military Entrance Stations where applicants to the military are assessed and evaluated.

They’re currently hiring Test Administrators for their various stations to administer and proctor on-site and at-home Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests to individuals wanting to enter the military.

Start Looking for Online Proctor Jobs Today!

If you’re observant, tech-savvy, and a stickler for rules, being an online proctor is a good way to utilize these characteristics and earn money with a relatively low-stress job.

If you’re interested in being a virtual proctor because you’re a teacher or a former teacher, here are some of our articles on education-related jobs:

7 Jobs for Pickup Trucks: Make Money with Your Ride

Pickup trucks are the workhorses of the auto industry, which opens up plenty of jobs for pickup truck owners.

With a flat, open bed, they’re designed to haul heavy loads or tow cargo. Plus, they’re made to withstand all sorts of extreme weather conditions.

If you’re looking for a way to earn some extra cash and you have a pickup truck sitting idle in the garage, it’s time to turn it into a money-making machine.

In this article, learn how to do side jobs for pickup trucks and what to consider when you want to turn your side gig into a business.

7 Side Jobs for Pickup Trucks

Before you go through this list, though, I need to stress that you’ll need to apply for commercial auto insurance before you can do jobs with your pickup truck, if you don’t have one yet.

Personal auto insurance won’t cover accidents that happen while you’re on a job; that is, while you’re using your pickup truck for profit.

Depending on your insurance company, you should be able to combine your personal and commercial auto insurance policies so you don’t have to pay two premiums for the same pickup truck.

Here are some of the best jobs for pickup trucks you can do on the side. These side cash opportunities are perfect for pickup truck owners who are looking for extra cash but can’t commit to full-time jobs or launch a business.

1. Offer a Hauling Service

The most popular independent contractor pickup truck jobs involve hauling stuff away.

For example, you can offer a junk hauling service where you pick up large items that customers no longer want: old furniture, mattresses, office file cabinets, outdated appliances, etc. You can then take them to recycling centers or to charity.

You can also offer a construction debris hauling service for contractors or DIYers doing renovations.

How Much Can You Earn?

You’ll be paid for each “haul” or for every hour you spend moving stuff around.

As an independent contractor, you can charge $50 to $120 per hour.

And since you’re the boss, you get to control pricing, depending on the location of items to haul, number of hauls needed to complete the job, number of crew members you hired for the job, and other factors.

2. Provide a Delivery Service

Picking up stuff from one location and delivering it to another can be a hassle to many people, especially for those who don’t have a car big enough to fit large items.

There are two ways you can go about doing this: by offering a local delivery service or by joining delivery apps and delivering on-demand.

Offer Local Delivery Services

Join local Facebook groups and check out Craigslist to find out where the current garage sales are in your area.

Talk to the garage sale hosts about you offering delivery services to buyers in need of help (ask for the host’s permission and referral). Make sure you have a poster, business cards, or fliers with you on the day of the garage sale.

This would be a big help for customers who buy couches, sofa sets, huge cabinets, and other bulky items they may not be able to haul home themselves.

Another thing you can do is to partner with appliance repair shops and advertise your service in your area.

When a customer has a large appliance, they can contact you to have it picked up in their home, brought to the repair shop, and then delivered back to the customer’s house.

Join Delivery Apps

Delivery apps allow you to work as much or as little as you want in a day or in a week, which means you get to decide how much you want to make. You can even join more than one delivery app to get more jobs.

Amazon Flex

If you live in a city with a lot of Amazon shoppers, chances are there is an Amazon delivery station close by where you can pick up Amazon.com orders. You can also pick up and deliver groceries or household items for Prime Now and Amazon Fresh customers.

A pickup truck can fit so many more packages compared to car drivers, which minimizes your back-and-forth and maximizes your profit.

Most delivery partners earn from $18 to $25 an hour delivering with Amazon Flex.


Bungii is a delivery-on-demand app that works similarly to Uber or Lyft, except customers need to take a photo of the item to be moved first.

You’ll need to have a truck model not older than 2006, as well as basic equipment and knowledge to strap items securely and safely.

They pay upwards of $45 per hour.


GoShare is another delivery app that works the same way as Bungii. Download the app, get an alert whenever a load is available for moving, and accept only the jobs that you like.

You’ll need to be over 18 years old, have a pickup truck less than 15 years old, and able to pass a background check, as well as many other requirements.

Their drivers earn an average of $80 per hour.


If you need either scheduled or on-demand delivery jobs, Dolly is the app for you.

You can apply as a driver, or Helper as they call it, choose jobs that you can do, and get paid $50 per hour.

If you have a second vehicle that’s not a truck, you can make up to $35 per hour as well.

3. Turn Your Pickup Truck into a Moving Billboard

Being a moving billboard doesn’t seem like a job for a pickup truck, but if you’re willing to turn your pickup truck into one, you can earn a stable income for at least a couple of months.

This gig is similar to taxis sporting ads of a product or service on top of their vehicles while they cruise around the city.

One example of a company that offers this is Carvertise.

If you’re interested in doing this, you’ll have to register with Carvertise, send copies of your license, answer a few questions, and if you’re qualified, wait for an advertiser to choose you for a campaign. If you’re chosen, you can get $300 to $1,500 per campaign. Note that a campaign can last for months.

Common requirements for Carvertise and similar companies include a minimum of 30 miles/day of driving (so the ads can be seen by as many people as possible), clean driver’s history, 2008 or newer pickup trucks, and factory-finish paint job.

How Much Can You Earn?

Carvertise states that its average payout is $100/month for drivers, but those driving around high-traffic areas can earn more.

In some cases, you can simply park at Carvertise-assigned spots to get an extra $30/hour.

Driver payment will be sent at the beginning of each month through direct deposit.

Make sure you double-check the company before signing any contract.

Car wrap advertising scams have exploded in the past and many people were victimized.

You can check out my post here for some tips on how to prevent getting duped. Long story short,

4. Offer a Landscaping Service

Hauling landscaping tools and materials is a job for pickup trucks. Mowing, weeding, mulching, shuttling bags of fall leaves, hauling rocks or dirt, delivering plants and flowers, and other landscaping tasks are difficult without a huge vehicle like a pickup truck.

Invest in equipment such as a good lawnmower, rakes, shovels, pruning shears, hedge and grass trimmers, leaf blower, and safety equipment.

How Much Can You Earn?

People pay good money to add landscaping to their yards and to take care of their lawns. You can charge from $50 to $100 an hour, depending on how complicated the project is.

5. Offer a Snow Plowing Service

If you live in a region that gets a lot of snow, this can be an excellent way to make money during the winter months.

The investment here is in all-terrain tires, snow plow attachments, salt spreaders, and other snow-related

You’ll need to check with your local laws as using snowplows on public roads is regulated.

The good thing about offering snow plowing is that you can offer this in the winter and landscaping during warmer months.

How Much Can You Earn?

Snowplowing can get you around $50 to $100 an hour, depending on the location and how large the area is.

If you get hired on an ongoing basis, you can probably offer a lower price in exchange for a steady paycheck throughout the winter season.

6. Become a Towing Provider

If your pickup truck is big enough and has the capability to tow other vehicles, this is a good job for pickup trucks that can pay a lot.

Towing doesn’t just involve hauling off vehicles parked in towing zones. It can also mean moving a damaged car or a vehicle that’s not yet allowed for road use.

It could also mean transporting new vehicles from one state to another.

How Much Can You Earn?

Local towing jobs can get you around $70 per tow.

Interstate jobs pay higher, of course, but it will also mean the hours will be longer, mileage considerations will be higher, and finding a vehicle to tow on your way back can be challenging to do (but very lucrative if you’re lucky to land one).

7. Rent Out Your Pickup Truck

You’re not going to be paid to drive with this one, but you’ll still be earning some cash regularly (or as much as you’re willing to “share” your pickup truck with others).

A service like Turo (where would-be renters find vehicles to rent out) can be a huge help to you because you don’t need to advertise your pickup truck anywhere else.

How Much Can You Earn?

Turo has an estimator tool that lets you play around with the possible income you can earn by renting out your pickup truck.

On average, vehicle owners earn around $600 a month if they lease their vehicles for half a month at a time.

Side Job to Business: Things to Consider

Note that everything I listed above can be scaled up and turned into a full-blown business.

The work you’ll offer is the same as the jobs for pickup trucks I listed above, but with slight differences and additional things to consider.

Here are a few.


Some pickup truck services, such as hauling or delivery, have a ton of competition.

However, the demand for them is always high, which is what makes them enticing for entrepreneurs.

To compete against more popular companies in the same field, it’s important to promote your services in a way you’ll stand out.

This is particularly important if your business is just starting out and can’t rely on word of mouth just yet.

Permits and license

Local and state laws vary.

In most cases, if you’re running a business, you’re required to obtain a business permit and commercial auto insurance.

This is important since you’re going to be shuttling people around or hauling things in your pickup truck.

You have to be protected in case you get into an accident with a client at the back seat, or with valuable items in your care.

If you’re going to be driving your own pickup truck (and not renting it out), you’d have to have a valid driver’s license and a clean record.


Depending on the type of job you choose, you might need to hire people to help your business, especially if the job requires carrying heavy items.

If you’re planning to scale up a snow plowing or landscaping business, then drivers for two or more pickup trucks may be needed, as well as extra people to complete your crew.

Of course, this will totally depend on factors like your fund availability, location, and commitment level.

Start Making Money From Your Pickup Truck Today!

Explore these money-making opportunities available for pickup truck owners. If you’re committed enough, your side cash gig can turn into a lucrative business.

Let your pickup truck work for you!

Here Are 11 Ways to Get Free Google Play Credit

The internet is an amazing space where you can earn money (in either cash or gift cards) by doing the simplest to the weirdest of things and free Google Play credit is no exception.

Did you know that you can earn free gift cards simply by downloading some apps?

You can even single out Amazon gift cards specifically and save as many gift cards your heart desires for your annual Christmas online shopping.

If you’re interested in earning free Google Play credit to pay for a movie, music, books, premium apps, or Google products, you can do it without paying a cent.

Even buying lives for Candy Crush, or any other in-app purchases of third-party apps can be bought using Google Play credits.

11 Ways to Get Free Google Play Credit

1. Google Opinion Rewards

The official way of earning free Google Play credits is by downloading Google Opinion Rewards.

Opinion Rewards Logo

Developed by Google, the Google Opinion Rewards is a rewards-based program initially launched as a survey app for Android and iOS. It is available for download in 22 countries, including the US, UK, some parts of Europe and Asia (Check if your area is allowed – there’s a full list here).

The idea behind this involves users answering surveys and earning rewards.

Android-based users can earn Google Play credits and redeem them by buying paid apps on the Google Play Store.

Meanwhile, iOS-based users receive actual payment via PayPal.

Google Opinion Rewards Survey

Google says these surveys help other companies improve their services and products by letting regular people like you and I share our opinions.

You won’t get rich answering these surveys, since they pay somewhere from a couple of cents to $1 for every survey fulfilled.

The Google Opinion Rewards app is available either at the Play Store or Apple Store.

Aside from Google’s own survey app, you can also check out these other methods (a mix of websites and apps) that would allow you to earn free Google Play credits:

2. GPlayReward

This get-paid-to website lets anyone earn free Google Play gift cards by downloading apps, or completing simple tasks such as watching a video, checking out ads, or browsing the site for bonuses.

These tasks are rewarded with points, which you can use to redeem $10, $25 or $50 Google play gift cards.

You’ll need 1,000 points to exchange it for $10 Google Play gift card.

3. AppNana

AppNana is available for both iPhone and Android users.

With the app, you can earn “nanas” (points) for playing featured games or downloading apps.

Every time you download a featured app, you earn points that you can redeem as Amazon, Xbox, iTunes or Google Play gift cards.

Heck, you don’t even need to do something to earn points here. AppNana gives 400 points daily, if you log into your account each day.

You receive 10,000 nanas once you register.

It would take you a while since $10 Google Play gift card is equal to about 160,000 nanas.

4. InstaGC

Short for “Instant Gift Cards,” InstaGC gives you plenty of tasks to do to earn points, including completing surveys, shopping online, browsing the web, watching videos, visiting sponsor sites, listening to music, or even joining product trials.

100 points convert to $1 in gift cards.

As an example, you get to earn 10 points for signing up and 110 points for referring a friend. Google Play gift cards are available in $10 (1,000 points), $15 (1,500 points) and $25 (2500 points).

5. FreeMyApps

FreeMyApps is an app that rewards you for referring friends to download and join. watching YouTube videos, joining social media contests, playing games, and more.

This app has paid out over $27 million worth of gift cards, so you’re guaranteed to be “paid.”

Aside from Google Play credits, you can also exchange your points to Amazon, CVS and in-app purchases, and so on. There are plenty of gift card options once you decide to payout. And if you’ve got change, you can even donate to charity straight off the app.

6. Gift Card Granny

Gift Card Granny is a cashback website, which is also available as an app for iOs and Android devices.

You need to register to access contests, giveaways, and other activities that will lead you to earning rewards points.

Once you’ve saved enough points, you can exchange these for Google Play store credits and other types of gift cards.

7. Gift Box

Gift Box is an app that pushes advertisements to your device, then gives your points once you view the ads.

You can also perform other tasks like watching sponsored videos, downloading third-party apps, referring friends, playing online games, and so on.

You’ll need a minimum of 1,500 coins to be able to redeem them as gift cards.

Note that 500 coins is equivalent to $1.

8. FeaturePoints

FeaturePoints boasts of rewarding over $5,600,000 since 2012.

It is available at the App Store and Google Play store.

With FeaturePoints, you are rewarded with points if you play games, read books, listen to music, download featured apps, watch videos, and other tasks.

The minimum payout should be at least $10 to $15. You can exchange your points into Google Play credits, online gift cards or paid apps.

Probably the coolest thing about FeaturePoints is their unique referral system. Whenever you refer a friend over, you earn 50% of the total points he/she earns as well.

9. Survey Junkie

This site has been around since 2005 and is one of the most trusted survey sites.

With a user-friendly system and a whopping 3 million users, you’ll quickly see how easy it is to earn credits here. Plus, it’s available on site and both as iOs or Google Play app.

Just register at Survey Junkie and you can begin answering surveys or joining focus groups in exchange for points. You’d have to earn at least 1,000 (equals $10) before you can exchange it to cash via PayPal, e-Giftcards like Google Play or direct bank transfers.

10. Swagbucks

With Swagbucks, you can earn points from various tasks, such as completing surveys, using specific search engines, trying out a shopping site, viewing sponsored ads, watching videos, playing games, and more.

Get $5 once you open an account.

You’ll need 1,000 Swagbucks points to receive a $10 Google Play gift card or other e-gift cards.

Swagbucks sometimes host sales, so make sure to check it out regularly.

11. PrizeRebel

PrizeRebel boasts of a massive list of rewards, from Amazon gift cards to Google Play gift codes, and everything in between.

There are even game-specific credits, such as “Clash of Clans” rewards.

PrizeRebel keeps answering surveys simple – it takes surveys from nine different survey networks, so you wouldn’t have to log into all of them daily. You can earn points from various other tasks like signing up for offers, referring friends, playing games, watching videos, and more.

Like FeaturePoints, PrizeRebel gives you 20% of all the points your referred friends earn for life, so spreading this site lets you earn points quicker. Once you saved up 1,000 points, you can exchange it for $10 Google Play gift code.

Register Your Gadgets for Free Google Play Credits

Maybe you wouldn’t need to answer surveys, download apps, or any other online tasks.

If you just need a one-time deal on Google Play credits, then registering your gadgets could be your solution.

  • Chromecast – If you have a Chromecast device, you’ll have to install it on your Android device, which will then prompt current offers. Most of the time, you can earn somewhere from $6 and $20. Double your earnings by registering two or more devices.
  • Samsung – Those who have a Samsung phone can easily register their device online, activate the device, then check your credit. If you’re lucky, you can get a free $25 Google Play credit right off the bat. If not, don’t worry, some people report receiving credits via e-mail.

Once you have your Google Play codes ready, you have to visit play.google.com and find the app you want to purchase. Just “but” and hit continue up to the payment method (FYI, you’d have to choose “Google Play” when choosing from the options.)

A Warning about Free Google Play Code Scams

You see how easy it is to receive Free Google Play codes, right?

Well, some bad guys take advantage of this by offering a “credit generator” for a small fee.

Unfortunately, none of these Google Play credit tools will work to generate you credits.

Others won’t require payment, but they might attack your PC or device with a virus. Others would phish you via email, then wait for you to share passwords, bank accounts, and other personal details. Getting Google Play credits this way definitely isn’t worth the risk.

Now if you think Google Play credits have very little value and you’d rather earn real money via Google, you have to check out this guide I wrote on how to make money online with Google.

30 High Paying Entry Level Jobs Online and Off

I made a list of 30 high-paying entry-level jobs for new graduates looking for a job, or anyone who has been planning to switch careers but are undecided about which career to switch over to.

If a career path is a flight of stairs, entry-level jobs are usually at the bottom as the starting point, with few responsibilities but plenty of basic tasks and training for more complex ones so you can move on to the next step.

It’s hard to imagine being paid more than the minimum wage for your first job, but this isn’t always the case.

You just need to know what they are and where to find them.

Some of these jobs don’t even require a college degree, so if you’re at least a high school graduate or have a GED, you may still be considered.

Here is a list of high-paying entry-level jobs, with salary information compiled from various job sites and survey data.

15 High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs You Can Do From Home

Let’s start with 15 high-paying, work-from-home entry-level jobs…

1. Mobile Applications Developer

Average Starting Salary: $73,500 a year
Degree Required: No

If you love creating mobile apps and have coding experience, you can be an application developer straight from the comfort of your own home.

The only downside to working from home as an app developer is the lack of colleagues helping you out, but hey, that’s where Google is for, right? You can find dozens of forums specific to app development.

2. Financial Analyst

Average Starting Salary: $61,600 a year
Degree Required: Yes

As an independent contractor financial analyst, you examine financial data to help companies and individuals make business decisions, such as investing, profit/loss, and so on.

You should complete a degree in economics, statistics, or finance before beginning a career as a financial analyst. You also must have exceptional quantitative and problem-solving skills.

The profession is also expected to grow about 11% between 2016 and 2026, so if you’re just starting out now, there’s hope to bring in more money once you go past entry-level.

3. Actuarial Analysts

Average Starting Salary: $60,300 a year
Degree Required: Yes

Those who are knowledgeable about the insurance industry and business can make a living quantifying risk with statistics, probabilities, and financial concepts to define a monetary value on an event that may or may not occur in the future.

Actuarial analysts are actuaries-in-training. And you can be a freelancer with insurance providers calculating premiums.

Having a degree in business, statistics, finance, or economics can be a huge advantage in doing your job.

4. Real Estate Broker

Average Starting Salary: $56,200 a year
Degree Required: No

If you’re good with persuasive communication and love talking to people, you can become a real estate broker even without a degree. College degrees are preferred, but definitely not required.

You do need to have a state license and certification, as well as local permits to buy and sell properties for other people.

But even if you’ll need to invest in your licensure, this job is definitely fulfilling to those who excel in sales. Plus, the demand for brokers is always high.

Also check out the highest-paying jobs in real estate investment trusts.

5. Animator

Average Starting Salary: $55,200 a year
Degree Required: No

The starting salary of animators depends largely on two things: the artist’s skill and the industry they decide to work in.

The highest-paid animators are the ones who work in the movie industry, followed by those in advertising and then those in tech companies. Most animator jobs are self-employed and work on a per-project basis.

Note that your skill in 2D or 3D animation, as well as how your work fulfills the vision of the company will reflect your starting salary.

If you create one-of-a-kind special effects for a TV show, then you’d most likely take home a higher pay.

Make sure to also read how to monetize artistic skills: making money with your cartoons.

6. Paralegal

Average Starting Salary: $48,900 a year
Degree Required: Yes

Paralegals are employed by lawyers, law firms, and legal departments of companies and organizations to do research for cases.

They also draft legal documents such as pleadings and motions to file at the court and assist lawyers during trials.

Paralegals are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, or if you have a bachelor’s degree in another field, you’d need a paralegal certificate.

7. Social Media Specialist

Average Starting Salary: $45,300 a year
Degree Required: No

A social media specialist is responsible for developing marketing, advertising, and customer service strategies through social media.

Companies don’t normally require bachelor’s degrees for social media specialists, but having a bachelor’s degree in marketing or communications can certainly be an advantage.

What’s great about mastering the art of social media management is that you can turn this into a business and get multiple clients at a time. Interested? Here’s how to be a rock star social media manager.

8. Bookkeeper

Average Starting Salary: $43,600 a year
Degree Required: No

For some people, keeping the books of their family business is how they began learning the trade. Interestingly, you don’t even need to become a CPA to become a professional bookkeeper.

You just need to learn the basics through online courses or short courses at your local community college.

As a work-from-home bookkeeper, you can target fellow online entrepreneurs, small business owners, and other non-traditional individuals as clients. Even freelancers need their books done each year, so it’s up to you to market your services and earn anywhere between $34k to $70k a year.

9. Event Planner

Average Starting Salary: $63,000 to $84,000
Degree Required: No

You don’t need to have a degree to plan events, but if you make it big and become popular, you can earn big bucks.

You can stick with a single specialization (like children’s parties), or go with everything from corporate events to weddings.

Event planning isn’t 100% done from home, since you do have to be at the events you’ve planned. But your office could very well manage the daily operations of an event planning business.

10. Copywriter

Average Starting Salary: $76,000 to $120,000 a year
Degree Required: No

Writing spans across various industries (check out these weird, but legit writing jobs.

The need for copy is high for web development, advertising, and other creative industries.

You can have no degree and still land high-paying writing jobs, even if you’re a beginner. You just have to know where to look.

Even with the advent of AI (artificial intelligence) tools, the demand for highly-skilled copywriters remains high.

11. Photographer

Average Starting Salary: $53,000 to $71,000
Degree Required: No

You must have the eye and skills to succeed in photography as you enter the industry, but you can earn significantly even without formal education.

Your salary would also depend on the kind of photos you prefer to focus on: events, magazines, advertising, and so on.

12. Consultant

Average Starting Salary: Up to $100,000
Degree Required: Yes/No

For those who are extremely knowledgeable about a specific topic, consulting is big business wherever you go.

Guide someone on how to make it big at affiliate marketing, or become the advisor for someone planning to invest money in the stock market.

Whatever your expertise may be, there is a huge chance someone is looking exactly for what you’re offering. And they’re willing to pay to pick your brain for it.

IT consultants require a degree and extensive experience in the industry. Marketing or business consultants must have years-long of agency experience. Travel consultants do not really need a degree, but experience in travel is a must.

13. Accountant

Average Starting Salary: $72,000
Degree Required: Yes

Use your love of crunching numbers by taking a job as an accountant.

You can perform this role from home and still be able to review expenses, invoices, tax documents, and other financial data.

Specialization, such as corporate finance, taxes, investments, etc. could lead to higher-paying jobs.

14. IT Support Specialists

Average Starting Salary: $57,000
Degree Required: No

IT support specialists help others with their technical problems.

With the availability of voice chat, messenger apps, and virtual assistance tools, IT support specialists can perform their jobs even from home.

Most companies require a bachelor’s degree, but if you have experience with a customer support role, this could also be an advantage.

15. Project Coordinator

Average Starting Salary: $54,000
Degree Required: Yes/No

Project coordinator is like a manager that ensures a particular project runs as scheduled and efficiently.

This role is usually found in the marketing and IT industry.

Education requirements would vary, but usually have to be related to the industry of the company. Some don’t even require a bachelor’s degree.

15 High-Paying Entry-Level Jobs You Need to Do in the Office or Field

Now, let’s focus on 15 high-paying entry-level jobs that you cannot do in the comforts of your own home.

With the following jobs, you need to go to the field or into the office.

1. Data Scientist

Average Starting Salary: $96,400 a year
Degree Required: No

I first wrote in 2018 how being a data scientist has been the hottest career, and it continues to be the top choice for entry-level jobs even in 2024.

While some companies are offering this position with flexible remote/work-from-home options, your workstation at home must be fully equipped to handle sensitive information. Crunching numbers and data requires secured networks.

2. Software Engineer

Average Starting Salary: $86,800 a year
Degree Required: Yes

Software engineers build games, programs, and operating software that you use on your computer. Armed with programming languages and engineering principles, software engineers are integral to the tech industry.

You need a ton of educational training and skills to perform the job of a software engineer. You must be an expert in software design, software testing, software debugging, software documentation, and so on.

Aside from having a high starting salary for entry-level positions, the job outlook for software engineers continues to be high, with a 22% expected increase from 2019 to 2029.

3. Systems Engineer

Average Starting Salary: $80,300 a year
Degree Required: Yes

There will be a wide-ranging number of industries that could hire you as a systems engineer. From software development to civil engineering, robotics, and even newer niches like nanotechnology requires system engineers to develop and monitor system performance.

“Systems” is a very broad term and can mean anything from bridges to computer chips, spaceships, and so on.

As you guessed, you’ll need a degree, preferably in computer science or software engineering, to land an entry-level systems engineer position.

4. UX Designer

Average Starting Salary: $76,500 a year
Degree Required: Yes

I talked about the importance of user experience (UX) in web design and SEO in the past, but being a UX designer is definitely a lot more complicated.

Simply put, UX involves research, A/B testing, design, mapping, and various processes to improve a user’s experience on a website, within an app, while using a computer program, or other processes.

It may sound simple, but aside from having the technical skills to understand the design of a computer program, UX designers should also have the creative eye and strong research skills to find out what users think of the project.

This is probably the reason why UX designers have high salaries, even for entry-level positions. Plus, the addition of phone apps to this industry means that the demand for UX designers will continue for years to come.

5. Java Developer

Average Starting Salary: $75,300 a year
Degree Required: No

Those who have programming backgrounds with expertise in Java, data structures, computer architecture, etc. will have a fruitful career as a Java developer.

Traditionally, you’ll need to get a degree and specialize in Java, but with all the online resources available today, you can self-study and become an expert in programming with Java.

6. Software Developer

Average Starting Salary: $72,000 a year
Degree Required: Yes

Software developers are the backbone of the tech world and most businesses. These programmers are responsible for designing, installing, testing, re-writing, maintaining, documenting, and troubleshooting software systems.

Software developers ensure online shops are fully functional and secure for our credit cards to process. They build POS systems, transportation systems, and many more. As such, they are employed in IT, corporations, public organizations, start-ups, and every other industry sector you can think of.

Entry-level software developers can land a job right after completing a degree. They just need to be proficient with Java, C++, Linux, .NET, Visual Basic, Oracle, and PHP.

7. Physical Therapist

Average Starting Salary: $71,600 a year
Degree Required: Yes

You’ll need several years to complete physical therapy coursework and on-the-job training, but once you’re certified to work as a physical therapist, the salary isn’t too bad for an entry-level position.

This job can be physically taxing with most hours of the shift on your feet, so be prepared. Many physical therapists do find the job fulfilling since they help patients recover from surgery, injuries, and illnesses.

8. Business Analyst

Average Starting Salary: $69,200 a year
Degree Required: Yes

Business analysts help businesses in researching, planning, developing, and assisting in the implementation of information technology solutions within the company. Specific tasks vary between jobs and the industry.

If you’re interested in this job, you can become a business analyst even with a two-year degree in any business-related course.

9. Investment Banking Analyst

Average Starting Salary: $67,900 a year
Degree Required: Yes

As an investment banking analyst, you are consulted by individuals and companies whenever they plan to invest in specific firms. Investment banking analysts can specialize in industries like tech, healthcare, finance, or manufacturing. They are up-to-date with market trends, since they study, develop and maintain investments on behalf of their clients.

While “investment banking analyst” is considered an entry-level position, the compensation doesn’t reflect it. You also don’t stay in this position longer than 3 years, especially if you’re good at your job, since you can easily go up the ladder and land senior roles in this profession.

10. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

Average Starting Salary: $64,600 a year
Degree Required: No

This is a bit different from the tech jobs listed here, but if you’re near a nuclear power plant and interested in working there, why not try your luck applying for a nuclear power reactor operator job?

You don’t need a college degree, but you do have to pass a certification test so you’re guaranteed to handle nuclear reactors, perform routine maintenance and manage nuclear power production processes.

The high entry-level salary is most likely due to the risk involved in this job.

11. Lab Technician

Average Starting Salary: $46,000 to $50,000
Degree Required: Certification

As beginner lab techs, you’ll be assisting scientists and senior technicians with research and lab experiments.

You will be responsible for organizing specimen, running tests, recording results, writing reports and performing other tasks involved in the research.

12. Direct Support Professional

Average Starting Salary: $78,000
Degree Required: No

If you love helping people, but cannot afford the long educational requirements of a nurse or a doctor, becoming a direct support professional (DSP) is your next best bet.

DSPs offer care for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. You’ll be helping them with day-to-day tasks, such as cooking, eating, dressing up, peeing, and so on.

Aside from having a clean police record, a driver’s license is one of the few requirements to become a direct support professional.

13. Petroleum Engineer

Average Starting Salary: $85,000
Degree Required: Yes

Petroleum engineers are one of the highest paid engineering careers around.

Not everyone can do the job of Petroleum Engineers. They design and develop methods for extracting oil or gas from below the Earth’s surface, which means they go in the middle of the ocean or desserts or other far-flung areas to find sources of oil/gas.

14. Research Associate

Average Starting Salary: $59,000 to $67,000
Degree Required: Yes

Becoming a research associate is a perfect job for those taking up their Master’s Degree. It can be a rewarding entry-level job that focuses on your industry of choice.

As a research associate, you help professors, academic researchers, and other professionals with their research. You sort data, analyze information and create reports.

15. Police Officer

Average Starting Salary: $58,000 per year
Degree Required: high school diploma or GED

Entry-level police officers enforce the law under the supervision of senior police officers.

As a newbie to the force, entry-level police officers are trained to respond to calls, investigate crime, enforce traffic, patrol specific areas, conduct interviews, and testify in court, among others.

High Paying Entry Level Jobs Aren’t Hard to Find

Your first entry-level job, or your first entry-level job after switching careers or rejoining the workforce, may be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make.

I hope this list of high-paying entry-level jobs has given you some options to consider.

If you’ve graduated college, or almost graduating, I hope this list dispels the notion that all entry-level jobs pay only minimum wage.

While you’re applying and waiting for callbacks, check out our list of online jobs for college students or this long list of side hustles to earn some pocket money.