8 Steps to Starting a Home Staging Business

Ever watched an HGTV show, Googled how they make the houses look so good, and then wondered how to start a home staging business?

Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore!

Home-staging is the type of business that you can do if you have an aptitude for interior design but don’t have formal training or don’t want to pursue it anymore and are looking for an alternative business where your skills are still usable.

In today’s article, you’ll get to learn all about starting your own home staging business: what to expect, pros and cons, all the steps, and all your burning questions answered.

Real Estate Staging: What is a Home Stager?

As you might have guessed, a home stager is responsible for arranging furniture, decorating a house, and everything else to tweak a house’s appearance with the aim of showcasing its strengths and potential to homebuyers.

Home stagers are in demand by realtors. A recent study by the National Association of Realtors found that:

  • 83% of buyers’ agents they talked to said that staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as their future home
  • 25% of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increases its dollar value by 1% to 5%
  • A total of 53% of buyers’ agents said that staging a home decreases the time a property spends on the market

A great thing about being in the home staging business is that a college degree isn’t necessarily required, though having one is an advantage as far as building trust with clients and negotiating your rates.

In fact, one of the most well-known home staging success stories out there started by accident.

Meridith Baer, a professional screenwriter of 18 years, happened to use her friend’s house that has been on the market for a year as a temporary “home” of her 250 house plants and furniture while she moved houses.

Days later, her friend ended up selling that “staged” home for $500,000 over its listing price.

Baer’s first gig was sheer luck, but it opened a new world for her as brokers began seeking her real estate staging services so much so that she quit her job and started her home-staging business Meridith Baer Home.

By 2013, Baer has landed her own HGTV show “Staged To Perfection,” and as of 2020, Meridith Baer Home is worth over $100 million.

Pros and Cons of Starting a Home Staging Business

Before you take the plunge into starting this business, consider the pros and cons first.

PROS

  • Low startup costs — You don’t have to maintain inventory (at least, when you’re starting out) and you have minimal supplies.
  • Unleash your creativity — The business lies in your vision and creativity and rarely does a business allow you to have a great deal of creative freedom.
  • No degree required — You may have to get business licenses and accreditation from organizations, but you can start a home-staging business even if you don’t have a degree.
  • Word-of-mouth marketing — Once you establish a rapport with a few real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and others in real estate, they’ll spread the word.

CONS

  • Difficulty getting first clients — Your first clients are the hardest to get and yet the most important because you’ll build your portfolio on them.
  • Demanding schedule — You have to be in and out of a house in a matter of days, and this may require you to work weekends and nights.
  • Conflicts with home sellers — Those who’re selling their homes may not like what you’re doing with their house and simply not believe that you’re making it more sellable. On the other hand, they may like your style too much that they steal or damage stuff that you brought in.
  • The temptation to undercharge — Especially when you’re starting out, it’s tempting to charge less or sometimes nothing just to get a job. DON’T. If you don’t get paid, you simply can’t grow your business.

How To Start A Home Staging Business

Staged bedroom

Once you’re 100% sure that you want to explore this line of business, follow the steps how to start a home staging business:

1. Learn everything you can about the business.

Starting any business requires research. Learn, learn, learn everything you can about home staging.

Educate yourself as well about the startup costs for your home-staging business.

It depends on what services you plan to offer and what type of marketing you want to start with.

You may want to be a home-staging consultant initially and simply give expert advice to home sellers on how to make their home attractive to buyers. It doesn’t involve too much in terms of cost.

When you move on to filling empty homes with furniture and décor, you can rent these initially and then build up your inventory of furniture, decor, and other supplies as you go.

If you want to show off your skills and find it hard to land a gig, you can stage a house for free once as a testing ground and as something to photograph and add to your portfolio. While this would mean that you’ll be shouldering money upfront, it’s only an option if you wish to jump-start your home staging business.

Consider your initial marketing as well. Are you going to use social media and advertise there, or do you want to build a website early on? Can you afford it?

2. Learn about your local market.

The target market for a home staging business includes homeowners who are trying to sell and real estate agents doing the actual selling.

It pays to know your local real estate agents and find out who’s selling their house and whether you might be a good fit with them.

However, you’re probably not the only home stager in town.

Check out your local competition. Who are the other home stagers in your area? Are they any good?

Try to find out how much they charge and visit any houses they’ve staged.

Finally, if there isn’t any demand in your city, are you willing to explore other housing markets? Which ones?

3. Determine your pricing structure.

Before starting any project, home stagers hold an initial one- to two-hour consultation, which usually costs around $150 to $600. As I’ve mentioned, you can start offering this as a standalone service to keep costs down while getting your feet wet in the home staging business.

Some home stagers offer a rearranging and decluttering service, in which they work solely with the existing furniture in the house, which is a flat fee of around $800 to $1000. But if the house is unfurnished, you’d have to rent furniture or bring in your own.

Home sellers shoulder the cost of renting this furniture from you (which in turn you can rent from a furniture rental company), which you can price at around $500 to $600 per room per month, if the house is completely bare. This is on top of your staging fees.

You can then decide whether to charge per hour, which is normally $40 to $150 per hour.

Alternatively, you can charge per project, which is on the average $400 to $700 per room per month, which comes out to an average of around $2000 per house per month.

Where your fees fall in these ranges depends largely on the condition of the property, your location, your expertise, and your experience.

Painting, lighting, refinishing cabinets and other surfaces, and professional deep cleaning aren’t really your domain, but you can do tie-ups with companies that provide these services and recommend them to home sellers for a small finders’ fee.

4. Complete legalities.

Now that you’ve explored your chances of breaking into the local housing market, weighed the pros and cons, and decided on your pricing structure, you can now fix paperwork needed in running this business.

  • Decide on a name for your business.
  • Form an LLC.
  • Register for your taxes.
  • Open a separate bank account and credit card for your business.
  • Obtain state and local business licenses.
  • Hire lawyers to write contracts.
  • Buy business and liability insurance.

Also, it’s not really required, but being a member of the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) can give you an edge.

They offer continuous training, you’ll get listed in their directory of home stagers, you get to network in their events, and you can take advantage of discounts to various furniture, service, and supplies providers.

5. Connect with local brokers and contractors.

Begin networking.

Reach out to contractors, real estate agents, homeowners selling their properties by themselves, and others involved in the local real estate market.

These people are more than happy to welcome you into the business, mainly because home stagers who are good at their job help houses sell quickly.

Maintaining these connections is critical to the long-term success of your business.

6. Compile your furniture and supplies.

Renting your furniture reduces your overhead greatly. Not only don’t you have to manage your inventory but you also don’t have to spend for transporting and storing them.

When you’re starting out, be on the hunt for furniture rental companies that has pieces that match your style.

As you expand your business, start building your inventory with pieces you find at garage sales or thrift stores that don’t cost too much and don’t take too much space.

After a while, you can think about whether you want to buy and store your own inventory or continue renting.

The main advantage of having your own inventory is that you’re not dependent on another supplier for your needs; you’re ready to work anytime on your own schedule.

The disadvantages are logistics, inflexibility, and cost. As I mentioned, you’ll be responsible for transporting the furniture and storing them, either at your garage or in a dedicated storage space (which is added overhead each month).

Also, your options will be limited as far as creativity is concerned. If you’re envisioning another look for a particular house, you need to either buy or rent other furniture.

This brings us to the cost; stocking up on your inventory will cost you upfront as well as monthly.

7. Market Your Business

Word-of-mouth marketing through your network of real estate agents and brokers is powerful, but not enough to market and promote your home staging business.

Here are some ways to market your business both online and offline.

Online Marketing

  • Define your brand and stick to it.
  • Build your own website with your portfolio and high-quality photos.
  • Optimize your website for local searches using keywords that local brokers and home sellers may use to find home stagers online.
  • Learn to use social media to spread the word about your business. Instagram (photo-heavy) and Facebook (to be visible to local users) are most useful.

Offline Marketing

  • Prepare a portfolio and always have it with you to show.
  • Prepare business cards to give out.
  • Visit open houses to meet real estate agents and home sellers.
  • Attend real estate conferences.

8. Grow your business.

After you get your first few projects, it’s tempting to bask in that glow of jobs well done.

But for you to truly be able to grow your business, you need to continue building, improving, and promoting your business.

Collect testimonials. Every time you land a home staging gig, make sure to get client feedback and testimonials, take before and after photos, and ask permission if you could post them online and include them in your portfolio.
Think about expanding. As I mentioned, deep cleaning, painting, and refinishing aren’t really your area, but if you can expand to include them, you can then offer an all-in-one service, which is convenient for everyone.
Never stop learning. Continue taking classes and being updated on the latest trends when it comes to aesthetics and design. As a home stager, you should be able to mesh classic design techniques with modern, cutting-edge designs.
Share your knowledge. One way to generate buzz for your business is to start blogging about your home staging gigs. Talk about your projects, showcase before/after pictures, and provide useful tips. Doing this makes you an authority in the field. Squeeze in some keywords into your blog posts and Google is likely to give your website a lot of love.
Get paid for your knowledge. You can eventually expand to creating courses on how to stage a home, either for homeowners or for aspiring home stagers.

Start Your Home Staging Business!

There are plenty of statistics indicating that home staging businesses have a future.

I hope this post has inspired you to start your home-staging business soon!

In between jobs, you can even put your decluttering and rearranging skills to work as a professional organizer.

Are you planning to start your home staging business? Has this post helped? What obstacles are you encountering? Sound out in the comments!

24 Quick Ways To Earn Extra Money for Christmas

The most wonderful time of the year is almost upon us again.

And it’s got most of us thinking about how we can get that Christmas money to spend on fancy meals, get-togethers, trips to see loved ones, and of course, presents.

Others may be thinking of getting extra cash to donate to charity or buy food for food banks.

Whatever the purpose, you’re probably looking to earn some money in these months before the holidays.

24 Ways To Earn Christmas Money

Here are 20 ways to earn extra cash for Christmas this year.

I’ve broken down the categories into various ways you can make money, both online and off.

Go Online

If you’re looking to score some cash fast, doing quick tasks online may be the simplest way to get started. Here are some suggestions on how to make money for Christmas online.

how to make money for Christmas online

1. Answer surveys.

You can answer surveys in a matter of minutes and get paid within hours; that is if you choose the right survey sites.

Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and Inbox Dollars to name just a few legit sites.

More survey sites to join can be found in this blog post.

2. Complete online microjobs.

Microjobs are those that take minutes to complete.

For example, signing up to websites, sharing Facebook posts or retweeting, or researching topics online.

Some of the reputable sites that offer microjobs include Amazon Mechanical Turk, Clickworker, or Fiverr.

3. Test websites.

Web designers and SEO companies want to ensure that the website they’re building is user-friendly and results in a positive experience.

They pay website-tester companies that in turn recruit and pay website testers to go to their websites, review the on-page elements and pages, and then provide feedback.

Analysia, User Testing, and UserZoom are some of the sites you can check out (you can find more in this list).

The typical pay is $10 for 15 minutes of testing, but the amount and frequency of the payout may vary.

4. Listen to music online.

Listening to music seems too mundane an activity for anyone to ever make money from it.

But you can actually make some Christmas money from listening to new music and giving your ratings and feedback, tuning in to internet radio and get paid to subscribe and listen to ads, or letting market research companies know what type of music you like.

While you mostly earn cents per song you listen to, it adds up quickly if you’re the type to listen to music all day.

Here are just some of the ways you can get paid to listen to music.

5. Download apps that pay you in cash fast.

If your eyes and fingers are welded to your smartphone like more and more people nowadays, why not download apps on your smartphone that’ll make you some money.

There are apps that allow you to answer surveys, sell pictures, and do other mindless tasks on your phone and earn you some change.

Here are a few of these money-making apps to consider downloading.

Run Errands

A few years ago—okay, fine decades—if I wanted extra cash from my parents aside from my allowance, I had to do extra errands around the house.

The grown-up version of that would be doing errands for other people to make some quick Christmas money.

6. Deliver groceries.

You can do this on a freelance basis for individual clients that will pay you to do their grocery shopping for them, or you can join a company like Instacart, Shipt, or Walmart Grocery and deliver groceries for many different clients in your area.

earn christmas money by delivering food

7. Deliver food.

Food delivery services have been on the rise in recent years, serving those who don’t know how to cook, have a craving for a certain kind of food, or those who simply don’t have the time.

Sign up to deliver food for services like UberEats, DoorDash, and Postmates.

They’re mostly flexible in terms of time and means of transportation, as long as you satisfy your customers’ needs.

8. Deliver drinks.

Parties and get-togethers with adults almost always feature some kind of alcoholic drink, especially around the holidays.

When they run out, that’s when you come in.

Apply to be a delivery driver for services like Drizly or Saucey; they get their drinks without anyone having to do a liquor run, and you get to earn to take the drinks to their party.

9. Drive your car.

In the flurry of activity in the holiday season—parties, shopping trips, and more parties—you can help drive people around by signing up on Uber and Lyft.

10. Take up babysitting or housesitting.

Babysitting is a classic way to earn some extra income, and babysitters become more in demand during the holidays, due to the break when kids are out of school and all the holiday gatherings and errands that the adults have to do.

Housesitting for a family who’s going out of town for the holidays is another way to earn extra income over Christmas. It’s basically a paid temporary relocation.

Here are some places to find paid house sitting jobs.

Use Your Skills

You likely have some specialized skills that you can use to make some money for the holidays.

Take advantage of these skills.

11. Teach English.

Most online jobs teaching English to non-native speakers require an ESL certification or at least a university teaching degree.

However, there are some mobile apps that only require you to speak excellent English.

Apps to check out include italki, VIPKID, and TeachAway.

12. Write for other people’s blogs.

Plenty of blog owners are willing to pay for your time, experience, and added knowledge, so writing one-off articles for blogs can make you some quick cash.

If you already own a blog, this has the added benefit of promoting your own blog to a new audience.

To start looking for blogs that pay for articles, search for topics you’re interested in writing about and then include “write for us” enclosed in double quotes in your search query. For instance, you can search for [parenting “write for us”] and come up with parenting blogs that accept paid submissions.

13. Wrap presents.

Receiving a present is awesome, but the experience is enhanced when you get a beautifully wrapped one.

But gift wrapping can be tedious and requires skill.

make Christmas money by wrapping gifts

If you have a knack for choosing the right paper and bows, knowing how to treat certain presents differently, and making neat folds and perfectly curled bows, people will pay you to do it.

Retail stores and department stores are likely to be looking for gift wrappers around the holidays.

You can also offer your services yourself as a freelancer.

14. Make and send Christmas cards.

Did you learn calligraphy as a hobby or so you can make your journal pretty?

Why not earn from your calligraphy skills, too?

Create generic holiday cards and gift tags and sell them through Etsy.

You can also offer to make custom-made greeting cards, with your clients letting you know what size, color, and message to write.

Work A Seasonal Job

The demand for some jobs increases during the holiday season.

Take this opportunity to earn some quick Christmas cash.

15. Pick up shifts in local retail stores.

The months leading up to the holidays are a busy time for retail stores, so they may be hiring temporary workers for extra help during busy times.

16. Be a customer service representative.

Plenty of companies hire temporary phone and chat representatives during the holiday season to answer inquiries and input sales for customers over the phone.

You can do this in an actual call center or from home.

17. Work at a resort.

Depending on where you are in the world, people will be likely to visit ski resorts or beach resorts around the holidays.

If you live near a resort community, or if you won’t mind being relocated for a while, there are plenty of opportunities for short-term work in these resorts.

snowboard instructor

Food and beverage jobs and hospitality jobs are the most obvious ones, but you can also get some work as an instructor, customer service rep, or digital marketing.

18. Host or perform at parties and events.

As the number of parties and events goes up during Christmas, so does the demand for hosts, musicians, and other performers like magicians and comedians rise.

Offer your services to companies for their corporate parties, as well as event venues and restaurants where events are often held.

Sell Your Stuff

The holidays may not be a particularly convenient time to do some Kondo-ing.

But if you can clean out your house and get some Christmas money out of it, then it’s a worthy investment of time and effort.

19. Books

Bookscouter helps you sell your used textbooks and other books to buyback vendors online.

You can also sell books on Amazon, but it may be more trouble than it’s worth.

20. Electronics

Old game consoles and games, DVD players and DVDs, smartphones, and computers can fetch a fair price on Decluttr.

You can also use Best Buy’s Trade-In Program and get Best Buy gift cards in return (which you can then give or use to buy presents).

21. Makeup

Bought the wrong shade, your skin reacted unpleasantly, or you simply have buyer’s remorse?

Sell your makeup back to MUABS or GlamBot and get a few dollars for makeup you aren’t going to use anyway.

22. Clothes

You may have been giving away your clothes to charity (and don’t get me wrong, the recipients appreciate it), but some of your clothes that are from designer labels or just simply fashionable and in good-as-new condition might make you a profit of a few dollars or even up to tens or hundreds.

Poshmark and thredUP are popular places to sell preloved clothes.

Here are some more things to sell to make a quick buck.

23. Toys

If you have kids, you surely know that young children grow tired of at least some of their toys in a matter of months.

In fact, if they got toys as Christmas presents last year, some of them are probably not being played with by this time.

Toys in good condition can fetch good prices, whether online or in garage sales.

You can try to list them at Swap.com or Toycycle, and don’t hesitate to include old baby clothes and baby gear as well.

24. Hair

Some people prefer actual human hair for wigs and extensions to synthetic hair, so there’s actually a demand for long, untreated, healthy hair.

Learn more by reading our guide to selling hair.

Rake in That Christmas Money!

If there’s anything to be learned from today’s blog post, it’s that quick does NOT mean easy.

The good thing is that most of these short-term gigs can go beyond earning you some Christmas money and actually turn into long-term jobs or even your own home-based business.

Need more ideas for quick holiday money? Check out this list of ideas on how to make quick money in one day.

Looking for more long-term ways to earn money from home? Here are some real ways to make money from home.

Which quick jobs will you be trying out? Sound out in the comments!

9 Places That Pay You To Live There and Start Anew

8 Places That Pay You To Live There

If someone offered you free money to relocate, would you do it? Because believe it or not, there are places that pay you to live there.

It almost sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

But places that pay you to move there often have a few good reasons to persuade people to do it.

These locations either have a low or steadily declining population, and an influx of outsiders can help boost their numbers to revive their communities and attract outside investments and businesses as well as government funding.

When businesses come in, jobs are created, people resettle and buy goods, stores open, the economy revives, and the towns flourish again.

So if you’re looking to make a change, and starting a new life somewhere else seems appealing, why not go someplace that really, really, really wants you to move there?

In today’s article, I list down 8 places that pay you to move there, as well as what incentives they’re willing to provide and what requirements they expect from those who want to move there.

8 Places That Pay You To Live There

1. Alaska

Alaskans have probably been asked this question at least once in their life:

“Do you get paid to live in Alaska?”

Alaska has been paying each of its citizens (yup, every man, woman, and child) a Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) since 1982.

This dividend comes from a portion of the state’s oil royalties invested in a permanent fund.

Get Paid to Live in Alaska

The actual payout varies as it is based on the number of eligible applicants and the level of income over the past five years.

For example, the PFD for 2018 was $1,600 while the PFD for 2017 was $1,100.

The basic requirements to be eligible for a PFD for the current year include being a resident for the entire previous year, intending to remain an Alaskan resident indefinitely, and having no felony convictions.

Incentive: Cash; amount varies

More information about eligibility requirements and the application process: Alaska Department of Revenue, Permanent Fund Dividend Division

2. Vermont

In a nutshell: Vermont wants you to move there and work from home for an employer that’s not from Vermont.

Confused? Let me explain.

Approved in January 2019, Vermont’s Remote Worker Grant Program aims to pay 100 people up to $10,000 to move to Vermont in 2019 (and 20 people per year afterward).

To be eligible for the grant, one has to be a Vermont resident employed full time by a business outside of Vermont.

Expenses and fees for relocation, membership to a coworking space, computer software or hardware, and broadband access or upgrade are reimbursable up to $5,000 a year for up to two years.

The bill aims to encourage existing Vermont residents who are part of the remote workforce to stay in the state, and to draw outsiders who wouldn’t otherwise move to Vermont because their jobs tied them down.

Plus, Vermont isn’t a bad place to get paid to live.

It has the perfect combination of scenery, food culture, and outdoor activities.

Incentive: Cash, up to $5,000 a year for two years; reimbursement basis

More information about eligibility requirements and the application process: Vermont Department of Economic Development: Remote Worker Grant Program

3. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa Remote is similar to Vermont’s Remote Worker Grant Program in that it pays remote workers to live in Tulsa.

To be eligible for this program, you’ll need to be 18+ years old, eligible to work in the US, with full-time remote employment or self-employment outside of Tulsa County, and willing to move to Tulsa within 6 months.

Check back on their website or subscribe to their newsletter and get notified when applications open.

Incentive: Cash upfront ($10,000); membership to a coworking space (worth $1,800)

More information about eligibility requirements and the application process: Tulsa Remote

4. Hamilton, Ohio

Student loans are a pain in the butt.

But if you have more than $10,000 in student loan debt, and you’re willing to move to Hamilton, Ohio, you may be in luck.

Get paid to live Ohio
Image Created by 5chw4r7z.com | CC BY-SA 2.0

The Talent Attraction Program (TAP) Scholarship is known as a “reverse scholarship” because it targets those who have already graduated from college and need help with paying off their student loans.

Eligible candidates must have graduated within the last 7 years from a STEAM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, or Mathematics), not be currently living in targeted urban core areas in Hamilton at the time of application but with plans to live in these target areas, demonstrate current employment within the City of Hamilton or Butler County, and intend to give back to the community.

If you get through the application process, you can receive up to $10,000, paid out over 30 months or 2.5 years (around $300 per month).

The catch is if you cease to be employed or move out of Hamilton before the 30 months are up, you can’t get any more payments.

Incentive: Cash, paid monthly over 30 months ($10,000 total)

More information about eligibility requirements and the application process: Hamilton Community Foundation, Talent Attraction Program Scholarship

5. Maine

Another place that will pay you to live there is the state of Maine.

As their population is aging, they need to convince new college graduates to stay in Maine.

Get paid to live in Maine

One of the ways they do that is to offer to help pay their student loans.

Since 2008, Opportunity Maine has reimbursed student loan payments for college graduates residing and working in Maine.

Up until recently, however, this has been limited to college graduates who studied in Maine and earned their degree after 2008.

Now, if you’ve earned your Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree after 2015 from any accredited school in the US (i.e., even those outside of Maine), you can now apply to take advantage of this debt assistance in the form of tax credits.

You’re eligible to apply if you’re a Maine resident for the tax year that you’re applying to, you work in Maine regardless of where your employer is located (that is, you pay taxes in Maine), and you didn’t work outside Maine for more than three months.

If you’re qualified, the amount of money you’re paying your student loans annually is subtracted from your state income taxes.

For example, if you pay $1,500 in student loans but you owe the state $2,000 in taxes, then you just pay Maine $500 at tax time.

Incentive: Tax credits; amount varies depending on the amount of student loans and type of degree earned

More information about eligibility requirements and the application process: Opportunity Maine

6. Albinen, Switzerland

Ever been stuck on a harrowing commute to work and thought to yourself, “That’s it! I’m moving to the mountains where it’s pretty and quiet and relaxing!”

Well, maybe you can actually do it and get paid for your trouble.

Get Paid to live in Switzerland
Image Created by Xenos | CC BY-SA 3.0

The village of Albinen in the Swiss Alps is another place willing to pay people to live there.

They’re offering 25,000 Swiss francs (equivalent to $25,000) per adult and 10,000 Swiss francs (equivalent to $10,000) per child to live in the village.

This offer has strict conditions though; only those who have Swiss passports or foreigners with C residence permits may apply.

Aside from that, you need to commit to living there for at least 10 years, be aged below 45, buy residential property worth at least 200,000 Swiss francs, and have that property be your permanent residence (not a secondary one).

The village population is currently less than 300 residents, so there aren’t a lot of jobs and the local school closed down.

But if you don’t mind commuting to a nearby town to work or study, or doing these remotely, living in this vacation town might be a good plan.

The local government aims to bring in around five to ten families, so slots are very limited. If you’re interested, do your research and apply as soon as you can.

Incentive: Cash; $25,000 per adult, $10,000 per child

More information about eligibility requirements and the application process: There’s hardly any detail on the Albinen website, so you’d be better off calling or emailing them directly using the contact details found on the site.

7. Candela, Italy

If you’d like somewhere a little warmer than the Swiss Alps, why not consider sunny Italy?

Candela, located in the Puglia region in Italy, used to be called “Little Naples” because of its bustling, animated streets. Now, there are less than 3,000 residents.

A few years ago, the mayor introduced a plan to revive the town by offering to pay people to move to their town: €800 to singles, €1,200 to couples, €1,500 to €1,800 for three-member families, and €2,000 for families of four to five people.

To be eligible, you’ll need to be a resident of Candela, rent a house for at least one year, and have a job with a salary of at least €7,500.

Incentive: Cash; amount varies

More information about eligibility requirements and the application process: There isn’t a dedicated website for this program, so inquire at the Italian embassy nearest you for information.

8. Kansas

Back stateside, Kansas isn’t lacking for scenery and the simple life.

If you want to move to a place where you can see the buffalo roam from your home on the range, or beautiful sunset views over open fields, Kansas may have what you’re looking for.

Kansas has actually designated 77 counties as Rural Opportunity Zones. Moving into these zones gets you either state income tax waivers or student loan repayments, or both.

For almost all of these Kansas towns, if you’re given land to build a home, you have one year to build it and then you have to stay in it for at least one year.

Lincoln, Kansas is giving away free lots between 12,000 to 36,000 square feet in a subdivision near the business center, with a baseball field, a city park, and a junior-senior high school.

You can download the application form here.

Osborne, Kansas sits along the South Fork Solomon River and is known for various outdoor activities. They’re offering free residential as well as commercial lots to boost population and business growth in their city.

Free residential lots are available to families willing to build a new house with a minimum of 1,400 square feet with a basement (no mobile homes) on the property. Guidelines and instructions on how to apply are on the application form.

For all of you entrepreneurs looking for a commercial lot, free business lots are also available. You’ll need to have business and building plans, agree to sign with a contractor within 6 months of approval of your application and agree to complete construction within 24 months. Guidelines and instructions are on the application form as well.

Topeka, Kansas, the capital of Kansas, is paying people to live there; up to $10,000 to move to their city and rent a home, and $15,000 to move to their city and buy a home.

Further incentives to move to Topeka include the low cost of living, opportunities to some of the biggest businesses in the country.

Marquette, Kansas is a small town that promises a friendly, relaxed, and safe lifestyle. They’re currently offering free building lots located in the Westridge Addition development, near downtown and a short drive away to Kanopolis Lake.

Incentive: Incentives vary per town/city

More information about eligibility requirements and the application process:

9. Ireland

It’s not just repopulation that revives a community. Businesses also need to inject capital and create jobs.

Enterprise Ireland is an initiative that offers pioneering entrepreneurs thousands of euros to build their business in Ireland. They offer a wide range of financial and expert consultant support for businesses at different stages of development.

So whether you’re an entrepreneur with an idea, a start-up with a plan, an SME with more than 10 employees, or a large company with more than 250 employees, Enterprise Ireland can help you.

Incentive: Varies with the business development stage.

More information about eligibility requirements and the application process: Enterprise Ireland

Would you move to a place that paid you to live there?

Moving can be trying and costly, but choosing one of these places that pay you to live there can help ease the transition.

More than getting paid to move, you need to consider whether it will make sense for you (and your family, if you have one) to move.

If you could live and work anywhere and still do your job, wouldn’t you want to live in a place that offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of a large urban city?

Would you move to any of the places I named above? Or have you been paid to move to another state or city? Share your opinions or experiences in the comments!

9 Companies that Give Away Free Shoes by Mail

Who wouldn’t grab the chance of receiving free shoes by mail, right?

It may sound like a marketing scheme, but people have actually been getting free sneakers from popular brands like Nike and Adidas for years.

This program is called product testing, which is often part of a company’s R&D process to collect feedback about a consumer’s preference and reactions on a particular product.

So, am I just given free shoes right after sign-up?

Not quite.

The Catch: How to Get Free Shoes Straight from Company Factory

Most big companies, such as Nike, have a web page that lets consumers sign up to get paid to test products.

Once you enter your information, your name becomes a part of a database of consumers.

Depending on the company’s current promos and line-up of products, the company will then launch a product testing campaign for an assigned number of people and certain demographic.

For example:

  • 100 male, 30 to 40 years old, weighs over 250 pounds
  • 50 male, 50 female, all under 40 years old, participating in a marathon in the next 3 months
  • Flat-footed people, any age, can wear the shoes an hour daily for 6 months

Simply put, if you don’t fit the demographic a company requires at the moment, you won’t be given free shoes.

If you’re not chosen right now, this doesn’t mean you are also disqualified for other campaigns. A particular sports brand conducts multiple product testing campaigns each year, so don’t lose hope.

9 Companies that Give Away Free Shoes

I didn’t include Nike here, because I wrote about Nike product testing programs extensively in the past. If you want free Nike shoes, see how you can get a pair here.

Note that product testing isn’t exclusive to the sports clothing industry, but since we’re talking about free shoes, here are 9 companies that you should definitely sign up for:

1. ADIDAS

Fill out their personal details form to get started.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay a cent and it only takes a few minutes to apply as a product tester. But you do have to qualify.

Once Adidas begins a new study and choose from its database of potential, the company will send an e-mail telling you that you were chosen to participate.

All other details will be included in that invitation.

After confirming that you want to join, Adidas will send you your free shoes (or clothes) in the mail.

Read the instructions. Here you’ll learn if you need to give back the shoes, or keep them for yourself forever. Adidas usually requires you to take down notes (ex. 1 hour jogging, September 18), and answer a questionnaire online at the end of an assignment.

2. Brooks Running

Brooks Running testers

Brooks Running give shoes, apparel, and sports bras to runners for testing in the real world, which are added to their running research data and helps them improve on their existing products.

Two types of testers are available: one who can get tested at the “lab” in Seattle, Washington, and the wear tester (who can be from anywhere in the US).

Brooks Running will pay for two-way shipping of the products to/from your home, but you have to agree to provide feedback and return the product when asked to.

You won’t receive any money for this though.

If you apply and you don’t hear from Brooks Running, don’t fret. You are already in the Brooks Product Tester database and have a chance to be sent an invite once the right opportunity for you appears.

3. New Balance

To join New Balance’s program, enter your e-mail address and create a profile so the company will know more about you.

Submit the form and you’re now part of the New Balance Tester Community database.

New Balance also chooses based on demographics and interests. If you’re chosen, they’ll notify you first before sending a new prototype by mail.

Go to your profile online, follow the assignment instructions, and submit feedback.

Sometimes, you don’t need to return the shoes.

4. Reebok

Reebok boasts the reason their footwear and apparel truly meet people’s athletic needs is that they test footwear and apparel on REAL ATHLETES.

Here’s where you come in.

If you’re physically active and want to join the product testing program for free shoes and clothes, fill-in details like shoe size, location, activity level, and so on.

Product testing lasts 3 to 6 weeks, but Reebok will ask you send back the products after testing.

5. Red Wing Shoes

If you love boots and other rich work shoes, Red Wing Shoes is looking for product testers interested in wearing their products on the “toughest, dirtiest and hardest-working situations.”

The requirements change from time to time.

When I checked, they were looking for testers in the Minneapolis/St.Paul MN area with specific feet sizes.

Those who are qualified can fill-out the application form to the side.

What’s cool about Red Wing Shoes is that the boots are yours after testing.

6. Puma

Back in April 2019, Puma launched its beta tester program for its self-lacing training shoe Fit Intelligence (Fi) for select countries.

Watch out for more Puma product testing, since the FI training shoes were the first one.

7. Saucony

Try out running shoes and athletic gear for free. Fill out an application form to become a product tested.

A bit of warning though: the form is super-extensive and digs in about your history as a runner. If you’re not a runner, better skip this program and go with another one.

Saucony tries to find testers that will really use the pair of shoes for running (you’ll be asked a comprehensive survey after you complete the task).

8. Columbia Global Performance

Columbia is actively inviting a broad range of people to test out their products. The company prefers those who love the Great Outdoors or is into sports.

Just apply to become a tester, get accepted into the database, pass the eligibility requirements, and get a chance to test either a pair of hiking boots or running shoes and submit feedback.

Columbia Product Testing

Columbia’s testing program is a bit unique – they’ll give you a set of tasks to complete throughout the testing period.

Unfortunately, you do have to return the free shoes after a couple of weeks.

They shoulder two-way shipping fees.

9. Under Armour

To join the Under Armour testing community, simply enter your name and e-mail address, then fill out your profile.

Like other product testing processes on this list, you have to qualify (based on your demography and profile info) to join the current program.

It’s free to join the testing program, but hard to get in.

If you’re lucky enough to get picked, you’d have to follow the instructions included in the package with free shoes.

There’s no cash prize here as well and you’d have to send the product back at the end of your test.

Get Other Free Stuff by Mail

When you’re chosen to be part of any of these programs, be honest with your feedback.

The company needs that honesty to improve upon the free shoes you’ve just tested before the official release.

If you’re a fan of Amazon, they also have the Amazon product testing program you can join – and they cover a wider range of products.

Now that you’re introduced to getting free shoes, why not explore other things you can get for free like baby stuff samples, birthday freebies, or other kinds of free samples by mail.

8 Hobbies That Make Money: Earn In Your Spare Time

5 Hobbies That Make Money: Earn In Your Spare Time

What if I told you that you can make use of your free time to take up hobbies that make money?

Or what if I told you that you may already have a lucrative hobby but don’t know that you can make money from it?

Sounds unbelievable, but it’s true.

In today’s article, we look at some fun and profitable hobbies you can start doing so you can earn some side cash while enjoying yourself.

8 Hobbies That Make Money

1. Making Music

Listening to and making music are some of the most popular hobbies around.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a single person who doesn’t at least listen to or appreciate a single genre of music.

Amazingly, there are websites and apps that make it possible for you to get paid to listen to music by posting reviews, filling out surveys, and referring other music enthusiasts to use these websites and apps.

By contrast, if creating music and playing instruments is more your style, you can maybe try your hand at busking.

Looking for something a bit more professional or glamorous? You’re probably going to have more fun playing at weddings and other social events.

What if your musical skills are more sophisticated and you’re looking for more of a challenge?

Session musicians are hired to play during a recording session or a local concert but are not permanent band members. Reach out to studios and music labels to advertise your services.

You can also pass on your musical skills to others by becoming a music tutor. Local students are the best ones so you don’t lose too much money commuting.

Performing or teaching in front of a live audience isn’t for you? Maybe online teaching is. Create a video course and offer it through Udemy or Coursera.

Who knows? Your side gig may just turn into a steady online job.

2. Getting Fit

Getting paid to exercise is great if you actually love working out.

Or if you’re trying to find a reason to start exercising, earning a little side cash is not a bad way to motivate you to get fit.

These days, plenty of websites give cashback and rewards to people who want to get in shape.

A word of caution, though: make sure the targets you set are suited to your current fitness level and desired goals.

Yes, getting paid to lose weight is awesome, but don’t overexert yourself and sacrifice your health for a few dollars.

If your preferred exercise is walking or running, or if you’re a complete beginner and would like to start somewhere, you might like Lympo, an app that allows you to complete walking or running challenges in exchange for rewards you can redeem in their in-app marketplace.

Doing errands while walking can motivate you further to get up from your couch and explore your area.

Apps such as Postmates and Gigwalk allow you to sign up to work on tasks near your location, which is great if you’re living in an urban area like New York or LA where gigs are offered a few blocks of each other and you can potentially complete multiple gigs in one go.

You could also get paid to walk dogs as well.

If you want a more holistic approach to fitness, the Achievement app tracks virtually all your activities—physical activities (e.g., walking, biking, swimming, etc.), sleep, diet—in exchange for points that you can exchange for cash into your PayPal or through a cheque.

Care to make it interesting? Gamble on your own fitness goals and win back your wager (and then some) when you meet these goals.

Apps that will take your bet include the apps from the WayBetter family (DietBet, StepBet, and RunBet) and HealthyWage.

Turned into a workout beast yet? Pass on your knowledge and help others achieve their fitness goals by being a fitness instructor in your local gym or online.

3. Crafting

For many enthusiasts, crafting is its own reward.

It’s soothing, it’s satisfying, and there are few things more rewarding than actually using that thing that you made yourself.

But there are lots of crafting hobbies that make money. Crafting has actually been a popular way to make money for years, but it exploded when Etsy was founded and is now more widespread than ever, thanks to Pinterest.

The best-selling products on Etsy right now are handmade jewelry, custom-made planner accessories such as fillers and stickers, and personalized party and wedding decorations.

However, don’t limit yourself to these crafts; bespoke items are in demand. Here’s a list of crafts to make and sell not only on Etsy but on your own website or through craft fairs and pop-up stores.

Again, these are suggestions. Don’t limit yourself. If you’re already hooked on a particular crafting hobby, go for it.

Need an idea of where to start or need additional inspiration? Go on Etsy and Pinterest to find out what’s popular and what strikes your fancy.

4. Taking Photographs

Moments from life events, vacations, and other once-in-a-lifetime occasions captured on camera are priceless.

And yes, anyone can take pictures from their smartphones.

But not everyone has the right equipment, the artistic inclination, or the level of photography skills to take photographs that people will pay for.

If you’re lucky enough to have this talent, or if you’re willing to spend time practicing and honing your skills, photography can be a fulfilling hobby that can make money for you.

Not sure which camera to buy? Don’t get pressured into spending thousands of dollars on your first DSLR.

Plenty of decent DSLRs for beginners go for $500 and below. Also, hold off on buying lens kits and other accessories until you’re comfortable handling your starter camera.

If you’re not confident about the quality of your photos, there are plenty of books and online courses to learn the basics. Bear in mind, though, that actual practice is a more important factor in how good a photographer you’ll be.

Stock photography is a good way to start earning some money on the side while you’re getting the hang of it and building your confidence (and your portfolio). Many bloggers, website designers, and small to medium business owners are on the market for fresh, relevant photos.

You can sell your stock photos through digital marketplaces, such as Adobe Stock or Shutterstock.

You can also build your own website and sell your stock photos there so you get to keep 100% of the proceeds.

If you’re confident in your photography skills and have social and business skills, you might want to start photographing weddings and other events.

Event photography gigs pay more, but the expectations and responsibilities increase considerably. The good news is you don’t have to do this full time if you don’t want to; you ultimately decide which jobs to take.

5. Shopping

You’re probably thinking this one doesn’t belong on this list, as it involves spending money as opposed to making it.

Hear me out.

Shopping can be an expensive hobby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t earn money from it.

For instance, did you know that you can get cash back for your shopping receipts? So if you’re already shopping for essentials like groceries, apparel, electronics, dining, etc., you might as well get cashback from those purchases, right?

You can also take it one step higher and get paid to be a mystery shopper.

Mystery shoppers visit retail businesses anonymously and truthfully assess their customer experience based on a set of criteria.

If this sounds good to you, start by signing up to as many legitimate mystery shopping providers and organizations as you can. Some of the popular ones include the Independent Mystery Shoppers’ Coalition, Mystery Shopping Providers Association, and International Association of Service Evaluators.

You can also do everyday shopping errands, like becoming a personal grocery shopper, for people who are homebound and can benefit from a more personal experience than online shopping, such as those with physical or mental disabilities, seniors, or working professionals who simply don’t have the time or work odd hours.

A more lucrative way to earn money from shopping is by offering your services as a personal shopper.

Personal shoppers assist clients who don’t know how or where to shop for themselves or who simply don’t have time to shop.

If you love fashion and if you have an uncanny sense of what will look and feel good for a certain person, this could be a lucrative gig for you. You might want to be trained and certified to get more clients and get paid more.

6. Playing video games

It’s not just children who play video games nowadays.

Thousands of us load up a game for a couple of hours on the weekends to help burn off the frustrations and tension that built up throughout the week.

And it’s not just a hobby anymore; it’s a multibillion-dollar industry.

Yes, billion, with a B.

It’s yet another hobby that can make you some money; it’s possible to get paid to pay video games all day.

You can find new video games to play on websites like Swagbucks, who’ll even pay you $5 just to sign up on their website.

You can also farm for in-game currency while you’re actually playing and then sell this currency to other gamers like you.

Or, if you have a little more time and are more determined, you can build up characters in massively multiplayer online games, kit them out in end game gear, and sell these characters to other gamers.

7. Reading books

Have you ever bought books and read them while dreaming of buying your next books?

Well, we now live in a time when you can get paid to read books.

The most common way to do this is by reading and reviewing books that you choose from a database, often books that are about to be published and not yet in the market.

This can lead to you blogging about books, and what’s more fulfilling than writing about things you actually like or love doing and getting paid for it?

8. Homebrewing beer

No matter how much eye-rolling you might get, homebrewing beer can be a money-making hobby.

Aside from the obvious one (selling your homebrewed beer), you can make money by buying bulk raw ingredients (which will be cheaper) and selling those you can’t use in small batches to other homebrewers.

Take Up Hobbies That Can Make Money

Everyone should have at least one hobby.

Hobbies give you a chance to take a productive break from your daily routine, offer new challenges, and provide an outlet for stress.

A good thing about hobbies is that while discovering one, you don’t have to stick to it if you don’t like it. If you don’t particularly find a hobby interesting or rewarding, you can always find a new one.

And the best part is that everyone can take up a hobby, which means anyone can pick up one or even a few profitable hobbies.

It’s great that you can do these money-making hobbies from home (mostly), but if you’re also interested in building a business that earns money by itself so you have more time for your hobbies, check out this free on-demand training to learn how to build a full-time income online with no experience.

Which of these hobbies seem interesting to you? Do you have a hobby not mentioned that made money? Share it in the comments!

How To Become A Babysitter in 2021

For many teenage girls, learning how to become a babysitter is the initial step to getting their own pocket money and more responsibility outside of the home.

Babysitting is a great first job to have for teenagers, and they usually start out at 11 to 15 years old.

Learn how to become a babysitter through this comprehensive guide: know if babysitting is for you, what to expect, what you need to learn to be a good babysitter, how to find babysitting jobs, and how to stand out as a babysitter.

Things to Consider Before Becoming a Babysitter

Before you become a babysitter, you’ll need to decide whether it’s the right job for you. Here are some things you need to think about.

Do you like kids?

Yes, babysitting pays well, but if you don’t even like kids, there’s no point.

It doesn’t just involve sitting on the couch and watching TV all evening.

The children that you’re tasked to care for aren’t inanimate objects. You’d have to actually interact and engage with them.

If just the thought of playing and talking to children for hours doesn’t interest you or even scares you, maybe babysitting isn’t for you.

Do you have time in your day to babysit?

Consider your after-school activities, your homework, family activities, social life, and hobbies. Will there be enough time in a weekday for you to babysit?

What about your weekends?

You see, parents prefer to hire babysitters who are available on short notice or can stay later than usual. The more flexible your schedule, the more you’ll get hired and the more extra pay you can get.

What you can do is find out through other babysitters or by trial and error which days are in demand and schedule your other activities around it so that you’re free to take babysitting jobs during high-demand days.

Are you mature enough?

Babysitting seems like a gig where you get paid to hang out with kids, but there’s more to it than that.

Parents are putting you in charge of their children, which means you’ll be responsible for their safety and well-being, as well as making sure that their house rules are still being followed.

Moreover, you’ll be in charge of their house, and parents need to be able to trust that you aren’t going to snoop around their stuff or gossip about personal stuff to other people.

Plus, you need to be reliable; you need to be a babysitter who shows up, and shows up right on time.

If you don’t think you’re ready, that’s okay. But maybe you’re not ready to become a babysitter; at least not yet.

Tools of the Trade: Learn How to Babysit

If you think you’re ready to be a babysitter, the next step is learning what parents expected to do when you’re with their children.

Babysitters have three main duties:

1. Keep Kids Safe

Accidents and injuries can happen at any time.

Sometimes, the difference between an accident and a tragedy is having someone present who knows how to handle emergencies.

It’s not enough to know to call 911. Learning how to give first aid and CPR, as well as what to do if there’s a fire or even a home invasion, are going to help you in a big way.

Save the parents’ emergency numbers in your cellphone so you can easily call them. Write them down and keep those numbers near the house phone or landline.

2. Keep Kids Taken Care Of

You should already know how to keep kids clean and fed, taking note of their food allergies, preferences, and instructions on what they’re not supposed to have, such as potato chips or soda.

But aside from basic care, you should also know how to handle behavioral issues.

For example, if parents of a small toddler leave during your shift, what will you do if the toddler cries non-stop and looks for the parents?

How will you handle younger kids not listening to you?

When you babysit for a family, it’s most likely that you end up as the oldest kid in the house.

Always talk and act as a good example because younger kids could copy what you’re doing.

3. Keep Kids Entertained

If you’re babysitting multiple kids, the easiest way to handle them is to keep them busy.

The best babysitters bring a “sitter bag” that contains games, art supplies, puzzles, and other surprises that younger kids would love.

Stimulate their young minds with age-specific knowledge presented through play.

If you don’t have any idea how to do this, check out Blippi on YouTube. That guy knows how to present concepts in an interesting and engaging way for kids.

How to Get Started Babysitting

I don’t want to scare you from babysitting, but there are things you can do to be better prepared to become a babysitter.

Take a Babysitting Class

Organizations such as the American Red Cross offers babysitting training and classes so you can be prepared to babysit if it’s your first time.

As you continue to babysit, you can take more advanced courses and even get a Babysitting & Advanced Child Care Certification.

You can also go to Safe Sitter to find a class near you or take a virtual class.

It’s not strictly necessary, but parents are likely to hire babysitters who have taken at least a basic babysitting class.

Take Safety Courses

When it comes to child safety, knowing how to do first aid and CPR on children are certainly important. If you’re babysitting for a family that has a pool, water safety is another thing to learn.

The American Red Cross offers classes on first aid and CPR, as well as water safety.

Work on Your Communication Skills

Parents usually choose a babysitter who can communicate properly. If you are open to talk about anything from their kid’s behavioral problems to incidents that happen during your shift, this openness would help build your relationship with families you work for.

Kids also value communication skills. They’re highly sensitive and can tell whether you genuinely care about them.

You need to be able to talk to children about their ideas, answer their questions, and take their fears seriously without scaring them further.

Develop a Good Work Ethic

This will probably be your first job, so you have a lot of time to develop your work ethic. But working on it early on wouldn’t hurt.

Be on time for all your shifts. Listen and follow rules from your employers. And generally do things in such a way that would make you feel proud.

Get Some Experience

Do your parents trust you to stay home alone, and have they ever left you alone for any amount of time or even overnight?

If not, that’s the first step! After all, you need to be able to take care of yourself before you take care of other children.

If you have younger siblings, you can ask your parents to trust you to take care of them, if you aren’t already doing it.

Not only do you get experience, but you can also show them that you’re serious about becoming a babysitter.

Or, if you don’t have younger siblings, maybe you can ask aunts, uncles, or other relatives who have children in the house to babysit them for a few hours to get more experience.

You may even want to offer to babysit for a few hours for free as a trial run. You get more experience while convincing them that you’re worth hiring.

Build Your Confidence

Babysitting isn’t always fun; sometimes you’ll need to have children pick up their toys, eat their vegetables, and brush their teeth before bedtime.

Becoming a babysitter means having to enforce the rules, so you’ll need to be confident enough to be firm yet gentle with them.

Part of being confident is being humble. You’ll probably never get things perfectly the first time, so you need to be open to constructive feedback from both the parents and the children you’re babysitting.

While you’re at it, you also need to know the difference between helpful criticism and verbal abuse. If you’re not sure, ask your parents.

And remember, you’re not anyone’s slave; you don’t need to go back to a house where you are uncomfortable.

Decide How You’ll Offer Your Babysitting Services

Knowing what you know at this point, you should have an idea which families you should target, how many hours you can spare to babysit, and how far away from your home you can offer your services.

Before you take on a babysitting job, make sure their children are just the right age for you to handle.

Parents are more likely to leave babies and younger toddlers to older, more experienced babysitters.

If you’re younger, you’re likely to find yourself watching older kids who are more independent and less likely to get into trouble.

Also, as I’ve mentioned above, you need to be able to offer your services reliably, and you should be able to set aside a few hours a week.

Think about how long you can spare to babysit, as well as how late your parents are going to allow you to stay out.

You would also need to map out how far from your home you’re willing to babysit, and a huge factor is what transportation you have available.

Will your parents be able to bring you to the house where you babysit every time you have work?

If you don’t have transportation available, will you be open to walking? How about being driven to/from by your employers? Will your real parents be fine with this setup?

If your parents are working and your new job cannot provide you with transportation, maybe you should consider online jobs for teens instead.

How to Find Babysitting Jobs

If you’re a big sister to younger siblings and you love being so, you might consider babysitting as one of the easy ways to make money.

Now that you know the tools of the trade and what to expect on the job, here’s the most challenging part of all: finding babysitting jobs for you. So where do we start the job hunt?

  • Recommendations – Ask your friends and family about possible babysitting jobs they know. If you’re up for it, make flyers and ask your parents to spread the word. Look around your area: your neighbors may be in need of help.
  • Check in your school – Go around the school and ask your classmates if their parents are in need of a babysitter. How about your teachers? If your school has a job board, check if there are babysitting listings available.
  • Community center – Does your town have a community center? Look for “babysitter needed” posters and see if anyone is on the lookout for a babysitter.

When you’re marketing your babysitting services, create a Facebook page or website.

You’d be surprised how many people on Facebook are trying to look for babysitters in your area.

Online Babysitting Jobs

Two popular sites for sitters to sign up with are SitterCity and Care.com.

1. SitterCity

Sittercity

The original sitter site was started in 2001.

Sittercity is available in all 50 US states and features over 6 million babysitters. At Sittercity, you can not only hire a babysitter but also a nanny, au pair, or regular childcare.

To get started with Sittercity, complete your profile and include pertinent information about your past experience, preferences (e.g., non-smoking or smoking house), average hourly rate, and availability. You will also be given the option of having Sittercity perform a background check on you (for a small fee).

It is highly recommended that you agree to the background check because that will increase the number of work requests you receive.

You can also peruse job postings placed by parents and solicit your services via the Sittercity site.

2. Care.com

Care.com

Care.com is a global care site that spans 18 countries and has been around since 2007.

This site has millions of members and offers a range of care services, from childcare to assisted living services.

You can fill out a form with Care.com, which includes creating a detailed profile containing your photo, preferences, experience, skills, hobbies, etc.

Just like with Sittercity, you can use Care.com to look for sitter jobs and have families contact you directly about your services.

Parents and relatives can also leave detailed reviews about your services, rates, skills, etc. If you rack up enough good reviews, your odds of securing steady work will increase.

3. Babysits

If you’re at least 16 years old and live in a major city, Babysits is a good option to find babysitting jobs.

It’s completely free to sign up and you get to apply for babysitting jobs near you. Plus, it has plenty of resources if you’re looking for babysitting tips, kid-friendly activities, crafts, and even kid recipes.

Monster.com, Craigslist, etc. can also be taken advantage of for listing your babysitting services.

These sites are free to use and are widely viewed.

How to Stand Out as a Babysitter

When there are hundreds or even thousands of sitters to compete against in your neck of the woods, how do get more babysitting jobs?

The answer lies in add-on services and extra/special skills.

Parents are most likely to hire you if you do or know the following:

You can drive.

If you have a car and can use it to drive kids to their soccer matches and piano recitals, you’ll become a valuable asset to parents everywhere.

With SitterCity, you can have your driver’s license verified for an extra fee to ensure that you are legally certified to drive.

You have early childhood education.

Kids are rarely logical, polite, and obedient.

However, you can induce them to become that way, at least for an evening, if you know a little bit about childhood psychology.

Community and online colleges offer different classes in childhood development and psychology, and completing them will definitely make you stand out amongst anxious parents.

You are punctual.

Believe it or not, the single biggest complaint that parents have about babysitters is that they are late.

So, as an up-and-coming babysitter, do your part to arrive on time at your destinations.

You are creative.

Do you know how to fill an evening with card tricks, painting projects, or an expedition to the local park? Can you pick up and play the latest PC games or discuss cartoon characters?

The more you ‘get’ your clients’ kids, the more likely those clients will be to call you for repeat babysitting.

And it never hurts to be known as their “favorite babysitter” either.

How much money do babysitters make?

Nowadays, the going rate for babysitting services is $15 per hour. The days when you would see someone paying $20 for an entire night of babysitting are long gone.

For urban centers and megacities like New York or San Francisco, it’s common to earn around $20 per hour.

Even novice babysitters that have extra skills and training can command rates in the high teens.

The Babysitting Bottom Line

Interacting with children as a side hustle may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like it, the money is certainly waiting for you.

And if you land a babysitting position, do a good job. Take care of your reputation.

And consider your services as a full-blown business.

Even if you’ve outgrown your teen years, you can still continue the babysitting business if you want to.

Interested in becoming a babysitter? Tell us in the comments when you land your first babysitting job!

Outdoor Jobs: 40+ Careers in the Great Outdoors

Not everyone can thrive in a four-walled, fluorescent-lighted environment for 9, 10, 12 hours a day. For those people, outdoor jobs seem like a better fit than traditional office jobs.

Working outdoors gives you literally more space to explore. The sun on your face (outside the danger hours, that is), the fresh air in your lungs, and being able to move around all have positive effects on your health.

Some people have a bias against outdoor jobs; for some reason, they think they’re nothing but menial and low-paying jobs.

Actually, many of these jobs require degrees and specialized skills, and thus pay higher than expected.

If you feel like you’d be happier exploring jungles, guiding tourists on off-the-beaten paths, hiking to the peak of the mountains, taking pictures of Mother Nature, diving deep to rescue sea creatures, skiing to your heart’s content, or making your life into an adventure, all while earning money, then this list can change your life.

Types of Outdoor Jobs

You’d find two types of outdoor jobs – one that requires a degree, and the other that is skills-based.

When I list the jobs below, I’ll note down if they’re available year-round or seasonal, requirements needed for the job, and income potential.

Wilderness Outdoor Jobs

The wilderness is any area uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings.

1. Wildland Firefighters

  • Year-round and seasonal job
  • Income: $52,500/year
  • Requires high school diploma or equivalent; physical training, fire science training, medical training, certification

These brave men and women are front and center when forest and wildland fires occur. It’s a dangerous yet noble job.

They’re also involved in wildlife fire prevention and may be tapped by the US Forest Service or the US Fish & Wildlife Service for projects related to natural resources.

2. Wilderness or Backpacking Guide

  • Year-round and seasonal
  • Income: $30,000/year
  • Experience and skill-based

This job isn’t for the faint of heart.

Adventure seekers want to go to the wilderness for thrills, but not all of them know how to survive in the wild. They hire wilderness guides to help them through their adventure.

Because you’re leading people in uncharted lands, you have to be aware of the terrain, habitat, and everything else about the area you’re backpacking in. Perfect for people with extensive experience in hiking, hunting, fishing, and basically living off the land. They should also master outdoor survival skills.

3. Park Ranger

  • Year-round
  • Income: $40,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree, forestry, conservation, environmental science preferred; physical training, medical training; communication skills

Park rangers patrol state and national parks to ensure that visitors are following the rules and not disrupting the natural environment for both flora and fauna.

They also conduct tours and educational presentations with a special focus on making visitors understand the importance of conservation. Park rangers are also trained to reporting and caring for wounded and hurt humans and animals.

4. Forester

  • Year-round
  • Income: $70,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in forestry

Foresters manage the growth of trees (and the type of tree species to be planted) in relation to the survival of plant and animal species within a particular forest.

Timber foresters look after privately owned farms and forests owned by timber companies to make sure the harvesting of timber does not harm the ecosystem. Conservation foresters assess the impact of human activity on animals and plants and recommend declaring a forest as protected when needed.

5. Conservation Scientist

  • Year-round
  • Income: $64,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in forestry, environmental planning, natural resource conservation, or other related fields

A conservation scientist manages the overall land quality of natural resources such as forests and parks.

They work with local, state, and federal governments, as well as private landowners to devise ways to maximize the use of the land while protecting the environment.

Science-Related Outdoor Jobs

Many scientists work in the field since they study and explore water, land, air, and living things around the country and sometimes around the world.

Most of these careers in the science industry are high-paying outdoor jobs, especially those that require doctorate degrees.

6. Archaeologist

  • Year-round
  • Income: $66,000/year
  • Requires a graduate degree in archaeology or anthropology; internship or volunteer fieldwork

Many kids dream of becoming an archaeologist; all that digging around and finding ancient treasures sound pretty cool to a kid.

Archaeologists plan and execute excavations, retrieve and analyze artifacts, and publish and present their results in academic journals and academic conferences.

7. Animal Trainer

  • Year-round and seasonal
  • Income: $30,000 to $75,000/year
  • Requires bachelor’s degree, preferably in an animal-related field such as animal behavior, zoology, veterinary technology, and the like; requires genuine love for animals; medical training

Animal trainers that work with huge animals usually work outdoors and paid more than animal trainers that work with smaller animals.

If you’re wondering about the wide salary range, it’s because your payment depends on the animal you’re hired to train, your experience, and the conditions you’ll be training in.

For instance, training horses in a ranch pays less than training elephants in a zoo or a circus.

8. Botanist

  • Year-round
  • Income: $69,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree, preferably in botany, but can be in plant science, biology, or another closely related field; requires advanced research skills

Botanists study plant life—processes, reproduction, and evolution—and how it relates to their surroundings and other organisms. The ultimate goal of their research is to help with medicine, environmental policy, conservation, and agriculture.

9. Geoscientist

  • Year-round
  • Income: $93,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in geology or other geoscience-related fields; requires a license to be a Professional Geoscientist

Geoscientists study the earth’s composition, structure, and other physical attributes, such as minerals and rocks. They do his mostly by collecting and analyzing samples, preparing scientific reports, and presenting their findings to clients, the academe, and other interested parties.

10. Entomologist

  • Year-round
  • Income: $61,000/year
  • Requires a doctoral degree in entomology

Anyone who ever loved creepy crawlies as a child could grow up to become an entomologist and study insects’ behavior, life cycle, ecology, population, and taxonomy. Industries that hire entomologists include agriculture, veterinary, medicine, law enforcement, and many other industries.

11. Marine Biologist

  • Year-round
  • Income: $62,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in marine biology; extensive undersea training and diving experience

Probably every kid who saw Finding Nemo was enthralled by the underwater environment portrayed in the movie.

Marine biologists get up close and personal with marine organisms right in their habitat. Their research work involves species inventories, monitoring their movement, collecting and testing of water samples, and preserving specimens and samples of new species.

12. Environmental Scientist

  • Year-round and seasonal
  • Income: voluntary to $73,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in environmental science; requires training for handling hazardous materials in the environment.

Environmental scientists collect and analyze samples of environmental materials and determine contamination due to human activities and industry. The information gathered is then used toward preventing, controlling, and fixing environmental problems so that natural resources and habitats are preserved.

13. Zoologist

  • Year-round and seasonal
  • Income: $66,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in zoology or other related fields, such as wildlife biology or ecology

Zoologists observe animals in their natural surroundings, including their characteristics, diseases, reproduction, movement, and interactions with other animals and their environment. The goal is usually to conserve wildlife.

14. Volcanologist

  • Year-round
  • Income: $90,000/year
  • Requires a graduate degree in geology, earth science, geophysics, or other similar fields; specialized training in volcanology

Volcanologists collect samples and data on volcanic activity to learn how they erupt and how to predict future eruptions for the safety of the local populations.

15. Geographer

  • Year-round
  • Income: $85,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in geography; certification in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

As a geographer, you study the earth, land, nature, and its inhabitants by collecting data through maps, photographs, satellite imagery, and interviews with the locals.

16. Seismologist

  • Year-round
  • Income: $90,000/year
  • Requires a graduate degree in geophysics, geochemistry, or other similar fields; specialized training in seismology and instrumentation

Seismology is the study of earthquakes, seismic waves, and other related phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions, and other events that shift the tectonic plates and release energy. The aim is to be able to predict when the next big earthquake happens so that locals can get ready.

17. Ichthyologist

  • Year-round
  • Income: $57,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in marine biology, marine ecology, zoology; extensive experience and training in diving

Ichthyology is all about the study of fish and involves studying fish found in various bodies of water, such as the sea, lakes, rivers, ponds, and others. The goal is to analyze human impact on fish populations and highlight the importance of fish in various ecosystems.

18. Hydrologist

  • Year-round
  • Income: $84,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in hydrology or other related fields such as geoscience or earth science

Hydrologists study water in the Earth’s crust; how it moves, how precipitation affects groundwater, and how changes in the environment and human activities impact water quality and quantity. Their research is used in studying floods, droughts, water pollution, and other water-related problems.

Engineering-Related Outdoor Jobs

Not all engineering jobs are office jobs; some of them can be done outdoors. These jobs often require bachelor’s degrees and engineering licenses or certificates.

19. Land Surveyor

  • Year-round
  • Income: $66,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in surveying and mapping, surveying and geomatics, or surveying engineering technology

Land surveyors make precise measurements and gather data about the shape and contour of the land to determine property boundaries. This information is useful in construction, mapmaking, and urban planning projects.

20. Cartographer

  • Seasonal and year-round
  • Income: $68,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in geography or cartography

Maps remain an integral part of everyday life. As a cartographer, you compile geographic data from ground surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite images, and use this information to create drawings of maps in graphic or digital form.

21. Urban Planner

  • Year-round
  • Income: $76,000/year
  • Requires a graduate degree in urban and regional planning

Urban planners identify community needs, study economic and environmental studies, and develop land use plans to build streets, buildings, public parks, transportations systems, and everything else a city needs to thrive.

22. Landscape Architect

  • Year-round
  • Income: $70,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture; requires a state license to be a Landscape Architect

Landscape architects design, plan, and supervise construction on projects that develop or restore open spaces for private houses, commercial buildings, campuses, and other structures.

Agriculture Outdoor Jobs

You’d be surprised that these careers are some of the best outdoor jobs that pay well.

23. Vineyard Manager

  • Seasonal
  • Income: $90,000/year
  • Requires a high school diploma or equivalent; requires experience in working the vineyards

Vineyard managers oversee grape farming, managing staff, and quality assurance. They also ensure that the agricultural procedures followed are sustainable and don’t harm the environment.

24. Arborist

  • Year-round and seasonal
  • Income: $48,000/year
  • Requires a high school degree or equivalent; requires experience in arboriculture; requires certification to be an Arborist or Climbing Arborist; requires certification to handle heavy equipment

As an arborist, you are tasked to cut trees and trim plants, shrubs, and bushes to protect power lines, sidewalks, and roads.

25. Agronomist

  • Year-round and seasonal
  • Income: $52,000/year
  • Requires a bachelor’s degree in agronomy or other related fields, such as agriculture or food science

Agronomists, also known as crop scientists, study different methods plants can be used for food, medicine, and other ways for the good of society. They help in improving crop yield and plant longevity.

26. Commercial Fisherman

  • Seasonal
  • Income: $30,000 to $80,000/year
  • Requires a high school diploma or equivalent; requires certification in commercial fishing and fishing technology

As a commercial fisherman, you’ll be gathering fish or other aquatic animals mostly for human consumption. Some fishermen spend months at a time at sea.

27. Farmer

  • Seasonal and year-round
  • Income: $20,000 to $110,000/year
  • Requires a high school diploma or equivalent; requires experience in working in a farm or a field

Farmers grow crops and take care of animals on farms. You can be employed on a farm all year-round or seasonally. You can also be the owner of the farm and be hands-on or manage farmhands to do the actual labor.

These factors, as well as the type of farm you own or manage, will dictate how much you earn.

28. Hunter/Hunting Guide

  • Seasonal and year-round
  • Income: $17,000 to $50,000/year
  • Requires a high school diploma or equivalent; requires a license to operate hunting trips; have leadership skills

Professional hunters and trappers are trained to hunt animals, but they earn money mostly by guiding clients on organized hunting expeditions.

29. Livestock Rancher

  • Year-round
  • Income: $30,000 to $100,000/year
  • Requires no formal education; requires licenses and permits to manage your own ranch

As livestock ranchers, you’d raise large animals, such as horses, sheep, pigs, and cows, for profit.

30. Beekeeper

  • Seasonal and year-round
  • Income: $20,000 to $80,000/year
  • Requires training and hands-on experience in beekeeping

Beekeepers take care of beehives to yield honey and sell other bee byproducts like beeswax, propolis, or bee venom

Art-Related Outdoor Jobs

This industry embraces freedom like no other, so the list below is surely just the tip of the iceberg. I guarantee you if you look a lot closer, you’d find outdoor jobs hiding in plain sight in the art world.

31. Outdoor Photographer

  • Seasonal and year-round
  • Income: $25,000 to $110,000/year
  • Requires considerable photography skills and experience shooting outdoors

Outdoor photographers may specialize in anything from landscapes, travel, animals and wildlife, news beats, and so on. Most are freelancers, but outdoor photographers can also seek traditional employment with companies like National Geographic and other similar magazines worldwide.

32. Travel Writer/Blogger

  • Seasonal and year-round
  • Income: from $60,000/year and up
  • Requires excellent writing skills; a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, creative writing, and other writing-related fields will help with your salary but are not really required

As a travel writer, you get to travel to other cities within and outside your home country and write about places of interest, restaurants, attractions, and other spots worth visiting. Travel writers are usually hired by magazines, travel agencies, and other media companies.

Travel bloggers are freelancers that do exactly the same thing as travel writers but are their own bosses.

33. Camp Counselor

  • Seasonal
  • Income: $23,000/year
  • Requires a high school diploma or equivalents; CPR, AED, and first aid training; must love working with children; communication skills; some camps train camp counselors to make sure they’re up for the job

Camp counselors typically guide children through camp activities, such as hiking, swimming, and nature surveys. Counselors get paid more if they can teach special skills to the children, such as art, archery, kayaking, music, drama, or gymnastics.

Sports and Recreation Jobs

Many professions in the adventure and sports industry are on the field. You’ll never ever have to work in a cubicle or be drowned in paperwork.

34. Hiking Guide

  • Seasonal and year-round
  • Income: $30,000/year
  • Requires no formal education; experience with the terrain, map-reading skills, and physical skills required; CPR and First Aid training will likely raise your salary; local permits needed especially when hiking through state or national parks

This is a dream job for those who love to hike. Hiking guides lead people through gorgeous trails and mountains.

35. Sports Coach

  • Year-round
  • Income: $45,000 to $60,000/year
  • Requires no formal education or qualifications; those with a bachelor’s degree in sports science or personal training are preferred by clients; requires extensive knowledge of the rules, strategy, and techniques of a particular sport; coaching for a school might require you to have a teaching license

A sports coach guides athletes to reach their full potential in their chosen sport. Obviously, this only becomes an outdoor job if you choose to coach outdoor sports, such as baseball, football, soccer, or other sports.

36. Local Tour Guide

  • Year-round
  • Income: $23,000 to $38,000/year
  • Requires no formal education or training; requires extensive knowledge of the local area and the places of interest; requires exceptional communication and people skills

You can go freelance, find employment with a travel agency, or start your own tours and travel agency. Whichever route you take, you’ll be taking groups of people on local adventures, from visiting popular landmarks, going brewery hopping, leading off-the-beaten-path trails, going on haunted house tours, and many more.

37. Skiing or Snowboarding Instructor

  • Seasonal
  • Income: $30,000 to $40,000/year
  • Requires a high school diploma or equivalent; requires certifications; excellent communication and people skills

If you ever dreamt of moving up north to the mountains and ski or snowboard as much as you can, you can be an instructor at a ski or snowboarding resort and make a living while living your best life.

Higher-level certifications earn you higher salaries.

38. Swimming, Diving, or Surfing Instructor

  • Year-round and seasonal
  • Income: $15,000 to $50,000/year
  • Requires a high school diploma or equivalent; requires various permits and certifications; excellent communication and people skills

The best outdoor jobs are the ones where you’re having the most fun. If you can’t get enough of the sea, being a diving, swimming, or surfing instructor may be a great fit for you.

39. Lifeguard

  • Year-round
  • Income: $19,000 to $30,000/year
  • Requires no formal education; exceptional swimming skills; First Aid, CPR, and other life-saving certifications

If you like hanging out at the beach while being able to save lives, being a lifeguard will suit you nicely.

40. Sports Attendant Jobs

These may not be high-paying jobs, but if you’re into a certain sport and you want to be near it often, working as a sports attendant isn’t too bad. Examples of these jobs include golf caddies, tennis ball boys/girls, towel givers, water boys/girls, and other similar jobs.

41. Cruise Ship and Yacht Jobs

Jobs on deck are the same on the yacht and cruise ship. They all work to make sure the trip is “smooth sailing,” whether you’re working in food and hospitality, entertainment,  maintenance, and all other necessary jobs.

The main difference is the number of people served during a trip.

Start Applying to Outdoor Jobs Today!

No one should be stuck in a cubicle doing a job they don’t like.

And as you’ve probably learned by now, there’s no shortage of outdoor careers for you to explore!

Go through this list and find that job that best fits your interests, skills, educational background, and training.

Which outdoor job are you interested in applying to? Share it with us in the comments!

How to Land a Video Game Writing Job

If you have a knack for writing on top of having a genuine love for all things video games, why not consider looking at video game writing jobs and combining your skills and passion?

The gaming industry has been steadily growing with the improvement of technology. Immersive gaming, esports, multifunctional video consoles, livestreaming, and mobile gaming are all projected to grow this year and beyond.

The global gaming market is expected to be worth $159.3 billion dollars, even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. By 2023, it is expected to breach the $200 billion mark.

With this growth in the gaming industry comes a growth in jobs in the industry, including video game writing.

Today, we’ll take a look at the two types of video game writing jobs, how to get these jobs, and what it takes to do these jobs successfully.

Two Types of Video Game Writing Jobs

Many writers would agree that as much as there are different kinds of writing jobs out there both online and IRL, there are also different writing specializations to fit anyone’s skill.

If you dig into the writing careers available in the video game industry, you’d see that the opportunities are mostly divided into two:

  • Writing FOR video games. These writers are involved in the development of the video game itself. These writers are awesome storytellers and would excel in adding words, stories, expressions to 3D graphics of the game.
  • Writing ABOUT video games. The other type of video game writing is from the perspective of a gamer or someone observing a gamer.

Both types of writing would require you to play as many video games as you can and learn about them as much as you can. If you’re not passionate or knowledgeable enough about video games, it’s going to show in your writing.

Jobs That Involve Writing FOR Video Games

If you want to be part of the team developing video games, writing for video games is the path you want to be on.

If employed with just one company, the average video game writer’s salary is $75,000 to 80,000 per year. Of course, studios with higher budgets tend to pay higher than average.

What tools will you need?

Story-based games can be exceptionally complicated with near-infinite possibilities of scripts and gameplay, depending on what the gamer chooses in the game.

  • Understanding how strings work. Scriptwriting a video game isn’t like any kind of writing. You’d have to collaborate with multiple talented people when writing a “text snippet,” or what game programmers know as a “string.” This string is saved in a text database, which everyone from designer, coder, writer, and even video game testers will use to perfect the game.
  • Knowing the ins and outs of gameplay. As a gamer, you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of your players. You know that the options given to your player, usually called “goals” or “missions,” are what lead you to the plot of a story. This type of skill cannot be learned by the book; it’s something you learn and experience from years worth of gaming to be able to get the point of a story across with the player and game mechanics in mind.
  • Practice with tools. Sites like Twine or Inform are great resources for you to use when practicing how to write creative non-linear fiction. There’s also an app called Episode that brings your story to life with ready-made graphics.
  • Learn the types of video game content you’ll write. You’re going to be training yourself with new ways of writing. For example:
    • Flowcharts – These make it easy for you to visualize every possible option allowed to the player.
    • Side quests/missions – This goes beyond the main story and may lead to a totally different story altogether.
    • Character dialogues – You’ll work on the player dialogues (which would have multiple variations at a time) and dialogues of characters the player will interact with inside the game.
    • Narrations and cut scenes – These sequences are often inserted before and after a level or a mission.
    • Final storyboard – If you have experience with scriptwriting in films and TV shows, this is probably the most familiar task you’ll work on. This is only written once all other content has been created since it will include every plot twist and gameplay from beginning to end.

1. Narrative Designer

Narrative designing is a mix of game designing and writing where you come up with the foundational story, subplots, character bios and backstories, general lore, and everything in between.

It also falls on the narrative designer to document game worlds, levels, missions, quests, and the actions a player can take.

Overall, a narrative designer develops a story experience that a player should have and presents it to a team of graphic designers, animators, sound engineers, and others involved in game development.

You’re most likely going to work on a particular game on a per-project basis.

If you’re serious about pursuing this career path, there are courses offered in colleges, universities, and online schools like Coursera and

2. Scriptwriter

The focus of a game scriptwriter is the dialogue by the characters. The main responsibility of the scriptwriter is to ensure that the dialogue at any point in the game adheres to the game narrative.

They usually write in flowcharts to make sure they have scripts for every possible action done by the player and every possible scenario that results from that action.

It involves less interaction with your colleagues who are involved in the mechanics and gameplay. You’re more likely to work with the game director or probably even the narrative designer, who would be checking your progress and guiding you until you complete the project.

Jobs That Involve Writing ABOUT Video Games

On the other hand, if you want to write from an outsider’s perspective, that is, as someone who plays and enjoys video games, there are plenty of opportunities to write about these video games.

Think contributors to Gamespot, 1Up, Polygon, and other similar gaming sites.

Most of the time, these writers are gamers themselves, which makes them quite the pro when it comes to writing about video games.

Here are writing gigs that you might be interested in.

3. Write news and previews about upcoming video games

Use your writing skills to spread news and updates about soon-to-be-released video games.

No opinions needed here yet, so just pull out your 4Ws and 1H (who, what, where, why, and how), reporting news as they come in.

Previews are also made available by video game companies to the right writers (i.e., the popular ones) to garner publicity for their games.

4. Write reviews of recently released video games

Reviews are more personal.

You’d have to play the video game and experience the story firsthand before you can pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of a particular game.

There’s a special kind of writing skill to become a critic. Google the late, great John Peter Bain, more popularly known as ‘TotalBiscuit’ to know if you’ve got what it takes to become a video game reviewer.

5. Write tutorials about a particular video game

Game tutorials are challenging to write because you’d have to be a phenomenal gamer, or involved in the production of that game to be able to release a tutorial quickly after the release of a game.

If you’re not in a rush and prefer to write “the go-to tutorial of all tutorials,” then it’s totally up to you.

6. Write strategy guides for video games

Strategy guides are more focused on particular levels or scenarios in the game.

Players can’t get that all-important power up? Or can’t defeat a specific boss?

Help them do it.

Create a strategy guide for them and maybe even share some cheat codes to help other players just like you to complete that game.

As players would likely be searching online articles, it helps to be familiar with SEO so that your strategy guide comes up when players search the right keywords.

Work For a Company Or Go Freelance?

The cool thing about writing previews, news, reviews, and tutorials of a game is that you can eventually be your own boss by starting a blog and generating income from it, starting your own YouTube channel, writing an e-book, and following other passive income generating techniques.

Or you can find an online magazine like Gamespot and apply to become a video game writer.

You’d be surprised just how many websites are trying to get a piece of the gaming industry reporting pie.

If you land a job with any of these gaming media, expect an average salary of $70,000 per year.

Expanding Your Skill Beyond Video Game Writing Jobs

The video game designer job market is expected to grow by double digits over the next five years. Imagine how many games are scheduled to be developed, released, and played in that time.

The amazing thing about writing for the video game industry is that they are open to people wearing multiple hats, especially those wanting to make money playing video games.

A game designer can be the scriptwriter, the scriptwriter can be a game programmer, and so on. If you’re already a part of the industry, take this opportunity to learn other skills.

Not only will expanding your skillset help you become an inch closer to a video game director job (if you wanted to), but you’re also increasing your value to an employer.

Combine your passion for writing with a live stream, and you’ve got an excellent way to make money on Twitch as well.

Does being a video game writer sound exciting to you? Which one of these writing jobs interest you the most? Tell us in the comments!

86 Places Where Kids Eat Free in 2021

If you’re a family with small kids and you’re trying to cut back on expenses, you’d be surprised that a bit of planning and choosing restaurants with “kids eat free here” programs can quickly make a dent on your savings.

This is especially true if you eat out more than twice a week.

How do kids eat free?

Kids eat free programs are often for children ages 12 and below.

There are common features of these programs, including:

  • Most restaurants that give freebies to kids only make the deal available once a week.
  • National chains do not have uniform offers. An Applebee’s near you might offer the kids-free-meals on Mondays, but the one located at the next town does it during Sundays.
  • Offers cannot be combined with other promos.
  • There must be a paying adult with the child.
  • Most free kids meals are supposed to be ordered from the kid’s menu
  • Proof of age may be required in some locations.

Free Kids Meals by Day-of-the-Week

Now that you have an idea of the basic rules, let’s check out what’s available.

Kids Eat Free on Mondays

1. Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar: Kids 12 and under get to eat free every Monday, as long as an adult purchases a meal.

2. Cinzetti’s: Kids under 12 eat free between 5 to 9 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays. Proof of age may be required. Only 2 kids free per adult.

3. Cody’s Original Roadhouse: Kids 10 years old and under eat free here on Monday and Tuesdays. Limited to 2 kids per paying adult entree.

4. Golden Corral: Kids 10 and younger eat free Mondays from 5 to 9 pm

5.Norms: Every Monday from noon to 10pm, guests 10 and under can get one FREE JR. Entrée from the Kid’s Menu with each adult entree purchased. Dine-in only.

6. Planet Sub: Kids get a free sub any time on Mondays, at the main Kansas branch. One free kids’ meal for each paying adult.

7. Romano’s Macaroni Grill: Kids 12 and under get a free meal with the purchase of an adult entrée. Valid on Monday and Tuesday.

8. Spaghetti Warehouse: Not technically free, but still a good deal. When you buy one adult entree at Spaghetti Warehouse on Mondays, pay only $1.99 for one kid’s entree.

9. T.G.I.Friday’s: Visit here Mondays or Tuesdays to get your child’s meal free for every paying adult.

10. Woody’s BBQ: Kids 10 and younger eat for free every Monday, from 3pm until closing.

Kids Eat Free on Tuesdays

11. Atlanta Bread: A kid can have a free meal every Monday 4pm to closing with adult meal purchased.

12. Back Yard Burgers: Not only does BackYard Burgers have an awesome ‘No Kids Get Hungry’ program, they also have a free kiddie meal Tuesdays with purchase of an adult combo meal.

13. Beef O’Brady’s: Kids receive a free meal on Tuesdays from 5 to 9 pm with the purchase of an adult meal.

14. Bennigan’s: After 4 pm every Tuesday, kids (12 or under) eat free when you purchase an adult entree.

15. Black Eyed Pea: Buy one adult entree and get one item free from the kid’s menu. Offer valid Tuesdays from 5 pm to closing.

16. Bob Evans: Every Tuesday is Family Night at Bob Evans Restaurants from 4 p.m. – close. One kid gets a free meal per adult meal purchased.

17. Carrows Restaurants: Kids 10 and under eat free on Tuesdays from 11am until close. Up to two kids meals per paid adult meal.

18. Chevy’s Fresh Mex: One child can choose from the kid menu for $1 with every paying adult. Valid all day on Tuesday.

19. Chompie’s: Kids (10 and under) eat free all day on Tuesdays.

20. Denny’s: Kids eat dinner free at Denny’s on Tuesdays from 4 – 10 pm. Up to two free kid’s entrées from the kid’s menu per one adult entrée purchase of $6.00 or more.

21. Famous Dave’s: Kids 12 and under eat free all day on Tuesdays. (Some locations may charge $0.99 for kids meals)

22. Fazoli’s: Not free, but any kids meals from the menu is only 99 cents every Tuesday nights from 5 until 8pm.

23. Johnny Rockets: From 4 to 8 p.m. every Tuesdays and Wednesdays, get a free meal with the purchase of an adult entrée and drink.

24 . Lone Star Steakhouse: Kids eat free all day on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Up to 2 free kids’ meals with the purchase of an adult meal.

25. Marie Callender’s Restaurant and Bakery: Kids ages 12 and under eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée.

26. Moe’s Southwest Grill: One free kids’ meal per paying adult.

27. Ponderosa Steakhouse: For every adult entree purchased from 4 – 9 pm on Tuesday nights, you get two free kid’s meals.

28. Pizza Street: Free cheese pizza meal for kids 10 or younger per paying adult.

29. Red Brick Pizza: Buy one adult entree on Tuesday to get a kid’s meal for free.

30. Romano’s Macaroni Grill: Kids ages 12 and under get a free meal with the purchase of an adult entrée.

31. Ruby Tuesday: On Tuesdays after 5 p.m., 1 child per paying adult gets a free meal

32. Shari’s: Up to two free kid’s meals per adult entrée, valid Tuesdays from 10am-11pm.

33. UNO Pizzeria & Grilll: 1 free kiddie meal for kids aged 12 and younger every Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult meal.

Kids Eat Free on Wednesdays

34. Buffalo Wild Wings: On Wednesday nights from 4 to 10pm, any entree from the kid’s menu is only $1.99. It’s not free, but it’s cheap!

35. East Coast Wings: Kids get to eat free per adult entree every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to close.

36. Firehouse Subs: Visit from 5 to 8pm Wednesdays and your kid can get a free kids’ meal for each adult combo meal purchased. Up to 2 kids per 1 adult.

37. Friendly’s: Score kid’s meals for just $1.99 all day on Wednesdays. Or if you can visit after 4pm, kid’s meals are free with every purchase of an adult meal.

38. Gatti Town: A kid (10 and younger) could get a free kid’s buffet when you buy one adult buffet meal.

39. Jason’s Deli: Purchase one adult entree to get one free kid’s meal.

40. Jeffery’s Sports Grill: Kids eat free (one kid per paying adult) any time on Wednesdays.

41. Little Bitty Burger Barn: Kids under 10 eat free all day Wednesdays. Up to 2 kids’ meals for every full-priced adult meal.

42. Luby’s Cafeteria: On Wednesdays 4pm onwards, kids under 10 eat for free.

43. Logan’s Roadhouse:Kids ages 12 and under eat free on Wednesdays with the purchase of an adult entrée.

44. Qdoba Mexican Grill: Kids get to eat free with the purchase of an adult enchilada entrée.

Kids Eat Free on Thursdays

45. Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen:Buy one adult meal here on Thursdays and get up to two free kid’s meals.

46. Chartroose Caboose: Kids receive free meal all day on Thursdays with purchase of an adult meal worth $8 or more.

47. C.B. & Potts Restaurant & Brewery: Not free, but kids eat for only $1 with purchase of adult entrée during Thursdays.

48. Old Country Buffet: On Thursdays, kids (from 4 to 11 years old) eat for only $1.99 with the purchase of an adult buffet.

49. Piccadilly: Thursday All-Day, up to 2 kids 12 and under can enjoy $1.99 meals with an adult purchase.

50. Ryan’s: Thursdays is Family Night at Ryan’s, so kids eat for only $1.99 per adult meal purchased. Visit from From 4 to 8:30 p.m.

51. Red Robin: This used to be free, but the promo now has $1.99 kid’s meal for every adult entree purchased.

52. Salsarita’s: Get one free meal for your child with the purchase of $5 or more adult Mexican entrée; dine in only

53. Zaxby’s: Up to 2 kids under 10 eat FREE on Thursdays with the purchase of an adult meal

Kids Eat Free on Fridays

Fridays is usually a busy day for restaurants, which is why most deals are on off-peak days like Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

More deals pop up on the weekends, since families usually eat out on either Saturday and Sunday.

What better way to lure families with young kids to their restaurants, right?

Kids Eat Free on Saturdays

54. Maggiano’s Little Italy: Kids under 5 get to eat free Italian food all day on Saturday.

55. Margaritas Mexican Restaurant: On Saturdays, visit their East Hartford (CT) and Mystic (CT) locations to receive two free kid’s meals for each adult meal you order.

56. Qdoba Mexican Grill: Buy an adult entrée to get a free kid’s meal. Valid usually during Saturday lunch and dinner, but may vary by location.

57. Steak ‘n Shake: Every Saturday, get one free kids plate for every $9 spent. No drinks and shakes included, sorry. Dine-in only.

58. Texas Land and Cattle: If you buy one adult entree on Saturday afternoons from 11 am – 4 pm, you can get up to two free kid’s meals for free.

59. Which Wich Superior Sandwiches: Buy a 7” sandwich and get a kid’s meal for just 99 cents. Valid for kids 12 years old or younger.

Kids Eat Free on Sundays

60. Arriba Mexican Grill: One free kids’ meal per paying adult valid anytime on Sundays.

61. Blue Mesa Grill: Eat brunch here from 9am to 3pm on Sundays and your kid (5 years old or younger) gets a free meal.

62. Baja Fresh: If you buy an adult entree at this Mexican grill during Sundays, you get a free kid’s meal.

63. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: Kids (12 or younger) eat free all day on Sundays (drinks included) with the purchase of a $10 adult meal.

64. Hooters: If you’re after some Hooters wings, go on Sundays 11am to 11pm for free kid’s meals

65. Jose Pepper’s: Kids get to eat for free all Sunday at Jose Pepper’s.

66. Moe’s Southwest Grill: Visit Moe’s Sunday anytime from 4pm until closing, buy one adult entree and get one free kid’s meal.

67. Slim Chicken’s: Slim Chicken’s for free meals for kids aged 10 and younger is valid every Sunday.

68. Souper! Salad!: On Sundays kids age 4 and younger eat for free with a paying adult.

69. Tony Roma’s: Buy an adult entree and get one free kid’s meal for kids age 12 and younger.

Everyday Free Kiddie Meal

70. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream: As long as your kid is shorter than 40 inches, they can receive one free baby cone. You don’t even have to purchase anything.

71. Cafe Rio: Valid daily, kids ages 6 and under get a free Nino Quesadilla with the purchase of an adult entrée.

72. Carrows: During weekdays (Monday-Friday), one kid below 10 years old can eat for free after 4 pm (for each paying adult).

73. Cici’s: Kids (3 years old or younger) can eat free when you purchase a full-price adult entree.

74. Culver’s: Kids 12 and under get a free frozen custard with the purchase of a meal

75. Fricker’s: Kids eat free all day, every day with the purchase of an adult entrée.

76. IHOP: Usually every spring, kids get to eat free every day from 4 to 9 p.m. with purchase of adult entree.

77. Holiday Inn: Up to four kids 12 and under eat free any time of the day in any Holiday Inn on-site restaurant.

78. O’Charley’s: Kids eat free every day with the purchase of an adult entree.

79. On The Border: Kids receive a free sundae with meal purchase.

80. Texas de Brazil: With a purchase of an adult meal, kids 2 years old and below eat free; kids 3 to 5 eat for just $5, while big kids from 6 to 12 years old dine for half the adult price.

Depends on Location

81. IKEA: At some IKEA locations, kids (12 and under) can receive up to 2 kiddie meals with purchase of one adult entree worth $3.99 or more. Usually available on Tuesdays.

82. Skyline ChiliLocations vary, but if offered in a location near you, one free kids meal for every adult meal purchase of $5 or more. Only for dine-ins.

Occasional

83. Chick-fil-A: Every Monday night in July, kids can eat free from 5pm-7:30 pm. Receive one FREE Kid’s Meal per child 12 and under. No purchase necessary.

84. Godfather’s Pizza: During the all-you-can-eat family buffet, kids usually eat free.

Free Kids Meals via Rewards or Club Membership

85. Chili’s– When you buy an adult entree, you get one free kid’s entree.

86. Souplantation: All Club Veg members get a free kids meal.

The Bottom Line

If you don’t need a long list of restaurants (and would rather pick your family’s favorite ones), then make sure you have access to their Facebook page, Twitter, or website for double-checking availability of offers.

For kids who are celebrating their birthdays soon, there are also restaurants that give out free stuff on your birthday.

Be sure to check out this list of 20 ways to get free kids books by mail.

6 Ways to Get Paid to Be an Audience Member

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to get paid to be an audience member?

We see them all on TV. The crowd seems to be genuinely happy about being there.

Have you ever wondered how audience members of talk shows and sitcoms get the gig?

Do you wish to participate in being part of the live audience while filming your favorite show?

Whether you’d like to do it once and check this experience off your bucket list, or if you want to add extra income by doing this once or twice a week, read on for all the information you’d need to explore this gig.

Can Anyone Become an Audience Member?

The answer to this question is: Yes.

Anyone can become an audience member.

However, you won’t get paid to be an audience member on popular shows.

Here’s the thing:

Popular TV shows fill up their audience seats months in advance. They also do not pay audience members (at least, not anymore), but give away freebies and prizes.

Oprah (when her show was still on) was legendary about her Favorite Things Giveaways: from diamond watches to all-expenses-paid cruises. And who can ever forget about the brand new Pontiac G6 given to ALL 276 members of her studio audience in 2004?

For these popular shows, you can line up during filming days, but there’s no guarantee you can be chosen to fill in for other chosen audience members who didn’t show up.

Shows that are not popular enough to fill in the seats allocated within their studios still rely on paying audience members to watch.

Where to Find Paid Audience Member Gigs

If your goal is to join the crowd of your favorite show, the easiest way to find paid audience member gigs is to visit the show’s website. Look for a button that says “tickets,” which usually leads to a page that most likely includes details on how to get them and other information.

If you’re here to earn some side cash, no matter which sitcom, talk show, or other live shows, check out these 5 resources:

1. TVTaping.com

The shows listed here are neatly arranged, so you can quickly see which of them are currently giving away tickets (and those on hiatus).

There’s a mix of paid and unpaid gigs. Beat Bobby Flay pays $65, while AOL Build Show pays $30 to $75 (depending on the show’s guest).

2. OnSetProductions.com

The shows are arranged by date and location, which makes it easy to filter based on your availability and which shows are near you.

Click one of the shows and you’ll see complete details, including the number of hours required to be on the show, transportation availability, and amount of cash incentives.

What I like best about this site is that they also list a month or two of a show’s schedule, so you’d be able to adjust your availability if necessary.

3. Backstage.com

This casting call site has been serving up actors and actresses with audition listings for years.

If you dig deeper, you’ll see that some casting coordinators post audience member gigs here too.

An example gig from 2019 looks like this: MTV TRL seeks paid audience member at New York Times Square Location, Thursdays in September from 3PM to 6PM. Payment is $40 after filming.

My problem with Backstage.com is that their search feature isn’t that accurate.

Finding “paid audience member” results also includes other listings, which is quite disappointing since the site does offer a comprehensive and up-to-date list of gigs in the entertainment industry.

4. StandingRoomOnly.TV

You’ll need to register to access the casting lists on SRO, but they do have a lot of paid ones.

Instead of a gig-based fee, Standing Room Only lists paid audience member gigs with an hourly fee, so you’ll see listings with $10 to $20, then details for how long each show will be.

5. 1iota.com

If you’re after the experience and don’t really care if you get paid to be an audience member of your favorite show, 1iota.com is where tickets to all other popular shows are found.

The process of reserving a seat varies by show, so better check out each one.

Some examples of popular shows include:

Sometimes, you might find a paid gig, but it’s rare since the shows listed here are in-demand throughout the year.

6. AuditionsFree

AuditionsFree works similar to Backstage.com in that you can search for “audience” and you can see casting calls for audience members.

However, not all of these are paid. The ticket will be free, though, so at least you get to watch for free.

Important things to Know to Get Paid to be an Audience Member

Before seeking out tickets to shows, you should take note of the following:

  • Age requirement: Most TV shows require adults (18 and above) for audience members, but family-oriented shows may allow kids (from 10 to 18). If you plan to go with your kid or younger family member, make sure to check a show’s age requirement before making a reservation.
  • Location: While TV shows usually have their headquarters already in place, some shows can switch locations every now and then. They may be some instances where the show would travel to another city or even another country.
  • Dress code: Most shows require their audience members to dress business casual. Some are particular with colors (no busy patterns or neon), while others just list clothes that are not allowed (shorts, tank tops, short skirts, hats, etc.). Of course, during themed shows, you might see specific requests such as ‘nightclub wardrobe,’ ‘Halloween costume,’ and so on.

Things to Expect on the Day of Filming

  • Arrive early. The show isn’t going to wait for your arrival. In most cases, you’ll be in line for a couple of hours, and shows typically recommend audience members to be in the studio or venue 30 to 45 minutes prior to the check-in time on your ticket. Plus, almost every TV show have standby tickets given to other people, which means it wouldn’t be surprising to be bumped off your slot by other audience members.
  • Bring your ID and ticket with you. Most of these tickets are non-transferable, so they’ll be checking your identity before entry.
  • Food isn’t allowed inside. Better eat a big meal before call time, unless of course food is included as an incentive. Your best bet is a water bottle, which you can keep inside your bag.
  • Actually, plenty of things aren’t allowed inside. Big bags like luggage or travel backpacks are typically not allowed, and there’s usually no baggage check to leave them. Laptops and professional cameras are usually prohibited, and smartphones and other electronic devices are typically switched off.
  • Be ready to laugh or clap your heart out. If you’re really not a fan of the show, laughing along with the show’s host, or clapping every time you’re required to can be taxing. You have to be mentally prepared to make your laughing or clapping believable since show coordinators can easily kick out audience members between takes.
  • Audience warm-up. Whether you’re watching a sitcom or a talk show, someone (a crew, comedian, singer, or other type of entertainer) will wake up the audience and give the space a happier vibe. Watch out for some last-minute reminders as well.

Generally, audience members are paid at the end of filming. No need to wait for checks, since pay is almost always in cash.

For long-standing shows, “seniors” (paid audience members who have been there several times) may be asked to return at a particular date.

This already removes the entire process of reserving your slot.

So if you’re banking on these gigs to bring you extra income, your goal is to become a senior audience member.

Alternative Gig: Be a Seat Filler

If paid gigs to be an audience member are scarce, try to find seat fillers instead.

The job of a seat filler is to occupy empty seats at award shows, plays, concerts, sporting events, and other live performances. The tickets are free and these are often paid gigs because you need to be able to follow instructions and fill seats that you’re instructed to.

Why does this exist?

Fuller audiences and venues are simply a better experience for both the performers and the other paying patrons.

And having a full house is especially important for televised events; empty seats on television simply don’t look good.

For instance, when audience members of awards shows accept their awards, seat fillers take up their seats so that when the camera pans over the audience, there aren’t empty seats.

What you need to be a seat filler

You’re most likely to get to be a seat filler if you reside in a city with plenty of live events going on, such as Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Miami, and other similar cities.

Aside from your location, the most important characteristic you need to have to be a seat filler is the ability to read and follow instructions.

Companies that hire seat fillers can be specific about what they’re looking for. When they post openings, their requirements are usually detailed: age range, gender, dress code, makeup and hairstyle, even down to your shoes.

Where to find seat filler jobs

Here are some companies where casting calls for seat fillers are periodically posted. Some of these may be unpaid gigs, though, so carefully look at the postings.

From Audience Member to Performer: Exploring the Entertainment Industry

Joining a live show and getting paid to do so is a quick gig many people would choose to do than be stuck in an office from 9 to 5.

It’s as close as you can get to getting paid to watch TV or getting paid to watch movies.

It’s a cool way to make some easy money if you’re in Los Angeles, New York, or another area where they’re hiring.

Some people even turn this into a temp job until something better arrives.

If you’re interested in other side hustle in the entertainment industry, check out this post I wrote about becoming a movie extra or this guide on how to earn big money as a voice actor.

Are you interested in this gig? Have you ever been paid to be an audience member? Tell us about it in the comments!

Get Paid to Drink Beer: Is Everybody’s Dream Job Legit?

How awesome would it be to get paid to drink beer?

How many times have you or your drinking buddies joked around about quitting your day job if an opportunity to earn from drinking all day arises?

Well, if you love drinking beer, studying the intricate process and rich history of brewing, visiting all the taprooms near you, and discovering new craft beer in the market, then you might just find ways to earn some side cash from it.

Note: Don’t quit your day job just yet. This dream job of many isn’t so easy to land.

Today, let’s look at some of the ways you can earn money from drinking beer and how you can go about finding these jobs.

Traditional Beer-Drinking Jobs

1. Professional Beer Taster

Yes, this is a real job.

A professional beer taster goes around tasting all kinds of beer, noting their taste, texture, flavor, smell, and other details, and judging them based on a certain set of criteria.

Beer and ale makers employ them to sample their latest recipes. Pub owners also employ them to taste beers from different producers, more recently local breweries and taprooms, to get recommendations for beers to serve at their pubs.

A bachelor’s degree is preferred, but not required. On the other hand, getting certified as a beer taster can give you an edge in terms of getting the job. Among the most popular certification programs are the Cicerone Certification Program and The Beer Academy Accredited Beer Sommelier Scheme.

It’s more important to have a refined palate, extensive knowledge of the different types of beers and how they are produced, and the ability to report your findings in a detailed, comprehensive, and unbiased manner.

The best places to find these jobs are the job boards at breweries you’re interested to work with. General job boards such as Indeed or FlexJobs may also have some listings for this type of job. This type of job is normally listed as Professional Beer Taster, Beer Sommelier, or a Beer Quality Technician.

2. Sensory Lab Technician

Sensory analysis sounds a lot like a fancy name for “taste testing,” but it’s really not.

It involves examining beer products’ look and color, aroma, mouthfeel and texture, and of course, the taste.

These attributes are a result of the unique combination of the thousands of chemical compounds in the beer. A sensory lab technician is involved in developing programs and methodologies, as well as determining just the right ingredients and processes to get that unique combination right consistently in every brew.

Thus, to be a sensory lab technician, not only do you need to have a discerning palate but you also need to know your chemistry.

A bachelor’s degree is usually required, as well as laboratory experience.

Craft breweries hire sensory lab technicians to maintain the quality of their brews, and your local craft breweries are the best places to find these jobs. It’s possible to find it listed in general job boards as Brewery Lab Technician, Sensory Analyst, or Sensory Scientist.

3. Brewery Representative

Want to get paid to drink beer and to travel?

Being a brewery representative may just be the job for you.

A brewery rep, as they’re sometimes called, represent the brand and work with wholesalers and retailers of the beers to increase distribution, visibility, and sales. They maintain inventory levels and make sure that their products are displayed prominently at points of sale.

Brewery representatives are also in charge of strengthening brand presence in a certain area. They usually host beer tastings and other events to promote their beers. Essentially, they get paid to host events that other beer enthusiasts pay to get into. Now, isn’t that a hoot?

A bachelor’s degree is preferred, but not required. Experience in sales and marketing is more important, as well as being personable and a great communicator. Willingness to travel is also a must; brewery representatives may be assigned locally but may also be assigned to other locations.

Medium to large brewery companies hire brewery representatives to spread the word about their beers and close wholesale and retail deals for their beers. You may also find listings in general job boards as Brewery Sales Representative or Beer Sales Representative.

4. Beer Auditor

Also called liquor auditor or alcohol compliance auditor, beer auditors buy beer from medium to big chain retailers, such as supermarkets, grocery stores, liquor stores, gas stations, convenience stores, etc.

The objective is to check whether cashiers ask for ID when customers buy beer, as they’re legally required to do. Stores are concerned about their reputation, and more importantly, about their alcohol license.

The job involves being assigned to nearby stores, blending in as a customer, and buying beer. Simple, right?

You’ll need to note what time of day you came in, which cashier handled the purchase, and you need to keep your receipt as proof that you completed the assignment to get paid and so that you can get reimbursed for your beer. Hooray for free beer!

Stores don’t directly hire beer auditors, and neither do beer or liquor companies. To work as a beer auditor, you’d need to join an auditing company. The following are some of the companies that periodically offer beer auditor assignments.

5. Secret Shopper

Thanks to apps like Secret Hopper and PintPass, ordinary folks like you and me can now visit any brewery locally and from other towns, get a free flight for doing so, or paid cash after a brewery visit.

Note that these won’t get you rich, or will not substitute a proper day job, but remains a cool and fun experience to try out new beer and ale in exchange for free beer and some change.

Get Paid to Drink Beer with Secret Hopper

“Secret Hopper” was named after the long-time side hustle “secret shopping” wherein you’d shop at stores or dine in restaurants then grade everything from customer service to food presentation, shelf display, and so on.

Because employees of an assigned store or restaurants are not informed about secret shopping assignments, the companies use the feedback gathered from secret shoppers to improve their product or service.

Secret Hopper works the same way, except that “hoppers” visit breweries exclusively.

To become a secret hopper, you need to submit an application by filling out a form.

The form includes a couple of questions asking for essay-like answers. Write well, since the more detailed your story is, the more likely you’d be selected for Secret Hop assignments.

If selected, you’ll visit the brewery, sample the products, and then fill up a questionnaire along with your receipt. You’ll receive payment via PayPal after a couple of days for your “work.”

The standard Secret Hop pays $20, which often covers the cost of a flight and pint.

However, if you’re lucky, you can be assigned with a “hop” that includes free dinner or higher compensation.

Secret Hopper encourages breweries to sign up and “be hopped” for a fee.

Get Paid to Drink Beer with PintPass

PintPass is a cool little app that serves as a directory of local breweries.

There are over 6,500 breweries on the PintPass list, which means it can be pretty useful even if you’re not looking to earn money on the side.

However, unlike Secret Hopper that is paid by breweries for much-needed feedback about their business, PintPass uses their own money to pay for the feedback that a user gives them when they visit a brewery.

Ryan Rickert, the founder of PintPass, reportedly wanted to improve the industry. Since there are still very few data sets available for the craft beer industry, the PintPass app helps in capturing this data from real beer lovers across the country.

Anyone can download the app, check-in to a brewery, and fill out one survey at each brewery you visit.

Once you have over $10 in your account, you can redeem your beer money, which will be credited into your virtual MasterCard.

You can also gift your credits to anyone via the Text-A-Beer tab in the app.

6. Brewmaster

A brewmaster is someone who is responsible for all things beer-related. They know raw materials inside out, develop recipes, prepare beer mixtures, oversee fermentation, and have the final say on beer quality.

Some of the duties of a brewmaster include selecting the right raw materials, finding and contacting suppliers and vendors to source them, making adjustments to processes, managing staff, and other resources to meet objectives, and continuously creating and tweaking recipes to make sure they appeal to the target market.

Your passion for beer isn’t enough to qualify you for this position, though. A bachelor’s degree in microbiology, food science, biotechnology, chemistry, or any related course, and at least 10 years of experience working in a brewery is required.

Employers may require you to have completed a specialized course in brewing from an established brewing science institute.

A brewmaster may be employed by a microbrewery, where they’re likely going to be the head person, or a larger commercial brewing establishment, where they usually oversee a team who does the day-to-day tasks of brewing the beer and maintaining quality control.

You can also find jobs in job boards listed as Brewmaster, Master Brewer, Head Brewer, or Senior Brewer.

How Much Can You Get Paid to Drink Beer?

The actual amount varies per position.

Professional beer tasters can expect to get paid around $45,000 per year on average, while sensory lab technicians make around $34,000 per year on average. Brewery representatives get an average annual salary of $37,000, plus they may earn commissions when they open new accounts or expand an existing wholesale deal. Brewmasters typically get paid around $46,000 annually on average.

Beer auditors and secret shoppers get paid per output, so take as many assignments as you can to maximize your earnings.

Of course, with all of them, you get to drink free beer!

Getting Paid to Drink Beer is Real

You shouldn’t be surprised that you can get paid to drink beer.

There are much weirder ways to earn money these days, like selling your hair or breast milk, or these 10 quick and weird money-making side gigs.

As you can imagine, the demand for full-time beer tasting jobs is high and there are very few opportunities available.

It’s a legitimate career, but it’s safe to assume that beer tasting jobs have low attrition rates.

If you do go with the beer auditor or secret shopper route, don’t expect to turn this into a full-time job. Make it a fun way to earn a little with beer you’re already going to try anyway.

Does getting paid to drink beer sound appealing to you? Which opportunity sounds like something you might try? Sound out in the comments below!

Poshmark Review: How to Get the Most for Your Clothes

This Poshmark review is for anyone who has Marie Kondo’d their wardrobe, garage, shoe closet and other storage recently.

If you’re not going to give your old clothes away to charity, sell them instead of storing them somewhere you won’t see again in years.

Your pockets would love you!

You’d be surprised at how much money you can raise during your monthly or annual cleaning.

To make your online selling as hassle-free as can be, mobile apps like Poshmark are efficient tools. These apps not only serve as the marketplace platform where you’d buy other people’s clothes and sell your own, some apps also have added features like taking photos, documenting, or recording items.

What is Poshmark?

The Poshmark app is a social commerce marketplace where you can sell clothes, shoes, bags, and other fashion accessories online for cash.

Launched in 2011 by Manish Chandra, the Redwood City, California-based company now has 4 million sellers with an accumulated $1 billion+ worth of items sold since its inception.

Selling via Poshmark is super easy. Just download and open the Poshmark app (it’s available on Android and iPhone), take a photo of the item you want to sell, write a description, set the price, and it’s up for sale.

The cool thing about Poshmark is that it was developed originally as an app, which means many of its features run smoothly even when you’re on the go.

Poshmark listing

Compare this to online shops that you only access via mobile browsers and you’ll see what I mean.

However, Poshmark app does have a desktop version, in case you prefer to work in an office.

eBay vs. Poshmark

If you’re going to sell items online, you’d probably be thinking, “why not on eBay?”

eBay is without question the oldest (and still standing) online marketplace today. When it comes to second-hand items, eBay lets you sell and buy stuff on a national level. Its counterpart is probably Craigslist, which has a sub-category for every city across the country.

Poshmark began with people selling used items, similar to eBay, but has since expanded to include new items as well.

Pros and Cons of eBay

  • eBay has been around forever. While it can still have some glitches, these are often scheduled and announced.
  • eBay and PayPal are under the same company, so expect its main payment gateway to be secure.
  • Many payment and shipping options
  • Everyone knows eBay

eBay’s customer support isn’t the best (especially when you’re handling refunds).

Because of its massive reach and millions of items being sold at any given time, eBay’s app can be clunky.

If you’re only planning to sell clothes, eBay is definitely too much for your needs.

Pros and Cons of Poshmark

  • Poshmark was built specifically for mobile use, so the Poshmark app will definitely appeal to people on-the-go
  • The social aspect of Poshmark means your listings are easily shareable inside or outside the Poshmark app
  • Poshmark lets you list an item for sell by simply taking a photo of the item, then adding a description
  • Poshmark is exclusive to fashion items, so you are 100% sure of the target market

The main problem with Poshmark is the high shipping fees, which doesn’t really do anybody good (whether you’re the seller or buyer).

Poshmark Fees vs eBay

On eBay, you don’t pay anything if the item isn’t sold. eBay gets a 8.75% cut of the final selling price, plus an extra 4% if the item is priced $50 to $1,000.

Poshmark gets a 20% cut on items over $15, while a flat rate of $2.95 for any item below $15. You only pay Poshmark fees once you stuff gets sold.

Notable Poshmark Features

As you can see, the Poshmark fees aren’t really that friendly to sellers, but sellers still stick to the Poshmark fees because of the creative ways of selling, and the perks given to Posh Ambassadors and Posh Affiliates.

Aside from having your own online “storefront” on Poshmark, sellers also benefit from these features:

  • Posh Authenticate – Buyers prefer to shop used, branded items at the Poshmark app, mainly because the company guarantees items first. Whenever someone purchases a luxury item, it gets sent to Poshmark headquarters first where the item will be inspected and tagged as authentic. Only then will Poshmark send the item to the buyer. If it fails, buyers are refunded their money.
  • Posh Bundles – The flat lay generation of Instagrammers have definitely inspired online sellers to step up their game when it comes to showcasing products for sale. The Poshmark app lets you bundle items into one purchase, which means you can easily “style” your items for sale.
  • Posh Parties – Poshmark hosts about 3 “virtual parties” daily. These parties are a gathering of buyers and sellers within a particular time. During the party, sellers can share items for sale as long as the item “fits” the party’s theme. For example, “Summerwear party” gathers all sellers with swim wear, summer clothing items, while “Best in Makeup” party invites both buyers and sellers interested in all things cosmetics.
  • Social Sharing (Posh Love, Meet the Posher, etc.) – The Poshmark app is filled with social media vibes. As a new seller, you can introduce yourself by creating a ‘Meet the Posher’ listing and share it all over the app. There’s also the Posh Love feature, where you share what you think looks cool (within your own listings or other sellers’ listing) to your followers.

How to Become a Posh Ambassador and Affiliate

Posh Ambassadors have access to VIP events, programs and newsletter.

They are recommended to new Poshers, which means their market is almost guaranteed.

However, it isn’t easy to become an ambassador.

You’d have to meet these criteria:

  • Listings Sold: At least 15 individual items sold
  • Available Listings: At least 50 available listings in your closet at any given time
  • Average Rating: With an average rating of at least 4.5 stars
  • Average Ship Time: With an average ship time of 3 days (or less)
  • Self-Shares: Record of sharing your own items at least 5,000 times to the community
  • Community Shares: Record of sharing items from other Poshers’ closets for at least 5,000 times

Another advantage of becoming a Posh ambassador is that you’re qualified to join the Posh Affiliate Program.

Meaning, you’ll be able to earn extra money by spreading Posh listings online and getting a commission with all the links that end up as a sale.

How to Start Selling on Poshmark

After signing up, you have a choice of creating a listing on the app, or via web.

If you prefer to list an item via the Poshmark app, here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on the Sell button in the app (It’s the camera icon!)
  2. Your camera will open, so take photos of the item you wish to sell. (You can also upload photos that are already stored on your device).
  3. Add up to 7 more photos for this listing.
  4. Fill in the description, price, size, and other details.

Can You Use Poshmark app for Business?

If you’ve ever faced a Powerseller on eBay or an successful Amazon seller, you know that the buy-and-sell market is alive and well.

Using the Poshmark app as a side gig can lead to a full-blown business if you know how to source products (eventually you’ll run out of things to sell from your closet). You should also be smart with picking luxury items (not all expensive, branded items are guaranteed to sell).

If you look around the community, you’ll see that sellers do make big bucks on the platform, but only a small percent.

It’s mostly due to the Posh Ambassador system that favors long-standing, loyal sellers who have an extensive history with Poshmark.

As a new seller trying our Poshmark, don’t expect to compete against the older Poshers – you’ll just get disappointed.

Instead, welcome the Poshmark app as a new platform to get rid of old stuff hassle-free and convert them into cash.