The BIG List of Brands Looking for Influencers

Many teens and young adults dream of becoming influencers these days and for good reason.

Influencer money is real.

On top of the freebies and high-paying deals that brand ambassadors receive, they also have fame beyond their wildest dreams and a “job” that never feels like they’re actually working.

Of course, before you get to the top of the chain, there’s a lot of work involved. From building up a sizable following, to learning everything you can about social media and online marketing, becoming an influencer is a business through and through.

If you or anyone you know is trying to get serious with influence marketing, make sure to bookmark this post. I’ve compiled a list of influencer platforms you can use to extend your reach and an up-to-date list of brands currently looking for their ambassadors.

HUGE List of Brands Currently Looking for Ambassadors

If you want to make money as an influencer, you have several routes:

Join an Influencer Marketing Agency

Just like talent agencies in Hollywood, influencer marketing agencies were built to help influencers find business deals, manage their influencer business, and do promotions for you.

Most of the time, these agencies have a high requirement (25k followers, 2+ years of active online presence, etc.).

Make a Profile on various Influencer Marketplaces

Influencer marketplaces is usually just a software that collects a list of influencers from various social media.

It is business-centric, since it usually vets influencers, filter them by demographics and provide a comprehensive matching feature for brands looking for ambassadors.

The problem with influencer marketplaces is that you usually don’t have control on which brands contact you for deals. The only upside is being listed on marketplaces gives you an extra boost of exposure.

Join Influencer Marketing Platforms

As you can see from the platform choices above, there are opportunities everywhere. However, since you are competing with hundreds or thousands of other influencers looking for deals, sponsorship and brands as well, the process can be challenging. This is especially true if you’re just starting out.

Look for Brands Yourself

If you’re not at the level required to join an influencer marketing agency and your profile at the influencer marketplace isn’t moving, you have another option.

You might want to try to do-it-yourself and try your chances with the following brands that are currently looking for ambassadors.

50 Brands Looking for Influencers

*** Make sure to bookmark this post to check new ones as I update it.

Clothing & Apparel Brands

  • Breezy Swimwear – Like affiliates, ambassadors earn 15% commission for any referrals to the store that end up as sale. Brand ambassadors are given their own code to share to their followers. They also get discounts and freebies as part of the deal.
  • Calamity Jane’s Apparel – Get a box of goodies once you’re chosen, followed by a monthly t-shirt freebie as long as you promote the brand with your family and friends.
  • Dia&Co – Dia & Co is looking for plus-sized Dia brand ambassador who live and breathe fashion. Get to earn real cash, freebies and access to new products.
  • Dollschino – This London-based clothing store is always looking for two kinds of help: junior influencers with less than 10k followers and brand ambassadors with over 10k followers. If you’d like to work with Dollschino, learn more about these programs here.
  • Enjoy Leggings – Get free leggings and first dibs on new products as a brand ambassador.
  • Evy’s Tree – This company may have begun as a company known for hoodies, but it has now expanded to anything dainty women’s wear. As ambassador, you receive quarterly gift boxes and affiliate commissions to sales you’ve referred.
  • FINDRA – This company is looking for outdoorsy ambassadors willing to showcase their passion for bikes, skis, snowboards, canoes and overall travelers to help promote their brand.
  • Hilda & Hanel Clothing Co. – Got a huge following on Instagram and want to receive and promote clothes? If you’re chosen, you’ll be working as the company’s ambassador for 3 months.
  • Izzy & Liv – Celebrate black culture with likeminded ambassadors and get a free #Brownsugarbox free. Izzy and Liv is looking for adult and kid ambassadors.
  • Leela and Lavender – This multi-brand store is always looking for ambassadors to expand the reach of the company. Fill-out this form to learn about the perks you get when you’re chosen as Leela & Lavender ambassador.
  • Lemon – For comfy lounge wear, legwear and everything cozy and luxurious, Lemon is famous for their cold-weather clothes. Fill out the form to apply as an ambassador and get a chance to receive free clothes.
  • NUYU – This company is specifically looking for college students, who would like to earn free clothes and extra cash just by promoting their products on Instagram.
  • Sand Cloud – This is both a cause (they help preserve marine life) and a complete line-up of clothes, accessories and other sustainable products.
  • She Inspired Clothing – Accepts influencer from any platform (whether you’re a blogger, TikToker, YouTuber, Instagrammer or so on). There is quite a list of requirements, but the benefits make up for it: there’s cash, freebies, and networking opportunities.
  • Sunny Co Clothing – Calling all beachlovers with an active Instagram following. This company gives away a pair of sunglasses or swimsuit to their ambassadors.
  • The Copper Closet – Different levels of perks and required posts are available for the Copper Closet’s brand ambassadors.
  • The Jacket Maker – Makers of luxurious jackets for men and women, this company is looking for ambassadors to promote the brand. In return, ambassadors get to earn 20% commissions for referred sales, 50% off on purchased items, and lifetime discount for you and your friends.
  • The Rustic Rack Boutique – For parents with influencer kids ages 0-3 months to preteen (up to size 14), get free clothes, discounts, and other perks if your kid is chosen to be a brand ambassador.

Sports and Active Wear Brands

  • Discount Dance – As social media ambassador of Discount Dance, you’ll receive the latest dancewear fashions, and in return, you show off your new clothes via your social media channels.
  • Kona Surf Co. – As an ambassador for this surf company, you get to receive free swag and be included in insider contests and giveaways.
  • Trek Light Gear – Become one of the company’s “badassador” and get discounts for the hammocks, apparel, and other outdoorsy lifestyle gear.
  • Born Tough – Makers of cool-looking duffle bags, gym bags, gym accessories, and workout clothes, this company is always looking for brand ambassadors who can promote the company and get paid for 15% commissions in return.

Jewelry and Accessories Brands

  • Blue Planet EyewearAside from  getting free and discounted eyewear, you can also earn commissions from promoting the brand any way possible.
  • LÍLLÉbaby If you have a sizable following on Instagram or other social media and you’re a family with a baby, this brand is a perfect match for you.
  • Mulu Jewelry – Those who have significant followers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube could be chosen as Mulu’s ambassador and earn in-store credit to purchase jewelry from the store.
  • Pura Vida BraceletsThis company is always looking for US-based influencers who could  post at least twice a week. Pays thru PayPal.
  • S-Force Watches – This company is looking for a specific brand ambassador. Fitness-loving, power bodybuilders who have the same love for quality watches. Do you fit the bill? Apply here.
  • Twelve Little – If you’re a lover of gorgeous bags (backpacks, bottle bags, diaper bags, lunch bags, etc.), becoming a brand ambassador for Twelve Little makes sense. You’ll get discounts of up to 50% for you and your followers.

Skin Care, Cosmetics, and Health Care Brands

  • Amire – As a brand ambassador for Amire, get free cosmetic products shipped to you once or twice a month free. In return, you have to post about the brand each week and get a chance to earn more cash.
  • CLN & DRTY – Makers of aromatherapy, oils and other organic skincare products.
  • Foxx and Luna – This small company creates hand-made, body and spa GMO-free products using cruelty-free ingredients. They also sell a wide range of products from tarots to wind chimes, candles, crystals, gemstones, herbs, and so much more.
  • HD Beauty Skincare Boutique – Ambassadors earn commissions, receive discounts and get to try out new products.
  • Lash Factory – Obsessed with having perfect lashes? This company is a producer of quality mascara, brow/lash growth serum and other similar products.
  • Move Makeup – From the creators of the famous Move Makeup kits, concealers, blush, eyeshadow, and more, this opportunity is limited to the first 100 applications each month. The form may be closed temporarily, but opens at the start of the next month.
  • One CBD – If you are a living proof of the benefits of CBD, One CBD is looking for you to become a brand ambassador, share your story, and get a chance to earn through commissions and get significant discounts on One CBD products.
  • Orglamix – This company gives away free products, discounts, and first dibs to their new oils, skincare, makeup products.
  • PMD Beauty – Influencers both men and women are welcome to send a form to collaborate, as long as you have something to offer. Make sure to indicate your social media platforms so the company could verify your clout.
  • The Better Skin Co. – The cosmetics and skincare company is accepting influencers who have at least 5,000 followers with 200 likes on each of the most recent 10 photos.
  • Winky Lux – If you’re a fan of this small cosmetics and beauty company, check out their ambassador program.

Food and Drink Brands

  • Celsius – This company is looking for ambassadors who already love the Celsius health drinks. To apply, fill out the form and share you YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok links.
  • J-Gen – For those who love health drinks, J-Gen’s antioxidant drinks (in powder and ready-to-drink bottles) could be your next favorite drink. And if you become the brand’s ambassador, you can enjoy free products and 20% commissions from referred sales.
  • Kung Fu Tea – If you are in love with bubble tea, there’s no better way to get discounts and freebies than to become a brand ambassador for Kung Fu Tea.
  • Once Upon a Farm – Co-created by Jennifer Garner, Once Upon a Farm is a company that provides fresh and organic food for kids. It is looking for farm mamas or dadas who are based in the US and can provide quality content on Instagram each month.

Tech Brands

  • Zagg.com – This site is home to famous phone accessory brands like Invisible Shield and Mophie, so if you’re a fan and have an active social media life, then fill out this form.

Non-Profit Brands

  • Happy Earth – Get involved in protecting the earth as an ambassador for Happy Earth apparel and you receive discounts and gain plenty of friends who participate in tree planting or trash-pickup activities.
  • The Great North – Help this company with their environmental efforts by promoting the brand on Instagram. Every time someone buys swimwear, a shirt, or other lifestyle apparel, 10% goes into planting trees, removing garbage from oceans, and contributing to sustainable environment.

Everything Else

  • The Honest Company – Co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, this company has been producing plenty of good-quality, non-toxic household products. Pay here is legit – ambassadors earn $15/hour instead of commissions.
  • Junobie – This company produces eco-friendly household products designed for the breastfeeding mom. If you have a sizable following on social media and want to share your love of the brand while getting some perks, fill out the form here.
  • RimBlades USA – RimBlades USA has provided consumers with a patented wheel protection accessory that’s easy to install and looks great. If you’re a fan, this could be your chance to get free products and earn commissions through this ambassador program.
  • Singer – Are you passionate about sewing and love the SINGER brand? The company is continuously looking for people to share the joy of sewing.

12 Influencer Platforms to Help You Find Sponsorship & Deals

If you’re trying to be proactive and wanted to go where businesses find influencers, I have important news for you:

  • The platforms aimed at businesses in search of influencers to team up with are unfortunately, only for businesses. For example, Traackr, was designed specifically to discover and manage influencers, as well as track the progress of campaigns.
  • Most of the time, there is no way to sign-up as an influencer on these sites or apps. It’s because the business-geared platforms use robots and algorithms to find potential brand ambassadors based on various factors, such as number and age of followers, niche, location, level of activity, and so on.

If you do find a platform that allows influencers to join and make a profile, expect these platforms to be more biased to businesses (or lack features beneficial to your influencer life). This is because the businesses are the ones paying for access to this data.

Check some of them out here:

1. Tap Influence

Create an account. Complete your profile. Then when a marketer is interested in collaborating with you, you’ll receive an invitation to bid on an opportunity.

The invitation isn’t a guarantee you’ll be chosen.

  • PROS: Marketers can see your profile and if your business matches the brand’s needs, your name will be included in the “options”
  • CONS: You are not given a chance to message marketers directly. If you are chosen, communication and payments go through TapInfluence.

2. FameBit.com

Before YouTube acquired the branded content marketplace FameBit.com, this site let creators find sponsorship, submit proposals to brands, and get paid all in one platform. But starting on July 31, this self-service feature will no longer be available.

  • PROS: The full service program still helps creators by matching them with brands. Best for YouTubers.
  • CONS: You don’t have the freedom you enjoyed with self-service.

3. Heepsy.com

Heepsy is mostly for businesses and marketers looking for influencers. On their side, brands can filter influencers based on past deals, audience demographics, and other useful filters. As an influencer, you could also find and contact other influencers near you or within your niche if you’re feeling a bit lost and need advice with pricing deals, finding brands, or even setting up a collaboration.

  • PROS: The influencer-friendly feature is pretty useful. Try out the free trial before paying though.
  • CONS: Not enough features available for influencers. This is mostly a business-aimed platform.

4. Aspire IQ (formerly Revfluence)

Known formerly as Revfluence, Aspire IQ is a self-service solution for brands and marketers looking for influencers to work with. It offers plenty of analytical data about influencers and provide brands with a platform to collaborate, manage and assist in tracking campaigns. If you’re an influencer, you just need to join and Aspire IQ would match you with brands and handle payments for you as well.

  • PROS: Big companies like Quest Nutrition and Birchbox are some examples of the brands they work with. Sends payment through PayPal.
  • CONS: Influencers cannot send brands proposals

5. FOHR.co

FOHR has a goldmine of resources for influencers starting out in this business. Make sure to follow the blog and join their email list. It’s free to join as influencers, and the company seems to be serious at helping both sides make the collaborations into a win-win scenario. All influencers who sign-up to FOHR gets their own Instagram Follower Health Score, which is a pretty cool ‘scoring’ feature.

  • PROS: Awesome choice for fashion bloggers and influencers
  • CONS: Not for beginners with little to no clout on Instagram

6. Influential

Influential helps you connect with businesses across different social media platforms. Although Influential is like other companies that use a software for matching influencers with brands, but this is quite exciting because it is powered by Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence (AI) software.

  • PROS: AI software that knows your profile and followers down to the T
  • CONS: No way to join as influencers

7. Linqia

This influencer marketing platform is also AI-driven and focuses more on the brands. Features include a social content lab, where brands can test and analyze various influencers for any particular campaign. The requirements for influencers are pretty easy: at least 2 social accounts, over 2500 followers a month, and at least 1 post monthly.

  • PROS: Pays in about 10 days, unlike the standard 30-day
  • CONS: Canada and US-based influencers only.

8. Mavrck

The Mavrck platform is pretty unique. In most cases, the software collects a list of influencers, weigh the level of clout each one has, verify the followers and information, then match these verified influencers with brands. With Mavrck, a brand’s real customers are invited to become brand ambassadors.

  • PROS: Big-time brands like Universal Studios, New Balance, Proctor & Gamble, Gillette, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sears, and JetBlue.
  • CONS: Influencers have to trust the system and wish that they get picked to become ambassadors.

9. Tidal Labs

Tidal Labs is a full-service influence platform. Through its AI, Tidal finds and groups influencers into certain categories. Brands can create two kinds of campaigns: a public one that any influencer can apply to, and a private one that is only offered to certain influencers. 

  • PROS: Tidal Labs claim of giving beginners a fair shot as experienced influencers
  • CONS: More private campaigns than public campaigns available

10. SocialBook

Dubbed as the world’s best real-time YouTube/Instagram influencer analytical, marketing and advertising machine learning engine, SocialBook was designed to help both influencers and brands arrive at a win-win situation.

  • PROS: Good set of features for influencers: from the ability to check other influencers’ reports to getting brand offers from within the platform.
  • CONS: Free plan is good, but lacks the juicy features available with the paid plans ($14 to $34/month).

11. BrandSnob

This platform is a self-service influencer marketplace, where brands post their campaign and wait for offers from influencers. The brand chooses the influencer to promote their product/service. 

  • PROS: Access to this platform is totally free for influencers
  • CONS: The competition is high and you are not given a chance to send proposals to any brand you like

12. Webfluential 

Webfluential really means what its name suggest – this platform helps influencers of YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even bloggers using the WordPress platform. It provides beginner to experienced influencers with all the right tools to be able to deal with even the biggest companies like Coca-Cola, P& G, Nokia, KFC, Barclays, ABSOLUT, and more.

  • PROS: It is made with influencers in mind
  • CONS: Can’t find anything wrong with this platform.

30 Influencer Tools You Need to Level Up Your Campaigns

In the past, you had to access all your social media accounts manually to post something in them. Many influencers in the earlier days had to do it old school and used their gut when deciding on things.

Now with the help of influencer platforms, these tools make it easy to post in all accounts in one go, schedule posts, monitor the success or failure of a particular campaign, be on top of various analytics (number of followers per social media, number of people who read a particular post, and so on).

You don’t have to use ALL of them, but choosing the best one of these tools is essential to leveling up from just a “famous online person” to an actual online entrepreneur. Ready? Here are the available platforms:

CONTENT CREATION TOOLS

Content refers to anything expressed through a particular medium. This could be anything, from videos for YouTube, infographics for your Pinterest, a tutorial for your blog, or even just a picture for your Instagram.  The following tools will make your lives as influencers easier (perfect for those on a budget and working on their own):

1. Inshot

This video editor app (available in both Android and iOS) allows you to crop in front, at the middle, or end of a video, add effects or voice-overs, add music and text, or adjust speed. Designed for Instagram Stories, but can still be used on other social media.

2. Canva

Ever wanted to make lovely graphics for your pages, but have zero Photoshop skills? Canva is going to be a life-changer for you. Completely free forever, join Canva and start creating.

3. Camtasia

For YouTubers (and other video content creators) who are in need of a capable screen recorder and video editor, TechSmith made Camtasia especially for you. The upside is that there’s free trial, but not everyone can afford it since you’ll need to pay $160 to $250 once the trial is over.

4. OBS (Open Broadcasting Software)

If Camtasia is too expensive, OBS is your solution. This free and open source software is the tool many YouTubers and Twitchers use for video recording and live streaming.

5. Adobe Lightroom app

There are tons of photo editing programs out there being marketed for influencers, but if you need just one, the Lightroom app should be your first choice. And because Lightroom is a pretty popular Adobe product, you can buy presets from hundreds of Etsy creators and give your photos a uniform “look.” Downside is you’ll be paying around $10 a month for desktop and mobile access.

6. Subtitle Workshop

Make adding subtitles to your videos quick and easy. Perfect if you have an accent, speak quickly, or just want additional resources for your followers. It’s free and supports various formats.

7. Ginger

Not the best writer in the world? Don’t worry. There are apps like Ginger to help check your spelling, grammar and punctuation. Keep your content clean without extra effort. It’s free for mobile and desktop.

8. IFTTT (“if this, then that”)

This is aimed for influencers with advanced computer knowledge. With this free tool, you can create any kind of “recipe” or task that you need.  For example: “If you post a new Facebook post,  then it should be shared on Instagram as well.”

9. Tailwind

Designed specifically for creating Pinterest and Instagram content, Tailwind lets you upload posts in bulk, schedule posts and pin to multiple boards in one. There’s free trial, but goes for $9.99 per account per month once it ends.

10. MeetEdgar

For influencers with a blog, this tool lets you recycle your old posts and re-post them in various social media throughout the year. It even organizes which content to use from your given categories.

SEO TOOLS

If you know about #hashtags, you have a slight idea of Search Engine Optimization.

Simply put, any SEO effort you bring to the table is aimed at helping robots (of Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or other platforms) find your content by guiding them with keywords (like hashtags).

SEO may sound complicated, but most influencers have been doing it without really diving deep into the world of SEO. With the following tools, your SEO efforts would be much more easier:

11. TubeBuddy

For YouTubers, this free extension tool is a must if you wish to expand your reach legally and without spending in advertising. It will make it easy for you to optimize your video and channel tags, descriptions, titles, and even thumbnails. There’s free and paid ($9 to $42/month) versions of this tool.

12. Keyhole

This hashtag tracker is very useful for social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. It helps influencers track their campaigns based on how many people shared their post that included those specific hashtags.

13. KeywordTool.io

The rules of keyword research for social media is different for blogs. Every platform has its own rules and algorithms, but you need to start somewhere. Finding keywords for your post could be the first step to a SEO-optimized influencer business.

14. Linktree

Instagram is notorious for giving users only one chance to show off a website, blog, or any other link…and that’s the BIO link. This tool helps you take advantage of that one link by sending anyone who clicks it to multiple possible pathways (that you will set). You can use this free, or pay $6/month for extra features.

15. Audiense

This lead generation tool is for influencers who want to boost the number of their audience, and understand their existing followers better. Ideal for beginners, it gives you a ton of tracking data, reports and “actionable” recommendations.

ORGANIZATION TOOLS

Do you feel like you’re handeling more social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the next big thing), juggling between tasks, and trying to cope with other influencer activities? If so, you might need some organizing in your influencer business.

16. Asana

This project management software helps you keep track of everything – posts, scheduled posts, campaigns, and other tasks. You wouldn’t get overwhelmed too much when everything is in calendar form. It supports almost all social media, so if you’re focusing on two or more platforms, then this could really help organize your work.

17. OnlyPULT

Made for power Instagrammers, this post scheduling tool automatically plans your photos, videos and other posts for publication. It helps you choose the perfect time to post (based on your followers’ most-active hours) and since you can pre-set everything, you even don’t have to be online to post anything. Your hashtags are stored for future use. This is a paid tool, starting at $10.50/month.

18. Awario

Awario is a comprehensive social listening tool that allows you to keep up-to-date with who’s who of your niche (for possible collaborations). The downside of this tool is that it was made for brands to find influencers, so expect most features geared toward businesses.

19. SquareLovin

This visual analytics tool is pretty comprehensive, letting you see clicks to your posts, analyze conversions, and even let you manage Instagram from the platform. If you’re serious about monetizing your influencer status or improve your followers’ engagement, make sure to check it out.

20. Social Blade

Social Blade is a website that tracks your own social media statistics and analytics, as well as your competititors. Social Blade most notably tracks the YouTube platform, but also has analytical information regarding Twitch, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Mixer, Dailymotion, DLive, and TikTok.

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS

Let’s face it. There are a ton of social media platforms today. While some influencers began their career in just one (like YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, etc.), expanding to other platforms like Facebook, Tik-Tok, Pinterest, and more could mean a double in revenue or a boost in followers.

For most beginner influencers who do not have their own team to handle some of these tasks, these social media tools are enough to help you handle your online presence.

21. Socialbakers

This tool organizes your followers’ data, which you could use for monetizing campaigns and improving content. If you’ve been paying for advertising, this tool helps you gear into important things like audience retention.

22. SocialFlow

SocialFlow gives  you control on scheduling posts, but it chooses the right time to publish this post based on the activity level and engagement of your followers. This tool then collects real-time data and removes the need to “trust your gut” when it comes to the best time of day to publish posts.

23. Followerwonk

This one is exclusive to Twitter, but one that is very useful for analyzing your competition, knowing the demographics of your followers, and optimizing your Twitter activities based on real data collected.

24. TokUpgrade

TokUpgrade is one of the earliest tools designed for TikTokers. It helps TikTok-based influencers from getting more “real, targeted followers” safely, securely and legally. This is a paid service and since these guys really know what they’re doing, you can guarantee to receive geniune TikTok fan base growth.

25. OptinMonster

If you’re looking to get a significant amount of new leads, OptinMonster can help you in creating pop-ups, landing pages and other lead-capturing methods without tech knowledge or graphic design skills. It offer drag-and-drop templates you can use quickly.

OTHER TOOLS

These BONUS tools can be a game-changer for you, depending on where you are at your influencer journey.

26. Woobox

What better way to improve your follower engagement than to have a contest, giveaway or competition? Not sure how you could pull one off? Woobox can take care of everything you need to create giveaways, custom forms, hashtag contests, coupons, polls, quizzes, photo contests.

27. Bitly

Bit.ly shortens any URL you have, so if you’re on Twitter (known for its infamous limited space), you’ll be saving more space for your messages. On top of this, all links you shortened using Bitly will be added to your analytics chart, which makes it easy to track campaigns based on the URL you send out to the world.

28. Gleam Competitions

Gleam Competitions works similar to Woobox. It verifies entries of anyone who joins your contest or giveaway, making it totally manageable to run one every week or month.

29. NapoleonCat

This all-in-one social media management and analytics tool also automates customer service and provides you a comprehensive dashboard for all your campaigns. It supports most popular social media like YouTube and Instagram.

30. The FTW Transcriber 

For YouTubers and Twitchers, a good transcriptionist is important. Anything you put out as video can be transcribed and turned into a text-based content (which you can publish as blog post, or Facebook post). It’s such a good way to repurpose content at a low price (average fee is $1 per minute transcribed).

Get Yourself a PO Box, too!

With all the tools you might have on your list, this old school “tool” is often forgotten. But if you’re like most influencers who are getting famous by the day, you know that there are plenty of freebies, deals and other stuff brands (or even fans) send your way.

To keep some semblance of privacy, a PO Box is definitely a must-have for receiving snail mail and packages. The amount may vary by city, but you’d usually have to should $100/year for your own PO Box.

The Bottom Line

If you’re interested in starting with just one social media platform, these following resources could be useful to you:

If everything you just read about the business of becoming an influencer is new to you, but you feel that this career path is speaking to you, make sure to read this guide on how to become a brand ambassador.

How To Start A Podcast & Earn Serious Cash

You’ve probably subscribed to a few podcasts, or at least listened to a few.

If so, you’re far from alone.

Over 90 million Americans listen to a podcast once a month, and the numbers are projected to grow each year.

As the audience grows, and so does the number of podcasts available.

Should you add to these podcasts and publish your own?

In today’s blog post, you’ll learn all the reasons why starting a podcast is good for your business and your brand. You’ll also get a step-by-step guide on how to start a podcast.

Why Start A Podcast?

You might be wondering if starting a podcast is even worth it, especially if you have a small online business with not a lot of capital or cash on hand.

But these are some of the reasons why starting a podcast for your business is a good idea.

Podcasting can increase your traffic.

Podcasting gives you the opportunity to reach out to new audiences who might not be fond of reading blog posts or watching videos.

When listeners subscribe to your podcast, they may recommend your podcast to other listeners who may be interested in what you have to offer.

These are new listeners that can potentially become new customers of your business.

Podcasting strengthens your relationship with your existing audience.

Widening your reach is important, but keeping your customers and your existing audience is just as, if not more, important.

A monthly or weekly episode of your podcast keeps your subscribers updated and invested in your content and your business.

Podcasting is a great alternative to video marketing.

In terms of digital marketing, video marketing is superior. Videos are indeed the content of the future.

However, not everyone is comfortable being on camera, or have the skills or resources to create high-quality videos.

In this case, something is better than nothing; podcasts are better than having no digital marketing strategy.

Podcasting is simple to start.

You can order the equipment today, get them tomorrow, download the software, and you can start right away.

Podcasting is popular.

Podcasts are a welcome alternative to written and video content, mainly because listeners can engage with audio content while multitasking.

When reading articles or watching videos, you have to set aside time and attention to be involved in the content.

Podcasting gives you a chance to add to your revenue stream.

The main purpose of podcasting for your business is to promote your own products and services.

But as we’ve tackled in another article here, podcasting can earn you some cash by itself.

You can earn some extra income from your podcast through affiliate marketing with products and services related to your business.

As your podcast becomes more popular, you can also get sponsorship deals.

How To Start A Podcast

Now that you’re (hopefully) convinced that podcasting is beneficial, let’s go over a general overview of what a podcast involves, as well as the steps on how to start a podcast.

Generally, a podcast involves these three main stages:

  • Record episodes using your equipment and your computer.
  • Upload episodes to a podcasting host.
  • Promote podcast episodes.

Within these three stages are several steps to complete and factors to consider, so let’s dive in.

Step 1. Validate your podcast idea.

Since you already have a business that has a niche, you have a great deal of your work already done.

Even though you have a niche, consider what your target audience is looking for in a podcast.

Podcast ideas

Do they want expert advice? Do they want reviews about products or services in your niche? Or do they simply want to be entertained?

And you don’t want to go through producing an entire podcast only to find out that no one cares.

You can validate your idea by doing a Google search for podcasts using keywords related to your niche.

Doing this gives you an idea of what podcasts are already out there, which ones are successful, which ones are less successful, and what kind of podcast your audience needs that they don’t seem to be getting currently.

Think about the format of your podcast. Would you prefer to do solo podcasts, interviews, case studies, or do it with a co-host?

Step 2. Think of a podcast name, cover art, podcast description, and theme music.

These seem like superficial things to worry about, but these are the first few things that audiences will see and hear.

If your cover art looks low-quality, and your title isn’t interesting, listeners who’re scrolling through a podcast directory will just skip over yours.

When choosing a title, write down some titles with your target keywords and include descriptive words that give listeners an idea of what they can expect from you and your podcast.

Another aspect you’ll need to carefully select is your podcast’s cover art. Unless you’re an experienced graphic designer, it’s more advisable to commission one than to try to do it yourself.

Good cover art is easy to read, has the name of your podcast, contains images related to your topic, and uses an aesthetically pleasing color combination.

Make sure as well that it conforms to requirements of the podcast directories where you plan to submit your podcast.

You’ll also have to submit a podcast description, which is a short summary of what your podcast is all about and why people should listen to it.

Make sure you include relevant keywords in your podcast description and write something that’ll pique listeners’ interest.

Your intro and outro songs also matter. Catchy music does wonders for listeners’ attention spans.

If you’re working on a budget, you can search for free music on Free Music Archive, but if you have a few dollars to spare, you can try Audio Jungle or Stock Music Site.

When you go through this step, remember that starting a podcast for your business is going to be pointless unless someone listens to it, and a lot of times, you only get one chance to give a first impression and convince your audience to listen to your podcast.

Step 3. Gather your equipment.

Professional equipment can cost a pretty penny; you can expect to spring around $1,000 or more.

If you’re only starting out, it’s better to keep everything simple. You can get a decent set up for less than $300 if you choose right, and you can upgrade to more high-end equipment once you’re earning more.

Here are the essential types of equipment you’ll need to start a podcast and what to look for in each one.

Microphone

You can’t get away with using your laptop microphone or the built-in microphone from your Bluetooth headset.

A quality microphone decreases background noise and picks up the most important sound in a microphone: your voice.

Analog microphones are generally acknowledged to be the best type of microphone you can use, but these can cost you hundreds of dollars.

Plus, you’ll need an audio interface to digitize the sound for your computer, which is an extra cost.

For a balance between quality and cost, look for a mid-range USB microphone. It plugs directly to your computer and sound quality is acceptable for podcasting.

Accessories that you can use to reduce popping sounds (such as those that are made when making P, B, T, J, C, or K sounds) include foam windshields that you can fit over the microphone or a mesh pop shield to place between your mouth and the microphone.

Headphones

In theory, you can use earphones when working on your episodes.

But headphones are recommended because most of them are noise-canceling, allowing you to better hear yourself and your interviewee if you have one.

Podcast Headphones

It’s also recommended to choose headphones that are closed-back and snug-fitting but comfortable such that you can wear them for hours.

Step 4. Download the necessary software.

You’ll need software for recording your podcast and for editing the audio files. Some software can be used as both recording and editing software, but you can also use separate software for recording and editing.

The most popular software options include Audacity (free) and GarageBand (free, Mac only).

Step 5. Select a podcast hosting provider.

A website hosting provider hosts your website, while podcast hosting providers hosts your podcast.

The difference is that podcast hosting providers use media servers; that is, they’re specifically designed to store large media files and support the high bandwidth needed to stream episodes or download them to their devices.

Consider the following factors:

  • Pricing. How much can you afford to spend, and is it worth it for what you’re getting?
  • User-friendliness. Some hosting providers are easier to work with than others. It’s not worth anything if you can’t use the interface.
  • Embeddable players. You might want to embed episodes of your podcasts in your blog or website.

The most popular ones are SoundCloud, Podbean, and Libsyn.

Step 6. Plan your podcast episodes.

At this point, decide how long each of your episodes should be.

A podcast episode usually ranges from 30 minutes to an hour, but you should plan this according to your planned topics and how long you can realistically talk about them.

Unless you’re an experienced speaker who knows how to wing it without veering off-topic and staying within your time limit, planning your episodes is the smart thing to do.

But writing a script and just reading it will make you come off sounding like a robot to your listeners. Not to mention it takes hours writing a script for a single half-hour episode.

You want your listeners to feel less like you’re giving a sermon and more like you’re actually having a conversation with them, even though it’s one-sided.

For this, you’ll want to write down a general topic, then bullet points of subtopics. Also indicate how many minutes you want to allot per bullet point.

Take the time to provide an opening and closing spiel for your episodes as well.

While you’re actually talking, it helps to have a timer in your peripheral vision so you can pace yourself. If you don’t get it right the first few times, don’t fret; you can always take care of it during editing.

When planning the content, it’s also smart to plan how often you can upload a new podcast. Consider what kind of schedule you can commit to.

You don’t need to upload a new episode every day, but you do need a consistent schedule.

A weekly podcast is a usual frequency, but you can also opt for a twice-weekly, twice-monthly, or monthly podcast.

Step 7. Record your podcast episodes.

After you’ve planned your episodes, you can finally start recording them.

Set up your equipment: plug in your microphone and your headphones, fire up your recording software, and start talking.

Podcast Recording

Doing a solo podcast might seem awkward at first because it feels like talking to yourself. Talking to a photo of someone you can imagine as your target audience, even if it’s just a stock photo, can help you feel like you’re actually talking to someone.

If you’re interviewing someone remotely, the usual way to do this is via Skype, while being recorded by a software, such as Pamela for Skype or MP3 Skype Recorder. They both have free versions, but it’s more advisable to use the paid ones.

Step 8. Edit your podcast episode.

Editing audio involves splicing together the intro, audio clips, and the outro, as well as any other audio files you need to include, like sound bites, songs, or advertisements.

It also involves refining the sound and eliminating as much background noise as possible.

Your editing process will vary, depending on the software you’re using. Browse video tutorials specific to your software on YouTube or Vimeo so there are screen captures and complete audio instructions.

Step 9. Publish your podcast episodes to your hosting provider.

This is a short step: simply upload your finished episodes to your podcast. The particulars will vary according to your hosting provider.

Step 10. Promote your podcast episodes.

Once you’ve uploaded your podcast to your hosting provider, you can now start getting listeners to your podcast.

First, upload your podcast to directories. Here are the main podcast directories where you can upload your episodes:

Then, if you have social media accounts related to your business, share links to your podcast and podcast episodes to your social media followers.

Also, if you have an email list, it’s worth spreading the word to your email subscribers as well.

And if your business has a website and a blog within it, create a blog post featuring your podcast episode. This works better if you can have the podcast episode transcribed because your blog readers would tend to expect text content when they visit your blog.

5 Ways to Earn Serious Cash from Podcating

Here are 5 ways successful personalities get to talk about the things they love, work from home, and make a killing podcasting:

1. Sponsorships

The most common way podcasters earn money is through sponsorships.

However, only popular podcasters are able to attract advertisers, since the main factors sponsors look for are traffic and audience number. Of course, sponsors would likely check the niche of podcasters to gauge if mentioning their products/services on the show would translate to successful conversion rates.

Some podcast hosts, such as Blubrry and Libsyn, include ad opportunities to shows. You can also find a service that connects you to advertisers. Midroll is a good example of this, but note that these types of services take a cut from your earnings. Podcasters earn a lot more if advertisers contact them directly for sponsorships.

Ad rates for podcasts follow the CPM (cost per impression) model. The average rate of 1,000 downloads come at $18 per 15-second pre-roll slot, or $25 per 60-second mid-roll slot. This can go higher depending on the number of audience a podcaster has. For instance, if a specific episode earns 20,000 listeners, the sponsor would need to pay you $500 for the 60-second ad.

2. Affiliate Marketing

The best thing about affiliate marketing is that if done right, it could give podcasters a passive income.

Like sponsorships, podcasters have different ways of implementing this into their show. The easiest would be to join affiliate programs from known retailers like Amazon. But if your show can’t fit in Amazon products into an episode, it’s best not to force it and opt for another way instead.

Commission Junction and other affiliate advertising networks also host a wide range of products and services that podcasters could promote “on air.”

But it’s important not to promote anything unrelated to your niche, or else it might be too obvious you’re taking advantage of your listeners’ buying potential.

If Amazon isn’t an option and you can’t find items to promote from affiliate ad networks, your next bet is to create your own affiliate program. You can do this by seeking partnerships from companies that are somewhat relevant to your niche. You’d have to pitch the idea to retailers or other companies, so prepare your podcast’s stats.

Just like in sponsorships, anyone (whether a person or company) that partners with you would want to see large numbers, but impressive conversation rates are the reason they’d bite what you’re offering.

3. Selling Products

If running after sponsors isn’t your thing, you can sell your own products on your show.

It would be a lot of work, especially since you’re going to develop the product from start to finish before you could promote it on air, but the advantage of this path is that you’ll receive majority of profit instead of getting a tiny commission just like what affiliate marketing offers.

Another benefit of creating and selling your own products is that there are tons of options, from ebooks to courses, SaaS products, and even real products that can be shipped to a physical address.

You can even sell a set of videos, bundled as a paid subscription. This allows podcasters like you to create something within your niche that provides the most value to your listeners.

Once you’ve decided on the products to sell, you can now implement a sales funnel, where you give away freebies or discounted items, before showcasing more expensive products.

4. Offer Services

Podcasters with a huge following can easily offer services to its listeners.

This can be anything from one-on-one coaching, consulting, guest writing, speaking engagements, design, or any other services within a podcaster’s skillset.

The services that you offer may start small, but as long as you provide value to your customers, be prepared for word-of-mouth to double your paying customers over time.

For those who don’t feel comfortable teaching, you can simply offer flat fees for certain solutions. For example, writing a podcast script for a company, or setting up an individual’s podcast business, can be done on the side and doesn’t require a full-time commitment.

Think of your podcast as a marketing tool and develop strategies that would expand your podcasting efforts into other money-making endeavors.

5. Crowdfunding and Donations

Crowdfunding can be a smart way to begin your podcasting career, but it will only work if you already have an active community that would gladly finance your project in the form of pledges. Crowdfunding platforms like Patreon make the pledging possible.

You can also ask your listeners for donations. You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to give money in exchange for free information or entertainment that you’ve been giving them. Since a donation option gives your listeners the power to decide how much they’re donating, they’ll see this as their way to give back.

Just remind them about your donation button as often as possible.

Start A Podcast Today!

Hopefully, you’re convinced that starting a podcast can benefit your business greatly.

Here’s a recap of the steps to start a podcast:

  1. Validate your podcast idea.
  2. Think of a podcast name, cover art, podcast description, and theme music.
  3. Gather your equipment.
  4. Download the necessary software.
  5. Select a podcast hosting provider.
  6. Plan your podcast episodes.
  7. Record your podcast episodes.
  8. Edit your podcast episode.
  9. Publish your podcast episodes to your hosting provider.
  10. Promote your podcast episodes.

Planning to make a podcast soon? Or have you tried starting a podcast and want to expand your reach? Share your podcasting stories and experiences in the comments!

Is Amazon KDP Still a Good Business in 2020?

Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) has been around since late 2007, but it was in 2010 to 2015 that many regular people were transformed into published authors overnight and actually made Amazon KDP their business.

Those who have been rejected by traditional publishers are some of the biggest fans of the program, but is it still worth the trouble in 2020 and beyond?

5 Reasons Why You Should Continue Your Amazon KDP Business

If you’re having doubts of joining the Amazon KDP community as an author, here are 5 reasons why it remains a solid business model:

1. The Niches are Expanding

In the past, it is common knowledge that fiction outsold non-fiction in the Kindle library. But the genres mostly focused on romance, mystery, and fantasy, so authors like Mike Omer (from the Spider’s Web series and “A Killer’s Mind” fame) stuck to these categories.

Today, many more niches are being put on the spotlight of the Top 100, from the how-to and self-help “aisle”, to the science fiction, young adult, adventure and even inspirational and women’s fiction.

Some of them are still pretty competitive, but since people’s interests are expanding to more categories, it means there are higher chances for your chosen category to be explored by a significant number of people.

2. Better Stats Lead to Targeted Book Goals

By 2018, there were 90.5 million e-readers in the U.S. alone. Imagine how many people have joined the fun and discovered the world of ebooks.

In 2019, the ebook industry earned a whopping $2.04 billion. It’s still definitely smaller than its print counterpart (which took in $22.6 billion revenues that year) though.

What’s interesting is that even if the use of e-book readers has been seeing a decline in recent years, there’s data to support that Kindle books are gaining fans thanks to hundreds of popular book series.

And publishers are raking in cash because of they are able to reel in readers with cheap (or free copies of their) first book, then earn from subsequent books of the series.

3. Removes the Need to go the Traditional Publishing Route

Many people who dream of becoming a published author are crushed when their dreams don’t turn into reality for one reason or another, such as:

  • Publishing house not interested in the story
  • Author has no connection to any publisher
  • Lack in marketing or networking
  • Authors who have awesome books, but are unsure how to present their work
  • and so on…

With the Amazon KDP route, the rules are totally different. First of all, since Amazon accepts publishers directly, there’s no need to shop around for a publishing house. You wouldn’t have to experience being rejected by publishers anymore.

While you do have to learn how to market your own ebook to improve sales, you can also outsource this task to agencies who specialize in these kinds of things.

4. Amazon KDP Newbies Welcome

This is my favorite thing about Amazon KDP – it levels the playing field between beginners and published authors, or famous people.

Regular people begin juggling real life with writing on the side, until they reach success enough to quit their day jobs. For example:

  • Samantha Christy used to be a Computer Systems Analyst and stay-at-home mom before she became the author of “Purple Orchids.” Her husband even quit his job a couple of years later to handle her taxes and other behind-the-scenes of Samantha’s publishing business.
  • Alexa Riley is the pen name of two friends (Melissa King and Lea Robinson) who has over 100 romance novels under their belts. Since 2014, these two ladies have been writing “cheesy love stories with a happy ending” non-stop.
  • Melissa Leong was a former business journalist who wrote vampire novel “What Kills Me” and got rejected by 20 publishers before uploading it on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing site. She tried to sell it for $3 a copy, but only got thousands of sales when she took it down to 99 cents. You’d think this was a bad thing, since Leong earned less than what she would have earned at $3 a pop. But her decision to reduce the price led to a spot on the Bestseller list, an ocean of fans, and even movie offers.

Aside from the actual writing and marketing authors have to do, there aren’t much obstacles beginner authors have to face in self-publishing with Amazon.

5. Unlimited Opportunities for Talented Authors

Melissa Leong isn’t the only one who had her life turned upside down (in a good way) through Amazon KDP.

Like her experience, many authors whose first book become best-sellers suddenly get a boost in creativity as their fans and sales increase, follow it up quickly with a second part, or another ebook with a completely different story/topic.

The opportunities doesn’t stop at Amazon too! Successful authors usually receive offers for TV or movie adaptations, calls for interviews with the press, features on magazines/blogs, consulting gigs, writing courses/coaching stints, and other opportunities that are found outside KDP.

The Future of Amazon KDP

You know that you can make money online with ebooks, but you’re unsure if it remains a lucrative business in 2020 and beyond. That’s a totally valid dilemma since writing ebooks are not an easy feat.

There will be flops, such as ebooks trying to cash in on the covid19 crisis when some of the best scientists of the world are still trying to learn about the virus. But if you do a little digging and research before you decide on the genre and theme of your ebook, the future of your Amazon KDP business can be bright.

Don’t believe blog posts from people claiming that you can only earn money from Amazon if you have a ton of ghostwriters who would do the writing for you.

If you have content you want to publish, as long as you follow Amazon’s guidelines, there is no limit to the number of ebooks you could release to the “world” and the amount of money you could possibly earn.

How to Make Money Woodworking from Home

If you have the passion for creating masterpieces out of wood and you’re looking to start a home-based business, here’s a solid guide on how to make money woodworking from home.

Yes, you read that right. You can do everything from product creation to marketing your work from the comforts of your own garage and home office.

On this post, we’ll discuss how select Etsy sellers make a living just from several pieces of wood furniture and learn how to pick the woodworking projects that sell well.

Things You Need to Make Money Woodworking from Home

There are three important things you need to make money woodworking:

1. The Right Mindset

Unlike other online businesses, woodworking is a very labor-intensive business. Many woodworkers who begin to turn their passions into a business should be ready by the possibility of getting exhausted day in, day out. You should have the physical strength and stamina to operate power tools, lift heavy items, and just move about your entire work day.

The physical demands of this job means you should enter this business with the right mindset. Income comes only after you sell a project, so the fulfillment of completing a day’s work should be enough until payment comes in. Sometimes you get to finish three orders in a day, while other days you don’t get to reach halfway through a job.

As a woodworker, you’re the employer and employee. Sometimes, you’ll even serve as a marketer, customer support, and accountant all at the same time. Being someone with woodworking skills and wearing all kinds of hats involves the right mindset as well.

2. Equipment and Woodworking Skills

Woodworking and mechanical skills are a given, since it would be hard to earn from the projects you make if it takes you a month to make one pair of shelves, which you then sell for $50. On the other hand, a skilled woodworker could quickly make several shelves in a day.

You should also be good in math, can read blueprints, and have a natural ability to follow instructions. And because you’ll be needing numerous tools to create your products, you should have (or be ready to invest in) equipment such as:

Power tools

Table saw, hand planer, power drill, circular saw, and other similar equipment

Hand tools

These include quality-made hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers and other hand tools

Carving tools

If you’re offering carved furniture, you must also invest in  knives, chisels, gouges, v-tools and more to do the job.

A PC and camera

You’ll need a camera to take product shots of your work and a PC to upload the photos, edit lighting and list on your chosen online marketplace. If your phone has a good camera, a phone could be an alternative for a camera+PC setup.

You should also have ample space (somewhere from 75 to 125 square feet) for adequate lumber storage and to move around and create the pieces you’re going to sell.

Woodworking Tools

3. A Good Business Plan and Marketing Skills

You may be working from home, but you should still be following traditional business operations. As such, you’d need a business plan to see things through.

Some of the most important things you should include with your plan are:

  • Business goals – Whether you plan to sell “just one item a month,” or scale up your production to $500 a day, writing your goals early allows you to have a timeline to follow. Some useful advice before you begin?
    • Spy on your competition
    • Buy only the necessary tools. You only need the basic tools in the beginning. You can scale up your woodworking shop once orders begin to rain.
    • Learn the numbers. Understand how pricing for handmade products are computed. Include cost of raw materials, your labor hours, electricity, and other considerations.
  • Audience building – Sooner or later, you’ll realize that you just can’t produce furniture to everyone. Even if you started making amazing dressers, pallet-inspired furniture, fancy coffee tables, and every other furniture requested by customers, it’s only natural that you’ll find the niche to focus on. For example:
    • Reconstructing guitar bodies into dining tables, shelves, or other cool stuff. This niche known as furniture flipping is a hot niche.
    • Cool wooden furniture for gadgets, such as a phone docking station
    • Rustic furniture
    • Custom-made furniture (only for the seasoned woodworker who has mastered almost all kinds of furniture projects)
  • Pick a Home base – Build a website, get a free blog up and running, create a business Facebook page, or join Pinterest, Instagram or any other platform of your choice. Pick one or all, but the important thing is to have an online “home base” where you can showcase your work. It would serve as your portfolio, “calling card,” and catalog in one.
  • Promotion – The most effective way to spread the word about your work is through past clients, but if you wish to be aggressive with marketing, you have options. Social media is powerful, but extremely cheap to use and if you decide to pay for sponsored ads, you can control your spending and gradually increase your ad budget as your finances allow it.
  • Supplemental income – Are you open to selling your designs? Sharing your methods to the world with a YouTube channel? Maintaining a blog with step-by-step tutorials of your work, or teaching woodworking to people (either through a course your wrote, or through one-on-one coaching) are also effective ways to earn more money

Sites To Sell Your Woodworking Projects

Aside from your “online home base,” you’ll need to get familiar with the following websites to be able to make money woodworking from home:

ETSY

Etsy is the number one online marketplace for everything handmade, so from greeting cards to custom wedding rings, pillowcases to furniture, you can find a vibrant community of buyers and sellers here.

There are thousands of members on Etsy, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. As a new seller, building your customer base and getting an edge over your competition may not take overnight. However, once your shop gets its footing, you’ll be able to enjoy the thousands of potential buyers already part of the Etsy world.

Another benefit of Etsy as a seller is that you should only $0.20 listing fee per product for four months and a 5% transaction fee.

Remember how I told you that you’ll need good pictures to showcase your work? Check out the presentation of Australia-based shop WoodYouBuy, which shine with jewelry organizers, entryway shelves, decorative furniture and gorgeous docking stations. The shop is run by husband-and-wife team Lesley and John and since joining Etsy in 2018, is about to make the 3000-mark sales.

Amazon Handmade

It isn’t as popular as Etsy yet, but Amazon is the largest marketplace in the world, so expect a bigger and more varied audience here.

The downside is you need to apply to become an Amazon Handmade seller and you pay 15% referral fee, but the good news is there is no fee for listing items. Sellers can create a custom profile to promote your other products.

A warning though: if you get popular on Amazon Handmade real quick, it could be challenging to supply the demands of customers if you’re just starting out and have no employees to help you create wooden products.

ArtFire

ArtFire is similar to Etsy, where items like craft supplies, and other woodworking goods are sold. There are several plans, starting at $4.95/month (with 250 listings) and up to $40/month (2,500 active listings).

Build Your Own Store

If you decided that your home base is an official website, you can accompany it with your own store.

The best thing about this route is that you can post pictures of your past work and do a ‘create-by-demand’ scheme similar to PoDs, wherein would-be buyers order items and only then will you create the piece.

For woodworkers with little money as startup, you don’t have to go with Shopify (that has a monthly fee). You can get a domain for $10, a hosting provider (as less as $3/month), and set up a WordPress store on your own.

The Best Advice to Make Money Woodworking from Home?

I have three:

First: There’s no project too big or too small, especially if you’re just starting out.

This is particularly true if you still haven’t found your niche, or you’re still trying to attract customers. You need to have a good mix of products available – from high-priced pieces to $10-dollar iPhone docks – to be able to yield the most revenue.

Second is to produce quality work.

It doesn’t matter if you’re only working on re-purposed pallets, or the most exquisite wood you can find. The secret to surviving this business is to product quality items all the time, even if you’re only making a simple book shelf for a kid’s bedroom, or a centerpiece table for the living room.

Lastly is to master the art of customer service.

As an online business, you won’t have much employees. And if you’re like many online businesses, you’d probably be wearing the hat of customer service rep as well. Know that you don’t need a course to be good at this – you just need to be professional, attentive to your customer’s needs and helpful enough to answer inquiries or resolve issues.

And if you stick to these 3 tips and keep passionate about the craft, you can be one of the many people who actually make money woodworking from home successfully.

How to Make Money Dancing from Home

Dancers are passionate, hardworking and disciplined, but often find it challenging to make money dancing.

If you’re a dancer and you rely solely on traditional dancing jobs, not only is competition for these jobs exceptionally fierce, the gigs themselves are few and far between and the money earned isn’t even worth all the trouble.

Like many jobs for artists, it can be tough to keep the passion alive if you’re unable to pay your bills.

The good news is that you have unlimited possibilities now with the internet, social media and other platforms that not only let you showcase your talent, let you earn real cash as well.

So if you’re willing to get creative and turn your dancing into a money-making machine, then read on…

8 Ways to Make Money Dancing

Let’s begin with the traditional methods of earning money through dance and discuss online opportunities that you can explore:

1. Perform for Events

Almost every event requires special talent like yours for entertainment. This event could be birthday parties, anniversaries, corporate events, and so on.

You can check dancing gigs on websites like Dance.net, which updates a listing of jobs you can apply to.

Another similar resource is GigSalad, a booking site that allows you to promote your dancing services and also find relevant jobs you could apply to.

Answers4Dancers lists dance gigs as well, but this requires a monthly fee.

It’s been around since 1999, and has a massive amount of information for budding dancers, so it could be worth it if you’re feeling a bit lost.

2. Offer Your Choreography Skills as a Service

If you’ve been dancing for years, there’s a good chance you know how to choreograph as well.

If you haven’t thought about offering choreography to other people, this is the perfect time to do so. TheDanceResource is a good resource to know industry standards, new dance techniques, and even meet like-minded people who could help with your career.

When searching through job boards, you’ll find jobs exclusive only to “choreographers.” Offering choreography as a service expands your portfolio and opens up more opportunities.

3. Teach Dance Lessons

You can teach dance traditionally face-to-face in a local studio, at your home, or at your client’s home. Doing dance lessons, whether you specialize in ballet or hip-hop, will never run out of fashion, so keep on teaching as long as you can.

If you’ve been doing this for a while and feel that you’re ready to expand, think about hosting group dance lessons.

Many studios are glad to support choreographers and will give you a slot on their calendars if you’ve got something to offer that they don’t currently have. Some companies that offer extracurricular activities to their employees may also let you teach their employees how to dance.

If both ideas above are not feasible, don’t give up just yet. You can rent a space and offer group dance lessons there.

And if your time cannot accommodate traveling to different locations, you can still teach online and make money dancing by either:

  • Building a membership website, where you send choreography lessons daily
  • Creating a master-class, a dance course that students can follow at their own pace

You can even “meet” with clients via video and still be able to teach dance as though you’re face-to-face.

4. Write Articles about Dancing

While writing may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially since you won’t be on your toes for this one, sharing your technical dancing knowledge can be lucrative as well.

Many dance publications like Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, Pointe Magazine, and Dance Informa (among others) are always looking for writers to bring a fresh take on dance.

They may not post about writing opportunities, but you can always send an e-mail and pitch an idea for an article. Your idea must just be good enough to land a paid writing gig.

If you’re feeling quite shy with working with the big guys at these major publications, you can always write informally on your own blog and share your knowledge there.

5. Post Dance and Choreography Videos

If you want to dance non-stop and share your talent with the world, you can make money dancing just by posting videos of them online.

Plus, the online videos could also serve as your portfolio.

Go with YouTube and open an AdSense account. Every time you post a dance video, an ad will be shown.

When someone watches your video and does not skip the video, you get to earn a couple of cents per view.

Multiply this by hundreds of views, or thousands (if you blow up), and you can reap the benefits of going viral like the Jojo Gomez-choreographed and Tim Milgram-produced The Pussycat Dolls’ “Buttons”, which has been viewed a whopping 45 million times since it was posted on July 2017.

The cool thing about YouTube is that AdSense is just one part of the income possibilities available there. (Here are other ways you can make money on YouTube).

6. Become an Affiliate Seller

As an affiliate seller, you promote other people/company’s products and earn commissions if the people who came from your website or YouTube channel clicked the link you shared and bought something from that store.

The commission rates would vary between stores. Amazon is the most popular, but bookstores, sporting goods stores, and other stores usually have affiliate programs.

(Click here to learn more about affiliate marketing).

7. Sell Your Own Products Online

If you’re getting some success with affiliate marketing and you want to bring your own products into the mix, you can always sell them online. You have tons of platforms readily available – Etsy (for handmade stuff, eBay (for second-hand items), Facebook Marketplace (for a varied mix of items), and so on.

Incorporating dance into the product would prove challenging, but you can always stick to easy merchandise like workout pants, tank tops, dancing books you’ve written, and so on.

8. Monetize Your Social Media Platforms

Aside from YouTube, you can also explore what other social media platforms has to offer. For example:

  • Pinterest – Take photos of yourself doing some ballet dance moves, turn it into a poster, and post it on Pinterest. The site is known for shareable photo content, so adding interesting photos to the mix could get people’s attention quick.
  • Instagram – This website is also all about photos, but it caters to short videos too! Promote your dance lessons, share a link to your website, and try other monetizing techniques known to work on Instagram.
  • Twitter – You may think that the character limit can be restricting, but a little bit of creativity can go a long way. See how you can make money off Twitter and your dancing skills.
  • Facebook – You can create a Facebook channel (which works mostly like YouTube) and see if you’ll find success there. If not, you can use a Facebook page to promote your business, share your dance videos, network for new clients, and interact with existing clients. There are numerous ways you can incorporate Facebook into your money-making plan – make sure it counts!

Do You Know other Ways to Make Money Dancing?

You don’t have to give up dancing if you can’t make ends meet.

By learning new skills and being open to what the internet, social media, and other technological advancements could do to your dancing career, you’ll embrace the many money-making opportunities available to you as a dancer.

Have you been making money dancing online and IRL as well? Did I miss any other way to earn from dancing? Feel free to share below…

5 Online ASL Jobs You Can Work from Home

5 Online ASL Jobs You Can Apply For

One in five Americans have hearing loss in at least one ear and three out of every 1,000 children are born deaf or hard of hearing.

Based on these statistics, Deaf people—the proper term for deaf persons who share a language and a culture—are a huge part of the workforce.

That said, they still sometimes need communication support.

Hearing people who know ASL and are skilled in working with Deaf people are thus increasingly in demand in various industries.

Today, I run down some ASL jobs you’ll be able to do online.

5 ASL Jobs You Can Do Remotely

Some, if not all of these jobs have been traditionally done face-to-face. Nowadays, with technology where it is, you’re able to do them over the internet.

Here are some ASL jobs to consider applying for, or even doing by yourself as an independent contractor or as a self-employed individual.

1. Employment Counselor

An employment counselor for Deaf people and the hard of hearing is someone who provides assistance in finding career opportunities and job placements for them.

Employment counselors can also be involved in developing advocacy programs in agencies serving Deaf people.

State and private agencies, rehabilitation centers, and nonprofit organizations are just some of potential employers of employment counselors.

Education/Degrees/Certificate Required

Educational programs and trainings in this field prepare students in client assessment, principles of counseling, educational research, basic career development and career program design.

To become a full-fledged employment counselor, you’d usually need a master’s degree in counseling or career counseling, with a focus on career development.

If you can get a certification by taking the National Certified Counselor examination (offered through the National Board of Certified Counselors), it will help you get a leg up on other applicants.

2. Psychologist

Deaf people may need psychologists with whom they can communicate through their language and not just through text.

Clinical psychologists may offer therapy, counseling, and diagnostic tests. Research psychologists conduct research on psychology and mental health as they relate to Deaf people, as well as people who have hearing loss or are hard of hearing.

Schools, mental health clinics, research centers, and hospitals hire psychologists in different capacities.

Education/Degrees/Certificate Required

Psychologists who work with Deaf people need specialized education and a doctorate, which may take at least five to seven years to get it.

You can get either a Doctorate in Psychology (PsyD) or Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, with a special focus on the deaf and hard of hearing populations.

Subjects that you take throughout your college education include sign language competency, psychology and deafness, clinical psychology, ethics, dissertation research, psychopharmacology, cognitive psychology, and child and adult development.

Also, getting either doctorate requires internship placements, a practicum, clinical training, a dissertation, and licensing; practicing psychologists and those who are employed by schools require licensure from all states.

Each state has different requirements, and Association of State And Provincial Psychology Boards and National Association of School Psychologists would have more complete information.

3. Real-Time ASL Interpreter

A real-time ASL interpreter is someone who is responsible for helping Deaf people understand something spoken in real time.

Video ASL Jobs
Photo Credit: SignVideo

There are a wide variety of situations when this is required. For instance, company and business meetings, depositions for court, medical offices and hospitals, government agencies, classrooms, and many other institutional settings.

Due to the increase in use of video relay services, Internet video can be streamed along with an ASL interpreter simultaneously to a Deaf person.

Education/Degrees/Certificate Required

Sign language interpreters would need a bachelor’s degree in ASL/English interpretation from an accredited interpreter program, as this is a minimum requirement to get a certification through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

There are also special trainings in sign language regional nuances, techniques, ethical standards, and legal standards to be able to work in any setting and region, as well as with anyone.

The bachelor’s program usually includes ASL courses, Deaf studies, communication, psychology, linguistics, and business, after which an internship then a practicum are required.

A master’s degree in ASL/English interpretation is preferred but not required for most employers, but check in with your prospective employers if they do need it.

4. Sign Language Teacher

Sign language teachers educate students of all ages on how to use ASL to communicate with others. They can also teach ASL as a second language to those who are studying to be sign language interpreters.

Education/Degrees/Certificate Required

The degrees and licenses required for sign language teachers are almost the same as those required for teachers wanting to teach in private or public schools. Additional credentials include a certification from the American Sign Language Teacher’s Association.

Another route you can take is to get a bachelor’s degree in ASL and get course credits in teaching so you can get a teaching credential in your state. Eventually, you can also get a national teaching certification from National Board Certification or the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence.

5. Educator of Deaf Children

An educator of Deaf children teaches a variety of subjects to children of school age, from elementary to high school students, either in schools for Deaf children or in schools where Deaf students are mainstreamed.

Education/Degrees/Certificate Required

You’d need a bachelor’s degree in deaf education, and most programs offer a dual licensure in deaf education and in general and special education.

Core subjects include ASL, audiology, child development and psychology, student teaching experience, and special teacher examinations. The aim is to prepare students to meet the academic, as well as the behavioral, social, and emotional needs of Deaf and hard of hearing children.

Depending on the grade level you want to teach, you’ll need to learn communication techniques and linguistics specific to that grade level, as well as specific academic areas such as math, science, art, or technical skills.

Essentials When Working An ASL Job

If you do decide to apply for an ASL job, you would need a lot more aside from your ASL skills.

Soft skills that you’d need include genuine compassion and empathy, plenty of patience, excellent communication skills, active listening, interpersonal skills, organization, and proactive problem-solving.

For your home office setup, you’d need to have a quality desktop or laptop computer (if you want the option to work elsewhere outside the house). A high-speed internet connection is also a necessity.

A separate, high-definition webcam is also important, so your gestures can be tracked and transmitted properly. Also, a reliable headset is recommended, as this is more convenient than a separate headphone and microphone setup.

If you don’t have a dedicated room or at least a space for your work yet, this is the time to set it up. Make sure there aren’t visual or auditory interruptions or backgrounds wherever you’re working.

The Bottom Line

Deaf people have special communication needs, and if you’re an ASL expert, there are opportunities for you to assist them to function in their chosen fields and industries.

Again, here are the online ASL jobs you can apply for.

  1. Employment Counselor
  2. Psychologist
  3. Real-Time ASL Interpreter
  4. Sign Language Teacher
  5. Educator of Deaf Children

Aside from the hard skills, degrees, and certifications, remember that the most important skills you need to do this type of job are your soft skills; compassion, empathy, and patience.

Other Language-Based Jobs

Know other language aside from English or ASL? Check out our other articles:

Are you an ASL expert looking for a remote job opportunity? Or do you have experience in working in an ASL job? Share your story in the comments!

10 Types of Work From Home Overnight Jobs

A couple of days ago I mentioned several ways you can get paid to sleep, but then I thought – what about the night owls amongst us? I can think of a lot of reasons why work from home overnight jobs have become popular amongst people from nearly all walks of life. These types of jobs offer a lot of flexibility.

Here’s why:

Say you’re a stay at home parent during the day but still want to generate an income for your family – working a couple of hours at night when the kids are asleep could be perfect for that.

Or, maybe you’re a bit of an insomniac who’s up all hours of the night anyway and you might as well spend that time making some extra money.

Whatever your situation, there are plenty of overnight work from home jobs out there that could be a fit for your skills and schedule.

Most of these will require at least a laptop and a steady internet connection, of course. I did some research and picked 10 types of overnight jobs that I think covers a wide range of skills and interests. But I tried to mostly stick to the ones that are easy to get into and don’t require a ton of experience in any particular field.

Take a look.

Types of Work From Home Overnight Jobs

1. Online English Teachers

In many non-speaking countries, English teachers are still heavily sought after and if you decide to go down this path then you can earn a sizable income from teaching classes for an hour or two every day.

You’ll likely have to plan lessons ahead of time as well and maybe mark homework or tests, which is extra time that some companies don’t pay for – so watch out for that.

Also, keep your time-zone in mind when picking a company or class.

In terms of qualifications, most companies require a TESOL/TEFL certificate and that you’re a native English speaker.

Here are 17 companies currently hiring online English teachers.

2. Hotline Operators

Operators have all sorts of responsibilities depending on the type of hotline you’re working for.

But whether it’s a suicide hotline or crisis intervention hotline, you’ll need to have patience, good telephone etiquette, and be able to help a distraught person in a calm manner.

Most hotline operators will have to go through training and also learn their specific company/field’s best practices.

If you don’t think you are emotionally ready to provide this type of service then you could look into other types of hotline operator jobs like in sales fraud.

3. Customer Service Agents

Some call centers need to be operational 24/7 and so customer service agents can work at night too, believe it or not.

International companies don’t always have call centers in every country they do business in, opening up an opportunity for you to join the “night shift” at a call center.

A lot of these companies, like Aira have home office technical requirements and standards that you would need to meet. You will likely also have to go through training and learn the company’s policies.

My full list of customer service jobs can be found here.

4. Social Media Page Moderators

Moderators are up at all hours of the night, answering questions and deleting inappropriate comments that break a page’s rules. And yes, this is very much a legitimate job now – it’s work that someone needs to do after all.

Don’t expect to become the moderator of a meme page or tattoo subreddit, though. If you want to get paid then you’ll get hired by a company that wants someone to moderate their social pages (which could include their own subreddit) at night when no one is in the office.

Sometimes, social media companies hire moderators as well. Facebook, for instance, planned to hire 3000 new moderators between 2017/2018. I have no idea if they ever actually did hire that many, though.

5. Video Game Testers

These people probably have one of the most fun jobs out there, but I guess playing games are still less fun when it’s work.

Studios and publishers periodically hire testers for the games they’re working on to get feedback on game mechanics, bugs, and so on. You will likely get a long list of things to look out for and will have to log any bugs you encounter and deliver a final breakdown of what you thought of the game.

Keep in mind that this is a very competitive space, and while you don’t need experience as a game tester to get in, it will certainly count in your favor.

Check out these 9 ways to get paid to play video games.

6. Online Tutors

Tutors can teach others a specific skill via online videos.

You don’t have to start your own tutoring business if you don’t want to either. There are places like Udemy and Skillshare that allow for a massive variety in the types of tutoring options available to you, from helping kids with math or college admissions to teaching an instrument or helping people learn how to do their taxes.

There are more traditional video call tutoring setups available as well through companies like Chegg.

See all the companies that offer online tutoring jobs here.

7. Transcriptionists

Transcriptionists are usually free to work at whatever time of the day they want so long as they deliver the transcriptions by the set deadline.

There are a few websites that specifically cater to this type of job, including GMR Transcription and Quicktate. Some companies have more requirements than others – GMR, in particular, is friendly to newbies although you’ll get paid less than someone with experience.

These 19 companies are currently looking to fill positions for online transcription jobs.

8. Virtual Assistants

VA’s who have clients in distant countries are pretty much assured of night-time working hours depending on the difference in time-zones.

The number of hours you’re required to work per day will depend on your client’s needs, but generally, this type of jobs is more geared towards someone who wants to work 4+ hours a night and so it might not be the best option if you’re just looking for some extra income after a full day job.

See all open virtual assistant jobs here.

9. Data Entry

This is another entirely viable work from home overnight job for night owls. This job doesn’t require that you work with people or between certain hours.

Data entry encompasses different forms of data (the type and volume depends on the company) that you will have to enter into a database or some sort of documentation platform.

This is one of the easiest types of part-time and full-time flexible jobs to get into as well, because it just requires that you have a computer and are able to type.

I found 17 companies that are currently looking to fill data entry positions.

10. Freelancing

Freelancers usually have some of the most flexible working hours depending on what they do and the clients they have.

Some of the jobs I’ve mentioned here fall under the “freelancing” banner, but I also wanted to mention freelancing in its entirety because most of the time you can choose your own working hours.

You also have jobs in pretty much every industry available to you, save the ones that are customer-facing or require physical work.

How To Find A Credible Overnight Job

While some places will offer work from home jobs that require you put in night-time hours (such as the call center option), most won’t specify any working hours and would be happy to let you work at night so long as you fulfill your responsibilities.

Your best bet for finding flexible jobs that you can do from home at night will be freelancing sites like Flexjobs and Upwork. But don’t overlook the many companies out there that don’t advertise on these sites. It will take a bit of digging but they’re not too hard to find.

Just always make sure to verify whether the company is legitimate by going through their website, looking at reviews, and typing their name + scam into a search engine.

I’ve also tested a number of companies that claim to offer legitimate work from home jobs but end up being scams myself. So feel free to search the name on IveTriedThat to see if anything comes up. Ripoff Report is another good place you can check, especially if the company has any sort of “sign-on fee”.

Sometimes legitimate companies do have fees that you need to pay upfront, but more often than not those are scams. Our rule is to never pay for access to a job or for the training required to do a job – if they’re not willing to provide that at no charge then they’re not worth your time.

The Bottom Line

Work from home overnight jobs offer legitimate opportunities to make side-cash from working for an hour or two at night. Of course, if you’re looking for full-time night shift work then most of the options I’ve listed here are just as solid in that respect too.

You might also have noticed that I didn’t mention any writing jobs here, and that’s because there’s such a big variety in terms of the types of writing jobs you could apply for. Not to mention a constant demand. If you want to turn your writing skills into cash then take a look at this list of work from home copywriting jobs.

5 Ways to Make Money as a Makeup Artist

It isn’t a 9 to 5 job, but you can make money as a makeup artist and have total control of your free time.

Traditionally, you can earn a median annual salary of $66,000 (based on data from US Bureau of Labor Statistics), but this is just for a single job. Since makeup artists can create numerous income streams, their income has the potential to grow much more than 66k.

You have two routes: bring your makeup trolley everywhere you go and actually give another person a makeup, or go online and talk about cosmetics. The best thing about this is that you don’t have to choose.

5 Ways to Make Money as a Makeup Artist

You can make money as a makeup artist whether you focus online, offline or both.

Here’s how:

1. Do Makeup for Events

Providing makeup services for other people is the most traditional way of earning through cosmetics. Because not everyone knows how to blend foundations, create shadows and match lippies to the dress or eyes, makeup artists get to earn huge amounts during events such as:

  • Weddings, bridal showers, engagement parties, and similar occasions
  • Prom, junior prom, graduation, and other formal school events
  • photo sessions: may this be solo like Boudoir, family pictures, class picture day, and so on
  • Parties – from birthday parties to girls’ night out, debuts or Quinceañera, and other similar parties may also require makeup services
  • Special events like charity balls, award ceremonies, and other similar events
  • Commercial work – You may get contracts to work as makeup artist for TV shows, ad agencies, music videos and other industries

The amount you could earn from doing makeup for events largely depend on how much your rates are.

Because your job is freelance, you have to consider your own hidden costs such as transportation to the venue, makeup expenses, taxes, etc. and include them into your rate.

Once you decided on your hourly rate, you can now choose from setting package prices, using by-person rates, or any other pricing structure.

2. Teach Applying Makeup

Teaching is a very lucrative discipline no matter what you’re specialization is, but if you’re good with makeup and have the portfolio to back it up, you can make money as a makeup artist teacher.

You have total freedom in the type of makeup lessons you’re going to offer. Some examples would be:

  • One-on-one makeup lessons. Either visit the client’s home, or you meet at your studio.
  • Group lessons. You teach a group of people with certain makeup techniques, such as “day-to-day no makeup look.
  • Professionals. You teach other would-be makeup artists about the trade, from computing hourly rate to choosing the best makeup products to use.

Because these makeup lessons vary, the lesson fees would vary as well.

Generally, teaching professionally (with fellow makeup artists as your students) would cost higher since you’re sharing trade secrets and potentially creating your own competition with every lesson.

If you have the credentials or name to attract a bunch of students, you can also look for a teaching gig at the local Cosmetology School near you.

Imagine how impressive this would look as part of your portfolio.

3. Test and Produce Makeup

One of the most traditional jobs as a makeup artist is working at the hair salon, day spa, or the local store’s makeup counter.

If you love testing makeup products and is looking for ways to gather experience without breaking your budget, these gigs will surely help you gain the knowledge and practice hours you’d need to hone your skills.

Another way to make money as a makeup artist is to produce your own makeup line. This will probably be exclusive to makeup artists who have a lot of experience and plenty of following. If your career is in the level of brand ambassador, you can find white label makeup and produce your own line.

It isn’t going to be easy, but if you have the market and knowledge, the rewards would totally surpass any other way you could make money as a makeup artist.

4. Write Makeup Reviews

Here’s another way to test makeup and get paid from the experiments.

You can write makeup reviews for a third-party company (and get paid per review with a flat fee, or commissions for every referral).

You can also post all the reviews on your website to get 100% of the future revenues. This is a passive income type of earning, so you have to have a ton of patience with the returns.

If you have a good following on Instagram, you can also share your makeup reviews there and make use of any of the income-generating possibilities on Instagram.

5. Make Money Doing Makeup Tutorials on YouTube

Creating makeup tutorials for YouTube is probably the most popular way you make money as a makeup artist these days.

And for good reason. YouTube earns billions of dollars each year and has made ordinary people millionaires from different parts of the world.

Here’s how you can make money with your YouTube channel:

  • AdSense – As an AdSense publisher, all the videos you upload to YouTube will have relevant ads that could earn you money whenever viewers watch the ads. Although the earning per ad view is very small (a few cents per view), this adds up if you have numerous videos on your channel.
  • Affiliate marketing – With affiliate marketing, you mention the makeup on your tutorials, add a link to Amazon (or any other online store) on the video description and earn commissions when the ad-clicker buys anything from that store. Like the Adsense ads, the more videos with affiliate links you publish, the higher your commissions could potentially become.
  • Sponsorships – Partner with makeup brands, promote their products on your YouTube videos and earn a pre-agreed upon amount either per video, monthly, or any other payment structure. Note that this isn’t for beginners, since brands usually go to YouTubers with plenty of subscribers already.
  • Direct selling – If you have your own makeup line (or other products within your niche), you can sell them directly by showcasing them on your YouTube videos.
  • Market your makeup/event business – You won’t earn directly from promoting your brick-and-mortar business, but the exposure those YouTube videos you put out into the world could lead to jobs doing makeup for events, regular contracts for agencies, and other opportunities.

If you need more help with any of these techniques above, I’ve talked about them more comprehensively with my ‘How to Make Money on YouTube’ post.

The Bottom Line

You see, you don’t have to be stuck working a 9 to 5 job if you’re a professional makeup artist. You can expand and grow your own career by mixing and matching the opportunities above.

I recommend you take both quick-cash (doing makeup for events, teaching gigs) and passive-income generating “jobs” (writing makeup reviews or doing makeup tutorials online). Both of these opportunities will give you financial freedom after working at it for a year or two.

Get Paid for Your Jokes with these 13 Sites

If you’ve always been talented with making people laugh, why not use your good sense of humor to get paid for your jokes?

Yes, you read that right. You can earn some cash left and right, if you voluntarily share your funny stories, punch lines, and other hilarious jokes to the world.

There are two ways you can do this – write and publish the jokes, or write and perform it. So where do you begin?

Write for these Sites & Get Paid for Your Jokes

I mentioned a few of the sites that pay you to write funny in my massive writing gig post, but if you really want to dig deep and turn your humor into a real-money-paying “funny business,”  then this list of 13 websites could help you get started.

1. Funds for Writers ($50 per assignment)

If you have funny stories about being a freelance writer (or even not-so-funny ones), you can share your story or wisdom with other freelancers.

Funds for Writers like storypieces with “a dash of humor” and a “happy ending.”

This site opens guest posts for the right person.

2. Cracked ($50 per assignment)

Although this print mag retired in 2007, the web version is still alive and well.

You can submit funny photos (and captions), listicles, and other funny articles.

Cracked.com used to pay contributors about $200 per assignment, but with its popularity and demand for writers to submit their work voluntarily (even without pay), the payment shrunk to $50/assignment.

3. The Funny Times ($60 per assignment)

Ray Lesser and Susan Wolpert, the duo behind this 30+year-old website call themselves “publishers and troublemakers.”

Submissions accepted can be anything under the sun from food to pets to death to religion and even politics and relationships. The duo says “Not much is off limits, so do your best to make us laugh” but the piece should be about 500 to 700 words.

4. Writer’s Digest (pays 30-50 cents a word)

This writer resource is pretty popular, which means it can be a challenge to get published here.

This humor section of this magazine is called “Inkwell,” and if you’re lucky to get a spot with hundreds of competition, you’ll receive one-time fee for the printed version, then continuously for the digital version.

5. The Imperfect Parent ($25 or higher)

For parents with funny stories about their kids, parenting, and family life in general, this website accepts the stories that focus on the lighter side of parenting.

Editor Preston Carlson recommends taking a shot at “Parody, humorous takes on parenting, satire, an ‘open letter.’ Take your pick.”

6. Mother.ly ($50 per assignment)

This is another parenting site, but unlike the one before it, Mother.ly is a bit more “personal” and accepts essays written in the first person.

Submissions should be around 700 to 900 words, focusing on motherhood.

7. Reader’s Digest ($25 to $100 per assignment)

You can submit quotes, jokes, gags and funny stories and become a part of history of this 1920-launched magazine.

8. Chicken Soup for the Soul ($200 per story)

This publication is known for heartwarming stories, but it also accepts hilarious real-life stories and funny poems.

Maximum word count is 1,2000 words.

If your submission gets chosen, you’ll also receive 10 free copies of the book where your work is published.

9. Saturday Evening Post ($25+ per assignment)

Launched in 1897, the Saturday Evening Post has been publishing its magazine for decades.

If you’re sharing something funny, address your submission to “The Lighter Side” section.

10. The New Yorker (payment varies)

If you have a knack of writing satire and fiction, The New Yorker will love you for your submission.

You’ll have an amazing audience if your work is accepted, so make sure to follow Daily Shouts for more guidelines.

11. CollegeHumor.com (varies depending on type of content)

You can get paid for your jokes from $25 to $50 by submitting funny articles, stories, comics, pictures, videos, jokes and other content for adults.

12. Weekly Humorist ($20 per submission)

This satire magazine accepts pieces 1,500 words or less.

The articles can be in list form, open letters, topical, absurdist, fake-news blurbs and so on.

13. The Offing ($20 to $60 per submission)

If you have a funny poem, story or joke, this literary magazine accepts humorous pieces for the humor section called “Wit Tea.”

Note that each website has their own voice and writing guidelines.

If you’re a fan of the site, you’re probably aware of the content style by now. If not, make sure to back-read and familiar yourself with their articles.

Sometimes, no writing opportunity will be posted, but if you send a pitch and your idea is pretty unique and match their style, you can be given a lot in upcoming issues.

Traditional Jobs that Pay You to be Funny

Aside from writing for the blogs above, you can also dip your toes into other niches.

For example:

  • Write for a magazines. Think Reader’s Digest or other MAD-inspired publications.
  • Write for a sitcom. You can find these gigs in traditional TV sitcoms, or new media (YouTube, streaming sites, and so on).
  • Create comic strips. Even if you don’t have the skills for drawing, you can collaborate with an artist and turn your ideas into “reality.”
  • Write material for other comedians. This job rarely gets advertised, but if you get lucky to receive a referral, making sure popular comedians never run out of material would be the best training ground you can find as a would-be comedian or comedic writer.

Stand-up Comedy, Pranks, and Skits on YouTube

If writing jokes in the shadows isn’t your cup of tea, then consider going the traditional route of becoming a comedian.

It can be hard work, if you follow the footsteps of Norm Macdonald, Jim Carrey, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle, (and many more), it would take you years of gigging on clubs to get to where these famous comedians are.

However, the internet has made it possible to reach an audience even from the comforts of your own home. Just look at celebrity impersonator ShaneDawsonTV, parody songwriter/performer Bart Baker, skit-comedian Nigahiga, and other famous people who shared their humor via YouTube and made bank.

Start Your Own Humor Empire

You can mix and match all the methods of making money with being funny.

For instance, while doing stand-up at local bars and doing your fair share of real-world experience, you maintain a YouTube blog to showcase your other jokes.

If performing isn’t your thing, you can submit as many funny stories as you can with third-party websites. While doing this, you can build your own website, share your ideas there, and hopefully attract a following.

Comedians like Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias has done stand-up, TV sitcoms, hosted a comedy series, lent his voice to several animated characters for different films, and even landed his own shows on Fuse and most recently on Netflix.

The funnyman even has his own merch: he was the first stand-up to have and sold-out his own Funko Pop!.

Are You Ready to Get Paid for Your Jokes?

The cool thing about having a good sense of humor is that there are unlimited opportunities available for you these days. You can choose to write jokes for a living, perform, or do both.

Whichever route you decide to take, isn’t it awesome to be paid real cash for spreading laughter and bringing good vibes to the world?

How to Sell Baked Goods from Home in 6 Easy Steps

For people who are gifted with making sweet creations and have been the go-to cake-maker of family reunions, and even gotten treats giveaways or cupcake commissions from friends, the next progression is deciding how to sell baked goods from home.

And why not?

You have the skills, the passion, the market, and now you just have to make it official.

This post will guide you on how to sell baked goods from home, regardless of how big or small you’d like the business to go.

6 Steps to Take to Sell Baked Goods from Home

Selling baked goods to your officemates or family friends can bring you extra cash to your savings, but if you want to make this side gig income a lot bigger, follow these 6 steps:

1. Complete Legalities

The business permits and requirements will depend largely on your location. You may need one, any or all of the following:

  • Create a business entity (like an LLC or partnership) – Launching a business entity is smart because it separates your personal assets if ever your ex-customers decide to sue you for getting sick from eating your baked goods.
  • Business license – Most cities require a business permit regardless of how big or small you plan your business to be. Note that this license is needed for you to operate the business, but you might be required to obtain additional permits to run a food business from home, such as ‘food preparation license’ or ‘food handler permit’.
  • Zoning board permission – Sometimes, in-home businesses might not be allowed to open up shop in the residential area where you live. Check the zoning board about their policies or requirements to be given permission.
  • Health and fire department approval – When obtaining a food business permit, one major part of that process is to seek approval from the city’s health department and fire department. They will visit your home, check your kitchen (or any area where you’ll be baking) and give recommendations on how to renovate your kitchen to be fit for producing baked goods.
  • Sales tax – Some states will require you to collect sales tax on your baked goods and pay either monthly  or quarterly.
  • Insurance – Seek advice from an insurance company to determine the insurance type you need to run your home-based baking business.

Of course, the easiest way to learn which permits you’ll need is to go visit city hall.

They’ll direct you where to go, from the health or fire department, to the business regulations office, and so on. Prepare to pay fees for permits – these are rarely free of charge.

2. Gather Supplies

This will become a major part of your business plan, since gathering all the ingredients and supplies will give you an idea of how much investment you’ll need to start your business. During this phase, you should be able to:

  • Write a business plan – Not only will getting a business plan set-up help you in assessing finances, it will also help in anticipating the future.
  • Decide on you main products – Focus on your best-sellers, before expanding your menu. Once you settle into your new business, you’ll learn which ones are more profitable and marketable.
  • Make a list of ingredients – This includes flour, sugar, eggs, and any other items you’ll need to create your baked goods. You’ll have to replenish these ingredients regularly, so it is better to have a pantry or storage room to keep them organized and easier to detect once a particular ingredient is running low.
  • Make a list of supplies – Separate cooking equipment you’ll only need to buy once in a few years (such as oven, stand mixer, and so on) with supplies you’ll need regularly (like spatula or cupcake liners).
  • Decide on packaging for your baked goods – Go with a box, plastic, or an eco-friendly packaging. Regardless of the type of packaging you choose, you’ll get discounts when you buy in bulk.

Once you’ve gathered all the supplies, it would take you several weeks or a few months to have a regular shopping regimen for your ingredients. Make sure to keep all receipts so you’ll be able to do accounting accurately.

Sell cupcakes from home

3. Set-up Your Online Accounts

I know marketing can be scary, but the internet has allowed small businesses to thrive and compete with better-financed companies because promoting your baked goods business online is virtually free.

However, you do have to set-up these accounts and manage them by adding news, promos, and other relevant posts. For starters, make sure you build online presence on:

  • Facebook – Create a business page, set-up cover and profile photos, list down contact information, and update it with at least 1 post a week.
  • Instagram – Instagram is a haven for drool-worthy pictures, so there’s no better way to promote your baked goods than to share photos of them on Instagram. There are different ways to earn money from Instagram, but if you’re smart with marketing, there really is no need to explore other methods.
  • Twitter – For quick announcements and answering inquiries, Twitter is a great platform because it is designed to keep messages short.
  • Pinterest – Like Instagram, Pinterest is filled with beautifully-crafted photos. The main difference is that Pinterest could serve as your online menu or product catalog, while Instagram is a bit more informal for anything-goes kinds of posts.

All these platforms give you additional (but paid) marketing tools when you’re ready to expand. Boosted posts on Facebook is a good example and a cheaper way to promote your baked goods to a targeted audience.

4. Market Locally

Aside from getting the word out about your baked-goods business online, you also must be promoting your products locally. Print out fliers and posters, then post it on bulletin boards and other storefronts (with permission from storeowners of course).

The great thing about home-made products is that places like the Farmers Market welcome small business owners like you with open arms. As such, slots get filled out pretty quickly when registration opens up. Be on the lookout for the next dates and locations will be.

And if you’re having a hard time getting a slot into your local farmer’s market, here’s a comprehensive guide to ensure you always do.

Sell donuts from home

Word of mouth is still important, so make sure you build an excellent rapport with customers and your products would do the promoting for you.

When customers taste your baked goods and they become a fan, there’s a good chance that they’ll send referrals your way.

5. Keep Track of Incoming and Outgoing Funds

Tracking expenses and revenues is important to any business, since it is a solid representation of your gains or losses. You can track cost traditionally with files and folders, or you can utilize a do-it-for-you service like ShoeBoxed.

Make sure you begin your operations with a bookkeeping system, so you wouldn’t have to rush during tax season.

If you’re hiring people, set up a payroll system as well.

6. Expanding Your Business

If you’ve set up everything and you feel that your business is ready to jump off to another level, there are several things you should consider:

  • Product research – Add more items to your menu. Try seasonal offerings. Or make a survey what your existing customers would like you to make.
  • Competition research – Check out what your competitors are doing. You don’t necessarily have to copy everything they’re doing, but if you look at
  • Find partners proactively – Look for restaurants, cafes and other local food shops that will be willing to sell your baked goods on site. This is particularly helpful if your in-home baking business has no storefront.
  • Create an online community – If you don’t have a website yet, make one. You can even create an online community by working on a food blog and sharing recipes. It’s a great way to promote your company without being in-your-face to customers with ads.

The Bottom Line

It goes without saying that your baked goods should be better than most home-baked goods.

It isn’t really necessary to have baking certifications, awards or formal training to build a full-pledged baking business from scratch.

You do have to practice safe food preparation, learn everything about food allergies and other dietary issues. If you have a food service background, that training would have probably been instilled in you until today.

Plus, use the information above as a checklist of-sorts on how to sell baked goods from home and hopefully become one of the hundreds of home bakers with thriving small businesses in the country.

If you’re not into baking, you can earn money from your garden if you’re a green thumb or sell your food products to the nearest grocery store.

Here’s How to Get Paid to Shovel Snow in 2020

You may think that shoveling a neighbor’s driveway is only a teenager’s job, you’d be surprised to know that you can get paid to shovel snow, earn big bucks from just a few hours of work each day, and turn it into a snow-shoveling business.

Although seasonal, the trick to snow-shoveling as a business is to find a market, organize your time, and choose the right tools.

And if you’re still doubting how you can turn this into a real business, check out the steps below:

Snow-shoveling Business 101

For this to work as a full-scale business, you need several things:

  • Location – This is important. You need to reside in a city that gets heavy snow every year. It wouldn’t be feasible traveling to another state just to offer your snow-shoveling business.
  • Good health – If you, the business owner, will also be the one shoveling snow, you’d have to be able to take the intense labor you’re going to face. This is especially true if you want to stick to traditional snow shovels, instead of going for a more advanced equipment like an electric snow shovel or snow thrower. And since you will be outdoors in winter for several hours, your body should be able to take the climate day in, day out until the season ends.
  • Personality – The only thing that would give you an edge over your big snow-shoveling business competition is how many of your first customers are friends, family members and referrals. Because of this, your business will always have a personal touch, so your personality will definitely be a major factor in keeping and maintaining your clients.
  • Equipment – Technically, you can launch this business even if you just borrow a friend’s snow shovel. But this business require you to work smart and better equipment (like an electric shovel or snow thrower) would make the job a lot quicker, and let you accommodate more customers.
  • Time – Let’s face it, if you only have a couple of hours available each day, you couldn’t earn enough to consider snow shoveling as a business. There has to be a balance of having time to cater to several jobs and not stretching yourself too far.

Like any kind of business, you’ll need a business plan. You must identify your market and determine how you would like to approach marketing (by word-of-mouth, local ads, online, and so on).

It’s important to invest  in either better equipment or additional people (either a partner or employee). You’d like to accept as much jobs as possible during heavy snowfall, but you can’t do it if you’re using only a conventional shovel. Just think of the customers you’re going to have to say “no” to if you’re still working on a job all by yourself.

How Much Can You Get Paid to Shovel Snow?

You need to be able to decide on pricing before offering your services.

In general, you can get paid to shovel snow from $25 to $75 an hour, or from $100 to as high as $500 per job. The range will depend on several factors, such as:

Hourly vs. set fees

Hourly fees are better for larger properties with bigger areas to clear, such as longer sidewalks or drives, simply because it would take longer to complete the job.

On the other hand, you can also set pricing to certain packages, such as $25 for quick snow blowing under 10 feet area and below 2-inch snow, or $150 for 5-inch snow within a 24 feet driveway.

I recommend you find out how long you can shovel a driveway, sidewalk and so on. Take note of the area size and the amount of snow when you fulfill your initial jobs, so you’ll be able to charge more appropriately in the future.

Location and Demand

The demand for snow shoveling services will depend largely on where you are. Cities that have yearly snowfall will have higher demand for shoveling snow.

In the same vein, if your area has no big companies that offer snow shoveling, you’ll have a higher chance of making it big.

It’s all about supply and demand – the more snow to clear, the higher demand is for shoveling. And with no other business to take care of this demand, you can price your services a bit higher than other areas.

Other Considerations

When pricing your service, consider transportation cost (if you go to the client’s location by car), and maintenance of your equipment.

If you’re going to be using a snow blower, make sure to list down gas as an added expense.

Equipment and Tools

As I said earlier, you can start this business even with just you and a basic shovel in hand. Some people have ZERO investment when they began. But they worked their butts off during intense snowfall to cater to as many clients possible.

However, if you have some funds as you launch this business, consider buying:

  • Additional shovel – You can buy any shovel for as low as $10 and it could last you for a good year. Adding shovels to your equipment ensure you sustain your business even if your existing set of shovel.
  • Traditional shovels with advanced features – You can also go for shovels with wheels or snow pusher/plow to make the job easier. It would cost a bit more than traditional shovels, but it isn’t as labor intensive as before.
  • Electric snow shovel – These cost somewhere above $50 to $200 depending on how long the cables you need and features you’d like to get. There are also battery-powered variations, if you’re not a fan of cords.
  • Snow blower/thrower – Spare $100 to $1000, if you’re interested in buying a snow blower. There are corded electric models, cordless electric snow blowers, and gas-powered snow blowers.
  • Snowplow for your truck – These removable snow plow kits attach to the front of your truck. They look massive, since they cater to larger spaces like outdoor commercial parking, or driveways of mansions.

Get Paid to Shovel Snow with Apps

Shovler is a cool mobile app that caters to both snow-shoveling businesses and the clients looking for these services. It is free to download, but Shovler does get a cut of your fees (15% of it) at the end of a job.

This app makes it a breeze to find people within your community who need their homes or business places shoveled.

As a snow-shoveling business, joining Shovler allows you to accept credit card payments via the app, send you notifications whenever a new job near you is posted.

What’s great about Shovler is that the app computes rates for each jobs based on the amount of snow, size of area needed cleared, and other factors. In general, Shovler charges $2 per square foot.

The Bottom Line

What makes a shoveling business interesting is that you could start big or small.

You have total control on how much you want to expand it – you can be aggressive with promoting via local ads, hunting through Facebook groups, and a wide range of marketing techniques. Or you can keep it small and cater only to family and friends.

Living in a colder climate can sometimes be a hassle, but if you use this time each year to offer your snow shoveling business, you can add significant income to your finances even if you only open up shop during winter.

How to Land a 2020 Census Job and Make $25/hr

The 2020 Census jobs are now open for applications, so if you have several weeks of free time available, you can be one of the hundreds of thousands of temporary workers hired across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Why would you want to apply to these jobs, you ask? Well, you’ll enjoy flexible work hours, paid training, weekly paychecks and competitive wages.

This post explains everything you need to know about applying to Census temp jobs, how much you can earn, who are qualified, and what types of positions are available.

Types of 2020 Census Jobs Available

Here are the 5 types of 2020 Census jobs:

1. Census Takers

These temp workers help in collecting responses from households that haven’t responded to the census.

You can apply for this position from January to April 2020.

Paid training is scheduled to begin in March and end on mid-May. Actual work occurs from May through July 2020.

  • Location: Field
  • Available positions: Hundreds of thousands across the country
  • Work hours: Since the job is done in the field, work has flexible hours and would depend on the area you’re assigned to. However, most census takers will be required to work on weekends or in the evenings.

2. Census Field Supervisors

They will serve as the supervisor of census takers working in the field.

Their roles would vary on a day-to-day basis, but focus on monitoring performance of census takers and ensuring quotas are met on time.

Applications and job offers will be made until February 2020.

  • Location: Field, office and at-home
  • Available positions: Thousands across the country
  • Work hours: Work schedules follow regular business hours, but can extend to evenings or weekends on specific days.

3. Recruiting Assistants

They’re like HR people, but exclusively working for the Census Bureau.

These recruiting assistants promote employment opportunities available in the U.S. Census and recruit local residents.

They are also the ones assigned to talk to media outlets, communities and other groups about current Census jobs. Compared to other jobs on this list, this one isn’t available at all times, but opens periodically throughout the 2020 Census.

  • Location: Field
  • Available positions: Thousands across the country
  • Work hours: Follows business hours, but can be flexible depending on the location assigned.

4. Clerk

These admin jobs are in-demand and handle many clerical tasks, such as recruitment, payroll, and other functions.

Job offers will be made periodically throughout the 2020 Census.

  • Location: Work is done at census offices across the country
  • Available positions: Thousands of slots
  • Work hours: Follows business hours, but could also extend to evenings and weekends depending on the area.

5. Office Operations Supervisor

These supervisors manage activities of Census clerks.

They work in or near U.S. Census Bureau offices and manage work schedules, conduct quality checks, and wear many hats to ensure operations run smoothly on a day-to-day basis.

  • Location: Work is done at census offices across the country
  • Available positions: Thousands of slots
  • Work hours: Follows business hours, but could also extend to evenings and weekends depending on the area.

How to Apply

To be eligible for any of the jobs above, you should be a U.S. citizen, 18 years old (or older) with a valid Social Security number, valid email address and fully completed application form.

You only need to submit your application ONCE. Your background and answers to the application assessment questions will determine which type of job you’d likely excel the most.

Applicants interested in being considered for supervisory positions must answer additional questions, which take approximately 10 minutes to answer.

For all positions, other requirements include:

  • Ability to speak, read and write in English
  • Basic computer and internet skills
  • Fingerprinting, criminal background checks
  • Complete training
  • Valid driver’s license (or access to a vehicle)

Non-citizens may be hired, only if no other applicants are willing to take the job.

If you’re bilingual, you have an edge over your competition because the Census Bureau is always looking for temp who can speak other languages other than English.

However, you may still be required to take an English proficiency exam.

Applicants located in Puerto Rico have the option of completing their application forms in either Spanish or English, but the assessments are only allowed to be completed in Spanish. Puerto Rico-based supervisory positions and office-based Census jobs are also required to pass the English proficiency exams.

Sometimes, additional documents may be required after the interview.

You can check the status of your application here.

How Much Can You Earn from these 2020 Census Jobs?

The U.S. Census Bureau only released hourly wages of clerks and census takers. Their pay ranges from $13 to $30 per hour, which depends largely on the town and state you applied to.

To check exact wages, find your location on the drop-down menu to see pay rates near you.

Temporary 2020 Census employees are paid weekly through direct deposit or a paycheck in the mail.

The first paycheck arrives 2 weeks after the first day of work, then every 7 days for subsequent paychecks.

If you were a bit worried about driving to the field, you’d be glad to know that you can be reimbursed for authorized work expenses such as mileage incurred while conducting census work.

Extra Side Hustle after Field Work

The cool thing about doing field work and having flexible working hours is that you can still participate in other side gigs after working your Census jobs.

Here are just several examples, but you can incorporate them into your schedule as you wish:

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, these 2020 Census jobs are only temporary. If you enjoyed your temp job at the Census Bureau, you can always check USA Jobs or the Census Careers page to see what other permanent jobs are available for your profession.

Don’t have time to work, but would love to receive free government money? (Click this guide to know about your options for free government money)

If you weren’t lucky enough to get a slot this year, don’t worry. Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau opens up these temp jobs once again. Add it into your calendar, so you’re ready next year.

Have you experienced working for Census before? Would you recommend applying for these jobs? Would love to hear about first-hand experiences from anyone below…