Some of the Best Digital Nomad Jobs Out There

Digital nomad jobs have been around for over a decade and these lifestyles seem to be working as evidenced by YouTubers sharing their day-to-day adventures in another city, state, or even country.

Becoming a digital nomad has been a “dream opportunity” for many people wanting to escape the monotony of 9-to-5 jobs.

However, after Covid-19 caused many travel restrictions, I’m sure you’re wondering: Is the digital nomad lifestyle still feasible today? If so, where can one find digital nomad jobs? And most importantly, “how much do digital nomads earn?”

If you’ve been planning to leave the rat race for digital nomad jobs this year, here’s everything you need to know.

Digital Nomad Lifestyle 101

Digital nomads are professionals in many industries who chose to take advantage of modern-day technologies like the internet, laptops, smartphones, and other connectivity devices to work remotely from any place in the world.

The jobs would vary significantly, from writers to biologists, programmers to financial advisors, and even jobs (like real estate agents) that have traditionally been unable to jump to a remote work setting. The common thing about these jobs is that everyone who does decide to follow the nomad lifestyle aims for a work-life balance that office-based jobs cannot accommodate.

Things You Need for a Digital Nomad Lifestyle

  • Tech – You’ll need a laptop, portable Wi-Fi (or reliable internet), a Skype number to keep connected to your employer, customers, or clients, and  a website/portfolio available 24/7
  • Skills – Aside from your chosen profession, you’d need advanced computer skills since you’ll be your own technical support while traveling. You also need exceptional communication skills mostly for talking to your employer, employee, or clients.
  • Career-specific software – If you’re a graphic designer, you likely need Photoshop or Canva installed on your computer. You’d have to invest in these yourselves since there is no company to shoulder such expenses.

You must also be flexible enough to adapt to various roles to earn money and be mentally prepared for this kind of lifestyle. If you’re planning to travel the world, note that the change in timezones alone can be stressful for some people. Consider everything, from the erratic work times to the income that isn’t guaranteed before deciding to become a digital nomad.

Of course, you have three ways to go about this:

The Best Digital Nomad Jobs

As you might have guessed, many digital nomads have mastered the art of freelancing. They have put on the hat of a  teacher, virtual assistant, graphic designer, and social media managers, among others. You’d be surprised that many of these freelancers didn’t take up these careers in school, but picked up the skills along the way.

The following jobs the most popular digital nomad jobs:

  • Virtual assistant – This job is a Jack-of-all-trades secretary-type position that performs a wide range of tasks like managing schedules, handling email correspondence, or operating an Amazon store.
  • Copywriter or Content writer – For those with a passion for writing, there is a never-ending need for writers to write content for websites, company newsletters, social media, and even books.
  • Online tutor or teacher – English teachers do not really need teaching certificates to land a job. This goes for online tutors as well. But you do need a high level of teaching experience, especially if you’re going to be accepting non-English speakers or children as clients.
  • Translator – Are you fluent in another language? If so, you can work as an online translator for the following companies.
  • Web and app developer – Companies are giving programmers more freedom to work remotely these days, so if you’re good at web development or app development, then this is your chance.
  • Graphic designer – Graphic designers have plenty of options. They could find a company and work as a graphic designer remotely, or join the gig economy and pick-and-choose graphic design projects that they’re interested in doing.
  • Digital marketer – Whether you have a marketing background or not, if you are knowledgeable about promoting, marketing and managing campaigns for a company to drive more sales, then you’ll have a lucrative career as a digital marketer.
  • Consultant – Are you an expert at anything? Hunting? Travel? Electronics? Carpentry? Taxes? SEO? psychology? love life? You can offer your consultancy services from anywhere in the world.

These are just the most common ones. Here are 100 side hustles that you can work on when needed.

6 Places to Find Digital Nomad Jobs

Now that you know what kind of jobs are in-demand and can be completed no matter what part of the world you are in, where do you apply to these digital nomad jobs? Here are 5 top sources:

  • LinkedIn: This platform was built specifically to network and look for employment. It also serves as an awesome resume for clients and potential employers to check out.
  • Upwork: You have to send your pitch to companies and hope the stars you’re the one they’re looking for.
  • Fiverr: One of the most popular gig sites around, Fiverr lets you have more control over the services you want offerred. TIP: Hunt for opportunities in Facebook groups.
  • FlexJobs: This job database accepts listing for remote/flexible jobs. Make sure to filter the results when finding a job that would fit your skillset.
  • Freelancer.com: This is one of the oldest platforms for freelancers. The fact that it still stands today means the site still provides legit job opportunities.

If you’re new and have little experience to show for, expect it to be harder to land the jobs you want. However, once you get the hang of things and begin to compile a portfolio, it would be easier to impress a client or employer to hire you.

Jobs Made-for-Nomads: There are job boards like SupportAdventure.com that were made specifically to support nomads working from all parts of the world. Although these sites are rare, you will always be sure that the jobs are not dependent on location, or follow a 9-to-5 work day.

Navigating Digital Nomad Jobs Today

Unlike traditional jobs that have seriously been hit with all the lockdowns around the world, online jobs continued and even flourished in 2020. If you have doubts that there are lesser jobs available for remote work, know that you shouldn’t have to worry. Browse through any of the 5 platforms above and you’ll instantly see the abundance jobs readily available for those who need it.

The only problem digital nomads would have during this covid19 era is the travel restrictions. The good news is: if you have been staying in a beach resort in Bali, being stranded in paradise for a couple of months doesn’t seem like such a bad deal. You can stay put wherever you are until the dust settles.

10 Places Where You Can Find Online Therapist Jobs

Online therapist jobs have been put in the spotlight this year, thanks to Covid19 and lockdowns all over the world. People who have traditionally been visiting their therapists now have to do it completely online via Zoom or other video-chat tools. But did you know that online therapists have been helping people with their personal issues for years? (Yes, I even discussed online counseling a few years back.)

Aside from studies (like this and this) showing the benefits of online therapy to patients, it is also beneficial to therapists because:

  • The location wouldn’t be a problem anymore, and you would be able to accept patients from all over the country or even from other parts of the world.
  • Studies have shown that therapists spend about 10% less time with online sessions, which means they can accommodate more patients
  • The cost of online therapy is a lot lesser than face-to-face sessions
  • Online therapies encourage more patients to seek help because of the lower fees, the anonymity of therapy sites, and even the ease of scheduling sessions
  • Receive fewer session cancelations because there will be no more commuting to and from the clinic

If you’ve already been practicing as a therapist, here’s how you can bring your profession online…

How to Become an Online Therapist

As you might have guessed, the qualifications you need to become an online therapist are mostly the same as those required for a career as an in-person therapist. These include:

  • A four-year bachelor’s degree in any relevant field, such as psychology
  • Master’s degree in social work or counseling
  • 300 to 600 hours of internship and practicum
  • License from the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination
  • Ph.D. in a specification
  • Further counseling continuing education

As an online therapist, you must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Because you’ll be relying on technology to “meet” patients, you’ll need a stable internet connection, and a comprehensive phone plan you could use for calling or texting patients. While not required, a practice management software with built-in (EHR) electronic health records (such as TheraNest or Simple Practice) could help organize your virtual practice.

7 Places to Find Online Therapist Jobs

Joining online therapy platforms is good for therapists who are just starting to make a name for themselves.

The downside to using such platforms is that online therapists make less money per hour and they have very little or no control over which client to work with.

However, by joining one or all of the platforms (below), therapists can take advantage of secure and HIPAA-compliant technology without huge investments, get marketing-done-for-them (which means they no longer have to search for clients), and benefit from the platform’s customer service helpdesk.

1. BetterHelp

If you’re checking out online therapy jobs, there’s a big chance you’ve already discovered BetterHelp.

BetterHelp is one of the biggest therapy platforms around. It is known for having live sessions and call sessions available for patients.

  • BetterHelp Therapist Salary: $26 to $30 per hour. BetterHelp claims that depending on a therapist’s caseload and time commitment, one can earn as much as $8500/month.
  • Pros of BetterHelp: You know BetterHelp spends a lot of time with marketing since it is one of the first results on Google when you look for online therapy. This means a lot for a therapist who has no idea how to find patients online.
  • Cons of BetterHelp: Therapists are matched to patients via a questionnaire would-be patients take when joining BetterHelp, which may feel impersonal for both the patient and therapist but works for BetterHelp. Pay is the best out of all online therapy jobs, but it is still significantly less compared to traditional therapy fees.

2. TalkSpace

TalkSpace is another popular therapy site that I featured in the past and still stands today. That much shows how stable the company is – and with over 1 million patients, there’s plenty of people to help.

  • TalkSpace Therapist Salary: $20 to $25 per hour. Pay depends on which plan the patient chose (quarterly payments means lesser pay for therapists).
  • Pros of TalkSpace: TalkSpace employs real people to match patients with therapists, which means the process instantly becomes more personal and customized. Like BetterHelp, there are live sessions available and therapists could communicate to patients via video-message, text or voice calls. Customer service of TalkSpace is impressively rated high by clients.
  • Cons of TalkSpace: Therapists are required to respond to patient messages within a certain time, which means there might be pressure to reply just for the sake of replying (instead of actually digging in deep into the patient’s issue). And because the patient-therapist matching is done manually, it could also take time for TalkSpace to bring patients to you.

3. 7 Cups (formerly called 7 Cups of Tea)

7 Cups has been helping teenagers and adults with their personal problems since July 2013. The notable difference between 7 Cups and similar providers is that this company welcomes “listeners” or volunteers who help out and literally “listen” to people without charge, which means clients are not required to get a paid plan to “be heard.”

However, 7 Cups also offer online therapist jobs for certified therapists willing to help paid clients.

  • 7 Cups Therapist Salary: 7 Cups pay therapists per client per month. If a client is paying for $150/month plan, therapists get to take home about $90 of this fee.
  • Pros of 7 Cups: Therapists assist one-on-one, pairs or groups of patients ages 13 years old and up. There is a 7 Cups app and chat room assigned to each patient, which makes it easy to handle multiple clients at a time.
  • Cons of 7 Cups: The monthly “retention fee” you earn means you’d have to respond to that particular client at least twice a day, Mondays through Fridays. While this is perfectly okay, what many therapists here complain about is being forced to “see” patients who are under the trial period and continue to assist them throughout the month pro-bono when they cancel.

4. Regain

If you’re looking for online therapist jobs that focus on relationships, Regain is the right platform for you.

Therapists and patients are allowed to choose which method of communication they prefer – video calls, chat, text, and so on.

  • Regain Therapist Salary: C0uples pay between $160 and $280 per month for unlimited sessions, which means therapists get about 50% to 75% of the fee.
  • Pros of Regain: Therapists with relationship counseling experience can focus on their specialization. The platform makes it easy to use and cater to two people even if they are not physically in the same place.
  • Cons of Regain: This platform may be too limiting for new therapists trying to find their specializations. For some, the income may not feel worth it because of the multiple clients for one price.

5. Amwell

Unlike the platforms above, Amwell also offers physical health consultations. This means therapists work alongside other types of doctors as one big group of telehealth providers.

  • Amwell Therapist Salary:  Therapists earn based on their experience. Those with a Master’s degree earn a bit less to therapists with a Ph.D.
  • Pros of Amwell: Amwell is accredited by the American Telemedicine Association and is home to over 500 therapists nationwide. The company has a renowned video system, which makes online sessions feel like traditional in-person sessions.
  • Cons of Amwell: Because Amwell is a trusted brand that accepts doctors from all over the country, the main problem therapists would have with Amwell is the number of patients referred to them.

6. Doctor on Demand

Doctor on Demand is similar to Amwell – it is a platform that supports patients in need of medical (physical) advice and counseling on anxiety, depression, coping, and other mental health issues.

  • Doctor on Demand Therapist Salary: This isn’t disclosed (except for an estimate of $112,785/year or about $60/hour posted on Indeed.com). However, it does state that therapy prices are $129 (for 25 minutes session) or $179 (50-minutes), while psychiatry prices start at $299/session, which are fees A LOT higher than other platforms.
  • Pros of Doctor on Demand: Doctor on Demand has fewer therapists on board, which means you’d have better chances of pairing with clients. They also accept all major credit cards and health insurance plans. And since appointments can be paid on a per-session basis, clients wouldn’t feel trapped in a long-term payment plan.
  • Cons of Doctor on Demand: The higher fee may turn off clients, which means fewer clients paired with you.

7. MDLive

MDLive works like Amwell and Doctor on Demand. It is an all-in-one medical solution for patients in need of instant, telehealth advice from certified physicians, therapists, psychologists, and other medical providers.

  • MDLive Therapist Salary: Depending on a patient’s insurance plan, therapy costs up to $110 and psychiatry up to $300 per session.  It is estimated that therapists here earn somewhere between $55 and $70 per hour.
  • Pros of MDLive: Providers online prescription to treat anxiety, insomnia, Trauma, PTSD, bipolar disorder, depression, and other mental health problems.
  • Cons of MDLive: Therapy and psychiatry services on MDLive are very popular, which makes it hard for patients to get an appointment. The problem for providers is that once patients get a prescription from a psychiatrist, they tend to skip therapy completely.

** Note that salary information came from Glassdoor.com.

Other Ways to Find Online Therapist Jobs

Some online therapy sites are focused on a specific area or demographic. Here are two good examples:

  • TeenCounseling.com was designed as a platform for teens and young adults (ages 13 to 19) suffering from stress, anxiety, bullying, self-esteem issues, eating disorders, bullying, and other mental health issues.
  • PrideCounseling.com also helps with all issues that TeenCounseling.com therapists tackle, except Pride Counseling supports the LGBTQ community.

Both of these sites welcome new therapists to join their communities, so head over to their sites if you’re interested in working with teens or LGBTQ.

DIY Online Therapy Services

The last and most beneficial way of bringing a therapist’s career online is by doing it himself/herself. It would be a lot of work because you’d need to set-up your own website, find practice management software to keep patient records safe, market your therapy services to attract new patients, and handle day-to-day operations (such as getting appointments). Of course, you can always hire someone to do these tasks for you, but it would cost you the money you wouldn’t be spending if you joined online therapy sites instead.

The biggest advantage of managing your own practice is freedom and flexibility. First of all, you can control your own fees. Then, you can decide which patients you want to work with, instead of letting the algorithm of a platform decide if your credentials would fit a patient’s needs.

Seek Online Therapist Jobs or Offer Sessions Independently?

As a work-from-home therapist, your most-important decision lies in choosing to offer your services independently, or join therapy sites. Both methods are legitimate and have given success to therapists from around the world, but they’re not for everyone.

I recommend newly licensed therapists to start with therapy sites. It would let them focus on the work and not deal with marketing, patient leads, and so on. The pay may be lower, but this method could help them build their client base, reputation, and skills all at the same time.

For experienced therapists with existing patients and a fully-functional traditional practice, it would be best to bring their entire practice online themselves. The massive dip in hourly fee would be devastating to any therapist’s career if they chose to join therapy sites and earn between $20 to $40 an hour when they could invoice for $100 or beyond per session.

Whichever route you decide to take, it is still good news to know that people are welcoming virtual therapy with open arms and that online therapist jobs have a bright future ahead.

9 YouTube Monetization Alternatives for Your Online Biz

If you came here to find out the best YouTube monetization alternatives, I assume you have already tried the giant platform for years and decided there’s life after YouTube.

Don’t get me wrong. YouTube is still a powerful platform with its 2 billion active users. It remains the best introduction for beginner video content creators to dip their toes into this online business.

But there are valid reasons why people are looking to get out of YouTube. These include:

  • Policy changes in Partner Program – YouTube has always kept their policies updated, but sometimes, the video content creators get the bad news the most.
  • Competitive environment – In the past, it was easy to find success on YouTube. These days, aside from the millions of people you compete against for views, the environment can also be a bit competitive because the YouTube algorithm is designed to promote the popular channels than the up-and-coming ones.
  • Revenue-sharing can mean a big chunk of revenue loss – When you enable ads on your YouTube videos, you agree to Google’s ad revenue share for YouTube. The 45/55 split where Google keeps 45% and you get the bigger 55% cut of all YouTube advertising on your videos is acceptable as a beginner because you can’t find any other better deal. However, for advanced content creators with enough clout, this big chunk may not be the best program for you.
  • Big brand-names pull out their ads – Some advertisers began to pull out of YouTube starting in 2017 and 2018 due to lack of moderation. For example, Verizon’s ads were placed on videos from the Egyptian cleric Wagdi Ghoneim, who was banned from the U.S. over extremism. To protect their respective brands, AT&T, Hasbro, Johnson & Johnson, Pepsi, Walmart, or pharma company GSK all pulled their ads to avoid getting involved with offensive content.
  • Unfair treatment of content creators – Because content creators earn differently, YouTube sometimes tends to favor bigger-earners than small-time or beginner ones who were no longer allowed to earn until they reach a minimum amount of views and subscriptions. This change happened in 2018.

Of course, the most common reason for people checking out YouTube’s competition is that they were forced out of the platform. Video content creators who were suspended were unable to get back to their accounts. Sometimes, it is due to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) take-down system, other times for no reason at all.

Beyond YouTube Ads: Other Ways to Make Money with Videos

Before we discuss all the possible YouTube monetization alternatives you can switch to, let’s first take a closer look at the other ways to make money aside from YouTube’s ad revenue-sharing program.

  • Affiliate marketing – Many video content creators have already been doing this even with YouTube. YouTubers list a link on the video description to a product or service and if other people purchase from this link, the YouTuber will earn a commission from the sale.
  • Selling products – Through videos, you can sell physical products (either your own product or other people’s products), or information products (like ebooks, courses, etc). This may not always work, especially if you don’t have followers yet, but there is always affiliate marketing for beginners.
  • Sponsorships – When brands see that a particular video content creator influences a niche that aligns with the company’s market, sponsorships happen so the video creators could reach the target customer on the brand’s behalf.
  • Video on demand (VOD) – You sell access to your own videos. If you have a very specific skill and people want to learn from you, video-in-demand can be very lucrative. Some are even super-successful with this method that they offer subscription plans.
  • Livestreaming – If you’re comfortable airing your videos unfiltered, then live streaming could be a potentially rewarding experience. You can earn from pay-per-view, donations, or sponsorships, depending on the platform you choose.

These are just the more popular money-making methods for video creators. I bet there are more I haven’t mentioned here, so feel free to sound off below if you know more.

9 Sites to Check Out as YouTube Monetization Alternatives

Now let’s dig into the other YouTube monetization alternatives that you can check out:

1. Twitch

Acquired by Amazon in 2014 for $970 million, this public streaming website already a whopping 550,000 online viewers, and 2 million content creators. Today, Twitch has 55 million active users.

Twitch is home to many live-stream gamers, but it isn’t exclusive to them. There are also musicians, singers, teachers, and so on. There are no prerecorded videos here, so if you’re not OK with live streaming, check out other options.

2. Patreon

Patreon accompanies YouTube, Twitch, and other content-creating sites because it provides any user a way to monetize his/her content. Consider Patreon as a subscription-based donation, where people commit to becoming patrons of their favorite creators like game streamers, comic book artists, singers, and so on.

The subscription model of Patreon is pro-creator with a commission of 5% for the Lite plan, 8% for Pro, and 12% for Premium. It also supports credit card and PayPal payments. The only downside to using this as monetization is you won’t find anything like it if Patreon decides to close shop.

3. Vimeo

It is one of YouTube’s direct competitions. Vimeo is a video streaming site, but with higher quality content than YouTube. The upside is that there is basically no learning curve when switching to Vimeo since the user interface is similar to YouTube. The quality of the videos is also unmatched.

The downside is that free users can only upload 500 MB worth of videos a week. After this, you’d have to go premium for more space. Also, Vimeo has a higher pricing model than YouTube.

4. Dailymotion

Dailymotion is also similar to Vimeo and YouTube. It has been around for years as well and could serve as a stable platform for creating and sharing your video content. Plus, the quality of videos uploaded is also pro-level and much better than what YouTube puts out.

Like YouTube, you can enable monetization and get a cut from those in-stream advertisements (ads that appear before, during, or after) your videos. Payment is automatically sent to your Paypal once it reaches $100.

5. IGTV

IGTV is Instagram’s streaming service. Unlike the short video snippets Instagram is known for, IGTV allows users to submit longer and vertical videos up to 15 minutes long via phone (and up to 60 minutes via desktop). Money-wise, you can make 55% off the ads placed on your videos.

6. Wistia

Ideal for business video hosting, Wistia allows brands to control CTA, social sharing, and monetization of their high-quality videos. It has one of the most comprehensive video analytics in the market and the videos they host are protected by high-end encryption. However, this does come at a price, which is why it may not be ideal for smaller video creators.

7. Uscreen

This all-in-one video-on-demand monetization platform allows several ways to earn, from live streaming to selling subscriptions. One major upside to Uscreen is that content creators get to keep the contact info of their audience. Uscreen also has built-in marketing and community tools with about 1000+ integration of online tools to make your online space as inclusive as possible.

8. Facebook

Facebook has expanded its foothold in the online-gaming-streaming market gradually in recent years and it continues to grow to this day.

Like other YouTube monetization alternatives on this list, Facebook gives video creators a platform to broadcast their gaming (or other content) live. The biggest thing about Facebook is that it will let you target the market you want to target as accurately as possible. 

9. TikTok

TikTok is a force to be reckoned with, especially with its 800 million active users. It allows video creators to make short and catchy videos from their phones. People Are Getting Rich From TikTok. Here’s How.

More noteworthy YouTube Monetization Alternatives include:

  • Thinkific – online video course creation and management platform.
  • Brid.TV – cross-device online video player platform with cool video analytics for optimization and monetization. Bird partners need at least 5,000 daily video views to start earning with publishers earning 70% and Brid.TV getting the lower 30% cut of ad-revenue sharing.
  • Veoh – Very niche-specific video-sharing platform. As video creators, you can add followers, DM strangers, create groups, and share content all at the same time.
  • AlughaIf you want to offer your video content to users in different languages, this unique platform allows you to do so by embedding subtitles in 2 or more languages.
  • Metacafe – short-form videos. This site is older than YouTube and offers unlimited upload.
  • BrightcoveFeatures a full-featured content management system, marketing automation, and several monetization options.
  • Maker StudiosAcquired by Disney, this digital platform for short-form videos gives about 60% revenue to low-traffic channels and up to 90% cut for popular channels.

Which is the Best YouTube Monetization Alternatives?

There is no single best YouTube monetization alternative for everyone because different video creators cater to different followers.

My take is to use as much of these platforms as you possibly can (without breaking any of their policies of course) because it is always better to diversify your income. Putting your eggs in just one basket is never a good idea – I’ve seen people get destroyed when their YouTube accounts they worked on for years suddenly get banned.

Also, work on quality video content. No matter your niche or industry, make sure you put out quality content. This is how you attract and keep your audience, who you’ll need regardless of what monetization route you take.

How to Become a Work from Home Financial Advisor

The financial industry had been delayed in embracing the virtual work setting, but gradually, more and more jobs are now being offered with flexible arrangements. Today, I’ll focus on becoming a work-from-home financial advisor – it’s a pretty in-demand job traditionally, but will it work if the clients you normally communicate with face-to-face are no longer in front of you?

This post talks about how much you can earn from a work-from-home financial advisor position, and if being employed with a bank, private firm or other financial institution is better than the freelance route.

But first, let’s talk basics.

What does a Work-from-home Financial Advisor do?

A financial advisor is a general term that encompasses the role of brokers, stockbrokers, account executives, wealth management advisors, or other fancy names financial institutions call their skilled employees who handle customer accounts.

“Handle” here means a lot of things, depending on what the customer’s financial goals are.

This could refer to buying or selling stocks, bonds, and other securities on behalf of clients… or providing general financial advice regarding investments or something more client-specific like retirement plans.

The duties of work-from-home financial advisors are the same as those who work in traditional office settings.

These include:

  • Providing sound financial advice based on client goals. When employed in banks or insurance companies, a financial advisor is a person who would be facilitating the client’s transaction requests such as buying a new insurance policy or transferring funds into another investment.
  • Explaining laws relevant to the client’s financial goals. Financial advisors are up-to-date with laws related to insurance, taxes, investments, and other similar avenues.
  • Guiding clients to available services. It doesn’t matter if the financial advisor works at a bank, investment firm, and an insurance company or he/she works freelance getting new clients to sign up for certain services. This job will involve in-depth explaining (or sometimes up-selling) about products and services you think a client needs.
  • Helping clients build a financial plan. Some financial advisors do not sell any product or services. Instead, they provide consulting services to help clients plan out future expenses such as retirement, education, life insurance, investment, and so on.
  • Researching appropriate investments for clients. When a client has funds for a small home business or a corporation but has no idea what kind of business to put up, this is where a financial advisor steps in. He/she conducts research based on industry markets, client requirements, potential risks, and personal finance knowledge.

The financial advisor may seem like a job anyone can do, but this is actually not true.

The responsibilities of these advisors can be stress-inducing since there is not much room for error.

Poor advice could be costly to clients and lead to the advisor’s job loss, or worse, a major embarrassment to the advisor’s company.

Education, Skills, and Equipment Needed to Become a Virtual Financial Advisor

A work-from-home financial advisor has the same credentials as his/her office-based counterparts.

  • Formal education: A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business administration, economics, pre-law, or mathematics will help begin a career as a financial advisor. Some colleges also offer financial planning short courses.
  • Training: A work-from-home financial advisor usually begins his/her career under the wing of a senior advisor. This is where entry-level advisors learn the ropes hands-on and build their own investment portfolios and client network.
  • Short courses: Any coursework with in-depth classes in taxes, investments, estate planning, mutual funds, and risk management are helpful as an introduction to this career.
  • Certification: If you completed any finance-related bachelor’s degree and already have at least 3 years of work experience, you can take an exam and (if you pass) become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
  • Licenses: Not all financial advisors would need certification. However, if you are providing financial advice and buying/selling stocks and bonds on behalf of other people, you or your company must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Meanwhile, those who buying/selling insurance policies must obtain a license from state boards. Check with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) how you can get your license.
  • Required Skills: As someone who will be talking to clients day-in, day out, you need advanced communication and interpersonal skills. You should have natural teaching ability, so you could explain technical and complex financial information to clients. Math and analytical skills are just as important since you’ll be faced with numbers, graphs, charts, and other financial data, which you need to explain to clients. And if you’re selling a product or service, sales skills will come a long way as well.

Financial jobs like this require continuous learning because of the ever-changing state of local and global economies.

How Much do Finance Advisors Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, entry-level financial advisers can earn around $41.5k/year (around $20/hour), while senior advisors could take home up to $208k/year ($100/hour).

Of course, these numbers only consider those who are employed with financial institutions like banks, investment firms, insurance companies, stock market firms, and other similar companies.

A freelance financial advisor can earn on a commission basis if he/she brings in new clients or product orders to investment firms, banks, and other institutions.

Some freelance advisors own their respective companies and could bring in larger revenues.

A work-from-home financial advisor can either work for a firm, start his own financial consultation service, or a mix of both.

Entry-level advisors would likely earn less than their office-based counterparts, but experienced advisors who have impressive portfolios already and recognized names could earn as much as when they worked in an office setting.

Freelance vs. Employed by a Firm

Working from home can be done both as a freelance financial advisor and as someone employed by a firm.

There are pros and cons to both these routes:

Freelance (either solo or with a few home-based office employees)

  • Pros: You can become a financial advisor and earn entirely commission-based from two or more companies. You have can control which product and service to recommend to your own clients. And because you don’t work by-the-clock, you have the freedom to work as much or as little as you want.
  • Cons: Unfortunately, there are no “company benefits” to speak of as a freelancer. Plus eventually, if you’re a good work-from-home financial advisor, your operation has the potential to expand. When this happens, you would need more space (to rent an office, build a home office), and hire assistants to support your business. While expansion is always good, it also comes with additional expenses and/or more government fees, taxes, and licensing requirements.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out how Bill Harris launched his website Personal Capital in 2011 and provided effective money management for clients with $100,000 to $2,000,000 to invest.

Now, this is a full-fledged firm.

Employed by a financial institution 

  • Pros: You don’t need to invest in office equipment and renting out a suitable office space. You receive company benefits and get paid a salary and sometimes added commissions for extraordinary work. You get to work only 40 hours a week with travel and some fieldwork for meetings sprinkled into your schedule.
  • Cons: You are restricted to the clients your employer assign to you. It is very rare for financial institutions to allow you to work “on the side” for other companies, which means your compensation is quite limited.

Is Work-from-Home Financial Advisor a Good Career Path?

Whichever route you take in your work-from-home journey, the good news is financial advisors as a career is projected to grow 15% until 2026.

According to the BLS, this is because a growing number of baby boomers is off to retirement and would need help with money management moving forward.

A work-from-home financial advisor is a good profession for those who have experience working in the finance industry.

Unfortunately, because of the risks it could potentially cause other people’s life savings, becoming a financial advisor isn’t a profession anyone can just jump right into.

If you’re interested in working in the financial industry, but don’t want a consultant or advisor position, check out how to land virtual bookkeeping or work-from-home insurance jobs. You can even find part-time work helping other people prepare their taxes.

7 Ways to Make Money Gardening for All Seasons

If you’ve always had a green thumb and you’re looking for ways to bring extra income from home, did you know that you can make money gardening?

I’m talking about real cash that you can supplement your income with, or better yet, turn into a full-blown business that you can operate totally from the comforts of your own home. 

Sound interesting?

Here are 7 ways you can make money gardening

The cool thing about the methods below is you can pick and choose which income-generating gardening activity you want to focus on depending on your interests and available garden space. You can start small, or plan big for all the methods below – it’s totally up to you.

1. Sell Fruits and Vegetables

Nothing is more fulfilling than being able to plant and harvest fruits and vegetables. Although some plants take months (or even years) before you are able to harvest, there are many others that are easier to grow and sell. You just need to figure out what kinds of fruits and vegetables your place and climate can cultivate. Here are some examples:

  • Vegetables – Some vegetables grow year-round and are perfect for beginners. These include beetroot, potatoes, garlic, onions, beans, peas, radishes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and leafy greens like lettuce and spinach. You can start in small pots and expand once you’ve gotten the hang of it. If you have limited space, you can even stick to sprouts and microgreens – they’re quick to grow and easy to multiply.
  • Fruits – Fruits are trickier because they take years to grow. (Except if you consider tomatoes and cucumbers a fruit, then that’s a debate we should talk at another day). Planting fruit trees should probably be a long-term plan because your returns wouldn’t be until 5 to 10 years. Examples include lemons, pears, apples, tangerines, avocados, peaches, plums, and various berries (cherries, strawberries, blackberries, and so on).
  • Mushrooms – Mushrooms are technically not plants, but part of the fungi family. Some types of mushrooms, like oyster and shiitake, can be grown indoors. They grow and multiply exceptionally fast even in small spaces (25-pound/square foot) and can be sold at around $5 to $10 a pound.

Once you’ve harvested and have sold to everyone you know, but don’t have the certifications to sell at the farmer’s market, check out sites like Ripe Near Me where you can find people who would love to take the produce off your hands for a fair price.

2. Make Money Gardening Flowers and Decorative Plants

If you haven’t found success in gardening fruits and vegetables, maybe you can try decorative and flowering plants. For example:

  • Succulents – As a favorite housewarming gift or as a new-job gift because they aren’t the hardest to take care of. Jade, aloe vera, cactus, and a whole range of succulent plants are also super easy to propagate. Some even multiply by themselves if you leave them outdoors. Invest in tiny, adorable pots, re-pot these babies, and sell them by-the-pot.
  • Flowers – You can sell flowering plants by the pot, or sell the actual flowers. It totally depends on how much you want to commit to a gardening business. You can even join local wedding sites and offer your flowers to would-be brides. Or better yet, partner up with a local florist and see if they could give you a good deal.
  • Indoor plants – Indoor plants are awesome investments but can be hard for beginners to grow. If you made a jungle for your living room and want to sell some of your beloved plants, you’d surprise how much you can sell snake plants, Photos, spider plant, Dracaena, ZZ plant, Philodendron, Rubber Tree, and Alocasia if you presented them in a cool pot. You can even look for interior designers or real estate agents near you who would be interested in buying your plants.
  • Indoor trees – If you check out housekeeping magazines, I bet you can find a picture or two with gigantic trees near a stylishly staged living room. If you’re able to propagate plants like the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree, Calamondin Orange Tree, Parlor Palm tree, and Umbrella trees (among others), you’re lucky because these sell quite high.

Depending on how much plants you’re able to produce and sell in any given month, you can even start an online shop for your plants.  Start small by opening up a Facebook page, instead of building a website from scratch.

3. Sell Seeds, Seedlings and Cuttings

You don’t even need to let your plants grow full size. You can make money gardening by selling seeds of from your last harvest, planting seedlings for sale, or taking cutting from your grown trees.

You’d be surprised that there are passionate hobbyists for every type of produce. Hot-peppers have a huge community and people from all walks of life buy and sell seeds of Habanero, African Devil, Trinidad Scorpion, Ghost Pepper, and Carolina Reaper (among many more). Some of them have no luck growing from seeds, so they begin with seedlings instead.

When it comes to cuttings (or small pieces cut from larger plants), some plants work and some do not. Mulberry is a good example of plant cuttings that can be shipped and survive even up to a week before repotting. If you have a lot of cuttings to sell, go to a nearby nursery and see if they’d be willing to buy.

4. Sell Homemade Products from Your Garden

The potential for products you can sell from your garden is unlimited. Below are just some examples of how you can make money gardening:

  • Herbs, spices and herbed butter – If you are fond of growing herbs, you can try to multiply them and sell them as a set. You can even create your own recipe of dried-herb spice mix and advertise it for steak lovers, pizza lovers, and so on. Herbed butter is a good example of how you can turn herbs into a well-loved product. Experiment and level-up ordinary butter into fancy herbed butter – you’ll be shocked at how many people look for this.
  • Fruit smoothies – For those with an oversupply of strawberries, cherries, other fruits and vegetables, you can turn them into smoothies and offer them at a nearby grocery store. Some people just post these products on Instagram or Facebook and turn neighbors into loyal customers.
  • Dried produce – Invest in a dryer and go crazy drying out apples, peaches, and even vegetables to make dried snacks. People trying to eat healthy would love new things to try.
  • Home décor – Potpourri, acorns, and other things from nature used as home décor can become a business. Even what other people may think of as trash, you can still turn into gold. Check out what Etsy has when it comes to rustic home décor so you could have an idea of what plants can be sold.
  • Candles and soap – Flowers and other plants with fragrance are often mixed with handmade soaps and candles. If you have a lot of flowers to dispose of, why not get into candle making or soap making business as well?
  • Homemade compost and potting soil – Veteran gardeners know how to make their own “black gold” or compost. And how to create potting soil for succulents, vegetables, or any other specific plant.

These are just a few ideas on the top of my head. I bet you can check out your garden now and think of more things you can turn into gold.

5. Sell Canned & Bottled Produce from Your Garden

Once you’ve got your vegetable and fruit garden down to a science, you already know which produce you’ll be able to harvest in the next week or month. Aside from selling the produce outright, another way to bring your goods into the market is to learn bottling and canning fruits and vegetables. This way, you’d be able to make products like:

  • Sauces – From hot sauce to salsas, relishes and other similar concoctions, if you’re able to mix your own blend, you can sell them as well.
  • Pickled Everything – There are tons of fruits and vegetables you can pickle beyond the traditional cucumbers. Carrots, onions, peppers, rhubarb, squash, asparagus, cauliflower, ginger, green beans, peaches, strawberries and many many more. Depending on what fruit or vegetable you pickled, you can sell them by-the-jar for $20 to $50 per quart jar.
  • Oils and vinegar – Did you get a surplus of garlic harvested this year? Turn it into chili garlic oil and bottle it up for sale. Regular vinegar can also be sold when mixed with your spice mix, hot peppers, ginger, or onions for one-of-a-kind, bottled spiced vinegar.
  • Fruit syrups, jams, jellies and marmalade – These products are always a hit at the farmer’s market because homemade tastes much better than their mass-produced, store-bought counterparts.

6. Get into Beekeeping for Honey Products

Not all communities will allow you to keep bees, so better check first. Once you do and you’re interested in making money beekeeping, check out my more in-depth guide about beekeeping as a business.

7. Make Money Gardening by Renting it Out

If your garden has turned out into a garden like the Mad Hatter’s, or a place you can chill and host people, you can hire out your garden for private parties (weddings, birthdays, romantic dinners, and so on), meetings, craft workshops, and other similar events.

If you have a mini farm and would love to host people for apple picking, or other kinds of “picking,” then send invites to your local community. You’ll earn money from the entrance fee you’d be asking per person.

Are you up for sharing your knowledge? You can make money gardening by teaching others how they could grow certain plants, trees and vegetables themselves.

The Bottom Line

Like any kind of business, there are guidelines for every type of produce, plant, or business idea you wish to pursue.

It is guaranteed that you can make money gardening, but not all areas will allow you to do so. Before you prep your soil for planting or buy supplies, make sure you check with your homeowners’ association, zoning regulations, or even city restrictions if you are violating any rules and if you need a license.

For example, in California, if you deliver your own produce to customers or have them pick it up from you, you don’t need any license to sell fruits and vegetables. But if you’re planning to sell on a farmer’s market, you’ll have to apply for state certification. Of course, this will depend on which state or city you live in, where or how much you’re selling, and so on. It’s better to be sure than waste startup money.

Don’t miss this post if you’re interested in more ways to make money from nature.

How to Land the Perfect Remote eSports Job

You heard about the professional gamers who make millions a year, but did you know that there are other office-based and remote eSports jobs available, beyond the superstar, professional video gamer? They’re the people behind-the-scenes working day-in, day-out to bring the pros into the spotlight.

And like other traditional sports organizations like the NBA, NFL, and so on, these eSports events can be a lot of work. There are planning, marketing, negotiating, setting up, and ensuring everything is perfect days, weeks, or even months before the eSports teams arrive to play the game.

So if you’re interested in what’s in store in the eSports industry, read on. This is a special guide for the right person:

Types of Remote eSports Jobs

The following jobs can be independent from the pro player. Meaning, if you decide on a career in any of the following professions, you won’t be a part of any eSports team, but YOU CAN work from home (or remotely).

eSports Reporter & eSports Caster

As the name implies, this gig is perfect for those who are great at commentating. You’ll need a comprehensive knowledge of the industry, the games, and even the histories of the players involved, so this job isn’t for someone new to eSports.

What’s cool about this job though is that you can provide on-the-fly commentary during the tournament live (or for a recorded game anytime after). You can be employed by any media network, or work on your own blog, stream your “report” on Twitch or YouTube channel. The job can be virtually done anywhere, as long as you have the right equipment for the job.

eSports Analyst

An eSports analyst should have the same knowledge of the industry as any eSportscaster or reporter. However, aside from just reporting the blow-by-blow of the tournament, analysts take the information and use it to help a particular player, team, game developer, broadcaster, or other professionals.

Analysts create game strategies by pointing out the strengths/weaknesses of players and analyzing opponents’ performances.

eSports Marketer

Because the world of eSports depends on the fans of gamers, social media is a BIG part of the industry’s success. You can work as an independent marketer or social media manager, who will be responsible for growing an existing fan case for a particular video game, gaming company, or team.

This job is very broad and could include content writing, video creation, community management, and so on.

These remote eSports jobs are also available in traditional office-based settings.

eSports Teams in the Field, Remote and Office

The following jobs make or break a video game star’s career. Because professional eSports players focus only on the game, every other task (promotion, negotiation, scheduling, marketing, brand sponsorship, and other specific tasks) are assigned to other people in the team.

The following eSports jobs can either be done remotely, on the field and office-based. My best bet is that most of these require a mix of all three, so before checking out these jobs, understand what you’re signing up for.

  • eSports Recruiter – A gaming house employs the eSports recruiter to find gaming stars to join their teams.
  • eSports Coach – The eSports coach is like any other coach – he/she works closely with players, ensure that the players perform their 100% at all times, and uphold the rules of their respective gaming houses.
  • eSports Manager – The job of an eSports manager is similar to the coach, except his tasks are more about the business side of eSports and NOT about the games themselves. So expect an eSports manager to be taking care of schedules, sponsorships, branding, communication, and so on.
  • Tournament crew – This entry-level job gets you into the gaming houses’ day-to-day tasks, but the job will vary from secretarial duties that are bound to the office, or roadies, drivers and other crew involved with tour duties.

Jobs Responsible for day-to-day eSports business operations

There are many employment opportunities within the eSports industry that most people had no idea were available for them.

Many people with non-gaming-related professions are also involved in the day-to-day business operations of gaming companies. For example, if you’re an accounting professional or web developer with extensive experience in payment solutions, you have a chance at becoming a part of any gaming company with revenues. Other possible jobs are available in the following fields:

  • IT – For game development companies, the role of coder, game developer and other similar professionals are on the top of the chain. They are very in-demand, so if you’re good at digital drawing, animations, and programming, you’re in the perfect industry.
  • Human Resources and Communications – From recruitment to social media marketing and everything about expanding the presence of a gaming company, this field has plenty of opportunities for the taking.
  • Marketing and Sales – If you have a background in sales and marketing, you’ll be right at home in promoting the game houses, game developers, or any other brands. You may also be assigned to negotiate sponsorships.
  • Content creation – Aside from the video game itself, there is plenty of content required in this industry. Examples of jobs include videographer, photographer, content writer, or meme creator.

eSports Companies Hiring People of all Skills

The office-based and remote eSports jobs I listed here are just a few of the many other employment opportunities in this industry.

Explore others available on specific career pages of gaming companies, eSports teams, and other big guys in the world of competitive video gaming.

  • Blizzard Entertainment – This company launched popular games like Starcraft, Overwatch and World of Warcraft. They are located in California, but sometimes open remote eSports jobs depending on the projects they currently have.
  • Riot Games – If you know the Leagues of Legends, you know this company. Also based in California, Riot Games has positions for its other studios around the world (China, Singapore, Ireland, Korea, Turkey, Brazil, and so on).
  • Electronic Sports League (ESL Gaming) – This is one of the biggest esports company that hosts tournaments each year. Based in Germany, but has multiple locations around the world.
  • Amazon – Yes, the retail giant is also heavily invested in eSports. They have their own game development studio (Amazon Game Studios) and have job openings regularly.

Teams or Game Houses should be your goal company if you want to be closer to the action. Companies like Cloud9, Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, Fnatic, G2 eSports, Immortals, 100 Thieves, and Envy Gaming (among others) hire a wide range of people to support their respective rockstar players.

Twitch, where many video game stars launch their careers, also have job openings that are related to the eSports world. You can also find jobs on eSports-specific job boards such as Hitmarker and Jobs in eSports.

Which eSports Jobs Do you See Yourself in?

eSports has slowly crept into a global industry. Before the start of 2020, the eSports industry generated over $500 million in revenues with more and more eSports teams being scouted, formed, and made to compete in local and international tournaments.

The misconception that you have to be a genius at playing video games to land a job in this industry is a common misconception.

But if you’ve always been interested in eSports and would want a career change, I hope this guide has given you job ideas, from getting front and center with the action on the field, or just supporting the team backstage with remote eSports jobs, and many other career paths this industry can open up for you.

Interested in more info? Check out these posts about making money playing video games, video game writing jobs, and how to get paid playing Fortnite.

How to Launch a Party Planning Business from Home

You can launch and succeed in operating a party planning business from home, if you’ve ever found yourself really enjoying the planning of your kid’s birthday parties, your best friend’s bridal shower, or your parent’s golden anniversary.

The outlook for this market is pretty good as well. In fact, the children’s party industry alone is a multi-million dollar industry with parents spending an average of $500 per party no matter the age of the kid. Imagine how well your business will make if you corner the market in your neighborhood or at your kid’s school.

This post should jump-start your dream of opening a party-planning business and give you a checklist of everything you’ll need moving forward…

Before You Start for Your Party Planning Business…

Like any kind of business, you have to be with the right mindset once you decide to set up an event planning business. This won’t be a piece of cake, and the success won’t be overnight either.

While the returns of a party planning business can be high, you’d need a ton of experience to withstand the ever-changing economy. Here are three major considerations:

  • Zooming in on a niche – Do you want to be an all-in-one party planning business? Would you prefer intimate events? children’s parties? garden weddings? Decide on this early on, so you can prepare the equipment, costs and effort involved in that particular niche.
  • Competition and Market Research – Even if you’re operating the business mostly from home, your market is important because it is the area where you’ll be targeting clients. Identify how many direct competition you’ll have in town once you decide to stick with children’s party planning, or just weddings. Once you’ve list down your competition, answer this question: do you offer something they’re not offering?
  • Employed to business owner – If you’re giving up your job to launch this business, you have to prepare for the inevitable days when you don’t earn a cent for yourself. How much money will you need to survive month to month? This is the reason many small business owners will advice that you start your party planning business from home “on the side” and work your way to full-time once the business pulls in as much as you were making from your day job.

You should understand what it takes to set-up this kind of business because they could make or break your chances of becoming a successful business owner.

Event Planning Equipment

Once you’ve decided on the type of events your business will focus on, gathering the equipment is going to be an easy step.

Because this business is service-based, you’d likely be investing more on hiring good people than things.

You do have to have the essentials, such as a working computer, printer, WiFi, phone, a place you can call your office (even if it’s only just a desk and chair), answering machine (or service provider), a van, marketing supplies (such as business cards and posters).

A FUNCTIONAL WEBSITE: This isn’t technically an “equipment,” but you’ll be using the website as your storefront because your business is home-based. And there’s no better way to give an impressive first impression than to launch a professional website with a user-friendly navigation, pleasing-to-the-eye design, and content that includes the business’ complete info, contact details and useful tips.

6 Steps to Launch a Party Planning Business from Home

Businesses, whether they have a storefront or not, must be planned properly from the start. This way, you’ll just be focusing on the day-to-day operations once you launch your party planning business from home.

1. Create a solid Business Plan

There are plenty of tutorial on how to create a business plan. You can make it as comprehensive, or as simple as you prefer. Just don’t forget these 3 things:

  • Business name – This will be your product, your brand, your income-generating name. Make it count. Don’t rush the process. Brainstorm for days and whenever you pick a name, put it aside and brainstorm some more. Once you’ve had several names placed on the side, compare and choose from that list.
  • Pricing – One major clue that a company isn’t organized is when you ask about fees and they answer with confusing or missing information. When building your business plan, make sure to identify what kind of pricing structure your company will follow. Do you want to separate a commission for your services on top of all the supplier costs? Do you charge by-the-hour and settle payments across all suppliers? Are you going to offer packages? Spy on your competition’s pricing to get an idea of what you’d like for your own business.
  • Marketing Plan – Marketing may seem like an overwhelming task if you’re all alone operating a party planning business from home, but don’t fret. You can take baby marketing steps and still reap rewards. Of course, the first step of your marketing should always be your website. From there, expand your online presence, pinpoint ways to market your business locally, and explore other techniques that would be perfect for your niche. For example, showcase a children’s party that you planned by inviting classmates of your kids with their parents, and then networking after the party.

 2. Become Legal and Insured.

Even if you’re operating your event planning business from home, you still have to fulfill legalities, such as registering your business.

  • Business permits: The process will vary between cities and countries, so better check your local government about required paperwork. If you have partners, they would have to be present when filing documents since everyone must sign and complete the forms.
  • Insurance: It is important to be insured so that your personal assets won’t be included if ever someone sues your business. Take to an insurance broker for other relevant insurance you might need.
  • Company bank account: Open a separate bank account for the business. Not only will this help you organize accounting, it will also ensure your personal finances will not mix with the business finances and vice versa. 

3. Hunt for an Army of Reliable Contractors.

As the event planner, you will lead a host of suppliers (flowers, cake, venue, musicians, clowns, balloons, and so on) and ensure that everything the client paid for falls into place.

Unfortunately, if there’s a weak link within your group, this will affect your company and not the vendor. This is the reason you should find reliable vendors that provide quality services and products consistently.

And once  you’ve found them, nurture these relationships. The more trustworthy people you have as part of your contact list, the better your chances of expanding your business.

4. Create a Portfolio.

With every event you complete, make sure to take pictures, save event details, and try to ask for testimonials from your current clients.

Do this every time, then post event details on your company website. If you compiled enough testimonials, upload them as videos (or audios) with their permissions, the publish as you please.

5. Build Your Online Presence

Your website isn’t the only marketing tool you should work on. You should also open accounts for the major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and other relevant social media accounts..

Invest in logo design, so the graphics will be uniform across all platforms.

And create a content calendar, so you’d remember to check messages and post every now and then. If possible, make it interactive by hosting giveaways, contests, and surveys.

6. Market Your Business Like Crazy

Like building your online presence, you should also be continuously marketing your business online and offline.

Referrals are important, so announce to everyone you know about the event planning business you’ve just opened up. Your family or friends may not need your service right now, but they could recommend you to other people they know.

You are the number 1 endorser of your company, so learn how to advertise your business everywhere.

*** These same steps apply if you’re planning to launch a baked goods business, candle-making, brewery, or any kind of business operating from home.

The Bottom Line

Once you’ve taken care of the initial preparations and footwork, most of the communication between clients would be done remotely (via text, chat, video chat, and even by e-mail). Even marketing efforts can be done at the comforts of your own home.

You do have to get to the party on the day. It helps with closing the deal with your current client, and networking to party guests who might be interested in your event-planning services in the future.

If you feel that an event planning business is a little too much for your taste, you can still take advantage of your organizational skills by setting up a travel planning service from home.

For at-home moms who are interested in earning extra cash, but can’t work yet, this list of work-at-home jobs for moms could be a lifesaver.

14 Apps that Pay You Cash Fast

Looking for ways to earn some apps that pay you side cash, but don’t have time to start a business or even a part-time side hustle?

Don’t fret! You can make some side money through your smartphone.

There are a number of apps you can download that allow you to perform simple tasks for cash.

In today’s blog post, we run down some of the best tasking apps that pay you actual money, through PayPal, Venmo, direct funds transfer to your bank account, digital or physical gift cards to your favorite stores.

Tasking Apps That Pay You Real Money

Tasking apps are those that pay you to do simple tasks.

Some of these tasks can be done on your phone, while others require you to do some minor errands.

They generally don’t ask you to buy something to participate, but in case you are, they compensate you immediately for your purchase aside from paying you.

The amount you can expect to be paid varies depending on the app, how much time you’re willing to dedicate to doing these tasks, and how difficult an individual task is.

Here are our recommended tasking apps that pay you.

1. Field Agent

Field Agent acts as a platform for crowdsourced customer insights.

One of their unique tasks is having workers do a Digital Demo, which involves them buying the product in-store or online, trying out the product at home, answering questions, and rating the products from 1 to 10.

If the products are rated 7 or higher, the answers to the questions are styled into an article by Field Agent’s in-house creative team and are shared on websites that feature curated products.

Website: Field Agent
Examples of tasks you can do: Answer surveys, act as mystery shopper, take photos of products in stores, create Digital Demos
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, United Kingdom, Ecuador

2. Shopkick

Shopkick allows you to earn reward points called kicks that you can then redeem for free gift cards.

Some tasks simply require you to walk into select retail stores, no purchase necessary. Others require you to make purchases, which pay more.

Website: Shopkick
Examples of tasks you can do: Walk into stores, scan barcodes of select products, make in-store or online purchases, watch in-app videos
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United States

3. Streetbees

Streetbees pays their so-called “bees” for sharing insights about products and services they use every day.

They then pass this information on to the businesses that they work with so they can learn about current trends and use that to improve their products and services, make better decisions, and predict future trends.

Website: Streetbees
Examples of tasks you can do: Participate in polls, answer surveys, recruit other ambassadors
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: 87 countries, including United States and United Kingdom

4. Mobeye

Mobeye makes it easy: open the app, find an available task around you, do the task, and get paid.

Tasks are added weekly, but only a limited number of users can participate at a time, so it pays to regularly check back.

Website: Mobeye
Examples of tasks you can do: Answer surveys, take photos, collect information
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United States, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, South Korea, Japan

5. CheckPoints

CheckPoints is a fairly straightforward app, offering various tasks you can do through the app in exchange for rewards points.

You can then exchange these rewards points for gift cards, as well as non-monetary goods such as airline miles, gadgets, and more.

Website: CheckPoints
Examples of tasks you can do: Watch videos, take quizzes, shop online, scan keywords, answer surveys, search for keywords
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United States

6. InboxDollars

The InboxDollars app partners with companies that want crowdsourced insights and pay users of the app for opening and skimming emails, answering surveys, and more.

InboxDollars pays you $5 just for signing up. It’s also one of the rare apps that pay you in real dollars, not in points.

Website: InboxDollars
Examples of tasks you can do: Read emails, answer surveys, watch videos, redeem free food and grocery coupons, play games, get cashback for online purchases
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United States

7. Surveys On The Go®

Surveys On The Go® is a market research tool that asks users to answer surveys and pays them for their opinions.

They typically send out two new surveys every week, and you’ll have options to receive the payment through PayPal, Virtual Visa, Amazon Gift Card, or Starbucks Gift Card.

Website: Surveys On The Go®
Examples of tasks you can do: Answer surveys on products, services, entertainments, sports, technology, and many others
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United States, Canada, Australia, and United Kingdom

8. Gigwalk

Gigwalk lets you pick Gigs from their app that takes anywhere from 5 minutes to a few hours, with varying payouts as well.

The Gigs are designed to provide their partner businesses as much information as possible on their products, which they use to make marketing and promotion decisions.

Website: Gigwalk
Examples of tasks you can do: Audit retail stores, act as mystery shopper, test digital apps, spot check customer workflows, answer surveys, collect data
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United States and Canada

9. AppTrailers

AppTrailers lets you do probably the simplest task you can do among the tasks I’ve mentioned: watch video trailers of apps from your phone.

You’ll earn points from each trailer, which you can exchange for PayPal cash or gift cards from brands like Amazon, Target, Starbucks, and more.

Examples of tasks you can do: Watch app trailers
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United States

10. Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards is a receipt scanning app that lets you earn points for items you were buying anyway.

When you buy your groceries at any grocery store, save the receipt and scan it in the Fetch Rewards app, which automatically determines which products you can earn points for and credits you.

You can exchange the points for gift cards to plenty of retail stores, restaurants, as well as through MasterCard or Visa gift cards.

Website: Fetch Rewards
Examples of tasks you can do: Scan receipts
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United States

11. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is perhaps the most well-known app in this list and is mainly famous for its surveys.

Other tasks you can do include voting in their daily poll, watching videos in their in-house app, and playing games through their app.

This is also one of the few apps that pay you for simply using them for searching on the internet.

Earning points for doing these tasks and you can exchange these points for cash or gift cards.

Website: Swagbucks
Examples of tasks you can do: Answer surveys, set Swagbucks as default search engine, print and redeem coupons, vote in the daily poll, watch videos through the Swagbucks TV app, play games
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United States, most countries in Europe and Asia

12. Mobee

Mobee offers missions, which are mystery shopping assignments, to its users. They can then accept one of these missions and get reward points.

The amount of your purchase is reimbursed plus some extra, and you can then exchange these points for cash or gift cards.

The app keeps track of whether you’re in the right store through your phone’s GPS, but they sometimes also ask for photos of the store or your timestamped receipts.

Metropolitan areas have more retail stores, and thus have a higher number of missions you can choose from and a lot more earning opportunities.

Website: Mobee
Examples of tasks you can do: Act as a mystery shopper
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United States

13. Postmates

If you have a bike or a car, and you live in a busy area, you might want to sign up for the Postmates fleet.

Download the Postmates Fleet app, sign up with your email address, name, selfie, proof of identity, and your planned delivery method.

Once your identity is verified, you’ll get a free delivery bag and a Postmates prepaid card.

Simply go online when you have some free time, get alerted about what delivery tasks are near you, do the delivery and get paid instantly.

You can earn bonuses and incentives for delivering within a specified timeframe, completing a certain number of deliveries within a set time period, or inviting others to be part of the Postmates fleet.

They don’t ask for fees from you, so you get to take home 100% of your earnings and your tips.

Website: Postmates
Examples of tasks you can do: Deliver food, drinks, retail, groceries
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United States

14. Roamler

Roamler assigns tasks that are geared toward businesses that need help with their market research and promotions.

However, depending on your location, you might need to be sent an invite code to start using the app and doing tasks.

Website: Roamler
Examples of tasks you can do: Answer short questionnaires, take pictures of products in stores, act as a mystery shopper, refill shelves with products, boosting promotional displays
Available on: iOS, Android
Countries available: United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Poland, Turkey, and Chile

Final Thoughts

Installing a few apps on your smartphone can turn it into a real moneymaker.

Hopefully, you find one or a few apps that are a good fit for you so you can maximize your income.

Other Apps That Pay You Real Cash

There are plenty of other apps that help you earn some side cash while using your phone.

Here are some of these apps.

Have you tried any of these apps? How was the experience? Can you recommend other apps that pay you? Share your experience with us in the comments.

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 2021?

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.