10 Online Jobs for College Students with Busy Schedules

Being a college student often means getting creative with Ramen noodles.

Maybe you don’t mind, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit of extra cash flow?

Not everyone has the time or transportation to get to a part-time job, but luckily, it’s the 21st century and online jobs are a thing now!

Today, let’s look at some online jobs for college students to help you earn something extra so those Ramen noodle days become few and far between.

10 Ways for College Students to Make Money Online

How well these options will work for you depends on how much time you have on your hands between classes and studying.

But the list below contains different types of online jobs that require different levels of commitment and still pay enough that you might be able to afford that expensive textbook this semester.

Or you might be able to afford a pub session for more than once a week.

And that’s fine too!

I’m not here to judge.

1. Participate in research studies

Northwestern Research Studies

You’re already at a place of study, furthering your own knowledge and doing research around various topics.

So why not make use of that studious atmosphere and take part in some research studies to make a little extra cash on the side?

Many universities have their own paid research studies and you can certainly check if you can participate.

But there are plenty of online research studies to take part in, too. These studies aren’t limited to the medical field either, as professionals in the marketing industry rely on studies to find out more about what you like and which products you want to see more of.

Just make sure to know whether you’re looking at a paid research study or an online survey.

Some online surveys do pay, but many don’t.

Others just provide gift cards to one lucky survey taker. Fortunately, it isn’t too hard to differentiate between the two.

To make your search a little easier, I’ve compiled a handy list of 20+ research studies you can take part in right now.

They’re all online and pay pretty well.

You won’t be able to live off of what you earn from them, of course, but it’s still a great way for college students to make money part-time.

2. Try your hand at search engine evaluation

Search engine evaluator jobs

For most students, using search engines like Google is second nature by now.

You could probably do it in your sleep.

Fortunately, there are companies that pay for people to use search engines.

Search engines are marvels at quickly finding what we want to know, but they don’t always show perfect search results.

This is why search evaluators are hired—to use certain search terms and evaluate the results or sometimes the ads that show up (because these ads use search keywords as well).

Being a search evaluator is probably one of the best online jobs for college students there are.

It doesn’t take up much time and doesn’t require too much brainpower that it distracts from schoolwork and exams.

Companies usually hire search evaluators and send them guidelines and search terms on a per-project basis. But you won’t have to work more than a couple of hours a week at most, though some companies allow up to 30 hours a week on big projects.

To find online search evaluator jobs, look at companies like RaterLabs or Appen.

Check our full list of search engine evaluator jobs here.

3. Earn side cash by answering questions

If you’ve been at college for any amount of time, then you’ve probably already filled out a survey or two.

Knowledge is power, as they say, but you don’t have to give up your precious time for nothing in return.

Plenty of at-home jobs for college students involve answering surveys as it’s an easy way to make some cash on the side.

There are lots of companies out there who want people to answer surveys on a range of topics, and they’re not hard to find.

In fact, here are a few companies willing to pay for your answers right now.

Just make sure of one thing: that you fit the demographic they need before answering a survey, or it’s likely you won’t get paid or even get blacklisted from the site.

4. Fit in a microjob between classes

Sometimes there’s just no time to fit in a part-time job in your already-busy schedule.

Microjobs, however, can fit nicely into even the busiest of schedules, making it the perfect option for the student who doesn’t have any time.

The great thing about microjobs is that you can usually do them anytime, from anywhere.

If you have some time to spare between classes or during lunch, then you can just log in with your phone and get a few microjobs done.

Companies like Amazon MTurk hire people for jobs like transcribing short texts or audio files, identifying figures in photos, and taking surveys, amongst other things.

You probably won’t earn much in the beginning, but you can work your way up on the website or app you chose and start earning more for more complicated jobs. Or you can stick to the less taxing ones if that’s all you have time and energy for.

It’s an extremely flexible way of making extra income.

5. Become a call reviewer

If you’ve ever had to call customer service or received a phone call from a call center, then you’re familiar with that ‘this call is being recorded’ line.

You might be surprised to hear that companies are serious about that statement and they do take the time to go through recorded calls and review them.

Humanatic is one of the companies that hire people like college students to listen to and review calls.

The job is pretty simple, and all you need to do is listen to a call and tag it according to the criteria they set out.

There’s also the opportunity to grow and take on more work (and more pay!) if you do well.

6. Run errands for other people

Even students have to go run errands every once in a while.

Now you can run a few extra errands for other people and make cash while doing it too.

There are plenty of people who don’t have the time, or sometimes the physical or mental ability, to do everyday things like picking up and dropping off their dry cleaning or mailing a package.

Whatever their reasons, you’ve got the opportunity to generate an income by doing it for them.

This can be a good online job for a college student as these are mostly errands that you’ll have to do for yourself, too. So why not get paid for taking on an extra load of groceries when you’re already doing your own shopping, anyway?

Apps like TaskRabbit and Gigwalkers are two good places to start choosing errands you can run for other people.

7. Put your research skills to use

WIkipedia online research

You aren’t wasting time by building up your academic skills.

They can come in handy for earning an income, even if it doesn’t seem apparent when you’re busy raiding the library or deep diving on the internet for info on some obscure data.

Companies like Wonder are hiring analysts to do research on various topics for them.

Lots of the projects you get to work on will be for brands who need to find out more about whichever industry they are in. But there are fun projects too, like looking up locations and setting up an itinerary for a group outing or finding the best product in a certain category.

You’ll get to work with statistics, market research, and lots of data on current trends.

This is a great way to use the skills you have picked up in college and develop them even further while getting paid for it.

Here are a few companies currently hiring online researchers.

8. Work for Apple

If you’re a huge fan of Apple products, enrolled in classes at a participating university, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher, working for Apple may be a dream come true for you.

Apple Support College Advisors help Apple customers by answering questions about Apple products and services, troubleshooting their devices, and connecting them to further help if it can’t be resolved in one phone, chat, or text session.

You’ll undergo nine weeks of paid training, be given your own iMac and headset to be used exclusively for your work as an Advisor, and get to work from home while accommodating your class schedule and academic load.

Unfortunately, students living in college dormitories are not currently eligible to participate, as your working environment has to be private, quiet, and as free of ambient noise as possible.

This might be one of the best online jobs for college students; not only do they accommodate your class schedule but you now have a jumping-off point for a job after graduation and possibly even a career beyond that.

9. Transcribe audio or video into text

As a college student, your spelling and grammar, as well as your typing skills, should be a cut above the general population.

Generally, transcription companies look for part-time to full-time workers, but there are others where you don’t have a schedule; simply log in and work whenever you have time.

Check out our list of online transcription jobs and see which ones may be a good fit for you.

10. Be social

You’re probably already on social media during your downtime (or, let’s face it, during a boring class or two).

Why not channel this social media time into something productive?

Because their consumers are almost definitely on social media, businesses are always looking to reach this audience and are therefore willing to hire social media managers who know how to engage their target audience on social media.

You might not be eligible to be a social media manager (you’d normally have to already have your bachelor’s degree), but you can run social media marketing campaigns for local businesses and organizations.

Go over these social media jobs to have an idea of what’s expected from someone who works with social media.

Final Thoughts: Don’t Rush In

The lure of making extra cash on the side is strong, but don’t rush into anything.

Take your time to find the right fit for you. Worrying about exams and group projects are hard enough without adding a taxing job into the mix.

If none of the jobs on this list fits your time or skills, then don’t worry. There are still plenty of easy online jobs for college students out there.

In fact, one of the easiest online jobs for college students isn’t really a job at all. A person doesn’t have to do any major hard work with the internet only a click away. Some companies will pay you to simply download an app or shop online.

Granted, these are usually once-off payments.

But if you string enough of them together, then you can make a good bit of cash in a short amount of time.

If you’re looking for a side hustle that’s more long-term, though, then have a look at these 100 ways to make money online.

Are you currently a college student looking for an online job? Did our list help? Share you experiences with us in the comments below!

How Ordinary People Make Money with Patreon

Patreon is a crowd-funding membership platform, which means you can make money with Patreon if people like you enough to pay and subscribe to your channel in order to access your content.

Compared to YouTube, Patreon is a bit underrated as a money-making platform.

However, it is one of the most highest-paying platforms for the creative crowd online.

There are over 100,000 creators on Patreon, with the top tier earning salaries of $2 million monthly (or more).

These creators range from YouTubers to writers, musicians, podcasters, comic artists, videographers, online gamers, and other creatives with interesting skills to share with the world.

Today, you’ll learn how you can make money with Patreon: how Patreon works, how it’s different from YouTube, and who earns the most on this platform so you can be inspired and encouraged.

How Does Patreon Work?

Many YouTube stars who have made money from YouTube embraced YouTube and Patreon equally.

But the original way people earned money through YouTube was via AdSense.

A viewer must watch an ad for 30 seconds, or click the ad featured before or somewhere in the middle of a YouTuber’s video. Only then will the YouTuber earn money.

It sounds simple but YouTubers don’t earn a lot this way. It would take about 1,000 views for a YouTuber to earn $10 to $20.

Unless a YouTuber’s channel has millions of viewers, earning through YouTube’s AdSense would take a lot of time, effort, and content.

To complement this income generation, many YouTubers took to Patreon and made it their second home.

In Patreon, musicians, singers, painters, writers, video game writers, and other creators were able to set subscription fees in exchange for VIP-style access to their work.

Several types of fan support at Patreon exist:

  • Monthly subscription – Fans of a creator pay a monthly subscription fee in exchange for freebies and insider news (sometimes being first to listen to a new song, asked opinions about a new comic character, and so on). Depending on your Patreon plan, you can create tiers of memberships with various monthly subscriptions. For instance, you can set entry-level memberships at $3/month, a mid-level tier at $10/month, and a high-level tier at $20/month.
  • Per-creation campaign – Let’s say an independent ukulele player wants to release a new album, but has no funds to do so. She then creates a campaign on Patreon specifically for this project. Fans can support this album one-off without having to pay a monthly subscription fee.
  • Donation – If you’re a fan and you donate money to a creator you like, you’re in control of how much you want to give, and when you want to send your donation. You don’t need to be a paying subscriber or a support of a campaign to donate. The catch is that donations often do not include freebies. Of course this isn’t set in stone, since the creator can still send gifts your way as a donor.

You might think: why go to Patreon, if YouTube is already the biggest video-sharing platform on the planet?

Here are several reasons why…

Patreon vs. YouTube Channel Membership

  • Patreon filled a void – At the time of Patreon’s launch in 2013, YouTube has not yet launched its own Channel Membership program (this came out in mid-2018). Those who have started out at Patreon’s membership service stuck with it even after YouTube’s launch.
  • Patreon takes a smaller percentage – Patreon is still a service, so it charges its users for using the platform by taking a percentage of their monthly income. Depending on which Patreon plan you subscribe to, they get 5% (for Lite), 8% (for Pro), or 12% (for Premium). This is aside from the payment processing fee. It sounds more Compared to YouTube’s massive 30% cut, Patreon is more friendly to its users.
  • Patreon’s terms do not change drastically – Google, the mother company of YouTube, is notorious for updating its terms regularly. These terms include changes with monetization, which can be off-putting to YouTubers.
  • No minimum patrons required – At Patreon, there were no requirements regarding the number of patrons upon sign-up. With YouTube’s Channel Membership, your channel had to have at least 100,000 subscribers.

When it comes to pledges of supporters, Patreon and YouTube have similar starting points.

The starting price for YouTube channel memberships is $0.99/month at YouTube Channel Membership, while the starting price at Patreon is $1/month.

How Much Can You Earn With Patreon?

It has been proven that you can make money with Patreon, but it’s simply impossible to state an estimated income you can get from Patreon mainly because the number of supporters and how much they’re willing to shell out are different among Patreon users.

Below are a few of the top creators making the most money on Patreon, according to Graphtreon:

  • True Crime Obsessed (Earns an estimated $103K to $293K per month with over 38K patrons) – True crime podcast hosted by Gillian Pensavalle and Patrick Hinds
  • Chapo Trap House (Earns more than $164,000 per month with over 36K patrons)Political comedy podcast by hosts Matt Christman, Will Menaker, Virgil Texas, Felix Biederman, and Ambe A’Lee Frost
  • Yagami Yato (Earns an estimated $49K to $289K per month with over 33K patrons) – NSFW Vocal artist, ASMR, and interactive fiction
  • DarkCookie (Earns more than $68K per month with over 25K patrons) – Creator of NSFW game Summertime Saga
  • Brandon Stanton (Earns an estimated $38K to $197K per month with over 20K patrons) – Photographer and creator of the Humans of New York photo series on social media and now published as books
  • Amanda Palmer (Earns an estimated $18K to $136K per month with over 14K patrons) – Singer, musician, podcaster, and blogger
  • CGP Grey (Earns more than $42K per month with over 13K patrons) – YouTuber with educational explanatory videos on a wide variety of subjects, mostly through animation

As you can see from these creators, it is definitely possible to make money with Patreon no matter what type of content you publish as long as you have followers (or in this case: “patrons”).

As a creator, you will dictate the tiers (membership levels) and the corresponding benefits for every tier.

You can add multiple tiers, as well as multiple benefits. And choose if you’d like to include tangible items, such as t-shirts, stickers, CDs, and various other merch or digital items, such as access to a livestream or a copy of an unreleased song.

Who Can Make Money with Patreon?

Anyone can open up a Patreon account.

However, once you begin earning money from the subscriptions, Patreon gets a cut from your monthly income.

As I’ve mentioned, the percentage will depend on what type of Patreon plan you chose: Lite (5%), Pro (8%), or Premium (12%).

The pricier the Patreon plan you choose, the more add-ons you get, such as detailed analytics, accounts for team members, a dedicated partner manager, and so on.

If you’re planning to join Patreon, but is not sure if you’d fit in, you’d be surprised at the impressive range of Patreon users there are.

To give you an idea, here are some real Patreon users and how they’re using this platform to earn money online:

1. Podcasters

We know crowdfunding is a legitimate way of making money from podcasts.

You don’t need to be a professor, public speaker, or celebrity to create a podcast. As long as you’re creative, smart, and entertaining enough, people will naturally want to listen to you and hear more.

Aside from the Chapo Trap House, The Last Podcast on the Left is another popular podcast hosted by friends Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski.

Since 2011, these guys have been releasing 1-hour podcasts about the horrors of the world, both imagined and real. Think zombies, serial killers, and so on. While Zebrowski is a comedian on his own right, his co-hosts mostly found massive fame through the podcast.

2. Teaching and Education

There is massive potential for teaching at Patreon.

From musicians creating music lessons for their patrons to English teachers creating lessons for their ESL students, the possibilities are endless.

You’d find essay writing lessons, painting courses, cooking lessons, and many more.

3. Musicians

Singers and musicians are big at Patreon.

A cappella groups Pentatonix and Home Free are perfect examples of music acts that opened their world to patrons, which ultimately helped them create music, tour more places, and produce music videos.

If you’re trying to learn guitar, you can find many expert guitarists sharing their knowledge at Patreon.

You just gotta dig deeper and learn how other musicians take care of their patrons.

4. Video Creators

These group of creators bring a wide range of content to the world.

Some share educational videos like cooking or experiments, while others stick with pranks, family funny videos, and so on.

5. Visual Artists

The internet threatened traditionally-beloved professions like comic book artists and other similar fields.

But the technology, tools like drawing tablets and software, and services like Patreon paved the way for visual artists to make money online.

Today, exceptionally-talented artists like Brian Gordon (of Fowl Language) and Nick Seluk (of The Awkward Yeti) are able to do what they love the most and earn a living from their comics too!

Thanks, in part, of their fans who helped bring money to the artists by buying their merch, joining Kickstarter campaigns, or subscribing to their Patreon.

6. Writers

The cool thing about Patreon is that creators can offer their content in phases, which is ideal for authors working on their novels.

They can choose to be “paid” as they go.

Journalists also have a nice little home here, especially those with very specific niches.

7. Game creators

Video game creators join Patreon and release updates and sneak peaks of their games to their patrons.

Some go as far as asking their patrons to help shoulder the game development bill.

Watching online gamers do their thing (and narrate what their characters are doing on screen) has been around for several years and who wouldn’t want to get paid to play video games?

It’s no wonder these popular names from the gaming industry are using Patreon to share more content in exchange for income from monthly subscriptions.

8. Communities and Organizations

Of course, organizations (whether private or non-profit) and communities can turn Patreon into their go-to fundraising headquarters.

Patreon was made exactly to unite a community of people into one (or more) goals.

Tips to Be Successful on Patreon

Making money on Patreon isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of task. It involves constant work on your end to keep your existing patrons, get new ones, and create new content.

Here are a few tips for success on this platform.

1. Carefully consider whether signing up as a Patreon creator is a good fit for you.

As I keep stressing above, anyone can sign up on Patreon and start making money.

But just because you can doesn’t always mean you should.

First, compute your overhead costs. If whatever you’re creating requires expensive raw materials, labor, or any other upfront costs, you might want to reconsider having Patreon as your main source of income.

Second, you need to come into Patreon with a fan base, whether from social media, your regular clients, or yes, even YouTube.

Patreon can help you get funded, but without enough online followers opening their wallets to support you, your Patreon campaign may go unfunded.

Lastly, you need to be able to handle enormous pressure.

Having a virtual line of patrons outside your virtual door, waiting for your next creation to drop, and being vocal about it (after all, they invested in your work) will either motivate you to get off your behind and start working.

Or the overwhelming pressure can break your resolve.

Know yourself enough to decide whether you can handle it.

2. Set achievable goals.

The best thing to avoid reneging on a promise is to not promise anything you can’t deliver.

Lots of sites will advise you to create multiple tiers of support, starting from entry-level, 1 to 3 mid-levels, and a limited VIP tier open only for a number of patrons. These multiple tiers would naturally have different rewards or perks.

And I’m here to tell you to set reasonable goals for yourself in terms of whether you’re able to deliver these perks.

Will you be able to meet the demand for content if you ever reach thousands of patrons?

Ask yourself this question constantly when you’re planning out your tiers and rewards.

3. Constantly be creating high-quality content.

Even if you were able to optimize your tiers, promote your Patreon page, and increase the number of your patrons, you’re not going to make money on Patreon for long if your content is less than your best.

Your followers became patrons because they’re fans of the free content you’ve already put out there. Asking for their monetary support and then delivering goods that are far from what they’ve come to expect is the fastest way to ensure that monetary support dries up.

4. Keep creating for non-patrons

Speaking of free content, suppress the urge to make all your content exclusive to patrons.

You’ll want to continue growing your audience outside of Patreon so you can reach more potential patrons who will invest in your project.

And they won’t do it if they don’t know what you’re about.

5. Keep an attitude of gratitude for your patrons.

While there is no bigger “thank you” than delivering what your promised, it’s still a good idea to thank your patrons in many different ways.

This is especially important during the early days, when only a few of them liked your content enough to have faith in you and invest in you.

Personalized messages and special perks to your early patrons will go a long way in promoting goodwill and ensuring you have loyal patrons.

At the same time, new patrons need to feel appreciated, too.

You might not be able to send personalized messages after a certain point, but never forget to thank them and acknowledge their contribution somehow, such as a special shoutout in your work.

Final Thoughts on Making Money With Patreon

Wouldn’t it be nice if creating content sold itself and paid for itself so you can keep doing it.

Unfortunately, it can’t.

Fortunately, making money on Patreon so you can sustain your passion is now possible.

I hope this article helped you make up your mind if Patreon is a good fit for you and inspired you with Patreon success stories.

Are you signing up for Patreon? Or are you already there and loving it? Tell us your stories (and maybe drop your Patreon link?) in the comments!

5 Legit Paid Online Survey Sites Worth Your Time

Paid online surveys attract many people since it’s an easy way to make money online.

Who wouldn’t want that?

I’ve resisted touting survey sites because, for the most part, I’ve felt that they waste too much time and effort.

Sure, you can make a few bucks here and there with a survey. You might even score an in-depth webcam-enabled interview that nets you $40 or $60.

However, getting decent-paying surveys is a crapshoot, and best not relied upon for a steady income.

Or is it?

I went through the hundreds of survey sites that are out there and found the 5 best paid online surveys you should consider joining.

Below are an additional 15 that, while they aren’t as good as my top 5, they are still worth joining to maximize your number of survey invites.

My 5 Best Paid Online Survey Sites

1. Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie

If you’re after the highest paying online surveys, then look no further.

Survey Junkie is home to over 5 million members, and so far, no major complaints about lack of surveys or payment delays.

A survey can take around 10 minutes to complete.

You earn points after finishing a survey. You can then have it converted into cash via PayPal (or Amazon gift cards) once you reach the $10 payment threshold.

Generally, you can earn from $10-$15 an hour with Survey Junkie surveys.

TO JOIN: Create an account, fill in your profile, and wait for Survey Junkie to match you with their surveys.

You’ll be notified when surveys are available. Complete them, then earn points.

2. Swagbucks

Swagbucks Surveys

Swagbucks isn’t just a survey site. It provides dozens of ways to earn money by doing ordinary online activities, such as watching videos, playing games, online shopping, searching the web, and so on.

Swagbucks has been paying people around the world over $600 million in rewards and they’re not stopping anytime soon.

I’ve personally cashed over $1,000 in rewards from Swagbucks.

Swagbucks Proof

You can answer surveys and polls daily, which take a maximum of 10 minutes to complete. The coolest thing about Swagbucks is that you can even receive consolation points if you don’t qualify for a particular survey.

Generally, you can earn around 30 to 150 Swagbucks per survey. That’s probably around $6.50 an hour. You can then have your Swagbucks converted into cash or vouchers, or you can use these to join Swagbucks-run contests.

TO JOIN: Create an account (and be awarded $5 for signing up), fill in your profile, then explore what Swagbucks has to offer.

3. Vindale Research

Vindale Research

If you’re looking for the most trustworthy and well-established survey sites around, this should top your list.

Vindale Research has been around forever, and it pays members in cash straight after each survey. No need to convert points into cash, since this New York-based company will deposit your earnings into your PayPal or other bank accounts.

TO JOIN: Create an account today, earn a $1 bonus, and get access to surveys that pay up to $100 each.

The downside to Vindale Research is that it matches you with surveys based on your interests, which mean there is no guarantee you’d be chosen for a particular survey.

4. Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research is probably my favorite paid online survey company in this group.

Surveys come in at a flat-rate of $3 per survey and generally take around 10 minutes to fill out, making this the highest pay-per-hour survey site you can join.

Your first check will be issued on completion of your first survey.

On top of normal surveys, you may be sent new products in the mail to try out. You get to keep whatever they send on top of being paid to answer questions about it.

TO JOIN: Create an account here, confirm your email address, and fill out the demographic survey to immediately start making some money.

5. Opinion Outpost

Opinion Outpost logo

Opinion Outpost rounds out this list by keeping things simple.

I’ve been recommending them since I first started this site way back in 2007, and their longevity is proof enough that they are as legit as they come.

Register an account, answer surveys, get paid in cash. They make the process as easy as possible and are committed to providing you with as many surveys as you qualify for.

15 More Survey Companies to Join

The following companies are legit and are worth joining if you want to maximize the number of surveys you get each month. I’d suggest clicking through to all of them and see which ones feel like they’re worth joining.

    1. American Consumer Opinion
    2. SurveySavvy
    3. Toluna
    4. PaidViewpoint
    5. PointClub
    6. LifePoints
    7. Global Survey Group
    8. Maru Springboard America
    9. Panda Research
    10. OneOpinion
    11. Survey Voices
    12. i-Say
    13. Harris Poll Online
    14. Valued Opinions
    15. Branded Surveys

That wraps up my list of approved survey companies, but keep reading to learn how to maximize your earnings.

Frequently Asked Questions About Paid Online Surveys

The following questions are probably the most-asked questions about online surveys, and it’s worth going over the answers to these for good reason: they’re going to save you a lot of time.

How much can you really make taking surveys?

Yes, you can make some money.

But most of the time, the amount is totally exaggerated.

  • Yes, you can earn an extra $500 to $1000 a month answering online surveys, but this would take up all your time throughout the day (8 working hours or more).
  • Yes, you can get paid just by joining online survey sites, but you can’t withdraw that signup bonus immediately. In most cases, you’ll need to earn your first $20 before requesting a payout.
  • Yes, there’s no stopping you from joining all the survey sites you can find, but some just pay pennies.

Realistically, you can earn an average of $5–$10/hour for paid online surveys.

You could be picked for special $50-per-survey gigs, but this rarely occurs.

How long does answering surveys take?

The time you need to complete a survey varies completely.

Some surveys are as short as regular sign-up pages, while others are part of a full-blown study.

If you’re planning to do this on the side of a full-time job, or during downtime at school, then you’d probably just commit an hour or two for surveys.

Is everyone qualified to take surveys?

Generally, the best survey sites welcome individuals 16 years old and above.

Countries allowed to join vary, but they’re mostly available for everyone around the world. The problem lies in the payment method since some countries do not have PayPal options, while others cannot accept remittances.

Why do these survey sites pay you, anyway?

Brands, companies, and organizations will pay a premium just to know what and how their target audience thinks.

Opinions of survey takers such as yourself shape the products and services that these brands develop and how they are marketed.

What types of questions can you expect to be required to answer?

You can expect to be asked about your activities, interests, and hobbies.

You’ll also likely be asked about your spending habits and decisions; for instance, what makes it likely for you to choose a brand over another?

Essentially, expect questions that will help a brand develop new products or fine-tune existing ones.

How do you get paid?

Depending on the survey site you chose to join, you can either be paid through:

  • Cash – Straight to your PayPal or a bank account
  • Points – You can use these points to buy stuff from the survey site’s store, or convert into cash
  • Gift cards – If you love shopping online and prefer to be paid with Amazon gift cards or other types of online gift cards, some survey sites provide this option.
  • App store credits – Maybe you’re just answering surveys because you need extra cash for your games and apps. If this is the case, you can actually get paid with Google Play credits.

How to Make Paid Online Surveys Worth It

There are literally hundreds of survey sites around, but they’re not built equally.

If you decide to answer surveys for money right now, it’s important that you choose only the best and highest-paying online surveys.

Doing this saves you a lot of time and headaches that scammy survey sites may bring.

1. Calculate how much your time is worth.

The first thing you should do before taking any online surveys is to calculate the least amount of money you are willing to make per hour.

Typically, this is done by taking your current yearly compensation and dividing it by 2,080, which is 52 weeks per year multiplied by 40 hours per week.

Use this hourly rate to determine the value of your time.

If you are unemployed, don’t assume that your time is free.

You can still complete other tasks to make money, including taking up a part-time job, house and pet sitting, becoming a microjobs agent, etc.

2. Learn how much each survey is worth.

It’s easy to get sidetracked by a supposedly easy survey that takes just “minutes” to complete.

For example, a survey that claims to take 20 minutes to complete and pays $3 may not really end up making you the equivalent of $9/hour.

Because many surveys require a pre-qualifier survey, you may end up working 10 minutes on the pre-qualifier before you even get to the real survey. That drops your earnings significantly. And if you fail the pre-qualifier, you’ve just wasted 10 minutes of your time.

If you have a selection of surveys to choose from, choose those surveys that pay you at least $10/hour.

Also, it’s far better to spend more time and effort on surveys that promise to pay $50+ even if they do take more time to complete because, once you’re in, you’ll probably be webcam interviewed.

That may sound intimidating at first; however, webcam-enabled interviews are better because they last a shorter time and are more likely to send you a payout.

3. Download online survey mobile apps.

If an online survey site announces that it has a mobile app version of its platform, download it.

Why?

Online surveys are best performed when you are already wasting time standing in line at the store, waiting for a doctor’s appointment, etc.

They are usually not the best use of your time when you are sitting at home and could find many other (and better) ways to make money.

4. Choose survey sites with low payout thresholds.

Back in the early 2000s, a steady crop of survey sites popped up and promised large amounts of money to survey takers.

What they didn’t advertise was the fact that survey takers would not be able to cash out until they had reached $100+ thresholds. By the time such thresholds were reached, the sites had either disappeared or just didn’t have enough work for their survey takers.

Before you commit to working with any online survey site, read the site’s fine print about payout thresholds.

Alternately, if you’d rather collect gift cards, find out how much you need to spend to obtain those gift cards. You don’t want to be almost at your points goal for payout only to learn that your survey site shut down.

5. Don’t game the system.

Many survey takers try to fool survey sites by deliberately lying on pre-qualifying surveys and claiming to have tried product X, have children ages 2–4, etc.

While such lies may initially get you qualified for a higher number of paying surveys, eventually, your lies will catch up with you.

How does this happen?

Survey sites track survey takers and create profiles on them. Some survey sites work with other survey sites.

If your supplied information doesn’t match up across different platforms, or even across different surveys, you’ll eventually be found out and banned from these sites.

6. Use survey sites as a stepping stone.

Online surveys can lead to better-paying opportunities.

Oftentimes, survey companies collaborate with clients that want more direct feedback than just online answers.

Once you are recruited into a more “live” panel, your pay can jump from a few dollars per survey to $100 or even higher.

How to Know Which Paid Online Survey Sites to Avoid

The survey sites on our list are legit, but you’re probably going to want to search for new ones, especially when there is a lack of surveys on some of the sites you’re working with.

Here are some telltale signs that a survey site is not worth the time or effort.

When you do a search, it turns up nothing or mostly negative reviews. Survey sites that are trustworthy are talked about and even praised by their users. They also have proof that these survey sites indeed pay.

They ask for payment. A legitimate survey site will NEVER ask you to pay in exchange for surveys.

They ask for personal information. You should not be asked to provide your social security information, driver’s license information, or bank account information (if they’re not going to pay through your bank account).

Their websites look sketchy or outdated. If they can’t be bothered to update and maintain their website properly, they probably can’t be bothered to pay their members, either.

They continually disqualify you for surveys. Of course, there are surveys that you’re not going to be qualified to answer or to be paid out. But if it’s proving to be too difficult to even be qualified for surveys, it might be wise to just cut your losses and move on to another site.

The Bottom Line

Paid online survey sites can be a good way to supplement your income.

The caveat to this conclusion is that you should be aware of how much time you spend filling out those online surveys.

Valuable surveys should take up the majority of your time and energy.

Less valuable surveys are better off being filled out when you are bored and/or waiting for something else, such as a dental appointment.

Look into getting paid to join a focus group, test products, or participate in online research studies.

All of those offer much higher paying alternatives for similar lines of work.

Which of these paid online survey sites have you encountered or signed up for? Can you share your experiences with them? Tell us in the comments!

Make More Money with These Etsy Best Sellers in 2020

Etsy is the go-to online marketplace for people who want to buy and sell handmade, vintage, or unique factory-manufactured items from around the world and with the right pick from the Etsy Best Sellers list, it can be a lucrative online venture.

Launched in 2005, this platform has reached massive success with over 50 million members and almost $2 billion total sales in 2014.

Imagine how much bigger it is today.

If you’re a maker of crafts, art, jewelry, handmade beauty products, knick-knacks, toys and other quirky items you won’t find anywhere else, Etsy should be your first e-commerce platform option.

Here’s why:

  • Cheap startup costs – You need to pay 20 cents for each item you list. If it sells, you’ll pay Etsy a small fee (3.5% of the selling price).
  • Well-built system – From its search feature to inventory management, logistics, and so on, Etsy makes the hard stuff look easy. The site is also updated regularly and prioritizes working on ease-of-use both for its buyers and sellers.
  • Free traffic and marketing – You can always sell your stuff on your own website, but listing them on Etsy means you won’t have to work on building traffic, marketing your site, and making sure people find your products online.
  • Friendly community and support – Etsy has a tight-knit community of creators who support each other online. Not only do they advertise items from fellow Etsy sellers, they also help out with common buy-and-sell questions. The in-house Etsy support isn’t that bad either.
  • Etsy events – Building an online store doesn’t have to mean you’ll be stuck in cyberspace forever. At Etsy, you get to participate at various localized events created by various Etsy teams.

Etsy Top Seller

Ready to join the exciting world of Etsy? First, you need to figure out what is currently popular and selling well on Etsy… and if your product fits the demand.

The Most Popular Etsy Shops

One way to determine if your product has a shot is to check out the most popular Etsy shops in the platform.

But first things first, don’t go to Etsy.

It may seem like a good idea to visit the most popular shops at Etsy, but I think you should start your product search elsewhere.

Specifically, Amazon Handmade’s Featured Artists list.

Why? Because you can take what is selling well at Amazon and then replicate that success at Etsy.

The following shops don’t necessarily house items that are Etsy best sellers, but checking out the top 20 gives you an idea of what the buying market at Etsy wants.

Etsy Stores With The Most Sales

Note: The ranking and sales data are updated as of July 2020.

Here are the 20 Top Etsy shops and the items (category of products) that have earned these stores these coveted spots:

 

1. PlannerKate1 (1,321,357 sales) — Kate Antesberger and her daily planners currently hold the crown of the Etsy shop with the most number of sales.

PlannerKate1

2. Beadboat1 (826,242 sales) — Bead Boat is a jewelry supply shop with almost 7,000 products to help any jewelry maker create whatever they can imagine.

3. ModParty (761,875 sales) — This shop has bridesmaids gifts, as well as favors for weddings, birthday parties, baby showers, and pretty much any celebration or party you’re planning.

4. yakutum (722,265 sales) — This fourth best selling Etsy shop hails from Turkey, Istanbul, and has been selling jewelry supplies on the platform since 2008.

5. CaitlynMinimalist (689,043 sales) — If minimalist jewelry is what you’re looking for, CaitlynMinimalist does not disappoint.

6. nicoledebruin (641,773 sales) — Coming in sixth place, we have Nicole and her Charm Collection with over 14,000 listed items selling over half a million orders since 2009.

7. ThinkPinkBows (570,468 sales) — This Utah-based store sells bows for babies, toddlers, and girls. They’ve branched out into selling face masks as well.

8. clbeads (562,321 sales) — This store operates from Canada and has been selling beads, Swarovski, seed beads, etc. since 2008.

9. yadanabeads (557,292 sales) — As its name suggests, this store (launched 2007) of beads also has gemstones, glass, and a ton of 2-dollar-or-less items.

10. jewelersparadise (556,278 sales) — This is one of the most popular US-based stores, even if it only began selling pretty pendants and jewelry supplies in 2011.

11. PeggySueAlso (553,258 sales) — One of the more unique shops on this list, Peggy Sue sells leather and crafting supplies.

12. KJewelryMetal (547,199 sales) — King Jewelry Supplies is based in Turkey and has been selling metal jewelry supplies since 2014.

13. CreatingUnkamen (495,658 sales) — Another jewelry seller selling supplies and handmade gifts.

14. yummytreasures (487,377 sales) — Known for its wide range of beads, this Etsy store has been up since 2008 and has been popular for its set stones even today.

15. GLDNxLayeredAndLong (483,909 sales) — Operating out of Washington, Chrissy mainly sells personalized necklaces, rings, and gifts.

16. Prettygrafikdesign (476,946 sales) — This Canada-based store is only 6 years old, but averages $180/day with its vectors and graphic design items. It’s one of the few non-craft supply stores on this list.

17. DesignInYourHeart (470,240 sales) — Based in Korea, DesignInYourHeart has been on Etsy for seven years, selling pendants, charms, and other jewelry supplies.

18. goldswan (464,781 sales) — Jewelry supplies are all the rage in Etsy, so there’s no wonder why a store like this would average $130/day sales even if it has been selling at the platform since 2009.

19. happysupplies (462,483 sales) — Hong Kong-based crafting supply store is preferred by customers in the Asian region for cheaper shipping fees.

20. PrettyInPinkSupply (438,136 sales) — Operating since 2012, they mainly sell craft supplies. One of the few sellers not selling jewelry.

What to Sell on Etsy

By looking at the top 20 Etsy stores, it’s easy to see the most sought-after items by the Etsy community.

Competition isn’t so fierce, since many of the items are priced below $2.

If you don’t know what to sell on Etsy yet, but wants to turn it into a business, here are 5  in-demand product categories that you should explore:

  • Planner/journal — Any fan of planners and journals can attest to how huge this market is. Whether you focus on bullet journals, printables, or handmade accessories, there’s a space for you on Etsy.
  • Digital products — For those with Photoshop and graphic design skills, you can put your talent to good use and earn extra income by selling digital products on Etsy. You can specialize in various kinds of items, too; from t-shirt designs to stock photography and printables. You don’t have shipment and inventory to take care of either.
    • Party decor — Because Etsy is home to thousands of creative people, the party decorations offered here aren’t just basic and mass-produced. Here, you can offer even the craziest party themes and people will pay for your effort.
  • Specialty deserts — Etsy probably wouldn’t be your first choice to check out when you’re looking for candies, specialty desserts, and other sweets. Heck, Etsy doesn’t even have a food category there, but you’d be able to find (or sell) drool-worthy desserts like this Vermont maple syrup leaf candies or these rose wine lollipop wedding favors.
  • Personalized clothing for babies or pets – Clothing is a basic need, so personalized clothes made for loved ones (human or fur babies) will always be in demand.

Of course, you can always get into the craft or jewelry supply category, but you should be armed with something unique to sell that would give you an edge over your competition.

Following trends, for example, adds more value to your jewelry store instead of just offering jewelry supplies that other stores are also selling.

Etsy Trends

What’s great about the Etsy community is that word spreads quickly if a store is selling amazing stuff, so wow your market and you won’t have a problem introducing your Etsy store.

What are the best selling categories on Etsy?

If you’re not quite sold about the ideas above, you can continue to get inspiration from the first five Etsy Best Sellers leading the pack of every product category:

Note that the Etsy best sellers featured here could change in the future. These should give you an idea if you’re launching an Etsy store anytime in 2019.

In addition to the ones I’ve listed above, you can also check out Etsy’s best-selling items list.

The Bottom Line: Etsy Best Sellers in 2020

Etsy is an amazing marketplace not only because it gives creative people an outlet to sell their art, crafts and other masterpieces in their handmade glory. Etsy has also built an impressive community that supports each other even in the real world (check local Etsy market events) and on their respective blogs.

The above list is fairly comprehensive as to what really sells on Etsy. If you can’t find something up there that fits your interests, Etsy likely isn’t the platform for you.

It’s an extremely valuable ecommerce platform though. PlannerKate is receiving over a thousand orders per day.

That’s nuts!

If you are trying to get started, make sure you follow our how to sell on Etsy guide to help find your footing.

Do you have a favorite store? Or one of your own that you’d like us to link to? Leave me a comment below with the details.

10 Online Jobs for Musicians: Turn Your Talent Into Cash

For musicians, it may sometimes feel like your passion is a mere hobby. Getting side jobs seems to be the norm instead of building an actual career. But thanks to the internet, there are now online jobs for musicians available that vary from side hustles to actual career-building jobs.

Being a musician can be extremely fulfilling, but being a star is out of reach for many. The music business is notoriously hard to break into, unless you are well connected, super talented, or born under a lucky star.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t still make a buck or two from your music, or even turn it into a full-time job.

Whether you’re looking for a career in music or want to turn your love for all things audio-related into a lucrative side business, there are plenty of options online.

Just remember:

Looking for online music jobs is about networking and selling your talent, much the same as applying for music jobs in person. That part won’t ever really go away.

But the hard part is finding the work.

Fortunately, as I’ve mentioned, there are now plenty of opportunities online.

Whether you want to build a career in music or a music-related field, or you just want to earn some extra cash from doing what you love, chances are you’ll find an online job that is just the right fit for you.

Go through the following list and you might just find one that suits both your talents and needs.

10 Online Jobs for Musicians to Apply For in 2020

Here are some great online jobs for musicians that may be an option for you.

1. Offer Live Online Music Lessons

If you’re comfortable teaching in front of an audience, being a one-on-one online tutor can be a good online job for a musician like you.

The usual music lessons involve instruments, but you don’t need to restrict yourself to that subject. You can also offer lessons on music appreciation, music theory, music production, musical theater, or other music-related subjects.

You can hold 30-minute- or hour-long classes for individuals or groups through video conferencing software, such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet.

Or, if you’d like to avoid marketing and promotional costs, especially if you’re only starting, you can offer live lessons through Live Music TutorLessonfaceMusic Lessons Anywhere, or other music lesson website.

2. Create an Online Course

Plenty of musicians or musically-inclined hobbyists turn their knowledge into a successful online course where they help others who are just starting to learn the basics of playing an instrument.

Setting up online courses means you have to go through the process of creating it only once, and then many people can enroll, making it a passive income source.

The best part of it is that, unlike in-person tutoring, you’re not limited to the people in your area.

And unlike live tutoring through videoconferencing, you can get as many clients as you like without having to limit yourself to teaching one or two students per hour.

You can start off by creating courses through platforms like Udemy or Coursera.

Eventually, you can build your own website and offer online courses there. You can then offer other products, such as music sheets, companion guidebooks, and other products that can help your students learn. You can also provide an

JustinGuitar is a great example of how you can turn your talent into a successful online musical career in the tutoring business. Justin has been running his site since 2003 and offers great additional tools and workshops that make people come back for more.

Justin Guitar website

3. Compose Music For Videos or Video Games

Online video content and video games have become increasingly popular in recent years, and are projected to become even more popular for years to come.

As a result, video content creators are putting out more and more content, while also becoming pressured to make their content stand out from all the other videos on YouTube, Vimeo, and other video-sharing platforms.

All of those content creators are often in need of background music or even film scoring for their videos.

So who do they turn to?

Usually, they hire composers online.

There are some great online tools for composing music (like Flat and Noteflight) as well as selling your finished compositions to anyone who would like to use them. Platforms like LuckStock lets you sell your music royalty-free.

I’ve also found that many YouTubers and other content creators make use of Fiverr for their music needs if you want to give that a try.

Also, bear in mind that video game creators are also on the lookout for composers to create original music for their games.

And as the online video game space becomes more crowded with new games coming out seemingly every month, the pressure is on game creators to make everything about their games unique and exciting, and that includes their background music.

4. Compose Stock Music

The difference between creating stock music and creating music specifically for a video or a video game is that creating stock music is more like creating a product that audiences can buy. It’s cheaper for them but since anyone can just buy it, they may be using the same stock music as another creator.

When you create and sell stock music, those pieces can be a constant source of revenue as companies and other content creators are always on the lookout for new tunes to accompany their videos.

If you want to go down this route, try to sell your music to sites like Shutterstock and AudioJungle first.

5. Become an Audio Editor

If you’re more into the technical side of producing music, then audio editing can be one of the more lucrative online jobs for musicians.

This field is a bit more competitive than most of the others on this list, but it’s still a good option if you have some music editing experience.

From what I’ve found, the best way to get started as an online audio editor is to go the freelance route and find some clients to start off with. Popular freelance sites like PeoplePerHour and Upwork seemed to have plenty of work available.

6. Become a Music Journalist

Writing about music might just come as naturally to you as playing it does. The upside here is that you have specialized knowledge and can write with insight into a popular industry.

Online publications do pay for guest posts and some also hire writers permanently.

Rolling Stone cover

In most cases, you’ll have to send some article ideas to a couple of publications and wait for them to contact you back. There’s no guarantee that any will approve your article ideas, but it’s definitely worth a shot if this sounds interesting to you.

There are plenty of music magazines and blogs that are currently accepting submissions so just find some you like and start submitting those ideas.

7. Start a Music Blog

If you love writing about music but journalism isn’t really your style then you could try setting up a music blog of your own. The positive side of this is that you can write about whatever you want, whenever you want.

There’s a lot of work that goes into making a blog work, but if you’re willing to put in the time and effort then you can make a steady income from it. Here are some of my tips on making money with a blog through affiliate marketing.

There are also plenty of online tools to help you get started and set up a blog. Some great free ones include Wix and WordPress.

8. Get Paid to Listen to Music Online

Interestingly enough, this is a legit way to make money. Up and coming composers and musicians want music lovers to listen to and review the quality of their music.

There are a number of music review websites out there that will pay people to listen to the tracks on their site.

Though the key here is to make sure that you find a trustworthy site that does pay. Here’s a list of some websites that do just that.

9. Curate Music for Radio and Streaming Services

If you’ve ever been complimented on many playlists you’ve made, being a tastemaker for a radio station or a streaming service like Spotify, Google Play, or Apple iTunes may be an online job that’s a good fit for you.

Traditionally, this job is done by the music director (MD) at a small- to mid-sized radio station. This entails choosing songs based on the station’s format, target audience, and the MD’s own instincts and good tastes.

As streaming services became more popular in recent years, the MD job has been renamed to streaming curator, but the job remains essentially the same.

Streaming curators create playlists from an extremely diverse music library.

The downside may be that you’ll be hounded all the time by recording companies, managers, promoters, and sometimes even the artists themselves for you to play their songs.

But if you truly love discovering new music and rediscovering old ones, and you know how to combine them in a playlist that makes sense and that audiences will love, then this may be a good fit for you.

10. Sell Your Music Through Online Channels

Getting gigs and playing in front of an audience is the dream. However, starting small can get you there.

Online platforms like TuneCore help artists upload and get their songs on popular online stores like iTunes and music streaming platforms like Spotify.

If you’re serious about making it in the music industry but don’t know where to start, then this might be a great option.

Online Jobs for Musicians Can Turn Your Music Hobby into Cash

That old-school view that you have to work gigs and eventually get a contract at a music label to build a career in music lives in the past where it belongs, along with fanny packs and mullets.

The age of the internet has created online jobs for musicians like you and more ways to earn money doing what you love.

While you’re waiting to break into the music industry, why don’t you go through our list of side hustles to keep you busy.

Which online music job are you interested to pursue? Does teaching sound like a great career to you? Or maybe you’d like to be an audio editor? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

How to Make Money on Instagram: 8 Ways to Strike it Rich

Now that we’re all on Instagram all day and buying stuff we’ve seen on there and even shopping right there on the app, I’m sure you’d like to know how to make money on Instagram instead of spending money on it.

When Instagram launched in 2010, it was a simple photo-sharing app. Without the noise and fluff on Facebook, Instagram was a respite, only featuring visual content. Eventually, it expanded into a video-sharing app as well, with users initially being allowed to upload a 15-second video, increased to 60-second videos, then Instagram Stories for shorter, expiring content was introduced, then IGTV for longer videos.

By 2020, Instagram sees over a billion active users monthly, with 500 million users daily logging in and actively engaging on the platform.

Instagram usage

Obviously, the demand is there, and marketers, brands, and companies willing to ride the wave will be there too.

So how do people as young as 13-year-olds make money on Instagram?

Let me explain the tried-and-tested income-generating methods for you, and give you real-life examples and success stories for each one.

How to Make Money on Instagram: 8 Ideas to Try

Before we dive in, I just want to refute a point that you might have encountered when reading about making money on Instagram.

Don’t believe anyone who says you can make money on Instagram WITHOUT followers.

You’d need customers to buy what you’re selling—whether you’re selling an idea, information, or an actual product.

The first four methods below can be used by Instagram users who are just starting out, while the last four money-making methods are best for influencer-level users.

1. Affiliate Marketing

In traditional affiliate marketing, you’d need to set up a website and promote products on multiple platforms in hopes of getting a commission if one or more people click on the link you posted and buy at the third-party website.

To make money on Instagram via affiliate marketing, you only need your Instagram account and accounts on various platforms like Amazon, Clickbank, Skimlinks, Shopstyle, Shopify, and others.

Probably one of the most popular affiliate marketing tools for Instagram comes from rewardStyle, a members-only affiliate network with only a 10% acceptance rate.

What makes rewardStyle amazing is the invention of its LIKEtoKNOW.it tool.

With LIKEtoKNOW.it, followers of your Instagram account can just “like” your post and they’ll be e-mailed details of your outfit, products included in the shot your posted, and so on.

liketoknowit screenshot

This is how LIKEtoKNOW.it works:

  • You post a photo on Instagram.
  • The photo featured a close-up of your makeup-perfect face with a pair of gorgeous earrings.
  • A follower likes your post.
  • If that follower also has LIKEtoKNOW.it installed on their phones when they liked your post, they’ll receive an email with links directing them to where they can buy the earrings and all the makeup products you used.
  • If this follower buys from when they clicked the link, you get paid a commission from the sale.

Imagine how much money you can earn from Instagram if you have thousands of people stalking the things you wear, use, or feature via LIKEtoKNOW.it.

2. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is similar to affiliate marketing, in that you don’t have to manufacture or buy stocks of products to sell them and make a profit from selling them.

Here is what happens with dropshipping:

  • Choose a product that you know people will buy.
  • Make a deal with a dropship supplier, such as AliExpress, that sells that product.
  • You promote a product on Instagram and direct it to your store. Note that if you use Instagram Business, you can integrate it with Shopify seamlessly.
  • When an Instagram follower buys that product on your store, the dropship supplier will handle processing, shipping, and post-sale customer service on your behalf.
  • You earn either a pre-discussed flat fee or a percentage of the sale as commission.

To learn more, read this case study on Seven Kingdoms Mart and how they promoted their dropshipping business on Instagram.

3. Sell Photos

Instagram is full of fantastic photos from both beginner and professional photographers.

If you have an eye for photography or exceptional graphic design skill, you can sell your photos on Instagram.

It’s up to you if you want to sell usage rights, print them as posters, or just sell digital copies of your drawings, paintings, animations, and so on.

Forbes featured photographer Daniel Arnold’s story in 2014.

At that time, Arnold had about 22k followers and decided to put all his Instagram photos for sale on the eve of his 34th birthday. He priced a 4×6 print of any of his Instagram images for $150, even if he hasn’t really sold any of his images professionally.

Arnold Daniel Sale

24 hours after announcing the sale, he has sold $15k worth of prints and extended the sale.

Learn all about hashtags. Mastering hashtags is the secret to reaching the right audience for your products.

Or you can also visit Instaprints to buy or sell images.

4. Create Masks and Filters for Instagram Stories.

Back when Instagram Stories were introduced, skeptics thought it was a mere Snapchat knockoff and wouldn’t last.

Today, over 500 million users watch or create Instagram Stories every day.

Because there’s a time limit on these stories, users who see them are highly engaged.

Businesses see this as an opportunity to engage their target audience through Instagram masks and filters.

They usually hire graphic artists to do this for them, but many brands also work with Instagram influencers who specialize in Instagram masks and filters.

You can start with Facebook’s Spark AR Studio to create masks and filters.

5. Sponsorship: Earn Money Promoting other Brand’s Products

This is the most common way to get paid for your Instagram posts.

Companies can make a deal to sponsor a few posts on your Instagram feed to market their product to your followers. In most cases, companies give an Instagram influencer control over how the sponsored post looks, feels and sounds like.

Sponsorship can be pitched by the Instagram influencer, or submitted by companies. You can actively search for brands with the help of tools like TapInfluence or Ifluenz.

The important thing is you disclose to your followers that a post is sponsored and follow FTC guidelines.

Shelcy Joseph began her personal fashion/lifestyle blogging with her sister on Instagram and YouTube around August 2014. By 2017, she is earning between $75 and $100 per sponsored post.

6. Become a Brand Ambassador

Ambassadorship is a bit more long-term than sponsorship.

Depending on the company you talk to, this deal can go as long as several months to over a year.

The following three websites are all looking for influencers/ambassadors to help shape their future products:

I highly recommend signing up will all three to increase your chances of actually making money as an influencer.

As a brand ambassador, the company sees you as someone who is in line with their values, products, and future.

Coca-Cola’s #ThisOnesFor Instagram Campaign is a great example of this. The cola giant enlisted the help of 14 Instagram influencers to create over 20 posts in a span of several months.

Earnings as a brand ambassador can be per-post or per-campaign. It can be a mix of photos, videos, and other types of media too.

Join an Instagram influencer community like Heartbeat (women only), Shoutcart, Tribe Group (Australia-based), and Popular Pays (among others) to find brands willing to hire you as ambassador.

Read my full guide on how to become a brand ambassador for step-by-step instructions on how to get started.

7. Sell Your Own Products

You can mix the brick-and-mortar retail business with the modern magic of Instagram by selling your own products and promoting them online.

If you have thousands upon thousands of followers who just can’t get enough of what you’re selling, then you can get paid for Instagram posts through product sales.

There are a ton of “slime famous” Instagrammers out there, but you can’t look away from the creations of Theresa Nguyen (rad slime). Her 1 million followers definitely can’t.

Her mesmerizing slime videos lead to about $500 sales from slime each week.

Nguyen started this only in 2017 (she was 13 then), and her online store continues to sell out every time she uploads new slime.

8. Teach Others Instagram Marketing

Many people make money on Instagram not by selling products, but by providing useful information. Long-term experience as an influencer is a must.

Your Instagram feed can be your résumé as proof of your marketing prowess and communication skills.

As a travel blogger like Veera Papinoja, a huge chunk of her Instagram income comes from consulting for companies and other organizations. She makes around €500 to €2,000 every month to maintain Instagram accounts of other companies.

Veera also does training and lectures about successful Instagram marketing on the side. She takes home somewhere between €500 and €10,000 a month from these side gigs.

How to Become an Instagram Influencer

Out of all the social media platforms today, Instagram has the highest engagement rate.

Companies know this and have included Instagram into their marketing efforts.

And why shouldn’t they?

If you have at least 2,000 to 15,000 followers, fall under a trusted niche, create eye-catching content, and have a loyal audience who trusts your judgment, here are the steps to take to become a full-time Instagram influencer:

So, how do you cash in on the opportunity to make money (and more) as an Instagram influencer?

1. Grow (the quality of) your Instagram following.

Companies have gotten pickier about the caliber of Instagram influencers they’re willing to work with.

It’s not unheard of for current brand requirements to include a minimum of 100K followers and/or 1K likes per post.

Before you get discouraged, consider that many brands are also looking for a certain type of audience, regardless of the actual number of followers.

For example, if you have only 1,000 followers, but they are top-level hospital health professionals, then a company like Johnson & Johnson might be very interested in talking with you.

In light of this information, you should consider cultivating your audience to reflect a specific interest, such as beauty, travel, health, etc.

Post photos that cater to just one or two subject areas and follow influencers who do likewise.

If you repost, like, or comment on their photos, those influencers are likely going to do the same for you.

Their followers may then notice you, and then you’ll get more followers that are interested and engaged in your content.

2. Create example campaigns.

Just as you would do an unpaid internship at a company you were hoping to get hired for, you could create example campaigns on Instagram to showcase your social media talents.

Consider generating a series of photos around something that interests you, such as healthy eating.

Then, follow businesses that are also focused on this topic.

You can learn which businesses are into healthy eating by doing a hashtag search using Instagram’s search bar. Instagram will then provide you with content that uses that hashtag.

As you post your photos, use the hashtags that your targeted businesses and audiences are using.

3. Complete your profile.

Businesses and companies can’t contact you if they don’t know who you are.

Be sure to complete your Instagram profile and add your name, a phone number, a web address, Facebook page URL, etc.

You may wish to add some information about your geographic location too, especially if you are generating content about travel.

Use your Instagram profile as a mini-résumé and list your experience in the topic of your interest.

Maybe you’ve been in the food business for a few years and that’s why you started a healthy eating-themed Instagram account. Or maybe you’ve been running marathons and are trying to incorporate better eating habits into your active lifestyle.

4. Reach out to marketing agencies.

To increase your chances of being selected as an influencer, you should sign up with as many social media marketing agencies as you can find.

A good selection of these agencies focus on Instagram; two examples include Instabrand and Hashmeta.

InstaBrand

hashmeta

Why should you partner up with marketing agencies?

Because some companies, especially big companies, will not bother to manually research, contact, and negotiate with individual influencers.

They either don’t have the time or would rather expedite the process using third-party mediators who can choose appropriate influencers.

Having said that…

5. Reach out to individual companies and businesses.

Smaller companies and businesses typically do not have the budget to work with agencies.

That doesn’t mean that they don’t have the budget to work with individuals, however, and this is one of the best chances you have at seeing how to make money on Instagram.

Consider reaching out to smaller operations with a proposal package that includes a set number of Instagram promoted posts, blog posts, and comments on fellow influencer sites.

You might easily score a work contract for several hundred dollars compared with three times that amount for a standard agency’s deal—as noted by this business owner’s comment on Ecommerce University:

Ecommerce University

6. Keep track of your followers.

As you grow your audience and followers, keep tabs on who these followers represent.

Companies will first follow you to learn about how popular you are and how relevant your content is to their goals.

Only after learning these facts will those businesses reach out to you.

So, if you know ahead of time who they are, you can channel your energies on specific products, trends, etc. that they are also focused on.

How do you earn money on Instagram?

Anyone can join, become an influencer, and make money on Instagram.

You don’t even have to follow the footsteps of the Kardashians when it comes to the number of your followers, or look like a Victoria’s Secret model to get paid for Instagram posts.

Brands and marketers prefer to work with micro-influencers (those with less than 10k followers) instead of macro-influencers (celebrities/famous people with over 10k followers) because followers of micro-influencers trust their recommendations more.

Even regular people like me and you can take Instagram for a spin and try your luck earning life-changing cash with the platform.

Have you been paid to gram yet? What ways are you making money? Share them with us in the comments! 

18 Ways to Get Paid to Travel Around the World

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to get paid to travel?

Imagine the places you can see…

World Travel

the culture you’d experience…

World Travel

the food you’d taste…

Exotic Food

the friends you’d meet…

and the beauty of beaches and other natural or handmade destinations around the world you’d be able to keep in your memories.

Sightseeing

If you’ve been stalking travel bloggers forever and wondering how these seemingly ordinary people can travel around the world, this post will answer all your burning questions about this “industry.”

Sure there are various ways you can travel for free, but wouldn’t it be even better to make money while you travel?

Here’s how to get started:

18 Ways to Get Paid to Travel

You’ll likely encounter two main types of jobs:

  • Jobs with travel and accommodation included – You apply to these jobs abroad because it gives you the opportunity to travel without spending a lot upfront. Jobs like ski instructing and cruise ship gigs are perfect examples of these jobs.
  • Odd jobs in the city you plan to travel – Those who rely on real-world skills to go wherever their feet take them, get by through finding seasonal jobs. Bartender gigs or teaching how to speak another language fall under these types of jobs.

 

Whatever job you end up taking, always make sure that it’s legal, and you can do it legally (that is, don’t get deported or worse, arrested!).

Here are some of the ways you can get paid to travel.

1. Get Paid to Teach

Not a lot of people can do this, but there is always a demand for teachers, regardless of the topic that you plan to teach.

a. Teaching Skiing and other Specialty Sports

Depending on your travel goals, teaching people to ski can get you a job and a place to stay at popular ski resorts in New Zealand, California, Colorado, and other places.

Other similar instructor jobs involve scuba diving, yoga, fitness, surfing, rock climbing, and a whole lot more.

You usually have to get certifications and other requirements to land these jobs, but it is worth it.

b. Teaching English and other languages

Most travelers opt to teach English abroad as it involves a skill they already possess. Plus, depending on the company they work for and the type of equipment they have, they can do it anywhere in the city or country where they are.

The requirements are easy to meet too!

In most cases, you’d only have to be a native speaker to get the job. Some companies require a college degree and a teaching certification (that you can easily obtain online).

Legit companies will pay teachers their airfare and housing on top of a monthly salary with benefits.

There are plenty of resources about teaching languages either online or office-based, but you can start with Dave’s ESL Cafe if you’re serious about going this route.

2. Get Paid Housesitting & Petsitting

Taking care of other people’s houses and pets when they’re away is a real job.

Some people have been housesitting professionally around the world for years. Of course, accommodation is free and as long as you’re not breaking the terms of your contract, you have the freedom to tour locally for extended times.

Want to know more? You can learn more about housesitting in this article.

3. Apply to Cruise Ship Jobs

For people who want a bit of security as they roam around the world, cruise ship jobs are the perfect gateway to living the nomad life.

The best thing about landing a cruise ship job is you get free fare and free room and board while traveling, plus you’ll get a salary.

You’re essentially getting paid to travel, which is the whole point!

 

Get paid to work on a cruise ship

 

The jobs vary wildly; from entertaining (singers, dancers, hosts, tour guides, etc.) to day-to-day cruise ship work like housekeeping, cooking, waitressing, bartending, and more.

Work hours are long in cruise ships, but it gives you a chance to see the world, one port of call at a time.

Requirements depend on the position you’re applying for, but at the very least, you’ll have to know how to swim and be physically, emotionally, and mentally able to stand months at sea.

Start by checking out jobs on All Cruise Jobs, Cruise Jobs Guide, or CruiseShipJob.com if you can find something you’d be interested in.

4. Explore Hospitality Jobs

Working in a hotel or hostel as a front desk officer, housekeeper, cook/chef, bartender, waitress, etc. can certainly pay off, especially if you do your job in many different places around the world.

You’ll have a better chance of getting these jobs if you apply in hotels that are in areas with plenty of tourists all year round.

This is one of the most straightforward ways to meet locals and actually experience their culture, as well as speak to tourists and learn travel tips and destinations.

This route can be hard because it involves back-breaking, labor-intensive work, but this can be fulfilling for the right kind of traveler.

5. Alternative Travel Jobs

If you’ve never been comfortable with 8-to-5 jobs, alternative jobs would probably work better for you.

These jobs are often under-the-table, so don’t expect overtime salaries, benefits, and all that jazz.

But you’ll be able to get paid to travel and support your adventures day in, day out by:

  • joining a group of fire dancers,
  • drawing/painting people’s portraits,
  • becoming a camp counselor,
  • singing or playing music for the quirky bar,
  • helping local farmers,
  • …or doing other cool jobs.

There’s not much security in these kinds of jobs, but it gives the most freedom to earn from various tasks each day.

6. Get Paid to Travel while Doing your Old Job

There’s a term for a growing number of people who sold everything they owned, packed up and traveled to Bali or somewhere exotic.

The only thing they kept from their old life is their jobs.

Called “digital nomads,” these groups of people work from their computers. Their location is irrelevant, as long as there is access to the internet.

If you’re lucky and your current company offers to turn your office job into a remote position, then you can adapt to the digital nomad lifestyle easily.

For those who can’t continue doing their old jobs, there is a wide range of jobs available for you to do.

Blogging, travel photography, freelance writing, app development, social media, and all the jobs I’m going to discuss below are for the digital nomads.

7. Earn from Travel Photography

If you have an eye for travel photography, you can sell your images to the right people.

Matthew Karsten of ExpertVagabond.com sells images from his travels to National Geographic, tourism departments of various countries, magazines, tour companies, book publishers, and more. He even teaches fellow “vagabonds” how to earn money with travel photography.

8. Get Paid to Travel with Freelance Writing

Those who have a flair for words can earn money while traveling through freelance writing. Magazines like The Travel Channel often hire third-party writers to share their stories with their readers.

Since traveling could be your forte by now, travel writing often comes out naturally.

However, you don’t necessarily have to write about travel. You can earn as a freelance writer even if you talk about finance, IT, or even product reviews.

Freelance writers earn somewhere between 1 cent to $1 per word, depending on their skills, experience, popularity,     and the company they’re working for.

Interested? Here are 153 other writing jobs you can check out.

How to Earn Money from a Travel Blog

I’m now going to talk about how travel bloggers earn money that could sustain their adventures.

Before we begin, you have to understand that it takes a lot of hard work, no-income months, and budget traveling for travel bloggers to be able to live the life they project on their social media.

Some bloggers even use up their entire life savings, or sold everything they owned, to be able to travel the first several months from their own pockets.

Simply put, the success of travel bloggers doesn’t happen overnight.

And they all got their start by following quality Internet Marketing training.

9. Google Adsense and other premium ad networks

Anyone can join Google’s advertising platform, as long as the website has been live for at least six months and meet other requirements.

Once you join AdSense, you can start placing special code on your blog, which then displays ads that are relevant to the content of your site.

You earn cents per view. It doesn’t sound much, but if your blog is visited by thousands of people every day, those cents can add up pretty quickly.

When your audience grows bigger, you can apply to other ad networks that have better rates. MediaVine or AdThrive, for example, are known to pay higher rates than AdSense, but require your blog to have a minimum number of visits monthly.

10. Affiliate Marketing

With affiliate marketing, you mention products and services on your blog, add a link going to a third-party store like Amazon and WorldNomads.com that sells these products, and receive a commission from a sale if someone clicks on your link and buys anything from that store.

The more affiliate links you post on your blog, the higher chances of receiving bigger commissions.

Be wary of doing it too much (especially if the products are no longer relevant to your brand). Too much advertising is generally frowned upon by readers/viewers.

Instead, only recommend products that you actually use. For example, a new camera or phone that you use for recording your videos, travel gear given to you by a friend, books you just read, and so on.

Aside from third-party stores, you can also check out dedicated affiliate networks like Commission Junction that organizes affiliates from multiple brands.

Popular travel blogs with over 500,000 monthly page views earn $10 to $15k per month.

11. Brand Partnerships

Many bloggers say you’ve made it big when companies begin noticing you, your blog or social media accounts, and the network of audience you’ve built.

Their goal is to establish a partnership with you.

These companies will pay to advertise on your platform. This could mean a blog post, tweet, mention on newsletters, Instagram feature, and so on.

The cool thing about sponsorships is that the income potential is endless.

From several hundreds of dollars for a post on Facebook to over $15,000 for an ad package or long-form post, the deals depend largely on the company you’re talking to and your bragging rights (how popular is your blog, how much audience do you have, etc).

A note about sponsorships/partnerships: Make sure to always include a disclaimer whenever you post a sponsored video, article, photo, and so on. This way, you remain honest with your audience and maintain their loyalties.

Take a look at our BIG list of brands looking for influencers to partner with.

12. Long-term Ambassadorships

If you get paid to travel as a brand ambassador, you’re living the dream many bloggers aspire to achieve.

When you become a brand ambassador, you’ll be featured in that brand’s commercials, social media marketing, and other activities of the brand.

Think about how successful athletes become icons for Nike, or famous actresses become spokespersons for CoverGirl, and so on.

Brand ambassadorships are longer than a typical sponsorship and include more than one promotion.

What’s great about these deals is that more often than not, the brand pays more or less $10,000 per project. And the greater reach you have, the higher rate you can ask.

13. Tourism Marketing

The viral potential of blog posts or videos is unquestionable, and tourism departments of many countries are catching up to online advertising.

If you’re in the rockstar levels of travel blogging, you’ll be invited to visit a country (usually with flights, accommodation, and tours paid) on top of a project fee. This fee can go as high as $20,000, depending on the type of promotion included in the campaign.

14. Get Paid to Travel with Social Media

Even if you don’t maintain a travel photography website or travel blog, you can still get paid to travel with social media. You have several options, including:

Facebook – Nas Daily, a traveler who tries to inspire people with 1-minute video snippets of his travel around the world, uses Facebook indirectly to make money traveling.

Nas has 7.5 million followers on FB, which helps him earn from t-shirts and land video editing jobs, consulting gigs, speaking engagements, or other opportunities.

Instagram – Travel bloggers on Instagram produce some of the best-looking travel photography today. Just a quick look at the best Instagram travel bloggers gives you an idea of how talented they are.

These Instagram stars earn money through sponsorships (mostly in the travel industry) and brand placement.

15. Become a Farmhand

This is one job where you’ll need to be strong and have plenty of stamina.

Becoming a farmhand is no easy endeavor, but if you’re strong and have plenty of stamina, it’s a good way to earn while you’re traveling.

If you’re looking for something that gives you time to explore, why not check out WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)?

They offer opportunities to work on organic farms throughout the world.

You’d work for a set number of hours a day (around 4 to 6 hours) and you get room and board in exchange. That leaves you plenty of time to go exploring.

16. Be an Au Pair

If you’re an unmarried young adult with no children but are good with them, working as an au pair in another country is a good way to earn money while traveling.

An au pair is an individual who travels to a foreign country for a definite period of time, usually a year, to support a family through childcare and housework in exchange for room and board, as well as a salary.

The main purpose is a cultural exchange; you get to learn about a foreign land and possibly a new language, while your host family gets childcare, housework, and learns your language and your culture.

The benefits of being an au pair are triple: you get to live in a foreign country, you get free room and board, and you get paid a salary!

There are horror stories behind jobs like this, so it’s usually a good idea to use a trusted agency like GoAuPair.comAuPair.ComAuPairWorld, or Great AuPair.

17. Work on a Yacht

Working on a yacht is much different from working on a cruise ship. You’ll need to wear many more hats and be a team player as well.

Finding yachts to work on is made much easier by using The Crew Network, a site designed to match up crew looking for work and boat owners looking for crew.

Even if you don’t have experience working on a yacht or any kind of boat, you can still apply to entry-level yacht jobs, such as deckhands or stewardesses. Of course, you can also apply as a chef or an engineer if that’s your professional experience.

While you will get to work in and visit many new and exciting places, be aware that you won’t be in control of your destinations.

18. Become a Local Tour Guide

Being a local tour guide isn’t as hard as you think.

Sure there are plenty of agencies you can join, but there are usually no set laws surrounding this job.

If you have a solid knowledge of the area, plenty of stories, anecdotes, and trivia, and a good sense of humor, this is probably a good fit for you.

You CAN Get Paid to Travel!

Getting paid to travel is the dream, really.

Just remember: it’s a combination of a ton of hard work and a little bit of luck.

Your best bet is to find jobs that take you around the world and then create a blog about your adventures.

Once you have a big enough following, that’s when the magic starts to happen.

In the meantime, browse my list of work at home jobs. They are jobs you can do anywhere in the world.

Which job or option looks most attractive to you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

20 Companies Offering Online English Teaching Jobs

Education has always seemed like a location-dependent vocation. But technology has made it possible for teachers to spread their wings and gain the freedom to pursue things like online English teaching jobs.

Demands for online ESL teachers have skyrocketed in the past few decades and it’s now entirely possible to teach English online as a lucrative side gig or a well-paying, full-time job.

In this article, you’ll learn what you’ll need to start teaching ESL online, as well as some of the best companies to apply for.

Starting an Online ESL Teaching Job

What you’ll need to get started as an online English teacher will depend on each individual company you apply to.

Some don’t have many requirements while others have a whole laundry list of requirements that need to be met before you can teach ESL online.

Here are some of the requirements you might need to fulfill:

  • Be a native English speaker
  • Your own desktop or laptop computer
  • A strong, stable internet connection, a high-quality webcam, and a clear, low-noise headset and microphone
  • A Bachelors degree (usually doesn’t need to be in education)
  • A Masters or Doctorate (if you’re planning on teaching at a college level)
  • Teaching experience (can be some tutoring hours or a set amount of hours in a classroom)
  • A TOEFL, TESL, TEFL, CELTA, or other teaching English abroad certification
  • Some companies have specific requirements for your work environment too, like whiteboards etc.

I’ve rounded up 17 different companies that are currently hiring ESL tutors and separated them into two categories.

On the first list are your regular ESL jobs where you need to work from a computer while the second list contains companies that allow you to work entirely from an app on your smartphone.

16 Websites Offering Online English Teaching Jobs

If you’re an ESL tutor trying to find work, these top 17 highest-paying websites could help you turn this online gig into a full-time career:

1. FlexJobs

Flexjobs ESL

The fastest and easiest way to land a full-time job as an ESL teacher is through Flexjobs.

While I update this post as often as I can, FlexJobs adds hundreds of new legitimate job postings daily. They scour the web for you and research the companies and post only legitimate job ads to their board.

At the time of this posting, FlexJobs has over 4,000 active listings in their education category alone.

2. italki

italki was founded in 2007 and is more of a teacher marketplace.

You can teach any language you want, as long as you’re a native speaker of that language.

The best thing about italki is that you can decide your own rate (other online English teaching jobs have a tier system based on experience or rating).

Teacher rates range between $5 and $40. As Chris Rush revealed in his guest blog post, he earned over $2,200 teaching 71 lessons within 90 days.

3. DaDaABC

DaDaABC offers a real career opportunity for teachers with rates starting at a whopping $25 per hour and chances to increase that initial rate based on performance.

Three types of one-on-one classes exist – trial (14 minutes), elective, and major classes (which last from 30 minutes to 1 hour).

DaDaABC provides teachers with a curriculum and platform, where they teach the same kids months at a time. This is a huge advantage to both the students and the teacher in terms of consistency in the lessons and the continuity of not having to meet new people every class..

4. VIPKID

Online English teaching jobs with VIPKID

What sets VIPKID apart from other ESL websites is that they have their own curriculum that teachers follow and children are also taught American culture on top of speaking proper English.

As of May 2019, there are 65,000 teachers teaching 500,000 students on their platform.

Rates run between $14-$18 per hour, which can go up to $22 an hour with incentives.

Class times are usually around 25 minutes each.

5. Voxy

This top-rated education app occasionally opens up to fill online English teaching jobs for certified teachers of any subject.

However, the job is only open for U.S. citizens.

The hourly rate starts at $18/hour with complete benefits, despite being a remote position. Teachers who speak Portuguese or Spanish earn higher rates.

6. VerbalPlanet

Verbal Planet is one of the oldest ESL learning websites on this list.

It allows tutors to create their profile and dictate their own rates, but Verbal Planet must first approve your profile based on your teaching qualifications and experience.

Students choose their tutors. Classes last up to 45 minutes.

Rates can run as high as $40 per hour.

The downside of Verbal Planet is that they’re not constantly receiving applications, so bookmark the site and check back from time to time.

7. Englishunt

Englishunt was founded in Korea in 2000; since then, they have expanded their English language video instruction services to Japan and China. They only accept tutors who are U.S. citizens and have U.S. bank accounts.

Tutors here work part-time with an average workload of 8 to 12 hours weekly. Rates start at $14 per hour. The best thing about Englishunt is that classes only last a maximum of 20 minutes.

The downside though is that the shifts are typically in the afternoon Korean time, which means the busy times are between 1 AM to 3 AM EST.

8. TutorABC (iTutorGroup)

TutorABC is a well-known ESL company that offers schedule flexibility since classes are available 24/7.

Most students are Asian, grouped into professionals aged 19-65 and JR students aged 6-18. Most of them have academic knowledge of English but lack conversational skills.

Their base pay varies depending on where you’re based; U.S.-based tutors typically get a minimum of $14 per hour.

However, TutorABC does give performance bonuses based on student ratings.

9. Qkids

As a Qkids tutor, you will be teaching Chinese children aged 4 to 12 through their patented and interactive gaming-based learning platform.

Qkids hire tutors to teach a maximum of 4 kids per lesson, with each lesson lasting a maximum of 30 minutes and at a rate between $16 to $20 per hour.

They hire native English speakers from the US and Canada and assign them to 6-month contracts, with the chance to continue your contract at the end.

Qkids sets your schedule for you each week and they also pay out attendance and performance bonuses.

10. TeachAway

TeachAway accepts licensed teachers, university graduates, and ESL instructors to fill online English teaching jobs from a number of different companies.

They offer a wide variety of online ESL teaching opportunities, including online English teachers for students ranging from kindergarten to high school, for adult education, college-level online teaching, course developers, and more.

They offer both full-time and part-time online ESL jobs, as well as work for teachers who want to make an extra income over school breaks.

11. Landi

Online English Teaching Jobs with Landi

Landi is another popular option for teaching ESL to students in China.

According to current Landi teachers, the company’s support team is great and the hiring process is fast and frustration-free.

There are usually around 2 students per classroom ranging from ages 5 to 15, and the company requires a minimum of twelve class hours per week. That could be a big-time commitment for someone who wants to do this part-time – at least, more so than some of the other options on this list.

Landi reportedly pays around $18 – $25 USD per hour depending on the teacher’s skills and qualifications. They do require a bachelor’s degree.

12. SayABC

If your salary expectations play a big role in your decision-making process, then SayABC is a solid candidate to consider. They pay some of the highest rates in the industry, paying as high as $21 for a 40-minute class session.

Class sizes range from 1 to 4 students between the ages of 5 and 12. Teachers can set their own hours.

SayABC has an exclusive partnership with National Geographic Learning’s ‘Our World’ and offers prepared lessons to teachers.

13. Magic Ears

This company prides itself on being one of the more open and friendly job sites for teaching ESL online. Teachers don’t have to compete for jobs as the site books classes for you.

With Magic Ears, you’ll be teaching to students in China ranging in ages between 4 to 12 years old.

They pay between $18 – $26 per hour on average.

14. English First

English First offers flexible online English teaching jobs for U.S. or U.K. citizens or residents who have a bachelor’s degree and a 40-hour minimum TEFL certificate.

You can choose between teaching children or teaching adults. The pay ranges from $12-$19 per hour.

15. Open English

Open English hires practicing ESL or TESOL professionals to teach their 500,000 students who are mostly based in Latin America.

The site offers classes 24/7, and you can schedule your own classes, so you can work when you want and take on as few or as many students as you want.

16. EnglishKey

EnglishKey is yet another company that offers English classes through live video streaming.

You must be able to work at least 10 hours per week, with the busiest time being 1pm to 8pm EST.

Experience and certifications aren’t required but certainly preferable.

In addition, knowing either Spanish or Portuguese is an advantage that you can get extra pay on top of the $10  to $15 per hour base rate.

4 Ways to Teach ESL From Your Phone

In the past, ESL students needed to sign up for classes and work with instructors through video conferencing on computers. Nowadays, with the advancement of mobile technology, online English teaching jobs can occur via smartphone using different mobile apps.

What that means for you is that you can now earn money as an ESL instructor directly from your smartphone. That’s right: you no longer need a computer to start making money as an ESL instructor.

You can download specific ESL mobile apps to your smartphone and use them to tutor students via video and/or audio chat.

Your tutoring time is compensated by the minute and could grow to as much as $45/hour, depending on your skill level and past experience.

Below are the apps that pay you for English lessons.

17. NiceTalk

nicetalk

This learning platform was created in China and is supported by both Android and iOS systems.

Once you download the app, you’ll be asked to record a short interview video so they can assess your English-speaking capabilities. Following approval, you can start accepting student requests.

Most of the students who use this app are native Chinese speakers who will request to chat with you via the app’s video chat function. You need to make sure your phone can accept video chat requests and stream them at a normal conversational pace.

NiceTalk pays you $10/hour for your talking/teaching time.

Keep in mind that most of your conversations will not last an entire hour. Luckily, NiceTalk also pays by the minute. The app will also tack on bonuses to your account if you work with students during peak hours, which in the case of Chinese students is 11 pm – 6 am.

As a new user, you’ll receive a $10 bonus just for signing up with NiceTalk.

You are able to cash out of your account once you reach $20.

18. PalFish

Palfish

PalFish enables you to set your hourly rate from as low as $4.80 to over $45 per hour.

Incidentally, your pay is denoted in yuan, not dollars. However, the app will convert your wages to your local currency upon cashing out.

There is a short verification process that you’ll need to undergo before you can start working with students.

That process involves writing a 200-word description of you and your teaching style and posting a photo of your face.

You also need to post a voice recording so that students can determine if you speak clearly enough for them to understand your words.

Unlike NiceTalk, you aren’t stuck earning a specified rate per hour or minute; with PalFish, you can set your own rates and earn as high as $45/hour.

Also, there is no set payout minimum.

19. Cambly

Cambly

This app pays 17 cents/minute or $10.20/hour ($12/hour) to talk to people all over the world and help build their English skills.

You can work as little or as much as you want, and any money you earn is automatically sent to your Paypal account twice a month.

You can also sign up for two-hour shifts, which guarantees a certain amount of money for your time. Payments are made once a $20 threshold is reached.

Students can peruse tutor profiles and ‘ping’ those tutors that they want to interact with.

If the tutors are otherwise occupied and/or miss those ping(s), they are redirected to other tutors. You can opt to pick up the pings that are missed by other tutors for extra money.

Once you register with Cambly, you will be prompted to fill out your profile and record a video.

The more teaching experience/certifications you can list on your profile, the greater the likelihood of you being pinged by students for tutoring.

Students can also leave reviews on how well they thought you tutored them.

If you accumulate a lot of positive reviews, you’ll increase your chances of being pinged.

20. SkimaTalk

SkimaTalk

This app will pay you $15 for each completed hour (as opposed to per minute) and the chat sessions are conducted over Skype (which is available as an app for your smartphone).

SkimaTalk even offers you a range of lesson plans so that you have a template to follow during your sessions.

Just like with Cambly, your students can leave reviews about you and your teaching style. More good reviews will lead to more students.

To get started, use your Facebook account or email to register with SkimaTalk. Fill out your profile information, including both your photo and a description of your teaching style, any applicable experience, etc.

SkimaTalk will then assess your English reading abilities with a 19-question test.

Once you pass this exam, you’ll be able to start accepting and talking with students almost immediately.

Is Teaching ESL Online For You?

Becoming an online ESL teacher has many benefits attached, and could be one of the best ways to balance work and life while helping young minds all over the world.

Other ways to earn side income for teachers

Being an online English teacher can be extremely rewarding, but there are other online jobs for teachers out there for those who want more.

If you’re a teacher and you love teaching, but the idea of teaching English online doesn’t appeal to you, here are a few other ways to earn some side cash:

 

Does any of these companies sound appealing to you? Or do you know of a company that we haven’t included in the list? Tell us all about it in the comments!

12 Beta Tester Jobs That Pay Well in 2020

The apps and games you frequently use likely went through beta testing before they were launched or released. This is how beta tester jobs were created.

A beta tester’s job is to test these apps before their release to make sure there weren’t any bugs or glitches that developers missed.

Beta testing sounds like a job that’s only for techy, geeky types. On the contrary, beta testers use the apps and games in real-life or close to real-life conditions so that developers know how actual users will use their apps.

If you love trying out new apps and games and find yourself spotting errors and weird behaviors in these apps, being a beta tester might appeal to you.

In this blog post, learn what a beta tester does, how much they normally earn, and where you can find beta tester jobs.

What does a beta tester do?

When an app or game is being developed, it usually goes through several rounds of testing from the time it’s initially coded.

However, since this testing is done in a controlled environment, some glitches or issues may not show up during the initial rounds of testing.

Beta testing is the final round of testing before that app or game is released to the general audience.

It’s done in real-life conditions: various units of actual smartphones, laptops, and computers (not simulators), with different internet providers that are used by actual end-users.

Beta testers use the app or game in these conditions to find out how it performs in real life and not under a controlled environment. They then note their observations about usability, UI, gameplay (for games) bugs, and any unexpected behavior.

They then submit this to the developer with general feedbacks and notes, as well as steps to replicate a bug, if they observe one.

Do you need experience to become a beta tester?

Yes and no.

Minor beta testing jobs will usually not require any specific qualifications or certifications.

However, as you slowly build your résumé and your skillset, you will be able to apply for higher-paying jobs (Google has a beta-testing program!) and build competence.

A couple of things you will definitely need no matter what, though:

Excellent observation skills and attention to detail.

These are essential to becoming a successful beta tester.

How do you become a beta tester?

You’re most probably never going to find a developer contacting you directly for opportunities.

Most of the time, you’ll need to either:

  • Find a third party website that has plenty of paid beta testing jobs.
  • Contact the company directly sending in a résumé/cover letter.

What do app tests involve?

What will be required from you when you accept a beta tester job will solely depend on what the development team wants as results from the test.

  1. After signing up on one of those third-party websites, you will fill in your age, gender, location, interests.
  2. Developers will then select you based on whether or not you match their specific criteria.
  3. You will be given a set of instructions letting you know how to perform certain on-screen actions, what to keep an eye on, and everything you need to know.
  4. Your on-screen actions will be recorded to give the developers an idea of the user experience.
  5. You’ll be expected to give constructive feedback regarding:
    • What you like or don’t like about the app.
    • What glitches you found.
    • General user experience.
    • Whether the app is boring or slow.
    • Does the game freeze?
    • Does it take too long to load?
    • Give suggestions and recommendations.

Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to give constructive feedback. No matter how frustrating the app/game/software is, make sure to mention it.

How much do beta testers get paid?

Beta tester jobs can pay anything from $10 to $100 per hour. High-paying beta tester jobs can pay up to $45,000 per year.

The fees you get depend on a lot of different factors:

  • The type of website you’ve signed up for.
  • The developer’s budget.
  • What sorts of tests you’re going to participate in.
  • How simple or difficult the job is.

There is no doubt that companies benefit a lot from becoming hiring beta testers. But what is in it for you as a paid beta tester?

Rewards! Money! Gift cards!

When it comes to rewards, every company and website has its own rules. Generally, rewards come in three different types:

  • Cash (PayPal, bank transfer…etc)
  • Gift cards
  • Free products

12 Places to Find Paid Beta Tester Jobs

Here are the 12 best places to find a beta testing job.

There are hundreds of opportunities currently available as beta testing is always in high demand.

1. Beta Family

Beta Family Opportunities

You will find dozens of developers for iOS and Android apps all posting their beta testing opportunities along with their instructions and what they’re looking for.

How it works for developers: They set up a test and then search through the beta testers who have signed up to choose a good fit for this test.

How it works for beta testers: It’s simple! You follow their instructions carefully, test their apps, answer their questions, and give them feedback. Most questions have to do with the design and the UI and the user experience.

That doesn’t mean that you have to sit and wait for developers to contact you.

You can actively search through the list of open opportunities.

How to utilize Beta Family: For every test you finish, you will get a rating depending on how accurately you gave feedback and how in-depth your answers are.

There are no fixed rates and the developer is the one that decides how much to pay you.

2. UserTesting

UserTesting is another top player when it comes to the world of beta testing.

So how does it work?

  1. You will first need to finish a 5-minute test to show your qualifications.
  2. Once you get approved, you can start looking for beta testing opportunities.
  3. You get paid anything from $10 to $15 for every 20 minutes.

Your tests will mainly revolve around how you view and interact with certain websites as an average Internet user.

Your feedback will help site owners fix problems that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

With a steady stream of testing jobs, this is probably the highest-paying and most consistent beta testing job on this list.

3. Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research provides you with a unique opportunity for a beta testing job.

It’s unique in the sense that you will be trying out physical products, instead of performing online evaluations of websites or apps.

Pinecone will mail you upcoming products from major manufacturers and pay you a flat rate to test the product out and provide feedback.

More often than not, you get to keep whatever they send you, increasing the value of each job you complete.

It’s a pretty cool way to try out some new things before they ever hit the shelves.

4. Betabound

Betabound gives you the chance to work with some of the biggest names in the industry.

Expect to find names like Amazon, Yahoo, Netflix, and Dell.

The best part?

Betabound doesn’t require you to have extensive experience at all. In fact, you don’t even need to go through qualification tests.

You will get paid in gift cards and prizes.

5. BetaTesting

BetaTesting.com (formerly Erli Bird) is like the Uber of paid beta testing jobs. What it does is it partners big-name companies with beta testers and has all types of opportunities out there.

You will need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be fluent in English.
  • Have certain devices for certain tests.

You can get paid anywhere from $10 to $20 per test.

6. Vindale Research

Vindale Research

Vindale pays you only in cash, offers a $2 sign-up bonus, and pays really well. You can get up to $50 per product testing/survey.

You will have to answer a few questions at first to prove that you’re eligible, then you’ll be awarded in cash once you’re done.

7. AppCoiner

AppCoiner pays you cash to test various apps.

When you sign up on their website, you can choose an app from their app review database, test it on your smartphone or tablet, and write about the experience on your AppCoiner website. AppCoiner monetizes your website views and pays you according to how much traffic your articles attract.

8. Bananatic

If you prefer online games to apps, this beta tester job opportunity may be right for you!

Register on the Bananatic website and download free-to-play online games. Play them, test them, and complete in-game quests assigned by Bananatic. When you complete in-game quests and write high-quality game reviews, you earn Bananas. Not literal ones, though; Bananas are the website’s virtual currency.

You can exchange these Bananas for real prizes, such as free games, game credits, skins, Steam wallets, Amazon gift cards, and many more.

9. Game-Testers.net

Another video game testing site, Game Testers employs testing specialists who play video games, submit honest reviews, and get paid from $50 to $150 per hour.

As far as these beta tester jobs go, testing video games may be the most enjoyable.

10. Reddit & Other Online Forums

Social Media Manager Jobs

There is no shortage when it comes to online forums, specifically if you’re interested in beta testing for games.

Reddit is a great place to find beta tester jobs, be the first to know about paid beta testing opportunities, and learn about how to become a successful beta tester.

Pro tip: Android has a forum filled with beta testing opportunities for Android users.

11. Social Media

How to find beta testing jobs

My biggest tip for you is:

Write down a list of your favorite developers, periodically check all their social media platforms and websites, and keep an eye out on beta tester job opportunities they might be offering.

Plenty of companies like EA and Blizzard offer paid beta testing jobs and it’s one of the best ways to become a beta tester.

Of course, those opportunities are very hard to find and very hard to apply for but are usually the most rewarding in terms of salary and experience.

Pro tip: Don’t just settle for following and keeping up with companies, follow influencers in the field you’re interested in.

12. Contact Companies Yourself

I am not saying that this guaranteed to work. However, it’s always worth a try.

Try and contact companies and see if they have any available paid beta testing opportunities.

Keep your email short, simple, to the point, and highlight why you are a perfect fit for their job.

The worst-case scenario is they don’t have a current opportunity but will have your application in their file for any further opportunities.

Apply For a Beta Tester Job Today!

Beta testing is a sometimes tedious but absolutely necessary part of developing apps and video games.

If you love using new apps and playing new video games, notice the smallest details, and can communicate your observations clearly and objectively, you’d make a good beta tester.

Hopefully, this article helped you decide whether a beta tester job is a right fit for you. But if you’re interested in other testing jobs, check out the following articles on this site:

Have you ever worked as a beta tester? How was the experience? Can you vouch for the companies above? Tell us your stories in the comments below!

10 Online Research Jobs You Can Apply for in 2020

Two quick questions before you start looking for online research jobs:

1. What was the first quarter of 2012 revenues for Sturm Ruger?

2. How much did the average U.S. wedding cost in 2019?

If you answered $112 million (surprisingly, NOT the wedding cost) and $33,900, then you may have a bright future as an online researcher.

In this article, learn more about being an online researcher, what it involves, and where you can find online research jobs to apply for.

What Does an Online Researcher Do?

Many publications are moving from print to digital format, placing a significant amount of information online for users to sift through and try to make sense of.

 

WIkipedia online research

However, despite the rise of powerful search engines such as Google, online information is not always readily accessible.

This is particularly true of technical and scientific data that are often restricted to subscription-based journals and esoteric publications that aren’t listed on page one of Google’s search results.

Likewise, finding correct and relevant information takes time, a luxury that many companies and businesses do not have.

For example, a law firm may wish to provide its readers with an article documenting traffic accident statistics per state but not have the time to research every state. Alternately, a debt consolidation company may wish to know about the most common sources of unsecured debt so that it can offer services tailored to those debts.

The solution to such dilemmas has been to hire online researchers who are adept at finding information on a wide variety of topics.

To qualify for online research jobs, you need to be highly skilled in using various search engines (that is, not just Google) to access peer-reviewed scientific research, industry-specific publications, and various other research materials to gather the information you need.

More than finding and accessing information, online researchers must also have advanced comprehension skills to be able to understand the information gathered, exceptional analytical skills to be able to interpret the information, and strong communication skills to be able to present the information to those who need it.

 

Internet Research Process

 

How Much Can You Make as an Online Researcher?

The pay in this field varies depending mainly on one’s research skills, but experience and specialized knowledge can be additional factors.

At the start, when you’re probably doing more generic online research, $10 an hour is the usual rate.

When you eventually get more experience and gain positive feedback from clients, your pay can increase up to $20 per hour.

If you have a master’s or doctoral degree, and advanced or even expert-level on specific, in-demand subjects such as those in the scientific, legal, or financial fields, you can potentially earn $50 to $80 per hour.

How do you get started as an Online Researcher?

You can perform generic Internet research for various third-party answer sites by simply going online and reading up on a requested topic, then submitting your results and getting paid by the client.

Unfortunately, such work is often low-paid because it is considered unspecialized.

Also, the tasks often require a significant amount of time to complete because the subject matter may not be familiar to you and thus involves a steep learning curve. However, the benefit of such work is that it’s not hard to obtain clients.

10 Places to Find Online Research Jobs

Here are a few sites that offer online research jobs:

1. Wonder

Wonder is a resource site for researchers in need of instant feedback for their studies and it’s easily the most prolific site on this list.

As part of the Wonder team, you’ll receive questions directly from customers and your job will be to find the best available information on the topic.

Jobs typically take around 3 hours to complete, making pay range around $15 to $25 per hour, depending on your speed and expertise.

Wonder prides itself on answering questions within 24 hours. Be prepared to work under tight deadlines.

2. Maven

Maven

Maven allows you to advertise your services as a so-called “microconsultant” in the fields of your choosing.

You will receive contracts to answer questions and provide insights from all over the world and from all walks of life: from college students doing homework to CEOs making high-impact decisions. Executives from some of the world’s most prestigious companies, like Boeing or Intel, have used this site.

3. JustAnswer

JustAnswer offers subject matter expert positions in the fields of medicine, law, veterinary science, etc.

To become a subject matter expert, you must show proof of a relevant degree (e.g., M.D.) and/or professional experience.

4. Experts123

Experts123 is constantly looking for article writers who will create content on their site about topics that users want to know more about.

This site operates on a revenue-share platform where page views amount to a specified amount of money; for example, you might earn $1.50 for each PPM (i.e., thousand page views).

Experts123 does offer upfront payments of $10-$20 per approved article for more seasoned researchers.

5. PrestoExperts

This company also serves as a platform for those in need of answers to questions in the field of medicine, business, technology, social media, law, and so on.

When invited to join, freelance experts are given a profile where their education, work experience, specialization, and rates are displayed. Clients could then contact experts directly (via phone, email, or online chat) for a job.

You are in control of your fees, so you may set it by the hour, per project, or so on.

6. Studypool

Studypool invites students around the world to submit questions about every type of subject imaginable so that online researchers (or so-called microtutors) can see them, bid on them, and answer them.

You’ll get paid when your answers are accepted.

7. Answeree

Earn rewards by answering questions, which you can exchange for actual dollars.

You can make additional money by getting more users to like your answer best of all.

8. Cannabiz Media

Cannabiz Media is currently hiring Data Researchers who collect, fact check, and analyze license information for the cannabis industry.

They prefer those who have strong legal or business research backgrounds, as well as those with experience in the cannabis, liquor, or tobacco industries.

9. 10EQS

10EQS prides itself on providing on-demand insights and expertise to leaders and decision-makers in different industries.

To qualify as an Industry Expert, you’ll need to have extensive experience with your particular subject. In other words, this opportunity isn’t for beginners.

10. Job Boards

Sites such as FlexJobs, Indeed, LinkedIn, and other job sites list plenty of online research jobs.

Use keywords such as “internet research jobs,” “online researcher,” “work at home research jobs,” “web researcher,” “remote research assistant” and other similar keywords to find online research jobs.

Make extra money while you research

We’re big believers here at optimizing your earnings while you spend time online. We highly recommend clicking here to create a free account at SwagBucks.

They pay you to use their search engine and the results are provided by Google. It’s a great way to pull in a little extra cash while researching without changing any of your online habits.

Start Your Own Online Research Business

What if you want to strike out on your own because you don’t want to give up a portion of your earnings to a third party site? Although it is more challenging, you can start your own Internet research business.

For example, Carol Tice offers her own freelance writing research and expertise through The Freelance Writers Den as well as private mentoring and coaching.

Todd Tresidder offers personal finance and investment coaching via his website FinancialMentor.

In both of these cases, Internet researchers who could have continued to sell their services through third-party sites decided to start their own businesses- and reap all the profits (and risks) as a result.

Getting new clients will probably be the trickiest part of starting your own Internet research business.

You will need to create a professional-looking website and business cards.

You will also need to network heavily.

Google Ads and Facebook ads may spark initial interest but in this line of work, a personal approach works best.

Consider joining your local chamber of commerce or civic association and marketing your services to local businesses.

Attend some professional happy hours in your chosen area(s) of expertise. Cold calling may also succeed if you’re comfortable speaking on the phone to business owners who could use your services.

You simply can’t be shy about tooting your own horn in this line of work- and putting an actual face on your business.

If you still find yourself stuck, The Association of Internet Researchers offers plenty of useful advice and networking opportunities for would-be Internet researchers. The AoIR also organizes several yearly conferences that enable you to hone your skills and make vital contacts.

For example, you could benefit by partnering with other AoIR members, gaining their client lists, and expanding your business offerings through them.

An Online Research Job is What You Make of It

You know that saying “you only get out what you put in”? This is certainly true of online research as a career and eventually as a business.

The more expertise and experience you accumulate, the more money you will make as an Internet researcher.

The more you market your services, the more clients you will gain.

If you are satisfied with just making a few bucks by answering Yahoo! Answers questions, then that’s exactly where your online research business will remain even after several years.

On the other hand, if you like helping people and are willing to learn, grow, and sometimes even take a few hits to your self-esteem, then this line of work could eventually become your calling.

You may also want to consider looking into getting paid to answer questions online. It’s a very similar field, but with more opportunities and higher pay rates. Although, you do need a little more specialized knowledge to get the big bucks.

On the other hand, if you have a legal background and like hands-on, up-close-and-personal research, being a court researcher may be more up your alley.

Ever considered being an online researcher? Have you ever applied for an online researcher job? Share your experiences with us in the comments!

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.

How to Land a Video Game Writing Job

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

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

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

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

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

Two Types of Video Game Writing Jobs

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

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

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

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

Jobs That Involve Writing FOR Video Games

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

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

What tools will you need?

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

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

1. Narrative Designer

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

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

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

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

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

2. Scriptwriter

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

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

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

Jobs That Involve Writing ABOUT Video Games

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

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

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

Here are writing gigs that you might be interested in.

3. Write news and previews about upcoming video games

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

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

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

4. Write reviews of recently released video games

Reviews are more personal.

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

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

5. Write tutorials about a particular video game

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

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

6. Write strategy guides for video games

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

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

Help them do it.

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

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

Work For a Company Or Go Freelance?

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

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

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

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

Expanding Your Skill Beyond Video Game Writing Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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