Retail Arbitrage in 2021: 27 Products You Can Buy Cheap and Sell High

Retail arbitrage may seem like such a big word, but the concept of products you can buy cheap and sell high should be easy to understand.

Quite simply, you purchase a product, either online or at a physical store. You can then sell it at a higher price and keep the profit.

The best thing about retail arbitrage is that there are millions of products you can buy and sell at any given time. Competing with another individual seller or company trading in the exact set of products as you are is highly unlikely unless you intentionally copy their inventory, or they copy yours.

Thus, there’s a huge potential to succeed in a business model where you buy cheap and sell high. Of course, your success depends largely on the products you choose, the stores where you source your products, and the method you follow.

In today’s article, you’re going to learn about how to get started with retail arbitrage, the best stores to buy your products, and the best products to buy cheap and sell high.

How to Get Started in Retail Arbitrage

Retail arbitrage in 2020 is just as alive as it was when it first became huge on eBay more than a decade ago.

People have been using this technique to build a real, profitable home-based business, thanks to buying wholesale-priced items then flipping them with retail pricing. It’s totally legit and effective, so what’s stopping you from getting started in retail arbitrage?

The problem boils down to two things:

  • Where do I find low-priced products and where do I sell them?
  • What products can I buy for cheap and resell for a higher price?

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The Best Stores for Retail Arbitrage

The key to retail arbitrage is finding items that people want, at a lower price point, so you could sell those items at a higher price without customers complaining. Here are the types of stores you could find items to sell:

  • Wholesale chain stores like Target, Walmart, Home Depot, etc.

Every online merchant goes to these stores to find many low-priced items. You might think that the competition is fierce if you’re sourcing from these stores, but choosing which clearance items to buy and which branch to buy them from matters a lot. Some people even have insider info about sale dates of each local branch.

  • Mom-and-pop stores

These little gems in the community still hold value, even if they’re trapped in between multi-million dollar wholesale stores. You’d be surprised at the high-profit, low competition items you can find at mom-and-pop stores since the lack of inventory often means you can up the price because no one else is selling them.

  • Specialty stores

Here’s where an eye for good finds would help your retail arbitrage business prosper. Visit specialty stores and look for items that don’t belong. For example, check out the toy section at your local grocery store, hardware tools at the bookstore, electronics at drug stores like Walgreens, general merchandise at your local home improvement store, or DVDs at hardware stores like Ace.

  • DIY stores like Etsy

Etsy is home to thousands of artists, crafters, and artisans making DIY items for a living. Here you’ll find custom-made jewelry, crystals, and everything random in between (from refashioned clothes to home décor). You won’t be able to buy a ton of items so quickly, but once you do find items that you think would sell like hotcakes, you can talk to the Etsy seller directly for future orders.

  • Local and international wholesalers

If you don’t live close to any wholesale chain stores, your next best bet would be to find wholesalers online and go the dropshipping route.

To save time, check out the subscription-based wholesaler directory SaleHoo (for $67 per year or $127 lifetime subscription) and get access to over 8,000 manufacturers, wholesalers, and dropshippers that have been verified and categorized by product or whether they offer dropshipping or not.

A similar service is Worldwide Brands, which has been certifying wholesalers since 1999 and can be accessed for a one-time, lifetime fee of $299.

The 27 Best Products You Can Buy Cheap and Sell High

Before we begin, head to Amazon’s Movers & Shakers page.

You’ll find what’s currently trending to help give you an idea of the areas you need to focus on.

To succeed in retail arbitrage, your goal is to find low-cost products with high-profit margins.

As of 2020, the best product categories are fashion, electronics, kids and pets, home and living, as well as current trends. These categories below are where you’re going to want to focus your efforts.

Fashion Minded

1. Jewelry – Whether you go for a wholesale lot of jewelry, or specific branded jewelry, this category is highly diverse. There are many different types (e.g., earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, anklets, belly rings, cufflinks, pins, etc.) made with many different materials (e.g., gold, silver, rhinestones, gemstones, shells, beads, etc.) to cater to many different customers.

2. Sunglasses – eBay store intouchwithstyle sells 10 pairs of sunglasses for only $20. You get to save more as you buy more pairs. Similar to jewelry, the diversity of sunglasses can be astounding, from the different styles to the materials.

3. Shoes and socks – For shoe collectors and enthusiasts, there can be no such thing as having too many shoes. You can sell anything from casual shoes to sports or hiking shoes and still make bank with the products. While you’re at it, you can also sell socks and earn even more from upselling.

4. Sleepwear and underwear – Silk pajamas are the cream of the crop as far as sleepwear, but they’re always super expensive. Go straight to manufacturers like Golden Eagle Home Textile and sell your customers’ sleepwear that are still cheaper than buying locally.

5. Lingerie and shapewear – Shapewear remains one of the most sought-after products of in the past few years and this industry will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Find a Spanx copycat, or the manufacturers of these best-selling shapewear and sell them for profit.

6. Activewear – Athleisure is here to stay, and there’s nowhere to go but up, so there’s no reason not to get into this industry. If you have to pick just one type of clothing, go with women’s leggings; they’re super popular and easy to sell.

Another type of activewear that you can sell is sports bras. Sports bras are no longer just workout attire nowadays; thanks to celebrities like the Kardashians and Bella Hadid, showing off your sports bra outside of the gym is now trendy.

For the Tech Savvy

7. Smartwatches – Wearable technology has been on the rise in recent years, with plenty of new features and new manufacturers. Smartwatches are now a billion-dollar market, and finding the right supplier is the key to getting the maximum profits from your product sales.

8. Video games – Gamers are some of the most sale-hunting, window-shopping buyers out there. They spend a lot on video games but are smart about shopping for them. If you’re interested in selling video games, be smart with the niche you want to enter because although video games offer high profit margins, there’s plenty of competition in this field.

9. Phone accessories – The demand for phone accessories will never wane as long as new phone models get launched every year. As a reseller, you’d go crazy with low-priced items at wholesalers like Reiko Wireless Inc.

10. USB charging dock – When you have various gadgets at home that you need to charge, having a charging dock that can charge multiple devices at the same time is a game-changer. Sink your teeth into a billion-dollar market.

11. Security cameras – DIY home security, including security cameras, surveillance equipment, motion detectors, and alarms, is a steadily growing field.

12. Drones – Drones are far from being toys for the bored teen; they have found applications in various industries, from film to law enforcement, and even agriculture. In addition to the drones themselves, you can also buy and sell drone accessories, such as spare batteries, landing pads, bags, spare parts, and other accessories.

Don’t Ignore Your Family

13. Kids’ toys – In between Christmas and birthdays, toys for kids are always in demand. As an e-commerce store, you can either sell by age, by interest, or by product price (for example, you can market your online store as a $10-dollar toy store). Check out Aquarius Entertainment Merchandising, Inc. for inspiration.

14. Kids’ formal wear – The best thing about selling babies’ and kids’ clothes is that they can be bought in bulk for pretty cheap. Formal wear for kids often have higher quality, so you can easily sell these items at a higher price point without customers feeling ripped off.

15. Pet clothes and toys – Selling pet clothes and toys are specialty niches that you should explore. People with fur babies buy almost as much merchandise as parents of actual babies.

16. Pet Care SuppliesIf you decide to sell pet clothes, toys, and accessories, why not go further and add care supplies as well? Grooming tools, clippers, blades, shampoo, and a whole lot more. You can get plenty of discounts from wholesale suppliers like Pet Edge or Inspirer Pet.

Around the House

17. Beauty products – Exploring this niche can be overwhelming – there are tons of pampering product categories from hair care to skincare, vitamins and health supplements, and a whole lot more. Go all out with a beauty product general store or find a sub-niche where you can sell specialty products, such as organic hair care products.

18. Men’s grooming and skincare products – In recent years, skincare and men’s grooming have grown in popularity. Skincare is traditionally a female-dominated category, but beauty brands have now tapped into the male market and started creating products especially formulated and marketed to men.

Products like body washes, shaving kits, beard-trimming kits, cologne, and other grooming products for men are also gaining in popularity, not just during peak gift-giving holidays like Father’s Day and Christmas, but all year round.

19. Candles and essential oils – While candles are the go-to gift for Christmas office parties and Secret Santas, essential oils are the holy grail of gift-giving. Check out what’s instore at Gem Candles or in-demand aromatherapy oils.

Stay Fit and Healthy

20. Fitness trackers – These smart devices you wear measure such biological data as the number of steps, heart rate, distance traveled, and elevation gained. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a professional athlete, you’ll want one of these.

21. Indoor fitness equipment – Yoga mats, resistance bands, jump rope, kettlebells, etc. are great tools for those only starting on their fitness journey or those who can’t afford gym memberships.

22. Shaker bottles and personal blenders –  The same fitness enthusiasts are usually the same ones who make healthy smoothies and shakes to couple their physical activity with just the right nutrition. If you plan to sell fitness equipment in your e-commerce store, these are great products to upsell.

23. Health care equipment – As people are driven indoors, health monitors are becoming more in demand in recent years. Health care equipment such as blood pressure monitors, portable nebulizers, blood sugar monitors, and the like can be sold at a higher margin.

Stay Trendy

24. Halloween – This niche may be a once-a-year industry, but it is always a profitable product category. Buy in bulk early, so you can sell Halloween items at a higher price when Halloween is near.

Apply this strategy to every occasion or season people spend money, so you’ll be buying and selling items throughout the year.

25. Specialty watches – Whether you’re checking out bamboo wooden watches, or super-minimalist timepieces, the income potential of trending products like these is amazing. You can buy these watches at dirt-cheap prices and flip them for huge profits.

26. Keto products – The ketogenic diet has gone from a fad diet into a lifestyle, so don’t expect keto-themed items to fade out anytime soon. You can build a keto-focused store, or any health-conscious e-commerce business, then offer products like virgin coconut oil or matcha powder.

27. Vaporizers and E-CigarettesYou don’t need to get into the “are e-cigarettes healthier than cigarettes or not?” debate, but this industry is exploding and converting people from classic cigarettes to electronic ones. Take advantage of the influx of potential customers and check out what you can sell in the e-cig industry. Start with E-cigarette Direct.

A note about choosing products – once you’ve chosen a product or product category to focus on, make sure you read up on marketplace rules. For example: is it allowed to sell e-cigarettes on Amazon? Finding these things out early on would avoid heartbreaks or wasted funds in the future.

The “Making Money” Part of Retail Arbitrage

Finding products you can buy cheap and sell high by sourcing through multiple stores is just the first phase of this business. The final phase involves the actual selling, processing, and shipping of products to your customers.

Choosing where to sell your products should be a calculated decision since your choice will affect how well you’ll reach your target market. It’s important that the majority of your selling platforms are online, as about 78% of Americans prefer to shop online and this is a chunk of the market you don’t want to neglect.

And you can do this in multiple ways, such as:

  • Become an Amazon Seller – Amazon FBA is the marketplace of choice for most resellers because of Amazon’s FBA service. Simply put, Amazon FBA involves only a few steps: you ship the product to Amazon, Amazon lists your product, and you receive payment when someone buys that product. Amazon takes care of shipping, handling, and post-sale customer support for a fee.
  • Selling via eBay – Before Amazon became the number 1 online marketplace, eBay was the go-to marketplace. As such, there are still millions of loyal users (both buyers and sellers) who prefer eBay than any other platform. Take advantage of this market.
  • Selling via other marketplaces – If Amazon FBA or eBay isn’t working, you can try other platforms like Etsy, Craigslist, or other similar stores. The best thing about online retail arbitrage is that there are virtually no fees involved to register with most of these platforms, so joining as many as you can handle won’t really affect your business funds.

Depending on which platform you choose to sell in, some tools can be useful in calculating profit, list items from Amazon to eBay (DSM tool), Amazon seller app, compare prices across the board (Camel Camel Camel’s the Camelizer plugin), determine out-of-stock products, gather rebates and coupons (like Rakuten) and many more. These tools (mobile phone apps, browser extension, directory listings, and so on) all help resellers create a business model for their retail arbitrage business.

Retail Arbitrage: The Bottom Line

Ask around what they think about retail arbitrage and you’ll find out that many people think this business model is a get-rich-quick scam.

It’s mostly because of the two Massachusetts-based brothers Adam and Christopher Bowser who charged people up to $35,000 for coaching on how to sell products on Amazon.

Unfortunately for those who got scammed out of thousands of dollars, the victims didn’t know that everything they must learn about reselling, dropshipping, Amazon FBA, and retail arbitrage in general can be freely found online.

And while the information is free, retail arbitrage is far from a get-rich scheme. From sourcing products to comparing prices, and then selling items for profit, retail arbitrage requires a lot of hard work. If you get started in retail arbitrage fully understanding what’s involved, you won’t be scammed out of your hard-earned money.

Now with the right mindset, the right product sources, the right products to sell, and the right marketplace to sell your products, your chances of succeeding in retail arbitrage improve as you put more hard work into your business.

Are you planning to start your own retail arbitrage business? Which products are you planning to sell? Tell us in the comments!

Sell Books on Amazon: A Step-By-Step Guide for 2021

Of all the goods you can sell and all the online marketplaces you can sell them on, selling books on Amazon remains one of the best ways to make money online.

Amazon may be the largest online retailer in the world now, but did you know that the company started out as a marketplace for new and used books?

In fact, CEO Jeff Bezos operated the “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore” straight out of his garage when Amazon opened for business in 1994.

Look familiar?

Amazons Original Website

Three years later, the company carried 2.5 million titles and earned a whopping $148 million in 1997 alone.

Amazon sold books exclusively from its launch until 1999 when the company expanded into selling toys, electronics, tools, and hardware.

Even with the recent success of online bookstore chains like Barnes & Noble, choosing to sell books on Amazon remains a smart decision because Amazon continues to grow at an outstanding rate, and more and more brick-and-mortar Amazon bookstores are popping up.

How To Build a Successful Amazon Business

I’m hosting a totally free webinar that will teach you how to start an Amazon business from scratch and make 5 to 7 figures per year selling simple high profit, low competition items.

In it, you’ll learn the best way to create a global Amazon empire by selling just a few items at a time.

You’ll also get a unique strategy for finding incredible, high-profit, low-competition ‘hidden gem’ products.

=> Reserve your seat right now. It’s free to join!

Why Sell Books on Amazon?

You’re probably looking for a more sophisticated answer than “to make money.”

But really, this is the main reason to choose Amazon over other booksellers: it’s lucrative.

And it’s lucrative because:

  1. the demand for books is as high as ever, if not higher
  2. shoppers trust Amazon
  3. selling on Amazon is simple (as you’ll see below).

3 Ways to Sell Books on Amazon

Amazon has been around for over two decades, so it’s no wonder the company has come up with different ways to accommodate various types of sellers.

If you want to sell books on Amazon, you have three options (each with varying steps to follow):

1. Amazon Trade-In

Technically, you’re not actually selling books on Amazon with the trade-in or buyback program. Instead, you are trading old books in exchange for Amazon gift cards.

To do this, you have to check if your books are currently being accepted in the trade-in program.

Amazon Trade-In

If they are, continue with your submission form and add more if you plan to trade in more books.

When ready, enter your address, print a prepaid shipping label, and send in your items within 7 days free of charge.

The books will be sent to Amazon’s warehouse. You’ll be notified when your book is either accepted or denied.

You can also check the status of your trade-in anytime in Your Trade-In Account or the “payment” by viewing your gift card balance.

If your items are denied, you’ll get your books back with no cost for return shipping.

The trade-in value of your books will be significantly lower than what you paid for them, but really, anything is better than nothing for a book you will never open again.

2. Kindle Direct Publishing

If you’re planning to write a book and want to sell it online, you don’t have to sign with a publishing house anymore. Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) gives anyone a chance to create, publish, and sell their own books, ebookss, and audiobooks on Amazon.

With KDP, you get to keep and control 100% of your book’s rights, which means you can make changes to the books any time you like and earn up to 70% of royalties.

Of course, the most obvious benefit of self-publishing via Amazon is that your book reaches the market quickly without additional expenses.

I’ve fully outlined the process of how to self-publish a book here. It’s a more in-depth guide than you’ll find on this page, so click through if this is the route you want to pursue.

3. Sell Books on Amazon for Cash

You don’t have to trade in used books or publish your own books to take advantage of Amazon’s millions of potential buyers.

You can still sell books on Amazon, even if you didn’t author those books.

There are three ways you can do this:

  • Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) – You post a book for sale, but let Amazon handle the storage, shipping, and post-sale customer support. Many beginner sellers choose this option until they get a solid fulfillment system in place.
  • Fulfillment by merchant (FBM) – Customers order the books from Amazon, but as an FBM seller, you handle everything—storage, packing, shipping, and customer service—every time one of your items gets sold.
  • Amazon vendors (AMZ) – You sell all your books directly to Amazon. They will obviously be a lot cheaper, but if you just closed a brick-and-mortar bookstore and want to unload plenty of books, this is the fastest way possible.

The Niche Book Profits eBook will help you find the most profitable book niches on Amazon!

Four-Step Guide to Selling Books on Amazon

At this point, you should have already decided which way you want to sell on Amazon (FBA, FBM, or AMZ). Now, it’s time to get started selling!

Step 1: Create a regular Amazon account and a seller account

  • Join Amazon. If you aren’t already, note that you have to be a member of Amazon to begin selling on the site. Registration is straightforward – enter e-mail address, create a password, and all that jazz.
  • Create Seller Account. Click on the “Your Account” tab and find “Your Seller Account” to begin the process of opening a seller account.
  • Decide on a selling plan. The Individual plan has no monthly subscription fee but has a $0.99 as a per sale closing fee. You can also only sell up to 40 items each month. On the Professional plan, you’d have to shell out a $39.99/month subscription fee plus per-item selling fees, but you get access to spreadsheets and other inventory-related reports.
  • Enter payment information. To receive payment from the books sold, you’ll need to provide a valid checking account. Under “Settings,” find “Account Info.” Find the “Deposit Method” section on the page and click “Edit.” Select your bank’s country/location and make sure to enter the correct routing number. Amazon will send you a confirmation e-mail once it has verified the account with your bank.

Step 2: How to Sell Books on Amazon

  • Find the title of the book you plan on selling. Click “Sell Your Stuff” on the main seller account page and type the title or ISBN into the search box. Tick the “Books” category, before clicking the “Start Selling” button. You can also search for a book normally (as any buyer would), visit the product page, and click the button that says “Sell on Amazon” to begin filling out information on your own book listing.
  • If you can’t find the title on Amazon, list a new book title. If for some reason you can’t find the title of the book you want to sell on Amazon, you’ll be directed to a different form to begin a new listing. From there, you’ll have to enter all details about the book, including the complete title, author name/s, publisher information, and ISBN.
  • Decide on a price. The easiest way to set the price of your book is to compare it with other listings. Beginner sellers often sell their books at a lower price so customers purchase theirs over other sellers’ copies.
  • Enter the book condition. If you’re selling a new book, you can do this portion quickly by just picking paperback or hardcover. But if your book is used, you have to describe the condition of your item (“Like New,” “Very Good,” “Good,” or “Acceptable”). Consult Amazon’s Marketplace Items Condition Guidelines to make sure you’re describing the condition of the book accurately. Books with missing pages, ripped covers, or erased text fall under “Unacceptable” condition and cannot be sold on Amazon.
  • Select the shipping method. If you chose the fulfilled-by-merchant (FBM) approach, you’ll decide everything about shipping and handling.
  • Save your listing. Once you save your listing, the book will now be up for sale on Amazon.

Step 3: Set Up Fulfillment by Amazon

If you want to skip the handling, shipment, and post-sale customer service, FBA is the way to go.

But the steps are a bit different from the regular way of selling books on Amazon. Sellers ship their books directly to one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers (FC).

Whenever a sale pushes through, Amazon packs and ships the book to the customer and handle complaints, returns, and other inquiries on your behalf.

  • Convert any listing into FBA. You can change a regular listing into an FBA version by going to your account’s “Inventory” and clicking “Manage Inventory.” Choose the listing you wish to convert, check the box beside it, and click “Change to Fulfilled by Amazon” from the “Actions” pull-down menu. You will be directed to a new page, asked to “Convert” with a click of a button, and review your revamped listing. (Note that when you convert a regular listing, the original listing will be temporarily removed from Amazon. Don’t worry, since it will be back live once the book arrives at Amazon).
  • Sending books to Amazon. You need to ship your book/s to the nearest Amazon fulfillment centers. Amazon will send you shipping instructions, along with PDF product/shipment labels for your books. Print and stick them to the package as instructed. You can use any courier, deliver them manually, or use Amazon’s discounted shipping to send the book to the fulfillment center; it’s totally your call.
  • Check the status of your books. Once Amazon receives your books, you don’t have to do anything else. You can check the status of your books, monitor listings, or just let Amazon do its thing and wait for notification when your book gets sold.

Step 4: Get Paid

The reason why you sell books on Amazon ultimately boils down to getting paid real cash.

All earnings you get from the sales (minus Amazon fees, outward shipping fees, and so on) will be listed in detail on your Seller Account.

If you wish to withdraw your funds, log in to your Amazon Payments account, click the “Withdraw Funds” tab, and select a bank account from the dropdown menu. Enter the amount you want to transfer to your bank account. Finish by pressing the “Continue” button.

How much money can you make selling books on Amazon?

Given that there are three distinct methods outlined above, the amount of money you can make selling books on Amazon can vary.

For trading in books, you’re limited to what you have to sell from around your house. Textbooks are going to fetch the most amount of money, and even then, you’re selling them for about 10-15% of what you paid. Still, that’s better than letting them sit and collect dust forever.

As for Kindle Direct Publishing, the sky is the limit here. You’re selling a digital product and are in control of pricing, but you’re also responsible for the marketing and sales as well.

Finally, reselling books. This is the area you’ll want to focus on if you want to make serious money in this space.

Scan the UPC codes of the books in your inventory and see how much they’re currently listed on at Amazon. You can quite easily find books that sell for 2x, 5x, and even 20x what you pay for them. Granted you need the right buyer, but with enough inventory, you can pull in a few extra thousand per month.

Where Can You Get Books To Sell On Amazon?

Here are some of the popular sources of inventory where you can get books to sell.

Your own books. This is probably the easiest way to find books to sell and how most beginners get started.

Start looking around your house, and maybe even your parents’ house, for old books that you haven’t read in years and don’t plan to read ever.

Some surprising finds in your house can include textbooks, comic books, and limited edition books.

Used bookstores. Another popular source of books to sell is your local used bookstores.

There’s a good chance you can pick up some surprisingly profitable books here.

Plus, these are almost always in good condition, since used bookstores don’t normally sell stock that’s too damaged.

Local library. Your local library also holds sales periodically because they have to raise some funds and make room for new books.

Estate sales. Estate sales and auctions are other great sources of books to sell on Amazon because they are motivated to liquidate these books and turn them into cash and they normally sell them for a good price.

Try to look for closing out sales or moving out sales, too. Again, these are the ones who are motivated to sell.

Online retail arbitrage. At its simplest, online arbitrage is shopping for books online at a low price and then turning around and selling them at a higher price.

This might take more time than the others, but at least here, you can shop for books from home and not have to get out and go places.

Craigslist. If you’re lucky, you might find entire lots of books being sold cheaply. If you’re super lucky, you might even find free books on here.

The Future of Book Selling on Amazon

Jumping into any kind of business not backed by research is dangerous, so if you plan to sell books on Amazon but was worried about the future of this venture, consider these:

PROS:

Selling on Amazon remains a lucrative venture because it is home to a market that buys.

Amazon has more than 300 million active users, with 150 million Prime subscribers.

Net sales in 2020 amounted to $386.1 billion.

Amazon has a 50% share of the US print book market as of 2018.

Whether you’re on the verge of self-publishing or launching your own online business, partnering with Amazon continues to be a safe business model.

CONS:

However, Amazon is in control of service fees and future policy changes, whether you like it or not.

As a bookseller on Amazon, you’d have to agree to the changes or look to sell somewhere else.

For example, when Amazon upped the FBA fees, about 10% of booksellers stopped shipping their products to Amazon.

Will you be willing to comply when changes like these happen in the future?

Before you invest everything into selling books on Amazon, weigh these pros and cons carefully.

Other Things To Sell In Amazon

Of course, books aren’t the only thing to sell on Amazon.

If at this point, you’ve changed your mind about selling books, here are other things to sell on Amazon that can make you some money as well.

Are you planning to sell your books soon? Or something else entirely? Share your plans with us in the comments!

How to Become an Amazon Seller with FBA in 6 Steps

If you want to sell products online but don’t know where to start, perhaps becoming an Amazon seller through Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) is the right path for you.

With FBA, you can sell your products without having to think about the logistics of storing your inventory, packing and shipping each order, and taking care of returns for damaged items.

Today’s article is your guide on what FBA is, how to become an Amazon seller, and how you can build a business from home.

How Does Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) Work?

If this is the first time you’re hearing of FBA, don’t fret.

Quite simply, it’s a way to become an Amazon seller where Amazon does all the hard work for you.

Here’s how FBA works:

  1. First, you send Amazon your products, and then they store it in one or more of their fulfillment centers. Amazon fulfillment centers are these million-acre warehouses run by robots and Amazon employees.
  2. Next, your products are inventoried and sorted so they’re ready to go out anytime.
  3. When a customer places an order for your product, Amazon processes the payment and takes care of crediting your account.
  4. Then, the product/s that the customer ordered is picked from the shelves of the fulfillment center and shipped to them.
  5. Amazon follows up with the customer to make sure that they receive the product. If anything else needs to be processed after that, such as returns, refunds, replacements, or any other processes or requests, Amazon takes care of it, too.

It pretty much sounds like Amazon is doing all the work. What are your responsibilities, then?

As an Amazon seller through FBA, your main responsibilities are to select the products, manage your inventory, and to sell; that is, promote and advertise your products so that customers find them and buy them.

Advantages of FBA

Aside from the obvious benefit of not having to rent a warehouse to store your products and not having to pack and ship products yourself, Amazon has provided a number of incentives to attract more Amazon sellers to use FBA.

  • Products under FBA are much more likely to have the “buy box”; that is, the “Add To Cart” button inside the white box right beside the product.
  • Products under FBA are immediately eligible for free Two Day Shipping for Amazon Prime members, and for super saver free delivery for orders above $25.
  • Amazon takes care of customer service, refunds, returns, and all the other messy details so you can focus on advertising your products and convincing customers to buy your products.

How to Become an Amazon Seller in 6 Steps

Actually, before you get too deep into it, get the following ready: your bank account number, bank routing number, chargeable credit card, government-issued photo ID, and tax information.

I’ve broken down the steps you need to take to become an Amazon Seller below. You’ll be surprised at just how easy it is to get your goods listed.

You only need to fill out a few forms to get started.

Starting with…

1. Create your Amazon Seller Account

You can’t really have an Amazon FBA business without an Amazon seller account.

For the time being, you can select the option to ‘Sell as an Individual’ and avoid the monthly fee, especially if you’re just getting started.

Amazon Selling Plans

As an individual, you’ll pay a flat rate of $0.99 per item sold, with no monthly fees.

This is good for getting your feet wet while saving a few bucks. You’ll be able to try out FBA before making a monthly commitment.

Professional accounts come with a $39.99/month fee but no charge per item sold. The professional level also unlocks more categories and more features.

If you are planning on listing more than 40 items initially, it becomes more cost-effective to sell as a professional. But if not, just work as an individual.

Next, add FBA to your seller account.

2. Decide What Products You’re Going To Sell.

If you don’t already know what products to sell, now is the time to find your niche and do your product research.

Finding your niche is maybe the most difficult part of becoming an Amazon seller. It can be exciting to find an opportunity to build a business, and you tend to want to sell anything you can get your hands on.

But the best way to be successful in this business is to focus on one particular area of interest or industry and be an expert at selling products in that niche.

Growth can come through selling additional products in the same niche, or simply selling more of your best sellers.

Product research is another difficult but necessary part of selling on Amazon. Check out our whole article on product research, but basically, you want to find products in your niche that you know people will buy and you know you can make a decent profit.

Start by finding products that solve problems and checking if such products already exist and are being sold by other sellers.

Check out online stores and see if people are buying the products that you have in mind. See if you can find a gap in the market if you think it’s too saturated.

Of course, don’t ignore the  best-selling products on Amazon.

3. Source your Products

Once you know what products you want to sell, the next step is to decide how to source your products.

The most popular ways to become an Amazon seller is to become either a reseller or a private labeler.

Resellers are those who sell already-existing products for a profit. That is, buy bulk at a wholesale price and sell them at retail price.

It’s easy to start as a reseller, as it requires little initial investment but opens up your products to plenty of customers through Amazon.

However, with the amount of competition you face on Amazon, you risk not being able to sell your entire stock and being stuck with a lot of products that aren’t moving and making you profit.

Retail arbitrage involves looking for deals in clearance sales, auctions, retail stores, online stores, and other places to buy products at a cheap price and sell them at a high price.

Though retail arbitrage is technically reselling, buying cheap and selling high is different from buying wholesale and selling retail.

You don’t need to buy too many units of a product to get them at a lower price, but you do have to have time and patience to sift through a lot of deals and sales and see which ones are cheapest and yet give you high-quality products.

Private labelers take an existing product, put their own label on it, and make a profit without having to spend time and money on product design.

They can just go straight to product testing to select which product they’re going to label as theirs.

Thus, the time and money they save on product design can go into improving these products they’ve already selected and making them uniquely their own.

Private labelers deal with manufacturers directly, allowing them to establish their own brands.

Having your own brand is more valuable in the long run, but it’s much harder to initiate. It requires a huge capital investment in time and money.

4. Start Listing Your Products

Sign in at Amazon Seller Central and go to the Inventory menu.

Choose to ‘Add a listing.’

Because Amazon stores and tracks inventory in marked boxes, you will also need to create a new box for each individual box you send.

Hopefully, your inventory items will have easily identifiable codes like a UPC, EAN, or ISSN, but if not, you can also search on an identical item using Amazon’s search function. When you find a match, click ‘Sell Yours.’

After adding some product descriptors, be sure to check off that the item is going to be sold through FBA. Also, you should switch from the default Individual to Case-Packed Items mode. Why?

You will inevitably be shipping multiple identical items of something (e.g., DVDs), and you will want Amazon to track these multiple items separately.

FBA does this by assigning cases. For example, if you have only one DVD to ship, you’d mark it as 1 unit (i.e., article type) per case and 1 number per case. But if you have three of the same DVD to ship, you’d mark them as 1 unit per case and 3 numbers per case.

Keep hitting ‘Add a Listing’ until all your boxed items are cataloged.

5. Prepare Your Products for Shipment to Amazon

Now, click ‘Work on Shipment.’

This will allow you to create and print shipping labels for your box(es). Choose SPD (small parcel delivery) as your shipping option unless your boxed items weigh over 150 lbs.

The other options are LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) and FTL (Full Truckload), and hopefully, you won’t need to worry about these massive haul options for now.

Select UPS as your carrier because it partners with Amazon; in other words, using UPS gives you a shipping discount.

Now you can start printing out your packing slips and shipping labels.

To this end, it helps if you have your own scale that will immediately weigh your boxes. If not, you can input the dimensions of your box(es) online and have it weighed out at your local UPS. Just be sure you eventually print out your labels using FBA and not your local UPS. Amazon’s reduced shipping rates will amaze you.

6. Collect Your Paycheck

Finally! The reason why you’ve gone through all this trouble: the paychecks!

Once you’ve mailed your box(es), you can track your shipments, and eventually your unpacked inventory, via Amazon.

Amazon will notify you when your products sell and will directly deposit the money right into your bank account. Time to sit back and let the money roll in.

There might be an Amazon App for that

Not all of us are blessed with a smartphone, but if you do have one, you can easily scan your goods and determine their immediate value using either an iOS or Android-based price checker Amazon app on your smartphone.

This is useful if you’re dealing with a lot of inventory or prone to checking out store clearance sales for additional merchandise.

One free iPhone-based Amazon app is Amazon Seller. This app really is the best app for sellers just getting started as there is no charge and it connects directly with your Amazon account. The Selling Family put together a free guide to show you how the Amazon Seller app works.

Tips to Become a Successful Amazon Seller

1. Work on your product listings. Make it easy for shoppers to find your products on Amazon search by adding descriptive titles and high-quality product photos.

2. Learn Amazon’s policies on customer reviews. Customer ratings and reviews are important for potential customers’ buying decisions, and you might be tempted to pay your way to positive customer reviews. But this can cause more harm than good. Understand their review policies and make sure you don’t violate them.

3. Keep an eye on your performance metrics. The key numbers to look at are your order defect rate (customer service standards), pre-fulfillment cancel rate (cancellations by the seller), and late shipment rate (orders that ship beyond the expected date).

4. Study how to advertise and promote your listings. Springing for sponsored ads, providing promotions and discounts, and offering free shipping and coupons are all great ways to increase your sales, if you do them the right way.

Some things to consider when becoming an Amazon Seller

1. Amazon will charge you for everything. Aside from the fees for your selling plan (Individual or Professional) and the referral fees (8% to 15%), you’ll be paying plenty of fees.

You’re in charge of the shipping fee of sending your items to Amazon. When you ship inventory to a fulfillment center without proper preparation or labeling, Amazon will charge you for unplanned services.

Amazon charges you for storing your items in their fulfillment center, based on your daily average volume of inventory in cubic feet. Inventory stays there for more than a year? You’ll get charged long-term storage fees.

Of course, Amazon charges you fulfillment fees per unit for picking and packing your orders, shipping and handling, customer service, and product returns.

When Amazon provides a customer with free return shipping, they’ll charge you a return processing fee.

2. Co-mingling issues. Because Amazon has numerous distribution centers, it uses the distribution center located closest to the customer when shipping products. As a result, the product you end up selling may not actually be your own if you agree to co-mingle your merchandise. This can happen easily if, say, you are selling a DVD or book that another Amazon seller may also have listed.

The advantage of using co-mingling is that you sell more of your stuff faster. The disadvantage is that you can’t exactly vouch for the quality and legality of another seller’s merchandise. This can lead to problems or even Amazon account closure because of pirated goods.

3. Sales tax. You may live in a state that requires you to report your sales tax (e.g., Missouri). Alternately, your items might be shipped off to a state that charges sales tax. However, when you work with FBA, you have no good way of knowing which warehouse is stocking your items (especially if you’re comingling) and to which state(s) they are being shipped. While most state ecommerce tax collection has not been aggressively enforced, it may become so in the future.

4. Competition. With FBA, you’re not just competing with other third-party merchants on price and selection, you’re also competing with Amazon itself. This is possibly the biggest strike against FBA versus a selling service like eBay or Etsy. Definitely check Amazon prices for comparable goods before sending your own stuff to FBA.

How To Build a Successful Amazon Business

I’m hosting a totally free webinar that will teach you how to start an Amazon business from scratch and make 5–7 figures per year selling simple high-profit, low-competition items.

In it, you’ll learn the best way to create a global Amazon empire by selling just a few items at a time.

You’ll also get a unique strategy for finding incredible, high-profit, low-competition “hidden gem” products.

=> Reserve your seat right now. It’s free to join!

Selling through FBA: Is It Worth It?

With all the fees and other issues outlined above, you may be wondering if you can cut some kind of profit margin with FBA. Luckily, Amazon provides a Pricing Calculator and an FBA Revenue Calculator that allows you to determine if FBA is even worth it.

On the other hand, if you can find lots of lightweight inventory cheaply and easily via clearance sales, store closeouts, or even inheritance auctions, then FBA may be a smart solution for you.

If you are looking for a few more success stories, check out how Marvin grew an Amazon FBA business to 10k/month in less than 4 months or how this family travels full time in an RV while making a living selling on Amazon.

Have we inspired you yet to become an Amazon seller? How do you plan to start? Ask your questions or share your progress with us in the comments!

How To Become A Brand Ambassador: Earn From Your Influence

Like most Instagram users out there, you’ve probably wondered how to become a brand ambassador. After all, they’re all over social media promoting everything from detox tea to clothing brands to teeth-whitening systems.

And you know what?

You’ve probably felt a twinge of envy as well.

Instagram influencer in the woods

I mean, what’s better than actually having a dedicated social media following and getting paid for supporting brands you love? And who wouldn’t love the freebies?!

Fortunately, being a successful brand ambassador isn’t hard at all – you just need a careful strategy. You can easily start receiving money for posts or some good old freebies from brands you love in no time.

If this is something that you’ve always been interested in, then read on and take down notes.

I’ve created a detailed 15-step guide to help you reach your dream of becoming a successful brand ambassador.

What is a Brand Ambassador?

A brand ambassador, also known as an influencer, is someone who represents a company, either in person or online.

Brands are usually looking for people to “personify” the brand’s identity and bring their values to life.

Your main mission is to spread awareness of the brand through more of a word-of-mouth strategy, instead of direct marketing.

Companies use brand ambassadors so they can have a medium to connect them and put them in touch with their customer base.

Online brand ambassadors endorse the company on social media or via blogging, while in-person brand ambassadors do that through large gatherings and events.

After all, why wouldn’t companies want brand ambassadors? 74% of consumers consider word of mouth as a critical influencer in their purchasing decisions, and 64% of marketing executives consider word-of-mouth marketing to be the most effective form of marketing (Source).

How to make quick money:

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

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

How to Become a Brand Ambassador in 15 Steps

Becoming a brand ambassador isn’t going to happen overnight. I’ve put together this 15-step guide to show you the correct path to follow to help you get started.

Brand ambassador on Instagram

1. Create a compelling social media profile.

The harsh reality of becoming a brand ambassador is that first impressions mean a lot when trying to get brands to notice you, and this is especially true for your online persona.

Here are the things you’ll want to focus on your social media profile to attract brands.

  • Your bio should be eye-catching. This is the first thing potential clients will be looking at, so treat it like your business card. Provide all the important information about you like your full name, location, and contact details.
  • Follower count, content, and engagement rates matter more than anything. In today’s social media-controlled world, these are the most important factors for you to be considered. Remember, though, that genuine engagement is more important than follower count, as you’ll see below.
  • Build your own image and create a brand out of yourself. This is the most important step. Before you consider becoming a brand ambassador, think of yourself as a brand.
  • Find out what makes you different than anyone else. What makes you, you? And why would a brand want to work with you and not anyone else? When you can answer this, focus on that aspect and make sure your social media reflect this.
  • Exude a positive vibe. Your social media profiles need to have a cohesive look, a positive feel, and a lively, authentic vibe.
  • Incorporate the right keywords. Which results do you want to come up in? Do you want to become a brand ambassador in the fitness niche? Travel? Clothing? Think of that and then ensure that your profile seamlessly incorporates the right keywords.

2. Stay active on social media.

Continuously creating content, and reacting and replying to your followers’ comments to your content is important.

It’s not just about having thousands of followers, it’s about engagement.

In fact, even if you have fewer followers than other influencers in the same niche, plenty of companies will overlook that if you have a high engagement rate.

Brands will not be interested in contacting you if you are not engaged with your followers. They want to see that your followers trust your opinion, like having conversations with you, and that you are a pleasant person in general.

3. Post incredible content.

Staying active doesn’t mean that you should be posting just for the sake of posting, though.

You need to catch the attention of your existing followers and any potential ones. Make sure your feed is captivating enough for big brands to contact you.

Original, creative, and aesthetically pleasing posts that are just begging to be liked, commented on, and shared by your followers is the key to increasing your engagement.

The more compelling your content is, the better. Be it videos, Instagram pictures, infographics, tutorials, or blog posts, you will need to constantly create exciting content.

4. Create a personalized hashtag.

Come up with a catchy hashtag that represents you as a brand, and then use it in all your current and future social media posts.

This helps keep all your posts in one place and will show brands that you pretty much know what you’re doing.

5. Know your audience.

Again, having interesting content and staying active is not enough. Your overall reach is a substantial aspect of whether or not a brand will hire you as a brand ambassador.

You need to grow an audience that resonates with the type of brands you want to partner with. This is why you need to understand:

  • The type of audience your brand has.
  • The type of audience you already have.
  • How to create content that attracts the type of audience the brand is looking for.

6. Work with a brand network.

The best place to start getting brand deals is to sign up on a brand network site that facilitates the whole process for you.

You will need to have an established profile, following, and engagement by then.

Create an influencer profile on influencer networks, upload your information, and then sit back and wait!

Here are a few influencer networks you can look into.

7. Target small businesses and start-ups at first.

Small businesses and start-ups are usually looking for people who will help spread the word about their products in the most genuine way possible.

Usually, small businesses look for micro-influencers instead of established influencers because they’re easier to connect with, and frankly, more inexpensive.

That’s why it’ll be much easier for you to build up a portfolio if you start with small businesses and gain credibility along the way. It will take you half the time to secure a deal and get paid!

8. Look for brands that you already love.

What differentiates successful brand ambassadors from the rest is how much they can genuinely embrace the company they’re promoting.

When deciding which company to work with, find one that sells products or offers services that you actually like and you’re either already using or would incorporate into your lifestyle.

The more you like what you’re selling, the more authentic your endorsement appears, and the more you can influence people to buy what you’re selling.

Other companies might offer you a better deal, and you might be insanely tempted to get it, but remember: It always shows when influencers promote products that they’re not particularly fans of.

It’s obvious to these companies, and it’s going to be obvious to your followers.

So when you come off insincere, it hurts your engagement and it hurts your reputation as a brand ambassador.

9. If you don’t know what you love, look to your own lifestyle and your favorite hobbies as a starting point.

If you’re not sure which brands to go with, it’s time to take a close look at your current lifestyle, if you’re happy to continue that lifestyle, as well as your hobbies and interests that you do for fun.

What products and services are you already using? Does brand matter? What do you look for in a brand when you’re buying something? What would make you not choose a certain brand?

It’s important to have a list written down or typed up so that it’s organized. Keep it accessible so that you can easily refer to it when you need it.

10. Passion is king.

An unrelenting, go-getter attitude is what will make you stand out among other influencers. It’s what will make your profile stand out amongst the thousands of other profiles that are all searching for the same thing.

Here’s the thing:

Becoming an incredible brand ambassador requires passion, conviction, and time investment.

Only someone who is truly passionate about what they’re promoting and about building relationships between your audience and the brand is unstoppable.

11. Set up a contact or a sponsorship page.

If you already have a website, create a page within it that explains what brands and companies you’re currently working with, what types of brands and companies you want to secure, and showcase your general stats and what you can offer to potential clients.

Be sure to include any previous brand ambassador campaigns that were successful.

If you don’t have a website yet, provide your email address in your social media profile bio so brands can contact you easily.

Brands want to work with people who can get results. Showcasing your ability to create a return on their investment is HUGE and will open the doors to a ton more opportunities in the future.

12. Network, network, and network a bit more.

Wherever you go: Network.

Be it in person, online, through social circles, or even at work events. The more people you know, the more people you’re connected to, the better.

After all, brands want someone who has a strong network around them.

Not only will it strengthen your profile as a brand ambassador but it will also increase your potential chances of getting hired by other brands.

Also, don’t be afraid to network with other brand ambassadors. They may be your competition for some brands, but remember that there are plenty of brands out there.

Networking and exchanging opportunities and best practices will do more to improve your chances for success than isolating yourself and just seething with envy at other influencers and brand ambassadors.

13. Think like a marketer.

Trust me on this one: You will need to be educated on how you can rock online marketing.

Brands want someone who can guarantee them social reach and engagement.

There are plenty of online courses that will take you through the main pillars of online marketing—from Instagram ads to SEO.

You’ll actually start to notice the difference once you implement what you learn along the way.

14. Carry yourself in a professional manner.

Everything about you—your social media profiles, your content, your comments, your communication with potential brand partners—should exude professionalism.

Your content should always be presentable and ready to showcase. Assume that potential brands are constantly looking at your social media accounts.

Also, the last thing brands want is to deal with immature and divalike behavior from a brand ambassador.

Always be polite to your commenters, even those who are rude to you or have nothing but negative comments to spew out.

When you become a brand ambassador, you may find yourself caught in the middle of some unneeded drama. All you need to do is stay polite, humble, and let your account be a reflection of your values.

Needless to say, when you get contacted by a brand, remain professional all throughout the interaction, even if you don’t end up partnering with them. Just because they’re not partnering with you now doesn’t mean that they won’t partner with you in the future.

15. Don’t take shortcuts.

You might be thinking:

“Why can’t I just buy followers? And likes? And comments?”

I’ll tell you why.

It’s because brands know. They know.

You can’t fake being a brand ambassador. Brands are very aware of engagement and will check your engagement compared to your number of followers.

They might even do spot-checks of your followers to see if they’re real people or bots.

Buying followers and paying for automated comments will simply do you more harm than good.

Becoming a Brand Ambassador Will Open So Many Doors For You!

Once you get your first successful campaign, the opportunities will begin to snowball. Start small, prove your worth, and incredible things can happen in the future.

Becoming a brand ambassador opens up a lot of opportunities for you to make money, both online and offline.

You can easily learn how to make money off of YouTube or Instagram as a brand ambassador, or even how to get paid to travel.

Have you had any success working with big brands in the past? Do you have any tips for beginners on how to become a brand ambassador? Show off in the comments below!

What to Sell on Amazon in 2021: Product Research 101

So you’ve decided to jump on the ecommerce train and that Amazon.com is a good place to start. But how do you decide what to sell on Amazon?

Well, you’re right to set your sights on selling on Amazon as a business; after all, it’s the largest online marketplace, with millions of shoppers already on the platform.

The downside of this is that choosing what products to offer on Amazon can feel overwhelming; if there are millions of shoppers, there are probably hundreds of millions of products on Amazon.

The answer is product research.

Thorough product research helps you determine which product is going to get you the most profits.

Today, this guide will help you sort through millions of products, narrow them down, and figure out what to sell on Amazon.

Product Research: 9 Tips to Help You Decide What to Sell on Amazon

The purpose of product research is to find a product that has high demand and low competition. In other words, a profitable product.

So don’t get too overwhelmed by this decision.

I agree that this is one of the most important decisions of your ecommerce business, but getting ahead of yourself can cause perfect product paralysis.

It’s a very common pitfall wherein people who want to begin selling on Amazon look far and wide, research for months and assess thousands of products, then end up not choosing anything because they’re not the “perfect product” yet.

Follow these 7 tried-and-tested techniques of filtering out products and discover what to sell on Amazon.

1. Find a product that solves a problem.

You know why men’s subscription grooming kits exploded?

It’s because the products included in the monthly box are shaving cream, razors, and other grooming items that they’ll be using for as long as they live (or feel like grooming).

While it doesn’t fall under basic needs like food and clothing, toiletries like these are part of one’s everyday routine.

The problem is having to remember to change your razor or restocking shaving cream; a monthly subscription kit with grooming essentials solves it.

Start with yourself. What problems or inconveniences in your life do you wish could be solved? Is there a product or two that you think would solve it?

Survey your friends or family members for challenges they’re facing daily, weekly, regularly.

The odds are many other people are having the same problems.

2. Find a product you’re interested in.

Some would say to choose a product that you’re passionate about, but I think having some kind of interest will do.

This is important because you’ll be working on your ecommerce business for months or years, so it’s understandable to choose something you won’t quit once you get bored with it.

3. Check out your competitors.

Having some competition is good—it means your product is popular and there is a market you can tap.

But don’t pick a product with tens of thousands of competitors because you could drown even before you can begin selling on Amazon.

If you do find a product, but it has over 100k search results, you have two options:

  • Skip that niche and find one that has less competition.
  • Or dig deeper into that niche and follow tip #4 below.

4. Find a gap in the market.

All hope is not all lost if you get stuck in the middle of your research with a good product that has high competition.

You still have a chance of making it here.

However, you do need to be smart about it and find a gap in the market.

Make your product super-specific.

For example, if you’re interested in selling cooking equipment, you can target a precise group of people if you offer “cooking equipment for low-carb cooking” instead. Include egg boilers, vegetable steamers, and other commonly used tools by people who follow a low-carb diet.

Even if you feel a niche is absolutely saturated, brainstorming ideas can help you discover that there are still smaller niches within larger markets that have lesser competition.

Want to sell books on Amazon?

You’d likely face plenty of competition with new books, but if you target hard-to-find books or sell books as a collection (grouped by theme), you’re giving customers a reason to check out what you’re selling.

5. Aim for products with high profit margins.

You don’t need to get a lesson in finance to figure out if a product has an excellent profit margin and ROI.

You just need to check the products of other sellers on Amazon, note down prices from wholesalers, and add all expenses (like Amazon fees, taxes, and so on) to weigh your option.

There’s even a simpler rule of thumb “the 3x rule” that you can incorporate into your product research.

With this rule, your goal is to sell a product 3x its purchase price. If you bought an item for $20, your target sales price would be $60. This rule assumes that a third will go to fees and other costs, while you get a 100% return on investment.

6. Check what people are buying.

Of course, you’ll need customers. You need to find a product that people want to buy. How do you do this?

Use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) to see what people are sharing, what products are in demand, and what seems to be the “next best thing.” And while you’re at it, make sure to follow trendsetters (known as influencers) of a niche you’re interested in.

Whenever you see a product heating up in social media, use tools like Google Trends to double-check if that product is hot locally, within a particular country, or around the world.

7. Check out brick and mortar stores.

So what do brick and mortar stores have to do with selling on Amazon?

Even as online shopping becomes more and more popular nowadays, people still buy from physical stores. Paying attention to what they’re selling and what customers are buying can give you an inspiration or an idea of a product to sell.

8. Stick to products that meet certain proven criteria.

When deciding if a product can be profitable, these proven criteria can definitely help:

  • Evergreen — You want a product that you can sell all year round and possibly something that customers need to purchase again and again. If a product is seasonal (Christmas lights, Halloween costumes, etc.), it means your revenue is seasonal as well.
  • Available on wholesalers — If you plan to sell on Amazon, you should also have a manufacturer or supplier in mind to get the products from. (Check this list of private label manufacturers, if you have no idea where to start).
  • Weight and Dimensions of the Product — Shipping fees add up costs quickly. A product that’s heavy or fragile will definitely have higher shipping fees than one that’s smaller and lighter. Look for a product that is simple, easy to pack, and hassle-free to ship.
  • Price — Go for products that you can sell for $20 to $75. Aiming too low makes it hard to earn a profit unless you’re going wholesale with thousands of inventory. Aiming too high means you might not have enough buyers.

Note that not every best seller fits these criteria, and not every product that meets these criteria will be a best seller. But these criteria are a good measure of how profitable a product is.

9. Read blogs of other Amazon sellers.

People who sell on Amazon and share their journey about it on a blog will post a list of the best selling products on Amazon every so often.

This type of list is also popular during Thanksgiving week (Black Friday, Cyber Monday), Christmas, year-end sales, and other popular shopping days.

You can learn a lot by reading these blog posts.

Other Tools to Help You Find Products to Sell on Amazon

The above product research tips can help you find products to sell on Amazon as well as other ecommerce sites.

Here are some more tools to help you with your product research.

Amazon-Specific Tools

Customer Reviews

Read customer reviews of products you’re interested in on Amazon.

Positive reviews give you an idea of what makes the product popular, while negative reviews alert you to what you can improve in the product or what to look for in alternative products.

Going through reviews takes time, but it’s worth it if you’re digging deep into your product research.

Best Sellers Rank (BSR)

When you search for a product, the results often show you products with the “Best Seller” tag.

Don’t just ignore this when you’re doing product research.

Know that Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank uses both recent and historical sales figures of a particular item.

This means that if you search a product and it brings back 2-3 (or more) products with the BSR tag, it indicates that the product you just searched is in demand and that there’s room for more sellers to sell the same thing.

Popular categories

Aside from researching individual products, checking which of the categories and subcategories are popular can help you decide which products to sell on Amazon.

Popular categories that have plenty of products in the BSR have products that have high market demand. However, the more popular categories and subcategories have more competition, so consider this too when doing your product research.

Chrome Extensions

Jungle Scout

Known as the best tool for finding products to sell on Amazon, Jungle Scout gives you details of monthly sales volume of any product and information about your competition.

This is a paid Chrome extension though, so it may not be in your budget if you’re just starting out.

Unicorn Smasher

If you don’t have funds for Jungle Scout, use this Chrome extension instead. With this tool, you can check for rankings, monthly sales, estimated future sales, and so on.

Unicorn Smasher is free to use, newer, and works similarly to Jungle Scout.

Amazon Sourcing and Research Tools

These tools are paid ones, and you can invest in them a little later on in your Amazon journey when you’re making enough profit to afford these tools.

However, if you’re willing to shell out a little more capital for greater returns, here are some Amazon tools to help you research what to sell on Amazon.

Keyword Research Tools

Once you’ve decided on a product, make sure to let it run through a series of SEO tests.

For example, if you decided on “sportswear,” use tools like Ahrefs to find better keywords that people actually use, such as “sports shorts,” “running shirts,” and so on.

The Bottom Line

Product research is the first thing you should master when you’re learning how to make money with Amazon.

Finding products to sell on Amazon isn’t easy, but it’s a necessary step you should never skip, especially if you’re serious about your ecommerce business. Once you’ve got this phase down to a science, you’re off to the next step – actually selling your items and advertising your store.

If you’re ready to learn step-by-step instructions on how to sell on Amazon, market your products, and get the most out of your business, check out this beginner’s guide to Amazon selling.

Are you thinking of starting an ecommerce business? Have you struggled with researching what to sell on Amazon? Tell your stories in the comments below!

7 Legit Ways to Make Money Posting Ads in 2021

Making money posting ads sounds like a simple, no-fuss job.

However, because it’s a simple job, scammers know they can use it to bilk jobseekers.

Now it’s all confusing; how do you know if a job opportunity is legitimate or if you’re being scammed?

In this article, know how to avoid being scammed. We also list down legitimate ways to make money posting ads.

Ad Posting Jobs: Red Flags to Watch Out For

There are plenty of ads for jobs where you’ll be “posting ads.”

Supposedly, your job is to post pre-written ads to various websites and social media platforms that the company “you work for” provides.

You can reportedly earn up to $100 or more for just an hour’s work—how awesome does that sound?

One catch: In order to land the job, you’ll need to pay a one-time membership fee upfront.

Unfortunately, it’s another way for scammers to fool honest people looking for real work-from-home jobs.

If you found a job that describes your main responsibility as “posting ads,” be wary of any home-based opportunity if they have the following red flags:

  • Upfront Fee Required — It doesn’t matter if they’re collecting $10 or $100. Whenever a potential employer asks for a fee to join, apply, or given access to job details, there’s a huge possibility that this “employer/company” earns exclusively by collecting this fee.
  • No Contact Information and Website — If a company or employer doesn’t have a website or contact info, consider this a major warning not to move further into your “application.” Legitimate companies often have official websites where all information about the company, the services they provide, and the products they sell are freely available for scrutiny.
  • Statements that are Too Good to be True — Just like in any of the other scams I’ve discussed with you in the past, if a work-from-home job sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Statements like “Earn $100 an hour for posting ads on Facebook” can really attract a lot of applicants (and that’s what really the scammers aim for), but in most cases, these job posts are crafted specially to pull people in enough to make them shell out money as an “investment” in a job that would earn them $800 for an 8-hour shift.
  • “No Experience Necessary” — This can also be considered as something “too good to be true,” but I want to add emphasis on this one because many people fall for the “no experience necessary” statement as an advantage, when in fact, this can be a red flag that the job is a scam. Legit companies often make an effort to list basic skills and qualifications, even if the position is a junior role. Hiring people with no experience may also mean that those hired are quickly replaceable.

Be aware that there are ad posting jobs available on job boards, but these come very rarely (probably about 1 in every 1,000 jobs) and not as widespread as scammers make them out to be.

7 Real Ways to Get Paid to Post Ads

There are several ways you can make money posting ads, but these methods are often for the long haul (passive income) or a regular 9-to-5 job but with the advantage of letting you perform tasks at comfort of your own home.

1. Run a Blog

You won’t earn a cent (for the first months or years) posting ads on your blog, especially if you’re starting just now from the ground up, but if you’re interested in passive income, this is the best way to “get paid to post ads.”

Running a blog means you’re the boss, so you have total control over what kinds of ads to place all over the blog. Examples of ads perfect for blogs include:

• AdSense, Mediavine, and other ad networks

It’s not easy earning regular Google AdSense money, but if you work at it, the cents-per-ad-click can add up to hundreds of dollars. Some people earn thousands monthly, but it took hard work and a lot of content to do it.

AdSense may be the most popular one around, but you can also find one specific to your niche, beliefs, and so on.

Blogs with significant traffic (over 25,000 monthly visitors) can register with Mediavine (an ad manager), so you can rest easy and let them manage all pay-per-click and other online advertising platforms.

Other ad management sites that require less than 25,000 monthly visitors include:

• Sponsored posts

You can also post ads within a blog post and get paid for it. These ads, known as sponsored posts, are longer than the traditional ad blurbs you see everywhere online. Most sponsored posts talk about a product or service in great detail, complete with photos, personal opinion/recommendation, and other information.

Unfortunately, not all bloggers are given the opportunity to publish sponsored posts. Companies or advertisers often contact bloggers with enough audience so that the post could reach as many potential customers as possible.

It is also the blogger’s decision to accept or reject any requests for sponsored posts, since the ad may not be beneficial to the blogger’s audience, does not align with the blogger’s niche or brand, or if the blogger just doesn’t want to endorse that company, product or service provider.

• Banner ads

You can also rent out ad spaces on your blog. Established bloggers usually prepare a media kit, where details such as traffic, audience demographics, ad space rates, and other stats are included. Advertisers will agree to pay you monthly or a package fee upfront for displaying their ad on the agreed spot on your blog.

Because you have control over the sponsored post and ad spaces, it’s important to be selective with the brands and companies you endorse, since your viewers will directly associate you with all your advertisers.

AdSense can be used even if your blog is only a few months old. By contrast, attracting advertisers willing to pay for banner ads or sponsored posts requires a bit of authority, audience, and relevance, so you’ll need to build your brand a bit more.

2. Become an Influencer and Post Ads on Social Media

You don’t even have to run your own website to make money posting ads. If you have a sizeable following on any social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, you’re probably on your way to becoming an influencer.

Influencers (root word: influence) are ordinary people like you and me, except that thousands or millions of other people around the world find their skills, talents, beauty, and other interesting tidbits about their lives interesting enough to follow.

Words of influencers matter to their followers, which is why companies keep an eye on influencers who would be perfect fits for the company’s niche, brand, or products.

Check out these websites if you’re interested in earning money with your social media accounts:

  • Izea — Provides a platform for you to partner with brands willing to pay for sponsored posts on your Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
  • Loop 88 — This influencer marketing company pays popular “pinners” for sponsored Pinterest pins.
  • Ifluenz — Connect with advertisers on Influenz and get a chance to earn $10 per post (if you have at least 5k followers on Instagram) or up to $1k per post (if you have over 500,000 followers).
  • SponsoredTweets — Specialized Twitter influencer platform

As the biggest social media platform, you shouldn’t leave Facebook on your list. However, there isn’t a direct way to make money posting ads on Facebook. Instead, you can post Facebook ads to boost your page’s popularity, increase followers, announce a product or service, or even endorse a product as part of your affiliate marketing efforts (see below for additional info about affiliate marketing).

Google AdSense can also be used in monetizing a YouTube channel. Even if you don’t technically “post” an ad on your videos, you allow Google to display its advertisers’ ads on your behalf.

3. Master Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves promoting other people’s products. You register with an affiliate marketing company, such as Amazon Associates, Clickbank, and so on, find products you want to endorse, get a link to that product, and share it on your blog, social media, email, and everywhere else you’re allowed to.

When someone clicks that link and buys a product from that website within a specific time (30 days, 60 days, depends on site rules), you get to earn a percentage from their purchase. It doesn’t even have to be the product you chose to advertise.

The amount you earn would depend largely on your audience (the people who will see your affiliate link), ad placement (where you will post the ad), and the advertiser.

Interested in this route? Here are some affiliate marketing ideas and a guide to actually make money with affiliate marketing.

4. Get a Job as a Social Media Manager

This is the most traditional method you can do to make money posting ads, so expect a more traditional full-time job with an 8-hour shift and a pre-negotiated weekly, bimonthly, or monthly salary.

The good news is that a social media manager job has high demand and you can work from home while employed by some kind of marketing, advertising, or PR agency. Because online advertising involves A/B testing, complex analytics, and more, you need to be up-to-date with the ever-changing internet advertising industry.

This job can also incorporate other kinds of ad-posting techniques, including affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, pay-per-click ads, but with a bigger emphasis on social media.

FlexJobs has plenty of social media manager positions, but they may be called different things, such as “internet advertising rockstar,” “online marketing,” and so on.

5. Become a PPC Specialist

Probably the most lucrative way of earning money by posting ads is to become a PPC specialist. These are experts in planning, developing, and monitoring ad campaigns for search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and Google.

You can do this freelance, but you’ll need a lot of experience, a portfolio to show off your skills, and referrals that prove your knowledge in pay-per-click campaigns.

Or, if you don’t want to bother looking for your own clients, find a company in need of a PPC genius. You’d be surprised at how many companies are still looking for someone who will handle their online ad campaigns.

This job isn’t the easiest of the bunch, but if you’ve got the chops for it, you won’t fall for any ad-posting scams ever again.

6. Work As A Display Ad Specialist

If writing and creating content for advertisements is what you’re good at, you can offer your services to brands and companies to handle their ad campaigns on social media and Google search pages.

You’d be responsible for planning and executing an advertising campaign, writing and creating content, and posting ads on various places online.

Aside from social media and Google Ads, you can also work on banner ads for display on websites.

7. Post Ads On Your Car

This one is offline and creative.

Your car is a prime advertising space, especially if you commute every day on busy roads.

And there are companies willing to pay you to post ads on your car. Some of these legitimate companies to help you get started include Wrapify, Carvertise, and Nickelytics.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the legitimate ways you can make money posting ads, here are two examples of ad-posting scams that you might find online:

  • People who spread the word about “make money posting ads” used to be people just like you looking for ad-posting gigs. Now, they are affiliate marketing for another company so they could earn money with every person referred, and so the cycle continues and everyone is trapped in a multilevel marketing scheme.
  • People who are actually out to scam others by promising work in exchange for membership fees that give access to fake work-from-home sites.

Hopefully, with the guide above, you can prevent falling for these scams and instead switch your gears to post ads the legitimate way.

Interested in learning more? The best way to get paid to post ads is to become a brand ambassador. More detail in there.

Or if you’re interested in other work-from-home jobs, check out our massive list.

Have you ever responded to a job listing saying you can make money posting ads? Share your experiences with us in the comments!

Some of the Best Digital Nomad Jobs Out There

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

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

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

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

Digital Nomad Lifestyle 101

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

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

Things You Need for a Digital Nomad Lifestyle

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

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

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

The Best Digital Nomad Jobs

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

The following jobs the most popular digital nomad jobs:

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

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

6 Places to Find Digital Nomad Jobs

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

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

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

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

Navigating Digital Nomad Jobs Today

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

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

How to Become a Voice Actor: A Step-By-Step Guide

If you have a naturally smooth and attractive voice, you might have wondered how to become a voice actor and earn from your voice.

You might think it’s as simple as recording yourself, sending recordings to different companies, and getting hired.

However, this career path requires plenty of time and effort before you even get to record your first demo.

Plus, this industry is highly competitive. It turns out, there are plenty of other voice actors, and it’s not easy to land a job, especially if you’re only starting out.

Today, our comprehensive guide on how to become a voice actor should help you start from scratch and get voice acting jobs in no time!

9 Steps on How to Become a Voice Actor

1. Study Other Voice Actors

Observation is the first step in every successful plan of action.

Head to a play and observe how the actors enunciate and express themselves.

Listen to radio commercials and study the way their tones change accordingly.

This will definitely help you understand the art of voice acting and will eventually help teach you how to become a voice actor.

2. Learn How to Act

Part of becoming a voice actor that sometimes gets ignored is the acting part.

Hone your acting skills and join acting groups or acting guilds, as well as a couple of improv classes.

Improv classes take your acting a little further and teach you how to think on your feet while speaking and acting without losing your composure.

Being a part of a community of actors with both veterans and newbies is definitely one of the best ways to learn how to act. You benefit from the wisdom of the veterans and get to learn from shared experiences with newbies like yourself.

Also, it enables you to network. The entertainment industry is notoriously hard to break into, and knowing people in the industry would make it much easier for you.

3. Find a Voice Coach or Trainer

When starting out as a voice actor, you simply don’t know what you don’t know. You may have the talent, but the most successful voice actors can attest that education, coaching, and training sessions are worthwhile investments.

There are different types of voice over coaches for different skills that you’d need for different voice actor jobs.

In the beginning, you’d want to look for a general vocal coach who can teach you the basic concepts, techniques, and tips to becoming a voice actor.

When you want to go beyond the basics, there are vocal coaches who can help you with accents, audio production, demo creation, character voice development, and so much more.

Continuous education is a big factor fin your success.

4. Set up Your Home Recording Studio

The most important aspect of a home recording studio is its soundproofing.

Set up a space in a quiet corner in your house, such as a walk-in closet or space under the stairs with minimal foot traffic, no outside sounds, and minimal ambient noise.

Egg crates are inexpensive and work surprisingly well as a sound-absorbing material on your walls. Cover everything else with comforters, especially surfaces where noise can bounce off.

Later, when work picks up, you can designate a space or room as a permanent home recording studio and use professional audio insulation material to soundproof your space.

5. Invest in Your Equipment

Professional quality microphone

If you want to become a voice actor with steady clients, don’t skimp on your microphone.

No matter how great your voice quality is, your recording can be ruined by a cheap mic that records poor quality audio or too much background noise.

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

It’s also recommended to get a microphone that connects to your computer via XLR, instead of USB or wireless microphones.

Also, you’ll want to get a microphone stand; you won’t want to hold the microphone for hours on end.

A mesh pop filter that you position between the microphone and your mouth is another worthwhile accessory to invest in. Its purpose is to reduce popping sounds from fast-moving air after making P, B, T, J, C, or K sounds.

Professional quality headphones

Another piece of equipment that you can’t afford not to spend on is your headphones.

You’ll need to hear your recording accurately to assess the quality of your voice and background noise while you’re doing the editing and post-production.

Also, you’d want snug-fitting, comfortable headphones, as you’ll be wearing them for a long time while editing.

High quality computer/laptop

Your computer needs to be able to store all your recordings, handle all your recording equipment, and be compatible with the audio editing software you’ll be working with.

If you’re buying a brand new computer or laptop, consider the ports available, sound card, processor, and memory.

6. Learn Technical Skills

Before you get intimidated, technical skills refers to setting up and using audio equipment to record and then edit your recording.

Of course, you can hire professional sound engineers to do it for you, but this would cost you a huge amount in the long run.

You’ll need a solid software program to be able to record your voice with as little background noise and as little compression as possible.

These programs should also allow you to edit your recordings, such as reducing background noise, enhancing portions of the audio, and removing and stitching together relevant sections.

Here are the most highly rated audio recording and editing software that you can use.

Audacity

Most new voice actors choose to use Audacity because it’s free and simple to use, but even veteran voice actors find Audacity a great voice recording software overall.

It’s compatible with different operating systems and it has great functionality that holds its own against other pricier software.

WavePad

With its overall quality, user-friendly interface, multiple effects, and compatibility with various common file formats, WavePad is consistently highly rated among voice actors.

For just $39.95 you can create professional quality audio recordings at the comfort of your own home.

RecordPad

RecordPad is actually from the same company that offers WavePad (NCH Software).

It has fewer functions than WavePad because it’s a recording software; it allows you to record, rip, and burn audio. However, if you don’t need plenty of editing and filtering functions, this is cheaper than WavePad.

Here is a list of other software popular with voice actors.

  • Adobe Audition
  • Mixcraft 9
  • Sony Sound Forge Pro
  • GarageBand & Sound Recorder
  • Cool Edit Pro 2
  • Twisted Wave

 

7. Practice Constantly

You might think practice isn’t really essential, since you technically speak all the time.

Wrong.

Being a voice actor is much more than just being able to say the words.

You must know how to convey the feeling of the character you are portraying through the tone of your voice, the choice of words, and the depth of emotions.

To actually practice this means reading out loud every single day.

There are plenty of voice over scripts available online that you can access through a simple Google search.

If you have kids at home, you can also practice by reading children’s books aloud.

Children’s books are so animated that with just one story, you can practice voicing out different characters.

8. Record Several Voice Over Demos

When you’re confident enough in your voice acting skills, you can move on to the next step and create voice over demos to demonstrate your abilities to casting directors and potential clients.

A voice over demo is a short audio clip that showcases your voice acting skills in a few minutes. The majority of clients only have to listen for a few seconds before they decide whether or not to hire you.

I recommend creating plenty of demos to highlight your versatility and range. For instance, have one for audiobook narration jobs, one for character voices, one for radio advertisements, and so on.

Also, a great way to build your portfolio when you’re already getting gigs and jobs is to request permission to use a sample of your work on a project for your demo. This way, prospective clients can hear a final version of your voice acting work.

9. Market Yourself

The next thing to do is to market your skills and services by building a solid online presence.

First thing you need to do is to create your own website where potential clients and producers can learn more about you, contact you, and listen to your voice over demos.

If you’re not confident in your website-building skills, you can enlist the help of professionals such as Voice Actor Websites to help you.

Social media marketing is important but only secondary to your own website. If you can only choose one social media platform, choose LinkedIn. You want to convey that you’re serious in pursuing voice acting as a career.

Build your brand through your online presence. Once people start trusting your brand, they will work with you regularly and the next thing you know your calendar would be filled with bookings.

Where to Find Voice Actor Jobs

Before exploring resources and job boards, here is a list of the specific jobs involved in the voice acting industry that you may want to consider:

  • Dubbing for Foreign Films
  • Animation Voice Overs
  • Commercial Voice Over
  • TV Program Voice Over
  • Radio Hosting
  • Radio And Audio Dramas
  • Video Games Voice Over
  • Audio Book Reader
  • IVR Phone Systems Voice Over
  • E-Learning Programs Voice Over
  • Voice of God Voice Over For Live Events
  • Podcasts
  • Documentary Narration

 

When choosing what to specialize in, you must take your skill set into consideration. People who do voice overs for animations have a whole different skill level compared to those who talk for an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) phone system.

Choosing the job that fits your skill and interest is highly essential to ensure success.

Here are some of the job boards and resources you can look at to find voice acting jobs.

 

How Much Can Voice Actors Make

One of the most discussed topics within voice actors’ community is the compensation.

Voice actors generally get paid on a per-project or per-job basis. You can earn up to $150 for a 15-second recording for a small website with not a lot of reach.

For an audiobook, you can earn around $2,000 to $5,000.

Consider that aside from the time you spend actually talking, you take some time to edit the recording and do some post-production on the file.

If you calculate it per hour, it averages out around $250 to $300 an hour.

So, can you make a living with your voice?

You always have the option of working on this part-time or full time.

If we calculate that and assume that you have at least one job a month, you’re definitely making enough to take care of a few bills here and there.

Should you choose to work full-time on voice acting, being able to accumulate more working hours can earn a higher rate. For example; a FUNimation voice actor can earn $70,000 to $83,000 a year.

The rate can increase over time, should you get more clients and have something unique that they may need.

Building your name within the industry is something you should really work on to get a higher compensation.

Putting up the capital to get you started may cost you thousands of dollars, but the return of investment is fast as long as you’re doing the job right.

Final Thoughts

Voice acting can be an exciting, unique, and rewarding career, but it’s not for everyone, and it can be overwhelming for someone who’s starting from scratch.

Hopefully, our guide on how to become a voice actor has been helpful to you.

with hard work, support and a little help from your peers, you can certainly thrive in the business in no time.

Are you planning to start your career as a voice actor soon? Share your plans with us in the comments!

16 Online Jobs for Teachers to Make Extra Money

No doubt, teaching is one of the most noble, fulfilling careers you can choose. But as we know, you won’t get rich from it. Fortunately, there are now online jobs for teachers you can either do on the side, a transition job after leaving, or a passive income source.

These are jobs you can do from the comfort of your home and there are part-time and full-time positions available.

Go over this list of online jobs for teachers and find the one that’s ideal for you.

16 Online Jobs for Teachers

We’ll start this list off with a few part-time teaching jobs.

The following jobs can easily be done in the evenings after class, during the weekend throughout the school year, or even the entire school break.

It’s ideal for teachers who have daytime jobs but are looking for ways to earn extra money on the side, or those who are trying to dip their toes on work-from-home teaching jobs.

1. Answering Questions

If you’re naturally curious and love to research, you may want to answer questions in exchange for extra cash.

There are quite a few question-and-answer sites, such as Just Answer, Wonder, Maven, and Studypool (among others) that will allow you to earn as much as $4,000 a month, if you’re a doctor, lawyer, or other professional.

You can still earn money from this gig, even if you’re not a university-level professor.

But do check your expectations from some sites like Answeree (that pays in cents per answer).

To know more about the ones worthy of your time, check out this post on how to get paid to answer questions.

2. Online Adjunct Professor

If you’re a college graduate or have plenty of teaching experience, you can apply to be an online adjunct professor at a college or university, especially now that the majority of colleges and universities host online classes and allow their professors to teach them remotely.

Same with most teachers, online adjunct professors don’t earn very much, but because you can do this online, this may be a job position that appeals to you if you still want to teach but want more flexibility and dread the commute.

3. Online ESL Teacher

As a teacher and native English speaker, the transition into teaching ESL (English as a secondary language) from home should feel natural.

These online jobs for teachers are flexible, which teachers can do either part-time or full-time.

Home-based ESL teachers teach students who may be from another country, so you need a high-quality internet connection, webcam, and headset.

Fees can range between $10 and $40 per hour. You can even teach students on your phone. See our list of companies willing to hire you as an ESL teacher.

If you are fluent in another language aside from English, you can earn even more.

4. Online Tutor

Teachers with plenty of experience teaching traditional subjects, such as mathematics, science, history, and many more may find online tutoring to be a great fit.

Depending on your expertise, you’ll be paid by the hour somewhere between $15 and $100.

Most sites require you to commit to a minimum number of hours per week to be an active tutor, which means you can also do this either as a side gig or full-time.

Almost all of these tutor sites require some teaching experience, and you’ll be responsible for your own educational materials.

Online tutoring sites also don’t normally require teaching licenses to teach general subjects, although you might be required to have teaching credentials to teach college-level or higher subjects, as well as specialized subjects (e.g., financial, business, or advanced science subjects).

Choose from the best online tutoring jobs.

5. Homeschool Consultant

More and more parents are homeschooling their kids each year, leading to more and more online jobs for teachers.

As a teacher with experience creating lesson plans, following a curriculum, and planning activities, you can help parents new to homeschooling find their footing.

Your job as a homeschool consultant will likely be seasonal, with the demand usually before the start of the school year.

The good thing about this job is that you get to dictate your consultation fees. However, there are no third-party sites that will give you leads for clients.

Instead, you’d have to look for clients and do outreach yourself.

Kris Bales, blogger at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, uses her blog not only to share her adventures with homeschooling (they’ve been doing this since 2002) but also to post and advertise her consultancy services.

Her pricing scheme is simple: she charges $40 for every 3 lengthy, detailed e-mails filled with answers to homeschooling questions from clients.

6. Online Test Grader

If you love checking homework, reading and scoring student essays, evaluating exam papers, and so on, you’re in luck. Some schools are outsourcing the scoring part to third-party teachers.

The pay for scorers averages around $12 to $15, which isn’t that huge, but you can do this as a side gig.

Check out these legitimate sites that offer online test grader jobs and see if it’s something you’d like doing.

The next few ideas will focus more on full-time jobs for retired teachers, teachers who have switched careers, or teachers who aren’t currently working.

You’d be glad to know that if teaching continues to be your passion, you don’t need to give it up; you can still do these online jobs for teachers.

7. Online Proctor

If grading isn’t your thing, maybe monitoring students while they’re taking a test is a better fit for you.

Everything is making the move online, and even proctoring can now be done online as students take tests from remote locations. Your main task will be to make sure that students aren’t cheating.

After years in the classroom, you should certainly have the ability to catch students who are trying to cheat their way to higher scores.

You can browse through our list of online proctoring jobs from home.

This is one of the few online jobs for teachers that isn’t so much about teaching; rather, this deals with student behavior.

8. Lesson Plan Maker

You probably know this all too well.

You spend most of your school break creating lesson plans for the coming year, preparing for another batch of students.

If you’re interested in helping other teachers who are swamped, you can work on lesson plans on their behalf.

This position can also be called curriculum developer or teaching materials provider, but the tasks are similar: create worksheets, lesson plans, activity sheets, and other teaching materials based on specific concepts, topics, or subjects.

Payment for this job varies. You can be selling a simple worksheet for $1 a pop, but if over 5,000 people buy it, then it’s a huge payday for you.

Interested? Here’s a more comprehensive guide to earning a six-figure income selling lesson plans online.

9. Textbook Writer

Writing a textbook takes a lot of research, knowledge, and experience.

As an educator, you’d know what makes textbooks effective and what doesn’t work.

Publishers open up writing positions regularly, and more and more of these positions are remote or work-from-home jobs.

In rare cases, such as popular bloggers or influencers with a background in education, publishers may find you and offer you the job.

Here are some textbook publishers you can check out for work openings:

 

10. Educational Consultant

Different types of online jobs for teachers

Education consultants can work for schools, universities, individuals, families, or textbook publishers.

Their job is a mix between a tutor and a homeschool consultant.

As an education consultant, you assess a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, develop their talents, create tests to evaluate aptitude, and find the most appropriate school for a student’s preference, potential, and best match.

When hired by a school, educational consultants assess how students learn, find problems with existing policies, and create solutions to improve school programs, student learning, and so on.

Educational consultants for publishers review existing and pre-published textbooks and determine flaws or whether it’s time for revisions.

Requirements for this job are higher than usual; you’d have to have either a Master’s degree or a Ph.D., as well as extensive experience in the educational system. The job can be completed remotely and it could earn you up to $95,000 annually.

11. Writing Coach

Writing skills are one of the most underrated but highly valuable hard skills you can learn.

As a writing coach, your job is to help your clients develop and master their writing skills according to their goals.

For instance, you’d coach a fiction writer on developing a compelling plot, fleshing out engaging characters, and finding their personal tone and style.

By contrast, you’d coach a student on the basics of writing an essay, while you’d coach a corporate professional on writing formal letters and emails.

Much like online tutoring, you can become a full-time writing coach from the comforts of your own home.

12. Freelance Writer

It’s a given that teachers and educators have advanced writing skills, so switching to writing shouldn’t be too hard for you.

You’d be surprised at how many individuals and businesses are looking for good writers.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of over 150 writing jobs you can do from home.

Fees vary depending on the scope of the work, quality, and the deadline, if any.

13. Online Proofreader

Checking and correcting your students’ spelling and grammar is a skill, and you’d be glad to know that online proofreader jobs exist whhere you can get paid for this particular skill.

Proofreading is different from copy editing in that copy editing focuses on consistency, accuracy, and continuity of the document, while proofreading is all about syntax, format, punctuation, spelling, and grammar.

Thus, proofreading is normally the last step in the publishing process.

Go over our list of legitimate online proofreading jobs and see if you’re interested in doing this type of job.

14. Online Translator

You may never have thought that being bilingual or multilingual can earn you money, but thanks to our virtual economy, online translators are now in demand.

The payment greatly varies depending on how many languages you know and how rare these languages are. For instance, there are probably more bilingual Spanish–English speakers than there are bilingual Farsi–English speakers, so Farsi–English speakers may be paid more hourly.

Consider these highly-rated companies offering online translation jobs.

The next items aren’t jobs but rather ways to earn passive income.

Unlike the jobs listed above wherein you are paid for services rendered right after completion or within a month, “jobs” that allow you to earn passive income don’t work that way.

Instead, you’ll have to do the work for weeks, months, or even years without pay and implement various monetization techniques for blogging or ebook writing and only if you succeed can you earn some cash.

The upside to these kinds of jobs is that once money starts pouring in, there’s a good chance it won’t stop anymore.

15. Blogger

Blogging can be a business, if you want it to be. I’ve written extensively on how you can monetize your blog posts and earn passively.

As a teacher, your blog can be all about your specialization, adventures of teaching kindergarten, funny stories you’ve accumulated teaching teenagers, and so on.

You are your own boss here, so every decision from the look of your blog to advertising and marketing will totally rest on your shoulders.

When done right, blogging can lead to a regular monthly income that you can add to your day job salary or pension.

16. eBook Writer

Writing ebooks is very similar to blogging.

The only difference is that instead of publishing one page or chapter on your blog daily or weekly, you’d publish your entire content in one book and sell it for cash.

There’s money to be made with ebook writing, especially if you have a unique voice, story to tell, or specialization to share. You can even expand your earnings by turning this ebook into an audiobook, or taking part in speaking engagements.

Don’t want to publish under your name?

You can also ghost-write an ebook for someone else and earn around 2 to 10 cents per word.

What’s the best online job for teachers?

Teaching has always been thought of as a noble profession, but it doesn’t mean you’d say no to making bank if possible.

These online jobs can pave the way to the freedom you’ve been looking for to get out of the 8-to-5 rat race, enable you to work completely from home, or bulk up your retirement fund significantly.

Which of these online jobs are you considering? Do you know of any other online jobs for teachers that we’ve missed? Share it with us in the comments!

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!