15 Top Selling Fiverr Gigs to Guide You in 2021

Fiverr is one of the best sites to get quick online jobs you can do in your spare time, but if you’re planning to expand your virtual career, this platform could also serve as a cool way to know which top-selling Fiverr gigs can be added to your services offered. Use it for research and reevaluating your freelance options.

15 Top Selling Fiverr Gigs for 2021

Check out these top-selling Fiverr gigs you can incorporate into your services in 2021:

1. Logo, Business Card Design

Since the start of Fiverr in 2010, logo design has been one of the top-selling Fiverr gigs. This continues until today because every business needs a logo (whether the business is a brick-and-mortar one or a web-based business). And the demand remains strong even through a pandemic.

Got the eye for style and want to try logo making as a side hustle? Check here for a more in-depth guide on how to make a logo.

2. Content Writing

Content writing is a VERY BIG industry and encompasses everything from company website text to product descriptions, gossip news to even adult writing.

If you’re new to the industry but have a passion for writing, you can always begin fresh today and still get a piece of the pie, alongside seasoned content writers. You just need to learn how to present your services and pick the specialty that you like (and could earn significant money for).

On Fiverr’s writing section, the biggest selling gigs are editing and legal writing. (FYI, there are PLENTY of types of writing you can do online. These two are just the most in-demand.)

3. SEO Keyword Research

Even if you have no idea what search engine optimization (SEO) is, I’m sure you are aware of how to use Google to find a product, read reviews, research how to do something, and so much more. Whatever words you use for searching is called a keyword/keywords or keyphrase, and is recorded by Google, Facebook, and other platforms to identify what people are searching for.

As an expert in SEO keyword research, your goal is to use the proper tools in figuring out the right keywords businesses should use. This helps in creating SEO-friendly content, which can be used for making targeted ads, ranking web pages, and turning videos viral, among others.

This Fiverr gig isn’t a job everyone can do, but if you have these SEO skills, you just might be able to pull it off.

4. Whiteboard Animation 

One Fiverr job people with digital drawing skills could jump into is whiteboard animation. It is in-demand by companies, very easy to do with the right tools like VideoScribe, and is a perfect beginner gig for anyone who can create engaging animations.

Fiverr Animation ads

A simple, 30-second whiteboard animation job range from $5 to $15, plus you can include options such as voiceover, HD quality, watermarking, and so on with extra fees for every add-on.

Check here for more jobs for artists that they could offer in Fiverr.

5. Social Media Content Creator

I know a Jack-of-all-Social-Media guy. He is an expert in creating, maintaining, and marketing social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and others) for other people or businesses.

The job entails brainstorming content, building a content calendar, and then creating the actual “content,” which could mean a simple Facebook update or tweet, an infographic to post on Pinterest, a quick video, and so on.

You can offer specific social media tasks, such as writing 30 Facebook updates for 30 days, or set-up Instagram ads for a company. You can also contract your expertise for a month or through the duration of a social media campaign.

6. Photoshop Editing

Like I told you before, you can make up to $80k by just editing photos. Fiverr can help you achieve this if you don’t know how to start. Here are some ideas:

  • Edit any photo quickly (within 2 hours, 12 hours, etc.)
  • Photoshop editing for Amazon product photo
  • Add/remove a person, item, or background of a picture
  • Perform beauty fashion retouching
  • and so on…

With Fiverr, the more specific the tasks you’re offering to do, the better.

7. Spokesperson

If you are excellent at public-speaking with a good voice, diction, pronunciation, attitude, and look, you can become a spokesperson for another person or company’s website.

These videos are used to welcome messages on websites, pop-ups, YouTube videos, ads, and so on.

Fiverr Spokesperson Video

You can do this as a per-video gig, or as-needed basis, or get hired part-time and full-time. It’s really up to you.

The best thing about top selling Fiverr gigs like these is that sellers always make use of the add-on section, wherein they place extra services with corresponding prices.

8. Landing Page and Website Design

In the past, web design professionals have trained traditionally with IT- and arts-related courses like graphic design. Today, with WordPress, Wix, Shopify, landing page builders, and other heavily-developed platforms readily available for quicker page-building, this gig has become more doable and lucrative.

This is especially true if you have web design experience, a certain level of creativity, an eye for good design, and up-to-date knowledge of good web practices.

9. Traffic, Backlinks, and On/Off-Page SEO

In #2, we brushed on a bit about SEO, but if you know this industry, you also know that SEO keywords are just the tip of the iceberg. Another in-demand specialization in the SEO space involves traffic (and how to bring traffic to a particular website, Facebook account, YouTube channel, and other online properties).

For example, this Fiverr seller Linda89 offers non-bot, keyword-targeted traffic to her customers. Her most-basic offer for $5 gives 140 real-people traffic to a customer’s website within 29 days. Other variations and add-on services are available for extra fees, of course.

10. Translation & Transcription

Speak a language other than English? There is a HUGE market in translating one language to the next. From simple one-liners to product descriptions, the possible gigs you can list are endless. And once you’ve made a name at Fiverr, you can even try other translation jobs here.

Fiverr Translators

Transcription is different because this is a skill that not all people can do. It also takes a lot of time if you have no experience using transcription tools. However, if you’ve transcribed before and have a good ear, this Fiverr job can be very lucrative for you.

11. Tax and Finance Advice

You probably know the saying, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” And if you agree in the inevitability that people do have to pay taxes every year (and that all of us end up dying), then you know that helping other people deal with their taxes will always be in-demand. It’s a grim reality, but true nonetheless.

In Fiverr, CPAs and other finance professionals offer services such as:

  • Tax consultancy services
  • UK or USA individual and business tax returns
  • Specific bookkeeping, auditing, and accounting tasks
  • CPA assistance with any tax or finance questions
  • Tax research for small businesses
  • Configure Woocommerce taxes and terms
  • …and so on.

Of course, financial advice is more comprehensive. It could include stock investment advice, debt management consulting, business advice, feasibility study of investment products, and so on.

You must have extensive financial knowledge (or accreditation) when you decide to offer tax and finance assistance. If you wish to go beyond Fiverr, I wrote a guide about working from home as a financial advisor or places to find bookkeeping jobs online.

12. Resume and Cover Letter Writer

Some people find writing a resume or cover letter challenging, so they ask other people to help them. This could mean:

  • Writing resumes on a document from scratch
  • Editing an existing resume to be used for a specific job application
  • Writing a cover letter
  • Fixing a LinkedIn profile on another person’s behalf

As with most top selling Fiverr gigs, the quickest someone submits the job, the more in-demand the providers become, especially if the end-product was satisfactory.

13. Illustrator, Animator, Canva Designer

In this day and age where content providers are everywhere, if you’re an illustrator or animator with talent, you can offer any kind of service on Fiverr. Canva, the graphic design platform with a drag-and-drop feature that makes creating graphics 10x easier, is an in-demand Fiverr job as well.

Fiverr’s graphics and design category is one of the most popular categories on the site since the turnaround times by most providers are exceptionally fast.

14. Mobile app and Game developer

Ever since smartphones became the norm, the development of mobile apps has continued to be an ever-evolving industry. Even in 2021, I’m sure the demand for mobile apps continues. This also goes for game development. There will always be a need for a new app/game, and there will always be people eating them up.

15. Podcast-related services

People who want to build a podcast business can seek the help of various talents to create stuff like podcast cover art, podcast intro/outro, DJ drops, podcast logo, podcast marketing, podcast consulting, and so on.

Did You Find these Top Selling Fiverr Gigs Interesting?

You don’t need to take up all these top-selling Fiverr gigs to get ahead of the pack. Decide on the best skill you have, match it with one or two of the gigs above, craft an awesome-looking Fiverr listing (or hire someone to do it for you if writing isn’t your thing), and get working for a lucrative year this 2021.

And if you need more info, here are 7 ways to make more money with Fiverr, and learn from the secrets to success of these 3 top Fiverr earners.

How to Self Publish a Book: A Comprehensive Guide for 2021

Many of us have toyed with the notion of writing a book. Now, thanks to the internet and technological advances, even amateurs can learn how to self-publish a book.

Who knows? You might just be the next breakout bestselling author!

Contrary to popular belief, self-publishing a book isn’t exclusive to mediocre

Don’t believe me? Here are some successful works that were self-published:

  • “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James
  • ”Switched” by Amanda Hocking
  • ”Diary of a Mad Fat Girl” by Stephanie McAfee
  • ”No Thanks” by E.E. Cummings
  • ”Still Alice” by Lisa Genova
  • ”Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman
  • ”The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield
  • ”The Martian” by Andy Weir
  • ”Eragon” by Christopher Paolini
  • ”A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf
  • ”The Wake” by Paul Kingsnorth
  • ”Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
  • ”Double Persephone” by Margaret Atwood
  • ”Spartacus” by Howard Fast
  • ”A Naked Singularity” by Sergio De La Pava
  • ”Ulysses” by James Joyce

Convinced?

In today’s article, you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to self-publish a book, the 12 best self-publishing companies for authors, and tips to be a successful self-published author.

2 Major Reasons to Go the Self-Publishing Route

Want to learn more about self-publishing and why it is the better choice than partnering with publishers?

Here are the two best reasons:

1. You can earn more money with self-published books

In traditional publishing, new authors often have no choice but to sign away rights to their book for a certain number of years.

In exchange, the author earns a book advance of about $5K and around 5% to 8% royalties on all book sales.

Bigger publishing companies do this and continue supporting the author with marketing, book tours, promotions, and follow-up possibilities.

Unfortunately, this is rare. Authors usually have to deal with their book’s own marketing and shoulder PR campaigns themselves, which can cost anywhere from $5k to $10k per campaign.

In contrast, a self-publishing author pays for the printing costs upfront. With options like print-on-demand (POD), this isn’t such a burden even for first-time authors.

You may pay as little as a few bucks for each printed book (and far less for an ebook), which in turn allows you to price your book fairly and to keep more money for yourself.

2. You keep 100% of the publishing rights with you

Traditional publishers shoulder the initial costs of your book production but get most of the control over the rights of the book for up to 5 years.

For some unlucky authors who didn’t know better, they may have unknowingly signed away all their rights to their book(s) forever.

The one with a bigger percentage of publishing rights can control many details of the book, including retail price, ebook promotions, potential follow-ups of the book, and so on.

As such, giving away your publishing rights will tie your hands regarding the success/failure of your book.

You simply can’t decide on anything major about the book’s production, promotion, or sales.

Meanwhile, self-publishing your book removes the middleman, leaving you total control of everything: from printing to marketing to the expansion of the book into a series, or adaptation into an ebook or audiobook, maybe even into a film or television series. You never know!

How to Self Publish a Book

The steps to self-publishing a book may be slightly different between personal situations, locations, budgets, and whatnots, but most authors follow either of these two paths:

  1. Authors become their own publisher – With this route, you’ll be the author and publishing house in one.
  2. Authors join Self-Publishing Companies – With this route, the author will decide everything from editors, book art, book format, pricing, and then upload the complete book on his/her chosen self-publishing website. As the author, potential buyers buy your book from the website, which then prints the book and ships it straight to the buyer. You then receive royalties of your book at a scheduled payout, or if earnings are allowed to be withdrawn at any time.

For those wishing to be their own publisher, here are the steps you need to take:

How to Self-Publish a Book in 7 Steps

1. Write your book

Of course, we shouldn’t even be discussing self-publishing if you don’t have a book to publish.

Think long and hard about what you want to write about, think about your target audience, create your manuscript, and proofread it.

If you can, find a few trusted friends who are able to provide honest feedback about your book and have them read your draft. Revise your draft according to your reader feedback.

The next step is to copy edit your book yourself, but you may be too close to your work to be able to effectively and objectively copy edit it. It’s a good idea to hire a freelance copy editor to do this part for you.

2. Design and format your book

When you’re done writing your book, spend considerable time thinking of a book title that will catch your intended audience’s eye and sound good in marketing materials.

Aside from the book title, your book cover is one of the first things that potential readers will look at when shopping around, especially if you’re selling print copies of your book.

If you’re a designer or an artist, you might want to design your book cover yourself, or you can hire a professional.

You’ll also have to format the interior of your book; the fonts, spacing, indentations, illustrations (if any) have to be formatted correctly.

3. Pick a publisher name and incorporate

Once you have a book, you’re ready for the next step, which is to officially be a publisher.

When thinking of your publisher name, take inspiration from big publishing houses like HarperCollins or Random House. Choose a catchy name you’ll be proud of, but don’t use your real name.

Make sure you incorporate your publishing business into an LLC.

This will protect you from potentially losing personal assets if your business is being sued by employees, consultants, freelancers, and even other people your company didn’t hire. Click here for more information on why you should form an LLC.

4. Buy ISBNs in bulk

The International Standard Barcode Number (ISBN) is a 13-digit number that identifies a book as well as different formats of that book (e.g., edition, audiobook, ebook).

Most booksellers and distributors require an ISBN before they will list a book. Libraries also use ISBNs to locate book titles.

It doesn’t make sense to buy a single ISBN, especially if you mean to publish your book in multiple formats and plan to write sequels or follow up versions.

5. Copyright your book

If you want to protect your book from being re-published as someone else’s “original” material, you’ll need to copyright it.

You also can’t sue anybody for copyright infringement of your book unless you first register that book with the US Copyright Office (assuming you live in the U.S.).

6. Print your book

There are many book printers out there and, as a new publisher, you are going to be best served by a printer that is linked to Ingram Content Group, a large, U.S.-based distributor of books, music, and other media.

Currently, Ingram distributes to over 38,000 retailers, libraries, schools in 195 countries.

If you’d rather stick with just one distribution channel such as Amazon, you could print your book through CreateSpace, which is a subsidiary of Amazon.

The main benefit to setting Amazon as an exclusive distributor is that you get a higher profit margin on your book. And because Amazon has no rights to the book, you can switch your distributor at any time.

7. Market your book

Create a website for your publishing company as well as your book(s).

Work the social network circuit and post your business as well as its product(s) on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Talk with other small publishers and find out how they are promoting their products and through which channels.

If you’re self-publishing an ebook, you can work with book promotion websites that place your book in front of new readers. There are both free and paid book promotion websites, such as Goodreads and BookBub.

14 Best Self-Publishing Companies

If you choose to self-publish, you will likely work with a self-publisher that will provide you with a set of services including formatting, cover design, copyright registration, distributor listing, etc. in exchange for a set fee.

The cost of printing is fairly even across the board with most self-publishers—or at least it should be—because most self-publishing companies use either an in-house or third-party print-on-demand service provider of their choice.

For those looking to work with the best self-publishing companies, here are your top choices:

1. Kindle Direct Publishing

The most popular of all self-publishing companies simply because it is directly from retail giant Amazon, so your book will be included in the Kindle store.

KDP has its own platform to layout your book if you haven’t done so.

Uploaded books will be reviewed in under 10 minutes, so if your book passes, it can go live on the Amazon marketplace hours after being accepted.

There’s no fee to self-publish with Kindle Direct Publishing, plus you earn 70% of book royalties.

2. Smashwords

Many indie authors feel right at home here, since Smashwords isn’t like traditional publishing companies.

Authors receive up to 80% royalties and receive monthly PayPal payments (with only a penny payment threshold).

It partners with Findaway Voices for audiobook production and distribution.

3. Kobo Writing Life

Kobo (yeah the ebook reader brand) followed the footsteps of Kindle Direct Publishing with its own Kobo Writing Life service.

There does seem to be a huge difference.

Kobo lets authors keep their downloaded ePub file after the conversion, which means you’d be able to share a digital copy of your book with your friends and family instead of asking them to pay.

Authors keep 70% of royalties as long as your ebook is priced more than $2.99, but you are in control of prices and promotions.

You also own the rights to your books completely and you’re allowed to publish elsewhere too.

4. Blurb

Although this UK-based company became famous for printing photography books, Blurb also has a platform for authors to lay out their work, promote and distribute the books through its own Blurb store, Amazon, Ingram, and other self-publishing sites.

5. Outskirts Press

Probably one of the lowest rates in the self-publishing industry, Outskirts Press has been a favorite among authors for years now.

This Colorado-based company makes it homey for authors, giving out prizes to “Best Book of the Year” with a $1,500 price annually, promoting books day in day out, and millions of dollars in royalties since it launched in 2002.

6. Lulu

This site offers pretty much the same self-publishing options as the rest of this list, but they’ve been known to have superb editorial and marketing add-on services.

7. Xlibris

Known for professional customer support and an easy-to-use interface, Xlibris gives its authors royalties ranging from 10% to 50%, depending on factors such as when you joined Xlibris, type of book (printed vs. digital), and so on.

Xlibris is popular for its author events, which definitely provide a much-needed push, especially for new authors.

8. BookBaby

Don’t be fooled by the cuteness of its name.

This company provides a complete self-publishing experience (if you need to) and mix-and-match self-publishing services if you just need help with printing, or distribution, or ebook conversion, and so on.

9. Barnes & Noble Press

Barnes & Noble has a pretty strong ebook sales record, even if it doesn’t go outside the United States.

This company is a solid publishing house with a massive collection of books, so it is definitely worthy of a spot while you’re considering which of the best self-publishing companies to go for.

10. IngramSpark

Ingram Book Company is the largest distributor and wholesaler of books in the US.

It is also one of the best self-publishing companies around the world with its 50+ years of history in the field.

11. Draft2Digital

Like the other services on its list, Draft2Digital offers complete self-publishing services, from formatting, publishing, marketing, and tracking sales of your book.

With its user-friendly interface and excellent customer service, Draft2Digital is one of the most trusted self-publishing platforms for up and coming authors.

12. PublishDrive

PublishDrive is one of the newest companies on this list, but it works with both local and international publishers, opening up your ebook to millions of potential readers.

Also, once you’re an established author and making plenty of money, you have the option of paying $100 a month in exchange for keeping 100% of your royalties.

13. Apple Books

Apple sells the majority of the world’s ebooks, after Amazon of course.

As an author, you can join Apple Books as an author and sell your ebook and audiobook.

14. Google Play Book Partner Center

Of course, if you’re taking on Apple, make sure you cover the Android crowd as well.

How much money can you earn from a self-published book?

For every book sold, the self-publisher and you will split the profit- also known as the royalty- in some way.

Hopefully, the split is at least 50/50. There is also the book printing cost to consider, as well as any discount rates offered by a retailer like Amazon.

In the end, your profit margin might look like this:

  • Retail price of your book ($14.95) – printing cost ($5.00) – discount rate ($2) = profit ($7.95)
  • profit x (0.50 publisher royalty) = $3.98 royalty for you, $3.98 royalty for self-publisher
  • A hypothetical $3.98 from a book that costs $14.95 is not very much profit for you; however, this is at least a healthy 26.5% royalty. By comparison, consider how traditional publishers often give authors only a 5-8% royalty, meaning a profit of just $0.74 – $1.20 per book sold.

However, even if a self-publisher states that it takes only 50% of the profit, there are ways that it can pad its bottom line.

That padding is typically done by pumping up printing costs.

As a result, it’s imperative that you know the expected price of printing a book.

7 Must-Follow Tips on Self-Publishing a Book

Want to know how to self publish a book successfully?

The answer all boils down to marketing.

Here are 7 book marketing tips you can do, even without experience or tons of funds:

1. Learn about your target audience

When you’re writing a book, the aim shouldn’t be to sell to everyone.

Find your niche; that is, the topics that you know you can confidently write about and certain people will value.

Get to know who your target audience is: a group of people who will find your book valuable and useful.

Think about problems you can help solve, or who will be interested in your expertise.

2. Brainstorm heavily for your title and cover

I know I’ve mentioned it, but I can’t stress it enough: First impressions last.

Your book title and book cover should be interesting, professional, and invoke something in the reader that grabs their attention.

Another important thing to remember is that your book cover should be able to convey what your book is about, or at least its tone.

For instance, serious nonfiction books should have more somber color tones and images, such as a gray or dark blue palette. Holiday-themed books may have red and green, while young adult books may have bright colors.

3. Pick the right author bio and picture

This is particularly important for new authors since your author bio introduces you to the world.

Remember that your bio is there so that readers can get a bit more of a feel for who you are because they are not just buying a story or a self-help book; they’re investing in a person: you.

In the same vein, you have to pick your author photo carefully as well.

4. Prepare your synopsis

Your synopsis will affect sales quite dramatically.

If the synopsis makes the story sound dull or the contents sound uninspiring then the potential purchaser will move onto the next one.

Consider the synopsis to be your initial sales pitch: it has to grab the user, based on the genre and suck them in.

5. Join or build a community

Self-published authors are generally lone writers, and marketing your book is hard work.

It might then be worthwhile to join a “tribe” (I recommend Self-Publishing School) of your fellow authors to help spread the load a bit.

This can be as little as just chatting with people online to share tips and advice, or you could go a similar route as Discover Sci-Fi. This group is a bunch of Sci-Fi authors who have self-published on Amazon and have banded together to help promote each other’s books and sales.

This method allows for a greater reach, especially if each author promotes the group to their own audience.

If done correctly, it becomes a win-win situation: authors gain a wider reach and readers gain access to unknown authors and read something new.

6. Maintain a website and build a mailing list

There are zero excuses for an author to not have a website.

A website is a focal point for the author to sell or presell books, as well as a way for your readers to gain better insight into your mind.

A website can be as basic as a single page with a blurb and link to buy your book on booksellers like Amazon. Or it can be more fleshed out, with a blog, About page, Contact page, Media page, and other useful information.

From a marketing point of view, a site with a blog is an absolute minimum.

A blog allows you to gain SEO advantages and also to give a glimpse into your life, connect with your readership, promote sales events, announce new book releases, and update your audience with what’s going on with you.

While you’re at it, consider building a mailing list. This is where you’d be sending freebies, news about your books, and other ways of promoting your book.

Make it count.

7. Make your online presence felt

There are so many social networks out there that using social media as a method of marketing can be daunting.

My advice here is to pick one or two (say Twitter and Facebook) and focus exclusively on them.

Social media should be considered as a way to promote you as an author rather than a specific book. That’s not to say that you can’t let your followers know about your books and any offers etc. but it should not be the main focus.

Use these networks instead to connect with people, discuss topics in your preferred genre, and to give shoutouts for other authors and books that you respect or enjoy.

How To Self-Publish A Book Successfully

I hope this comprehensive guide helps you self publish a book successfully.

Know that book publishing is both a personal and professional decision that is not undertaken lightly.

There is a ton of work involved in just completing the manuscript, then having it ripped up (I mean, edited), and finally in promoting the book.

But for some professionals, publishing a book helps promote their careers and give them legitimacy. For others, being a self-published author becomes their career.

Maybe a book is a chance to leave some kind of legacy. And for still others, a book can be the key to eventual fame and fortune.

Planning to self-publish a book soon? What’s it about? Share it with us in the comments!

5 Ways You Can Get Paid to Quit Smoking

If you’ve been a smoker for a long time and have tried every method of smoking cessation to no avail, maybe the idea of getting paid to quit smoking might help you finally give up on cigarettes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 70% of smokers say they want to stop, but only about 6% of them succeed.

The nicotine in cigarettes is so addictive that current statistics show that it can take a smoker up to 30 attempts before they succeed, even if they know the negative consequences to their health and their loved ones’ health.

Having the right support can make all the difference. Smoking cessation programs focus on nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), medication, counseling/therapy, or all three.

But a recent study has shown that monetary incentives work. Smokers in the study who received cash rewards were more likely to have stopped smoking compared to those who didn’t.

So, how can you get paid to quit smoking?

5 Ways You Can Get Paid to Quit Smoking

Aside from the money you’ll save by not buying cigarettes anymore, there are additional ways you can also make money on top of kicking this habit.

Here are the 5 best ways to get paid to quit smoking.

1. Join a Paid Clinical Trial

The medical and research industries actually want people to succeed in quitting smoking. They’ve been paying volunteers to participate in clinical trials for years.

These paid clinical trials are offered by the government, non-profit organizations, and private companies. They’re mostly involved in the development of smoking cessation products, such as patches, inhalers, gum, prescription tablets, and other quit smoking aids.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Get free tools — You may receive free patches, meds, training materials, and other tools needed for the study. Sometimes, you also get vouchers, transportation passes, and other extras to make it easier for you to participate in the trial.
  • Get paid after the study — To make sure volunteers participate until the end of the clinical trial, payment is given after the study.
  • Payment amount varies — You can get paid to quit smoking for a couple of hundred dollars for a day or two of clinical trials. The longer the duration of the trial, the higher you can get paid. For example, a study may pay $1,500 for a two-week commitment wherein you’ll need to physically go to a center each morning and get your heart rate checked.

You can find clinical trials in local universities, local hospitals, and research centers.

For example, Duke University’s Center for Smoking Cessation is currently researching whether using electronic cigarettes and nicotine patches can help people stop smoking regular cigarettes.

I keep an updated list of paid clinical studies here, as well as a list of paid online research studies. Check these pages regularly as there may be studies targeting smokers specifically.

The National Institute of Health’s website ClinicalTrials.gov also keeps an up to date list of quit-smoking clinical trials from both government agencies and private organizations.

2. Find a Program From a Private Organization

You can find plenty of support from the private sector. Some pay cash for you to get into a quit-smoking program, while others give away free aids.

  • NoButts.org — If you’re a California resident, you may be eligible for a two-week supply of free nicotine patches, sent directly to you. To see if you qualify, call 1-800-NO-BUTTS (1-800-662-8887).
  • Quit Partner — Minnesota residents can sign up to receive free quit medications (choose from nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges) along with a customized quit guide. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to sign up.
  • NY SmokeFree — If you’re a resident of New York State, you can get up to a three-month supply of free nicotine gum. To find out if you qualify, call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487), apply online, or request a call from them.

Even your church and other similar organizations have partnered with the federal government in giving support to people who are quitting smoking.

The CDC has a list of faith-based organizations with smoking cessation programs for their community.

3. Let the Government Help You

It has been proven that the government can save 50x more money for every dollar spent on helping people quit smoking.

In fact, California’s tobacco control program saved $134 billion in personal health care expenditures from its start in 1989 to 2008. That’s a whopping ROI of $55 saved for every $1 spent on the program.

As such, both the national and local governments offer plenty of smoking cessation programs.

Probably the most important and significant out of all the U.S. government’s programs come from The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which pays potential quitters with money through Medicare, Traditional Medicaid, Medicaid Expansion, or other health insurance plans.

The American Lung Association lists down all health plans and the type of smoking cessation program covered.

4. Ask Your Employer

Employers know that they can save up to $5,000 annually for every employee who quits smoking.

Not only do smoking cessation programs extend the lives of employees, but it also saves the company money from lowered healthcare costs, increased workplace productivity (since there are less smoking breaks), and prevented premature deaths.

Aside from participating in clinical studies, some companies also create their own smoking cessation programs.

In 2015, the National Business Group on Health surveyed 121 large companies and discovered that that the average money won by those deciding to quit smoking was $900 every year.

The cash incentive varies from one company to the next. For example:

  • A 200-employee-strong IT company may offer $300 in reimbursements a year to employees buying smoking-cessation aids or meds
  • A 50-employee ad agency may give an employee a $250 check to quit smoking.
  • An architectural firm may pay an employee $300 to get an age-appropriate checkup (with an extra $300 if they take their spouse with them).

Even if most companies pay only up to $500 a year, cash incentives are still effective for some people.

Unfortunately, companies are having trouble going all-in on cash-based smoking cessation programs because non-smokers are finding them unfair.

Non-smokers do have a bigger percentage discount on health insurance, while smokers can pay up to 18% in penalties as long as they continue their smoking habit.

5. Find Extra Money from Quitting

These methods do not actually reward an ex-smoker any money, but these are the ways that your decision to quit smoking will result in extra money in the bank.

These include:

Tax savings from cigarettes

The government increases the taxes for cigarettes and alcoholic drinks regularly in hopes of discouraging people from buying them. Unfortunately, based on government statistics, levying heavy taxes on cigarettes doesn’t seem to inspire people to quit smoking.

The taxes on a single pack of cigarettes range from 17¢ to $5.10, depending on which state you live in.

If you smoke a pack a day in New York (a state which adds $4.35 taxes per pack), you can easily save $130/month or a whopping $1,500/year just by quitting your smoking habit.

That’s money in your pocket instead of ash in your ashtray.

Note that this only your savings in tax, which is on top of your savings in the actual retail price of the cigarettes.

Health insurance savings

Like the tax savings you get from quitting smoking, the savings you get from your health insurance premiums will be significant enough that you can afford an annual trip, or buy the newest smartphone every year.

Insurance companies are given the right to charge up to 50% higher premiums on health plans for smokers.

It’s written under the Affordable Care Act, too! As such, if you’ve been a smoker for over a decade or so, you could be paying double the amount compared to a regular health plan for a non-smoker and their family.

Translated to its monetary value, that’s more or less $300 to $500 extra premium/year that you’ve been paying as a smoker. Of course, this amount will depend on the insurer, your health plan, and the state where you reside in.

“Get Paid to Quit Smoking” Apps

You can find many awesome quit-smoking apps for both Android and iOS.

But if you’re training your mind to turn off instant gratification, which many smokers claim cigarette-smoking offers them, these 3 apps show you your progress in reaching personal rewards/goals:

These apps have all the basic features (money saved, number of cigarette sticks NOT smoked, health benefits, and so on).

What separates them from the rest is that they show you various rewards you can get if you stop smoking, which is a pretty good motivational tool for people who prefer some kind of incentive for their decision.

Time to Kick the Habit and Live a Healthier Lifestyle

I hope you can find one or a few programs from the list above that can help you actually get paid to quit smoking.

While you’re quitting smoking, you may want to change other aspects of your lifestyle to lead a healthier life. Why not get paid to lose weight, get paid to walk, or get paid to eat?

Or if quitting smoking has got you feeling idle and don’t want to do anything, know that you can get paid to do nothing as well.

Are you going to quit smoking today? Share your stories with us and other smokers intending to quit in the comments!

7 Ways You Can Make Money By Homebrewing Beer

How To Make Money From Homebrewing Beer

Homebrewing has become a popular hobby over the past few years, and knowing how to brew your own beer isn’t such a mystery anymore. In fact, homebrewers are now looking for ways to make money from homebrewing beer, if only to recoup the costs of raw materials and equipment.

You might already have thought to sell and distribute your homebrewed beer, but once you start doing this, you’re already considered a commercial brewer.

This means you’ll have to get various permits and licenses, not only a liquor license to sell alcoholic beverages, but also permits to even produce the beer at volume.

All these permits and licenses, as well as the various inspections required to obtain these permits, cost even more money.

In today’s post, learn some tips on how to make some money from homebrewing beer; probably not enough for you to do this full-time but at least provide some side cash to allow you to continue your hobby without straining your budget.

How To Make Money From Homebrewing Beer

Before I go any further, note that this article assumes that you’ve been homebrewing your own beer for a while and have extensive knowledge and experience in it.

The different ways to earn side cash from homebrewing are divided below into 6 different categories.

1. Writing

Probably the simplest thing you can do to make money from homebrewing beer is to write about it.

Write about homebrewing

If you’re going into writing to earn some side cash, the first thing you need to do is to create your own website and start a blog. You’ll need your own space to post your portfolio and where potential clients can contact you to commission an article.

Next, hone your keyword research and SEO skills so that your articles can be indexed by search engine bots and increase the probability that those who search for your article can find it.

Then, find blogs, magazines, and journals focused on homebrewing beer (such as Brew Your Own magazine) and reach out to them for an opportunity to write articles and posts for them and get paid.

You can also earn money through sponsored blog posts where you write about whatever product or service they want you to feature.

Drive up the popularity of your blog such that you have a few thousand views monthly, and then reach out to companies who sell homebrewing-related merchandise: equipment, raw materials, containers, storage, etc.

Another way you can get paid for your writing is to write an eBook and sell it on your website as well as on Amazon. You can either write an extensive homebrewing tutorial eBook or compile your recipes into a cookbook.

2. Affiliate marketing

If you already have a modestly popular website and a blog, you can also go into affiliate marketing.

In case you’re not familiar with it, affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other retailers’ products or services through your channels in exchange for a commission.

Since you already have your niche (homebrewing) and tend to write articles all about that on your blog, being an affiliate for homebrewing-related products is just one more step you have to take to start making money through homebrewing.

Perhaps the simplest program to join is Amazon’s affiliate program, called Amazon.com Associates. This program is good for raw materials, such as malt and hops, as well as small equipment, such as fermenters and filters.

There are also specific affiliate programs in the homebrewing and beer niches, which are a Google search away.

Affiliate marketing allows you to practice and hone your marketing and sales skills without having to maintain an inventory.

However, your income is limited to your commissions, which are determined by the affiliate programs.

3. Selling homebrewing materials and equipment

A more direct way to earn money from homebrewing beer is to sell essential supplies to other homebrewers.

You might not be able to earn consistently from selling equipment, because they tend to last long before they need to be replaced.

Homebrew Ingredients

By contrast, selling raw materials may be a more viable way to earn, as raw materials are consistently used up and those that aren’t, quickly expire, so homebrewers tend to buy these more frequently.

You might also want to sell homebrewing kits, wherein everything homebrewers need to produce a batch are all included.

You can sell through your own website, which allows you to control the quantity and quality of your inventory, how you market your products, and how much profit you take home per item.

However, it does require you to be very hands-on: from contacting suppliers and ordering from them, to setting up your online store and generating traffic to it, taking payments, shipping out orders, and customer service.

Selling on third-party e-commerce sites such as Amazon or eBay, on the other hand, gives you the chance to place your products on a high-traffic website and get them in front of more potential buyers, increasing the chances that they will buy your products.

The downside is that you have less control over which products are marketed, how they’re being marketed, and at what price.

4. Teaching

If you’re naturally inclined to teach or create learning materials, you can use these skills to earn some side cash from homebrewing.

Homebrew Teaching

Creating online courses on homebrewing on your own website or on MOOCs can be a source of recurring side cash. You only have to create the course material once and update it periodically, while aspiring homebrewers continually ordered your courses.

If you want a more practical teaching gig, you can set up your own small classes in a venue where you can demonstrate homebrewing in-person to your participants. Include a handout and their very own homebrewing kit so they can brew their batch at the same time.

You can also check nearby local community colleges if they have openings for short-term instructors to teach homebrewing to students.

5. Vlogging

If you’re already writing in your blog on your website, think of vlogging as another avenue to create and present content and earn more side cash.

Some ideas for videos include step-by-step homebrewing tutorials of how to brew different types of beer, troubleshooting homebrew processes, answering FAQs, and features of other popular homebrewers.

YouTube is still the most popular vlogging platform for monetization because it has been around the longest and it’s the most established.

You can apply to show YouTube ads on your videos, but some content creators who have tried this have reported that YouTube doesn’t pay much for content that’s not considered “family-friendly” content.

Homebrewing may be considered a banal hobby to many, but since it involves alcoholic beverages, it may also be considered an “adult” hobby.

You might have a better chance of making money by going into affiliate marketing and then using your YouTube videos to promote these affiliate links.

Read up on Google/YouTube Terms of Service as well. In practice, though, YouTube is pretty tolerant, especially if they are few and relevant, (i.e., directly related to the subject of the video), they are unshortened and properly labeled as affiliate links, the links are not overemphasized, and if the content is valuable and high-quality.

These will allow you to fly under the radar. Remember, though, that YouTube will target your video and your channel if they decide that the only purpose of your channel is to push your affiliate links to your viewers and drive traffic there.

The same strategy, that is, promoting through your YouTube channel, can also be done if you’re selling from your own website. YouTube can be a bit more forgiving if you link to your own website as opposed to affiliate websites.

Be aware that YouTube isn’t your only option, though. Check out Twitch, TikTok, and these other alternatives.

6. Licensing out your recipe

If you happen to concoct an awesome recipe or recipes, you can actually benefit more from it aside from making yourself these delicious brews.

You can license out your recipes to third-party distributors, such as Noble Brewer, who will take care of contracting professional craft brewers to produce beer from your recipe.

The distributor then sends out shipments containing bottles of beer produced from different homebrew recipes to craft beer enthusiasts who crave something different per month.

7. Consulting

When you’ve been homebrewing beer for a while, you probably know enough to be a consultant.

Answer questions from other homebrewers, help bars and restaurants with their beer selections, and even work up to lending your expertise and knowledge to medium- to large-scale breweries.

If you’ve already started with your own website, blog, and/or vlog, you’re already a step ahead as you’ve probably demonstrated your knowledge and addressed some common concerns of homebrewers.

The next step is to actually broadcast that you offer a consultancy service and to contact you for details. If you haven’t already, set up a contact form on your website so those who have inquiries can easily contact you directly.

If you start receiving inquiries from bars and pubs, then so much the better, but you can also do the outreach yourself. Start local and expand the area covered by your outreach so you don’t get overwhelmed early on.

The more successful consultants sincerely aim to improve beer culture in their area through supporting other homebrewers and promoting all the best brews that the community has to offer.

Start Making Money From Homebrewing Beer Today!

One of the biggest perks of brewing your own beer is that you never have to buy beer again, but hopefully, you’ve learned that you can also earn some side cash from homebrewing.

Turn Your Homebrewing Hobby Into A Business!

If you’re a homebrewer who has a real passion for the art and craft of brewing beer, you might dream of owning your own brewery or taproom and turn it into a business.

When you’ve figured out that you have enough time and money to pursue brewing as a full-time business, here is our guide on how to start a brewery.

Which method of earning side cash are you interested in doing? Are there any other monetization methods that I haven’t mentioned? Tell us in the comments!

9 Places That Pay You To Live There and Start Anew

8 Places That Pay You To Live There

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 Places That Pay You To Live There

1. Alaska

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

“Do you get paid to live in Alaska?”

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

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

Get Paid to Live in Alaska

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

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

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

Incentive: Cash; amount varies

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

2. Vermont

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

Confused? Let me explain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Tulsa, Oklahoma

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

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

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

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

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

4. Hamilton, Ohio

Student loans are a pain in the butt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Maine

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

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

Get paid to live in Maine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Albinen, Switzerland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Candela, Italy

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

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

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

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

Incentive: Cash; amount varies

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

8. Kansas

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

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

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

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

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

You can download the application form here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Incentive: Incentives vary per town/city

More information about eligibility requirements and the application process:

9. Ireland

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

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

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

Incentive: Varies with the business development stage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Rent Your House Out and Embrace the Airbnb Era

If you own a house, extra room, condo unit, or any other type of similar property that’s unoccupied entirely, most of the year, or even just for a few days a year, you probably want to know how to rent your house out to make some side cash.

Well, today’s your lucky day!

You can rent out this space and make some extra side cash. You can even turn this into a full-time earning machine if you go with a rental agent.

And because the Airbnb era is here, even ordinary homeowners can accommodate renters and guests short-term.

Read on for a comprehensive guide to renting out your house.

3 Options for Renting Out Your House

If you’re planning to rent your house out, you need to be armed with information about taxes, maintenance costs, as well as pros and cons for all the options available to you.

These details will help you decide if you’re ready to rent out your house to someone else either temporarily (via services like Airbnb) or long-term (advertised on your own or managed by a third-party rental agent).

1. Long-term Rentals

There are various instances wherein long-term rentals may be best suited for you. These include:

  • Getting a newly inherited property
  • Having a second property, such as a summer house, that you only visit a couple of times a year
  • You’re the only one living in a big house
  • You invested in a condo unit, but have no immediate reason for leaving your current home

Those who would benefit from long-term rentals are people with extra space or property aside from the one they currently reside in.

The main benefit of renting out your house long-term is that the extra income is definitely significant and consistent.

There are, of course, downsides to long-term rentals, including:

  • Property destruction — The longer tenants stay in your property, the higher the chances your property will get destroyed, whether it was intentional or not. Some landlords specify that no young kids and pets are allowed, since they’ve been known to mess up paint jobs, carpet, and other house features more quickly than older kids and households without pets.
  • Insurance — No matter how long you rent out your home, that space becomes an investment property. As a result, you’ll have to obtain insurance specified by the state where your property is in. Airbnb has some insurance offered to hosts renting out their properties, but it’s still better to check with your insurance provider because factors like the length of the lease can affect the premiums.
  • Local regulations — Aside from insurance, check with city hall about local condo regulations, professional lease or landlord agreements, and so on. You have to be updated with these things since breaking laws can cost you a lot in terms of fines and loss of potential income.
  • Collecting rent can be difficult — If you’re not hiring a property manager (more on this later), it means you’ll have to collect rent by yourself, which can be a challenging task.

Traditional real estate websites, such as Rent.com, Realtor.com, Homes.com, Zillow, Zumper (and so on) will let you list your homes as long-term rentals. Some of these sites come with a fee for two or more properties, while others rely on advertising for revenue so landlords can list for free.

2. Short-term Rentals

Short-term rentals would be better for homeowners who have an extra room, extra floor, a garage, or other spaces they could rent out temporarily.

The main benefit of going this route is that you can even be residing in the property for rent and only make it available during certain periods. For example, if you go on a yearly trip overseas, you can list your property on Airbnb only during those days, weeks, or months.

The downside to renting out your house on a short-term basis include:

  • Tax Responsibilities — In the eyes of the IRS, “short-term rentals” shouldn’t go beyond 14 days in a year. If it does, you’ll need to file it properly. FYI, Airbnb automatically sends tax forms documenting all income to the IRS, so if you skip your tax responsibilities, don’t be surprised if you’ll still get a letter from the federal agency.
  • Less income — Unfortunately, making your place available to guests for only a limited time also means you’d receive less income. If you’re only looking for some side cash, then this could be the solution for you, but if you need this rental space to help with expenses monthly, short-term rentals may not help that much.
  • More clean-ups — Because the turnaround for vacation rental properties like this is high, you’d have to keep the place clean for the next guest. This is especially true if you’re planning to rent out your place every weekend. The good news to this though is that platforms such as Airbnb allow you to charge a cleaning fee, and there are services like Guesty to handle cleaning for you.

A Word about Renting Your Home Furnished vs. Unfurnished

Whether you plan to rent your house short-term or long-term, you’d have to clean up your place and do a bit of sprucing up. This also means you have to remove your valuables, such as heirloom flower vases, jewelry, collector’s items, and so on.

Note that if you’re renting your house for only a few days, weeks or months, expect that tenants would prefer furnished homes. Depending on your circumstance and property, this could add costs for interior design.

People looking for homes to rent for a year or more usually look for unfurnished homes since it would make sense they’d bring in their furniture and other stuff for long-term residency.

3. Renting out Your Garage, Yard, and Other Outdoor Spaces

For those who don’t have space inside their homes or an extra property for rent, but live in a tourist destination city, you may earn some cash renting out your garage, yard, or other outdoor spaces.

Garage

Tourists traveling by car into your city (that has strict rules about parking just anywhere) will pay per day/night to avoid sky-high penalties, jail time, or getting towed. This is your chance to offer your garage for a fee. You can even choose a niche and cater to a specific vehicle type. For instance, if you have a large garage, you can advertise it as a parking space for SUVs, RVs, or even for boats.

If your garage has access to a functional bathroom, you can even deck out your garage into an extra room. It won’t be as fancy as villas and beachside properties, but if you offer fair pricing, there’s a good chance guests will bite.

Yeah, some people also need extra space for storing stuff. List your garage on websites like Stow It! and decide on your monthly rental fee.

Yard and other Outdoor Spaces

    • Weddings and other events — Depending on how spacious your garden is and how many people or tents you can accommodate, you can earn quite a substantial amount if you rent out your backyard even once a month. The downside is that even small events can have a ton of logistical issues. From problems with catering, bathroom, equipment, parking, even the weather can ruin events. Make sure you partner with an events coordinator before you list your yard for rent.
    • Campsite — With Instagram folks showing off their “glamping” (glamorous camping) adventures left and right, there’s a sudden spike for dressed up campsites. If your outdoor space has a good view of nature, try to build luxurious tents or campsites for this crowd and wait for the guests to come.

How Much Should You Charge for Rent and Security Deposit?

If you decide to rent out your house, you need to be aware that you can’t arbitrarily decide on how much rent to charge.

You’ll need to know the fair market rent for your house by doing research. Generally, your house should go for the same amount as other rental properties in the same area and are about the same size and condition.

You can start your research by looking at similar properties online.

The security deposit is a separate sum of money paid by a tenant to ensure that they fulfill the terms of their lease.

Because this is a deposit, this needs to be held in a separate bank account and returned to the tenant when they move out, minus any damages or losses that need to be repaired or replaced.

Should You Hire a Property Manager?

In contrast to rental agents, who focus on handling matters before the lease is signed, property managers take care of the property and tenants after the lease is signed.

Essentially, property managers are focused on customer service, property maintenance, rent collection, and other matters that involve the relationship between the landlord (that’s you), and the tenant.

A property manager will cost you additional in salaries, but if you don’t live on the property and/or don’t want to be bothered by these tedious yet necessary tasks, paying a property manager to do it should be worth it.

5 Ways to Rent Your House Out

Now that you know your options, if you decide that short-term leases are the best fit for you, the following is a list of sites and apps where you can list your house for rent.

Join one or all of the websites below, check out their rules, and list your property away.

1. Airbnb

Airbnb Hosting

Launched in 2008, this San Francisco-based company grew in record time thanks to how properties are shared on social media and the rise of travel bloggers seeking inexpensive yet Instagram-worthy vacation rentals.

Airbnb isn’t the oldest site like it, but with over 80 million monthly visitors, it surely leads the pack.

As the host, Airbnb lets you set the price per day and “required minimum stay,” which means you won’t have to worry about unappealing travel days (such as Sundays, or the day after a holiday).

2. Vrbo

Vrbo, short for “Vacation Rentals By Owner,” was launched in 1995 by David Clouse to rent out his condo. Since then, it has grown to list two million properties around the world and one of the best options to rent out your house.

Vrbo claims that members who list their properties receive an average of 120 inquiries per property every year, with its top members earning up to $60k annually from their Vrbo listing.

Hosts can choose from paid and free-to-list options. Paid members can further choose a subscription model ($499 per year) or pay-per-booking (pay around 5% for every property booked).

3. FlipKey

TripAdvisor is one of the most popular websites people go to when searching for reviews on hotels, beach resorts, and other rental properties from real travelers who have gone there. So when the company bought FlipKey, a platform that lets property owners list their space, it made perfect sense.

Similar to Airbnb, hosts pay FlipKey 3% on a pay-per-booking model. Unfortunately, guests suffer from the host’s low fee since they shoulder up to 18 percent more on top of the property’s fees.

This is kind of a bummer if you’re a guest. But as a host, just imagine the 448 million people visiting TripAdvisor each year that will remain untapped if you skip FlipKey and list your vacation rentals elsewhere.

4. Luxury Retreats

If you have luxury accommodation to offer, join Tripping.com’s Luxury Retreats and give guests an unforgettable experience.

Properties here come from all over the world and range from beachfront homes to vineyards, mini-mansions, and the like.

Note that since vacation rentals here are above the ordinary, the clients would expect personal concierge service, guest support, and other special services.

Plus, not everyone interested in renting out their house can list a property here (Luxury Retreats claim only 5% of applications are approved).

Homeowners don’t need to pay a sign-up or membership fee, but if your property is accepted you get to follow a pay-for-performance model.

5. VaycayHero

For homeowners with properties “on par with hotel chains,” VaycayHero may be the website to go to.

It’s a bit different from others on this list, as the San Francisco company vets all vacation properties ahead of time. It’s a win-win for guests and hosts!

Runners-up:

Final Thoughts

Everyone dreams of getting paid to do nothing. Renting out your house to other people is a legitimate and honest way to make quick money in one day (even while sleeping).

If you decided to rent out your property temporarily, you can list your property online on sites like Airbnb and its alternatives. The secret of a successful listing (aside from having an irresistible property) is effective marketing offline and online.

If you don’t have time to monitor listings across different websites, juggling upcoming guests, answering inquiries, clearing possible tenants, and handling paperwork, you can hire a rental agent who will handle almost everything for you, often for a fee or percentage of the booking. Aside from these, your rental agent will make sure that all local and state laws are followed during the process.

After the lease has been signed, it would be more convenient for you to hire a property manager so that you don’t have to be hands-on when it comes to collecting rent, scheduling repairs, and handling tenants’ concerns.

If you decide you don’t want to rent out your house, there are other things you can rent out to earn some side cash. Go over how to rent out your car, as well as this list of stuff you can rent out.

Are you planning to rent out your house? Did this article help you? Tell us in the comments!

How To Make Money From Your Phone: 17 Easy Ways

How much time per day do you spend looking at your phone? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could learn how to make money from your phone and get paid for the time you spend using it?

I’ve done a little bit of digging to find some cool apps that make you money.

With a little bit of work, you could stop watching Instagram stories of exotic locations and start posting some of your own.

How to Make Money on Your Phone: 17 Different Ideas to Try Out

The ideas below will help you make money from your phone by watching videos, surfing the web, taking pictures, etc.

Sign up for everything that looks appealing! The more apps you download, the more money you can make!

1. Get paid to surf the web and watch videos

Swagbucks is an absolute MUST join and you get $5.00 simply for signing up!

This site offers a smartphone app that enables you to earn Swagbucks (SB) for watching videos, answering surveys, and completing merchant offers.

You can also surf the Web using the Swagbucks toolbar and win additional SB. Once you have at least 300 SB, you can trade them in for Paypal payouts (or gift cards if you prefer).

2. Make $50 by downloading an app

Get a whopping $50 just to download the Nielsen app.

They currently are offering a $5 bonus on top of the $50 you get paid, making the total you can earn here $55!

You’ve likely heard of Nielsen in the past. You know when you hear of a TV show being canceled or renewed for a new season due to ratings?

Well, Nielsen is the company that assigns the ratings to TV shows.

They do this by tracking what their users watch. The more people watching a show, the better the chances are at renewal. If no one is watching, it will probably get canned.

They are expanding into new areas and want to know how people are using their phones.

As a thank you for helping them out, you’ll get paid $50 just to download their app.

It’s non-invasive and how you use your phone will help shape a lot of trends in pop culture.

Pretty cool, yeah?

3. Get paid to submit your receipts

Ibotta Special offer: Get a special $10 welcome bonus when you create your account!

Ibotta was one of the first rebate apps on the market and offers cashback on grocery, apparel, electronics, restaurant, pet, etc. purchases.

The rebate amounts are fairly high (as much as $1.50) and work across a number of stores.

Many qualifying rebates are brand-independent (e.g., $0.50 off any orange juice), while others require that you purchase a given brand at a certain store.

4. Answer questions and make money from your phone

VIP Voice pays you CASH to answer questions about famous brands.

Plus, they’ll drop money in your account just for signing up.

Vindale Research

The more questions you answer, the more money you can make!

5. Invest your spare change

Acorns is an app that offers a cool opportunity that will allow you to start investing your money without even realizing it.

Let’s say you head to Starbucks and buy a latte. The price comes out to $5.25.

Acorns will round up your purchase to $6.00 and take that extra 75 cents and invest it for you.

It’s an incredibly easy way to start saving money and building towards your future. They also recently started offering cash-back on purchases at most major retailers. Now you get your spare change invested, and a little extra.

Plus, you get $5.00 just for creating an account. Win-win.

6. Watch videos

InboxDollars pays you to watch videos on your phone.

It literally does not get any easier than this. Load up the videos you want to watch and your earnings will continue to grow with them.

Cash out to PayPal or in gift cards when you’re ready.

If you were wondering if they have a signup bonus as well, you’re in luck because $5.00 is yours for the taking.

7. Visit stores and mystery shop

Field Agent has you earning money by completing tasks such as checking store displays, taking photos of grocery shelves, finding specific store products, and going through checkout.

You can complete jobs and make money on your phone at almost any major retailer. The assigned job must be completed in a given amount of hours.

Payouts are made via PayPal.

8. Run errands while on your phone

GigWalk is a mobile app that offers you paid tasks while you’re on the go.

Gigwalk App

These tasks are geo-focused on your specific location and might include checking a street sign, verifying a transportation option, or examining a landmark.

After you apply for an assignment and complete it, your payment is sent to your PayPal account.

Once you prove your worth as a Gigwalker, you’ll be sent higher-paying (i.e., hundred-dollar) assignments.

9. Sell your photos and videos

You likely have a few thousand photos on your device. Here’s how you can make money from your phone and its giant photo gallery.

Upload photos on Foap app and they will pay you $5 a pop every time someone wants to use one of them.

Foap connects publishers with creators and you can make some decent money just by sharing access to your photos.

Keep in mind that simple candids of your cat likely aren’t going to fetch anything, but more creative shots showcasing interesting sights can definitely pull in extra money for you.

10. Test out new products

Survey Junkie is one of the oldest and most reputable survey companies online making this one of the easiest ways to make money from your phone.

Survey Junkie

You can get to try out new products before they ever hit the shelves.

Answer a few short questions about them and help the company shape the future of their product lines.

You can get paid directly to your PayPal account or cash in your rewards for gift cards.

11. Answer (more) questions

1Q pays you $0.25 or $0.50 for every question you receive and answer in a set amount of time.

You’ll receive a notification that a new set of questions is available to be answered.

For example, you might be asked how many times in the last week you used a foot moisturizing cream.

The number of questions you receive depends on your demographics and geographic location.

Payments are sent to your PayPal account.

12. Make money from your phone by testing websites and apps

Companies will pay you to test their apps before they launch through the UserTesting app.

You do need to successfully complete a sample test with this company, but once that’s done, you’ll be earning $10 for each app you download, test, and review (via voice recording) for UserTesting.

earn-money-for-user-testing

13. Do almost anything and get paid

Earnably pays you for seemingly random things: listening to the radio, completing surveys, viewing videos, and completing online offers.

What’s especially beneficial with Earnably is that the site pays you bonuses and increases your payout options as you advance on the site.

It takes just $2 in collected earnings before you can request a payout through PayPal or a gift card.

14. Listen to new music

SliceThePie allows you to check out new music and get paid for giving your opinions on it.

If you have time to kill and like listening to new bands, this app is absolutely perfect.

There are other ways to get paid to listen to music, but they might involve having to be on your computer.

15. Download free gift card apps

There are apps that you can download on your phone that pay you in gift cards for doing various tasks.

I say “tasks” but some of these involve playing games on your phone.

Go through our list of recommended apps, download a couple, and start earning.

16. Get paid to lose weight

Losing weight is usually a solitary endeavor, but what if you can bet on your success and compete with hundreds of other app users?

DietBet is an app that gives you the financial motivation to lose weight.

It hosts games where participants wager a bet on who can lose 4% of their body weight by the end of the competition period. DietBet keeps a percentage of the pot, but all participants who lose the required percentage split the rest.

Here are other options to get paid to lose weight.

17. Take care of other people’s pets

How to make money on your phone by playing with dogs?

Rover is the answer!

Rover connects pet owners with pet lovers who can take care of their pets while they’re away.

With Rover, you can walk dogs, take care of them during the day in your house, stay with the dogs in their house, or even board the dogs overnight for pet owners.

Providing a safe place for someone else’s pet can be rewarding and lucrative.

Final Thoughts About Making Money from Your Phone

Let’s be real.

You aren’t going to get rich by making money from your phone.

At best, you have the opportunity to bring in some extra cash while you sit on the couch and ignore The Office as it runs in the background.

If you’re looking for more serious ways of making money, I would suggest you look into a work from home job, or browse this list of passive income ideas for ways you can make money even while you sleep.

Do you know of other money-making mobile apps? Share it with us in the comments below.

15 Best Free Gift Card Apps To Install Now

I love using free gift card apps and finding new ones because I hate paying full price when I don’t have to, especially on items I don’t really need.

(Is there an Amazon Prime Anonymous?)

I’ve always been a bit of a frugal person and love trying out new ways to save (this blog stands as a testament to that) but I wouldn’t call myself a master at saving.

I don’t normally put in the effort and go to thrifty extremes to save as much money as possible.

Instead, I just turn to easy ways to spend less or get more out of my money—like getting free gift cards on mobile apps.

Here’s what makes them so great:

They offer one of the best ways to shop for what I want without all the guilt of spending more than I should. Plus it appeals to my greener side too—no paper!

It’s surprising how many apps out there give out free gift cards. And it’s just as surprising to learn how few people actually know about it. Which lead me to create this list of the best free gift card reward apps.

If you’re looking for an app that will suit your pocket and your lifestyle, then scroll on.

I’ve divided the apps into several categories so you can find what you’re looking for to start earning gift cards straight away.

Don’t have time to try out all the apps I’ve listed below? Then simply have a look at my top 4 picks for the best gift card apps and try those few out instead.

4 Best Apps for Free Gift Cards

Quickly find the app that best fits your needs and lifestyle:

For the best money > time spent ratio: Ebates

For the simplest gift card system: Ibotta

For the best assortment of gift cards: instaGC

For the easiest way to earn gift cards: Swagbucks

My absolute favorite app for free gift cards is Swagbucks. It’s super simple to use, offers a good points rewards system, and is still one of the most legitimate ways to earn free gift cards.

How do you earn free gift cards?

It’s never been easier to get free gift cards than now thanks to the many apps and websites out there that offer them.

Do keep in mind that while the gift cards are technically “free” you do have to exchange something for them.

Most of the time it is access to your personal information, whether it is shopping habits, location history, browsing history, or other similar information. Research companies use this data to better refine their algorithms to get consumers to buy more. They are willing to pay in exchange for this information.

Apps and websites will normally have you perform a task or complete surveys.

By far the easiest way to earn free gift cards is to join a program that pays you a percentage back on your purchases. You don’t have to do anything differently and you get paid. It’s a win-win-win.

15 Free Gift Card Apps to Install Today

I’ve broken down my recommended apps into three different categories.

Apps That Pay You to Do Various Tasks

1. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is one of the most well-known get paid to (GPT) apps on the web.

Probably because it’s so incredibly easy to use and offers gift cards for Amazon. I also have a great list of ways to earn Amazon gift cards if you’re looking specifically for those.

With this app, you get paid to do a variety of simple tasks that won’t take longer than a couple of minutes a day.

They’ll have you do things like watching videos, answering polls, taking surveys, and playing games.

When you complete a task, you earn SB points and one SB point comes down to about $0.01. So 300 points will equate to $3.

2. InboxDollars

InboxDollars is another popular app that lets you earn by completing different tasks.

You can earn cash back and gift cards for activities like searching the web, watching videos, shopping online, and answering surveys.

I really like this free gift card app because you can earn cashback by doing things that you might want to do anyway, such as downloading an app or shopping online.

If you’re really keen on that idea, then check out my article on super easy ways to earn money with your phone.

3. MyPoints

Swagbucks and MyPoints are owned by different companies, but they differ in tasks as well as the values you can redeem for gift cards.

You can shop on MyPoints.com and find various promos, coupon codes, and deals at thousands of stores. Earn points while you shop and exchange these points for gift cards or PayPal credits.

MyPoints.com also gives you rewards for answering surveys, watching videos, and other small tasks.

It makes sense to join both Swagbucks and MyPoints to maximize your rewards.

4. instaGC

instaGC works pretty much just like the other apps listed above. You have to complete different tasks like watching videos, completing surveys, and surfing the web.

They have a huge selection of gift cards too, with over 350 options to choose from.

5. CheckPoints

When you sign up for CheckPoints, you’re shown a variety of tasks, such as watching videos, taking quizzes, signing up for mailing lists, shopping, and many more.

Completing each task earns you a certain number of points that you can exchange for gift cards from Amazon, Target, Walmart, and other major stores and retailers.

They also host a Sweepstakes where you can win gas money, shopping sprees, and many more.

Apps That Pay You to Do Specific Tasks

6. iPoll

This survey app is unique in the sense that it uses your location to provide location-specific polls and surveys.

You can earn gift cards for Amazon, iTunes, and PayPal, as well as entries into the quarterly draw.

7. Toluna

Earn gift cards by voicing your opinion with Toluna.

All you have to do is answer a few simple surveys about various subjects and earn points for your answers (there’s no right or wrong answer of course).

You can then use these points for gift cards at popular places like Banana Republic and Groupon.

8. Poll Pay

Poll Pay is a paid survey app where you can get free gift cards from Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, and many more.

It’s simple to sign up and you can even get additional rewards for inviting your friends to sign up, too.

9. AppNana

AppNana allows you to get rewards (i.e., earn Nanas) when you download free apps and games from Nana Offers.

In case you get any funny ideas, note that you need to actually open the free apps after installing them, or else you won’t get the rewards.

Other ways you can earn Nanas include watching videos, playing games, and inviting friends to sign up. You even earn 400 points just for opening AppNana.

Your Nanas can be exchanged for free gift cards, such as Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Xbox, and many more.

Alternatively, you can exchange your Nanas for paid apps and games.

10. Rewarded Play

As its name implies, Rewarded Play is a free gift card app that lets you play free games in exchange for gift cards to over 20 retailers, including Amazon, Target, Best Buy, and Walmart.

The free games are a mix of classic ones, such as Solitaire, Yahtzee, and Mahjongg, as well as more modern ones, such as Words with Friends and various slot machine games.

Unfortunately for iPhone users, this app is only available for Android users.

Apps That Pay You Back for Your Purchases

11. Mobee

Ever heard of mystery shopping?

Well, with this free gift card app, you don’t necessarily have to buy anything to earn. You’ll have to apply for “missions” where you evaluate the shops and restaurants close to you.

According to the app, each trip will only take a couple of minutes and you’ll have to answer 10 questions or less to complete the mission.

You’ll earn points with every mission which you can then spend on gift cards for popular places like Dunkin’ Donuts and Walmart.

12. Drop

If you want to get rewarded for shopping then Drop is your best friend.

While using this app, you’ll get to peruse their exclusive deals with various stores like Target.

If you see a deal you like, then you can head to the store to make a purchase and earn Drop Points.

You can then use those points to redeem gift cards when you have built up enough points.

13. Ibotta

Ibotta is great because it lets you earn gift cards for something you’re already doing: buying groceries.

By scanning your receipts, you earn cash back for buying everyday products like bread or toothpaste.

Sometimes you have to buy specific brands and other times you just have to buy the type of product.

14. Ebates

Ebates is a really awesome free gift card app to use because they’re supported by thousands of online stores and you can earn up to 40% back.

You can shop through their site, but they offer additional discounts for mobile users via their gift card reward app.

You can redeem your gift cards at major retailers like Amazon, Starbucks, and Home Depot.

Or, you can get a big fat check if you prefer cash!

15. Receipt Hog

Just like the other shopping apps in this category, Receipt Hog makes it simple to earn reward coins and redeem these coins for gift cards.

All you have to do is take a photo of your receipt from any store, gas station, restaurant, or coffee shop and upload the image.

You can also earn bonus coins when you get free spins on the Hog Slots. You also get entered in monthly sweepstakes with a chance to win huge coin prizes.

Once you’ve reached enough coins, you can exchange the coins for Amazon gift cards or PayPal cash redemption.

Final Thoughts on Free Gift Card Apps

The great thing about gift card reward apps is that they’re pretty much instant in terms of gratification.

They’re conveniently right there on your phone and you can usually redeem them whenever you want.

That said, there are a few other options out there to get free items for those who are a little bit more patient, like getting free samples by mail.

It’s not exactly gift cards and it’s not as instantaneous, but come on, getting free stuff you want is just as fantastic!

Have you tried any of these apps? Did you indeed get free gift cards when you used these apps? Did I miss any apps that actually pay? Let us know in the comments!

8 Hobbies That Make Money: Earn In Your Spare Time

5 Hobbies That Make Money: Earn In Your Spare Time

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

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

Sounds unbelievable, but it’s true.

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

8 Hobbies That Make Money

1. Making Music

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Getting Fit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You could also get paid to walk dogs as well.

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

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

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

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

3. Crafting

For many enthusiasts, crafting is its own reward.

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Taking Photographs

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

And yes, anyone can take pictures from their smartphones.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Shopping

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

Hear me out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Playing video games

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

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

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

Yes, billion, with a B.

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

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

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

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

7. Reading books

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

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

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

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

8. Homebrewing beer

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

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

Take Up Hobbies That Can Make Money

Everyone should have at least one hobby.

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

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

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

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

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

How To Be an Amazon Product Tester and Get Free Stuff

Everyone likes free stuff. There aren’t many ways to get anything for free in this life, but Amazon product testers have been getting free gift cards and products sent to them since 2007.

There are ways to make money with Amazon, but being a reviewer means you skip getting the money altogether and go straight for what you would have bought anyway.

Want to know how to become an Amazon reviewer?e

Well, then you’re in luck because I went searching for some concrete answers to find out what it takes to start reviewing Amazon products for free hauls.

Amazon isn’t the only company looking for product testers either.

These three companies are always looking for participants to share their thoughts on new products:

How to Become an Amazon Product Tester

There are two ways to get your free swag:

As an official Amazon product tester who’s part of the Vine program, you’d get access to a range of products from Amazon that you can choose to review. The prices for these products can range from anywhere between $1 to over $1000 and span every category on the seller’s website.

In addition to that, you can let companies find you and offer you free or discounted products in exchange for an Amazon review. This isn’t done via Amazon but is still a good option, as you’ll just have to negotiate the deal yourself.

Feel free to go for either option, or both, as I discuss the ins and outs of testing products for Amazon below.

Option 1: Join Amazon Vine

The Amazon Vine program is an invite-only initiative that was started by Amazon over 10 years ago.

It helps sellers get honest and credible reviews on their products and gives reviewers an incentive to voice their opinions.

You’ve probably seen the “Vine Voice” tag next to some reviews on the Amazon website.

Amazon Vine badge

These are people who have been invited into the program and are receiving products from Amazon to review. If they’ve received the product they’re reviewing for free, a “Vine Customer Review of Free Product” tag also appears along with the review.

You can’t apply to become part of the Amazon Vine program but you can increase your chances of getting an invite by doing certain things, which I will outline below.

How to Get an Amazon Vine Invite

It isn’t entirely clear how Amazon chooses and invites reviewers, but here are some guidelines online along with a few tips from reviewers who have been picked for the program.

To become eligible for an invite to the program, you have to already be a reviewer on Amazon. Meaning you have to start writing product reviews for the website now so that you can build up a good reviewer’s rank and a great reputation for yourself.

This is purely anecdotal, but I feel like I see the most number of Vine badges under the Books category.

It may be a callback to Amazon’s humble beginnings, or that sending a free copy of an eBook is a lot easier than mailing out a physical product. Who knows? This is just an observation I’ve had.

Just like with any sort of influencer position, the people whose opinions are valued the most get the most opportunities.

You don’t have to be one of Amazon’s top reviewers to get an invite (though this certainly helps!), but you do have to leave valuable, informative reviews that are likely to get marked as “Helpful” by other customers.

It’s also important to know that the frequency with which you leave reviews isn’t everything as that doesn’t seem to be what Amazon is focusing on.

Rather, stick to quality reviews on products that you have bought as this is a good practice among product testers.

Amazon Product Tester Insider Tips

It’s hard to find out how many Vine reviewers there are and which products Amazon gives away for reviews, as this info isn’t made public.

However, a few reviewers have shared their tips on how things work when you want to become part of this program.

Here are some important pointers that you need to keep in mind:

1. Stick to one product category.

One thing that everyone seems to agree on is that it’s important to stick to one product category.

It would be even better if the product category you focused on coincided with your day job. For instance, if you’re a chef by day, you might want to concentrate on reviewing kitchenware.

That way, you can build yourself up as an authority in that area which will make more people trust your reviews. Customers don’t want to hear from a person that knows nothing about what they’re reviewing and Amazon doesn’t want that either.

2. Fill out your Amazon profile as much as possible.

Create a great profile and make yourself available through other social channels.

As with any other influencer gig, it’s all about visibility.

People—and by extension, Amazon—won’t take notice if you don’t make them look your way. Keeping up a good presence is key to getting that invite.

3. Study your chosen category.

Amazon seems to be choosing Vine Voices according to category.

So if they need a new member in computer hardware and you’re reviewing gardening supplies, then you’re simply out of luck.

The catch is that there’s no information available anywhere on how or when Amazon chooses new members, nor whether they’re currently looking.

Essentially, you just have to stick it out in your chosen category, publish high-quality reviews, and hope that Amazon is looking for Vine Voices in your category.

4. Quality is better than quantity when it comes to Amazon Vine.

Your rank isn’t your guarantee.

Some people claimed to have gotten an Amazon Vine invitation with over 80,000 upvotes on the Amazon store, while there are others who got in with only 300 upvotes.

This is something that Amazon considers, to be sure, but it won’t be the only thing that gets you in.

5. Newer reviews get a bit of a bump.

There’s no clear indication of how Amazon structures their review system, but it is clear that more recent reviews get more screen time.

Aside from reviewing products as frequently as you can, it’s a good idea to update some of your older reviews to give yourself a better chance of getting upvotes and getting noticed by Amazon.

6. Amazon Vine wants to hear your truths.

Should you leave negative or positive reviews?

Vine reviewers say it doesn’t matter, as long as it was the truth and it adheres to their posting guidelines.

Amazon is interested in honest reviews that talk in detail about what you like or didn’t like about the product.

7. Move as much of your shopping to Amazon as you can.

Most of what you buy in stores can be bought on Amazon.

If you don’t mind waiting a day or two for a product to arrive, be sure to buy it on Amazon instead.

This will give you more opportunities to leave proper, thorough reviews.

Ultimately the best advice I can give you here is to just keep at it.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll be picked to become an Amazon product tester but following the advice above is your best shot at getting that lucrative gig.

Option 2: Sign Up With Amazon Review Sites

While getting the official invite from Amazon Vine is something to strive for, there are easier ways of becoming an Amazon reviewer: namely, through Amazon review sites.

These are sites that either help sellers get in contact with Amazon reviewers in order to send them their products to test or offer products at huge discounts for Amazon product testers.

Amazon doesn’t regulate this process, but it’s completely acceptable to pick this route instead of waiting for Amazon to choose you as long as you follow Amazon’s terms of service.

Just remember that you are NOT REQUIRED to leave a review, and to NEVER say that you received an item in exchange for your review. These are violations of Amazon’s TOS and there may be consequences for you and for the Amazon seller.

Another tip is to sign up for Amazon Prime so you can save on shipping as well.

Here are some Amazon product tester review sites you can consider joining:

1. Snagshout

This website offers discount vouchers on various items in exchange for reviews.

The items you can get discounts on range from sports supplies to electronics.

Snagshout was one of the first websites to do this, and it’s been featured on plenty of high-ranking media outlets. and is one of the most popular Amazon review sites out there.

2. AMZDiscover

AMZDiscover is a reviewer database created for Amazon sellers to find reviewers.

Simply sign up with AMZDiscover through the Google Form in the link, and indicate what type of products you review so that the site can hook you up with a seller who wants a review.

3. TestZon

Here’s another website where you can find free or heavily discounted items.

Once again, you’ll have to sign up and will get a coupon to redeem.

They have a wide range of products to choose from and, interestingly enough, you aren’t required to leave a review but it is welcomed.

4. Cashbackbase

This is a relatively new website that launched just a few months ago, but is already gaining a lot of traction.

They also offer discounted and free products for Amazon reviewers.

5. Deals Juice

There are a variety of products here, some for free, and others discounted for as low as 99% off.

Electronics, kitchenware, and beauty products are the more popular product categories.

6. Dealgogogo

This site is advertised more of a coupon site than an actual Amazon review site, but you can take advantage of the many deals here to get products for free or heavily discounted prices, test them, and post reviews on Amazon.

7. Giveaway Service

Giveaway Service features hundreds of pages of different products, including home products, activewear, supplements, electronics, toys, and many more.

They emphasize the need to follow Amazon’s TOS and the advantage of a complete, detailed profile to get noticed by Amazon sellers and be eligible for more promotions.

8. Jump Send

There are hundreds of Amazon products discounted at up to 90% off on Jump Send, featuring women’s jewelry, beauty products, electronics, novelty items, and travel accessories, among many other product categories.

9. Trust Review Network

TRN is a private rebate program that connects shoppers and brand owners, where shoppers can get great deals on existing products, as well as those yet to be launched, and brand owners get the opportunity to get honest reviews to promote their products as well as improve these products as needed.

10. Deals For Reviews

Deals For Reviews is pretty self-explanatory; buyers get great deals on products in exchange for their truthful reviews.

The Bottom Line

Learning how to become an Amazon product tester is the easy part.

Finding sellers that are willing to send their products to you, however, will take time as you build up your reputation as a reviewer.

If time isn’t on your side, then you could always consider becoming a product tester. You’ll still be talking about the products you get but with actual people, plus you’ll get paid too!

Are you interested n becoming an Amazon product tester? Which of the options or sites are you planning to sign up for? Tell us in the comments!

9 YouTube Monetization Alternatives for Your Online Biz

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

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

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

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

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

Beyond YouTube Ads: Other Ways to Make Money with Videos

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

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

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

9 Sites to Check Out as YouTube Monetization Alternatives

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

1. Twitch

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

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

2. Patreon

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

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

3. Vimeo

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

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

4. Dailymotion

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

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

5. IGTV

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

6. Wistia

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

7. Uscreen

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

8. Facebook

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

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

9. TikTok

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

More noteworthy YouTube Monetization Alternatives include:

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

Which is the Best YouTube Monetization Alternatives?

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

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

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

How to Be a Movie Extra: 10 Casting Call Sites to Check Out

Ever wondered how to be a movie extra, or in TV shows, commercials, music videos, theater productions, and other cool productions?

Want to be the next Andrew McClay, who most Game Of Thrones fans would call the “Best Stark Solider”?

Or the next Jesse Heiman, “the world’s greatest extra,” who has appeared in over 100 movies in 20 years?

Will there be a movie filming in your town soon that’s already calling for extras to sign up?

Or are you planning to move out of your city and move to Los Angeles or New York to try to make it as many big-named Hollywood actors have done in the past?

Or are you simply looking for a gig that can earn you some side cash?

If you love everything about the entertainment industry and want to try your luck with movie extra jobs, this post is for you.

Today, you’re going to learn how to be a movie extra, where to find jobs, and what to expect when you go down this path.

What’s a Movie Extra?

What is a restaurant scene without waiters walking by and diners eating at the other tables?

What is a street scene without other pedestrians?

What is a football scene without spectators cheering their team?

They’re simply unbelievable. If these scenes are unbelievable, audiences are distracted and cannot immerse themselves in the movie or show.

Known as “atmosphere,” or “background actor,” an extra is someone who adds life and authenticity to a scene in a movie, TV show, stage, or any other production. These extras often have non-speaking characters and just pass by main characters, stay in the background, or serve as one person in a crowd.

Extras are especially valuable in war and historical films that typically require crowds numbering in the thousands.

How to Be a Movie Extra

Do You Need Acting Skills or Experience?

The best thing about movie extra jobs is that you don’t really have to audition for a role.

As such, regular folk like you and me can become an extra in a movie, as long as the casting director thinks we have the right look, hair color, height, size, and other physical characteristics they might need.

Requirements: Things You Need before Hunting Movie Extra Jobs

Before you find movie extra jobs, here are several things you should prepare (and don’t need to prepare):

  1. Paperwork: Like most jobs, you’ll need to fill out an application to become a movie extra. You’ll need proof of citizenship, IDs, filled-up tax forms, union details (if you’re a member), and so on.
  2. Background check: In super-secret productions, background-checks may be part of the application process.
  3. Headshots: Most of the time, the photos you bring won’t be needed because agencies and productions use Polaroids to document movie extras. So if you’re thinking of investing in your headshots, you can skip it for now (do it when you decide to become a professional actor).

Get an Agent vs. DIY Job Hunt

In the past, the norm was to go to a casting agency, pay money upfront (about $20 to start), then wait for the agency to notify you about movie extra jobs.

Note that this practice is now illegal, so you shouldn’t pay for registration fees to these agencies anymore, no matter how popular or distinguished the agencies are known to be.

As a rule, if you want to join a casting agency, go for those that do not charge a dime.

They may ask for a lot of requirements (ID, work permit, resume, etc.), but as long as no upfront fees are charged, then go for it!

With the internet and social media providing a venue for movie extra job hunters, it’s possible to find extra casting calls directly from casting directors and production companies looking to hire extras.

Most of the time, these production companies would email job details to casting agencies or post directly on online job boards.

10 Extra Casting Call Sites to Check Out

  1. Extras Access – Free to create an account with 2 profile photos and a resume. If you want to add more elements, you have to pay up.
  2. Playbill – Love the theater? Check if you can become an extra on any theater productions near you.
  3. Central Casting – Only available for New York, Los Angeles, Louisiana, and Georgia productions, so you might need to travel if you get a job from these locations)
  4. Casting Frontier – Free to join, but offers premium account (about $100/year) for those who want extra features.
  5. Sylvia Fay/Lee Genick & Associates Casting – Known for 30 years of experience casting background actors
  6. Casting Networks Inc. – There’s a $25 annual fee for movie extras who don’t have agency representation, but free to everyone else.
  7. Level Talent Group – Information is scarce on the website, but submit your resume and photos and they’ll contact you if they’re interested.
  8. NYCastings – If you’re based in New York, this is a good source of casting calls.
  9. iActor – If you decide to join SAG-AFTRA, this is the official casting directory for SAG-AFTRA members.
  10. Mandy.com – Probably has the most number of jobs posted daily (3000+/day) out of all free casting agency websites.

Depending on which casting site you joined, the application process may vary a bit. Most of these sites have a job board in place for you to check out current extra casting calls.

You’ll want to steer away from websites that charge you a monthly fee just to send you information on casting calls because it’s rarely worth it. You don’t get priority status anyway and you can find a lot of these casting calls on your own if you’re willing to do the work.

Sometimes, you can just follow their Facebook page, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social media accounts and see extra casting calls posted there.

Apply and wait. If you receive a phone call, text message, or any communication from casting directors, then you’ve tackled the first phase.

What Extras Should Expect on Set

So let’s say you got the job.

What happens next?

If you’re lucky to receive a booking notice, this would detail everything from wardrobe to call time, makeup requirements, hairstyle, etc.

You’re probably going to be responsible for your hair and makeup, unless you’re working on a set like The Walking Dead (where extras require plenty of makeup/prosthetic work done), or Game of Thrones (where extras have to do costume and makeup first).

Here are some things that movie extras need to do and keep in mind:

  • Be on time – Background actors are easily replaceable. If you’re not on the set by the call time indicated, expect to be replaced.
  • Be ready to spend the whole day on the set – If you get hired as a movie extra on a certain day, make sure you free up the whole day. Production days ideally last for eight hours, but it could get longer for any number of reasons. Bring something to pass the time.
  • No phones allowed – Don’t bring your phones anymore, since they’ll most likely be put in a locker on closed sets, or kept turned off for security reasons.
  • Bring IDs and paperwork – Be sure to keep your IDs or other documentation ready to show when casting crews ask for them.
  • Take direction – Either the Second Assistant Director or the Wrangler will give you very specific directions: when to come out, where to go, how fast you should be going, your expression, etc. They’ll also tell you who you can and cannot speak to on the set.
  • Don’t lose your voucher – Every day that you work, you’re given a pay stub showing the number of hours you worked. If you have a costume on or holding props for the scene, the crew might get this voucher from you as collateral, then give back your income voucher after returning the props. If you worked in a SAG-AFTRA production, you get a SAG voucher. These are important for tax purposes, and the SAG vouchers are essential if you want to get a SAG-AFTRA card (more information below)
  • Don’t disturb actors or crew – Even if you’re a huge fan of the actors, directors, or anyone on the crew of a movie you’re assigned to, don’t bother them unless they initiate the conversation. This is a job, so they’re there to work just as much as you are.
  • Take the job seriously – If you’re lucky, the casting director may take notice of your work ethic and hire you there on the spot for future work.

Should I Join SAG-AFTRA?

SAG-AFTRA is a labor union representing film and TV actors, voice actors, radio professionals, artists, singers, broadcast journalists, and other media professionals.

As I mentioned above, when you work in a SAG-AFTRA production and the role you play is covered under a union contract, you get a SAG voucher. You can earn your SAG-AFTRA card when you get three SAG vouchers.

There are some pros and cons to consider before you decide to join SAG-AFTRA.

Having a SAG card means you get higher pay rates than nonunion movie extras and you’re eligible for bonuses or pay bumps for things like bringing your own props or having certain skills. Casting people also tend to hire SAG card-carrying extras.

But you can only maximize these benefits if you live in a city where plenty of SAG-AFTRA productions are made. Having a SAG card disqualifies you from working on nonunion productions and roles, which are more plentiful even if they do pay lower. SAG-AFTRA also requires a high initiation fee and annual dues.

How Much Do Movie Extras Make?

Half of the people who work as extras to do for fun and see how it feels like to be on “the big screen.” Half of the people who work as extras do it for extra cash. Regardless of which group you belong to, extras get paid an average of $100 to $150 per day as an extra on a movie.

However, there are things you should know about the income of movie extras:

  • Earn $800 or more if you land a speaking part
  • The first 2 overtime hours are usually paid 1.5x the hourly rate, while the next 6 hours after this are paid double time
  • If you’re still working at the 16th hour, you’ll receive your daily rate per hour.
  • Some productions offer bonuses for extras who don’t use their lunch breaks. (It’s illegal to not feed movie extras after working 6 hours straight since call time. Productions may pay penalties if they don’t follow this)
  • You’ll get paid mileage (around 50 cents per mile) for driving your car to the set. Your car can be turned into an extra too! And you’ll be paid additional for it!
  • Working as an extra in unfavorable environments (smoke-filled, water-filled, muddy, etc.) can give you additional take-home cash.

Can Working As A Movie Extra Lead to Other Acting Gigs Down the Road?

If you’re looking for information on how to be a movie extra because you’re planning to become a professional actor, being an extra shouldn’t be your first step. Instead, find agency representation, which would work in finding you real acting jobs, voice acting jobs, brand ambassadorship gigs, and other media and acting jobs you have in mind.

In fact, many casting companies specializing in background actors remind these extras to lower their expectations. You looked for movie extra jobs, you applied, and you got the job. As far as being seen, extras are literally the background for a movie, TV show, or any other production.

Forget about being discovered. Your chances of becoming a professional actor from your gig as an extra are slim to none.

Your next best bet is to land the job of a stand-in, or the person used as a substitute for the actor before the actual shoot.

Stand-ins are important since they help the production get the lighting, camera setup, and other technicalities perfect for filming without paying the main actors a premium and without wasting their time.

If you do love the industry and want to get more stable work as an extra, make sure to network in every production. Introduce yourself to the production assistants, crew, and other people involved in the production whenever there’s downtime.

Absorb everything you can about the production while you’re on set.

The bottom line is, be a good movie extra and it can open up more opportunities for you and make this a lucrative side gig.

Have you ever worked as a movie extra? If you haven’t, did this article inspire you to look for movie extra jobs? Tell us your experiences and thoughts in the comments below!