Fluid App Review – Make Money Renting Your Stuff Out Instead of Selling It

I stumbled upon the Fluid App also known as Fluid Market a few months ago after a friend, Matt Holmes of Handshaking.com, told me about it. It’s an app that lets you rent out your stuff for money instead of selling it. Since then I’ve been using the app and testing it for this Fluid App Review.

What is the Fluid App?

Fluid Market is a Start Up making some big waves in Denver. They have essentially created an online marketplace (through the app only) that people can rent items from other people.

Think Craigslist, but instead of selling your items, you rent them out for money. Or you can rent items you only need once, like a carpet cleaner, instead of buying one. This is what it looks like.

Fluid App Review Infographic of Screenshots

The idea being, if you only need an item once like you want to rent a scooter for the day. You can find one on Fluid, see how much it is per hour/day and contact the owner to rent it. You pay everything through the app so you’re not actually exchanging money with other people. Take that Craigslist!

My Experience Using the Fluid App

If you’re like me, you’re thinking “This looks like an awesome way to earn more money, but I don’t want other people damaging my stuff”. I was nervous too, I’ll admit that. Their $1 Million insurance policy helped me feel a little bit better, but still, it’s my stuff and I don’t want to deal with insurance hassles, so I started small for the Fluid App Review.

I searched around my 583′ square foot studio apartment for stuff that was valuable enough people would want to rent, but I didn’t mind getting banged up a bit. Not that it would, but again, I was hesitant.

The ONE thing I found was my Clothing Iron. I figured someone in the area may need a clothing iron, so what the hell.

I Downloaded the Fluid App and Created an Account

To start my Fluid App Review, I downloaded the app from the android store (it’s also on the Apple Store). At first, it was a bit slow and clunky. However, it’s gotten SO much better from what it was a couple months ago. Someone in their tech support is doing something right. Plus it’s a StartUp up, so I’m sure they’re constantly updating and improving it.

After downloading the app, I get a screenshot like this

Fluid App Review - Log In / Sign In Screen

It gives you the option to use an email or Facebook, I selected email only. I’m sure there’s a social component to the app that’s nice, but I just wanted to try it out. I didn’t want to message all my friends on Facebook about it.

Then I got that clunky loading screen (again it’s gotten a lot better!).

Fluid App Review - Loading Screen

Once in the app, you have categories on top and a random assortment of items below. I haven’t figured out how it chooses what items are on the home page. These are all the items you can rent. From each quick view thumbnail, you can get an idea of what items they have. Including the name of the item, photo, the cost per hour/day/week, the item’s rating and how far you have to travel to pick it up.

Fluid App Review - Items for Rent

If you click on an item, like the scooter I want to rent ($15 for the day!). You’ll get a more detailed description of the item and lender, along with additional photos, which really helps! At that point, all you have to do is scroll to the bottom and click “Check Availability” to rent it.

Fluid App Review - Scooter for Rent

How I Rented Out My Stuff On The Fluid App

So I had my Clothing Iron and I was ready to start renting it out. I go to the top left icon to see all their options, and select “Add Item”

Fluid App Review - Menu

Then I start filling in the info on what kind of Clothing Iron, add photos (either from your gallery or take them on the spot) and set my price. Once you add the category, you’re pretty much done. Anyone can add an item and it’s incredibly easy through the app. It took less than 5 min.

The Fluid App will take 20% of every transaction, they say this is to help pay for the insurance and upkeep of the marketplace. Keep that in mind when pricing your item.

The last thing you do is add how people are supposed to contact you about renting it out through “Pick Up/Drop Off” instructions. I asked them to email me, but you can have them call you as well. Do this in a public location like I talk about in How To Sell You Stuff On Craigslist.

FYI – No one can see your number or email until AFTER they have paid. That part is SO nice.

Fluid App Review - Clothing Iron Upload

Then I waited. So far, I haven’t heard from anyone about renting my clothing iron. Lol I guess it’s as useless to me as it is for anyone else.

If I do make any extra money from this, I’ll add it to my monthly income reports.

So now I’m looking at other items to try and sell on the Fluid App.

How To Rent From Other People On The Fluid App

This process is equally as easy. You select the item you want, hit “check availability” (in case it’s rented out already) and you’ll get a list of times in hours that you can rent it out for. Select how many hours you want it and that’s how it’ll calculate payment.

Then you submit your request and pay via credit card. There isn’t a paypal option that I’ve noticed during the Fluid App Review. It’s credit card only.

Afterward you get in touch with your lender to coordinate the pickup. Basically, the app just provides the marketplace of items to rent and the payment option, the rest is up to the renter and lender to coordinate.

Pros/Cons After The Fluid App Review

Pros

  • It’s a great way make extra money renting out your old stuff. You can make regular revenue off your old stuff rather than selling it once.
  • It’s a great way to try items before you buy them or likely only use once like a steam cleaner.
  • They have a growing marketplace of items. Every time I open the app, they have new items I can rent out.
  • People can only contact you AFTER they paid, so unlike Craigslist where I got multiple inquiries a week over the same questions from people who may or may not actually buy something. The Fluid App only gives the renters your info after they paid for the item. That is SUPER nice.

Cons

  • All the photos are of people’s unique stuff and people SUCK at taking photos. It lacks that crisp look because they are working with crappy photos. It just hurts the overall look of the app.
  • They are leaning heavily toward renting out high price items like cars. So it’s becoming similar like Turo in some ways which I’m not sure they wanted to do. I hope they continue to rent out the low priced items like extra pots and pans I could use for a large family brunch.
  • The Fluid App handles the marketplace and money exchange, but I still have to spend my time meeting with people for pick up/drop off. I wish there was an easier way.
  • It’s still a small “Denver” community to rent from, however I can see these guys growing, like big.

Don’t get disparaged about my Cons, I’m being pretty critical of the new start up, but I really am impressed by this company. In fact, I was so impressed by these guys during the Fluid App Review, for the fun of it, I checked to see if they were hiring. Who knows, if they do things right, it could be the next SNAP. So I submitted a quick resume to their marketing team. What the hell.

My IPO dreams were rapidly cut short the following day when Fluid’s HR team contacted me to say they were looking for someone with a little more “Rental Experience”. I guess my couple years in college renting out outdoor gear to students wasn’t enough. LOL it’s ok, I’m still a fan of the app.

Conclusion

This is a pretty exciting app that I hope grows because now I’m constantly looking for new stuff to rent out. It’s a really neat idea to make extra money. PLUS a sustainable revenue source if you have an item people really want to rent (bouncy houses, VR equipment, and cars are high demand items). What do you think of my Fluid App Review? Would you rent out any of your stuff?

Here’s me contemplating what to start renting out next. FYI that’s an electric scooter, totally bad ass I know. =P

 

Ebates Review – I wish I started this 2 years ago

Ebates Review Blog Post Image

Three weeks ago, I received a message from my buddy Cameron over at SquirrelBox suggesting to do an Ebates Review. I initially scoffed because I DON’T NEED ANOTHER APP!

You, like me, have seen “Ebates” pop up on your social media and thought the same thing. So let me explain what Ebates is.

SPOILER: It’s awesome, and not just another app.

Ebates Review – What is it?

Ebates is an online company who partners with over 2,000+ stores (many popular stores you regularly shop at). Whenever you go to one of your favorite stores, like Amazon, from the Ebates platform and make a purchase. Amazon assumes you would have only visited their site because of Ebates and gives Ebates a 4% commission. Then Ebates passes on those savings to you, and gives you 3% cash back for your purchase.

Ebates is essentially an affiliate company that pays you to visit their site first before you start shopping.

My Experience Making Cashback with Ebates

I’m running the Bolder Boulder in 5 weeks and I need new shoes. I’ve used the same running shoes (type & size) the last 7 years, so I’m going to buy them online.

Here’s my process.

I go to Ebates.com and search for ASICS since I’m going to buy a new pair of ASICS from their online store. Sure enough, the ASICS store pops up and Ebates tells me right away that their partnership provides me 1.5% cash back on purchases. Cool!

Ebates Review - Asics Page

 

In addition, Ebates also has all of ASICS best deals right now. Also Cool!

Ebates Asics Page Deals

 

It doesn’t matter which deal you select, these are all just notifications. Any of them you select “Shop Now” will just send you over to the actual ASICS Homepage. You’ll see a loading screen like this.

Ebates Review - Sending Page

This entire process takes 30 seconds, now you’ll be on the ASICS page and anything you buy, you will make 1.5% cash back. Plus if you have the Ebates Chrome Extension like me, you’ll be reminded in the top right, how much you’ll save.

So as I look at my costly shoes, I’ll be reminded to of my 1.5% cash back on my $109 running shoe. So I’ll make $1.64 through Ebates on this purchase. I’ll make more since it’s my first purchase through Ebates and I used Cameron’s affiliate code (we’ll get to that in a second).

Asics Shoe Purchase

 

Remember, I use my 2% cash back credit card for everything, so I’ll gain an additional 2% off the purchase + plus the 1.5% from Ebates. Wahoo!

When does Ebates pay me?

Every time you make a purchase (like a new pair of ASICS), Ebates will hold onto your cashback rewards. The companies, like Amazon, ASICS, Walmart, pay Ebates and Ebates pays you, quarterly. So 4 times a year, you’ll receive a check from Ebates. This can also be PayPal or you can donate it to a charity or organization.

Here is their quarterly payout schedule:

Ebates Payout Schedule

If your account is less than $5.01, Ebates will roll that balance into next quarter’s payout. It just a lot of processing fees for them, so they do $5.01 minimum payouts. I can’t blame them for that.

 

If you’re thinking that my $1.64 is too small for a payout, I’m actually at $11.64 because I used a friend’s affiliate code and earned $10 extra dollars. Use my affiliate code for your $10 extra dollars.

PLUS any cashback you recieve from Ebates isn’t taxed because the IRS considers “cashback” as a “discount” to your purchase like coupons. That’s why when you sign up for Ebates, all you need is a email, password and address for them to send your “big fat check” (their phrasing), not tax forms for you to fill now.

How do YOU sign up for Ebates?

It’s easy, go to Ebates here and enter a quick email and password. No more info than that. It takes less than 30 seconds and you can start looking around their marketplace and checking out all their partnerships. You’ll only have to add your address once you’re ready to cash out.

Use my Affiliate Code!!!

If I’ve educated you enough about Ebates to at least check it out. PLEASE use my affiliate code. This way YOU will earn an extra $10 at payout and it gives us at Wallet Squirrel an extra $5 through their affiliate program, so we can pay for things like internet and electricity.

I would never recommend something unless I REALLY like it and I’m a fan of after this Ebates review. In fact, wish I started using it 2 years ago when I first started to really get into Online Shopping.

I would have $68 if I started using Ebates 2 years ago.

I wish I did this Ebates Review 2 years ago when I first started Online Shopping. I know I’m a late bloomer. My parents told me that hackers would steal ALL my info and identity, so I was terrified. Since then I’ve learned how security works, feel more secure against Nigerian Princes and now LOVE online shopping!

In the last 2 years, on Amazon alone, I have spent $1,145.64 according to my purchasing history. So since Ebates has 3% cashback on Amazon.com. I could have made $34.36 from Ebates in the last 2 years!

Plus I spent nearly that much through Non-Amazon purchases. So if we apply the same 3% (it’s about average for Ebates), I easily could have made $68.73 in the last 2 years using Ebates.

I missed out on all this cash that I could have used to invest. Why didn’t I? Because I didn’t know how awesome saving money was, nor what Ebates was.

Conclusion

In the last week, I have realized what exactly Ebates is and their tons of partnership stores. This site is quite large and trustworthy at this point! Now with their Ebates Chrome Extension, I’m told how much cashback I can make at my favorite stores without even visiting the Ebates website.

I just wish I started this Ebates Review sooner and started making more cashback to start investing with.

To all my investor friends. It’s definitely worth a shot to earn some extra cash to start investing with.

Do you use Ebates?

How I made $1.88 Selling Stock Photography in 10 days as a new Shutterstock Contributor

I’ve always been fascinated with stock photography as a passive income. So I decided to try it and share my success as I sold my first stock photo in 10 days as a Shutterstock Contributor.

Honestly, I’ve been wanting to try this for a while since discovering Adam of Team Squirrel, mention he made $1,000 off a single photo (sold multiple times)! Ironically, he took it of the St. Louis Arch while supporting me as I ran the St. Louis Marathon in 2012. #humblebrag

This is my 10 day my review as a new Shutterstock Contributor!

What is Stock Photography?

These are digital photos that are sold online, usually for commercial purposes. Sites like iStockPhoto and Shutterstock are great examples of websites that sell stock photography.

It’s an interesting business model because all you have to do is upload a photo once, as a digital product, and people can download it thousands of time without any effort on your part.

picjumbo.com_HNCK3991

Great Stock Photography Example

 

How I Started and Sold my First Stock Photo in 10 Days

I’m not a professional photographer or a good photographer by any means, but I applied to both Shutterstock and iStockPhoto, two top stock photography websites, on the off chance they’d accept an amateur like me.

Oddly, I was accepted into both.

There are other Stock Photography websites out there, you can apply to. Here is a list of the top 10 I discovered in my research, but I’ll only focus on one (Shutterstock) for this article. I assume they all have some similarities.

Day 1 – Understand what stock photos sell best

In order for me to start submitting photos, I had to understand what stock photography sites were looking for, and sell best. People aren’t going to want to buy photos of you took of clouds from an airplane.

In fact, they specifically ask you don’t submit photos of clouds. They have MILLIONS of them.

You need to submit photos that you believe could be used for commercial purposes. Some photo types that sell best are Portrait Photography, Food Photography, Landscapes (usually with people) and fine art photography (artsy). Above all, nice photos with people sell the best.

Now I knew what stock photography sites were looking for.

Day 2 – Find the Best Photos I’ve taken

I had to figure out what photos I already have. I assume some had to be pretty good.

So I plugged in my external hard drive carrying every photo I’ve ever taken through college, life and traveling. In one night, I went over 4,000 photos.

How-to-Sell-Stock-Photography

I sat at my tiny desk with Netflix on in the background as I clicked on my computer’s right arrow button nearly 4,000 times to go over every photo I’ve ever taken in the last 10 years. Most of these were point and click cameras so the quality wasn’t that great, but I found a few gems. =)

I dragged all the good photos I found into a folder. I ended up with 100 great photos.

That’s still too many! I had to limit those 100 great photos down to 60 awesome photos, then down to the 30 all-time best photos I’ve ever taken. Later ranking them 1 to 30.

That was hard, very, very hard.

I had to keep in mind, I can’t control how these photos will be used. A family portrait may be used in a prescription depression magazine ad, so I was cautious and respectful to other people in the photos. Plus I would need any persons in the photo to sign a “photo release” you can get these online, but I just avoided photos with people to make it easier.

I was ready to apply to Shutterstock.

Day 3 – Apply to Shutterstock

Yes, you have to apply, they don’t just take anyone with a kodak camera.

So I submitted to Shutterstock & iStockPhoto, but we’re still focusing on Shutterstock. Shutterstock was A LOT faster with the review process, taking around 5 business days. iStockPhoto took around 30 days.

So I went here to apply to Shutterstock.

Shutterstock Contributor Page

I created a profile (basically username, password and verify email address). Then they requested I upload around 14 of my best photos. They would review these for the application process. Yes it was a process, they have an official review team that reviews each photo uploaded to make sure it matches their quality.

Luckily I already went through and had my top 30 ranked. I added my top 14.

Upload to Shutterstock

Then I hit submit and started the waiting game.

ShutterStock Submission

Day 4 through Day 8 – I wait

During this time I contemplate questions like “Am I in the Truman Show” and continue to wait.

Waiting

Day 9 – I’m approved

Finally on Day 9, I get the “You’re approved” email. I was honestly a little shocked. I knew the photos I submitted were MY best, but there are MUCH more talented people out there doing photography. I wanted to email them back and say “really, are you sure I’m approved”. However I kept my mouth shut and moved on.

ShutterStock Submission Acceptance

So I hop into their platform and start familiarizing myself with their dashboard. It looks a little something like this.

Shutterstock Dashboard

I spend time filling out the rest of the information and verifying who I am for taxation purposes. They are very keen on this, in fact they ask you to submit a photo of your driver’s license to confirm who you are. That part was a little weird uploading a photo of my driver’s license, but figured I’ve gone this far.

Remember every photo you upload, even as a contributor, has to be reviewed by their team first, even after you applied with those same photos. I guess it’s a different review team.

I started by selecting my top 8 photos for consideration to sell on their site. Now more work.

Having a nice photo isn’t enough, you have to add categories to what your photos are, such as “travel, nature, urban, etc.”. Then add around 50 description key words to each photo. These are how people can search for your photos when they’re looking for a stock photo to purchase. This part is crucial!

Once I selected all the keywords and categories for each of the 8 photos, I clicked “Submit” to have their team review my photos with those keywords. The idea is you’re not using unrelated keywords, have proper photo release forms if you have people (yup, upload those too), categorizing the photos correctly, and the photos are of high enough quality.

2 of my photos got rejected rather quickly. They at least tell me why.

Shutterstock Rejection Email2

 

However the other 6 photos were approved! These are the best photos I’ve ever taken right here. If you agree, feel free to purchase them, but I have no idea what you’d use them for. I just like them. Lol

Approved Shutterstock Images

Day 10 – Sell Stock Photo, Check!

Someone liked my photo and bought it! I’m not sure who it was, but I made my first sale on Shutterstock for my “dock” photo I took in New Zealand. Maybe it was my mother, she’s still has my Macaroni drawings from 1st grade. I don’t know.

I can see how other people may use this as a stock image though. It’s very calming. The only thing missing are some kids running off the end, into the water.

Not sure how they found it, just searching for “dock” won’t really find it, it’s pretty buried. They would have had to specifically searched for the keywords I associated with my “dock” photo.

So finding the right keywords for your photos makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE. You should be spending 30 min on keyword research for each photo and don’t be afraid to look at your competitor keywords on similar images.

How much did I make?

Lesson Learned – I was most disappointed that I can’t control the pricing. This is entirely controlled by the website. The cheapest they sell photos for are $29 for 2 photos, so we can assume they sell the basic quality photos for $14.50 each.

From my one download, I made $1.88. It’s not great considering Shutterstock is taking 88% and I’m getting 12% of each sale, but it’s what I have to deal with since it’s their market place.

Shutterstock Dashboard - 1 Purchase

We’ll overlook the fact that I only made $1.88 on one photo, or 12% of the price online.

Some people can make a living off it for sure, but as I mentioned our own Adam in his recent article “8 Extremely Flexible Part Time Jobs for Us Grown Ups” said he made around $1,000 off one photo of the St. Louis Arch. He uploaded it once, and has continued to see checks from it over the last year.

Impressed

Conclusion

I’m continued to be excited about stock photography even though I only made 12% of the total sale.

I suspect the 6 photos I uploaded won’t do great, but they’ll continue to bring in a few bucks without any additional effort on my part. Plus I can add more as a Shutterstock Contributor now.

From here, I will likely review the list I made on Day 1, of what stock photography sells best and maybe go around Denver with Adam and take a few new photos to sell. I can grab a suit and conference room to shoot for some business photos, or head to my roof deck for some shots casual shots reading.

Now that I know what type of photography sells best, I can shoot some new photos to sell online for another passive income stream!

Have you ever sold stock photography?

8 Extremely Flexible Part Time Jobs For Us Grown Ups

8 Extremely Flexible Part Time Jobs For Us Grown Ups

Whether it was in high school or in college most of us have had one or two flexible part time jobs to earn some extra cash. For me, my first job, was detasseling in the corn fields of Iowa. Then I moved onto being a life guard at the local water park for a couple summers.

The issue with most of these part time jobs is they do not work out for us grownups to make some extra money to pay off debt. I wanted to pull in some easy to access part time job that will work alongside of your 9 to 5 full time job.

My goal for this list is to tell you several flexible part time jobs that are easy on your schedule and simple to jump right into.

Love to Interact With People? Work in Retail

This might sound like a job for only those younger people but it is not. Sure there are a lot of teenagers and college students working in retail but there are plenty of grown adults as well. Personally, I have worked a lot of years in retail and it is a pretty good place to be for a part time gig.

Back in college I worked at a major department store where I actually met my wife. Later on, after college, I worked at a landscape materials company where I helped sell rock and design yards. The latest experience was because I was in transition between careers. I worked at a major sporting goods retailer here in Denver. This gave me the time to work on my master’s degree while providing for my family.

Working in retail is one of eight great flexible part time jobs for anyone who is looking to earn more money.

Working in retail is one of eight great flexible part time jobs for anyone who is looking to earn more money.

Overall, I have just about seven years of retail experience. I found that the hours and time off needed were extremely flexible. The money is decent for what the job is. Working twenty hours a week might allow you to bring in an extra $800 a month.

Love Walking and Dogs? Try Dog Walking

There are several apps out there that are basically the Uber for dog walking. You can pay someone to walk your dog OR you can get paid by some who will pay you! If you are like my wife and I, we enjoy going for a walk almost every day after work. So why not get paid for that walk? Hop on one of these apps, Wag! or Rover , to see if one of your neighbors needs help walking their dogs.

Bonus Points! Both of these apps are not just for dog walking. They allow you to pet sit as well!

Can you Write? Do Some Freelance Writing

This is one that I do not have any personal experience with. My wife has been looking for some flexible part time jobs for this coming summer. As an English teacher, I plan on recommending freelance writing to her. It will be great because freelance writing is easy to engage into once school is out and disengage once school is back in session. For me, I will hopefully get a good article out of her experience 🙂

Freelance writing is one of eight great flexible part time jobs for anyone who is looking to earn more money.

Freelance writing is one of eight great flexible part time jobs for anyone who is looking to earn more money.

Michelle from Making Sense of Cents  recommends starting out slowly with one gig at a time. A slow start will ensure that you can focus on that article to make sure it is the highest quality. The higher the quality articles you write, the more likely people will hire you for more. It helps to find a niche you enjoy writing about. If you are having fun writing then it is likely that your writing will be even better.

So how do you find these gigs? Michelle recommends checking out the ProBlogger job boards to find freelance gigs.

Have a Computer? Fill Out Some Surveys

Look you are not going to get rich by completing surveys, take a look at Andrew’s review of surveying, No more survey apps, they just don’t pay well. You can make some decent money for your savings account every month though. Using Michelle from Making Sense of Cents as an example again, she made around an extra $100 a month from surveys. I do not think this is bad since all you have to do is sit back on the couch with your computer to fill these out.

Some of the more popular services are Swagbucks, Pinecone Research, American Consumer Opinion, InboxDollars, and Harris Poll Online.

Use Swagbucks to earn some extra money.

Use Swagbucks to earn some extra money.

Can you Drive? Drive for Uber or Lyft

Uber and Lyft are the newish hip ways to catch a ride around your city. I really love these services as they provide a very easy and simple way to hale a ride. With a couple clicks on your phone and someone is on their way to pick you up.

These services have also became a great way to earn extra money with your own vehicle. With extreme elasticity on setting your own hours this is one of those flexible part time jobs that can fit anyone’s needs. Since you set your own hours, you can make as little or as much as you would like being an Uber or Lyft driver.

Uber or Lyft are great ways to earn extra money on your own time.

Uber or Lyft are great ways to earn extra money on your own time.

I once took a ride from an Uber driver who use to drive a cab. She said that she loves working for the service. It provides her with a lot more flexibility. In turn, this allowed her to spend more time with her kids, while making more money than she used to. I thought that was such an awesome statement for Uber.

Personally, I have never tried Lyft. Have you? If so, tell me about it in the comments section below. I’m curious to hear about your thoughts.

Have a Pulse? Donate Plasma

This was my part time job back in college. Donating Plasma was one of my favorite flexible part time jobs I have ever had. The hours were super flexible, the pay was great for what was entailed, and it was very easy. I donated plasma for over three years while in college. It provided just about $300 extra dollars for me a month while conforming to my crazy academic schedule as a landscape architecture student.

If you are interested in donating plasma check out my detailed write up, How to Earn More Money – Donating Plasma.

Are you Crafty? Sell on Etsy

Etsy is one of those flexible part time jobs that is easy to jump into but does take some time to get established. I have sold a few photographs on Esty but never put the time into really establishing my shop (that is what they call your personal page). I have read that this can take a little while but can be totally worth the effort that you put forward.

Etsy allows you to sell your own crafts as a part time gig.

Etsy allows you to sell your own crafts as a part time gig.

Similar to Uber or Lyft, you put time into Etsy whenever you can outside of your 9 to 5 job. The more you put into your shop, the more likely it will succeed. In the near future I will be revisiting my Esty Shop trying to revive it and see what I can get out of it. It looks like I have some work to do as they reset my shop since I have last logged in. Stay tuned!

Good With a Camera? Sell Your Photography

I absolutely love photography. Sadly, since moving to Colorado in 2011 my life has become WAY too busy to be able to put time into the craft. One way I have found to make a little money off of my photographs that are just sitting within an external hard drive is through stock photography.

Back in 2013 I decided to upload some random photos that I liked. Some were my favorite photographs of all time and some were just good. It turned out one of my random ‘just good’ photos that I took of the St. Louis Arch was really loved by people. This photograph has gone on to make me around $1,000! I only host this photograph on iStockPhoto and ShutterStock.

I have used stock photography to make true passive income for the past four years.

I have used stock photography to make true passive income for the past four years.

Stock photography is truly a passive income. I have not touched that photo on either service in that past four years. So fun!

Conclusion

All in all these flexible part time jobs are very easy to get started with. They all are very conforming to any grownup’s schedule. Anyone can get signed up for any of these eight positions right now. I recommend trying one that might interest you the most. This will ensure that you enjoy making this extra money.

If you are looking for some extra cash to help pay off debt then I recommend you trying out any of these eight flexible part time jobs.

We have come up with a bigger list on Ways to Earn More Money. Most of these are not flexible p

art time jobs. Rather this list has other experiences on how to make more money such as selling something on Craigslist.

A UserTesting Review By a Frustrated Applicant

A UserTesting Review By a Frustrated Applicant

Let us start this UserTesting review at the beginning to give you some context what they do.

A glance as to what UserTesting does.

A glance as to what UserTesting does.

Basically UserTesting will do a comprehensive review of a company’s website.

UserTesting will have a “Company A” approach them saying, “Hey, we are not sure if our website is very good. Can you help?”

User Testing takes over by asking, “What are you worried about with your website?”

Now the “Company A” could say that they are worried about their navigation or is information is easy to find? These concerns are then transformed into tasks for a website reviewer to try out.

Enter the UserTesting website reviewer, what I was hoping to try out.

Everything done by the website reviewer is recorded by UserTesting’s on their application. This application records what the reviewer is saying as they talk through their actions, thoughts, and process. Also, the application records the screen movements and actions the reviewer performs. I’m not exactly sure what happens after the review is completed. I would assume that the company gets the responses and data after some vetting/cleaning up process. The video below explains the whole process in their words.

My Experience Starting Out

When I first heard about UserTesting.com about a month ago I was excited. I thought to myself, “Man, they are going to pay you a decent amount of money for 20 minutes of work to review websites? I’m in!”

Not only was I excited for the additional income but I was excited to learn.

For me, creating websites is a passion. Being able to review many different sites would have given me the opportunity to see what other people are doing right or wrong. Personally, I was the most excited to learn! Plus, I thought I could make an awesome UserTesting review for the readers of Wallet Squirrel.

Sign Me Up!

Fast forward to this past week. I was finally able to get started on my application to be able to review websites and start the UserTesting review.

View of the sign up page.

UserTesting Review: Sign-Up Page.

My adventure started off with excitement. To begin with, they ask everyone to try out a test review to make sure every applicant can speak clearly and has the right equipment set up. I hopped on their website where I submitted my email address to start the process. Once the email arrived I could click on a link provided to begin the sample test.

Email I received to start the process.

UserTesting Review: Email I received to start the process.

Sample Test

This link in the email takes you to a webpage where I could download their application. Once downloaded, I could follow the steps to get it installed. The initial process was super easy and simple. After completing the install, I hit the continue button which took me to the next page. Because most people are not sure what to expect, UserTesting provides a link to a previous applicant’s sample video. This was nice to have so I could get my bearings for my own sample test.

The initial process was super easy and simple. After completing the install, I hit the continue button which took me to the next page. Because most people are not sure what to expect, UserTesting provides a link to a previous applicant’s sample video. This was nice to have so I could get my bearings for my own sample test.

This was nice to have so I could get my bearings for my own sample test.

Testing out the microphone. It works almost to good.

Testing out the microphone. It works almost to good.

After taking a peak at the example, I hit “Launch Recorder” to have a go at it for myself. The application opens with a test for your microphone. Annoyingly there are more pop ups to go through before I finally got to where the application is recording. Reading the instructions, the first task is to watch a short two-minute tutorial video. This video is nice as it goes through the process with you and gives you some more tips on how to use the UserTesting Application. Once complete there are three questions to answer. These are simple multiple choice questions, so do worry much about them.

The application opens with a test for your microphone. Annoyingly there are more pop ups to go through before I finally got to record. Reading the instructions, the first task is to watch a short two-minute tutorial video. This video is nice as it goes through the process with you and gives you some more tips on how to use the UserTesting Application. Once complete there are three questions to answer. These are simple multiple choice questions, so do worry much about them.

Reading the instructions, the first task is to watch a short two-minute tutorial video. This video is nice as it goes through the process with you and gives you some more tips on how to use the UserTesting Application. Once complete there are three questions to answer. These are simple multiple choice questions, so do worry much about them.

Actual Tasks

Finally! After clicking through SO many pop-ups and windows, I made it to the actual sample tasks.

I landed on the National Air and Space Museum’s website to review. My first task is to find a map with a layout of the museum in DC. As I explore through the logical places for this layout map I talk through my process and thoughts about the task. Once the map was finally found and my thoughts shared, I get to click next for the second task.

The home page of the National Air & Space Museum Website.

The home page of the National Air & Space Museum Website.

The second task wanted me to find what holiday the Air and Space Museum is closed. With this task, I looked around the website some more. This one was a little more tough to find because of the overall structure of the site is goofy. But at last! I found it! I gave my two cents about the overall site structure and then moved on.

But at last! I found it! I gave my two cents about the overall site structure and then moved on.

Once the last task was complete, I could hit “Done” to stop the recording. Next there were a few written questions to answer such as, “What specifically made it easy or difficult for you to find what you were looking for?” I inputted a detailed answer for each one because of the higher the quality of your review, the more likely you are going to get more reviews.

After answering those questions the UserTesting application starts uploading the review.

Redo Part One

Excluding allpop-ups pop ups, this is where my UserTesting review started to take a turn for the worse.

It was not an hour later after submitting my first video that I got an email saying to redo my submission. As you can see this email is very vague as to why I had to redo my test sample. I thought, “Okay, maybe the room was too loud or I did not talk loud enough.” So, I sat down, made sure the room was shut tight, and cleared my throat. It took me about 15 minutes to finish this submission.

As you can see this email is very vague as to why I had to redo my test sample. I thought, “Okay, maybe the room was too loud or I did not talk loud enough.” So, I sat down, made sure the room was shut tight, and cleared my throat. It took me about 15 minutes to finish this submission.

My first rejection email.

UserTesting Review: My first rejection email. Notice how vague it is.

Redo Part Two

At dinner, I was all excited that I had not received a rejection email yet.

Sadly, this excitement did not last long though. As we were just cleaning the dishes another rejection email came in. I started to get a little more frustrated this time as it was the same vague email.

Determined to get my application approved I sat down, yet again, to do the test sample. This time I focused harder on what I was saying during my exploration. I tried to simplify my review and be more clear. After submitting it this time I got my hopes up. I thought I had it this time.

My first rejection email.

UserTesting Review: My second rejection email.

Redo Part Three

It was not till mid-morning the next day that I heard back with, yet again, another rejection email.

I was kind of angry at this point because I did not know what I was doing wrong. The silly rejection emails do not tell you ANYTHING.

 

My third rejection email.

UserTesting Review: My third rejection email.

I only wanted some direction as to what was I doing wrong. This would be the fourth time I was to do the test sample.

After looking around some more through the test sample I determined that I might be looking for the wrong map. I kept looking for the location map when they wanted the layout map. Knowing this I started the application all over again, for the fourth time, did I mention that part? Once done, I felt very confident that I would get it. I thought I would have an awesome article to write about making money by reviewing websites.

Sure enough, I was right. I was not completing the task right. If the emails were a little more detailed, the sample test might have only had to redone once instead of three times!

Finally, A Different Email

Later that evening, I was so happy to see a different email come in from UserTesting with the subject line, “UserTesting – Your application to UserTesting.” Thinking to myself, I thought, “Man, this has to be it! I did it! I did it!”

I open the email and all my hopes and dreams were crushed (might be over overdramatizing). The email said they have more applications than they can accept so they couldn’t invite me to join the panel.

The final rejection letter after figuring out what I was doing wrong.

The final rejection letter after figuring out what I was doing wrong.

Are you kidding me?!?!? I spent two days recording the sample test four times and just now I am hearing that they are not taking any more applicants. Why couldn’t they say this on their website? I couldn’t believe it. I was very angry at the company at this point.

via GIPHY

Okay, Adam, breath…it is okay.

Conclusion

To conclude the UserTesting review, this process was very frustrating. Though UserTesting has ironed out most of the experience there are still some major wrinkles that need to be smoothed out. For one, they need to provide better emails as to why something is rejected. I do not see why this would not be hard to do. From my understanding an actual person reviews the sample tests so why can’t they be a little personable.

Secondly, they need to close their application link if they are not accepting anymore applications! This made me upset when they pushed me to keep redoing my sample test just to tell me something they already knew, they weren’t taking anymore applications.

Please fix this UserTesting!  For me, it comes off as they do not care about their reviewers even though these people make up half of their business.

For me, it comes off as they do not care about their reviewers even though these people make up half of their business.

To give some positive feedback within this UserTesting review, they do have a very nice website. It makes signing up very easy. The application used to conduct reviews is very slick and simple (though there are a lot of popup windows to click through). They do make the process very easy to perform so anyone could conduct a review. Sadly, they have the smudge marks, listed above, that ruin the program for me.

via GIPHY

Other Reviews

Andrew and I are constantly reviewing different methods to earn more money. Head over to the Blog or our How to Earn More Money section to read more reviews. If you have any thoughts on something we should review shoot us a message.

3 Simple Ways to Ask for a Raise at a New Job

3 Simple Ways to Ask for a Raise at a New Job

Think about sitting down with your boss to ask for a raise. This can be a very nerve racking experience. There are so many ways your boss can respond. He can laugh at your request. This question can set him off with anger. Or there you can get a simple, “No.” Now add let’s add some complexity into that thought of asking for a raise. Think about going to your future employer to ask for a raise when you haven’t even started the job yet. Who would do this right?

Personally, I highly recommend it based on an experience I recently had (read on for that story). I look at a built in raise as a win/win situation for both parties. For you, there is a raise waiting for you just a few short months after starting. For your future employer, they get to look at this raise as almost a retention bonus. They know this extra incentive will increase the chances of you sticking around for that time frame.

Before the Meeting

All of three of these methods have some steps in common. Firstly, you should always write down and practice the pitch to your future employer. Never go into this meeting unprepared which leads to the second step. Do some research! You do not want to go into this meeting being asked a question that you are not prepared for. Research as to why you need this raise and what other companies are doing. Lastly, practice your pitch! Did I say that already? I cannot stress how important this is. Your future employer will wonder who they hired if you cannot put together sentences with strong answers to their questions.

Build in a Future Raise

There are times a company does not have it in their budget to provide a higher starting salary you asked for. When they tell you this news, do not freak out and say goodbye. Slow down a bit before you start looking elsewhere for a new position but rather continue the conversation with your future employer.

pexels-photo-273011

Have a raise built into your contract for a later date.

You will want to talk about is the possibility for a future raise. Discuss on the timing and what works with their budget. Maybe their fiscal year is over in three or six months from when you start. You could get it written in your starting contract that you would receive this raise when the next fiscal year begins.

Idea: Mentally prepare yourself for how far out this raise could come. They might not have the money to give you a raise for a full twelve months. When you ask for a raise, try to be assertive to get that time frame shorter but do not be aggressive. You do not want to insult your future employer by starting your tenure with a sour taste.

Performance Benchmarks

I will keep this method short and sweet for you. Some positions out in the working world are very performance orientated. Some examples would include sales or even law. A lawyer could state that if they when a particular number of cases that they would be in line for a higher base salary. Or an insurance salesman could ask for a raise to be built in if their margins hit 10% above average.

Idea: Before heading into the interview do some prep work. This prep should consist of researching what the benchmark should be. Do not come into the meeting just with what the benchmark but you should also be prepared as to why the standard should be set where you set it.

Completion of School

With this method to ask for a raise I had a personal experience with. It worked out well for my family and I.

Back in 2015 I started a new career venture by starting my masters in software development and programming. In 2010 I received my bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. Honestly, I should have gone into the IT world right out of high school but that is alright. Landscape architecture gave me some amazing experiences such as taking me around the country and world. It also is how I met two of my best friends, Andrew and Tristan.

Moving on from this past and onto my future in the IT world. I planned on work in my retail position while I finished my master’s degree at DU. Once I finished the program I would go out to the real world to grab a new high paying job. As plans usually go it did not go as, well, planned. Actually, everything went better than I planned. A couple terms into my degree I had the opportunity to apply for a job at a local university here in Denver. After the interview process I landed this position.

pexels-photo-267885

Set a raise to be built in after you graduate school.

This was an amazing opportunity that I was given. This meant a lot to our family financially. It allowed us to save for a down payment on a home which is a challenge here in Denver. We have also become more aggressive on our car and student loans though not aggressive enough for my liking.

When negotiating the salary for the new position I got my starting salary right in the middle of the range they were willing to pay. I thought this was a win, especially since I did not have any experience. The key aspect to the contract was we negotiated in an automatic 10% raise. This raise would come when I registered for my last term in my master’s program. This raise took my salary to the top end of the initial range they were willing to pay. I was very happy especially since raises that big are basically unheard of at the university.

Idea: Your future employer might want to see your transcript when you ask for a raise of this type. Mine did. So be prepared by getting that printed off beforehand.

Conclusion

If one of these three “ask for a raise” methods will work for you, then go for it! For me personally, it was reassuring to know that I was going significant raise within six months of starting my new raise. This was especially reassuring after I got to know the company more and realized that raises like mine rarely happen.

The toughest part is getting over those nerves to ask for that raise. I completely understand those nerves. I mean, you haven’t even started the job yet and you are already asking for a raise. Trust me though, it is not that hard. Just remember to do your research to make a solid case. The worse that can happen is your future employer says no. At least you will have an answer with no regrets.

50 Amazon Affiliate Website Examples Making Money in a Niche

I’ve always had a hard time finding a good list of Amazon Affiliate Website Examples, so here is my personal list of inspiration that I’ve built up over the years. I’ve been itching to create a new website lately, but before I start I thought I would review my list of successful Amazon Affiliate Websites currently making money for some lessons learned.

What is an Amazon Affiliate Website?

An Amazon Affiliate Website is any website that earns money by linking products from their website to the Amazon store. This can be a blog that references a product with a link back to Amazon, so customers can purchase that item referenced. Or on a larger scale, a whole market place website that references numerous Amazon Products.

The idea is that you are referring customers to Amazon.com where you gain a commission if a user buys from the Amazon store. This is usually 5%-10% per purchase. Amazon tracks this by a special code from the URL link on your website or WordPress plugin.

22 Successful Amazon Affiliate Website Examples

ThisIsWhyImBroke-Amazon Affiliate Website Example

ThisIsWhyImBroke – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

ThisIsWhyImBroke.com
This is one of my favorite Amazon Affiliate Websites because it’s so freaking cool! These guys gather up the coolest gadgets, gifts, tech and oddities from Amazon and around the web. The gag gifts and fun gadgets are items that people love to buy. This site uncovers the cool, often hidden, things of the internet and all you have to do is click on one of the Amazon Affiliate links to buy it from the Amazon store. ThisIsWhyIAmBroke works with more than just Amazon, but it’s one of their biggest revenue sources.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 2.40M Visitors
Average Post Length: 10 – 160 Words
How much do they make: Around $20,000+ per month from Amazon (source)

 

ConsumerSearch-Amazon Affiliate Website Example

ConsumerSearch – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

ConsumerSearch.com
This website started in 2000 as a review website which helped consumers by reviewing different products and offering the consumer the chance to purchase the product. These have become a very popular way for bloggers to create amazon affiliate websites. It’s a great way to feature products and a good review can be very motivating for someone to purchase.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 1.10M Visitors
Average Post Length: 1,000 Words
How much do they make: This site was bought for $33 Million from About,com in 2007 (source)

 

TheWirecutter-Amazon Affiliate Website Example

TheWirecutter – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

TheWirecutter.com
This is a great example of a top notch review site. They start at the homepage notifying that they make affiliate commissions, but provide top end reviews from independent reviewers. This is great to be honest up front. In addition to being transparent, they also take the content is king strategy. I randomly clicked on their “Top Home Projector” post where they reviewed (and linked) to several high end home theater projectors. Keep in mind that these high priced items produce high commissions. That may explain why they spent the time to write a 5,000 word post on it. This site seems to do everything right in being a prime example of an Amazon Affiliate Website. This site now has over 60 staff members working for it.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 8.10M Visitors
Average Post Length: 3,000-5,000 Words
How much do they make: In 2015, this site combined with The Wirecutter made $150 Million in ecommerce sales. So you can get an idea of their commission revenue. (source)

 

TheSweetHome -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

TheSweetHome – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

TheSweetHome.com
This is the sister site to the affiliate marketing site TheWirecutter. Another amazon affiliate website that list gadgets and gear that the website reviews. They come out and say it on their homepage, they earn money by affiliate commissions. Apparently this sites receives over 1.8M visitors, which is pretty impressive considering this site only started in 2013. I guess the moral of the story is, it’s not too late to start a review website. It also helps to have incredibly long reviews. In fact, their one soda stream review had over 13,000 words. This is a great example that content is king.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 2.50M Visitors
Average Post Length: 4,000 – 5,000 Words
How much do they make: In 2015, this site combined with The Wirecutter made $150 Million in ecommerce sales. So you can get an idea of their commission revenue. (source)

 

GearPatrol -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

GearPatrol – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

GearPatrol.com
This is an interesting style review website that reads more like a magazine than a review site. This definitely helps give it some more credit than throwing a up a bunch of products and hoping people read them. It’s interesting that it takes a different approach, rather than writing long content, it focuses on a clean layout and video reviews to show people the product they’re testing, racking in 2.3 million monthly viewers. This is incredibly valuable for people willing to buy, but want to see the product in a video demo before purchasing. Now compare this site to what the site looked like in 2008 (here).

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 3.30M Visitors
Average Post Length: 100-500 Words
How much do they make: I don’t know how much they make

 

DogFoodAdvisor -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

DogFoodAdvisor – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

DogFoodAdvisor.com
This is a testament that design isn’t everything. Look at their homepage. There is one, very cute puppy, but nothing else. I’m not sure how this site is successful, but from looking over their latest articles, they are receiving regular viewers and comments. Something is working. Then again, people do love their dogs.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 1.30M Visitors
Average Post Length: 1,000-1,500 Words
How much do they make: I don’t know how much they make

 

BabyGearLab -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

BabyGearLab – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

BabyGearLab.com
So combine a review site and something people everyone loves, like babies. Imagine all the confusion new parents have when they bring a new baby into the world. What do they do, what do they need, what is the best? BabyGearLab solves that by reviewing baby stuff and helping parents understand it and buy it. This site has been around since 2011 helping parents through the impossible decisions of what is best for your baby.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 234.10K Visitors
Average Post Length: 6,000-10,000 Words
How much do they make: I don’t know how much they make

 

BestCovery -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

BestCovery – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

BestCovery.com
Review sites continue to be an impressive way to make affiliate commission. This review site doesn’t even niche down, their tag line is “Discover the Best of Everything”. From my initial review, they continue the streak of long content to rank high in Google. In doing this, they list multiple items really pushing their 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on picks. All conveniently with their own price tags linking to Amazon. With only 152 thousand monthly visitors, it’s not as much as other sites, but they continue to push out new content and gain new Facebook users. Anyone with a blog knows, it’s hard to get Facebook users, so they’re doing something right.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 152.10K Visitors
Average Post Length: 4,000-6,000 Words
How much do they make: I do know how much they make.

 

BestReviews -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

BestReviews – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

BestReviews.com
This is one the cleanest designs I’ve seen of an Amazon Affiliate Website. It has a very professional look for a review website, but they don’t overcrowd you with product reviews right off. This site really sets itself apart with their actual videos and reviews inside of their test center. You know these testers are actually testing the product rather than copying a review from another site or making things up. It’s so legit that I will likely be back to this site for future reviews for my purchases. It really gains your trust with the photos and videos even though you know they are making money through the affiliate commissions. Plus they buy all the products themselves and never accept any products from the manufacturer to maintain objectivity, but when you bring in 3.1 million visitors per month, you can buy a few items to review.

It’s so legit that I will likely be back to this site for future reviews for my purchases. It really gains your trust with the photos and videos even though you know they are making money through the affiliate commissions. Plus they buy all the products themselves and never accept any products from the manufacturer to maintain objectivity, but when you bring in 3.1 million visitors per month, you can buy a few items to review.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 3.80M Visitors
Average Post Length: Around 1,000 Words + Videos
How much do they make: I do know how much they make.

 

KidsTabletswithWiFi -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

KidsTabletswithWiFi – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

KidsTabletsWithWiFi.com
This is an Amazon Affilaite Website that has really niched down into specifically, as the name implies, kids tablets with Wifi. These are high priced items that produce high commissions in a huge market, children. What is the best tablet for kids? Do you give them an ipad? What if it breaks? Is there a cheaper option? These are all questions that this site helps with. It runs like a blog, but with a relatively simple design. It’s hard to tell if they have produced much new content because they don’t include dates with their blog posts. However this site is just one blog, with three additional pages for “Best Tablets for Kids”, “Kids Tablet Reviews” and “Kids Tablet Comparisons” all of which are likely keyword researched names. It’s likely the niched down keyword research to bring in the traffic, because the content while good, is relatively short with 300-500 words per post.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 1.80K Visitors
Average Post Length: 400 – 600 Words
How much do they make: I do know how much they make.

 

LongBoardReviews -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

LongBoardReviews – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

LongboardReviews.net
Another example of an Amazon Affiliate Website that niched down to long boards. These are like skateboards but longer and meant to cruise, going longer distances than skateboards. It’s a relatively simple website that loads the user with tons of products from the homepage but highlights the lack of comments per review (usually 0 – 2 comments). The typical length of an article is 300-500 words so they are relying on their specific niche for traffic. Not bad for a “.net” domain as they are less common than their popular counterparts “.com”. It’s not the best example, but I’m going for a range.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 2.70K Visitors
Average Post Length: 400 – 600 Words
How much do they make: The website sold in 2016 on Flippa for $5,275. Usually a website sells for a year’s worth of revenue. So we can expect this site to make around $500 per month (source)

 

FootballSnackHelmets -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

FootballSnackHelmets – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

FootballSnackHelmets.com
This is one of the most niche markets I’ve ever seen. It’s gems like these that make me confident the right keyword research in the smallest of niches can lead to a successful Amazon Affiliate Website. I’m not saying this specific site is successful though. They have only 2 blog post with minimal content for each “Football Snack Helmet”. It seems like someone had great intentions to set up an affiliate site with a clean design but forgot about it after 2 blog posts, ending in June 2016. This is one of the easiest examples that you could set up in a weekend.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 2.20K Visitors
Average Post Length: 100 – 300 Words
How much do they make: I do know how much they make, but we anticipate it’s seasonal and reliant on the US customer base.

 

OutdoorGearLab -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

OutdoorGearLab – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

OutdoorGearLab.com
This site is owned by the same owners as BabyGearLab.com so you’ll notice some similarities. It’s a really clean site that looks more like REI’s website than a review site. They generate tons of organic traffic for each review category like ski gloves combines all of their test products (amazon links), test experiences, reviews and opinions so that the review pages reach around 6,000 words. This is a great way to do a review page in my opinion to combine the word length of each review into one huge, helpful page. Plus keep in mind that people love outdoor gear. It’s insanely fun to go outdoors but you never know if you have right equipment. To figure out what’s right, these outdoor review sites help immensely!

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 1.60K Visitors
Average Post Length: 5,000 – 7,000 Words
How much do they make: I do know how much they make.

 

TopTenReviews-Amazon Affiliate Website Example

TopTenReviews – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

TopTenReviews.com
This is an older site (2003) with some heavy domain authority. That explains the crazy amount of content this site contains. It’s helpful though when you have 350+ employees. This isn’t a small enterprise, and they still utilize the Amazon Affiliate network to monetize their site. They use long and wordy articles to review products, maximizing the SEO of each page. The biggest difference from this site and others, is the amount of digital content these guys review. Their digital content ranges from Antivirus Software to Credit Card processing. This isn’t a typical Amazon product, but digital content can earn affiliate commissions through other sources than Amazon. Amazon is a great resource to monetize your site, but it’s definitely not the only way.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 12.80M Visitors
Average Post Length: 3,000 – 5,000 Words
How much do they make: I do know how much they make.

 

TomsHardware -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

TomsHardware – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

TomsHardware.com
Do you remember 1997? That’s when this website was created. You could maybe tell from the website homepage that looks more like About.com than a review website, then again they have over 1.5 million pages indexed. Don’t make the same mistake I did, this isn’t a door and sink hardware company, this is computer hardware for hardcore nerds who build their own computers. I’m sure this site is at the forefront of every build-it-myself computer geek out there (I’m one ). The site is now owned by Purch, the same people who own TopTenReviews. These guys have really got a good handle on successful Amazon Affiliate Websites.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 47.50M Visitors
Average Post Length: 500 – 1,000 Words
How much do they make: I do know how much they make.

 

CarSeatAnswers-Amazon Affiliate Website Example

CarSeatAnswers – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

CarSeatAnswers.com
It’s really simple and plain websites like this that make me happy! If something this plain can bring in so many visitors, than someone creative and design oriented like me can do better, right? CarSeatAnswers focuses on keywords like “Car Seat Answers” and “Car Seat Guide” and “Which Seat is Safest for a Baby’s Car Seat” then writes 700-1,000 word articles with no photos except for the Amazon Products sold throughout the article. This is one of the simplest example, but it still brings in visitors even with a small amount of domain authority. It gives you hope though, that you can easily create a successful website, right?

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 3.40K Visitors
Average Post Length: 300 – 500 Words
How much do they make: I do know how much they make.

 

KichenFaucetDivas -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

KichenFaucetDivas – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

KitchenFaucetDivas.com
This was one of the first Amazon Affiliate Website Examples I ever came across. I thought it was incredibly simple, before I saw some other websites that were even worse. A lot of it is what you would expect. A wordy homepage with a couple of pages in the menu bar that all resemble more keyword targeting than actual helpful navigation. I keep wondering if they actually reviewed all those different kitchen sinks, because that would be a lot of work installing and disassembling numerous sinks to see how they work. Likely not, their “About Us” page just says a “Mother of two” which tells me as the reader, if you’re not putting your name on this, your reviews are probably just as generic. Usually if an “About” page doesn’t list a name or company, I assume that the website is just as generic.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 30.20K Visitors
Average Post Length: 300 – 500 Words
How much do they make: I do know how much they make.

 

LiveLongerRunning -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

LiveLongerRunning – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

LiveLongerRunning.com
I read this title and expected an awesome community of runners sharing their glory stories of braving the snow and rain to log in miles. Instead I’m directed to a boring treadmill site. This site is about 5 pages and a couple of additional pages for reviews for treadmills. The reviews are the only pages with any kind of lengthy content and those are still only around 800 words. The main redeeming quality about this site, is they are focusing on high price items so even a single sale of a treadmill is a nice commission. This is another example of a website you could make in a weekend. It’s motivating though because you know you can do better, right?

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 11.10K Visitors
Average Post Length: 500 – 1,000 Words
How much do they make: I do know how much they make.

 

PickMyShaver -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

PickMyShaver – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

 

PickMyShaver.com
This is a review site that focuses on high end shaving equipment to have a nice mix of lower end and higher end shavers for a nice variety. It’s a simple/clean website design with lots of photos to help people understand the variety. Each review is decently long, but nothing to rave about. What is impressive is each review has a good amount of comments that are answered by the website owner. That tells me that the owner is monitoring this site and probably adding new content. A site like this wouldn’t be too hard to maintain. I’m thinking, maybe they add a new blog post once a month.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 41.90K Visitors
Average Post Length: 800 – 1,000 Words
How much do they make: I do know how much they make.

 

100DaysOfRealFood -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

100DaysOfRealFood – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

100DaysOfRealFood.com
This is a great example of an Amazon Affiliate Website that’s not a review site! It’s actually more like a food blog that recommends certain products through their blog and resource pages. With 1.6 Million Facebook Likes, Lisa Leak (owner) has become an authority on “real food” and uses this platform to sell other things like her own cook book. This example is more for a traditional blogger who wants to start monetizing their website rather than creating a review site.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 407.60K Visitors
Average Post Length: 500 – 1,000 Words
How much do they make: She doesn’t list how much she makes on her blog.

 

InflatableHotTubGuide -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

InflatableHotTubGuide – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

InflatableHotTubGuide.com
So this is a niche I guess. This is an interesting example of a site built around a high price item that I could see people willing to buy online rather than a store. This doesn’t leave a lot of room to expand into other hot tub areas, but if your focus is “inflatable hot tubs” then go for it. I can’t imagine they update it too often, the last time seems to be August 2015, but what’s new in the world of inflatable hot tubs?

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 967 Visitors
Average Post Length: 500 – 1,000 Words
How much do they make: I do know how much they make.

 

WomensSuperheroCostumes -Amazon Affiliate Website Example

WomensSuperheroCostumes – Amazon Affiliate Website Example

 

WomensSuperheroCostumes.com
This site is a different style of Amazon Affiliate website because while it does niche down specifically in superhero costumes, it targets women who are the main buyer of online clothing. It’s different because it doesn’t review the costumes, it pulls different costumes beyond Amazon and categorizes them by Superhero. So a search for Wonder Woman Costume would pull costumes from multiple websites beyond Amazon to give the user an idea of all the different Wonder Woman Costumes on the web, not just Amazon’s selection. This is a great example of reaching beyond the Amazon store.

Monthly Visitors (SimilarWeb) : 563 Visitors
Average Post Length: 300 – 600 Words
How much do they make: They make around $600 a year, but it’s seasonal.

29 Other Amazon Affiliate Website Examples

These additional websites, while different, follow a similar pattern of the previously mentioned. It’s a great list to reference what others are doing in the niche website world with Amazon Affiliates.

  1. SmartMonkeyFitness.com – Reviews (Fitness)
  2. DrillsAndDrivers.com – Reviews (Tools)
  3. ChooseWheels.com – Reviews (Transportation)
  4. Lucieslist.com – Reviews/Blog (New Moms)
  5. GrowABeardNow.com – Reviews (Shaving)
  6. Bpillow.com – Reviews (Pillows)
  7. TheBestEspressoMachines.org – Reviews (Coffee)
  8. AGreatShower.com – Reviews (Shower Heads) – Probably copying KitchenFaucetDivas above
  9. ShaverList.com – Reviews (Shaving)
  10. TopDronesForSale.org – Reviews (Drones)
  11. SewingMachineJudge.com – Reviews (Sewing Machines)
  12. TheRoundingSound.com – Reviews (Everything that makes Sound)
  13. KnifeInformer.com – Reviews (All Knifes)
  14. KitchenKnifeGuru.com – Reviews (Kitchen Knifes)
  15. eScooterBox.com – Reviews (Electric Scooters)
  16. MicrophoneGeek.com – Reviews (Microphones)
  17. VacuumJudge.com – Reviews (Vacuums)
  18. Oomphed.com – Reviews (Hair Dryers)
  19. Top5LawnMowers.com – Reviews (Lawn Mowers)
  20. ShredderSelect.com – Reviews (Paper Shredders
  21. BestElectricHoverBoard.com – Reviews (Hover Boards)
  22. MassageChairLand.com – Reviews (Massage Chairs)
  23. CoolCampingGear.com – New Product Site (Camping Gear)
  24. DigitalTrends.com – Reviews (Digital Products)
  25. BestRecliner.net – Reviews (Chairs)
  26. AquariumAdviser.com – Reviews (Fish Stuff)
  27. CanineJournal.com – Reviews (Dog Stuff)
  28. ThoroughlyReviewed.com – Reviews (Everything)
  29. PodcastInsights.com – Reviews (Podcast Equipment)

Thank you

Thanks to some helpful Reddit users, One Man’s Brand and Niche Site Project for some of the inspiration to make this list of 50 happen!

What I learned from 50 different Amazon Affiliate Website Examples

This list is pretty freaking significant with so many lessons learned. I hit on many of these in individual reviews but here are the highlights.

  1. Keyword Research is Key – is the single most important thing you can do. If your keyword is too broad, it’ll get lost in the sea of other websites and if it’s too narrow, no one is going to visit your site.
  2. Review Sites Are Popular – There are a couple exceptions, but most of these successful Amazon Affiliate Websites are just review sites that give people an idea of what the item is like before they buy. There is definitely something to it.
  3. Content is King – The more successful websites had content that was around 1,000 words per post. Google identifies this as better content and it’ll help your search rankings. It can’t just be gibberish though, it helps if you break up the content into 6-8 different sections so it’s easy for the user to navigate while still being lengthy. I used to think 300 words was good and 500 was above and beyond. I’ll likely spend even more time on articles and aim for around 1,000 words per article like my most popular article “Robinhood App Review” at 1,500 words.
  4. Mix High & Low Price Items, but Lean Towards High Price – if you’re doing all this work to push people towards a certain product, make sure that product is worth it. It doesn’t make much sense to review a $5 item with 1,000 words. You should lean towards those higher price items that will give you higher commissions. Remember, you get a percentage of the sale, not a flat fee.
  5. Get People To The Amazon Store – Many of these websites that had more sales, sent more people to the Amazon store. It’s a numbers game, the more people you send the Amazon market place, the more that will buy.

Conclusion

Just imagine how much you could invest in a stock portfolio if you owned or two of these niche sites. The thing is, it’s completely do-able. I have the skills (most people do) to create something like this. I am so freaking pumped to start my next niche website! I’m using these lessons learned to start my keyword research now. I’ll follow up on my progress in the upcoming blog posts. I really hope this helps you as much as it did me. It’s really inspirational to see how others are making additional income online with niche websites!

Am I missing any good Amazon Affiliate Website Examples I can add to this list?

How to Earn More Money in 2017 - The Achievement App

How to Earn More Money in 2017 – The Achievemint App

Way #73 – How to Earn More Money in 2017 – The Achievemint App

Being outdoors participating in many different activities is one of my favorite things in life. This is one of the biggest benefits of living in Colorado, I can be active outdoors year round. I have all of the gear. The running shoes, the fitness watch, the bike, the skis, the backpacking gear, and so on. I am set when it comes to playing outside. Today, together, we explorer how to earn more money in 2017 with the Achievemint App. We will look at the in’s and out’s of the application to decide if it is right for you.

Side note: I absolutely love my fitness watch from Garmin. It is a little pricey but allows me to track ALL of these activities when most do not. Plus, I can still wear it to business meetings after switching to the metal band. Alright sales pitch over now back to your regularly scheduled program.

The issue I have is the lack of motivation to get up in the morning to work out. I think a lot of people would agree with me. No matter the time of day, it is tough to get that motivation. If this was not the case there would be too many David Hasselhoffs and Pamela Andersons running down the beach in slow motion. Well how do we get help for more motivation? Enter the Achievemint App.

What is it?

The Achievemint App allows you to earn money from your fitness adventures. This includes walking, running, biking, hiking, and so on! Every activity you record the application rewards you with points depending on how intense and long it was. The people over at the Achievemint App have even throwing in some curve balls as to how you can earn points. These include logging your foods on MyFitnessPal or tweeting healthy thoughts on Twitter. My favorite one though, they will reward you for sleeping!

Connected Apps Through the Achievement App. Photo Courtesy of Achievement.

Connected Apps Through the Achievemint App. Photo Courtesy of Achievemint.

In total there are 27 apps (Their website says 40+ but I only count 27 in the Apps pages) you can sync your Achievemint app to in order to earn more points. These are not obscure apps either, they include very popular and well developed applications so most people can get connected. These applications include the UnderArmour Fitness suite, Garmin Connect, Jawbone, FitBit, Apple Health, Foursquare, Twitter, and so many more!

Why do they do this?

You must be asking, “Why are they doing this?” Achievemint has partnered with several health research companies who in turn make the rewards possible. With every 10,000 point you earn they will pay you $10. According to their website, “There’s no limit to how much you can earn.” So to simply put it, they are paying you for your data so they may sell it to research companies.

Some people might find it scary that researchers are going to be looking at your data and it is a lot of data! I completely understand your hesitation. The Achievemint App does not disclose a lot of information about this part of process. It would be nice if they answered a series of questions such as…Who is doing buying this data for research? What are they researching? Is there any personal information they look at such as names? I couldn’t find any answers to these questions within their Terms of Service agreement. Let me know if you do find anything. Achievement does have 1,000,000 users but I would suspect that they could have more if they answered the above questions.

My Thoughts

I love the application they have designed. It is clean, simple, and efficient. Syncing up other applications to it for tracking is a very easy process. Within a couple minutes I had my Garmin, Twitter, and MyFitnessPal accounts all linked up. They do not have a dedicated Android application yet but the web application is so well designed I did not even notice.

Unfortunately, this is where the positive feedback ends. My main issue, is it takes A LONG time to earn 10,000 points. I can go for a for a long bike ride and earn only 51 points. On average I walk 7,000 steps which gets me about 20 points. That is only 0.2% of the total goal!

Another issue for me is the inconsistency of the point rewarding. I can go for a mile long warm up run and earn eight points. After the run I complete a 53 minute long Insanity session and earn only six points. Now we know Insanity is A LOT more intense than a mile long run so it should be worth more points. At first I thought maybe it was the lack of data compared to the run. So I started wearing my heart rate monitor to provide more data but nothing changed. This lack of consistency is really discouraging especially after an intense workout.

Conclusion

All in all, I think the Achievemint App is an interesting way on how to earn more money in 2017. If you are very active you might earn enough to take your wife out to lunch (I do not think you will earn enough for dinner). For me, seeing the points creep up at first was very motivating but then I realized how slow it was going that extra boost of motivation started to disappear.

To put it in a monetary perspective. According to Achievemint’s website, they have paid out over a half million dollars so far! That is a lot of money! Let’s do some math before you get to excited about that number though. As mentioned earlier, the Achievemint App has million users, that means an average user has only earned fifty cents. That is it.

How little of points I have earned with the Achievement App. Photo Courtesy of Achievement.

How little of points I have earned with the Achievemint App. Photo Courtesy of Achievemint.

Overall, I think they have more work to do to make this application a viable way on how to earn more money in 2017.  They need make this application more consistent with how it awards points. Also, I believe they need to make the point earning a tad bit quicker. Maybe that aspect is just me but I joined Achievement back in December 2016. Over the past three months I haven’t even hit 2,000 points yet! I do have to remember though, I do not have to do anything that I do not normally do to earn these points. It is truly passive income with Achievemint collecting data from data that I already collect myself. Now I am get paid for that data, even though that dollar sign is very small.

How to Earn More Money in 2017

Now you know a little more about way #73 to earn more money with the Achievemint App. Head over to our comprehensive list to check out other ways how to earn more money in 2017! We will continue to try out and review these ways throughout the year for you. If we are missing something on the list and you want to see us review it shoot us an email or tweet (@WalletSquirrel)!

Cheers!

       Adam

How to Earn More Money – Donating Plasma

Introduction

Hello Everyone! Before I get to today’s main way to earn more money, donating plasma, I wanted to introduce myself. As a lot of you already know from Andrew’s introduction of me from his post last week, I am Adam. If you didn’t see his introduction, go check it out now. It is a really good read! Don’t worry, I won’t go anywhere, I’ll still be here when you get back.

You back? Great! I hope you enjoyed that article as much as I did.

Anyways, back to what is important, me! As I’ve already mentioned, I am Adam, the newest and greatest (shhh don’t tell Andrew) contributor to Wallet Squirrel. I am very excited to work alongside my best buddy Andrew making great content for you while learning in the process.

My goals here are to learn more about becoming financially free and to become that. My wife and I have a lot of debt (car, student loans, and house) that we want to break free from. I want to include you in on this journey to paying off our debt!

A little about me. I am married and we have a four month old. We also have two dogs, a lab-retriever and a husky. Living in Denver, Colorado allows our little family to do what we love the most, spend time in the mountains. We love to hike, climb 14ers (Mountains above 14,000 feet in elevation), and to camp. One of my favorite hobbies is photography so you will be seeing several posts from me about it and how you can make money with your camera. Be excited!

Earn More Money With Photography

A little self promotion of one of my photographs

 

I guess I’ll stop rambling and get to what you are really here for. Way #72 to earn more money by donating plasma.

Earn More Money – Donating Plasma

A lot of people cringe at the thought of having a 12 gauge needle moving towards their arm. I don’t blame them, it can be a very nerve racking process. Especially when a trainee would come to stick you but most weeks the experience was great. I am here to walk you through the donation process to help ease those nerves.

Back in college donating plasma was my main income for a few years. Twice a week one of my roommates and I would go to Biolife Plasma in Ames, Iowa to donate plasma. Typically we would earn between $50 to $70 a week for our plasma and time.

So let’s walk through what my typical visit was like. Keep in mind, I have experience with only one facility and your local donation center might vary.

When I initially started I had to take a physical to make sure I was fit enough to donate. This is not a traditional physical that you get at the doctor, so do not worry about that. It takes about an hour to complete between all of the paper work, the million and one questions they ask you, as well as the general physical health checkup they perform. The physical needs to be repeated every year, which was my least favorite part of the experience. Not because it was hard or anything like that, it was just really annoying.

Now that the initial physical is complete and I was approved the rest of the visits were easy. I would walk through the front door and sign in at the front desk. This included answering a bunch of questions on a computer. Some examples are. Have you visited certain countries within a particular time frame? Were you sick recently? Did you donated blood recently? Then I would go sit in the waiting room for a little bit. A nurse would call my name to check my temperature, blood pressure, and verify so other items. If I had too high of temperature or blood pressure I could not donate for the day. If I passed, the nurse would take me back to the donating beds.

Once back there and settled in, a technician would come to stick my arm so the donation process could start. This is the part most people cringe about, don’t worry about it. These technician do go through a thorough training process. Out of the three years I donated, only a few sticks did not go too well.

Earn More Money - Donating Plasma

Technically this photo is of someone donating blood but looks very similar to the plasma donation process.

After getting hooked up I was able to relax during the donation process for the next thirty to forty-five minutes. This is when I would read/study or watch a movie. I really enjoyed this part of the donation process as you were literally forced to relax. When done and unhooked, I went to check out, sign up for my next donation time, and get paid! The whole visit took about an hour and a half.

Payment wise, Ames was a smaller market so we only got $50 to $70 a week for the donations. We were limited to two donations a week each time. They would pay $30 for the first time and $40 for the second visit. Some bigger cities paid a lot better. It was rumored that people in Kansas City were getting $130 a week!

Conclusion

For anyone with a few extra hours in the week and looking for more money I highly recommend checking your local plasma donation center. This is a fairly easy way to gain some extra income. It is mostly a painless process that allows you to get other work done during the process. If I missed anything about the process or you have a story about your own experience, give a comment below.

Now that you know a little more about way #72 to earn more money, donating plasma. Head over to our comprehensive list to check out other ways you could earn more money in 2017! We will continue to try out and review these ways throughout the year for you. If we are missing something on the list and you want to see us review it shoot us an email or tweet (@WalletSquirrel)!

Cheers!

Adam

Holy Crap! Interest Checking Accounts are a Thing

Until two years ago I didn’t know there were such a thing as an Interest Checking Account. I had a standard Wells Fargo checking account for 12 years making me zero money. Literally zip, so imagine my surprise when I discovered there are checking accounts out there that pay you interest like a savings account.

What is an Interest Checking Account?

It’s essentially a regular checking account You can write checks, use debit cards or withdraw from ATMs but while your money is in the account, you’re earning interest like a savings account.

Interest Checking Account

Regular Checking Account vs. Interest Checking Account

How much can you earn in an Interest Checking Account?

It isn’t much, but better than zero. I have an account with Ally Bank and my Interest Checking Account makes 0.10% interest. To give you an idea. I keep around $4,000 in my checking account at all times. $2,000 is

To give you an idea. I keep around $4,000 in my checking account at all times. $2,000 is for my emergency fund and $2,000 for my monthly expenses. So that’s $4,000 sitting in my account making about 0.38 cents per month. See my Income Reports to see how it changes per month.

It’s not much, but over the last year, my Interest Checking Account made $3.66. That’s what I entered on my taxes last week.

My Personal History

Now $3.66 is more than I made on my Wells Fargo Checking Account, EVER! Keep in mind, I don’t mean to hate on Wells Fargo, but they simply never told me an Interest Checking Account was a thing.

They were like the cool kids in every high school (likely named Chazz). You wanted to hang out with them, even though you knew you they were dicks and there were better friends out there.

At Wells Fargo, if my checking account ever made interest, they kept it. Even my Wells Fargo Saving Account at 0.01% was earning less than my current Interest Checking Account. If I kept my $4,000 in Wells Fargo Savings Account for a year, I’d be left with $0.40 at the end of the year. THAT’S THEIR SAVINGS ACCOUNT!

Do a lot of Checking Accounts earn you interest?

Actually, most checking accounts I’ve encountered do not earn you interest. This is why I was so surprised when I discovered there are a few that do.

Many of my friends have a balance similar to mine with $4,000 in their account and some of my friends have up to $60,000 sitting in their checking account because they don’t know what to do with it. If you have that much, you should move it over to a savings account at least and hire a financial manager. I get the fear of the stock market, but there is no reason to keep that much in a checking account, especially not making you interest.

Conclusion

I’ve been wanting to do this post for a while now. It’s cool to share with people, who like me, didn’t know about Interest Checking Accounts. They exist! It’s not a lot of money, but it all adds up!

PS. I’m in no way sponsored by Ally Bank here. This is just my personal experience so far and if they start to F*!k up, you’ll hear about it

I hope I taught at least one person something new!