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Side Hustle Spotlight: How This Teacher Brings Aerial Imagery to Life

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Side Hustle Spotlight

We are going to start a new series that spotlights side hustles from various people from around the nation, beginning with aerial imagery. This series will hopefully shine some light on new ways for you to make some extra income that Andrew and I do not have the resources or talent to try out.

A Full-Time Teacher, Coach, Husband, and Father Brings Aerial Imagery to Life

Today we will talk with Mr. Haskovec, the co-founder of WHaerial Imagery.

I know Mr. Haskovec through my years in high school as he was my American history teacher about 15 years ago. Wow! I cannot believe it has been that long!

And, yes, I still find it strange to call Mr. Haskovec by his whole name after so many years. 😀

Somehow, this full-time teacher, coach, husband, and father has found time to start this aerial imagery side hustle.

Who Is WHaerial?

WHaerial imagery is a drone photography and videography business located in Northeastern Iowa. They provide customers with new marketing perspectives and opportunities. A recent project that Wayne completed was for a golf course in Waverly, Iowa. The video shows off the course from a unique perspective that traditional photography and videography cannot.

Aerial imagery has really started to boom over the last five years as the technology becomes cheaper. There continues to be more and more creative ways to capture different industries using drones. We have started to see this in the real estate business as drones are able to show off properties very well.

WHaerial has only just begun this side hustle but is already publishing some great work! Let’s see how Wayne and his business partner got started, what it took to get into the field, and what are the challenges of drone photography.

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1. What do you hope comes out of this side hustle?

Well, to be honest, and upfront….this is a first time endeavor. I am hoping that this start-up will blossom into something that lends itself to more opportunities down the road. The goal is to grow this aerial imagery business into something that will provide not only extra revenue but opportunities to expand. My partner and I decided to officially start a business that features a fully insured and licensed drone company.

There are thousands of drones out and about, but many are not licensed or insured to fly commercially. We are hoping to provide that security and opportunities to our future customers in the Cedar Valley of Iowa.

2. What motivated you to start this venture?

Just over a year ago, I was able to fly one of the first Phantom 4 drones in our area. I immediately fell in love with the creativity and technology packaged in such a small device. The opportunity to capture never seen before areas of my family’s property turned into an absolute passion for me.

As I became better at piloting the drone, I decided to purchase my own drone.

The purchase soon turned into a serious hobby. I was able to show friends and family how unique the drone perspective was. Soon I was capturing images and video and including those creative pieces onto my social media. The excitement and fun I was having made me realize that I could potentially jump into a market of professional aerial imagery. It was a pretty easy to convince myself that I should go ahead get certified, and make money doing something I enjoy.

3. What did it take to get up and running for professional aerial imagery?

My partner and I laid out all of the potential assets we had, which included the two drones that I currently owned. I also invested $150 in taking the FAA certification exam at a local community college that allows for such testing. The insurance and fees for creating our LLC have completed our initial startup costs.

Obviously, there will be more costs down the road….but our hope is to get off the ground (no pun intended) running. In terms of being able to pilot the drone….anyone can do it. The trick, however, is doing it the right way. Making sure you take the time to follow protocol in pre-flight and flight. I have spent the past year getting better at making turns manually without jagged video.

Experience is the name of the game!

4. What is your weekly time commitment to the business?

As of now, it is hard to speculate what future weeks will look like. As of now, we are just waiting on making sure all of our paperwork is in order. My estimation is that once we get into the swing of things, we will be looking at 10-12 hours of pure droning and video editing.

In addition, time will be spent on social media helping to promote our product. Without a doubt, that number per week will increase. With that growth, we are hoping to enlist more certified pilots into WHaerial.

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5. How are you going about to getting work?

Social Media! Between Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter….we hope to boost sales dramatically as we begin to actively search for projects.

We also have several connections within our area in the real estate and agriculture realms but are going to be diving deeper. As we build our numbers via social media, we hope to showcase our work on our website. Our most recent project has been highlighted through the use of Facebook.

The opportunities to connect and grow are limitless in the world we live in today.

6. What challenges have you run into so far?

I believe one of the biggest challenges we will have is staying ahead of the curve. Even though there are droning/aerial image companies out there, we are hoping to get a foot up on the competition in our area.

The other issue that potentially could create some difficulties is the expense in keeping our equipment up and running. The drones that we operate can take 20-megapixel photos along with 4K video. Continuing to stay current and state of the art in the world of droning will be something that will be continuing to fuel our company.

7. Do you have any advice for anyone looking to get into aerial imagery?

My biggest piece of advice is to read all manuals before flying! Know your drone inside and out, and account for your surroundings. Helping the drone community to look as professional as possible, will allow more opportunities to drone in the future!

8. Shameless plug

Head over to one of, or all of, WHaerial’s social media and give them a follow! Personally, I really enjoy the Instagram account! There are some pretty aerials of the Iowa countryside.

Our company page is located on:
Facebook: @WHaerial
Twitter: WhAerial
Instagram: whaerial
Email: whaerialimagery@gmail.com

Conclusion

If aerial imagery sounds like an awesomely fun side hustle, go for it! If you are interested, I would follow Mr. Haskovec’s advice of getting your FAA license as well insurance. This might be the difference as to why a customer chooses you over another company.

Also, do not forget to practice flying your drone, a lot! You will want to create high-quality videos for customers which will require you to fly the drone smoothly as you film.

If aerial imagery is not your thing but you are still looking to earn some extra money and need some ideas on how to do that, then check out our Ways to Make Money page. Here Andrew and I provide 70, yes 70, ways you can make money outside of your 9 to 5 job. We even test these out for you so you can easily figure out what side hustle is best for you.

 

Want to Take Stock Photos like a Pro? 7 Tips You Must Know

Want to Take Stock Photos like a Pro? 7 Tips You Must Know

We have had a lot of questions revolving around stock photos after Andrew posted his How I made $1.88 Selling Stock in 10 Days article.  One question we have seen a lot is, how do you take a good stock photo? Or, why aren’t any of my photos selling? I thought this was a great opportunity for another article on stock photography.

This article is intended to answer those two questions so you can start making some true passive income through stock photography.

Either if you are looking to just get started or you are an already established stock photographer, these tips can help you get started or improve your sales. If you are struggling with sales, one or more of these tips could be the reason as to why.

1. What’s Trending

You could have the best photograph in the world but if it is about a particular subject that is not in high demand, you will not get many sells.

Selling stock photos is a lot like selling anything else. Let’s say a sporting goods store is looking to sell a new high tech soccer ball that tracks metrics for the player. The retailer will not imediately go out to start manufacturing a million new soccer balls. First, they start off with some market research to see if there is a demand for the new soccer ball.

You need to do the same thing for the subject matter that your stock photo is going to target.

Luckily, both Shutterstock and iStockPhoto both display trending searches on their home pages. These lists will help you start to get some ideas on what people are searching for and purchasing.

finding trending stock photo ideas

2. Is Your Target Market Over Saturated?

An oversaturated market is easy to find within the stock photography world. These are usually the easiest photographs to capture such as clouds, flowers, animals, and so on.

If you try to make money off of stock photos that focus on one of these then you are not going to make any money. Your photograph is going to get buried under the already established cloud photographs.

Instead, find niches under these broad categories. Maybe, you could specialize in cloudscapes during major thunderstorms. Or you could specialize in animals who are playing in the water.

Finding a niche can be tricky but is not impossible.

I start by thinking about a broad category then work my way down to a more granular niche. I think of it as a breadcrumb such as – Animals -> Playing -> Water -> Swimming -> Diving Underwater -> Photo Idea: Take a photo from underneath the waters surface looking up at the animal.

3. Be Unique

Now, after all of your research, you should know what subject your photographs should focus on. Now it is time to go take some photos.

I want these new photos to really pop out on the page for your potential buyers. This is not going to happen if you use the same point of view (POV) as all of the other photographers.

Within each subject matter you chose, take a look at your competition and how they framed their photos. While you are researching start thinking how you can make your stock photo more unique than the competition.

As an example, take a look at these photos of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis on Shutterstock. Notice that the top five are all taken from basically the same POV. Even though these are very pretty photos, they are all essentially the same. When I was in St. Louis, I wanted to take a photo of the Gateway Arch from a different POV. The hotel I happened to be staying in had a high vantage point that looked over the monument. Taking advantage of this unique overlook, I was able to take the fifth photo that comes up in the Shutterstock search results.

Do not follow the crowds for your stock photography. Make your own trends. Be Unique.

4. Image Size

Make sure your images meet the guidelines of Shutterstock or iStockPhoto. The bigger the resolution your image is, the better. That way your photo can be offered for as many possible sizes for your potential buyers.

Shutterstock requires that your stock photography uploads be at least 4 megapixels in size. They accept either JPEGs or TIFFs.

iStockPhoto (also GettyImages) require the photograph to be at least 3 megapixels in size. They allow you to upload as big as 256 megapixels! The biggest thing they stress is no upsizing of your stock photos. This can really decrease the quality of the photograph.

5. Editing

This goes a long with what is trending. As you are researching about what you should take a photo of, you should also be studying the trending styles to mimic.

I know, I said you should make your photo unique. I was talking about being unique the way you frame and shoot your photo. Editing is different.

The way your photos look after editing should have a particular look and feel that the market demands. This might require you to reedit and resubmit your stock photos after the trends change.

editing your stock photo

6. Tagging

Your stock photos need to be found amongst all of the other millions of photographs uploaded. Using the proper tags will help your photos be found by potential customers.

When tagging, try to be as thorough as possible so your photo covers a wide footprint. Do not just put ‘dog’, ‘brown’, ‘animal’ as your only tags. The photo will never be found. Try to be as broad and detailed as possible such as: ‘dog’, ‘brown’, ‘animal’, ‘happy’, ‘running’, ‘grass’, ‘tennis ball’, ‘chocolate lab’, ‘playful’, ‘playing’, ‘sunny day’.

If you are struggling with coming up with tags. Research what others have used. I have done this for every stock photograph I have uploaded.

7. Be Honest With Yourself

This one can be tough on people but is something that needs to be asked. Is your photo really worth paying money for? Do you really think that your photograph is good enough that someone would use for a marketing piece?

If your answer is yes, then go ahead and upload.

If your answer is no, that is fine! Instead of being sad, think about how you can improve your photograph. Think how you can go back out, reshoot it, and make it better. This happens to me all of the time! I will go out and take a photograph thinking it is amazing. When I get back home to take a look at it on my computer screen discovering that the photo looks horrendous!

This happens to me all of the time! I will go out and take a photograph thinking it is amazing. When I get back home to take a look at it on my computer screen discovering that the photo looks horrendous!

When in doubt. Ask someone you know and who will be honest with you if they would buy the photo.

stock photo of silly food

No matter how delicious your food was, do not worry about uploading every single dinner you have taken.

Conclusion

One big pattern you should see within this article is research!

Do your research before you decide to take a photo so you can figure out if it is actually in demand or not. Do your research so you take unique photos. Do your research so you can make trendy edits. And finally, do your research so you can make the proper tags.

Not only do these tips apply to stock photography but they will apply to earning money through several different avenues with your photography. Learn about these other avenues to earn more money in my 5 Simple Ways – How to Sell Photos Online article.

1 Easy Way to Monetize A Blog Instantly with Affiliate Marketing

1 Easy Way to Monetize A Blog Instantly with Affiliate Marketing

I get it, you have a website or starting a new website and you’re asking yourself How to Monetize a Blog? I did the same thing 5 years ago when I started my first affiliate website. Since then I’ve come a long way monetizing websites with affiliate marketing. While the designs and websites have changed, I’ve always monetized my blogs the same way.

*If you’re not familiar with Affiliate Marketing keep reading, if you know all about it, skip to “1 Easy Way to Monetize Your Blog”.

Most Bloggers Monetize A Blog With Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is the idea that when a visitor is on your website and clicks an outbound link to Amazon or Toys R’ Us from your website and buys something, you receive a commission of that sale.

Most bloggers do this because they are then earning a commission off products they already have or heavily recommend. Amazon encourages this because they are receiving customers they wouldn’t have gotten without your website. Everyone wins.

What does an Affiliate Marketing Link look like?

It’s super simple, Affiliate Marketing links just look like regular hyperlinks. Here are some examples:

  1. If you’re writing about gym equipment, how about a Pull Up Bar?
  2. Maybe you really love writing about Harry Potter decorations?
  3. Or you write about upcoming events like Mother’s Day and mention flowers?

All of these are affiliate marketing links. If you clicked through them and bought any of those items. I would make a commission and it’s simple to set up. Here’s how to do it for your site.

1 Easy Way to Monetize Your Blog

It’s super easy to start monetizing your blog and it can be set up in minutes! The easiest way to start affiliate marketing is to partner with an affiliate marketing company.

Secret: 1 Easy Way to Monetize your blog is to sign up with an Affiliate Marketing company that turns every outbound link on your website into an affiliate marketing link automatically that you can earn a commission on.

There a lot of different affiliate marketing companies out there, but I’m sharing my personal experience with Viglink which has made monetizing my blogs insanely easy. I’ve used them the last 5 years. They have a great WordPress plugin that turns every outbound link into an affiliate link. Plus they partner with over 2,000 merchants, so nearly every online store (Amazon, Target, Etsy, Finish Line, etc.) will pay you a commission through the Viglink network.

Here’s How To Start

I use Viglink for Affiliate Marketing, here’s how.

Step 1 – Sign up with Viglink
Go to Viglink and fill out their forms.

Step 2 – Install the Viglink Plugin on your WordPress Blog
Do a search for the “Viglink Plugin”, activate the plugin and insert your account code from your Viglink account.

Step 3 – Add links on your website and get paid
Now any regular link going to any of Viglink’s partner merchants (2,000+ of them) on your website are an affiliate link automatically. Just check into your Viglink Account to see how many times people click on your links and if those clicks turned into sales, paying you a commission.

It’s that easy, you can monetize any blog in 5 minutes.

How much can you make affiliate marketing?

Most companies will pay you a percentage of the sale made. Each company within an affiliate marketing company is different. For example within Viglink, Amazon will pay 1% – 4.5% commission depending on the product category. Yet also in Viglink, 1-800 Flowers will pay an 8% commission. Usually the larger the company, the smaller the commission.

You’ll make more money the higher priced items you have on your site. For example, a 4% commission on an $11,312 Outdoor Inflatable Movie Screen is a lot different from a $30 Stainless Steel Kitchen Set. FYI 4% of that inflatable movie screen would be a $452.28 commission for you.

It’s a balancing act of having high priced items that could give you a higher commission vs lower priced items which the average person is more likely to buy.

Using an Affiliate Marketing Company vs the Vendor directly?

I think if you worked with Amazon directly through their Amazon Associates program, you may make a slightly better commission on each sale. However, you would be limited to only making money with Amazon.

Working with an affiliate marketing company like Viglink, you can sell Amazon products and products from 2,000+ other companies (here are the companies). You may lose a bit of the commission for the ease of dealing with only one platform. In my experience where I link to products all over the web, it’s worth it.

There are other Affiliate Marketing Companies too

I talk about Viglink just because I use them and like them. There are other companies that offer affiliate marketing like Clickbank, Skimlinks, LinkBridge and more. I’m just going off personal experience.

Affiliate Marketing is preferred over Website Ads

I always prefer Affiliate Marketing over Website Ads because ads are hugely distracting. Website Ads blink, flash and sometimes don’t even relate to the content your reading.

Affiliate Marketing simply creates a hyperlink in the content you’ve already written. It’s not any more obtrusive than any other link you create on your blog versus ads like on the right side bar, over on the right there. =)

Personally: I use Google AdSense for Ads in addition to Affiliate Marketing, but if I had to choose one, I’d stick with Affiliate Marketing. Most of my Google Adsense revenue is in cents from views of the ads, I rarely see people click on the ads. However, I see a lot more people click on my Affiliate Links and those lead to sales which pay a lot more.

Start Monetizing Your Blog Today

You don’t have to use Viglink, but you should at least be signed up with some affiliate marketing company from Day 1 of your blog to start monetizing it. It’s a non-obtrusive way to monetize your blog, earning extra money on products you’re already recommending.

Let me know if you have any questions about monetizing your blog this way!

14 True Passive Income Ideas You Should Know About Now!

14 True Passive Income Ideas You Should Know About Now!

Today I want to go through 14 different passive income ideas that require little to no work to others that require at least a few hours of work every week. Most of these ideas fall in the middle where they require a lot of up-front work and then can be allowed to coast after that.

I have grown to think that there is a lot of misperception as to what passive income really is. Some people believe that passive requires no work but this is far from the truth. While some others think that is just like any side hustle that is almost like a full-time job.

Now, do not get me wrong. Some passive income ideas can be very demanding (depending on how much work you want to put into it) such as niche websites.

For me, I define passive income as an income stream that requires A LOT of hard work up-front and then minimal maintenance work to keep up the income stream. Some passive income ideas require more maintenance work compared to other ideas.

Let’s take a look!

Passive Income Ideas

  1. Niche Websites

    Niche websites probably take the most time out of any of these passive income ideas but have the greatest potential to make A LOT of money. This is because they can consist of the next four items on this passive income ideas list. Putting all four of these ideas together in one niche website can really boost anyone’s income stream.

    Niche websites require you to put a lot of time in up-front to build the website (Need help? Check out this article), build good solid content, perform good marketing, and execute a solid SEO Strategy. Once all of this work is done you could be making thousands of dollars a month.

  2. Subscription Fees

    This passive income idea requires you to come up with a service for people to subscribe to. One of my favorite photographers, Trey Ratcliff, has done this perfectly. He has created the Passport service on his website which provides access to exclusive content he has created. He creates training videos, e-books, Adobe Lightroom preset packages, and so on. People subscribe to his site for $9.99 a month to have an all-access pass to this content.

  3. Training Courses

    Are you an expert in something such as, “How to prune a rose bush.” Well, you should create a training course on how to maintain rose bushes on Udemy. Here you can great courses about subjects that you are passionate about. Then others who want to learn about that subject purchase your course.

    Udemy requires a lot of up front work to create the course but once complete it needs minimal maintenance. Occasionally, you might want to come back to update the content of the course.

    You can even create and host your own training course. This is something that Michelle from Making Sense of Cents has done with her affiliate marketing course.

  4. Affiliate Marketing

    Affiliate marketing is probably one of the biggest ways to make income off of niche websites. With affiliate marketing, you team up with companies from all over the world. Those companies will pay you a commission for any customer you send their way. There are bloggers out on the internet making 10’s of thousands of dollars each month off of affiliate marketing.

  5. Advertisements

    Google Adsense is a super easy way to have Google place advertisements on your website. You decide where and what type of ad is placed on the website. Then they decide what content is placed there based on the website or viewer. Every time a person clicks on the advertisement, you get paid! It is really that easy!

  6. Stock Photography

    Are you good at taking photographs? Check out stock photography as a passive income idea. All you have to do is shoot, edit, and upload. After being accepted on iStockPhoto for Shutterstock (my two favorite hosts) then you are on your way to make some good money. I have made over $1,000 just off of one photo! There are others that make well over $10,000 a month selling stock photography.

    There are several other ways to make some passive income off of your photography. Check out my 5 Simple Ways on How to Sell Photos Online article.

  7. E-Books

    This is another passive income idea that requires a lot of up-front time. Once you finish writing your book you can have Amazon host and sell it for you. From there it is all about letting the book bring in money for you. Of course, you will need to market the book after completed. People need to know that it exists!

  8. Dividend Income

    Andrew is the pro at this passive income idea. Dividend income comes from stocks that you purchase. These stocks pay out dividends in different intervals whether it be monthly, quarterly, or yearly. The key to dividend income is only purchasing stocks that have a strong reputation for paying out dividends. Then you can turn around and reinvest those dividends.

    Interested? I know you are! Check out Andrew’s What are Dividends and Dividend Investing article to get started!

  9. Mobile Applications

    Even if you do not know how to create a mobile application you can have one made for you fairly cheap. Personally, I do not have any experience with this but cannot wait to give it a try. All you need is a good idea, a developer, and the ability to upload to the Android Play Store, Apple Store, or both!

    Have a good idea already? Check out Fiverr.com for an application developer. The cost will depend on the complexity of your application.

  10. Rental Properties

    This passive income idea takes a lot of capital up front to be able to get into the gig. Once that is done, you can let the passive income flow right in from renters. You can either do traditional long-term rentals or you can do short-term rentals on Airbnb. Determining what path to take will depend on your rental’s location and local ordinances.

    Rentals will require maintenance throughout its life but you can have someone help you out with it. Perform a Google search for rental property management companies in your area. They will help maintain everything for your property. The ones I have seen do take 10% of your income though.

  11. YouTube Videos

    Who does not love a good prank or how-to video on Youtube? I know I do! If you have any good and creative video ideas, you can make some serious money off of YouTube. All this takes is some up-front work with shooting the video, editing, and uploading. YouTube does all of the work from there!

  12.  T-Shirts via Teespring.com

    Have a funny or creative T-Shirt idea? Hop over to teespring.com to create and sell that shirt! Here you design your shirt and then someone buys it. From there Teespring prints it and ships it. This sounds pretty awesome!

    Oh! And they do home decor, phone cases, accessories, tote bags, and mugs too! Let’s get designing!

  13. Peer-To-Peer Lending via Lending Club

    With Lending Club you can lend others money and they pay you back plus interest. Lending Club helps you do all of the research as to whether the person is someone good to invest with or not. Andrew has tried it out and has written about his experience over here.

    Do note that you are taking a risk by investing with others. They may never pay you back.

  14. Fitness via Achievement App

    If you like to workout, walk, hike, Tweet, or sleep then the Achievement app is for you! You connect major fitness or social media applications to your Achievement app. From there the application does the rest of the work. It will sync up that data and then give you points for each activity. Once you earn 10,000 points, they pay you $10.

    For more information check out my review of the application.

Conclusion

These passive income ideas can give you an extra boost in income each month. Like I have mentioned in other posts, do not just jump into multiple of these at a time. Pick one, master it, then add the next one on top of the previous one. Loading your plate too much at the beginning can result in failure and no one wants that!

Did none of these passive income ideas trip your trigger? Head over to our Ways to Make Money page to learn about some other side hustles.

 

Cheers!
Adam

Domain Flipping: Make Money Buying and Selling Domain Names

Domain Flipping: Make Money Buying and Selling Domain Names

There’s an entire underground world on the internet of people buying and selling domain names, it’s called Domain Flipping. Thing is, anyone can do it and make money. Think of it like flipping real estate, but instead, you’re flipping website domains.

What is Domain Flipping?

Similar to real estate flipping. You are flipping website domains. These are the addresses you type into your internet browsers that direct you to the website you’re looking for. These are the addresses that end with (.com), (.org), (.biz), (.net) and so on. In total there are about 280 different domain extensions.

Domain Flipping is buying these addresses for a low price and then selling it for a higher price.

Crazy Domain Flipping Success Stories

If you’re curious to how much people have made while buying and selling domain names or domain flipping, here are some examples of success stories that have hit the news.

Page Howe once owned the domain name “Seniors(.com)”. He originally purchased the domain name for $100,000, which is a lot mind you, most domains sell for $12. He later sold “Seniors(.com)” for $1.8 Million or $1.5 Million after his broker commissions.

In a similar fashion, Page Howe also owned the domain name Guy(.com) and he sold that a few months later for $1 million. If he bought that for the average $12 for a domain name, he made an 83,333% profit buying and selling domain names.

Here are some other crazy sales in the millions

  • Cameras(.com) was sold in 2006 for $1,500,000
  • DataRecovery(.com) was sold in 2008 for $1,659,000
  • Computer(.com) was sold in 2007 for $2,100,000
  • CreditCards(.com) was sold in 2004 for $2,750,000
  • Candy(.com) was sold in 2009 for $3,000,000
  • Toys(.com) was sold in 2009 for $5,100,000
  • Business(.com) was reported to have sold in 1999 for $7,500,000
  • Hotels(.com) was sold in 2001 for $11,000,000

What these success stories have in common

All these success stories have one major thing in common, they are typically one, generic word. There is a HUGE advantage in having a small, easy to remember domain name. If you’re a company that sells cameras, having the domain name Camera(.com) is beneficial. You’re in a prime marketing spot online for people to looking to buy a camera.

Think about these common word website domains as the New York Times Square of real estate in the digital domain world. You’re buying these website domains because people are familiar with those words. The more common a word or phrase is, the more valuable it can be.

Currently, the (.com) domain extensions are the most popular, but like I mentioned. There are 280 different types of domain extensions possible. Most people though associate a web address with a (.com) extension. So I will focus on these.

In the future, other well-known extensions like (.co) will become more popular but we’re not there yet. If you’re looking to buy a domain and sell it, you’ll likely want a (.com) extension.

Here’s How To Start Domain Flipping (I tried it)

Looking at some of these success stories, I wanted to give it a try.

I likely couldn’t find any one-word domain names (most are taken) but I could find a couple popular phrases that have an available domain name.

Here’s how I started.

Step 1 – Find Popular Phrases

To find popular phrases I opened up the Google Keyword Planner. This free tool by Google, allows you to find out how often a word or phrase is searched in Google. A phrase like “Yoga Mat’ has on average, about 10K – 100k monthly searches. That’s A LOT. However a more niche phrase like “Good Yoga Mats” only has 100 – 1K monthly searches. These seem similar, but I wanted to focus on the exact popular phrase that people are searching for.

The more searches your popular phrase gets, the more valuable your exact domain name could be. Try finding popular phrases with the Google Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner for buying and selling domain names

Words/Phrases to consider:

Choose Niches that make money: People will buy a website domain if they think they can use it to make money. So buying popular phrases/words that could be associated with selling something like computers(.com) or hotels(.com) could be used by a company to sell computers or hotel reservations. However, something like Warof1812(.com) may not have the same business potential.

Local Domain Names: Something like TireRepair(.com) may be taken but you should also look into DenverTireRepair(.com). Sometimes local cities have high search rates that may have an available domain. It’s definitely decreasing your audience the more you niche down, but your chances of having an available domain increases.

Future Potential: Think about what’s next in the world and see if you can buy the name first. Do you know rocket powered sneakers are the next big thing? Try buying the domain name RocketPoweredSneakers(.com) and sell it when it’s at the peak of popularity. It’s currently available, I checked, you can buy it now.

Current Craze: When PokémonGo was HUGE last year, my domain flipping friends (Matt of Handshakin.com is one) were all about buying domains like PokeStopNearMe(.com) and other related domains associated with the PokémonGo craziness. It’s like the day trading of the domain world. You’re buying domains during the hype and hope to sell them for a higher price quickly before the hype fades.

Date Names: Do you like to think about future events like the 2030 Olympics? Think about buying the domain 2030OlympicStadium(.com) or other Date Names that could be a hot item to buy when the date gets closer.

Avoid Trademarks: You do need to be careful from a legal standpoint. If you choose a name that too close to a trademark name like McDonaldsBurgersSuck(.com) it could result in a lawsuit that could force you to give them the name for free. In general, I try to avoid buying and selling domain names close to a trademark name.

Step 2 – Filter Popular Phrases with available domain names

Once I did a search of any phrase, I would immediately download the results from the Google Keyword Planner and export the list to excel. Usually, you could only download around 750 results from the Google Keyword Planner at a time.

I would copy and paste those phrases that had above one thousand searches a month into GoDaddy’s Bulk Search Option to see how many of those phrases are available. It’s great you can search up to 500 phrases at a time to see if there is a (.com) domain extension available.

GoDaddy Bulk Search find finding the right domains for Domain Flipping

Now I used GoDaddy because it’s a simple and easy way to search for available domains, but it’s definitely not the only game in town. I use my hosting service, Bluehost, to actually buy my domains, to keep them all in one place.

I repeated Step 1 & Step 2 a lot, like 5 hours on Sunday to find popular phrases that have high monthly searches or future potential.

In the end, I had a small list of available domains with how often they’re searched for online. The longer you do this, the larger your list could be of popular phrases of available domain names to buy.

  • Domain Name
  • IHateCold(.com)
  • ReallyFunnyJoke(.com)
  • ThisExists(.com)
  • FunnyOfficeGifts(.com)
  • BoredDefinition(.com)
  • CharityDefinition(.com)
  • OfficeBoredom(.com)
  • WaysToEarnMoneyFast(.com)
  • ThingsThatAreBlack(.com)
  • Average Monthly Searches
  • 100 – 1k
  • 10k – 100k
  • 100 – 1k
  • 1k – 10k
  • 10k – 100k
  • 10k – 100k
  • 10 – 100
  • 1k – 10k
  • 1k – 10k

Step 3 – Buy your Domain with the most potential

After veting my list for a while, I knew I only had a budget to buy 2 domain names. So I limited my selection to the very best.

The two domain names I bought were:

  1. ReallyGoodJoke.com – The phrase alone “Really Good Joke” has between 10k – 100k average monthly searches, this is the highest searched name I found. Meaning that people are regularly looking for a really good joke. So having the domain name that matches exactly this search, will be very valuable.
  2. IHateCold.com – This phrase only had 100 – 1k monthly searches but I think it’s a phrase that has winter sports gear potential. Typically when people are buying cold weather gear they are thinking “I hate the cold” and if a business capitalizes on that feeling with this domain name, it could be profitable.

Sad Fact: I bought both of these for $11.99 but that’s only a 1 year license to own these. So it’s more like leasing. You have to renew your ownership of domains every year. So holding both of these domain names for 10 years will cost a total of $260.

The two domains I bought for my first Domain Flipping experiment.

Step 4 – Market Your Domain Names for Sale

Just because you bought the domain name, people aren’t magically going to email you offering millions of dollars for your domain. You have to let people know you have it for sale and how it can benefit them.

My next steps:

  1. Parking the Domain Name: When you park a domain name, every time someone enters IHateCold(.com) into their web browsers, a page with a few ads and sales info is shown. So you’re letting the visitor know that the domain is for sale and you make a few cents on the ads displayed for views. There are several domain parking services for when their buying and selling domain names, but I’ll go into that in another post.
  2. Contact Potential Buying Companies: With my domain IHateCold(.com) I will email the marketing teams of some of the large winter clothing companies and let them know of the available domain to buy and a few potential slogans they could use with the domain name. This is a very “I’m here to help you” scenario that I’m curious to see how it plays out. They’ll have to learn about the domain name for sale somehow, right?
  3. Wait for people to contact me: When I bought my two domains, I didn’t pay the extra $12 for Domain Privacy, learn about Domain Privacy here, so anyone can look up the owner of IHateCold(.com) and ReallyFunnyJoke(.com) in the ICANN WHOIS Database. It can tell you whoever owns any website unless that domain owner pays for domain privacy. So if someone was really interested in any of my websites, they could look me up and shoot me an email about their interest.
  4. Auction: There are numerous auction sites where people buy domain names. Just because they didn’t think about the potential name IHateCold(.com) before doesn’t mean when they see it in an auction, they won’t buy it. You may make a few bucks just because you thought of a creative name they didn’t think of.

If you’re looking to Auction a name, here are some popular sites you can auction your new domain name.

Usually, these auction sites take 20% – 30% of the sale. They take so much because they are providing the audience that is actively looking for buying and selling domain names. Otherwise, it’d take forever to sell a name.

Don’t expect to sell your domain right away, it sometimes takes months or years to sell a domain name. Sometimes not at all. Not many people make buying and selling domain names a full time business. For most domain buyers and sellers, it’s a part time job.

A lot of people who are regularly buying and selling domain names have a portfolio of hundreds of domain names. A sale of a website name for $6,000 might sound like a lot, but often times it only pays for their library of domain names they’re paying an annual subscription to hold.

In the end, a domain name is only as valuable as the price a buyer is willing to buy it.

Conclusion on Domain Flipping

We covered a lot, what is domain flipping, some crazy success stories and step by step guide to buying and selling domain names. This is something you could totally start right now as another way to make money.

I’ll be honest I’m just excited to own a couple of website domains, they’re my own little piece of the internet. I’ll likely hold onto these for a couple of years if I can’t sell them right away.

The fun part of this is the potential to discover those hidden gems like hotels(.com) and sell it for $11M down the road. It’s not likely to happen for the domains I have, but I now know the process. I can be on the lookout for website domains in upcoming trends. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Get a free share of stock from Robinhood for New Signups & Referrals

Robinhood App now offers a free share of stock for New Signups & Referrals

Robinhood App the free stock trading app that I’ve used for my portfolio and reviewed last year has a new promotion making some unique headlines. Now for every person you get to sign up with the broker Robinhood, both you and the person who signed up, get a free share of stock.

What Stocks Do You Get?

It appears to be a randomized assortment of stocks from the messages posted on social media. Robinhood states that the stocks range in value from $3 – $150, so you could technically get a share of Apple (AAPL) randomly if you sign up now, or you help a friend signup.

What Are Your Chances of Getting $175?

Depends, how lucky are you? Like REALLY lucky. You have a 1% chance of getting a stock valued at $175. Reading the fine print on their website you’re most likely to get a $2.50-$10 stock.

Here are your chances for a free share of stock when you sign up.

  • 98% of getting a stock valued at $0.50-$10
  • 1% of getting a stock valued at $10-$50
  • 1% of getting a stock valued at $50-$200

Thanks to Social Media, we have an idea what it looks like.

So get all your friends to sign up?

For everyone you get to sign up, both you and your new sign up friend get a free share of stock. All you need to do is use the referral code that Robinhood gives you.

If you’ve been with Robinhood for a while, this is the same referral code you’ve always had. Now there are just perks for you to refer a friend to Robinhood.

Here click on my referral code (http://share.robinhood.com/andrewk48) to see what it looks like. You don’t have to sign up.

However, if you’re someone like Kim Kardashian who can get ONE MILLION people to sign up, you won’t get $1M free shares of stock. You’ll be capped at $500 worth of stocks no matter how many people you refer. Lame I know.

Is this promotion available to anyone with Robinhood?

It started off a few months ago. I was NOT one of the early testers for this. However earlier this week I saw on my Robinhood App that I’m NOW able to this. I’m not sure what changed. If everyone is able to do this now or what (I’m not special). They must have just opened this up to a much wider pool of users.

If you’re curious if this works with your Robinhood referral code. Go to your app and if you can’t find “Free Stocks” in your sub menu. You’re not in the program yet. Maybe send the Robinhood App people a tweet (@RobinhoodApp) and say “Hey, can I join this super cool referral club like @WalletSquirrel”. I’ll retweet for you.

 

Should you feel comfortable referring friends to Robinhood?

If it helps, I refer all my friends to start investing with Robinhood. It’s a great broker to start off with (one I personally use) because there are $0 fees to start buying stocks and all of their securities customers are insured up to $500,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

Also keep in mind that Robinhood recently raised $110M in Series C round of fundraising, which they’re valued at $1.3 Billion. Some of the investors working with Robinhood are Google Ventures.

These guys are growing and they have the support of some major players in the game.

This promotion makes Robinhood worth considering

If you’ve ever considered the stock market, you should do some research on Robinhood because not only are you going to get free trades while using their app, you’ll start off with a free share of stock that could be Apple.

This isn’t on our list of ways to make money, but maybe it should be.

How to Start a Blog – When You Know Nothing About Blogging

How To Start A Blog Header Image

How To Start A Blog

Two of my friends want to learn How to Start a Blog. Justin wants to start a cooking blog and Emma is going to start a travel blog. Since I’ve created over a dozen websites/blogs, I wrote them a guide on How to Start A Blog When You Know Nothing About Blogging. They’ve never set up a blog before, so this is a complete guide (tons of screenshots) for setting up your first blog.

No matter if you want to set up a Finance, Fashion, Travel, Cooking or Photography blog. This guide will set you up with your own unique blog in 20 minutes.

Why Do People Start Blogs?

Both Justin and Emma want to learn how to start a blog so that they can do what they love, write! They want to write about topics they’re passionate about and knowledgeable on. Their goal is to make enough money with their blog, so eventually, they can quit their job and work from home blogging. It’s entirely possible and super easy.

Other popular reasons people start blogging are:

  • Make Money from blogging Anywhere – Many people make a great side income or full income from writing about what they love and know. Plus you can do it anywhere, at home, in a coffee shop or in an RV traveling the United States.
  • Self-Publish Writing – If you have a story you want to tell, but don’t have the resources to find publishers and print hundreds of books. Try starting a blog and share your story immediately. You can start to build an audience and become an expert in your field with a website.
  • Promote a Business – If your business isn’t online, it doesn’t exist. This is how people find if a company is open, what it does and how it affects the community. A blog is a simple and FAST way to get your business online and start reaching customers.

Save time, don’t use third party blogging websites.

Save yourself so many future headaches when learning how to start a blog by NOT using a third party blogging site. Some people start blogging on these because they think it’s easier than setting up your own blog, but it’s not.

If you use a third party website like Blogger, you won’t have a custom domain (like WalletSquirrel.com, it’ll be something like www.blogger.walletsquirrel) which comes off odd, then you’ll pay tons for add-ons to get the look and feel you want and you’ll never have complete control over your own blog.

One of the biggest reasons to start your own blog is so you can later make money off of it. You just can’t easily monetize if you use a third party website. Click here to start your own blog on WordPress.

WordPress is the most popular Blogging Platform, use it!

Most blogs use WordPress, in fact, 25% of the websites on the internet are run by WordPress. That’s the ENTIRE internet. Every website I’ve ever built runs on WordPress because it’s SUPER easy and convenient. If you learn the easiest way to start a blog, start your blog on WordPress.

Easy Steps on How To Start A Blog

Here is the basic overview on how to start a blog. It’s really simple to set up a blog in 20 minutes.

  1. Figure out what your blog is about
  2. Decide on a domain name
  3. Choose a web host (I use Bluehost because it’s one of the best, and cheap)
  4. Click 1-button install for WordPress
  5. Start writing for your blog & customize

Easy Step 1 – Figure out what you want to blog about

Whether you’re creating a finance, fashion, cooking, travel, photography or business blog. You want to have a solid idea about what you’re going to write about.

If you’re like Justin wanting to create a cooking blog, it helps if you niche down to a Gluten-Free Cooking Blog or Farm-To-Table Cooking Blog. If you don’t niche down, your blog will likely get lost in the sea of other cooking blogs. When you niche down to a specific cooking blog, your blog will stand out more and be recognized as THAT Gluten-Free Blog or whatever you want to write about.

Also when you’re thinking about “How to Start a Blog”, think about how your blog could grow and make money in the future. If you want to create a Gluten Free Cooking Blog, start thinking about how you could incorporate affiliate links into your favorite recipe books and cooking tools or where advertisements may go in a sidebar.

The better you can visualize and plan what your blog may become, the easier it will be to come up with a name and direction for your new blog.

Easy Step 2 – Decide on a Domain Name

Domain names are what people will type into their website browser to find your website. It’s your online address.

Not going to lie, when I started Wallet Squirrel I had over 100 domain name ideas. I would daily write new domain name ideas in my phone like “MillennialRetirement.com” and search GoDaddy.com to see if they were available. It wasn’t….

I always use GoDaddy to see if a domain name is available because it has a nice and clean search option to find available domains. So think about different domain ideas that relate to your website and use GoDaddy to see if they’re available. A good domain can really help your website. However, don’t buy a domain through GoDaddy. When you sign up for web hosting through Bluehost later, you’ll get a free domain name.

I always chose a (.com) domain because those are the most trusted domain extensions. If I chose “MillennialRetirement.net” it would not only sound cheesy and made up to me. People might be hesitant to click on it because most web sites are (com). You could take a risk choosing a different extension like (.net) or (.co), but I wouldn’t.

Get creative and find a unique (.com) domain that’s:

  • short
  • easy to remember
  • easy to type
  • reflects what you want to write about

Before I settled on WalletSquirrel.com I went through TONS of different domain name possibilities. Here are a few.

Potential Website Names When I Started this Website (Wallet Squirrel)

  1. Dividend Student (.com)
  2. Millennial Dividends (.com)
  3. Get Dividends Monthly (.com)
  4. All Dividend Revenue (.com)
  5. The Dividend Experiment (.com)
  6. Perpetual Dividends (.com)
  7. Dividends Wanted (.com)
  8. Invest The Hustle (.com)
  9. Dividend Army (.com)
  10. Div Push (.com)
  11. Dividend Entrepreneur (.com)
  12. Div Effect (.com)
  13. Dividend Pursuit (.com)
  14. Test Earn Invest (.com)
  15. Dividend Invested (.com)
  16. Dividend Theory (.com)
  17. Div Rule (.com)
  18. Think Dividend (.com)
  19. Dividend Passive Income (.com)
  20. Wallet Squirrel (.com)

You may get the idea that I was pretty focused on Dividends. However, like I mentioned in Step One, think about the future of your site. I considered expanding beyond dividends and the stock market, so I went with Wallet Squirrel with the tag line “Save your nuts”. It was relatable to finance with the word “Wallet” but fun with “Squirrel” and the tag line “Save your nuts” is pretty memorable. This way I would have some flexibility on how I wanted to grow Wallet Squirrel.

When you’re planning how to start a blog, think about how your website may grow. I usually think about my websites like TV seasons. Where do I want my website to be in season 4? Does my domain name idea still make sense?

Easy Step 3 – Choose a Web Host (Important)

This is the virtual cloud that will host your blog. Think of it digital real estate that will house your blog on the internet. Your web host will affect how fast your site is, how much you pay and how good their tech support is.

 

I personally use Bluehost for all my websites (including Wallet Squirrel) because it’s the best price for how fast Bluehost runs my websites (Google ranks faster websites higher) and their tech support is amazing. I just shoot them a text on their website if I have a question and they solve any issue in minutes, it’s the best. You can even just chat with them before you sign up on how to start a blog.

For reading this post, you can use my referral code to get a great discount on hosting and start at $3.95 per month. Plus you’ll get a free website domain (your internet address), which normally costs $12.

 

Other reasons to use Bluehost for your first blog

  • WordPress through Bluehost is free!
  • There is a 1-click button to automatically set up WordPress on Bluehost (EASY & FAST)
  • Bluehost is faster than most web hosts, which will better your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Hosting your own website on Bluehost looks more professional than a third party site like Blogger
  • Their Tech Support works with tons of new bloggers like you, and you can text them rather than calling (I love that!)
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. No risk if you don’t like it.

Fill Out Some Info

Select the plan you like (you can upgrade/downgrade anytime) and fill out the general account and billing Info. This is what the General account information will ask you.

It’s really not that intrusive. You don’t have to fill out a social security number or anything too personal. Once you fill out the “account info” you scroll down for the package you want. The “package information” or hosting options seems really intimidating to someone who’s never signed up before, but only because you’ve never done it before. Here are the options.

Here is what I choose for my websites.

  • Account Plan – If you’re just starting off, keep it cheap and choose only 12 months. If you really like blogging, you won’t mind paying for a new plan in 12 months. If you don’t like it, you didn’t spend that much money and you always have your 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Domain Privacy Protection – The internet has a database for which websites are owned by who. Domain Privacy allows you to keep your name off that list so you don’t get bugged by sales people who found your email as the owner of your new website. I usually order this.

Everything else is not really needed. I’d consider adding additional services only once you get more familiar with your website and find a need. There is no need to pay for things before you realize if you need them or not.

You’re Signed up!

That’s it! Once you sign up, you’ll get a confirmation email that will take you to your Bluehost menu. You can start right away, no 3-5 business day set up time.

Easy Step 4 – One Button Install For WordPress

So you planned what you want to write about, you picked a domain and signed up with Bluehost to host your new blog. Now you just need to install WordPress. This part is easy. The menu on Bluehost is called their cPanel. This is the main menu that you’ll be directed to once you click their confirmation email.

Select the “Install WordPress” button. It’s a one-click install button. Once you do that, you’re in the process of installing WordPress, you’ll just need to:

  1. Select your domain name, from the options to install WordPress on
  2. Select Advanced Options and choose a username and password. Remember that websites sometimes get attacked. So choose a username and password that’s long. The longer the password, the harder it is to break.
  3. Select “Install Now”.

At this point, you have a WordPress blog!

Easy Step 5 – Design and Start Writing for Your Blog

From now on, all you have to do is go to your new domain “yourwebsitename.com/admin”. To sign into your WordPress Blog. You no longer have to deal with Bluehost at all. Everything you do from here on out is all on your new WordPress blog.

Once you log into your new WordPress Blog, Your Admin Menu will look like this.

How To Start A Blog - WordPress Admin Panel

This is close to what every WordPress Blog looks like, the main options for every WordPress blog are:

  • Posts – These are where you write you daily, weekly, monthly articles for your blog. These are your cooking articles or travel adventures. This is the “blog” portion of the blog.
  • Media – Every image/video you upload to your blog, all those media files live here. You can add images in your actual posts and pages, but all your media content can be viewed here.
  • Pages – These are the “About Me“, “Contact Us“, “Ways to Make Money” pages. These are usually static pages that aren’t your daily, weekly, monthly posts.

Customize the look of your blog

If you want to want to change the look of your blog, you can change the theme under “Appearance”. Themes are like costumes for your blog. Different themes will change the colors, fonts, and style of blog. I personally use the Enfold theme, bought from Themeforest. It’s very user-friendly (plug and play) with tons of documentation.

*Bonus* – Make money with your blog

Don’t come off cheezy placing ads everywhere, instead install a plugin like Viglink for affiliate marketing. Now, anytime you reference a blender (my personal blender) on Amazon, Viglink will automatically track clicks on that link and you’ll receive a commission if someone buys. Viglink is partnered with over 2,000 online merchants (including Amazon), chances are your favorite websites are included. So once you learn how to start a blog, your blog can start making a little money.

Done, You have a blog!

I ran through this (while talking) with Justin and Emma to set up their blog in under 20 minutes. They took it from there and immediately started writing and designing. Again, I set up their blog through Bluehost, which made it a lot easier. You could probably set up a blog on your own (not talking) even faster.

Let me know if you have any questions on how to start a blog! I’d love to help or share more of my experiences!

*Disclosure – I host all my websites on Bluehost and we receive a commission if you sign up through our referral links.

June Round Up – Our Favorite Income Reports From Around the Web

June Round Up

Today we take a look around the internet of our favorite income reports from around the web. These round up articles bring together six to ten bloggers to see what they did in the past month. Some of these people will be fresh for this month while others will be regulars for the article.

The point of this article is for all of us to learn what other bloggers do to bring in income each month. Hopefully, you will find something new to increase your own income for the upcoming months.

Here we go with this month’s featured bloggers!

Pat Flynn – Smart Passive Income – $184,094.64 (June 2017)

Pat is always an inspiration for me. Last month when we took a look at his April income report, he took a large dip in income brought in but he always seems to bounce back very strongly. Sure enough, that is exactly what he did by bringing in $184,094.64 in the month of June. I believe this bounce back is because he has diversified his income sources very well. He is making money off of affiliate marketing, book sales, course sales, niche sites, podcasting, software, and applications. He truly has built the passive income empire that Andrew and I strive to accomplish one day!

Michelle Schroeder – Making Sense of Cents – $121,861.28 (June 2017)

Michelle is another inspiring person to Andrew and me. She has been able to create her passive income empire very quickly. Though she is not as diverse as Pat with the ways she makes her money, I think she is more efficient at making money than he is. She does mention in this income report she is starting to focus on diversifying her income sources. I think this is a very smart move and it will be fun to see what she does.

Compared to last month she had modest gains but she did it while sailing on a boat for half of the month. Boy, I would love to make $121,861.28 while sailing on a boat! Who wouldn’t though?!?!

Amanda Abella – $10,541 (June 2016)

So I know this income report is over a year old but remember that is not the point of these income report round up articles. I wanted to feature Amanda this month because I love how she makes her extra income online. When this income report was posted, Amanda states that she did not have a huge following but still was able to bring in a five figure income for that month.

Amanda was able to bring in this large sum of income by finding side hustles that really worked for her such as coaching and content creation. Even though this income report was from a year ago she has continued to increase her income with these side hustles over the past year.

For me, personally, Amanda is a great example that shows you do not need that massive following to make good money on the internet. Keep up the good work Amanda!

Amanda Abella

Lanny and Bert – Dividend Diplomats – $1,498.60 (Lanny’s June 2017)

Last month I focused on Bert’s dividend income report so we will take a look at Lanny’s this month. Lanny had his best month ever! Congrats on the continued success Lanny! In June he brought in an extra $1,498.60 from just dividend income. That sure sounds like an awesome source of income to have each month!

Curious as to what the heck dividend income is? Andrew explains it really well in his What are Dividends and Dividend Investing article. Check it out to learn more!

Investment Hunting – $1,356.20 (June 2017)

This is another great performance on the dividend income front! Investment Hunting was able to bring in an average of $32.58 every day for the month of June. In my book, that is pretty freaking awesome! I am starting to see why Andrew is so focused on dividend stocks.

I enjoy following Investment Hunting because he is fairly diversified in his income sources. Not only does he make money from dividend stock but also options and Lending Club. If you are curious about his Lending Club income see last month’s roundup.

Keith Park – DivHut – $815.38 (June 2017)

Our last income report this month is a dividend report from Keith Park of DivHut. Last month Keith made just over $500 in dividends but crushed it in June where he made just over $800! That is nearly a $300 increase in the month of June! Wow!

Keith has a very nice and clean strategy to gaining extra income from dividends. Andrew has also written up what his strategy is in his My Dividend Investing Strategy.

Outcomes

Overall, these passive income experts continue to find success through their varied sources of income. Some people are more diverse than others with their sources of extra income than others. I personally believe that everyone should become as diverse as possible like Pat Flynn but it takes time. As we strive to become more diverse we need to focus on one source, become experts in it, and then add on another source on top of that. Do not try to add too much onto your own plate at once as this can increase the chances of failure.

Ready to add on another source of income to your plate? Maybe it is the first source for you? Check out our newly redesigned (thanks, Andrew!) Ways to Earn More Money page. Here Andrew and I personally review as many different ways to earn extra money as we can to help you decide if it is right for you.

How to Sell Stuff on Ebay – Tips and Tricks to Selling on Ebay

How to Sell Stuff on Ebay – Tips and Tricks to Selling on Ebay

Over the last couple of months I have been trying to get rid of items the pose as distractions from my goals. You might have read about it in my Self Improvement – Get Rid of Your Distractions Right Now series. Here I talk about selling items that distract me from my ultimate goals. These items include an extra TV my wife and I do not need, a Xbox One, couple extra laptops, some games, and my old Nikon camera. As you might recall in my latest article on getting rid of distractions I had sold only one item for $100. Well, over the last couple of weeks I have been able to sell a two more items to warrant an article to be written on how to sell stuff on Ebay. Overall, I have made just over $500 from these items which will go directly to help pay our car loan off.

Let’s Get Started

Let’s get the basics out of the way so we can learn how to sell stuff on Ebay. To get started you will want to make sure you have an Ebay account. If you do not, sign up for a new account. If you do, head over there now to sign in.

You will also want to hunt around your home to find some items to sell on Ebay. This can be anything from a football to a fancy golf club set. I recommend only selling items on Ebay that will be easy to ship. For example, I will not be selling that extra 42 inch TV on Ebay. That would be too difficult to package and get to the buyer in one piece. Unless I saved the original box, but who does that? Instead I will sell the TV locally on Craigslist. For any help on selling your stuff on Craigslist check out Andrew’s How to Sell Something on Craigslist and Make Money article.

Price Comparison

Before I decide to post I like to explore Ebay, searching for similar items to see what they are selling for. As you are posting, Ebay will help out with pricing but I like to do the beforehand research for my data points. The more you know about your competition the better you can price or add incentives to make the sale happen.

I search for similiar keywords for what I am selling. Not only do I try to compare apples to apples. I also try to compare similar products that are different such as brand new, older/newer models, and so on. I usually make some mental notes on what the trends are but write down some notes if it helps you. During this search I am looking for several different items.

  1. What is the trending price?
  2. What are people offering for shipping?
  3. Where is there a gap for me to make my item more marketable?

When I am selling something on Ebay, I am not looking to make the most money by squeezing every dollar out of the buyer. I am looking to selling my item quick and get some extra money. This might cost me $10 to $20 on either the products cost or in shipping but it is worth it to me to sell quicker.

Taking Photos

I am pretty picky with this tip on how to sell stuff on Ebay, but you know I love taking photos. Taking good photos of your product is crucial to know “how to sell stuff on Ebay”. Photos of the items you’re selling helps the buyer gain trust in you. If they do not trust you, they will not buy from you.

Here is what I do. Grab the item I am selling and put it in a well lit room, I want the buyer to be able to see everything about the product. I hate the Ebay images taken of a black item in a dark room. I cannot inspect any details to see if it has any dents or scratches. Okay, rant over.

When putting my item in the bright room I do not just place it anywhere. I put it on a large, flat area that is clean and clutter free. Potential buyers do not need to be focusing on my dirty underwear in the corner of the photo. From here, I grab my phone. That is right, you do not need a big fancy camera to take these photos. Camera phones can work really well. I then snap some shots of every angle of my product. If it has any dents or marks, I make sure to be upfront of those in the photos. This also helps gain more trust from the buyer. If you’re upfront about the dents, they’ll believe you’re upfront with them about everything about the item.

Overall, taking photos is not that tough and they do not have to be super fancy, as you can see in my example below. Worry about composition, lighting, and allowing the photo to inform your potential buyer because a photograph really does speak a million words. This is why you should be thorough with them.

Even though these photos are rough they still tell the story of the condition for the Xbox One.

Even though these photos are rough they still tell the story of the condition for the Xbox One.

Writing Your Description

Not only should you be thorough with your photos but you should also write an excellent description. This allows you to explain the product, what comes with it, and what is wrong with it. Do not skimp on the details. Just like with the photos, the more you share the more the potential buyer will trust you.

Personally, I like to make the descriptions as personal as possible. This makes it sound like the buyer is dealing with a real person rather than someone just trying to make an extra buck off of them. In the description, I like to tell a story about an experience with the product that gives more details about it. With my camera, I was able to share where it has been and provide some images it has captured at those destinations.

Shipping

Shipping is the most annoying part of how to sell stuff on Ebay for me. I really do not like it at all but Ebay has made it a lot easier over the years. You can select whether the buyer pays for the shipping or if you will include it within the selling price. I have done both. If I feel like the product is in a competitive market then I will throw in the shipping to be more appealing to a potential buyer.

Lately, based on my price comparison research, I decided to have the buyer pay for shipping. With Ebay’s interface, it’ll walk me through how to properly price the shipping costs. I usually just go with the recommended pricing which has worked out well for me.

Shipping made easy so you can sell your stuff on Ebay.

Shipping made easy so you can sell your stuff on Ebay.

After the Sale

Here is when I want to communicate promptly with the buyer. This does not have to be much, but a quick thank you and status update on when I will get the item shipped out. I have noticed that I get higher reviews when I communicate with the buyer quickly. Of course, with higher reviews the more trust you gain from other potential buyers.

I also make sure that I ship the item very quickly. Ebay gives us three business days but I try to get it shipped the next day. The buyer will be more satisfied with their experience. You can either go through Ebay to print the shipping label or go to a shipping center yourself. I recommend using Ebay’s service if you have a printer. This will save you money and time by not waiting in line at your local post office.

Now Go Sell Your Stuff on Ebay!

Ebay is the classic eCommerce site for anyone to sell a product. Because it has become so big over the years it can be a little intimidating to post an item on the site. That is why it is best to take these tips to learn how to sell stuff on Ebay. Hopefully, these tips make your experience a bit easier and less intimidating.

For other side hustle ideas check out our list of different Ways to Earn More Money. Andrew and I are always looking for new ways to earn extra income. This list consists of many different side hustles that we have tried ourselves.

5 Simple Ways – How to Sell Photos Online

5 Simple Ways – How to Sell Photos Online

Alright, before we get started. Let me say I’m excited about this article! I really enjoy bringing a personal touch and felt this article “How To Sell Photos Online” allowed me to bring in some personal experiences on what really works for selling photos. I’ve done most of these.

As many of you already know from other posts, I love photography. This hobby is one of my true passions in life though, sadly, I do not get to play with my camera much anymore. Thankfully, before this downturn in production, I was able to gather a lot of different experiences that taught me how to sell photos online for extra income.

Over the years, I have been fortunate to shoot my photos all over the U.S. and the world. It took a lot of honesty with myself, patience, and persistence to build my skills to create some decent photographs. Many of my photos have sold to people around the world using several different platforms of selling. It is a very fun and addicting experience to have someone purchase a photograph that you created from scratch.

Here are some of the different ways you can sell photos online.

1. Stock Photography

Okay, everyone knows about this method on how to sell photos online already so let’s get it out of the way. Using Shutterstock or iStock Photo is probably the easiest way to earn extra money online selling your photos. All you have to do is head over to one of these sites, sign up, upload, get accepted, then sit and wait to get paid.

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

About five years ago I was in St. Louis. While there we visited a high vantage point in a hotel that over looked the St Louis Arch. I snapped a quick shot (this article’s featured image) through the glass window not thinking anything about it. Later on I decided to add it to Shutterstock and iStock Photo. To be honest, compared to the other photos I was uploading, I was not too excited about the one of the arch. To my surprise though, it has been a best seller for me. Between the two hosting services I have made over $1,000 off of the photograph.

Why did this photo do so well? My theory is because it is from a different angle than your typical St. Louis Arch photograph. Go ahead and take a look at the top St Louis Arch photos on ShutterStock and compare to mine above. Notice how it is completely different from the other top sellers. This is what you should do for your stock photography. Find a topic on one of the stock photography sites that is selling well. Then analyze the competition figure out how you can do your photo better bringing fresh content to the topic.

For some more great advice on stock photography check out Andrew’s experience on Selling Stock Photography.

2. Direct Sells

A few years back I was very active at marketing my photographs. I was blogging every day, creating conversations on Twitter, and gaining visitors like crazy. This is when I had a few people directly contact me to use my photos. One client was a hospital in Iowa looking for photos to use on their website. The second client was a marketing company out of Sweden looking to use my Portland Headlight photo for one of their clients.

Overall, I only made $75 off of these two deals but I was still very excited. One thing I learned was to only work with clients who have a budget. The hospital did not so I gave them a one year license for free as long as they gave me credit for my work on the site. I thought this would give me exposure. It did not.

I learned from this mistake when the Swedish deal came up. Here I made sure that I was going to get some money out of them. We came up with a deal for $75, they signed the license, then I sent them a digital copy of the image. It was essentially a direct stock photography deal.

3. Etsy

If you read my 8 Extremely Flexible Part Time Jobs for Us Grown Ups article, you know I once started an Etsy shop a while back. I did not spend much time on my shop to get it going but did sell a couple of photographs there. I have heard that if you work fairly consistently on your own shop for about a year that it can become pretty lucrative.

Like I said, I did not really work very hard on my shop so nothing huge ever materialized with Etsy. Out of the photographs I did sell, I made around $100.

Hopefully in the near future I can get back into my Etsy shop. I think this could be a really nice way to make some extra income.

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

4. Magazines

One time, I had the editor of a digital magazine contact me to take some photographs around the Denver area. They were doing a spotlight on the city and wanted me to take photos of local landmarks, things to-do, and my favorite, food! I went around taking these photos, signed a contract with them, and then got paid a couple hundred bucks. Later on, the article was published which was an incredible feeling!

To start your own freelance journey on how to sell your photos online, I recommend you to contact editors of any magazine around the country. This will let them know you exist and that you are hungry for some work. Do not get discouraged if they say no right away. If they turn you away, remember to follow up ever couple months or so.

Also, I am sure there are freelance websites around the internet to help you find new gigs. I do not have any personal experiences with these websites though. Oh! Article idea!

5. Consignment Shops

Alright, this idea is not about how to sell photos online but rather at a physical store. It is very similar to Etsy and Direct Sells so I wanted to include it for you. Here you can find locally owned gift stores that sell items from local artists. Most of these stores sell items like a consignment shop would. They give your item space in the store for a certain amount of time. Once it sells then they take a cut of the income and you get the rest. Pretty sweet!

Selling at a local store is also one method I do not have personal experience with yet. I have been wrestling with the idea for a while now but have not pulled the trigger yet. Once I do, I will let you know how it goes.

Wrapping it All Up

Here are five fantastic and very probable ways on how to sell photos online. Most of which I have done myself. Some of these methods take more time than others. Some are truly passive while others require you to reach out and find work. If you are ambitious it is possible to do all five of these methods to sell photos online. I would recommend starting with only one at a time instead of trying to start with all five at the same time.

It takes time, patience, and persistence to sell your photos online. Do not give up if you have not sold anything in the first week. Keep pushing forward analyzing your work to make sure that it actually looks good compared to others. If not, learn how you can make your work better. Remember that failure is okay and if you learn from your mistakes you will come out ahead.