Posts

How I Started An Amazon Affiliate Website To Start Making Money

How I Started an Amazon Affiliate Website to Start Making MoneyHow I started an Amazon Affiliate Website to start making money

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE BELOW FOR MORE INFO.

Recently I’ve committed to building an epic Amazon Affiliate Website in a new competition we’re calling the Epic Niche Site Battle. A contest over a year to see who can build a better niche website. The competition started January 1st, 2018 and this is the entire outline of how I plan to create an awesome Amazon Affiliate Website under $300.

Step 1 – Find a Niche

What do I want my website to do or sell? Do I want to be an entertainment website where people go to be happy and find cool stuff, or do I want to be an authority website where people visit to learn words of wisdom from someone who knows more than them? Or do I want to create another blog that shares silly stories?

There are a lot of choices here, but I wanted to do an entertainment website. I like being fun and frankly if it’s going to be another website to manage. I NEED this to be fun!

Specifically, I chose to niche down to a fun, witty and entertaining website on Holidays. I like holidays because people spend money (or at least expected to spend money) during these times of the year. So I’m going to create an entertainment website based on the traditional things people buy for the holidays. Cool right!

Cost – $0 to think of cool niche ideas.

Step 2 – Find a Clever Domain Name

This part takes time, give yourself plenty of time, like 3 months to come up with a clever domain name for your website. Usually, you want your website/business name or purpose to be reflected in the domain name. You want this to be memorable, easy to type, shorter is better and capable of building a brand around.

I spent 3 months thinking about a domain name. Yes, the Epic Niche Site Battle started 10 days ago, but I could still think of my website beforehand. To think about my holiday website, I came up with over 237 different domain names, slowly fine-tuning them, and emphasizing keywords that made sense to my brand. Those 237 domain names were just the ones that were available when I researched them on GoDaddy.com, there were hundreds more I tried that were unavailable. I went a little insane finding the right domain name.

This is how I felt…..

Eventually, I find a domain name that I absolutely loved! This is personally important to me because if I don’t like it, I won’t be motivated to work on it every week. If you’re not passionate about something, you WILL quit halfway through when the going gets tough. I don’t plan to quit.

Cost – $12 Domain Name + $12 Domain Privacy
*Always buy domain privacy, otherwise you’ll get calls/emails daily from companies trying to sell your new website different services. It’s like telemarketers on steroids.

Step 3 – Create A Fun Logo

This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I’m a graphic kind of guy and I NEED an awesome logo to rally behind. Honestly, I started to think about how the website logo will look when researching domain names. I wanted to create more than just a name in a silly font, I want to create a whole brand.

Once I had my domain name chosen, I started to research different creative logos on websites like Logopond.com and in Google Search Images. I typed in my keywords and compared what other company logos looked like. I started from there and fine-tuned until I had something that looked different, creative, but familiar.

I had about 5 pages of tiny thumbnail logos sketched out.

I needed and created something that looked professional. I used Adobe Illustrator to create it myself, but you could hire a freelance graphic designer off Upwork.com of Fiverr.com. It just depends how much money you want to spend. I personally hate spending money, so the more I can do myself, the better.

Cost – $0 if you do it yourself, I did.

Step 4 – Claim Your Social Platforms

Right before I create a website, I go through and start claiming all my social media platforms for the new company name. Chances are that if your domain name is unique enough, it should be available. If not, at least a similar enough name should be.

I’m currently going through and claiming a Gmail account for my new company (people trust Gmail), along with a Facebook Page, Pinterest Page, Instagram, and Twitter Profile. I’m doing this now so I at least have all of these claimed in the digital world.

I will use the graphic I created for my logo, as the profile photo for the new social media accounts. =P

You may not need/use all of these in the beginning, but having them for safekeeping is a nice reassurance moving forward.

Cost – $0 for the basic accounts.

Step 5 – Set Up Your Initial Website

I personally use WordPress for all my websites. It’s frankly easy to use, flexible and I like the simplicity. This new website will also be on WordPress. Most websites are.

Setting up a website is easier than you think. I personally use Bluehost (you can use whoever you want) to set up all my websites because they have a 1-click button that sets up a WordPress website for you, if that’s scary, here is a detailed post on how to start a blog written for some friends. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions. We’re happy to help!

Full disclosure, I use Bluehost for all my websites. I’m a big fan. If you want to learn more or use Bluehost, I would LOVE if you used my Bluehost Affiliate Code to check it out. It really means a lot to us!

Cost – $202.32 for 2 years of Bluehost hosting.

*You can absolutely do only 1 year, but there is a better discount the longer you go. I also paid for the Site Backup Pro (in case I accidentally delete something) and SiteLock Security (in case my website gets hacked). Overall $202.32 for two years is pretty awesome! If your website hasn’t made that back in 2 years, we should chat.

Step 6 – Find The Right WordPress Theme

So I went to the same place I buy all my WordPress themes (Themeforest) and searched their hundreds of demo WordPress Themes to find the right one that made sense for my Amazon Affiliate Website. This is the style and look your website will have. I needed a clean looking blog (it’s great for SEO) and I needed a warm looking homepage. I found something flexible and looked professional after a couple hours searching.

I’m a big fan of websites that look professional. If your website looks like it was made by a 5th grader, it will be instantly judged and people will feel uncomfortable. Take the time to give your website a nice look upfront and it will pay dividends for the success of your website. WordPress themes are a great way to give your Amazon Affiliate Website a professional look for a cheap price tag.

All you do with your WordPress Theme is hit “Upload Theme” once you create your WordPress website. It’ll then give you the look and feel of what you saw in the demo theme from Themeforest.

Cost – $60 for a WordPress theme from Themeforest.

Step 7 – Add these WordPress Plugins to Improve your site

There is an infinite number of plugins you can add to your site, but the more you do, the slower your site can run and Google hates slow sites, read Adam’s experience here with decreasing website load times. Here are 6 free plug-ins I add to all of my WordPress Amazon Affiliate Websites to keep them fast, looking good and efficient.

  • Akismet Anti-Spam – Frankly getting spammy comments suck and make your website look crappy. Akismet is one of the most popular plugins to protect your Amazon Affiliate Website from spam. Or turn comments completely off to eliminate spam if you don’t want a comment section.
  • Compress JPEG & PNG Images – This is a plugin we use to automatically reduce the file size of our images. Having smaller file sizes keep your website load times quicker since the web pages don’t have as much to download.
  • Google XML Sitemaps – This helps Google bookmark your website. The plugin does everything automatically. It basically creates a roadmap for Google’s crawl bots to quickly index your site.
  • WP Fastest Cache – Cache plugins help your website load faster and this is one of the best. We’ve tried a couple different cache plugins, but keep coming back to this one.
  • Yoast SEO – One of the most popular free SEO plugins. This will tell you how well your page/post is optimized to be search friendly. I live by this plugin!
  • Viglink – This is an affiliate marketing plugin that’s associated with my Viglink Account (Here’s my experience with Viglink). If anyone clicks on a product on my website, Viglink will track this and I get a commission if they buy something. You can use Amazon Associates for your Affiliate Marketing, but I like Viglink because it has partnerships with 2,000 different stores including Amazon. Viglink is how I plan to make money with my new Amazon Affiliate Website. Here is my personal affiliate link if you want to learn more about Viglink and how it works.

Cost – $0 for all of these plugins.

Step 8 – Create Your Initial Pages

I want my website to be easily manageable, so I’m going to initially set up my Amazon Affiliate Website to be pretty simple. I’m having essentially 3 pages.

These pages are:

  • Homepage where I’ll sell products
  • Blog to write engaging SEO posts
  • About Me/Contact Page

I thought about separating the About Me and Contact Page, but they essentially are the same thing, I’ll have a contact form on my About Me page. In my head, the website is more manageable with 3 different pages (plus future blog posts).

I’m currently setting up these 3 pages and loading the homepage with products to sell for the upcoming holiday. Once these 3 pages are done, you’re website is almost done.

Cost – $0, just takes time.

Step 9 – Write AWESOME Blog Posts (4-5 for Launch)

In most cases, your website will be found by SEO or Search Engine Optimization blog posts. You’ll likely market your website in other ways, but most times blogs are found on Google, Bing or Yahoo. Here is Wallet Squirrel’s SEO strategy.

This is where the hard work comes! Every one of my blog posts must follow the 5 rules I discovered during my research on 50 Amazon Affiliate Website Examples Making Money in a Niche. There were the 5 important variables when investigating blog posts on these successful Amazon Affiliate Websites.

  1. Use Specific Keywords – The more specific the keyword is, the better it’ll likely rank in Google
  2. Review Posts are Popular – Before someone buys something, they want to know what others think of it. So if I have an opportunity to review something for a post, people may use my review post to click through to the product they’re thinking of buying.
  3. Content Is King – Most successful blog posts that rank well have between 1,500 – 3,000 words.
  4. Mix High & Low Priced Items – Don’t have a blog post with affiliate links to all high priced or all low priced products. Keep a diversity of price ranges and don’t overwhelm the reader with products to buy. Provide honest reviews and recommendations.
  5. Get People to the Amazon Store as Quick as Possible – The goal of an Amazon Affiliate Website is to get people to the store as quick as possible. Amazon does a great job at convincing people to buy their stuff, let them do the work and collect your affiliate commissions.

Lastly, always do your research and NEVER suggest/promote products you dislike or don’t agree with just for money. People will ALWAYS see through that.

I’m trying to create 4-5 awesome blog posts for my initial launch. Don’t worry about publishing these all at once. This just gives Google more time to crawl these pages and bookmark them for future Google Searches. After that, I’ll create a new post weekly or bi-weekly. Honestly whatever feels better with my time constraints. Either way, quality blog posts are better with Amazon Affiliate Websites.

Cost – $0 unless you pay someone else to write articles for you, but I write all my articles myself.

Step 10 – Launch Your Amazon Affiliate Website & Market It

After I finish my 3 website pages and 4-5 blog posts. I’ll be ready to launch my website!

This involves more than making it visible to the world. You need to get people to the website. Here are some ideas on how to promote your website and increase web traffic.

  • If you have an Email List, email them on the new website!
  • Create a social media campaign on your social media accounts about the launch. Add lots of hashtags if you don’t have a large following. Also, share with your friends and family, they’ll be likely to share because most people want you to succeed.
  • Post to Facebook Groups asking them for feedback on your new website. Maybe they’ll have ideas on how to make it better. You may even get a few new followers.
  • Submit the URL of your new Amazon Affiliate Website to different News Aggregators like StumbleUpon.com.
  • Try syndicating some of your blog posts to syndication sites, especially if they’re good posts. This may help you tap new audiences.
  • Create an infographic and share with different graphics platforms like Slideshare, Flikr, and other bloggers.
  • Reach out to Bloggers and/or News outlets if your new website or blog posts match their content.
  • Reach out to companies you mention in your blog posts.

Cost – $0 You don’t have to spend anything on marketing the website if you don’t want to. Find free ways to promote your website before resorting to paying for a press release or PR companies. Don’t ever try to pay for links to your website, Google may penalize you for this.

Step 11 – Repeat Writing New Blog Posts and Marketing

Remember the old shampoo commercials of rinse and repeat? That’s how Amazon Affiliate Websites work. Your goal is to attract as many visitors as possible, help them, and send them onward to Amazon to buy a product.

The more you write new content and market your website, the more visitors you’ll bring in and the more products you’ll sell.

Total Cost to Start an Amazon Affiliate Website – $274.32

Conclusion

I just laid out my entire Amazon Affiliate Website template for you to copy. If you follow this outline and track my progress, you’ll find some success for your new website.

I’m currently in Step 8, setting up my Amazon Affiliate Website now. It’s going really well! I should be at Step 9 or Step 10 by the end of January, having only spent $274.32 total. That should easily be made back in the next couple of months, I’ll continue to track and post my progress!

Leave me a comment on how your website is doing and I’ll continue to leave updates on how the Epic Niche Site Battle is going!

Teespring Review: Make Money Designing Custom T-Shirts

Teespring Review - Make Money Designing Custom T-Shirts

Teespring Review: Make Money Designing Custom T-Shirts

This is the second time I ever tried Teespring, but my first time writing a Teespring Review. As a designer, this is a fun way to earn extra money designing fun tee shirts and other gear. You essentially design funny/clever t-shirts and then market them to be sold.

What is TeeSpring?

Teespring is a website where you can design custom tee shirts and other apparel such as hoodies, socks, mugs etc. using their proprietary online design software. Once you create a custom design, you can share a link with your friends who can buy your t-shirt design.

The difference between Teespring and other custom t-shirt design places is the shirts aren’t actually made until you have a minimum order.

This way you don’t have to buy a bunch of shirts you aren’t sure are going to sell or not. Thus filling your garage full of crappy shirts. All you do is create the design and TeeSpring handles all the orders, payments and shipping once a minimum amount of shirts are sold.

Yes, Teespring Pays You!

The biggest bonus to Teespring (and why I wanted to write this Teespring Review) is that once you get the minimum amount of orders and the shirts are sent out. You as the designer get a cut of the profits for creating the design!

Teespring handles all the heavy work, but since you are the one that created the shirt design and marketed it, you get a portion of the money made. Of course, Teespring takes their share, but you get yours too.

It’s a unique sidehuslte if you’re a creative type that can create some clever t-shirts and market them.

How Does Teespring work?

Head over to Teespring.com and hit “Start Designing”. It’ll ask you to create an account with them. It’s just the basic name, email, and password. They don’t ask for any payment information when your first setting up an account or first creating a shirt design.

You’ll then be asked to “Pick Your Canvas”. They have a number of options since they originally started. You can create unique/clever designs on a wide variety of items including:

  • Canvas Prints
  • Beach Towels
  • Phone Cases
  • Wall Tapestry
  • Posters (12″x24″) & (24″x36″)
  • Flags
  • Indoor Pillows
  • Socks
  • Apparel
  • Stickers
  • Tote Bags
  • Mugs

I am going to focus on t-shirts for this Teespring Review since that’s what made them famous. So I selected apparel. This takes you immediately to their proprietary design software where you can create a completely unique t-shirt design from scratch. You really just jump right in.

It’s a bit intimidating, I just created a basic word print to go with the design. I obviously didn’t get too crazy, but you have a lot of options of what you can do including uploading your own custom designs.

It’s a really good program. If you don’t have any design software to create a t-shirt design on your own like Adobe Illustrator, I’d definitely recommend checking out Teespring’s online designer. This is what it looks like.

Once you finish a design, Teespring will let you set the price for how much you want to sell the shirt for. You can set the price for whatever you want. Maybe you have a clever design and people want a shirt made by you, so you could set your price at $50. It’s not smart, but you could.

Luckily Teesprings has a recommended sell price.

In addition to what you set the price at, Teespring will show you how much of a profit you’ll make based on how many shirts you sell and the price you set them at. So simple economics, the higher price you set and the more you sell, the more profit you’ll make. In the Teespring Review example below, if 7 shirts are purchased, I would make $70 or $7 per shirt if I sell for $23.99.

Once you set the price you create a profile on your new shirt design with campaign name, t-shirt description and create a custom URL for people to visit. Take some time with this. Giving your campaign/shirt description a clever description can really help sell your shirt to people on the fence of buying.

If you want to check out the t-shirt design I did for this Teespring Review, go to Teespring.com/i-am-a-blogger-teeshirt where you’ll have the option to buy. It’s very basic. I like to set the bar low for you to create your own amazing shirt design!

That’s it. Now anyone can see your shirt and buy it. The biggest thing from here is sending the link to your friends, post on your blog or share to your social network to buy the new shirt.

A big strategy I’ve seen people try, is create a clever t-shirt idea for a specific niche of people like the famous “Don’t worry I’m a ______” tagline and create facebook ads. To give an example, I’ve seen “Don’t worry I’m a Nurse” and people created specific facebook ads for people who listed their occupation as “Nurse”. I believe it’s been really successful.

Teespring Review Pros

  • You only have to create the design, Teespring will handle the creating/paying/shipping info on their end. This is a huge space saver from the days you had to store tee shirt inventory in your garage.
  • You get paid per t-shirt. You can set your own price for your designs and that profit goes to you. So if you LOVE creating tee shirts, you can make quite a bit of money.
  • Their design software is pretty easy to use.

Teespring Review Cons

  • Even if you create the best t-shirt design ever, you have to market it completely on your own. Meaning you have to email it to all your friends or create Facebook ads to drive traffic to Teespring’s website for people to buy your t-shirt. You’re basically selling Teespring’s t-shirts for them.
  • You have a limited space on the front and back of the shirt for your design. This makes it easier for Teespring to create the t-shirts, but you can’t get super creative creating unique sleeve designs or anything like that.
  • Time Limit for your designs. Once you create the design you have nearly 6 days to sell your design or it’s taken down. That’s not a lot of time.

Teespring Review Conclusions

I like the idea of Teespring. It allows you to quickly create a custom t-shirt design to share with all your friends for them to buy. However, it doesn’t seem to be set up for a permanent side hustle. There are a lot of better/easier ways to earn more money.

Once you create the t-shirt design, it takes A LOT of effort and marketing dollars to get those shirts to sell. So unless you have a particular network of people who are willing to buy a specific t-shirt, I wouldn’t recommend this as a permanent side hustle.

We’re Starting the Epic Niche Site Battle!

“Let’s do this!” is how I responded to a LinkedIn message from Barnabas of TheDadWallet.com & SerialBoss.com.

Back in May, Barnabas reached out to Wallet Squirrel following up on all our talk about building a niche website. He’s been wanting to do the same thing and he suggested we do something like Pat Flynn’s Niche Site Duel and compete to see who could make the better niche website.

F*#k, I freaked out. This is the first time I’m going against a real blogger and sharing every step of the process. What if my ideas suck?

Although terrified, I REALLY want to do this. I want to build something awesome with everything I’ve learned the last year. So I accepted the challenge of what we’re calling the “Epic Niche Site Battle”!

Niche Site, What Is That?

In an older post, I gave 50 Examples of Amazon Affiliate Websites. Essentially a niche site is a website that caters to a particular narrow group of people with a common interest. For example, people who own large fish tanks could be a particular niche. You could totally have a website about that!

You can also monetize these niche websites and have them make money for you. I’ll admit, that’s my motivation to start this. I’m hoping to build a passive income with this new website and use that money to buy more dividend stocks.

How the Competition Works

Barnabas and I sat down (via Google Hangouts) to lay out how the competition works.

Duration: We are giving each other 1 year to build & grow our niche sites. Starting on January 1st of 2018 we’re starting our site and giving comprehensive reports quarterly on both our blogs (walletsquirrel.com & serialboss.com). We each may add additional posts, but we have to share all of our stats every three months. Whoever has better key metrics at the end of the year wins.

What We’re Competing On: We’re both building niche sites to help us grow our incomes, so making money is key but not the only factor. We are tracking 4 key metrics we both felt were vital to the success of a niche website.

Updates: We’ll share our updates quarterly with January 4th as our first post. Damn that’s soon!

  • First Update – March 29th
  • Second Update – July 5th
  • Third Update – September 7th
  • Last Update – December 6th

Rules: The only rules we came up with were:

  1. No one else can help us. I can’t have my buddy Adam helping me or hire any Virtual Assistants. The same goes for him. It’s just him and I each bootstrapping a website from scratch.
  2. Paid Advertising must be deducted from profits. I don’t plan on using a lot of Paid Advertising since I’m poor and don’t want to spend money, but I may try $50 in Facebook Ads to see/track if it helps.

That’s it. All else is fair to build the ultimate niche website!

Full Transparency: We’re sharing EVERYTHING (good times and bad) except the domain names. We want to be as transparent as possible since we want to help others build niche websites and show how it’s done, but we’ve both heard horror stories of people using similar domain names and stealing traffic from new sites after the keyword research has been done.

I may share my domain name at the end of the competition, once established, but it’s up to Barnabas to share his or not. For now, we’ll call our respective sites the Wallet Squirrel Niche Site and the Serial Boss Niche Site.

My Previous Niche Site Experience

So far my previous niche site experience leaves room for improvement. In the past I’ve built 4 unsuccessful niche websites, but each one got better.

That’s right, I’ve built 4 awful niche sites in the past. It’s time to build something awesome!

Starting when I was 24 I built my first niche site reviewing online universities, it was called Top5OnlineUniversities.com. It was awful because I wrote generic school descriptions and only made money with AdSense. I hated myself for building something so lame. So I quit after a year.

At age 25 I built a website called LanguageMindMaps.com (it’s not up anymore). I wanted to use my graphic design talent to create mind maps of typical conversations in different languages to help people visually learn new languages. It was better looking but I had no way to really monetize it and knew nothing about marketing. It failed because no one was searching for the term language mind maps.

At age 26 I built a deodorant niche website that started doing well for the keyword search, but it lacked ways to monetize the website. Plus I wasn’t exactly thrilled to tell people I had a website on deodorant. So since I wasn’t excited to market it, I lost interest and it died.

At age 27 Adam (of Wallet Squirrel) and I built a Halloween Costume website. This was something that looked cool, had great keyword research and did really well. However, it was just a seasonal website so the rest of the year I lacked interest in maintaining it since it only turned a profit once a year. That lack of motivation destroyed me and I game up. By the time Halloween came around again we didn’t have the keyword strength and lost tons of traffic. It’s slowly been dying.

Now! I plan to build something that’s graphically cool, that I’m excited to share with other people, has awesome keyword strength with a topic I can write about throughout the year. These are the guiding factors for my new niche site.

Strategies

It was pretty funny when we shared our initial strategies, they were very different approaches. So we’ll get to see two common strategies in action.

I wanted to go with a traditional affiliate site where the purpose is to rank high for a particular keyword then get my audience from my niche website to a product as fast as possible. When people use my tracking codes, I get a portion of the sale if they buy anything. So my strategy is to gain traffic through keyword targeting and quickly get them to a product site quickly. The idea being the more people I get to a product site, the more products that will sell.

Barnabas with SerialBoss has a bit different strategy. He plans to make most his income from Google AdSense rather than affiliate sales. So he is focusing on ranking highly in Google in a particular niche and gain revenue through visual AdSense ads.

Overall: I anticipate I may make more money first, but he is playing the long game by trying to become the premier expert in a particular niche field. If he can rank highly for one particular keyword, it’s easier to start expanding into other similar keywords and significantly grow his traffic.

So It Begins

I’m currently in the pregame phase. I’ve built a few niche sites in the past, but none have been overly successful. I really have no idea what I’m going to do. I know I’m going to build an affiliate niche website and it’s going to follow rules I stated above from past lessons learned, but I don’t know exactly what it will be yet. I don’t even have a domain name in mind.

So I’m currently rapidly typing domain names into GoDaddy.com to see what’s available and sounds good. Rapidly strategizing in my head because on January 1st we’re going fulling speed!

Does anyone want to join?

The main Epic Niche Site Battle is between Barnabas and I, but anyone is welcome to join in. Does anyone want to join us building a completely new niche website in January? Sign up for my email newsletter below to follow the action!

Income Report – October, 2017

Wahoo, I get both Halloween this week as well as writing my October Income Report. This income report shows a full transparency of everything I made this month from all the side-hustles on Wallet Squirrel. Everything we make, we invest to show that you can create an entire retirement portfolio from just extra ways to earn money.

What We Accomplished in October

Andrew wrote some sweet articles

  • The Perfect Blog Post Image Size to help you share your blog post on social media. We never had a consistent image size for Wallet Squirrel posts, so this article helped create some consistency for a future post. If you see our homepage or social media posts, you’ll see it turned out well.
  • After hearing about a new stock on Motley Fool, I did some research and checked out Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIP) to see what they did and analyze their stock for future consideration in my portfolio.
  • Does anyone else get anxious about tipping and judging people based on how well they serve you? I wrote “I Hate Tipping, It Ruins my Budget and Anxiety” because I totally do. I now pay wait staff 20% regardless of the service so I don’t feel like a dick for under-tipping or over tip and break my wallet.

Adam also wrote some great articles

  • He checked out our favorite income bloggers on the web and created the September Income Report Round Up of how much our favorite bloggers made in the month of September
  • Adam frustrated with bad spending habits wrote: “9 Bad Spending Habits that are Killing Your Budget“. I’ll admit I used to be victim to some of these, what about you?
  • Since Amazon is looking for new cities around the US to host their new Amazon headquarters, Adam took a look at Denver as a possibility and how that would affect our cities economy and housing market.

Any favorites?

Income Report – October 2017

We had such a great month last month, so I knew we couldn’t keep it up, but I was still surprised we did so well. We brought in $171.10 in October which is WAY better than our old average of $60 and it wasn’t from any one source. It was a combination of all our different revenue streams that continue to grow. That’s REALLY exciting.

These are all great income sources, but nothing really sticks out as the major money maker. Since all of these are balancing out, maybe it’s time for me to start looking into creating another affiliate marketing website and track its progress on Wallet Squirrel. What do you think?

Here are the sources of income for October.

$50 – Paid link, someone paid me to add a link to an old article. It worked well.
$45.00 – Bluehost Affiliate Income
$21.30 – Robinhood App Affiliate Program
$16.90 – Seeking Alpha Articles
$11.48 – Cashback Credit Card
$10.00 – Dividends
$4.45 – Stock Photography
$4.27 – Wallet Squirrel AdSense
$3.75 – Lending Club
$1.91 – Wallet Squirrel Affiliate Marketing
$1.39 – Interest Checking/Savings Account

Where does that $171.10 go?

A majority of that $171.10 goes toward building a $10 million dollar retirement portfolio of dividend stocks. A few of those dollars are spent to pay for our website services and website goals. Since most of it goes to my retirement portfolio though, I used it to buy more stocks, specifically more positions in Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Realty Income (O).  Wahoo!

Let’s Talk Goals

Did I meet last month’s (October) goals? – Kinda

I was supposed to set up a Pinterest Process, but I think I just created a process on CoSchedule for my Pinterest Boards along with joined a few other boards on Pinterest and Facebook Pinterest Groups. Yes that’s apparently a thing and they are SUPER friendly, try it!

November Goals

It’s a secret, I will share later this month!!!! =)

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 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.