How serious money is made through self-employment

Today I thought it would be interesting to consider how serious money is made through self-employment rather than spending your life working as a wage slave.

There are many ways to make money, dear reader, and they all have their merits.

For instance, if you get a job with a big corporation, it’s possible to earn a decent income, and you may enjoy a few fringe benefits too.

And if you get a job in the public sector, the pay may not be as good, but the pension scheme is usually the best you’ll find anywhere. And of course, working for the government is usually a fairly secure form of employment too.

So, if you become a wage slave in any sector, you can make a living, and sometimes that can even be a decent living as well.

However, unless you work on Wall Street or for an investment bank in the City of London, you are unlikely to make a fortune. Unfortunately, dear reader, that’s one of life’s facts.

The road to serious money:

So, if you aim to make serious money, then you should consider self-employment.

And the good news is that we live in an age in which becoming self-employed has never been easier or cheaper. As a result of the Internet, there are so many business opportunities that were simply not available to previous generations.

And the best news is, you don’t even have to give up your day job, not initially anyway.

You can start your own business as a part-time side hustle, initially, and keep it that way until the income your business is generating for you is sufficient for you to live on.

You can even start one business to generate extra cash and as it makes money you can invest that cash into bigger and potentially more profitable opportunities. The possibilities are endless.

The downside of being an employee:

As an employee, you’re trading your time for money and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s your preference.

However, if your firm does well, you’re unlikely to benefit significantly from any extra profit they make. You might get a bonus but regardless of personal contribution, it’s more likely to be an incidental sum rather than life-changing money.

With your own business, you can make money whilst you’re sleeping.

If you want to get seriously rich then you’ll have to find ways to start making money while you sleep.

Now dear reader I can hear you asking, but how do you make money while you sleep?

Let me give you some examples of online businesses where you could start with little or no money and start making money while you sleep.

Selling products online:

The Internet provides you with the ability to reach most of the people on the planet, wouldn’t you agree?

Think about that for a second.

If you create a website or an online store then billions of people around the world will have access to it. And those people can access it while you’re asleep.

So the potential is there for you to create something that can be generating money for you 24 hours a day 365 days every year.

Still not convinced? Let me give you some examples of businesses you could start to achieve this goal:-

Selling on Amazon:

If you’ve ever bought anything from Amazon you’ll probably have noticed that Amazon is not always the actual seller of the item you are seeking to purchase. Other suppliers sell their products through Amazon via what is known as Amazon Marketplace.

And when third-party suppliers sell products via Amazon they can also use a service known as Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA).

This means if you are the seller, you deliver your stock of products to Amazon and they’ll handle all the logistics associated with product delivery to the buyer.

Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA):

If you want to sell products but you don’t want to handle the packing, postage, and delivery then you can get Amazon to handle it all for you using FBA.

You can do it yourself of course but the point is that you don’t have to because there’s an easier way.

So you can focus on finding products that will offer solutions to the problems your target customers have and just let Amazon do the rest.

And remember this; those products don’t even have to be new. They can be ‘second-hand‘ or used items too.

Second-hand products:

As long as you can find a suitable niche in second-hand products, there is money to be made.

Let me offer you an example.

Each year graduating students have textbooks to sell. Maybe you’ve had that experience, dear reader?

Essentially such students want to get some cash back for books they’re unlikely to read ever again.

Shrewd entrepreneurs recognize that there’ll be a ready market for those textbooks at the start of the next academic year. New students will want to obtain course textbooks at a better price if they can.

So entrepreneurs offer ‘selling students‘ a quick way to turn their textbooks into a little cash.

And then ‘buying students‘ will be sold those same textbooks at a rate which will save them money on the price for the same book had it been bought new.

You make money and everyone’s a winner.

Set up a website:

The entrepreneurial you can set up a website to attract booksellers and then through Amazon Marketplace the books you’ve bought cheaply can be sold at a profit.

And in that way, you could create a profitable second-hand book business.

You could repeat the same trick with music such as vinyl records and CDs, as well as films on DVD.

Second-hand smartphones, tablet computers, and other technology items offer another entrepreneurial possibility.

And don’t forget there’s demand for second-hand clothes too.

Alternatively, you could source your products, e.g. skincare products, cosmetics, household products, and so on and then sell those via Amazon.

I know plenty of people who have created successful businesses with this approach and from them made good money. 

Selling on eBay:

When people sell stuff at a boot sale or yard sale, they usually sell at low prices because they price items for a quick sale.

These are things they need to get rid of as quickly as possible for whatever reason and get whatever they can for them. So, there’s a potential opportunity for those with an entrepreneurial spirit.

You buy these items cheaply and then resell them on eBay for profit.

More importantly, people sometimes sell valuable stuff at boot sales and yard sales for ridiculously low prices because they don’t realize the real value of the item.

On the British television show Flog It, I saw a woman sell an antique vase at auction for £800 having originally bought it at a boot sale for just £1. Now that’s a healthy profit.

Yes, such examples would be the exception but shrewd people can and do make money this way and eBay is a great vehicle for doing so.

Affiliate Marketing:

Affiliate marketing is ‘commission only’ selling.

It works through an idea known as content marketing. The idea is that if you can direct traffic to a product seller’s website which results in a sale then you get paid a commission for that sale.

The amount of commission can be as low as 4% or less from the Amazon Affiliate Program to as much as 75% from some items offered through programs like Clickbank and CJ (Commission Junction, as it was known previously).

The idea is that you create a website in a niche of your choice, generate content on known problems for which people are searching for solutions, and then recommend a product as part of the solution you offer. Then you include an affiliate link to that product and you’ll get a commission every time a sale is made.

How do you achieve this in practice?

Well despite its relatively low commission rates, Amazon offers the easiest opportunity for the beginner. You sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program and then identify a suitable niche that interests you.

Let’s say that niche is budget-priced sports shoes for women. Now the niche does need to be focused and quite narrow. The category ‘Shoes‘ would be far too wide. You need to think about categories for which people will be searching via Google and other search engines.

Once you decide on a niche, you create a website publishing offering reviews of sports shoes for women.

And remember; those reviews don’t have to be your own necessarily.

They could be a curation of reviews you’ve read elsewhere, summarised with an overall rating based on what others have been saying. In other words, you’ve done the hard work for readers by providing them with a comprehensive summary of all the reviews out there and then providing a convenient link to Amazon so that they can easily make their purchase

Creating a review summary by curating input from other sources is legitimate, as long as you acknowledge the different sources which form the basis of your article.

Why review sites are a good idea:

Review sites work with affiliate marketing because they capture buying intent and that’s important.

If someone searches for a review of an item on Google, there is a strong possibility that they will buy if the reviews are positive.

When producing your review articles the crucial action is to embed affiliate links within the text.

Getting readers to click on those links and taking them to Amazon is how you’ll make money. If they buy within 24 hours of clicking on a link you will get paid a commission.

Amazon commissions vary depending on the number and type of sales for which you are credited each month.

So in choosing a niche, you must think about product value too. Generate low-value sales and you won’t make much. However, sales for items with a bigger price tag can prove very lucrative.

That said generating some low-value sales can be a way of pushing subsequent bigger ticket sales into a higher commission rate. So don’t ignore them completely.

Content Marketing:

Essentially content marketing is publishing web content to promote products and services. Content marketing is closely linked with affiliate marketing but not exclusively so.

There are two types of content you can consider, as follows:-

(1) Written Content:

For instance, if you’re producing regular content and publishing it on your blog then there’s the potential to generate an income through advertising.

Now selling advertising space on your blog or website is only possible if you have substantial traffic.

However, If you’re just starting you will not reach those levels for quite some time.

Nevertheless, what is known as pay-per-click (CPC) advertising could generate money for you right from the start.

Perhaps the best-known CPC program is one offered by Google Adsense. You sign up for this program, then embed Google’s links in your blog and they will insert advertising on your blog that is relevant to your content.

EZOIC is another excellent advertising opportunity for new content marketers and bloggers.

Every time a reader clicks on an advertisement you will get paid and it’s not purchase-dependent. Readers only have to click for you to get paid.

The trick with Adsense and EZOIC is to have a narrow focus for your blog.

Here’s an example. Let’s say your blog is about how to keep chickens and deal with blights like red mite. You’ll attract search-engine-generated traffic from people desperate to deal with the problem of red mite. Google or EZOIC will insert ads from companies offering products that will help with this problem and desperate people are likely to click on those ads to see what’s on offer. They click, and you get paid.

As long as your subject matter is focused and narrow, and ideally based on a highly searched keyword or phrase, then this can be a way to generate decent money. However, the traffic levels to your blog will have an impact on how much money you can reasonably make.

(2) Video Content:

Another way to benefit from Google Adsense is to create your own YouTube channel, produce videos and again insert links from Google so that relevant pay-per-click advertising will appear on and around the video. Again if people click then you get paid.

Write eBooks:

Devices such as the iPad, the Kindle and other eReaders, provide you with the opportunity to self-publish eBooks and sell them through Amazon.

You may not be able to come up with the next Harry Potter work of fiction but there is good money to be made writing ‘How To’ books on just about any subject.

They don’t even need to be that long either.

As little as 50 pages or 8,000 – 10,000 words covering a topic of general interest can be enough to produce something that will sell for one dollar or one pound sterling. That might not seem like a lot but sell 1,000 of them and you’ve made a decent sum of money.

Write something on an evergreen topic and it could sell for years.

If you write several eBooks like this on evergreen topics, that could become a decent income stream.

And what do I mean by evergreen?

These are topics for which people have always looked for solutions. That might be something like tips for good time management, or how to lose weight, and so on.

And even if you’re not an expert you can research the necessary information and pull it together for people. Essentially you will be doing the work for your readers.

And don’t forget, nowadays you also have the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to help you in the form of Gemini and ChatGPT. These are powerful writing aids.

Develop Apps:

If you can learn to write code, and of course, you can learn to write code, then you can also learn how to develop apps. If you can develop a killer app and sell it through the App Store then you can make serious money.

And a great app might attract a corporation to buy it for big money. By way of an example, the app Wordle was sold to the New York Times for more than $1 million. That’s a decent payday, don’t you think?

OK, so you’d love to develop an app but you don’t know where to start, right?

Well, there are endless videos and tutorials on YouTube and from these, you can learn how to code and develop apps.

Yes, there’s some work to be done upfront of course.

However, a good app will generate money for years to come. Just think about apps like Candy Crush Saga.

Produce something that becomes a real fad and there’s serious money to be made.

11 things to bear in mind:

If becoming self-employed appeals to you and you fancy making money as an online entrepreneur then here are 11 things you should bear in mind:-

  1. Know your target customers.
  2. Know your target niche or niches
  3. Know your strengths and interests?
  4. Apply your strengths and interests to serve customers
  5. Recognize that different markets need different strategies.
  6. Make sure you’re capturing buying intent.
  7. Create an image that will appeal to your target audience.
  8. With a website, traffic matters.
  9. Search engine optimization (SEO) will bring traffic.
  10. Getting backlinks from other websites will help with SEO.
  11. Be determined, work hard, and learn as you go.

6 things you must do when you’re self-employed:

(1) Register with the tax authorities: Make money by all means but pay your taxes too. Upsetting the tax authorities is not a good idea dear reader wherever you live. In some countries, tax regimes are more benign than in others but it’s always better to keep the tax authorities happy.

(2) Register for sales taxes and VAT: Again it’s all about paying your dues. If you do well financially then you have an obligation to share some of your wealth with the rest of society. Taxes are the price we pay to live in society and you can’t have a successful business without the society in which you live.

(3) Get a separate business bank account: Keep your business activities separate from your personal life. This is very important.

(4) Keep accurate and up-to-date records: You’ll need these in any dialogue with the tax authorities. You don’t want to end up paying more tax than was necessary. Paying your dues is one thing; overpaying your dues is careless.

(5) Insure your business: When you’re in business, you’re required by law to have certain insurance policies. Exactly which policies you need depends on the nature of your business activities. Make sure you know your obligations and act accordingly.

(6) Keep it simple: In the early days, you don’t want to be spending money you don’t have on things that are initially unnecessary. So keep everything as simple as possible for as long as possible.

Conclusion:

Self-employment can be an attractive proposition and for most people, it is the only way you will ever make a fortune. It’s not easy of course but it can be done and you don’t have to ditch your day job to get started.

With an online business, you can start small and build it up over time. And you can mix and match options. For instance, you can start a website to make money with both affiliate marketing and Google Adsense or EZOIC.

A good review website can become quite profitable and once it’s generating revenues on ‘autopilot’ it can become an asset that you can sell for serious money. There are plenty of examples where such sites have sold for 6 and even 7-figure sums.

Don’t underestimate the challenges of course but it can be done and people do. Why not you?

So, think carefully about how best to exploit the opportunities before you and then have a go.

Good luck and may you be the next Richard Branson.

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How to become a Virtual Assistant

How to become a Virtual AssistantIf you’re looking for a role that will allow you to work from home with some flexibility in terms of time commitment, then becoming a virtual assistant might well appeal to you. If so, you might be wondering how to become a virtual assistant.

Well, without further ado, let us explore today’s topic.

Summary:

In this post, I explain the six-step process for how to become a virtual assistant.

These steps are:

  1. Identify your skills and niche.
  2. Address any skills gaps.
  3. Invest in the right equipment.
  4. Set up your business.
  5. Start marketing your services.
  6. Get your first clients.

In more detail, the following is what you need to know:

The Six-Step Process:

Step 1: Identify your skills and niche

The first step to becoming a virtual assistant is to identify your skills and niche.

What are you good at?

What do you enjoy doing?

Once you know your strengths, you can start to narrow down your niche and target your services to a specific type of client.

For example, if you are a strong writer and editor, you could niche down as a content creation virtual assistant.

Perhaps you’re good at social media. Could you manage someone’s social media for them?

Alternatively, if you are organized and detail-oriented, perhaps you could become a virtual administrative assistant.

Essentially, it’s all about what you have to offer a client or clients and what you could best specialise in.

Step 2: Address any skills gaps

Now, you’re going to offer a professional service to clients. That means you must have all the necessary skills. Some you may have already; some you may need to acquire.

So, once you know your target niche, create two lists. The first list should be an inventory of the skills required. The second list should be an inventory of the skills you possess now.

Compare the two lists and identify any skills gaps.

Then you can start to get the necessary training and skills you will need to offer the best possible service.

There are many online and offline courses available that can teach you the skills you need to be a successful virtual assistant.

Some of the most important skills for virtual assistants include:

      • Time management
      • Communication
      • Customer service
      • Writing and Editing
      • Social media marketing
      • Project management
      • Basic accounting

Step 3: Invest in the right equipment

To be a successful virtual assistant, you will need to invest in the right equipment.

This will include a computer, a reliable internet connection, a headset, and a printer.

It’s worth getting top-quality equipment if you can afford it.

You may also want to invest in some software that can help you with your work and productivity, such as a project management tool, a customer relationship management (CRM) system, and a time-tracking tool.

Step 4: Set up your business

Once you have the necessary skills and equipment, you can formally set up your business.

This will include choosing a business name, registering your company, and setting up your finances, including business bank accounts.

You will also need to create a website to showcase your skills and experience.

The website should include some positive testimonials from people you’ve worked with, if that’s possible.

Step 5: Start marketing your services

You cannot be the solution to someone’s problem if they don’t know you exist.

So, once your business is up and running, you must start to market your services. There are many ways to do this, such as online job boards, social media, networking, and cold emailing.

When you are marketing your services, be sure to highlight your unique skills and experience.

You should also be clear about your rates and your availability.

Step 6: Get your first clients

Once you start marketing your services, you will start to get leads from potential clients.

It is important to qualify these leads carefully to make sure that they are a good fit for your business.

Once you have qualified a lead, you can set up a call to discuss their needs and how you can help them.

Be prepared to answer their questions and explain your services in detail.

If you make a good impression on the potential client, they may hire you for a project.

Once you have completed your first project, be sure to ask the client for a testimonial. This will help you attract more clients in the future.

Here are some additional tips for getting your first clients:

  • Network with other virtual assistants. They may be able to refer you to clients or give you advice on how to find work.
  • Offer free consultations. This is a great way to show potential clients what you can do and how you can help them.
  • Write guest blog posts or articles for industry websites. This will help you establish yourself as an expert and attract potential clients.
  • Get involved in social media. Join online communities for virtual assistants and participate in discussions. This is a great way to connect with potential clients and build relationships.

Conclusion:

Becoming a virtual assistant can be a great way to make a living from home.

By following these tips above, you can increase your chances of success.

I hope this article helps you. Good luck.

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50 ways to make some extra cash

ways to make some extra cashIf you’re looking for some interesting ways to make some extra cash, dear reader, then you might find this blog post helpful.

We live in challenging times, and all but the wealthiest people could use a little extra cash, I’m sure.

In this post, I aim to offer you some ideas that you can explore further and find something that might work for you.

So, here are 50 interesting ways to make some extra cash.

I hope there’s something here that you could turn into a side hustle.

1. Creative skills:

  1. Rent out your creative space: studios, art supplies, and musical instruments.
  2. Pet portraits: paint, draw, or even sculpt other people’s furry friends.
  3. Custom greeting cards: hand-drawn, themed, or even for pets.
  4. Design funny t-shirts: Sell online or at local markets.
  5. Write and sell song lyrics: Collaborate with musicians or singers.
  6. Make and sell crafts: Jewelry, soaps, pottery, knitted goods.
  7. Offer calligraphy or lettering services: For invitations, weddings, or signs.
  8. Design logos or brand identities: For small businesses or startups.
  9. Compose jingles or theme music: For podcasts, YouTube channels, or events.
  10. Write and illustrate children’s books: Self-publish or pitch to publishers.

2. Unusual services:

  1. Rent out your driveway or parking space: Hourly or monthly.
  2. Professional line-standing: Wait in line for hot tickets or releases.
  3. Become a human billboard: wear branded clothing, or carry signs.
  4. Offer furniture assembly or handyman services. Fix leaky faucets or assemble IKEA shelves.
  5. Sell your unused vacation days: Some companies allow this legally.
  6. Rent out your unused storage space: For seasonal items or other people’s belongings.
  7. Be a taste tester: For food companies or research studies.
  8. Do laundry or ironing for busy professionals: Pick up and drop off.
  9. Offer pet-sitting or dog-walking services. Build a loyal clientele.
  10. Rent out your bike or car on weekends: When you’re not using them.

3. Online gigs:

  1. Do micro-tasks online: Short, repetitive tasks like data entry or transcription.
  2. Become a virtual assistant: Manage schedules, emails, and social media for busy people.
  3. Offer online tutoring or language lessons: Share your knowledge in any subject.
  4. Test websites and apps: Give feedback and earn per project.
  5. Write and sell articles or blog posts: For content mills or niche websites.
  6. Create and sell online courses. Share your expertise on any topic.
  7. Do freelance graphic design or web development work: Find clients online.
  8. Manage social media accounts for businesses: Schedule posts and engage with followers.
  9. Become a voice-over artist: Read audiobooks, narrate explainer videos, or do commercials.
  10. Sell your stock photos or videos on platforms like Shutterstock or Getty Images.

4. Other ideas:

  1. Become a movie extra.
  2. Sell your unique recipes.
  3. Rent your parking space.
  4. Rent out your camera gear.
  5. Become a mystery shopper.
  6. Collect and sell scrap metal.
  7. Sell your hair to wig makers.
  8. Offer guided tours of your city.
  9. Create and sell custom poetry.
  10. Offer personal shopping services.
  11. Rent your car as advertising space.
  12. Rent out your tools for DIY projects.
  13. Sell vintage or unusual items on Etsy.
  14. Participate in medical research studies.
  15. Rent out your spare bedroom on Airbnb.
  16. Organize and sell garage sales for others.
  17. Rent out your greenhouse for plant lovers.
  18. Sell your old clothes, books, or furniture online.
  19. Enter contests and sweepstakes (research legitimacy beforehand).
  20. Start a blog and earn money through advertising or affiliate marketing.

5. Conclusion:

Remember, these are just suggestions! You’ll need to do your research to ensure legality and safety, of course. Nevertheless, have some fun exploring the options that suit your skills and interests.

Let me say, these are just some ideas. There will be plenty more. I encourage you to explore a variety of ideas based on your interests and resources.

So, consider things like:

  • Local needs and opportunities: What services are lacking in your community?
  • Your hobbies and skills: Can you turn a passion into a side hustle?
  • Tech-savvy options: Are there online platforms or apps you can leverage?
  • Unique talents or experiences: Do you have anything that sets you apart?

Think outside the box. Be creative and resourceful, and don’t be afraid to try something new.

You might just discover a wonderful way to make some extra cash that suits you down to the ground. Happy earning, and may the year ahead be filled with extra cash for you.

Please share this post:

Ways to make some extra cashIf you found this blog post interesting and useful, then please share it on social media with your friends.

When you share, everyone wins.

So go on, please share it now, and I’ll be forever grateful to you. And you’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience.

Thank you for your support, dear reader.

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