Extra Cash Series: Get Paid to Take Surveys

surveysThere are a plethora of money making opportunities on the internet which is the reason why we come across hundreds of rags to riches stories ever so often. While they all differ according to the tasks they entail and each one requires a different set of skills, there is an ever popular way of making easy cash – by taking paid surveys.

Although this way of making money has been around for nearly a decade, there are very few genuine websites that you can trust to pay you for your time and efforts. Among the best that I’ve come across till date is Crowdology which has separate portals for major countries like USA and the UK. Crowdology has clients covering several types of industries, right from leading consumer brands to publishing, media and advertising companies. The surveys are mostly on behalf of companies that want to measure public opinions on a variety of subjects.

The surveys taken up by the company are mostly topical in nature, focusing on current issues. Also unlike the surveys floated by other companies that end up taking a long time to complete, Crowdology’s surveys only take around 2 to 15 minutes so you won’t need to spend a lot of time on each survey. Apart from online surveys, members can also take part in offline surveys such as telephone interviews or focus groups and stand to get additional rewards for their time and effort. The company also takes personal privacy seriously and keeps all the surveys and polls anonymous, never sharing your personal information with any other company.

As long as you’re above 18 years of age and have an internet connection and some type of phone you can sign up with the company and start earning some cool cash!

8 Potential Ways to Boost Your Income

Regardless of if you’re a college student with a full course load, a full-time employee or on the brink of retirement, you can use more money, right? Here are eight ways to boost your income without having to put in more hours at the office.

1. Have tons of extra time during the day? Think about what your neighbors may need. Do you live near elderly people who could use someone to shop for them? Does the mom down the block have three dogs that she has to find the time to walk? Young parents can always use an on-call babysitter, busy working men and women may benefit from someone who’ll run errands and pet owners will likely need a dog or cat sitter the next time they head out of town.

2. If you have a guest room that rarely gets used, rent it out to travelers or anyone who needs a temporary place to stay. This is especially helpful if you live in an area that gets a lot of tourists.

3. Clean out your closet and bring your duds and accessories to consignment shops.

4. Sign up for investment newsletters, which will be packed with helpful tips, advice and links. These will be especially helpful if you’re just now getting into the world of investing and need some guidance.

5. Car owners who aren’t in love with the exterior of their vehicle can make some money by selling ad space. Some people even earn up to $400 per month just for driving around with a businesses ad on their car!

6. What are your special, marketable skills? If you love – and have a knack for – gardening, drawing, refinishing furniture, etc., there’s likely somebody out there who needs what you offer. Market your skills for the things you love to do and get paid for engaging in an activity you enjoy.

7. Have you been making bracelets or trinkets for yourself or your close friends? Take photos of them and post them on Etsy! With a bit of marketing, you shouldn’t have a hard time selling quality products online. Plus, you don’t have to make the product until somebody buys it, which means no wasted money on supplies.

8. Love court shows on TV? I bet you didn’t know that you can sign up to be a mock juror. These websites let prosecutors walk through a pre-trial before actually standing in front of a real jury.

Does More Money Equal More Happiness? [Infographic]

Over the last few months, I’ve been ranting about the importance of saving as much as you can and going full throttle as far as maximizing your earning potential is concerned. But today I would like to discuss the decades old question – does more money equal to more happiness?

While scientists have been conducting more and more surveys recently to find the perfect answer to this question, the real answer in fact is a subjective one and depends on the opinion of the individual. Sure money eradicates most of the problems that we would be otherwise facing and while we tend to get more satisfaction as we see the money rolling into our bank accounts, but after a certain point, it all starts to seem too commonplace, for we would have gotten accustomed to seeing ourselves earn money day after day.

But it’s really naive to say that money isn’t important, since it plays a big role in our everyday lives, and our friends who are not that lucky to be living a wealthy life would be knowing it so much better than us. We’ve got a great infographic to share with our readers that encompasses all that we’ve discussed today in much more detail. Enjoy!

Money Happiness Infographic

How to Sell Your Unwanted Stuff For Cash

With people being made to believe that buying stuff is good, almost everyone these days wants to get hold of the latest things in the market, be it the newest cellphone, the trendiest clothes, or the swanky new gadget that just hit the stores. Even though people get a high after buying things, it only stays for a few days and most of the stuff we end up buying impulsively tends to remain unused most of the time, due to which later we repent why we took the decision of buying it in the first place.

However not all is gloom and doom – especially if you’re one who has started realizing the need for smart spending and becoming financially independent. If you’ve made a vow not to repeat the financial mistakes that you’ve made in the past, you can take the reign of your life in your own hands and start controlling your decisions instead of being lured by things and getting swayed easily.

The best way to go about it would be to determine what things that you own are you not currently using or would only be using very rarely in the near future. Since they are not of much use to you anyway, you should immediately try to sell them off before their value goes down in the years to come. Since most of us are entertainment freaks, you would most probably be owning dozens of movies, games or music DVD’s. Clothing & misc. gadgets would also probably be on top of the list. If you’re thinking that it’s going to be a big hassle to sell all this stuff, you should stop worrying about it as now you can sell most of your online, without having to search for buyers by running an auction outside your house. For example, if you’re looking to sell DVDs online, then you can find several sites that make it a breeze for you to sell them off.

Similarly, you can also sell other items such as clothes, electronics, games, furniture etc. online and declutter your life, while getting some extra cash in exchange, which you could use to further improve your financial situation. Although it entirely depends on your what you want to sell, I would advise you to think with a clear head and get rid of anything that you haven’t used for a decent period of time. Though it would probably be hard to do that since most of us feel uneasy in letting go of things, just go for it since ultimately you would be the one who will benefit from it.

15+ Ways to Create Multiple Streams of Income

I have always believed in diversifying my income streams and do as much as I can to find out some new sources of income that can help me make more money overall. It’s been almost close to a decade since I have been trying to make a fortune online and though I’m not anywhere close to that goal to claim that I’ve achieved it, yet I have come a long way from where I started. The journey has not been all straight up and included a few bumps along the way, but all in all it has helped me gain a ton of experience.

Multiple Streams of Income

In the years gone by, I have successfully earned some extra income through a variety of sources, including selling coins on Ebay, affiliate marketing, Adsense, MLM, consulting and many more. Though I did not particularly enjoy each one of them (and I’ll probably write a post about which ones were the most interesting), they did bring in some extra profits that will help me push closer to my goal of reaching the million dollar mark. While I haven’t tried each of the methods that I’m going to discuss below, I have tried my hands on a majority of them, so if you’re looking to create multiple streams of income for yourself, you should check these out:

1. Affiliate Marketing

By far one of the most lucrative methods of generating some serious cash, affiliate marketing basically involves selling the products that others have created. Though it is not that easy to start, it can be quite rewarding once you get a hang of it. There are several networks like Clickbank, Commission Junction, Shareasale etc. where you can sign up to be an affiliate, choose the products that you think people might buy and then try to persuade others to buy them. The commissions will usually differ from product to product, ranging from 20% to 75%, which means you get a pretty good share from the sale of the product.

Read: How to Make Money With Hosting Programs

2. Selling on Ebay

Like I said earlier, I used to sell products on Ebay for close to a year. I had a hobby of collecting coins and I used that to make 100-200% profits through procuring and selling some old coins. It only took me a short time to become a Ebay powerseller, which is the title give to a seller if they have a proven track record of a certain volume of monthly sales.

If you have something to sell, you should also consider joining Ebay as a seller. Preferably, in order to be successful as an Ebay seller, you’ve got to be able to procure products regularly at cheap rates locally and then sell them for a profit on Ebay. If you want any more help regarding this, just shoot me an email and I’ll be more than happy to help.

3. Blogging

Another one of my favorite part-time hustles. Not only do I love sharing my thoughts with the world, but I also earn a bit of money doing that. Not too shabby,huh ! There are literally tons of ways you can make money through blogging and once you work hard to create a quality blog with readership, the moolah starts rolling in pretty soon. It is also sort of semi-passive income, since you would only have to brainstorm, research and update your blog 2-3 times in a week with quality content, which might end up taking 6-8 hours at best.

4. Creating Products

If you think of yourself as an expert on a particular subject, and feel that sharing your knowledge with your readers would benefit them, you can considering creating your own products – podcasts, ebooks and so on. Not only can you sell them to your loyal readers but also through various other portals, including Amazon, Clickbank and others. The best part about creating your own products is that you get to keep a large chunk of the profits and once it is up on the market, as long as it sells decently, you will enjoy a nice passive income from the royalty of the sales.

5. Consulting

Another pretty lucrative business for people who have a lot of knowledge in any one particular field. Consulting is an evergreen business which remains in demand irrespective of the market conditions. For example, with so many organizations wanting to optimize their websites for search engines, a SEO specialist, blogger or webmaster could provide his valuable suggestions on improving the search engine visibility of those businesses and earn a good amount of money doing that.

6. Starting a Small Business

If you have any interest in business, combined with a passion in any specific niche, you can always start your own small-scale business. With most people preferring to buy products online, you do not even need to invest money to buy an offline property. Just set up a simple website based on your business, offer your services/products and market it well. If you do it correctly, you can set up a nice extra stream of income that can have the potential to replace your full-time job later on.

Read: How to Make Money With Ecommerce Websites

7. Membership Sites

There are a plethora of sites that require members to pay a monthly/yearly fee to avail the products or services they offer. If you have something that you think might sell well and customers might be willing to pay a recurring fee for it, you can consider opening such a site. The best part about a membership site is that once it is up and running, the income generated by it is almost fully passive, requiring very little work apart from maintenance. Some examples of such sites are Netflix, Shareafile, Aweber, SBI and countless others.

8. Trading Shares

Although I wouldn’t recommend doing this aggressively, if you’re not averse to risk taking, you could try learning technical analysis of stocks and using your acquired knowledge to analyse the charts of individual stocks regularly and predict their movements on intraday or short-term basis. Though there are lots of successful traders who make a killing from dong this, when you’re starting out it’s best to trade on paper for a few months so that you can get to know how you’re faring, without having to lose your cash while doing it. If the paper trade goes well, you can start trading with small amounts and take it from there.

9. Freelance Writing

One of my favorite methods for generating some extra cash monthly, freelance writing doesn’t require any significant investment of either time or money. Since there are lots of opportunities available for freelance writers, if you have a knack of writing well and do not mind brainstorming a bit to come up with topics that might interest people, you can generate a good amount of income by spending just a few hours every week.

Read: 5 Best Websites for Freelance Writing

10. Virtual Assistant

With blogging & internet based businesses taking off big time in the last few years, there is a growing demand for people who can help the moguls manage their online empires. This usually involves doing some pretty routine tasks like social bookmarking, social media management, database entries etc. that do not have a steep learning curve. However the drawback of being a virtual assistant is that there is a lot of competition from people from the South-East Asian countries and the payoff is usually not that good, usually ranging from $2-$10 per hour.

11. Graphic Designing

I know a few friends who were quite creative at designing stuff (usually logos) and successfully managed to land some big clients over a period of a year or so, just by networking with some of the popular bloggers and webmasters, showcasing their skills on Facebook and setting up a website with their portfolios and a contact page for free quotes.

12. Tutoring

Tutoring has evolved into a full-time business in the last decade or so, and since my own dad is a teacher, I can certainly attest to the fact that it is a great way of making a decent amount of money, sitting at home and working at the hours of your liking. All you need to do is to find out what you’re good at (any high school subjects, foreign language etc.) and then ask friends and family to refer people to you who are looking to learn these. Since I can speak Spanish farely well and my grammar is in good shape too, even I’m thinking of giving Spanish tuitions in my area.

13. Website Designing

Though I cannot claim to be perfect at it, I have worked as a part-time website designer in the past, and have had a few happy clients for whom I developed ecommerce & basic HTML based websites. Even if you don’t have any experience designing sites, you can learn most of it through online guides and ebooks, and then try your hand at making it all work together. Another way of doing this is by using a software such as Dreamweaver. Of course you can also recommend clients to set up basic WordPress blogs, something which you’ll be able to do with minimal fuss.

14. Freelance Programming

If you are good at computer languages and do some decent coding, then you can use your programming skills to land software development and information system projects. There are many sites such as Odesk, Elance, Guru etc. where you can register as a member and bid on projects that are related to your field of interest. It’s always better to start out at low rates in the beginning, develop a reputation for good work and then increase your rates later on.

15. Translation Services

With the world being connected more than ever and businesses taking place between countries from all around the globe, there is a growing demand for translation services. Even though English is recognized as a global language, some countries (especially South American and Asian) are still lagging behind when it comes to English speaking populace. This is where translating services are needed most and if you are good at a second language, you can make a decent amount each month just by translating books, documents and texts.

16. Rental Income

Though I’m a big fan of rental real estate, I’ve purposely listed it at the last since it involves investing a large amount of money in a property before the payoff begins, something which most people are not in a position to do. However, it is a still an impressive way of earning pure passive income that doesn’t require too much effort once you’ve found the right tenants.

Although I have tried to cover almost all major ways of creating multiple streams of income, if you think you would like to add to this list, feel free to leave a comment and share it with our readers.

Finance Your New Start-up All By Your Own

Are you planning for a start-up business? Do you have enough funds to make your dream start-up come true? Funding the business in its initial stages is the first and foremost challenge that an entrepreneur face. It’s a crucial affair. Sometimes investing in a bad idea for business or may be putting it into false direction can put you in debt. So here are the different ways on how to fund your start-up which can help you to play well in your business.

asset-management

1.  Fixed assets, savings, friends and family:

Well, self financing is the most obvious choice of most entrepreneurs. So if you have enough money in your pocket, or some fixed assets like a plot for sale, use these resources. Convince your family and friends to contribute some money. But be aware of the pits ahead, take calculated risks. And also, never put all your income to finance one business.

American business magnate and billionaire were quoted “Never test the depth of the river with both the feet”, which clearly say always take calculated risks when investing in something. Don’t be that guy who sells everything to start a business. Go for it after you are able to afford it. Your money is valuable and you need not spend it unwisely.

2. Angel investors:

Angel investors are those rich people who funds for small start-ups. If these investors like your business idea, then they would agree to finance your business. But they will have their own profit motives behind this. For example, an angel investor may demand to be on the board of directors’ panel of your company or he may ask for a percentage of the company’s profit every financial year.

3. Bank loans:

Many nationalized and private banks lend money to entrepreneurs. There are special reductions in interest rates for entrepreneurs in nationalized banks. But banks generally give loans only to those individuals who sound promising or whose financial background is stable. It’s always better to depend on nationalized banks for a loan as they have lower interest rates than private ones.

4. Depending on incubators:

Incubators are usually run by government or on public-private co-operative basis. They don’t expect any great returns. They simply absorb and fund if the business idea and the team is very promising. As of now, incubators are popular only among tech start-ups. But the disadvantages with incubators are that, they aren’t capable of funding huge amounts like the angel investors. Moreover, incubators are only found within universities and other government aided institutions, Hence it is less accessible to people other than those associated with such institutions.

5. Crowd funding:

This is a new yet old way to finance your business. Crowd funding is generally done via the internet. It’s the combined effort of many people. There are many social sites such as kick-start and indiegogo which are popular crowd funding platforms. Here, what comes into action is the collective effort of the people around the world. The people donate small and big sums enabling you to get enough support in funding your project.

It may sound stupid, but you will be amazed to know that kick-start alone was able to fund 220 million dollars so far and has helped in launching 61000 start-ups. Make sure you always list out your savings and expenses in a personal diary. Updating the book regularly can give you an idea of how much you spend and how much you save. Most financial asset management systems do it the same way as well, so you can follow the same strategy and finance your start-up all by yourself.

Now believe in yourself, take calculated risks and get started!!!

Maximising Long-Term Returns on Waterfront Property Investments

It might only be where water meets land, but waterfront and beach-front properties are always in high demand. In recent years the idea of living on the water may have become less obviously appealing given the string of global natural disasters which have received so much media attention, but as a real estate market stable properties in beach communities will always yield high market value. As such, it is extremely difficult to find a property some place where the purchase price is low, but the value is still expected to increase with time. There are a few clever ways to find a steal left out there, with a bit of patience in the search process, and the right eye for future value.

Riverside

Instead of focusing on the ocean, today many people are finding great success with properties bought alongside rivers. There is a certain romance to the slow pace and dreamy appearance of a river, which still gives the settling feeling of proximity to a body of water. Look for areas with a nearby concentration of river-front commerce with growth potential over a 10 to 20 year time frame. Many such communities have river walks and boardwalks in the works, so consult with local government as to any future plans. Such features boost liveability and tourism. It is also advantageous to look for an area where lifestyle features can be accessed either from the property or nearby. Seek out areas with facility for aquatic activities such as boating, fishing, swimming etc.

Transitioning Industrial Ports

Immediately surrounding many cities are large river, bay or ocean-side communities which have been eaten up by ugly industrial developments. Many such developments are many years old, and cities are looking to reclaim such areas and reallocate them to civilian use. Expect the process of gentrifying such areas to take many years, and look at real estate in such areas as long term investments. Focus on areas where large quantities of government money are being poured into the area. The more the government is willing to invest, the less you will have to in the basic clean-up of the area. Often there are tax breaks and other benefits to businesses and individuals looking to buy or develop in such areas, so do some research before investing.

Breathtaking Water Views

In a world where many people get around in motorised vehicles, it’s no loner such a large priority to step right out onto the beach. Many people actually feel a bit better putting some distance between themselves and Mother Nature. Properties with breathtaking views fetch far more than those that are simply nearby a body of water, even though such a property might be closer. Avoid buying in the ‘grey area’ where beach access is not in walking distance, and there is little to no water view as these areas tend to have elevated prices which will rise but only at standard market rates. Instead follow the ’20 minute rule,’ where buyers will want to drive no more than 20 minutes to access either the water, or commercial amenities. Choosing a property just a bit removed from an already gentrifying community, even a small one, with a great water view will see excellent capital growth with time, and would likely prove to be a cash-flow positive rental property in the meantime.

Sharon Freeman is a freelancer who writes about Real Estate around Coogee & Randwick.

How to Make Money with Ecommerce Website

If you want to cash in on the lucrative online shopping market, you can set up your very own ecommerce website to sell any product you want. Though a lot of people are setting up such websites these days, there’s no reason why you can’t make a profitable ecommerce website from scratch.

Ecommerce

Though making money right from the start would only be a foolish fancy, once your site takes off, there’s really no stopping the money from flowing in. To start off, you would need to buy a unique and catchy domain name as you want people to remember your brand name easily. At the same time, you would also need a fully functional website that is capable of handling all the complexities involved in selling products online.

To buy a domain name, you just need to head over to any of the domain registrars and pay a small annual fee to be registered as the owner of the domain. Once you are done with that, you would need to hire a website developer to create a good-looking ecommerce website and as this requires a fair amount of coding, you would need to shell out a minimum of $1000 or more if you are looking for some added features.

I would advise you to decide on what you are going to be selling and whether there is a market for your product. You don’t want to spend a couple of thousand dollars on a website only to shut shop a few months later. If you want to save on initial amount you have to invest, you can partner with some friend of yours who is good at programming websites. This way you would be able to save a lot of money and utilize that on marketing or advertising.

Organize Everything

Before you get too excited about starting off, get to know some ground realities first. It’s advisable to create a decent business plan, with details about the price you are going to sell the product for, your strategies for profit and finally the profit margin so that you know exactly what you are going to be doing. Also you would need to tie up with a courier company to ship your products, or if you are selling online services, you need a payment processor for transactions through your site. You may also want to consider some inventory managing tools and supplies from Schaefer Systems.

Be Realisitic – Advertise

The success or failure of an ecommerce business almost entirely depends on the advertising. You can’t expect people to start typing your website’s name to buy stuff just as the case is with Amazon. You would have to spend a good amount of people on creating awareness about your brand. Over a period of time & with consistent advertising, you can expect people to start checking out your website and even ordering some products. From there on, word of mouth would be the main reason of your traffic and revenue.

You don’t necessarily need to spend huge amounts of advertising. The best way to create brand awareness is by advertising online since it is much cheaper and most people tend to be online everyday anyway. The main challenge would be to make your initial customers happy so that they can recommend your website to their friends, relatives and colleagues. Always remember that word of mouth referral is the best advertising, so try to keep all your customers satisfied.

How to Make Money With Hosting Programs

There are a number of ways of making money online but most people only tend to focus on blogging and nothing else. However the smarter ones are literally minting money with a variety of hosting programs.

Though you need to take care of a few things initially and spend a good amount of time & effort, the journey can be quite rewarding as you can make lots of cash if you are able to get a hang of it.

So how exactly do you make money with hosting programs? Well, there are a couple of ways of doing that, check them out below:

1. Hosting Affiliate

As a Hostgator affiliate myself, I can vouch for the fact that this can be a very easy and hassle-free method of making money only if you are able to convince people to buy a hosting package. The commissions are very good, ranging from $50 in Hostgator to $65 in Bluehost. Even if you manage to get 5-10 people to sign up, you can make a decent amount of money every month.

Make Money with Hosting

The best way to promote hosting packages is by referring your friends by convincing them to start a blog. If you uncomfortable doing that, you can alternatively start a blog or website and put up various affiliate links and banners at various places on your website. If some of your blog visitors would sign up for hosting, you would get the commissions.

2. Get a Reseller Account

Another great way of making consistently every month is to become a reselling agent by purchasing a reseller account that allows you to sell web hosting on behalf of your web hosting provider and keeping all of the profits in your pocket. Although this is more suited for experienced webmasters who can consistently deliver a decent volume of hosting signups, you could try your hands at it and who knows you might be able to make a handsome living out of it.

You could even consider starting an offline business to sell hosting packages. Just setup an office somewhere or even a home office and start by web hosting plans to the people you know. Once you build some credibility, many people would contact you themselves and you can start making money consistently by selling shared hosting plans for whatever price you want.

Best 5 Websites for Freelance Writers

Freelance WritingIf you are passionate about writing, freelance writing could be one of the best ways to earn money online for you. Being a freelance writer myself, I can vouch for the fact that once you start getting freelance jobs, it becomes incredibly easy to make decent money from it every month.

To help you get started, here is a brief up of the 5 best websites for freelance writers:

1. Freelancer.com

The undisputed king when it comes to anything related to Freelance writing. Just to let you know, more than 23 lac projects have been posted on their site until now and millions of dollars has been paid out to freelancers. The best part is that unlike some other freelancing websites, joining Freelancer.com is absolutely free, and you can make money without the need to invest anything at all. However you will need to pay them 10% or $5 (whichever is greater) from the amount you make.

However you can also choose one of their premium plans if you like, but I don’t think there is any need for that. What you could do is start out by signing up for a free account and then when you start earning with it, you can choose to upgrade your plan for additional benefits if you like.

2. Elance

One of the most popular freelancing websites in the world, Elance offers a free membership for freelance writers. They have more than 16,25,000 registered employers so you just need to sign up with them and start making money.

They have a variety of payment options including Check, Wire Transfer, ACH Bank Transfer, Payoneer and Paypal. You can request a payment whenever you like, and there is no minimum limit or anything like that.

3. oDesk

Another good option for anything freelance, including writing jobs. There are numerous employers and thousands of jobs available. A free membership is offered with no unnecessary paid packages. The only tad disappointing thing is that they take a 10% commission fee which is a bit more than what other networks charge.

Fixed price projects are paid according to the schedule between the employer and you, and hourly jobs are paid on a weekly basis. A variety of payment options are available, including fund transfers, Moneybookers, Wire Transfer, prepaid debit cards, ACH and Paypal.

4. Guru

Though it is not a website only for freelance writers, there are still plenty of freelance writing jobs available. Just create a profile listing your strengths to potential employers and search for projects that you would like to do. Once you find such projects, create proposals to woo employers to hire you. Guru.com handles the payment quite well, with efficient time tracking so you can rest assured you will be duly paid for your work. Payments are paid via Direct Deposit, Prepaid MasterCard, Check, PayPal and Wire transfer

5. Freelance writing

Freelancewriting.com is quite different from the websites I have mentioned above as it aggregates and lists all the freelancing jobs available from many popular freelancing websites. So makes it all the more simple for you to look for the latest jobs available and head over to the site where that particular job is actually listed.