How to Obtain Website Content from Clients: 5 Proven Methods

How to Obtain Website Content from Clients: 5 Proven Methods

In a perfect world, we’d all have all the content we needed before we ever touched a wireframe, on paper or otherwise. The hate for lorem ipsum is real, and I do understand why, but it’s a simple fact that we do not live in a perfect world. Clients are often ready to hand over a down payment, but not actually ready to build the site yet.

If you find yourself in this situation (and it will happen a lot at the beginning of your career), you’ll need to help your client get ready. And if they don’t hire a copy writer, you’ll need to help them write the content themselves.

1. Give Them Constraints

If your client is writing their own content, they may need to be told what to write. Most people are not writers by nature. It’s a skill that can be learned by virtually anyone with varying levels of success, but it takes some persistence and associated time. Most people, when told to write some content for a website, are probably going to stare at the blank screen for a while.

Hesitantly they might begin to pluck out letters on their keyboard, one by one. It’ll probably be a laborious process, but they’ll have that first grand sentence: “Hi! Welcome to the home page of our website.” And then they might write a bunch of stuff that would probably be better suited for another page.

People have long made the argument that total creative freedom doesn’t make for good design; constraints do. Constraints force us to solve problems, but they also give us direction, and purpose. Yes, it means doing some of their website planning and strategy for them, but no one said you had to do it for free.

2. Go Through The Process With Them Before They Write

Even instructions like, “Okay, you need a paragraph of introductory text for the home page.” might be a bit vague for people unfamiliar with writing website copy. Get on Skype, or even meet them in person to take your client through the plan you have for their website (wireframes or other prototypes may come in handy here).

Also be sure to tell them how much content is intended for each page, page section, or UI element. If only a sentence or two will reasonably fit, make sure they know this. If they can go nuts on the “About Us” page, make sure they know that, too.

And yes, giving them a space to go nuts is probably a good idea. Everyone wants unleash their inner Hemingway, and if the “About” page ends up being as long and annoying as The Old Man and the Sea, that’s the price we pay for good relationships with our clients.

As you go through your instructions, write them down, and send them to your client via email for reference. This way, they’ll always know what the plan is.

Charge by the hour for this bit, at least.

3. Go Ahead And Annoy Them A Bit

Ever had a client give you a deadline, then disappear? You have no obligation to take that lying down. Now, they might be busy, and have other legitimate priorities. If they tell you a family member is sick, just work for another client for a while.

But if they just disappear on you, don’t be afraid to remind them once in a while. They might genuinely forget, and need the reminder. Even if they haven’t forgotten, they might need a little motivation. And yes, you might annoy them a bit, but clients should respect your time, too.

If they can’t finish even one project, there probably isn’t a long-term relationship on the table

Now don’t e-mail them every day. That’s excessive. An e-mail per week should be fine to start with, and you can always increase that number as deadlines approach. If they e-mail you back with something like, “Thanks, I’m working on it!”, or, “For god’s sake please stop, I’m working on it!”… you can safely stop sending them e-mails for a while.

Don’t worry too much about annoying them. If they can’t finish even one project, there probably isn’t a long-term relationship on the table.

4. Use Software To Make It All A Bit Easier

Of course, this is all a fair bit of work. You can automate the process of getting content from your clients just a little bit, though. If you’ve got the budget for one more darned SAAS product in your pipeline, you could try out Content Snare.

You literally just set up forms that specifically request the content you need. You can put in character limits, and basically define the information required with various kinds of inputs. You want constraints? They’ve got constraints, and automatic email reminders.

Now the downside to this software is the cost. At the time of this writing, the cheapest plan is $24US per month (billed yearly). It’s affordable, probably, for a designer with plenty of clients already. But when every dollar counts, this is one tool you can probably do without.

For anyone who’s a little cash-strapped, you can replicate the basic functionality for requesting content with a much simpler tool like Google Forms. Just make one for each page, and go. You can embed these forms, too, so if you already have something like a “client area” set up on your website, you could theoretically set each client up with their own set of forms to fill out, all in one place.

Automated reminder emails? Well, there’s no shortage of mass mailing applications out there. If you’re already using one, you could schedule some reminders pretty easily. Just be sure to turn them off once you’ve gotten a response.

Annoying them is one thing. Using robots to do it is another.

5. Provide Some Examples from Relevant Sources

A simple and effective way to get a client to understand fully what you want them to provide is to give them pertinent and specific examples of the needed content. For example if the client’s project is a construction website that specifically needs some text content for the Services page you could send them a url of a well established construction website’s a Service’s page and inform them to create something similar. It really can be that easy. Of course this method could be replicated throughout the site as needed.

For more information on how to deal with clients check out our latest Clients guides.

Feel free to share this info to others who may need some help on how to obtain website content from clients, and to individuals trying to obtain content from clients for non-website projects as well.

references: hubspot, godaddy, webdesignerdepot, ithemes

What to do with a Passive-Aggressive Client

What to do with a Passive-Aggressive Client

Passive-Aggressive Client

A passive-aggressive client is one who is very passive when you ask for initial input, but when you submit the finished product, they aggressively attack it, demanding a lot of detailed changes, both major and minor. They had an idea of what they wanted all along but kept it mostly to themselves.

Even though they showed appreciation of certain ideas and elements throughout the development process, do not expect the passive-aggressive client to keep any of them as they send revisions your way.

Identifying Characteristics

  • Communication is mostly one-sided and unhelpful during project development.
  • Multiple statements can be contradicting and hypocritical.
  • Makes statements such as:
  1. “I’m not really sure what we’re looking for.”
  2. “Just do something that would appeal to us generally.”
  3. “What do you suggest?” followed up by…
  4. “You totally missed the point of what I (we) wanted.”
  5. “For X amount of money, it should be better than this.”
  6. “I have provided everything you needed, and you have produced nothing”.

How to Deal with

Stay multiple steps ahead of the passive-aggressive client.

Expecting the last-minute requests for revisions may soften the blow of the client’s aggressive behavior. For design projects keep your original layered design intact so that you can easily refine and change it later (not that you wouldn’t, but it does happen). Also, make sure your contract specifies a limited number of revisions.

Be willing to say “goodbye” if there behavior is simply not worth your time. Keep in mind there are essentially endless potential clients out there (other fish in the sea). Additionally, a project/task should be construed as a collaboration of multiple individuals. You are doing them a favor, and they are doing you a favor in return. It should not simply be seen as a boss (irrational) and worker (slave) scenario.

Want more Freelance info? Check out our latest Freelance Guides.

references: smashing magazine, hubspot, psychologytoday

What is Fulfillment By Amazon (Amazon FBA)?

What is Fulfillment By Amazon (Amazon FBA)?

For those of you who have not yet heard of this or who simply don’t fully understand, Fulfillment By Amazon otherwise known as Amazon FBA is a service Amazon provides its sellers. Essentially, sellers send in their products to an Amazon storage and distribution center close to their main customer base where they are stored until purchased and then sent to future customers.

Do keep in mind that Amazon is well known for its global logistics capabilities and has created a new standard in eCommerce when it comes to delivery times.

The bottom line is that Amazon FBA is a storage and distribution service which Amazon offers sellers, at a fee of course.

The Amazon FBA Process

how amazon fba works
  1. Shipping your product to Amazon
    Following Fulfillment by Amazon guidelines you will need to:

    • Label
    • Pack
    • Set up a shipping plan in your Seller Central dashboard
  2. Amazon storing and tracking
    Once your products arrive at the warehouse Amazon sorts your inventory and sometimes sends it out to different distribution centers based on geographical demand. For example, they may send some of your merchandise from their New York center to their LA center since demand is higher in LA at the moment. Do note that this step in the process does not require anything on your part and that you can decide whether or not Amazon is able to change and/or commingle your merchandise – more on this later on.
  3. Adding your listing
    Once your products arrive and are properly entered into Amazon’s database your listing will become active and you can start advertising (though this is completely optional) it either internally using PPC (Pay Per Click) or externally using Facebook ads and the like.
  4. Orders start rolling in
    When an order is placed on Amazon, the item is immediately processed and prepared to be shipped out. If you are selling on a third party website (such as eBay or your own website) then any order placed will need to be either automatically or manually routed through MCF or Multi-Channel Fulfillment.
  5. Shipping and tracking
    Once the product is chosen in the closest fulfillment center to your client and the box is packed and ready, your item is shipped out. At this stage both you and your customer can track the product’s shipping status using tracking information provided by Amazon.

If you want some information on how to get started with Amazon FBA, here’s another guide:
How to Get Started as an Amazon FBA Seller

Get started now with Amazon FBA. Here’s a link:
Amazon FBA

If you haven’t already signed up for Amazon Prime, here’s a link:
Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

If you want some more information and products related to Amazon FBA I’ve listed some below:

55 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

55 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

Raise your hand if you want to make money from home. If you want to turn your dreams into reality, these suggestions can help. You’ll learn how to earn a side income and even how to transition to a full-time salary.

People make money at home using these ideas and you can too!

Make Money From Home (And Online)

The Internet has made it easier than ever to make money online from the comfort of your own home. Since there are so many ways you can make money online, you might want to start here.

We’re first looking at how to make money without selling anything. Using your talents to help others comes in many forms.

1. Make Money Sharing Your Opinion

Taking paid online surveys is one of the most flexible side hustles. You name the time you want to spend answering surveys and make money. This can be an excellent option even if you only have 10 or 15 minutes to spare. That’s the average amount of time you’ll need for most surveys. Here are a few popular survey options to

Earn money at home with these popular survey options:

Survey Junkie

This well-known and reputable survey site has made is easy to sign-up and simple to complete surveys. Once you submit a survey you will be awarded points that can be redeemed through Paypal or gift cards. This site has over 3,000,000 members and touts a high Trustpilot score of 8.7 out of 10.
Join Survey Junkie Here

Springboard America 

Another great option is Springboard America, who doesn’t only pay you for your opinion, but with each you complete you are entered into a $1,000 giveaway. 

Join Springboard America

Vindale Research

Last by not least, Vindale Research is a large survey site with the ability to match surveys to your interests. 

Get a $1 Signup Bonus Here

If your goal is to make $100+ a month, join all of these sites. This will broaden your accessibility to online surveys.

Surveys can ask about anything. Topics include product reviews, political opinions and even your daily habits.

It’s possible to earn up to $75 per survey. Payment options include cash or gift cards. Some sites enter you into free cash giveaways too.

Surveys are easy, but they don’t pay the most. You should pursue additional hustles to earn even more money.

2. Get Paid to Complete Tasks Online

If you want to get paid for your online activity, check out Swagbucks.

Screenshot of Swagbucks landing page

You earn points for these activities:

  • Web Searches
  • Watching Videos
  • Opinion polls
  • Online Shopping

As long as you are at least 13 years old you can make money with Swagbucks. In fact, Swagbucks is one of the top online jobs for teens. Plus, you can earn as much or little as you want depending on your schedule.

You will earn points (SBs) for each task completed on Swagbucks. You can redeem points for cash rewards or gift cards starting at $3. Some of the redemption options include Amazon gift cards and even PayPal cash deposits.

“I love Swagbucks! I get points for doing things I normally do which turn into free gift cards. The cards are really great to buy extra things or help our monthly budget stretch.”M. Brownfield, Trustpilot.com Review

Swagbucks has paid more than $338 million to its members. More than 7,000 gift cards are awarded each day!

3. Test New Products

Companies will pay you to test new products. They may mail you products for you to test in exchange for your opinion. You can preview upcoming product launches. Product testing is a fun way to discover new products. Sometime, you will receive coupons for future purchases.

Two large product testing companies:

  • Ipsos i-Say: Membership is free and they offer a variety of ways to earn rewards points.
  • Pinecone Research: This exclusive testing community pays $3 per survey but enrollment is limited and by by application only.

It’s possible to test a variety of things from household items to beauty products. You may even be able to test online products such as websites.

These companies offer thousands of testing opportunities each year.

4. Download New Phone Apps

If you enjoy being on your phone, pay attention. You can get paid to download sponsored apps and games. FeaturePoints will pay you to do that and to watch YouTube videos too.

After downloading and using the app, you will earn credits. You can exchange credits for gift cards. This prize can be as useful as cash.

Enter my referral code, C8MNU, during signup, and you’ll get 2,000 Fetch Points ($2.00 in points) when you complete one receipt.

5. Test Websites

User Testing and What Users Do are companies that will pay you to test websites. To get started, you will need to download the testing software.

Then, you’ll record yourself with a webcam during the test. Clients want to see and hear you interact with their website. Being able to see you shows non-verbal language as well.

These sites will let you test between three and five websites each month. Expect to earn between $10 and $20 per test.

If you get invited to a live test, you can make at least $200 per test. These tests are longer, but you get to interact with the client in real-time.

6. Start a Blog

Blogging is one of my favorite ideas because of the passive income potential. It also opens doors to several other income ideas on this list.

A blog is your piece of internet real estate. You can create a portfolio to connect with future clients. Or, you can use it to share your thoughts with the world.

An excellent place to start your website is with Bluehost. It only costs $2.95 a month, and you can start creating content with 15 minutes! It doesn’t matter what you write about. Blogging is a legitimate way to make money from home.

In addition to doubling as a portfolio, you can earn passive income from your blog.

Affiliate marketing is where you partner with brands and services to recommend products. When people make a purchase through your link, you earn a small commission. You don’t sell anything; you only connect your readers with brands.

My friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner makes over $100,000 a month from blogging. She shares her formula for success in her Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.

7. Create a YouTube Channel

Our culture continues to gravitate towards video. You might consider starting a YouTube channel vlog.

From product reviews, funny cat videos, and how-to videos, people flock to YouTube.

By building a following, you can make money through affiliate marketing and ads.

8. Become a Freelance Writer

Whether or not you own a blog, you can make money by writing online. You can write for a blog or business about any topic and get paid for it.

The only two criteria are:

  • possess the ability to write effectively
  • be able to research the topic you’re writing about

You don’t have to be an English major to pursue this income idea.

Clients are always looking for freelancers on the platform Upwork. Or, you can pitch your services to blogs and websites using the tips in Earn More Writing.

Some are blog posts, copywriting, eBooks, and even corporate white papers.

Consider setting up a Contently profile so new clients can find you.

9. Write Resumes

Few people work with the same employer for their entire working career. That means they will need to submit a resume with each job application.

A resume gives potential employers a first impression of each applicant. To receive an invitation to interview, a resume and cover letter need to be impeccable.

Talent Inc. can help you get paid to write resumes on a part-time or full-time basis.

10. Design Graphics

If you’re a “picture person,” you can make money designing graphics and logos. Your clients may be website owners, eBook authors, or corporations.

Fiverr is a good place to start. Graphic designers can advertise their services for a variety of gigs starting at $5 per task.

11. Become a Virtual Assistant

Chances are, behind every large blog or website is a virtual assistant. These “unsung heroes” perform a variety of tasks including:

  • Schedule blog posts
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Manage social media accounts
  • Answer emails
  • Accounting/Bookkeeping
  • Customer service

You may do all of these mentioned above or only one of these tasks. It depends on the needs of the website and your interests.

You might be able to earn more as a Virtual Assistant by starting your own freelance business, like my friend Kayla. She earns $10,000 per month. She even started an online course called $10K VA to teach others to do the same.

Virtual assisting can either be a part-time or full-time position. Two places to start connecting with clients are Outsourcely and Time Etc.

12. Design Websites

Do you like building something from scratch? If so, you can get paid to design websites. Some of your clients might be companies or bloggers looking for their unique theme.

You can modify pre-built WordPress themes or use your own coding. Upwork and Fiverr are two places to get your name out there. Of course, your website will double as a piece of your portfolio.

13. Website Management

Established websites always need managers. You can make money managing the back-end of websites.

As a website manager, you will optimize certain keywords for higher search engine rankings. Plus, you’ll update plugins and back up data. You can also make sure the site remains user-friendly.

You can also offer consulting services on an hourly basis to help bloggers. This might be for those who want an “SEO audit” and are not ready for website management.

This is one job you can do 100% from home to help people across the entire globe.

14. Become an Online Proofreader

Authors, businesses, and bloggers all need an extra set of eyes. Being an online proofreader allows you to connect with writers and add a little sparkle to their work.

You do need an eye for detail and a command for English grammar to become a proofreader. You can proofread lots of different things, like eBooks, news articles, and transcripts.

Companies want to make their content the best it can be, and you can help them do that.

There are several different places to become an online proofreader. Start at Proofread Anywhere to learn the ins and outs of proofreading and land your first client.

The best part about being a proofreader is that you work at your leisure. It can be a part-time income stream in the evenings after work. Or, it can be a way for a stay-at-home parent or retired person to earn money from home.

You just have to be willing to find and correct grammatical errors. Proofreading is a flexible income stream. You can choose how many hours you want to work.

15. Transcribe Audio

Do you want to transcribe audio? This is an in-demand job! You can earn at least $20 per audio hour or more with TranscribeMe. If you have experience with legal or medical transcripts, you can earn even more.

How much audio you transcribe at once can also be at your discretion. You can transcribe short clips that are only a couple of minutes in duration. Transcribing longer audio is also an option for some clients.

To get started, you need an internet connection and a computer. If you like transcribing audio, buying a pedal can be worth the cost.

Want to learn more about how to transcribe audio? Check out Transcribe Anywhere!

16. Data Entry

If you are proficient at typing at least 45 WPM, you could work in data entry. Companies are looking for efficient data entry specialists.

DionData Solutions looks for home-based vendors for their database. You can also look at other freelancer platforms and company websites as well.

Data entry can take several different shapes and sizes. Your workload might consist of the following tasks:

  • Grouping data from multiple documents into a single document
  • Gathering names from LinkedIn to build a marketing database of leads
  • Processing mail-in rebates
  • Processing invoices
  • Entering medical data
  • Maintaining an Excel spreadsheet of income and expenses

What you do will depend on the needs of the business. For example, you may work for a corporation. Another option is to work for a self-employed project manager. You can help them keep up with day-to-day paperwork.

17. Medical Coding and Billing

You don’t have to work in a doctor’s office to use your medical knowledge. Healthcare is a large piece of the American economy. Many various medical providers and insurance companies have outsourced the coding and billing process. Using work-at-home people can help to minimize costs.

Aviacode can help you connect with remote work for medical providers.

In addition to medical-related data entry, you could become a remote medical transcriptionist. This job is a good idea if you have advanced knowledge of medical terms and want to transcribe the doctors’ audio.

18. Tutor Online

Tutoring sessions don’t have to take place at your local library. Now, you can tutor online with video sessions and even live chat.

You can tutor locally, but it’s also possible to teach students and adults online.

One tutoring site to check out is VIPKID.

With this platform, you will be responsible for teaching English to children overseas. You can earn around $18 per hour plus bonuses and incentives.

In addition to that, you don’t have to create your lesson plans. Just show up and teach.

19. Teach a Foreign Language Online

If you enjoy interacting with people from different cultures, you can teach a foreign language online.

All you need is a webcam and microphone to teach over the internet.

Cambly and Open English will pay at least $13 per hour. You can be a tutor for English, Spanish, French, and several other languages.

20. Be an Online Translator

Foreign language tutoring is one way to use your skills. But, you can also be paid to serve as an online translator.

If you are bilingual, or fluent in a foreign language, companies will pay you to translate. You will translate their content from English into another language.

Abercap and WordExpress are looking for translators for media productions for several industries:

  • Law
  • Healthcare
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing

Using these websites will be the most lucrative if you are a native speaker or have experience as a translator. But, you can “get your foot in the door” at other websites.

21. Create an Online Course

We are all good at something, and others are always looking to pay someone to learn new skills. Perhaps, you can teach them something they need to know and get paid for it!

There are several online learning platforms to share your skills. But, you might have the most success at Udemy since courses can sell for up to $200.

All courses are video-based. You can also include worksheet exercises to help your students.

Instructors create courses for many different topics. Some popular ones include:

  • how to play a particular musical instrument
  • computer programming
  • starting an online business
  • yoga classes

You can make a class on nearly any topic!

In addition to creating courses, you can take courses too. I take Udemy classes to improve my side hustle skills.

22. Invest in Crowdfunded Real Estate

You might not have the time, money, or knowledge to own rental property or flip houses. Say hello to crowdfunded real estate.

Now, you can enjoy the income potential of being a landlord without the headaches! With a $500 investment, you can open a portfolio at Fundrise.

You directly invest in properties located across the United States. Historical annual returns are between 8% and 12% which is similar to investing in the stock market. The main difference is that you don’t have the daily market swings.

If you only have $10 to invest, you can invest in student housing with Rich Uncles. You can earn similar returns as Fundrise while diversifying your portfolio.

With any crowdfunded real estate site, only invest cash you don’t need for the next three to five years. You may have to pay a small penalty if you make an early withdrawal. It’s a small price to pay for becoming a real estate mogul.

Curious about crowdfunded real estate? Get started reading this Fundrise review.

23. Invest and Earn Passive Income

This income idea is a little different from the rest. You can earn passive income by investing.

You might invest for retirement with a 401k already. But, you can boost your non-retirement savings with other investments.

If you like to pick your own stocks, bonds, and ETFs, a well-respected brokerage is Ally Invest. Each trade is $4.95, which is as low as you can get for a brokerage while having access to research reports and charting.

If the thought of investing is overwhelming, you can also choose the automated approach offered by Betterment. This will let you earn passive income through hands-off investing.

Each month, you can schedule recurring investments with Betterment. They will invest in a basket of domestic and global ETFs. Selections depend on your age, investment goals, and risk tolerance.

24. Invest in Peer-to-Peer Loans

A relatively new investment idea is peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. P2P lending creates “micro-loans” to everyday people who don’t want to get a loan from a bank.

P2P lenders issue loans for many reasons. Some include credit card debt refinancing, business loans, or home repairs. Peer lending offers a higher return than your current fixed income or bond investments.

LendingClub is the largest peer lending platform. It has been around since 2007. Credit ratings vary from A to G, which is least risky to most risky respectively. This is just like the risk assessment rating for bonds.

Each note has an investment minimum of $25. You can be as risky or conservative investor as you desire. You can enroll in LendingClub’s automatic investing service for free. This will diversify your portfolio. It will give you the highest rate of return without excessive risk.

25. Use a Micro-Investing App

Another idea is to use a micro-investing app. This will help you put your spare change to good use.

Acorns and Stash are the two largest micro-investing apps. They allow you to invest a few dollars and earn interest.

For example, Acorns rounds up each purchase you make and invests the difference. You can earn additional cash back when you shop with their online partners. With spending round-ups, a $3.40 purchase becomes $4, and Acorns will invest the 60-cent difference.

For a 100% free investing app, I also recommend M1 Finance. I use it to buy partial shares of my favorite stocks and ETFs.

26. Switch Bank Accounts

Do you still have your money with a local bank? Instead of earning pennies in interest, earn dollars by switching to Aspiration Bank. Online banks don’t charge annoying bank fees, and you can earn 20 times the regular bank interest rate. Since they don’t have to maintain buildings, they pass the savings onto you with higher interest rates!

Three different online bank accounts earn interest each month:

  • High-Yield Savings Accounts
  • Money Market Accounts
  • CDs (Certificates of Deposit)

For immediate access to your cash, choose a savings or money market account. For any cash you don’t need for at least one year, open a CD account. CDs offer higher interest rates on your long-term deposits.

27. Become a Customer Service Agent

Another potential income idea is being an at-home customer service rep. Many companies will hire seasonal reps during the Christmas shopping season.

Indeed and FlexJobs post the newest openings for year-round positions. This will give you a reliable income stream for all 12 months of the year.

28. Get Paid to Exercise

Did you know that you could get paid to to exercise?

The Achievement app integrates with more than 30 Android and iOS apps.

Some of the healthy activities you get paid for include:

  • Tracking Steps
  • Sleeping
  • Healthy Eating
  • Social Media Shares
  • Answering Surveys
  • Joining Challenges

Achievement pays you via PayPal or direct deposit. Now, you don’t have an excuse not to exercise.

29. Lower Your Monthly Bills

Reducing your monthly spending has the same effect as making more money. I think of cutting expenses as an instant pay raise. One way we monitor our spending is with Ask Trim. This free app performs the following to save you money:

  • Negotiate lower monthly bills for cable tv, phone, and home internet
  • Cancel an unwanted subscription
  • Send low account balance alerts to stop overdraft fees

Trim is also rolling out tools to help you save money on insurance and electric bills.

Personally, Trim lowered my internet bill by $10 a month by applying a loyalty discount I didn’t know about.

Make Money Selling Items From Home

This section will focus on how to make money selling products from home.

These ideas will get your wheels turning. They can help whether you want to make money and declutter your house, or if you want to monetize a hobby.

Although you should sell whatever makes you money, you should first consider digital items. Selling digital items offers the most profit potential. You don’t have to pay shipping costs or buy material.

If you sell a physical product, several suggestions below only require you to upload a design. When you make a sale, the website prints and ships the item for you.

30. Sell Digital Items for Video Games

Video games are quickly changing from a hobby to a passion for many. And players don’t only spend money purchasing a brand new game. Many games and apps also require in-game purchases.

SecondLife is the perfect place to sell digital items. Anything you buy in real life is available in the game. So, you can design anything from clothing to race cars. When other players buy your items, you get paid real cash.

31. Design Clothing

CafePress is one of the leading sites that allow you to create an online shop. You can design t-shirts, sweatshirts, baby clothing, and even accessories like coffee mugs and phone cases.

All you have to do is upload your design and Cafepress will handle the printing and shipping when an item sells. Customers can request customized designs in addition to your pre-made work.

32. Sell Clothing Online

Another way to make money is by selling clothes online. Selling clothing can easily be an “evergreen” side hustle. Not only can you clean out your closet, but you could also flip clothes you bought for a bargain. After all, we all get dressed in the morning.

From personal experience, my top choices are eBay and Poshmark.

If you’re paying shipping costs when you sell an item, make sure you weigh it before you list it. We lost money on the first couple of sales because we didn’t calculate shipping. Hopefully, you can avoid this beginner mistake.

33. Sell Used Books

Whether you have used textbooks or riveting works of fiction to sell, people love to read. There are many different options to sell used books online.

My favorite is Bookscouter. They will quickly compare the prices of 42 vendors. This allows you to negotiate the best price in a matter of seconds.

Like clothing, you may decide to sell your unwanted books, or you may want to make it a steady side income. It just depends on how much time you want to invest.

If you have dreams of selling your own book, Amazon makes it easy to self-publish your Kindle eBook for free. Amazon even offers a print-on-demand service too. It’s never been easier to begin selling your works without a publishing house!

34. Sell Your Old Video Games

Connect with tons of video game buyers online. Sell both last year’s version of Madden or some old Gameboy Color games you played as a child. If own current video games you no longer need, you can sell them with Decluttr. The selling process is simple. You scan the product barcode and mail your items with the prepaid shipping label.

Selling video games online can be a lucrative side hustle. It allows parents to buy games to share their childhood memories with their children. Plus, players are always looking to buy the best games for less than retail.

35. Sell Movies and Music Online

Although many people stream their media these days, there’s something about having a hard copy of your favorites.

It’s also easy to sell your DVDs and CDs online. You can do it yourself on eBay and Amazon, or a specialty site like Decluttr. Selling your used movies and music online can be more lucrative than having a yard sale.

Tip: Bundle music and movies from similar artists or actors to save on shipping costs when you sell on eBay.

36. Sell Your Unwanted Items on Craigslist

You can sell almost everything on Craigslist. From unwanted clothing and books to used cars, and anything in between.

Craigslist can be a good option to sell those items that are too expensive to ship. Examples would be things such as used furniture, appliances, and kitchen gadgets. Also, sell items that still have cash value but no longer have a place in your home or garage.

To expand your reach, you should also consider listing your items on these 20 Craigslist alternatives.

37. Sell Unwanted Gift Cards

Do you have a drawer full of gift cards to restaurants, coffee shops, and stores that you’ll never visit? You could re-gift them, or you can sell them for cash.

Gift Card Granny makes it easy to list your gift card for sale. You can get paid in cash, or exchange it for a card you will use. Exchanging your gift card can make your card more valuable than simply selling it.

If you have access to a steady supply of gift cards or more than $2,500 in gift cards, you can apply to be a bulk seller. This will boost your profit margin and help you sell them faster.

38. Dropship with Shopify

Dropshipping doesn’t require you to mail any products. This is why it’s a popular version of retail arbitrage. A drop-ship business is where you are the “middle man” between a manufacturer and the customer.

The customer buys the product through your website or product listing on an e-commerce site, like eBay. Once the payment has been made, the warehouse ships the product directly to their front door. Your profit is the difference between the selling price and the manufacturer’s wholesale price.

For example, if a product is $30, you might pay $15 to buy the item and ship it. With these margins, you earn $15 on each sale.

The easiest way to begin is to create a website with Shopify. They have built-in tools to collect payments. Plus, you can import your product listings to various e-commerce websites. They work with sites, including eBay, Amazon, Facebook Messenger, and Pinterest.

If you want to sell your own products, a Shopify website will let customers buy items that you will mail to them. You can get discounted shipping rates on Shopify with their special partnership with the U.S. Postal Service.

39. Sell Handmade Goods

Etsy is the largest online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods. From homemade candles, crafts, clothing, and decor, Etsy can be your new favorite marketplace to connect with shoppers.

You should also try selling locally on Craigslist, Facebook, and eBay. Selling on several markets gives you maximum customer exposure.

40. Sell Your Digital Photos and Videos

If you like taking photographs, you can make money selling your photos online. News agencies, bloggers, and authors use stock images on a daily basis. They help make their articles “pop” and engage readers. Pictures can include scenes from your everyday life, places you visit, or images of nature.

As internet bandwidth speeds continue to increase, websites and their viewers can process more data-intensive graphics. Also, You can sell your videos for cash. More sites are including videos on their articles.

There are dozens of places to sell your digital media. The three largest databases are ShutterstockDeposit Photos, and iStock by Getty Images.

They will accept your images, videos, and infographics. On these sites, you can earn up to $28 per photo sold!

41. Shop with Ebates

Do you know that you can get cash back on every purchase? When you shop through Ebates, you receive 1% to 40% cashback at over 2,000 online stores. I use Ebates for my online shopping to get paid to shop.

If you do any shopping online, you will start earning cashback on each purchase made. The only additional step you need to take when shopping is visiting the Ebates site first. Or you can click the red button with the Ebates browser extension.

You can use items bought with Ebates to help supplement your side hustle. This idea can help you increase your profit by decreasing material costs.

Once your Ebates balance reaches $5.01, you get paid by check, PayPal, or gift card.

42. Participate in a Mock Trial

Before a lawsuit goes to court, lawyers will simulate a mock jury trial. This helps them try different arguments and predict the reaction of the jury.

Your jury decision won’t be the official verdict. But this can be a fun way to reenact your favorite Law and Order episodes and get paid for iteJury cases consist of 50 jurors and pay $10 per case. You can participate in one case each week.

Make Money In Person Without Leaving Home

Online isn’t the only way to make hard-cold cash from home. Although the Internet has made it easier to work from home, you can still make money without the Internet.

43. Have a Yard Sale

Each Spring and Fall, you can host a yard sale to downsize your unwanted treasures. This is a good option if you want to sell items that are too expensive to ship.

It’s also a good idea if you don’t want to go through the hassle of listing each item online. Instead, you can sell them as a lot to a local neighbor. Plus, you can always sell online what doesn’t sell in person.

To advertise, you can usually list your sale for free in the local newspaper. You can also post your sale on Craigslist or another local shopping app.

44. Sell Farm Fresh Eggs

In our nation, there seems to a growing emphasis on locally-sourced food. As a result, you might be able to make money by selling farm fresh eggs.

Selling eggs is a potential income stream whether you live in a rural area or even in an urban area. Make sure your HOA will let you keep chickens in your yard before buying a coop. If you have the acreage, you might consider selling fresh beef, chickens, and pork as well.

To attract customers, you can place a sign in your front yard. You can also advertise with local apps like Craigslist and Facebook.

45. Operate a Produce Stand

This can be a great teen micro-business idea because local produce seems to be popular. You might be able to sell from your house, and at your local farmers’ markets to gain additional exposure.

Baked goods and specialty foods can be hot items at your produce stand too. Be sure to check your local and state laws regarding food sales first.

46. Open a Daycare

If you enjoy children and have space in your house, you can operate a home daycare. You can find families online at Care. This option can be convenient if you live in a neighborhood with working families. They can quickly drop off and pick up their children. Also, it may be cheaper for them than a traditional full-time daycare campus.

Home-based childcare can be an effective way to make money to pay your mortgage payment. If you stay-at-home with children of your own, it can be a good way to get paid to stay at home. Plus, your children will meet new playmates.

Before starting a home-based daycare, make sure you check with your local and state laws. You may need to obtain licenses or permits to operate.

47. Start a Doggy Day Care

You could open your home to pet sitting. Many pet owners prefer keeping their dogs and other animals at a house instead of a kennel. At many kennels, they may be locked up in a cage for the entire time.

Also, you can charge extra to walk dogs around your neighborhood every day they stay at your house.

Some dog-walkers earn more than $100,000 a year walking dogs while their owners are away at work.

Sites like Rover.com can be a good place to list your services. You can offer additional services like pet grooming to earn even more. As a result, the owners won’t have to visit another location to groom their dog.

48. Rent A Spare Bedroom on Airbnb

One of the most popular sites to book travel lodging is Airbnb.

As an Airbnb host, you can make money by letting travelers stay in a spare bedroom. You can even rent out a finished basement or a guesthouse that is not in use.

Airbnb can be a fun hustle. It’s great for empty-nesters, or 20-somethings wanting extra cash.

49. Take Up Woodworking

If you enjoy working with wood, convert your garage into a money-making machine. Whether you make furniture, toys, picture frames, turned bowls, or birdhouses, you can monetize your hobby.

It’s possible to sell your products to local passersby, online with Shopify, and also through apps like Craigslist.

50. Repair Automobiles

People need their cars repaired and are always looking for quality labor at the right price.

A home-based mechanic can take many different routes with their business. You can do basic oil changes and car detailing. Or they may also offer more complex repairs, like tune-ups, replacing brake shoes, and more. Although you need basic tools, you don’t need an expensive shop to perform most basic repairs.

It largely depends on what services you want to offer and the type of equipment you own.

Consider learning how to repair electric vehicles. You can stay one step ahead of your competition!

51. Cut Hair

A hair salon is an income idea that doesn’t require a lot of space. It doesn’t require a large financial investment either. You only need one large room to double as the waiting area and your workspace.

Since you work from home, you can schedule appointments at your convenience. This means you don’t have to cut hair all day as a regular salon might expect from an employee. Plus, there’s no commute.

52. Teach Music Lessons

If you have a piano in your living room, you can open up your house and teach your skills to the next generation. For nearly a decade, my wife has taught piano lessons from home.

One or two afternoons a week, students drive to our house, and she teaches them music. To boost your income, you can travel to the student’s house, or meet at your local community center. All in all, teaching music from home is easy. And, it can be taught from any common room in your house.

53. Teach Art

If you have a talent such as drawing, painting, or sculpting why not share it with others and create an income in the process.

54. Garage Sale

Everyone has items they no longer need or desire. One man’s trash, is another’s treasure.

55. Teach Cooking

Cooking is a skill that everyone could benefit from, but few take the time to become proficient.

Summary

In short, it’s easier than ever to make money from home. Whether you freelance, answer surveys or launch a home-based business, the options are nearly endless.

By the way, the best part about all of these options is that you can do more than one!

Some of these ideas might already be part of your everyday routine. Now you know that there are people out there willing to pay you money for things you already do.

Have you ever tried making money from home before? If so, what did you do? Which idea excites you the most?

10 Quick Attributes and Actions of an Ideal Web Design Client

10 Quick Attributes and Actions of an Ideal Web Design Client

  1. Pays appropriate compensation.
  2. Pays on time.
  3. Reasonable mindset.
  4. Does not waste time.
  5. Respectful.
  6. Professional.
  7. Good person.
  8. Patient.
  9. Has a product or service that is interesting.
  10. Understands and appreciates web design.

Know When to Turn Down a Client.

Know When to Turn Down a Client.

It’s simply possible to have too many clients and have clients that require way more time and effort than they are worth. If you have the time, energy, and manpower at your disposal then, by all means, take on new projects and grow your business. However, if you don’t have these limited resources (and they are limited!), don’t place an unneeded burden on yourself or your team to pull an excellent final product out of thin air. If you over-commit yourself then there is the risk of not spending the time and effort needed on existing work, making your current clients unhappy and potentially driving them away. It can be very tempting to obligate yourself to new projects that could be enjoyable or lucrative for you and your team, but if you know that you can’t handle the work at that moment, it can be better to say “no” then to risk your reputation and good name.

Don’t Shy from Promoting Your High Profile Clients

Don’t Shy from Promoting Your High Profile Clients

You could well be a digital guru who has spent years working in the industry and earned the respect of the Web community, but most clients won’t understand what this means. They have never heard of websites such as CSS-Tricks.com and Awwwards.com or magazines such as Net or Wired, and they probably won’t grasp the gravitas that comes with being a speaker at Web conferences such as SXSW.

However, all clients tend to respond when you say you have worked on a high-profile brand website. When clients hear that you’ve been hired by a big name that they’ve heard of and whose products they perhaps use, their eyes double in size and think to themselves that they’ve hit the jackpot.

While some web professionals aren’t always comfortable selling themselves, and while big brand experience is not always proof of ability, it almost always resonates with clients and makes them see you as more credible. This reinforces your position as an expert whose advice should be heeded. After all, if big brand X thought you were good, you must be, right?

Sometimes, of course, no matter how much credibility you demonstrate, a client may choose not to listen to your recommendations. But perhaps they’ll listen to others…

How to Establish Yourself as a Web Expert to Clients

How to Establish Yourself as a Web Expert to Clients

The position of a web expert is not always easy to establish (even if you are already one), because it usually only becomes apparent to a client over time with a few successful decisions or projects. It doesn’t help either that many clients still regard creative digital agencies and freelancers as either kids living in their parents’ basement or shady professionals out to take them for every last penny.

Though a challenge, you can establish your credibility quickly using a few methods, some of which are relatively simple to do.

BE PROFESSIONAL

Before they’re convinced that you’re a digital professional and that they should trust your recommendations, you must first demonstrate your professionalism by doing the basics well:

• Be punctual at meetings and teleconferences.
• Always speak in a professional manner.
• Deliver pre-sales paperwork on time.
• Present all documents and images on professionally branded templates.
• Use correct grammar and punctuation in emails.

You’d be surprised by how quickly clients pick upon deficiencies in these basic business skills. Their perception of you and your recommendations will be immediately affected. Unless you come across as the consummate professional early on, shaking off this reputation will be difficult.

Does Amazon Buying Target Still Make Sense?

Does Amazon Buying Target Still Make Sense?

With only two weeks left in 2018, Loup Ventures founder Gene Munster has conceded his bold prediction that Amazon would acquire Target before the end of the year. In a new blog post, however, Munster said the deal still makes sense for 2019 for the same reasons it did in 2018.

Deal Rationale

There are three main reasons Amazon should buy Target, according to Munster:

  1. Online sales are gaining share from offline sales, but retail will never go 100 percent online. Instead, Munster says online’s share of total U.S. retail sales will grow from about 10 percent today to a peak of about 55 percent in the long-term.
  2. There’s a lot of overlap in Amazon and Target’s target demographic. Both companies are aiming for younger, higher-income shoppers.
  3. Traditional retailers like Target need to become more advanced to survive, and Amazon’s technology and data could completely change Target’s approach to business.

Munster said Amazon and Walmart are aggressively going after each other’s business, with Amazon lagging behind Walmart in physical stores and Walmart significantly trailing Amazon in its online offerings. Neither company has been shy about spending big bucks to close the gap, with Amazon opening rolling out new physical stores in 2018 and Walmart recently acquiring Art.com. Munster said Amazon needs Target and its 1,800 stores to give a boost to its physical retail presence.

No Timetable

Munster may have gotten the timing wrong on his 2018 prediction, be he said the rationale for a Target buyout is not time-sensitive.

“In fact, our belief that online retail will eventually represent 55% of US retail sales is one that will take place over a very long term — at a glacial pace, and Amazon is playing the long game in brick and mortar retail,” Munster wrote.

Despite a weak overall market Amazon stock is up another 30 percent year-to-date in 2018.

References: loup ventures, benzinga

10 Things to Grow Your Business Online in the First Year

10 Things to Grow Your Business Online in the First Year

Business forecasts indicate that ecommerce is exploding, which means now is the perfect time for startups to firmly establish their online stores. There are numerous tactics for nurturing a new online business. If you’re just getting started, now’s the perfect time to make sure all the elements for your online success are in place.

Let’s review 10 crucial steps to capitalizing on this trend:

1. Carefully target the online audience. 

Ecommerce depends largely on a reputable, accessible online presence. To be recognized as such, businesses must make themselves available to those who are most likely to notice. Identify the demographic characteristics of consumers who will benefit from relevant products and services, and base marketing strategies on these details.

2. Create high-quality content and deliver it at high speed.

High-quality content is described as relevant and engaging information that encourages site visitors to return in the future. Content should reflect the given brand in tone and style, and include the company’s mission statement, services and policies. It should also offer industry education and urge interaction with consumers. This may take the form of asking questions, answers to which can be provided in online comment sections. Interaction can also take place via surveys and contests.

But Internet-based businesses live and die by their online visibility and credibility, and they’re judged by more than just consumers. They’re also judged by search engines, which play a major role in bestowing that credibility and visibility. In the wake of recent security vulnerabilities making national headlines such as the HeartBleed bug, secure web hosting which thwarts vulnerabilities is essential for maintaining credibility, and speedy website load times are essential for delivering a positive user experience, maximizing sales conversions and optimizing from an SEO (search engine optimization) perspective.

Amazon reported a 1 percent revenue increase for every 100 milliseconds improvement in load time. Furthermore, Google has stated that fast load speeds are indeed a factor in the ranking algorithm. In response, VPS hosting is quickly becoming more popular among new businesses looking to maximize site speed, as opposed to traditional, shared hosting services.

3. Personalize content.

Visitors know that unique, individualized web experiences are possible, which is why they expect such features. Take advantage of available technology that can generate shopping selections based on personal preferences. While some of the larger websites (Google, Apple, Facebook, etc.) have apps built into their system that identify users and track their online movements, small businesses might focus on smaller CRM solutions. Batchbook, ContactMe, and Zoho are perfect CRM software solutions for small businesses, each costing less than $20 a month.

 4. Invest in mobile capabilities. 

Consumer use of mobile devices is greater than ever before, which is why a robust mobile ecommerce platform is crucial. Available solutions include mobile sites, responsive sites, apps, click-to-call tools, maps and real-time notifications.

5. Integrate sales channels.

Enable consumers to experience the brand similarly across all channels of interaction and methods of shopping. Promotions, products, services, company information and policies should be available both on and offline.

6. Consider subscription. 

Subscription commerce occurs in various forms. For instance, the replenishment model allows for a product to be sent to a customer every month or other regular basis. The discovery model provides for new and exciting experiences with each delivery. These may include customized or rare items. It’s up to the company to decide which form of subscription works best for them, and to implement that into their sales and marketing strategies. Most CRM software and programs organize consumer data that can be used to delineate and track which model each customer prefers and whether the customer has subscribed or not.

7. Remember logistics. 

Scalability is integral to growing a business. To accommodate growth, third-parties such as UPS, Nippon Express, or DB Schenker can be depended upon to manage large and complex transactions. Costs will vary based upon the size of the transaction, the size of shipments, the distance that products need to be shipped or the complexity of the transaction. Third-party logistics become more cost effective as a company grows and handles larger transactions. Reverse logistics — the efficient handling of product exchanges and returns — is significant as well.

For Internet-based businesses, website speed, security and infrastructure are important foundations of not only logistics, but also SEO. These aspects of online business translate to better search engine visibility, resulting in more traffic, leads, brand credibility and sales. Speeding up your website is crucial for online logistics.

8. Skip the middlemen.

Thanks to the Internet, small businesses can reach consumers quickly and easily. Also, manufacturers are increasingly eager to work directly with small businesses because they realize small brands are likely to bring new and innovative products to the marketplace — they are less limited by minimal shelf space and complex supply chains.

9. Sell Internet-only merchandise.

Although essential to maintain continuity across multiple sales channels, it is still possible to offer products via the Internet only. Doing so builds an exclusive brand with ecommerce as the core distribution channel. By offering certain products in only one arena, it is possible to maintain greater control over margins.

10. Curate a proprietary selection.

Proprietary selection refers to a strategy dedicated to “curating” a deep but narrow array of exclusive products in a specific segment. These areas give the relevant merchandise the allure of distinction due to original characteristics and the difficulty of locating such a selection elsewhere.

One of the main goals of any business is consistent growth. Through careful strategic planning, quality marketing campaigns and a healthy combination of the steps outlined above, conversions are likely to increase steadily.

references: entrepreneur