5 Easy Ways to Earn Money on Valentine’s Day

5 Easy Ways to Earn Money on Valentine's Day

Earn Money Instead of Spending It

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and for many people this means expensive gifts and dining. However,  there are others who prefer not to become victimized by the commercialism. They take advantage of this holiday to make some extra cash rather than spending it. Here are 5 easy ways to earn money on Valentine’s Day.

Easy Ways to Earn Money on Valentine’s Day

1. Get Busy Creating

Valentine’s Day is a huge money-making day for anyone working in retail, flowers, or confectionery goods. Small businesses can make a killing by attracting new customers with discounts and themed pieces. Therefore, this holiday is the perfect opportunity for the artistic and crafty types to get to work.

If you are a baker, start whipping up your favorite desserts to bring in some extra cash. If you’re an artist, perhaps greetings cards or commissioned work will earn you some additional income. For the musicians out there, consider learning some popular love songs and try your hand at busking. There are endless possibilities for finding the perfect gift, so get your name out there! Use your talents as an easy way to earn money on Valentine’s Day.

2. Throw a Singles Party

It’s no shock to hear that many singles dread Valentine’s Day. However, you can bring people together and celebrate your status by throwing a singles party. Whether you are looking for love or simply want to meet new people, a party is a great way to mingle. Choose a location and charge a flat fee to cover the expenses for food and beverages as well as your time. With the right theme and entertainment, you could create an annual event people look forward to and talk about the rest of the year.

3. Babysitting Services

Offering childcare services is a great way to capitalize on this holiday. If you prefer to stay in anyways, ask around to see if someone could use a night away from the kids. Babysitting rates usually range from $10-$15 an hour, although you should ask for more past midnight. Rates also vary based on the number of children and years of experience.

There are also agencies and periodicals you can work through if you don’t know anyone who is looking for a sitter. Try listing your services on sites like nanno.com or browse job posts on care.com. If you enjoy kids, this is a great and easy way to earn money on Valentine’s Day.

4. Photography Service

If you have an artistic eye and quality equipment, photography and videography are great ways to make extra money. Many couples celebrate anniversaries, engagements, and weddings on Valentine’s Day. You can be a part of their special day by capturing and immortalizing these moments. With the right lighting and editing skills, you can provide couples with a priceless gift they can treasure forever.

5. Date Planning

The fact is romance does not come easily to everyone. Event planning is the perfect opportunity for the hopeless romantics to really shine on Valentine’s Day. To spare someone the agony of planning an unsuccessful evening or a disappointed partner, you can put plan a romantic date for various budgets. Come up with a variety of packages that include locations, restaurants, photographers, and entertainment.

Transportation is another, less involved date service you can provide for the happy couples. Many people will be working since the holiday falls in the middle of the week. This means they will need delivery services during the day. At night, you can be certain people will need a ride home after all the bubbly. You can sign up with a taxi-hailing company or app if you have your own car, or drive with a fleet if you have a valid driver’s license.

The Bottom Dollar

If you decide to capitalize on Valentine’s Day, there are tons of easy ways to earn money. Play to your strengths and customize your marketing approach. There is someone out there who is looking for exactly what you are offering. Thanks to the internet, it is now bringing people together in new ways. If you have an idea, get out there and find your niche.

 

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Teach English Abroad to get out of Debt

Teaching Abroad to get out of Debt

Some people spend their entire lives searching for their purpose in this world.  Although I have ventured down other career paths, I always find myself back at the same conclusion. I was born to be a teacher and have an innate passion for education. However, the American education system fails to pay teachers a livable wage. Many teachers choose to teach English abroad to help them get out of debt.

The Struggle of Student Debt

Any college student can tell you that a good education does not come cheap. My scholarships and financial aid covered a large portion of my tuition. However, I was still left with a large amount of debt to settle each semester. I had no desire to take out more loans, so I worked several part-time jobs and pushed myself to graduate early.

I also had the unfortunate luck of graduating the same year as the mortgage crisis. Being a part of the so-called “unluckiest generation” meant we were plagued with the burden of student debt, high unemployment rates, and slow economic growth. I  received a few job offers after graduation, but nothing that offered much hope to get out of debt. The teaching jobs were in the worst school districts and the salaries were on par with fast food workers. There was no possible way I could afford my rent working a single job, let alone build savings.

The Teaching Path Less Traveled

I sought advice from my mentors and family, unsure which direction to go. I ultimately decided that it was not in my best interest to accept such a low paying job. Rather than working a full-time teaching job and continuing my part-time side work, I chose to enroll in a graduate program abroad. While this meant accruing more debt in my pursuit of higher learning, I was able to finish my master’s degree in only two years at a fraction of the cost. My post-graduate degree also opened a myriad of doors that led me to other opportunities I had not even considered.

In my final months, I met some foreign exchange students who planned to use their diplomas to teach English abroad. We were all disenchanted with the unfulfilled promises of a college degree. The prospect piqued my interest, but the opportunity, salaries, and benefits packages seemed too good to be true. I had no desire to return to the United States to work a minimum wage job or live in my parents basement. I returned home with a sense of cautious optimism and a burgeoning plan.

Teach English Abroad

I spent months comparing job offers in Latin America, Europe and Asia. I agonized over my decision before I realized it was time to stop dreaming and make it a reality. Ten years later, I can tell you  that it was the best financial decision I have ever made. While some postings are definitely better on paper, many ESL jobs offer competitive wages, free accommodations, flight reimbursements, and national health care.

By comparison, Asia offers the highest salaries with the lowest cost of living. This means you can maximize your savings and pay off your debts without resorting to a diet of instant noodles or a life of social hermitage. I was personally able to pay off all my credit card debts and student loans in my first year living in Taiwan, and have built a healthy nest egg that has allowed me to start planning for a more comfortable future.

Where to Start

The starting salaries for teaching English abroad differ from country to country.  Graduate degrees and certifications also secure better pay. Currently, the highest paying jobs for English teachers are in Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. The best paying teaching positions will likely take you to exotic and remote locales, but there are still decent positions in popular tourist destinations like Thailand and Vietnam. Some countries in the Middle East even offer contracts that pay up to $80,000 for only nine months of work if you are brave enough to travel there.

It was a difficult decision to teach abroad, but for me it provided the keys to my financial freedom. Many English teachers only spend a year or two before returning home to find employment, but I have chosen to make a career of teaching English overseas. I have been able to pay off all my debts, save nearly $1,000 each month,  have affordable health care and am rarely required to work more than 30 hours each week. While this may not be an ideal solution for everyone, it provided a clear path out of debt and helped me gain control of my life and finances.

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How to Make A Living As A YouTube Star

make a living from youtube

I previously discussed ways to make money using your personal brand. This week, I want to get a little more specific.

The ever-evolving internet continuously creates new opportunities for people of all ages. From philanthropic efforts to social media management, the world wide web is flowing with money. Being able to make a living from YouTube is just one way to cash in online.

Becoming a YouTube professional is more than about how many times your videos have been watched. Having a million viewers does not equal a paycheck. So, how do you actually make a living from YouTube?

The first thing to know and realize is that there isn’t just one determined avenue that generates money from your videos. While YouTube is now making it easier for individuals to monetize their content, guidelines still need to be followed before you can start making money.

Getting Started

To get started, your channel needs to follow the YouTube Partner Program guidelines to ensure it is eligible. In order to qualify, your content needs to be advertiser-friendly, complies with the terms of service and needs to have the permission of artists to use their music and the like. You can see more details of their Partner Program here.

Once you’ve determined that your channel follows the program guidelines, you can begin to set up your account to make money. There are four steps to take to do this:

  1. Enable your channel for monetization by simply clicking “Enable” under Monetization through the Status and Features section of your account.
  2. Connect to an approved AdSense account. AdSense functions by matching ads to your site based on your followers and content.
  3. Recognize which type of videos that are approved for monetization and upload accordingly. For instance, anything that may contain violence or copyright materials may not be eligible. You can also pick the different YouTube ad formats that are available. If you have a preference across the board, you can set it up to be your default setting.
  4. Decide to enable one or more than one video to include ads. When you upload individual videos, you will select “Monetize my video,” or you can select multiple videos at once to monetize once already uploaded. This can also be set to default settings in your account.

Tips to Be Successful

If a large following does not exist on your account, this should be your primary focus. Here are a few quick tips to grow your following:

  • Focus on the audience first. What do people want to see? Go into your videos knowing that people generally want to be entertained or informed. Create videos based on the consumer first and foremost.
  • Be consistent. If you are irregular about uploading videos, it will be harder for an audience to want to subscribe. Think about your favorite TV show. You expect a new episode to air at certain times once a week, correct? The same practice should be followed for your channel.
  • Be original. If you have an idea for subjects that you’ve never seen before or is not common, consider giving it a  try. Who would have thought that millions of dollars could be generated annually by showing yourself playing video games online and providing commentary? Well, Sweden’s Felix Kjellberg did it.
  • Love what you do and have fun with it. Viewers can tell when you’re being genuine, and to make the best connection with your audience, pick to capture something you love to do. Involve your audience by talking to them not at them. Whether it is making people laugh or crafting, be you. But remember, you need to grab people’s attention quickly so get creative.
  • Create quality videos. Even though some low-quality cell phone clips have pulled in millions of viewers simply because of the content, you’ll want to have higher quality images to improve your YouTube income. Smart phones have improved videos and images over the years, but there are also useful apps to help with editing. Tools like iMovie and Vimeo are great, but YouTube has its own editing tools as well. This basic editor and this one for creatives are just a couple options.

Going Beyond Ads

Relying on only ads will prove to be difficult to make a living from YouTube. Plus, before you can be paid from ads, you have to meet a payment threshold of a $100 minimum.Some of the most successful YouTube stars are able to make a living by going beyond the ads. In addition to monetizing their channel, they create opportunities with brands by featuring their products once they’ve built their online empire (if you will). A few ways to expand your revenue include but are not limited to:

  • Sponsorships. Find your own sponsorship to help alleviate costs of video creation if you are planning on thinking and going even bigger with your content. Bringing on your own sponsors helps to cut out the middle man, bringing in more money to your new-found business venture. The process is not simpler, though, so buyer beware.
  • Merchandise. As you begin to grow a large fan base, you can start to sell your own merchandise. If you already have merchandise or services you sell that you think your audience may be interested in, you can use your channel to promote those as well.
  • Work with brands. Partner with companies and brand names that fit your style and channel. Many brands are often looking for new spokespersons to help promote their products or company name, especially those with a large online following. Do some of your own personal outreach to open up new opportunities for your YouTube career. Try to keep in mind audiences can become discouraged by product placement, so find clever ways to incorporate these into your videos.
  • Do events. As you start to become YouTube famous, you can be hired for speaking events or create your own based around your channel.

In summary, the key to make a living from YouTube is to create quality content, grow your audience and recognize opportunities as they arise while simultaneously producing your own. It’s also important to recognize that high wages as a YouTube star is the exception, not the rule. If you are hoping to turn making videos on YouTube as a full-time career, my recommendation would be to study those who have been able to do it, like this list of 23 YouTube celebrities. 

Regardless, YouTube could still be a great source of secondary income. You just have to play your cards right.