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$5k/month selling patches on Etsy.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Mike Lecky of Vagabond Heart, a brand that sells modern travel patches.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi! My name is Mike, and I’m a serial entrepreneur living in Montreal, Canada. I run Vagabond Heart, a company that makes modern vintage-inspired travel patches and stickers to help your luggage stand out on a the carousel.
I started the company just under two years ago, and we’ve been growing at a 100+% growth rate ever since. Currently we sell just over $5,000 per month worth of patches and stickers.
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What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

As I mentioned above, I’m a serial entrepreneur, and a lifelong maker. I’ve been selling online since the early 2000’s, well before Shopify made it easy, even before Amazon existed. In the past I’ve designed typefaces, ran a literary magazine, published books, sold vintage menswear, and even built and sold wooden furniture online.
The idea for Vagabond Heart came to me three years ago when I was on a winter-long vacation in a small town in Mexico, which I loved, except for the fact that I didn’t really have anything to do with my time. I thought to myself, “If i’m going to come down here every winter, I need a project to keep me busy.”
The idea was a combination of my interest in vintage clothing, style, and old movies, with my love of menswear and fashion, and of course, travel. What I wanted was a way to make my normal looking duffel bag look like an updated version of the luggage you’d see on a trans-Atlantic crossing in the 1920’s, or on the runway in Casablanca.
I wanted to have patches from Paris and Rome and Cuba plastered all over, but I didn’t want the readily available (and boring) flag patches, and I didn’t want something too retro and costumey.
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Casablanca, 1942

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

I learned a lot from being a book and magazine editor that helped with the design process.
My strategy:* find the right person to do the design work and don’t get in their way!*
I had worked with the designer Ryan Brinkerhoff a few years before on a small project and it had turned out really well. I thought his style fit what I was looking for so I reached out and explained the concept and he was really excited to do it.
As far as the actual design process goes, I make a list of the designs I want done, usually in batches of ten. I send Ryan as much reference material as I can, from online photos to poorly done doodles, and some notes on the vibe or the colors or anything else I can think of, and then I let Ryan work his magic.
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Inspiration for the Miami patch
As far as design goes, I think you should do the hard work up front of finding the right person who understands your vision. Then the actual design and revision process becomes a breeze because everyone is on the same page.
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The end result of our Miami design.
Fortunately, patches are a pretty cheap thing to prototype. I emailed about 25 or 30 suppliers on AliBaba, then sorted them by price per piece, and also by MOQ. I chose a company with a competitive price, about $1.50 per piece, who would allow me to order only 50 pieces of each of my 10 original designs, so 500 pieces in all to start. From when I sent them the payment (upfront) to when I received my product was probably about a month.
As the company grew I eventually switched suppliers to one that required a higher MOQ, but made a higher quality product. At this point I was sure I could sell what I ordered, and my orders per design have crept from 50 pieces, to 100, to 500.

Describe the process of launching the business.

The main store, VagabondHeart.co is hosted on Shopify. I chose Shopify because while it isn’t the cheapest option, it’s the leader in providing ecommerce stores, and with that you get a lot of bonuses, like the giant number of third party apps you can install, and the tons of podcasts and blogs you can read to get help with the technical aspects.
I also started out by uploading everything to both Etsy and Ebay. It was kind of an afterthought at the time, but Etsy has turned out to be our best channel for sales.
I never really had a proper launch to the business. I started off with my 500 patches, and sort of put them up online to gauge interest, and pretty quickly enough of them had sold that I needed to get a reorder sent in and then it made sense to make 10 more designs, and then a few more and the next thing I knew I was at 50 designs and 500 orders a month.
The main thing I’ve learned is the importance of a marketplace like Etsy. What I didn’t realize originally is that the best place you can be is on a platform that has already got people on it, actively trying to buy things.
This has also been true about selling on Amazon. When we launched on Amazon in January of this year we went from zero sales to basically twinning what we were selling on Etsy in about 3 weeks.
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Our Dublin patch.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Growth for Vagabond Heart has come primarily through expanding our product line. I started out with a test run of 10 designs, and now we’re up to 50 different locations. That allows us to get a higher average order value, because now someone looking for a Barcelona patch can also find a Lisbon patch while they’re on the site.
Last year, we started offering all of the designs as a sticker as well, for hard sided wheelie type suitcases, and so that doubled the number of SKUs in the store in one day and widened the potential audience.
As I mentioned above, just this year we’ve added Fulfilled by Amazon sales, and seen the number of orders on Amazon go from zero to 250 a month in 3 months, without any advertising.
The downsides to this are
Knowing what I know now about Amazon sales and fees, if I was choosing Amazon as my #1 sales channel I would try to create a product with a higher retail sales price. Right now my Amazon fees take up about 30% of my sales price, but if you sold something worth more the fees don’t scale one to one with the price, so you could end up with closer to a 10-15% Amazon fee. I think the sweet spot is probably something in the $25-$50 range, cheap enough that it’s still an impulse buy, but priced at a point where you aren’t having the Amazon fees take up too much of your profit margin.
We don’t do much advertising, save for the automated advertising on Etsy where you can set your maximum bid and their algorithm takes care of everything else. This is a great place for people to start to learn about advertising, as you can set a very simple max budget and watch as the algorithm picks your keywords for you, before you try doing something similar yourself on Facebook.
The main marketing push for me is our mailing list. Currently the list is at 2,000 subscribers, with a 30% open rate. I try not to spam, but the nature of our product is that if you like one of our designs, you probably want more, as long as it’s a place you’ve been to.
Our best responses come from the 5 or 6 emails a year where we say “Hey, we’ve got new designs in the store! Have you been to X or Y?” Those tend to get a 50+% open rate and a 25+% click rate.
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A simple email launching our Las Vegas patch.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

While the company started off slow, it’s been essentially profitable from day one. In the beginning, I was packaging and mailing each order by hand, and we’re just now transitioning to having a fulfillment warehouse take care of all of our shipping.
When we started, I bought the patches separately, printed packaging separately, and bought plastic bags separately, because it was more affordable to buy them like that in small quantities. Eventually we transitioned to ordering large enough numbers of patches at once that it became affordable to have the embroidery company package everything in advance.
Currently we’re selling about a 40%-40%-20% split between Amazon, Etsy, and our own store. The plan for the next 4 months is to tidy up the loose threads in the business, optimise our listings, redo all of our photography and visual elements, and get everything in order before expanding the collection in the fall in time for Q4 and the holiday season.
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Our Lisbon patch and the streetcars that inspired it.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

The one lesson I’ve taken with me through all my businesses is the idea of bootstrapping, of not buying anything until you absolutely need it.
Once you have your idea for a product (or service) come up with a Minimum Viable Product and test interest on that. For me, I was able to produce a small number of my actual product, which meant if the product had been a total failure I would have only been out about $1000 in unsold product.
If you can’t do that you can create a website for your product with a BUY NOW button that goes to an error page or a “sold out” notification, and you can judge the interest by seeing how many people clicked to buy.
If you want to write a book, write a shorter version of it, the first chapter or a framework, and offer it up as a freebie. If thousands of people want your freebie, 10% of them will probably buy the full book off you 6 months from now when you’re finished writing it.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

The main apps I use with Shopify are Affiliately, for setting up affiliate accounts for Instagram influencers, and Jilt, which sends out my abandoned cart emails.
I also have an app installed called Give & Grow, which allows me to automatically donate a percentage of my sales to charity. I chose Doctors Without Borders an organisation that provides medical care in disadvantaged places like war torn countries or areas that have suffered a natural disaster. The app adds a widget to your Shopify store that shows shoppers how much you’ve donated.
Etsy has the Etsy Sellers App, which I have on my phone, that allows me to track sales and respond to Etsy Conversations on the go.
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Our Portland patch.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I’m sure this gets mentioned a lot, but when it came out, over ten years ago, I read The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss and it really changed how I thought about a lot of things, not just work and business.
A lot of the lessons in it have been so incorporated into the world of online sales that it might not seem revolutionary to someone reading it today, the way the CGI in Jurassic Park doesn’t drop jaws in 2019, but there’s a lot in there. I think it’s probably less helpful for someone starting out than it is for someone who has their business running and wants to make it easier to run, but I’d probably recommend someone reading it before they start their business anyway, because that’s when you make the decisions that will affect how easy it is to automate your business down the road.
Seth Godin’s books (and his blog and his podcast) are great as well. Less for technical help on how to start a business or how to promote a website, and more for the Big Thinking part of it. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What makes your business or product special? Who is it for and why are they going to love it? It’s this sort of thinking that helped me niche down until I found a product I was interested in making that no one else had made yet.
I listen to about 20 different podcasts for business help. I would say some of them are good but have a lot of fluff episodes, or interviews with someone peddling their Shopify plugin, which might or might not be useful. My favourites, with the most useful content, would be How to Quit Your Job by Steve Chou and Ecom Crew with Mike Jackness and Dave Bryant.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Something I’ve learned with this project is that there’s a great advantage to selling a product that people are already looking for. People on Amazon already want a “Tokyo Patch,” I’ve just come on to the scene and am offering them a better one than was previously available. People are probably already searching for “joke golf t-shirt” or “retro map posters.”
If you have a product like this you don’t have to spend as much on advertising, you just have to have the best available product. The reason there were so many commercials for Snuggies when they first came out is that no one was googling “blanket with arm holes in it.”
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Our Rome patch, featuring the Colosseum.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
For more interviews, check out starter_story - I post new stories there daily.
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Phandelver in the Eldeen Reaches: Bringing D&D's Starter Module to Eberron (5E)

So, this past fall my sister and I decided to co-DM our very first group. As we were new to the whole DMing thing, and she and several of our players were new to D&D, we wanted to work with a pre-made module. But at the same time we, and our players, wanted to adventure in Eberron, that content having just come out for 5th Edition. What to do? Why, make a whole bunch of extra work for ourselves and convert Lost Mine of Phandelver to Eberron!
What follows is the guide for how we did it, in case anyone else wants to follow in our footsteps. The players will face a rogue member of the Aundarian Knights Arcane, discover why all the clockwork devices in town are malfunctioning, escape a giant mechanical boar, and finally meet a sentient airship that longs for the release of death.
Posted here for you to use, adapt, or otherwise be inspired by. I only ask that you do not use this to make money in any way. If you'd like to use this in that way, perhaps as the basis for a streaming campaign, contact me via private message and I'm sure we can work something out.
Apologies for length, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible! I'll do my best to answer any questions.
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WHAT YOU'LL NEED
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GENERAL NOTES
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ADVENTURE HOOK
We decided to let the players design their own Eberron-specific characters instead of using the pre-gens. The only guidance we gave them was that these were all Aundarians who had decided, for whatever reason, to join up with the Aundarian military and had been earmarked for a "special mission". The players ended up creating:
It is a beautiful autumn day in Fairhaven, capital of Aundair, two years after the end of the Last War. At the staging area for new recruits, Sgt Sildar Hallwinter of the Aundarian Knights Arcane pulls the party aside one-by-one and ushers them into a small room. There, accompanied by a very excited dwarf, Gundren Rockseeker (who Hallwinter has to keep shushing), he orders the characters to deliver some supplies to Aundarian contacts in Phandalin, a small backwater town in the heart of the Eldeen Reaches. As the Reaches are former Aundarian territory, but independent since the end of the War, the characters are not to wear their new uniforms. This seems like a strange order, and the presence of the clearly non-military and overeager Gundren is quite odd, but Hallwinter is still their commander and they must obey his orders.
NOTE: The players don't need to be Aundairian military for this adventure to work; it's just what we did because we wanted to set up some future adventures that seem to fit best with that country. The hook in the book works pretty well too if you'd prefer they are just hired by Gundren as muscle. But if you go that route, Hallwinter should still be an undercover member of the Knights Arcane, pursuing Aundarian interests, either known or unknown to Gundren.
At one point during the long overland trip from Fairhaven to Phandalin, Gundren and Hallwinter ride ahead to scout the road.
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PART 1: GOBLIN ARROWS
This part plays out more or less exactly as written. The players find the ambush site and empty map case, then trace the tracks back to Cragmaw Cave, where they beat up some goblins, free some wolves, and discover that Gundren has been sent on to Castle Cragmaw.
Upon rescuing the badly-wounded Hallwinter, the characters are told that they have been proven worthy by their heroic actions, and in any case will need to carry out the rest of the mission themselves because he is badly injured and will need time to recover. Hallwinter whispers a secret word to an otherwise blank sheet of paper that he has been carrying, causing the players' true orders to appear:
Attn: Sgt. Sildar Hallwinter
As per previous instruction, you are to select SIX specially-qualified soldiers for Project Echo.
They will maintain Civilian appearance.
Your squad will recover the Forge of Phandelver, assisted by Gundren Rockseeker & Rockseeker brothers.
Your squad will identify areas of allyship and distrust within Phandalin & surrounding Region, citing specific individuals who are Supportive or Highly Unsupportive of Aundarian interests.
Should you be captured or killed, the Aundarian Crown will disavow you, your Squad, and this Mission.
These orders have received the standard charms.
Dario Ir'LainCmdr, Knights Arcane
In retrospect, we should written "rediscover the location of" rather than "recover" as the players took this to mean that they should physically try to remove the Forge from the cave. Live and learn.
We wrote the orders on some off-white paper, complete with Aundarian Raven seal, Odd Capitalization, and calligraphic touches, which we handed to the players. Providing tactile materials like this really helps players get into the story, and is a good practice for all DMs, regardless of the adventure!
(Had Hallwinter been killed, the players would discover these orders on his person; the "charms" would then be that the words should appear only to his squad upon his death.)
The players having read the orders, the words disappear and the order sheet self-immolates (though we let the players take a photo to help them remember).
The players then continue on to Phandalin, where Hallwinter can recover from his wounds at the Stonehill Inn. This is a good spot to bring them up to Level 2.
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PART 2: PHANDALIN
As the main hub of the module, this section received the largest number of tweaks and adjustments. In particular, wherever we could incorporate clockwork machines into the daily life of the town, we did so: complex brewing machines as well as food-serving conveyor belts at the Stonehill Inn, automated apple pickers at the orchard, ore-sorting machines at the Miner's Exchange, etc. The locals complain that these machines often spontaneously break and then fix themselves, especially during the spring, but they've been malfunctioning a great deal over the past few days and weeks, which is very strange and out-of season. Players who try to determine if there's magical interference discover a dampening field affecting clockwork-based machines whose power ebbs and flows, seemingly at random. With good Investigation or Arcana rolls, they are able to repair some of the machines, much to the delight and occasional monetary reward of the townsfolk. Any warforged player characters are sufficiently advanced that they can deal with the problem themselves, unless you want to be mean and have the field interfere with their functioning at inopportune moments.
Additionally, and inexplicably to the players, whenever the warforged character introduces herself to older characters, she is asked where her hat is (they just thought a warforged would have a hat, for some reason?). They also expect her to be taller. Most NPCs are very scared of her.
The town in general appears to have two kinds of structures: older ones that are exceedingly well-built, with perfectly-fitted stones, generally around the center of town, and newer constructions that are much more slapped-together, usually built on and around the remains of some well-built building. Additionally, the machines seem far too grand for the meager number of people they are serving, and in fact many aren't being used at all even if they aren't broken. These facts reflect the lost size and greatness of the town, and hint at its being the product of machine-assisted construction and operation in is heyday before the War.
Per their orders, the players may inquire of all NPCs what their opinions of Aundair might be, hopefully keeping a low profile as they do so. This is to set up possible future adventures where the NPCs that have been identified as threats are being taken out by Aundair, which (once the Forge has been rediscovered) has designs on re-occupying the area and/or installing a friendly puppet government. If they are too obvious about their questions, you may decide to have some of the locals get together and try to run them out of town for being Aundairian spies.
The NPCs that we altered, along with their attitudes towards Aundair:
One final minor alteration: the inn where the Redbrand Ruffians hang out is called the Sleeping Golem. #flavor!
TRESENDAR MANOR
The Tresendar noble family, based in Phandalin, died out during the War. Their heraldry shows a sword through a clockwork gear on a crimson field, which is reflected on some of the faded red tapestries scattered throughout the abandoned Manor. Other features that we added:
Finally, the players investigating "Glassstaff"'s notes will discover that he is actually Iarno Halbeck, who is a former member of the Knights Arcane who was sent here some time ago to try to shift public opinion towards Aundair. Instead, he went rogue, hired some local muscle, intimidated the mayor into submission, and basically took over the town. He's since been searching, unsuccessfully, for the Forge, and has been in league with the Black Spider.
The letter from The Black Spider is just as it is in the book, except instead of having spies in Neverwinter, he has them in Fairhaven.
After defeating the Redbrand Ruffians, the players can level up again.
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PART 3: THE SPIDER'S WEB
We skipped the "wilderness encounters" because our players were more interested in story than combat. You can do that, keep them as-is, or consider more Eberron-specific threats such as bands of Druidic Orcs, Warforged that have been driven insane by the local power fluctuations, etc.
Our players bee-lined to Cragmaw Castle to rescue Gundren, skipping all the side-quests, because of course they did. To spread things out and help them explore more of the module, we had Gundren run off in excitement while they were taking a long rest, taking the map with him (he left a quickly-scrawled note thanking the party for the "ress-q" and encouraging them to meet him at the cave; clearly in his excitement he didn't consider that he had taken the only map).
ELIZA (AGATHA)'S LAIR
Eliza is an Information Elemental (a being we made up but whose purpose is right there in the name) bound to a wall that's similar to those "pin art" toys -- you know, the kind where you put your hand or face against a bunch of pins held between sheets of plastic, and they stick out to form a 3D copy? Imagine that, but a face in motion, and you get Eliza (she's named for the chatbot, of course). We played this music when the players entered her lair.
Eliza was bound to this place by the authorities back when the area was much more frequently traveled, to serve as an info booth for travelers. In the years since the fall of the mine, she's grown bored, because nobody comes by to ask her anything anymore, but she's still stuck here. She's apolitical.
She's otherwise mostly the same as Agatha the Banshee, and can provide similar information to the players on a Persuasion check or in exchange for that gear from Sister Garaele.
After telling the players where Bowgentle's spellbook could be found, Eliza was glad enough for the company that she spat out a map of the area (see the General Note, above), and told them that three pieces of information would tell them how to find what they were truly looking for ("three facts will find you three dwarves"). Each of the other side-quests in this chapter will reveal one of the following clues in succession, in whichever order the players tackle them:
  1. Wave Echo Cave is near a waterfall (we added lots of rivers and waterfalls to the map, so by itself this doesn't much narrow things down),
  2. The Triboar Trail separates it from the morning sun, and
  3. The cave's entrance is said to be blanketed in the Traitor's Blossom, a flower whose petals look like drops of blood with a long, feathered pistil. Nobody knows why it's called that, but the salient fact is that it only grows within direct sight of Phandalin.
The players can also ask Daran d'Medani back in Phandalin for a tip. He will tell them one of the clues, meaning they only need to do two of the three sidequests.
With these three pieces of information, the players are able to use the area map to figure out the location of Wave Echo Cave: near a waterfall, west of the Triboar trail (which, remember, runs north-south once the map is rotated), and within sight of Phandalin. We made sure that only one location on the map fit all three of these criteria.
SIDENOTE: The Traitor's Blossom is so named because we had done a one-off "Quantum Leap" session on a day when two of our players were absent, and we didn't want to advance the main plot without them. So the players found themselves in similar roles 100 years ago, as a squad defending Wave Echo Cave against a Karrnathi strike force in the opening days or weeks of the War (dream-time is odd). They went into town, which was bustling for the spring festival, providing a nice contrast to its modern, tumbledown state. The party's halfling boy charmed and danced with a local girl, much to his delight. They purchased supplies to defend the garrison, and fought off a small Karrnathi recon party that was skulking around the town. Upon returning to the cave, they were soon attacked by ever-increasing squads of soldiers and war-mages. These were led there by that same local girl, serving as an informant! As the party was all killed in combat (as we had set them up to be), the halfling with his last action shot an arrow in her chest, whispering "death to traitors." It's fun to reward great RP like that and weave it into the story. Also during this flashback, the players accidentally burned down Tresendar Manor. Time shenanigans!
OLD OWL WELL
This area is exactly as written, except that Kost's tattoos mark him as a denizen of the nearby Demon Wastes rather than Thay, which is a Faerun location. If the players will leave him alone, he'll tell them one of the clues (or, if they kill him, they find it scrawled amongst his notes).
THUNDERTREE
Thundertree was ruined and corrupted by the magical experiments being conducted in the cave, which is upwind/upmountain from the town. A few adjustments:
Either the Cultists, or Reidoth, or both if you're feeling generous or just want to move things along, will tell the players a clue pointing them to Wave Echo Cave.
WYVERN TOR
Like many orcs in Eberron, the orcs camped here are druids, and are attacking people so that nature can reclaim the area and undo the damage done by the unnatural experiments conducted at the Cave. In explaining their motives, they will reveal one of the clues. The players can then fight them, or convince them that they are also seeking to restore the area's natural balance.
CRAGMAW CASTLE
Like Tresendar Manor, Cragmaw Castle used to be home to a local noble family made wealthy by the clockwork creations being developed in the area.
Distribute your leveling based on how much progress the players make. Hopefully they are mostly at Level 4 by the time they get to the cave.
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PART 4: WAVE ECHO CAVE
Because in our version, Gundren had run off ahead of the players, they discover him sobbing at the mouth of the cave, having found the body of his brother and sure that his other brother Nundro (who is missing) has also been killed. As befits a dwarven funeral, Gundren is very, very drunk. The characters continue on without him.
We printed out the map found on page 43, cutting it up between the areas and handing each piece as the players explored. This let the players discover the cave slowly, instead of seeing the whole thing from the start, which ruins the suspense.
The airship, the SS Kingmaker, is clearly designed for battle rather than the jaunty airborne transport of goods. It sports four ballistae on tracks (allowing them to be brought to bear on either the port or starboard), heavy armor plating, locations for additional wands of power and docents, and a screaming raven figurehead on its bow. It is the master creation of Phandelver, an Aundarian wizard working 100 years ago with agents of House Cannith to try to create artificial life. Although House Cannith would eventually adapt this work and use it to create the Warforged, selling them to all the nations at war, Phandelver was a patriot and intended for his airship to be used by Aundair to win the Last War before it even started. Unfortunately, the cave fell and the entrance collapsed when the Karnnathi attacked, and the Kingmaker has been trapped in this hall (which is much larger than in the book) ever since. A rope bridge connects the Kingmaker to the cave floor. Beneath the floating airship is a sheer drop into a bottomless abyss, which acts as a natural amplifier of the sounds of the water running through the room.
A few other items of interest in this area:
Once the players have begun exploring this room, especially if they mess with any switches or the water wheel, the Kingmaker speaks to them in a loud, rumbling voice. It watched helplessly as its creators were slaughtered nearly a century ago, and has been imprisoned in this cave ever since, trapped in a sort of fitful half-sleep by the various perturbations of the dampening field. In recent days, Vyerith has interrogated it, sometimes in the guise of Phandelver or other figures from its past, frequently promising to free it but never doing so, flipping switches (which causes it pain) and generally having a good time mocking it. It has grown to despair ever leaving this cave, and asks the players to pull all the switches to the right, strengthening the dampening field to the point where its spirit would fully dis-incorporate and it would be "free" (ie die).
However, hopefully the players instead realize that they could choose to pull the switches to the LEFT to take down the dampening field entirely. If they do this, they can release the airship from the field's clutches and allow it to increasingly assist in the fight. Flipping all the switches will destroy the field and allow the ship to attack the ceiling and break free of the mountain. It will be incredibly grateful to whoever does this, and pledge to serve them so long as they promise to never trap it in a cave again.
If the players made it to this area before encountering Nezznar in his quarters in the northwest, he will come upon them before they can fully act on the switches, flanked by two bugbears and four spiders. Thanking them for their effort in defeating the cave's various enemies and traps that had kept him from this room, he will now fight for control of the Kingmaker, which has been his ultimate goal since the start. He will attempt to flip the switches to the left, board the ship, and convince it to do his bidding, attacking the players and escaping the cave.
Vyerith may also be with him, perhaps pretending to be a "captured" Nundro Rockseeker, or else someone else the party has encountered earlier in the adventure. She will maintain this disguise as long as possible; if she's given a weapon, she may occasionally "miss" enemies and hit or interfere with the players instead. She may also flip switches, destroy the rope bridge, etc. If the fight turns against Nezznar, she will betray him without a second thought; she was only after chaos and destruction, and clearly he's outmatched.
She may also try to capture the airship herself, for her own ends, or if cornered after the fight she may try to parlay with the characters, perhaps appearing as people from their past (she can read their minds). As a final measure, she will pull a potion of invisibility from her belt, drink it, and attempt to escape, to be faced in some future adventure.
If Nezznar is captured, he will also escape.
SIDENOTE: In our session, the Kingmaker shook him off his feet and over its stern railing, and then backed into a wall, killing him and dropping him into the abyss.
Level the characters one last time, probably to Level 5. They're now Tier II and ready to take on the world!
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ON TO FURTHER ADVENTURE
Hopefully the players are able to defeat both Nezznar and Vyerith, free the ship, and break out of the cave. What they do next is up to them, and you.
If the characters are Aundairian military, their doing anything except handing over the ship to their superiors (ie Sgt. Hallwinter, by now fully recovered in Phandalin) will be viewed as treason of the highest order. Even if they aren't military, Aundair, House Cannith, and House Lyrandar will not be happy to have a sentient airship purpose-built for war roaming free (all will feel that they should control it), and will do their best to capture or destroy it. Taking the ship themselves, then, all but guarantees that the players will be hunted as sky pirates. On the other hand, it all but guarantees that they will be HUNTED AS SKY PIRATES.
If they hand over the ship to Aundair, it will of course be used to subjugate the locals, especially any that the characters rat out as hostile to Aundairian interests. Such an upset to the fragile balance of post-War power may even reignite a continent-wide conflict.
The characters could also choose to give the ship to the locals, who may or may not use it well, perhaps seeking to declare their own independent state within the Eldeen Reaches. It's likely that Halia Thornton will find a way to take charge of it, like she does.
If Vyerith and/or the Black Spider escape, particularly with the airship, then of course the players will want to chase them down, perhaps traveling all over Khorvaire to do it.
Once he recovers from mourning his brother, Gundren (and Nundro, if the players find and free him; otherwise you can assume he's dead) will make his way into the cave and attempt to continue Phandelver's work, perhaps even developing his own brand of warforged or other creations.
And of course, you have lots of other opportunities to plant further seeds of adventure within the cave or the town.
------
COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIONS?
Feel free to comment with suggestions, your own twists, or requests for additional info (I have the maps and notes we created, as well as stats for Kingmaker, if you don't want to come up with all that on your own).
And of course, please let me know if you end up playing with this conversion! I hope it brings you and your players as much joy as it brought me, my sister, and my players to create.
------
CREDITS & SPECIAL THANKS
This conversion was written up by Isaiah Tanenbaum in February, 2019. It is based on a game he co-DMed with his sister, Leora Tanenbaum. The players who inspired it are Andrew Broaddus, Nella Inserra, Daniel John Kelly, Micah Greenberg Kosstrin, Andrew Prosser, & Corinne Woods.
Special thanks and appreciation are owed to Keith Baker, for creating the amazing Eberron setting; Rich Baker & Chris Perkins, for designing the Lost Mine of Phandelver scenario; and all the anonymous wiki authors whose work on compiling Eberron lore and background materials, particularly maps, was so critical to this project.
submitted by isaiahlt to DnDBehindTheScreen [link] [comments]

$5k/month selling patches on Etsy.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Mike Lecky of Vagabond Heart, a brand that sells modern travel patches.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi! My name is Mike, and I’m a serial entrepreneur living in Montreal, Canada. I run Vagabond Heart, a company that makes modern vintage-inspired travel patches and stickers to help your luggage stand out on a the carousel.
I started the company just under two years ago, and we’ve been growing at a 100+% growth rate ever since. Currently we sell just over $5,000 per month worth of patches and stickers.
image

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

As I mentioned above, I’m a serial entrepreneur, and a lifelong maker. I’ve been selling online since the early 2000’s, well before Shopify made it easy, even before Amazon existed. In the past I’ve designed typefaces, ran a literary magazine, published books, sold vintage menswear, and even built and sold wooden furniture online.
The idea for Vagabond Heart came to me three years ago when I was on a winter-long vacation in a small town in Mexico, which I loved, except for the fact that I didn’t really have anything to do with my time. I thought to myself, “If i’m going to come down here every winter, I need a project to keep me busy.”
The idea was a combination of my interest in vintage clothing, style, and old movies, with my love of menswear and fashion, and of course, travel. What I wanted was a way to make my normal looking duffel bag look like an updated version of the luggage you’d see on a trans-Atlantic crossing in the 1920’s, or on the runway in Casablanca.
I wanted to have patches from Paris and Rome and Cuba plastered all over, but I didn’t want the readily available (and boring) flag patches, and I didn’t want something too retro and costumey.
image
Casablanca, 1942

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

I learned a lot from being a book and magazine editor that helped with the design process.
My strategy:* find the right person to do the design work and don’t get in their way!*
I had worked with the designer Ryan Brinkerhoff a few years before on a small project and it had turned out really well. I thought his style fit what I was looking for so I reached out and explained the concept and he was really excited to do it.
As far as the actual design process goes, I make a list of the designs I want done, usually in batches of ten. I send Ryan as much reference material as I can, from online photos to poorly done doodles, and some notes on the vibe or the colors or anything else I can think of, and then I let Ryan work his magic.
image
Inspiration for the Miami patch
As far as design goes, I think you should do the hard work up front of finding the right person who understands your vision. Then the actual design and revision process becomes a breeze because everyone is on the same page.
image
The end result of our Miami design.
Fortunately, patches are a pretty cheap thing to prototype. I emailed about 25 or 30 suppliers on AliBaba, then sorted them by price per piece, and also by MOQ. I chose a company with a competitive price, about $1.50 per piece, who would allow me to order only 50 pieces of each of my 10 original designs, so 500 pieces in all to start. From when I sent them the payment (upfront) to when I received my product was probably about a month.
As the company grew I eventually switched suppliers to one that required a higher MOQ, but made a higher quality product. At this point I was sure I could sell what I ordered, and my orders per design have crept from 50 pieces, to 100, to 500.

Describe the process of launching the business.

The main store, VagabondHeart.co is hosted on Shopify. I chose Shopify because while it isn’t the cheapest option, it’s the leader in providing ecommerce stores, and with that you get a lot of bonuses, like the giant number of third party apps you can install, and the tons of podcasts and blogs you can read to get help with the technical aspects.
I also started out by uploading everything to both Etsy and Ebay. It was kind of an afterthought at the time, but Etsy has turned out to be our best channel for sales.
I never really had a proper launch to the business. I started off with my 500 patches, and sort of put them up online to gauge interest, and pretty quickly enough of them had sold that I needed to get a reorder sent in and then it made sense to make 10 more designs, and then a few more and the next thing I knew I was at 50 designs and 500 orders a month.
The main thing I’ve learned is the importance of a marketplace like Etsy. What I didn’t realize originally is that the best place you can be is on a platform that has already got people on it, actively trying to buy things.
This has also been true about selling on Amazon. When we launched on Amazon in January of this year we went from zero sales to basically twinning what we were selling on Etsy in about 3 weeks.
image
Our Dublin patch.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Growth for Vagabond Heart has come primarily through expanding our product line. I started out with a test run of 10 designs, and now we’re up to 50 different locations. That allows us to get a higher average order value, because now someone looking for a Barcelona patch can also find a Lisbon patch while they’re on the site.
Last year, we started offering all of the designs as a sticker as well, for hard sided wheelie type suitcases, and so that doubled the number of SKUs in the store in one day and widened the potential audience.
As I mentioned above, just this year we’ve added Fulfilled by Amazon sales, and seen the number of orders on Amazon go from zero to 250 a month in 3 months, without any advertising.
The downsides to this are
Knowing what I know now about Amazon sales and fees, if I was choosing Amazon as my #1 sales channel I would try to create a product with a higher retail sales price. Right now my Amazon fees take up about 30% of my sales price, but if you sold something worth more the fees don’t scale one to one with the price, so you could end up with closer to a 10-15% Amazon fee. I think the sweet spot is probably something in the $25-$50 range, cheap enough that it’s still an impulse buy, but priced at a point where you aren’t having the Amazon fees take up too much of your profit margin.
We don’t do much advertising, save for the automated advertising on Etsy where you can set your maximum bid and their algorithm takes care of everything else. This is a great place for people to start to learn about advertising, as you can set a very simple max budget and watch as the algorithm picks your keywords for you, before you try doing something similar yourself on Facebook.
The main marketing push for me is our mailing list. Currently the list is at 2,000 subscribers, with a 30% open rate. I try not to spam, but the nature of our product is that if you like one of our designs, you probably want more, as long as it’s a place you’ve been to.
Our best responses come from the 5 or 6 emails a year where we say “Hey, we’ve got new designs in the store! Have you been to X or Y?” Those tend to get a 50+% open rate and a 25+% click rate.
image
A simple email launching our Las Vegas patch.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

While the company started off slow, it’s been essentially profitable from day one. In the beginning, I was packaging and mailing each order by hand, and we’re just now transitioning to having a fulfillment warehouse take care of all of our shipping.
When we started, I bought the patches separately, printed packaging separately, and bought plastic bags separately, because it was more affordable to buy them like that in small quantities. Eventually we transitioned to ordering large enough numbers of patches at once that it became affordable to have the embroidery company package everything in advance.
Currently we’re selling about a 40%-40%-20% split between Amazon, Etsy, and our own store. The plan for the next 4 months is to tidy up the loose threads in the business, optimise our listings, redo all of our photography and visual elements, and get everything in order before expanding the collection in the fall in time for Q4 and the holiday season.
image
Our Lisbon patch and the streetcars that inspired it.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

The one lesson I’ve taken with me through all my businesses is the idea of bootstrapping, of not buying anything until you absolutely need it.
Once you have your idea for a product (or service) come up with a Minimum Viable Product and test interest on that. For me, I was able to produce a small number of my actual product, which meant if the product had been a total failure I would have only been out about $1000 in unsold product.
If you can’t do that you can create a website for your product with a BUY NOW button that goes to an error page or a “sold out” notification, and you can judge the interest by seeing how many people clicked to buy.
If you want to write a book, write a shorter version of it, the first chapter or a framework, and offer it up as a freebie. If thousands of people want your freebie, 10% of them will probably buy the full book off you 6 months from now when you’re finished writing it.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

The main apps I use with Shopify are Affiliately, for setting up affiliate accounts for Instagram influencers, and Jilt, which sends out my abandoned cart emails.
I also have an app installed called Give & Grow, which allows me to automatically donate a percentage of my sales to charity. I chose Doctors Without Borders an organisation that provides medical care in disadvantaged places like war torn countries or areas that have suffered a natural disaster. The app adds a widget to your Shopify store that shows shoppers how much you’ve donated.
Etsy has the Etsy Sellers App, which I have on my phone, that allows me to track sales and respond to Etsy Conversations on the go.
image
Our Portland patch.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I’m sure this gets mentioned a lot, but when it came out, over ten years ago, I read The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss and it really changed how I thought about a lot of things, not just work and business.
A lot of the lessons in it have been so incorporated into the world of online sales that it might not seem revolutionary to someone reading it today, the way the CGI in Jurassic Park doesn’t drop jaws in 2019, but there’s a lot in there. I think it’s probably less helpful for someone starting out than it is for someone who has their business running and wants to make it easier to run, but I’d probably recommend someone reading it before they start their business anyway, because that’s when you make the decisions that will affect how easy it is to automate your business down the road.
Seth Godin’s books (and his blog and his podcast) are great as well. Less for technical help on how to start a business or how to promote a website, and more for the Big Thinking part of it. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What makes your business or product special? Who is it for and why are they going to love it? It’s this sort of thinking that helped me niche down until I found a product I was interested in making that no one else had made yet.
I listen to about 20 different podcasts for business help. I would say some of them are good but have a lot of fluff episodes, or interviews with someone peddling their Shopify plugin, which might or might not be useful. My favourites, with the most useful content, would be How to Quit Your Job by Steve Chou and Ecom Crew with Mike Jackness and Dave Bryant.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Something I’ve learned with this project is that there’s a great advantage to selling a product that people are already looking for. People on Amazon already want a “Tokyo Patch,” I’ve just come on to the scene and am offering them a better one than was previously available. People are probably already searching for “joke golf t-shirt” or “retro map posters.”
If you have a product like this you don’t have to spend as much on advertising, you just have to have the best available product. The reason there were so many commercials for Snuggies when they first came out is that no one was googling “blanket with arm holes in it.”
image
Our Rome patch, featuring the Colosseum.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
For more interviews, check out starter_story - I post new stories there daily.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
submitted by youngrichntasteless to EntrepreneurRideAlong [link] [comments]

4 practical ways To Make Money On Twitter

When you search for “how to make money online” in Google, several results come up. You may get confused since there is a broad range of ideas and tips on how to earn money in online environments. Let’s narrow it down to Twitter as a money-making platform.
Twitter is a popular social networking platform used by businesses and individuals to send short messages to their followers. Before starting to monetize your Twitter account, check if your business or field of activity is a candidate for this platform. Then begin your job by having an appealing bio description, profile photo, well-defined niche or niches, and a large follower count just like other social networks. Engagement on your tweets is also very important because you are more likely to sell your items or services or receive advertisement requests from businesses or brands if you have consistent likes, comments, retweets, and, in short, a quality presence.
Afterward, you can start your money-making journey on Twitter by taking smart steps gradually. Your strategy depends on whether you want to sell your own products or services or be an affiliate marketer or use your account as a traffic generator to your main website. See the below overview to figure out what you need to do.
You can make self-promotional tweets to encourage potential customers to buy from you and increase your visibility day by day. But do not forget to include other types of tweets from time to time to humanize your profile and avoid driving your followers away. Post tweets that aim to encourage, entertain or inspire your audience from time to time in order to keep them interested and give them a reason to listen. Make sure your timeline conveys your business and product expertise while still being helpful to your followers.
As an example, I can mention some people who use their Twitter account to get more bids for their handmade stuff available on eBay and Etsy. They broadcast their product by making use of the relevant link along with best-suited hashtags and a short description of the craft in a tweet to direct their fan to the page on eBay and Etsy and generate more leads.
Another example is when someone owns a website, offers a service or product and uses Twitter as a traffic generation tool. The link can be used both in Twitter bio and in tweets. Given Twitter’s high domain authority, every click on their website link contributes to the higher rank in Google’s search results page. What is more, they increase the chances of making sales and finding more prospects.
It is also to your advantage to ask influencers who are interested or expert in your field of activity to put your name out there and so maximize your online reach.
You should put a lot of time and effort if you aspire to be a successful affiliate marketer. It can be very profitable if you choose the right niche and have already reached a good engagement on your account.
In case you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, I can explain it to you in simple terms. It is sharing the link of a particular product or service of a certain vendor that fits your niche and get a part of the revenue generated if someone clicks on the link and purchase that product or service. This link is specific to you only and easily trackable.
To turn from a newbie to a successful affiliate marketer, put a lot of time into learning how to master online marketing, release effective campaigns, and organize your performance. The Internet abounds with information on the essentials. Be careful not to stuff affiliate links into your Twitter profile because you may get flagged or suspended. You can use tools including media studio to schedule your tweets and save time.
You are able to monetize your tweets or videos by getting paid when ads are shown in them. Media studio enables you to upload your contents in it, make a library, add different elements such as thumbnail and links to improve them and post them on Twitter. Just log in, check your eligibility and select what kind of ads you want to be shown in your contents. It doesn’t matter if you have a personal or business account.
If you are looking for advertisers who will pay you for endorsing them on Twitter, some websites such as the following have already done it for you.
Sponsored Tweets is a well-known Twitter advertising platform providing you with a large number of available ads. You can use it only if your account is more than 60 days old and you have at least 50 followers and 100 tweets. You as a tweeter can set your price as you want, participate in a competition to attract your desired advertisers and earn money if you win.
Ad.ly also pays you if you send out tweets on behalf of brands. Advertise will see your profile and they may choose you to publicize a particular campaign and pay you if you agree to tweet it out based on a pre-determined schedule. You need to showcase your interests to attract brands that you love.
PaidPerTweet is another tool that connects you with lots of different advertisers that will pay you to spread the word on their business on Twitter. You should create a profile and wait for their offers.
Other similar tools and websites are TwitPub, PayWithaTweet, PayDotCom. Let us know in comments if you know any other platform.

Wrap it up

With regards to the above-mentioned ways on how to make money on Twitter, keep in mind that you might not get the desired results in a few months. Do not give up, always appreciate your efforts and celebrate small wins. Besides, do not rely exclusively on Twitter. Although Twitter is an amazing platform to make money, it is not the only one. Check if other social media platforms including Instagram or Facebook can also work for you.

Source: https://il.ink/blog/information/4-practical-ways-to-make-money-on-twitte
submitted by iLinkco to u/iLinkco [link] [comments]

$5,000/month selling modern travel patches.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Mike Lecky of Vagabond Heart, a brand that sells modern travel patches.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi! My name is Mike, and I’m a serial entrepreneur living in Montreal, Canada. I run Vagabond Heart, a company that makes modern vintage-inspired travel patches and stickers to help your luggage stand out on a the carousel.
I started the company just under two years ago, and we’ve been growing at a 100+% growth rate ever since. Currently we sell just over $5,000 per month worth of patches and stickers.
image

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

As I mentioned above, I’m a serial entrepreneur, and a lifelong maker. I’ve been selling online since the early 2000’s, well before Shopify made it easy, even before Amazon existed. In the past I’ve designed typefaces, ran a literary magazine, published books, sold vintage menswear, and even built and sold wooden furniture online.
The idea for Vagabond Heart came to me three years ago when I was on a winter-long vacation in a small town in Mexico, which I loved, except for the fact that I didn’t really have anything to do with my time. I thought to myself, “If i’m going to come down here every winter, I need a project to keep me busy.”
The idea was a combination of my interest in vintage clothing, style, and old movies, with my love of menswear and fashion, and of course, travel. What I wanted was a way to make my normal looking duffel bag look like an updated version of the luggage you’d see on a trans-Atlantic crossing in the 1920’s, or on the runway in Casablanca.
I wanted to have patches from Paris and Rome and Cuba plastered all over, but I didn’t want the readily available (and boring) flag patches, and I didn’t want something too retro and costumey.
image
Casablanca, 1942

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

I learned a lot from being a book and magazine editor that helped with the design process.
My strategy:* find the right person to do the design work and don’t get in their way!*
I had worked with the designer Ryan Brinkerhoff a few years before on a small project and it had turned out really well. I thought his style fit what I was looking for so I reached out and explained the concept and he was really excited to do it.
As far as the actual design process goes, I make a list of the designs I want done, usually in batches of ten. I send Ryan as much reference material as I can, from online photos to poorly done doodles, and some notes on the vibe or the colors or anything else I can think of, and then I let Ryan work his magic.
image
Inspiration for the Miami patch
As far as design goes, I think you should do the hard work up front of finding the right person who understands your vision. Then the actual design and revision process becomes a breeze because everyone is on the same page.
image
The end result of our Miami design.
Fortunately, patches are a pretty cheap thing to prototype. I emailed about 25 or 30 suppliers on AliBaba, then sorted them by price per piece, and also by MOQ. I chose a company with a competitive price, about $1.50 per piece, who would allow me to order only 50 pieces of each of my 10 original designs, so 500 pieces in all to start. From when I sent them the payment (upfront) to when I received my product was probably about a month.
As the company grew I eventually switched suppliers to one that required a higher MOQ, but made a higher quality product. At this point I was sure I could sell what I ordered, and my orders per design have crept from 50 pieces, to 100, to 500.

Describe the process of launching the business.

The main store, VagabondHeart.co is hosted on Shopify. I chose Shopify because while it isn’t the cheapest option, it’s the leader in providing ecommerce stores, and with that you get a lot of bonuses, like the giant number of third party apps you can install, and the tons of podcasts and blogs you can read to get help with the technical aspects.
I also started out by uploading everything to both Etsy and Ebay. It was kind of an afterthought at the time, but Etsy has turned out to be our best channel for sales.
I never really had a proper launch to the business. I started off with my 500 patches, and sort of put them up online to gauge interest, and pretty quickly enough of them had sold that I needed to get a reorder sent in and then it made sense to make 10 more designs, and then a few more and the next thing I knew I was at 50 designs and 500 orders a month.
The main thing I’ve learned is the importance of a marketplace like Etsy. What I didn’t realize originally is that the best place you can be is on a platform that has already got people on it, actively trying to buy things.
This has also been true about selling on Amazon. When we launched on Amazon in January of this year we went from zero sales to basically twinning what we were selling on Etsy in about 3 weeks.
image
Our Dublin patch.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Growth for Vagabond Heart has come primarily through expanding our product line. I started out with a test run of 10 designs, and now we’re up to 50 different locations. That allows us to get a higher average order value, because now someone looking for a Barcelona patch can also find a Lisbon patch while they’re on the site.
Last year, we started offering all of the designs as a sticker as well, for hard sided wheelie type suitcases, and so that doubled the number of SKUs in the store in one day and widened the potential audience.
As I mentioned above, just this year we’ve added Fulfilled by Amazon sales, and seen the number of orders on Amazon go from zero to 250 a month in 3 months, without any advertising.
The downsides to this are
Knowing what I know now about Amazon sales and fees, if I was choosing Amazon as my #1 sales channel I would try to create a product with a higher retail sales price. Right now my Amazon fees take up about 30% of my sales price, but if you sold something worth more the fees don’t scale one to one with the price, so you could end up with closer to a 10-15% Amazon fee. I think the sweet spot is probably something in the $25-$50 range, cheap enough that it’s still an impulse buy, but priced at a point where you aren’t having the Amazon fees take up too much of your profit margin.
We don’t do much advertising, save for the automated advertising on Etsy where you can set your maximum bid and their algorithm takes care of everything else. This is a great place for people to start to learn about advertising, as you can set a very simple max budget and watch as the algorithm picks your keywords for you, before you try doing something similar yourself on Facebook.
The main marketing push for me is our mailing list. Currently the list is at 2,000 subscribers, with a 30% open rate. I try not to spam, but the nature of our product is that if you like one of our designs, you probably want more, as long as it’s a place you’ve been to.
Our best responses come from the 5 or 6 emails a year where we say “Hey, we’ve got new designs in the store! Have you been to X or Y?” Those tend to get a 50+% open rate and a 25+% click rate.
image
A simple email launching our Las Vegas patch.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

While the company started off slow, it’s been essentially profitable from day one. In the beginning, I was packaging and mailing each order by hand, and we’re just now transitioning to having a fulfillment warehouse take care of all of our shipping.
When we started, I bought the patches separately, printed packaging separately, and bought plastic bags separately, because it was more affordable to buy them like that in small quantities. Eventually we transitioned to ordering large enough numbers of patches at once that it became affordable to have the embroidery company package everything in advance.
Currently we’re selling about a 40%-40%-20% split between Amazon, Etsy, and our own store. The plan for the next 4 months is to tidy up the loose threads in the business, optimise our listings, redo all of our photography and visual elements, and get everything in order before expanding the collection in the fall in time for Q4 and the holiday season.
image
Our Lisbon patch and the streetcars that inspired it.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

The one lesson I’ve taken with me through all my businesses is the idea of bootstrapping, of not buying anything until you absolutely need it.
Once you have your idea for a product (or service) come up with a Minimum Viable Product and test interest on that. For me, I was able to produce a small number of my actual product, which meant if the product had been a total failure I would have only been out about $1000 in unsold product.
If you can’t do that you can create a website for your product with a BUY NOW button that goes to an error page or a “sold out” notification, and you can judge the interest by seeing how many people clicked to buy.
If you want to write a book, write a shorter version of it, the first chapter or a framework, and offer it up as a freebie. If thousands of people want your freebie, 10% of them will probably buy the full book off you 6 months from now when you’re finished writing it.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

The main apps I use with Shopify are Affiliately, for setting up affiliate accounts for Instagram influencers, and Jilt, which sends out my abandoned cart emails.
I also have an app installed called Give & Grow, which allows me to automatically donate a percentage of my sales to charity. I chose Doctors Without Borders an organisation that provides medical care in disadvantaged places like war torn countries or areas that have suffered a natural disaster. The app adds a widget to your Shopify store that shows shoppers how much you’ve donated.
Etsy has the Etsy Sellers App, which I have on my phone, that allows me to track sales and respond to Etsy Conversations on the go.
image
Our Portland patch.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I’m sure this gets mentioned a lot, but when it came out, over ten years ago, I read The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss and it really changed how I thought about a lot of things, not just work and business.
A lot of the lessons in it have been so incorporated into the world of online sales that it might not seem revolutionary to someone reading it today, the way the CGI in Jurassic Park doesn’t drop jaws in 2019, but there’s a lot in there. I think it’s probably less helpful for someone starting out than it is for someone who has their business running and wants to make it easier to run, but I’d probably recommend someone reading it before they start their business anyway, because that’s when you make the decisions that will affect how easy it is to automate your business down the road.
Seth Godin’s books (and his blog and his podcast) are great as well. Less for technical help on how to start a business or how to promote a website, and more for the Big Thinking part of it. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What makes your business or product special? Who is it for and why are they going to love it? It’s this sort of thinking that helped me niche down until I found a product I was interested in making that no one else had made yet.
I listen to about 20 different podcasts for business help. I would say some of them are good but have a lot of fluff episodes, or interviews with someone peddling their Shopify plugin, which might or might not be useful. My favourites, with the most useful content, would be How to Quit Your Job by Steve Chou and Ecom Crew with Mike Jackness and Dave Bryant.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Something I’ve learned with this project is that there’s a great advantage to selling a product that people are already looking for. People on Amazon already want a “Tokyo Patch,” I’ve just come on to the scene and am offering them a better one than was previously available. People are probably already searching for “joke golf t-shirt” or “retro map posters.”
If you have a product like this you don’t have to spend as much on advertising, you just have to have the best available product. The reason there were so many commercials for Snuggies when they first came out is that no one was googling “blanket with arm holes in it.”
image
Our Rome patch, featuring the Colosseum.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
For more interviews, check out starter_story - I post new stories there daily.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
submitted by youngrichntasteless to starter_story [link] [comments]

Digital Marketing News: What Caught Our Attention This Month

Digital Marketing News: What Caught Our Attention This Month

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” – Tom Fishburne

Our digital marketing news roundup delivers the most essential updates and news straight to your inbox.
In this digital marketing news roundup, we cover the reason merchants are dropping MailChimp, which ESP bought Shopify’s competitor LemonStand, a new feature for Gmail’s 15-year anniversary, Microsoft compromising user’s email accounts, leading UK banks failing on email fraud protection, the reason Facebook has been keeping users locked out and did the EU actually win one over Facebook, again.
Also, did you hear about Google’s de-indexing issue? And what about Google Ads newest upgrade? In addition, should Amazon Web Services be scared of Google and its ‘new’ solution for retail?

In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news on the following topics:

  1. Email: merchants dropping MailChimp, Gmail’s new feature for Smart Compose and UK’s leading banks failing to implement vital email security protocols.
  2. Social Media: Facebook’s SMS 2FA failure and Instagram jacking a poor sap’s account and giving it to British royalty.
  3. Search Engines: Google dropping out pages from the Search Index and what new report was added to Google Search Console.
  4. PPC and Ads: an upgrade to Keyword Planner, a new extension for Bing Ads and Facebook’s new brand safety controls for advertisers.
  5. Other stuff: an ongoing DNS hijacking attack and what is Google Cloud for Retail.
Let’s dig in.

Digital Marketing News by EmailOut.com | Free Email Marketing Software

EMAIL

“Email is 20-30 times more effective in generating a purchase than any other tool.” – Josh Kaufman

MailChimp

Last month, we’ve told you all about Shopify killing its integration with MailChimp due to data security concerns. However, as the news rolled out, many merchants forced to make a decision about email service providers (ESPs) are dropping MailChimp for different ESPs.
We’ve also heard that even before Shopify and MailChimp parted ways, the latter quietly acqui-hired Shopify’s fellow competitor LemonStand. The whole drama seems deliberately initiated. Don’t you think? To learn more about what this acquisition-hire means for MailChimp click here.

Gmail

To celebrate Gmail’s 15-year anniversary, Google has added new Smart Compose features, email scheduling and languages to its free email service; which, as of October last year, had reached 1.5 billion users. If you are curious about what’s included in the Gmail update click here.
Since Google is a bit of an overachiever, we’re not surprised they announced one more new Gmail Smart Compose capability. And just about a week after the 15th-anniversary update. Wondering what it is? Smart Compose will now begin suggesting subject lines based on the content of an email. Pretty handy, eh? More info about the Gmail Smart Compose personalisation can also be found here.

Microsoft

Microsoft has confirmed to TechCrunch that a certain ‘limited’ number of people who use web email services managed by Microsoft – covering services like @msn.com and @hotmail.com – had their accounts compromised. A spokesperson at Microsoft said, “we addressed this scheme, which affected a limited subset of consumer accounts, by disabling the compromised credentials and blocking the perpetrators’ access.” The breach occurred between January 1 and March 28. Our best advice – regardless of being affected or not – would be to log in and change your password, now.

Outlook & Slack

Slack – a cloud-based team collaboration tool – is integrating Microsoft’s Office 365 services. Apps like OneDrive and Azure Active Directory have previously been available on Slack. Now, the messaging service will have even deeper integration with Microsoft including a new Outlook mail app and calendar, an updated OneDrive app, and the ability to preview Office file directly in Slack.
The newly introduced Outlook mail integration will bring emails straight into Slack channels. In the past, users needed a third-party solution to enable this. No more. And, considering a similar function already exists for Gmail, it was about time Slack caught up. Also, according to our friends at The Verge, Slack’s Office 365 integration was created using public APIs and with no special help from Microsoft. You can read more details about the integration here.

Cybersecurity

A study by cybersecurity firm Red Sift reveals that one-third of leading UK challenger banks have failed to implement a vital email protocol that protects consumers from email fraud. The study also shows that 8% of traditional banking institutions have neglected this defence system as well.
In terms of email security, DMARC – domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance – protocol is the only sure-fire way of preventing email spoofing. Red Sift believes that implementing DMARC is a strong indicator of an organisation’s willingness to adopt adequate cybersecurity measures to protect its customers.
Although 67% of traditional banks have implemented DMARC and configured it to reject all spoof emails, the study found that 25% have implemented the government-endorsed tool but haven’t configured it for full protection. And whilst two-thirds of challenger banks have implemented DMARC, only 25% have configured it to reject all spoof email. More details can be found here.

SOCIAL MEDIA

“90% trust peers on social networks (even strangers); only 15-18% trust brands.” – Danny Brown

Facebook Security

Facebook’s SMS 2FA authentication has been keeping a significant number of users locked out of their accounts. The problem? Users have not been receiving text messages from Facebook which they need in order to verify ownership of their account.
One of the many users who’ve been locked out – for over 15 days – has been documenting the process and, also, the attempts he’s made to regain access to his account. Unfortunately, even his attempts to contact Facebook about the issue have gone unnoticed as he has not received any help. Additionally, a quick search for “Facebook SMS” on Twitter, will show there are more users having the same issue.
Since Facebook didn’t respond to Joe Youngblood’s support query, he decided to raise awareness of the problem by creating the Twitter account @FacebookSMS2FA which contains a growing collection of retweets from users who’ve been locked out of their accounts.

Facebook Privacy

As Facebook’s executives are trying to rebrand the social media giant as a privacy company, it seems like the infamous social network is still, apparently, struggling to instil a privacy culture internally and with third-party developers.
The Daily Beast reported that some new Facebook users are being asked to provide both their email address and their email password in order to register accounts. Naughty, naughty.
Research from the cloud-security firm UpGuard reported that they had discovered two publicly accessible caches of Facebook user data created by third-party applications that connected to the Facebook platform. Amazon Web Service’s Simple Storage Service (S3) is hosting both caches in the AWS public cloud.

Facebook & the EU

The way Facebook user data has been used, or should we say misused (abused?), by various groups had caused quite a few scandals. And, judging by the increasing amount of pressure coming from the European Commission, Facebook had no other choice but to agree to amend its terms and conditions. As well as provide a better outline on exactly how the company uses the user data.
The new terms will make it very clear that “free access to Facebook services is contingent on users’ data being used to profile them to target with ads.” While this regulation is specifically focused on Europe – and complicity with European laws – Facebook said that the amended terms and conditions will be applied globally as part of the company’s broader efforts on transparency. Shouldn’t that have been the case all along?

Instagram

The BBC reported that Instagram jacked a poor sap’s handle and gave it to none other than British royalty. Kevin Keiley had used @sussexroyal for over three years. Why? Because he supports Reading FC – nicknamed the Royals – and lives in West Sussex. Unlike the many stories of accounts being stolen by malicious hackers, the bad actor, in this case, was Instagram itself.
Keiley told the BBC’s Radio 1 Newsbeat that “no one at the social media company contacted him about handing over the handle and that he’s a bit ‘annoyed’ about the entire thing.”
Notably, Instagram confirmed to the BBC that it snatched the account because it was inactive and thus ripe for the picking. Just what exactly does inactive mean? Could an infrequently used account suddenly become ‘inactive’ in the eyes of Instagram the moment a famous person wants it?

SEARCH ENGINES

“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall

Google Search Index

Barry Schwartz reported Google’s been dropping pages out of the Search Index. According to him, there have been widespread reports from SEOs and webmasters complaining that their URLs and web pages are being removed from the Google Index. A lot of people are noticing a substantial percentage of their web sites are no longer coming up for a site command. Also, Google Search Console is not showing them as being indexed.
A thread in WebmasterWorld has a ton of complaints regarding this issue as well as numerous threads in the official Google Search Console forums**.** The de-indexing issue has been covered by Search Engine Land and Search Engine Roundtable, too.

Google Search Console

Do you have an Android app associated with your website? Wondering why we’re asking. You’ll find out soon enough.
Google announced they’ll be adding Android app filters to performance report in Google Search Console (GSC). What does it mean? Users will be able to see their app’s clicks, impressions, CTR, and position with a separate search appearance in the Performance report. You can satisfy your curiosity for more details here.
Furthermore, we’ve also heard Google is adding a new report to GSC. It will track a site’s traffic and impressions from Discover. It’s important to note, GSC’s new Discover report is only shown to websites that have accumulated “meaningful visibility” – whatever that is – in Discover.

Google My Business

Google released an update to GMB profiles which will show Product Catalogs in desktop and mobile search results. Businesses can add products to a catalog by uploading a form in the ‘Products’ tab. The name of the tool is Product Editor. You can read more about Product Editor and Product Catalogs here.
Previously, product catalogs only appeared in mobile search results. However, now we can definitely confirm this hasn’t been a mobile-only feature. And, what makes the feature even more valuable to retailers is that it’s free to use.

PPC AND ADVERTISING

“Advertising is the ability to sense, interpret… to put the very heart throbs of a business into type, paper and ink.” – Leo Burnett

Google Ads

Google Ads decided to upgrade its Keyword Planner tool by rolling out a bunch of new key features. The upgrade includes:
  • Up to 10-speed keywords when searching for new keyword ideas;
  • Keyword trends can be viewed or downloaded for individual keyword ideas;
  • Adding all or some keywords in a group idea to an existing or a new ad group;
  • Save new keywords to an existing campaign;
  • Based on the maximum CPC bid and forecasted costing you can get suggested daily budgets;
  • Get a detailed competition value column that shows ranking across keyword ideas.
If you want to dig deeper and get more details about the new features click here.

Bing Ads

Bing Ads has taken the wrapper off a brand new extension – Action Extensions. It was released globally and it allows advertisers to highlight a clear call-to-action (CTA) on text ads in order to entice customers to immediately click and drive them to the user’s website. According to Bing, the advertisers who take part in the beta have seen an average click-through-rate (CTR) increase of 20% when they served Action Extensions in their ads. And the best part, the new extension is available on both PC and mobile devices. More information has also been provided by PPC Hero.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook introduced new brand safety controls for advertisers. The company’s Community Standards tell users how they detect and take down bad content from their platform. With the new brand safety controls, Facebook is also introducing an inventory filter which will make it easier for advertisers to control their brand safety profile across different forms of media. The filter will apply to ads delivered within Instant Articles, Audience Network and Facebook in-stream video.
Advertisers will also be able to choose from three inventory options:
  • Limited inventory: It offers maximum protection which is similar to the opt-in category exclusions;
  • Standard inventory: It provides moderate protection and is the default choice when placing ads;
  • Full inventory: It selects minimum protection and ads may be delivered to all eligible content.
For more information on Facebook’s brand safety efforts and the new inventory filter, you can visit their Help Center.

OTHER DIGITAL MARKETING NEWS WE FOUND INTERESTING

“Marketers need to build digital relationships and reputation before closing a sale.” – Chris Brogan

E-Commerce

One of the best-known e-commerce corporations – eBaynotified its merchants and publisher that it’ll be closing its third-party network – eBay Commerce Network (ECN) – as of May 1. Why? eBay states that after ECN being operational for over five years, the corporation is now shifting its attention to advertising solutions for the core marketplace. But, what does that mean exactly? According to the company, “for the health of the core marketplace, eBay is making a concerted effort to shift its reliance from third-party advertising to first-party advertising.”
In lieu of ECN ads, merchants on eBay are also encouraged to consider promoted listings, ads that appear at the top of search and product pages. And, also, other premium ad formats on the eBay marketplace. And, an alternative for publishers is the eBay Partner Network – an affiliate proposition in which content creators share links to eBay listings and get paid when they generate sales.

Hijacking Attacks

A security researcher at Ixia informed Ars Technica about an ongoing domain name system (DNS) hijackings happening through vulnerabilities in four models of D-Link routers: D-Link DSL-2640B, D-Link DSL-2740R, D-Link DSL-2780B and D-Link DSL-526B. The attack targeted the following domains: Gmail.com, PayPal.com, Netflix.com, Uber.com, caix.gov.br, itau.com.br, bb.com.br, bancobrasil.com.br, sandander.com.br, pagseguro.uol.com.br, sandandernet.com.br, cetelem.com.br; and, possibly other sites. People trying to reach one of these domains from an infected router will be connected to a server that serves phishing pages over plain HTTP. For more details click here.
How to protect yourself? Always make sure your routers are running the latest firmware. All four of the D-Link vulnerabilities were fixed years ago. However, many people just never got through the hassle of manually installing the patches.

Google

Google announced the launch of Google Cloud for Retail with a host of new, awesome solutions designed for the retailer vertical. The aim of the new solutions is to help retailers deliver personalised recommendations; unifying customer experiences across online and offline environments and more.
What exactly does it offer? Google Cloud for Retail includes solutions for inventory management, personalisation, customer service and predictive analytics. E-commerce hosting is designed to flex with seasonal traffic increases and spikes on high-volume shopping days – like Black Friday or Cyber Monday – so sites don’t get incapacitated and start losing revenue due to traffic surges. Google also offers something called customer reliability engineering (CRE) services – a service that will prepare you for peak volume events. Lookout Amazon Web Services. Google Cloud for Retail’s analytics and AI solutions are coming to get you. You can read more about the full package of solutions offered at Google Cloud Next here.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Let us know what digital marketing news topics and areas you would like us to look out for in the future. Write your requests below, we’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for more digital marketing news, social media marketing, business growth tips and tricks plus, of course, all things email marketing.
This article was originally published on 14 April by EmailOut and can be found here.
Open your free email marketing account now and we’ll give you 12,500 sends each and every month free, forever. For up to 2,500 email contacts you’ll never pay us a penny. If you have more than 2,500 contacts check out our professional email marketing pricing.
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Etsy vs eBay vs Amazon vs Shopify for Private Label

I just wrote a (content marketing) post on my company's blog comparing Etsy, eBay, Amazon and Shopify. I thought this might be a good place to leave a summary since it's where the most threads have been posted asking about two or more of these services.
Full disclosure, I'm hoping you guys might point out any glaring omissions or smaller details that I've missed.
Online Marketplaces and Webstores:
If you’re looking to start a small business selling private label products online, you have two options:
Marketplaces: Existing e-commerce sites where you can list your products for sale. We’ll be looking at Etsy, eBay and Amazon.
Webstores: Your own website with its own online shop. We’ll primarily be looking at Shopify because it’s the most suitable for an independent entrepreneur.
Marketplaces.
The Pros and Cons of a Marketplace
Because Etsy, eBay and Amazon are marketplaces, they share these features:
Pros
Cons
Etsy Etsy specifically caters the most to sellers marketing their own creations. We suggest this marketplace as a good first step to online selling.
Pros:
Cons:
eBay Like Etsy, eBay is another venue that is suitable for taking their first dip into e-commerce. eBay caters the most to people selling individual items.
Pros:
Cons:
Amazon You might not have known this, but about half of the items sold on Amazon.com are sold by third-party sellers, including items eligible for Prime shipping.
Pros:
Cons:
[These pros and cons relate to using Amazon to sell private label (your own brand). Competition for the Amazon “Buy Box” and exclusive distribution agreements are not taken into account.]
Honorable mention - Storenvy
Storenvy is hailed by a lot of webpreneurs as the “new Etsy”.
Storenvy does not charge an upfront listing fee (setting up a Storenvy shop is free). Upon sale, you are charged a credit card processing fee and a 10% commission if the product was found through the Storenvy marketplace. Additionally, you can simply import your listings from Etsy to Storenvy with this tool.
https://storenvy-importer.herokuapp.com/
Creating your own webstore
If you don’t want to limit yourself to selling on a marketplace, another option is opening up your own webstore.
Pros:
Cons:
Shopify
Unlike the marketplaces listed above, Shopify is a web store builder and hosting provider. This means that rather than simply listing your items on a site to sell them, you will have to create that site.
The reason Shopify makes the list is because unlike most other e-commerce webstore solutions (like Magento), Shopify takes care of the hosting as well. Additionally, of all the web store platforms, Shopify has the greatest ease of entry with a Lite plan starting at $9 a month.
Pros:
Cons:
Honorable Mention - BigCommerce
Although not as popular as Shopify, BigCommerce has a lot of the same features. Additionally, BigCommerce comes vanilla with a lot of functionality missing from an app-less Shopify. However, due to not being as popular, it doesn’t have as much third party support in terms of themes and marketplace apps. You can find out more about Shopify vs BigCommerce here.
http://stylefactoryproductions.com/blog/bigcommerce-vs-shopify
So, what’s the best option?
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering what the best option is.
The best option is to use both marketplaces and a webstore.
That’s right, ideally you should...
(I've cut out the rest of the article since it's no longer a comparison.)
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These are the companies with which AOL has asked me to share my data:

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50 Ways to Make Extra Money

This is a long one but I think it's a great resource I wanted to share. I realize it's slightly different from the posts on this thread as all of those seem to focus on one specifically per post. But there's just a wealth of info here. I didn't take the time to add all the links from the original post but you can find the Original post with links here
  1. Sell Custom Goods on Etsy
Nowadays, you can sell just about anything on Etsy, a website designed to allow creators and designers to share their artwork with the world. If you have a talent, it can probably be showcased here. One great example involves etching , but you can also sell woodwork, clothing, graphics, books, and games.
What materials you’ll need:
Anything that can help you create your masterpiece. If you etch, you should find an affordable Cricut, as well as Glass Etching Adhesive. If you design clothing, you’ll need to look for fabric and sewing materials. When in doubt, you can usually find everything you need at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores or Michaels Craft Stores.

  1. Create Custom Book Bags
Let’s zero-in on a specific creation, for just a moment. You’re in college, right? You need to make money, but you don’t know where to start. Why not utilize the people around you? Designing custom book bags is a fantastic (and cheap) way to earn cash. All you need is a creative eye, and enough time to bring your ideas to life.
What materials you’ll need:
If you want to make quality book bags, you’ll need a sewing machine (which can be found on Amazon in the Arts, Crafts & Sewing section), as well as some canvas fabric and thread. Again, you’ll find many of your necessities at local craft stores.
  1. Fix Broken Phones
You know how heartbreaking a broken phone can be. Why not get into the business of fixing them yourself? You’ll be hailed as a hero on campus, and you’ll make plenty of extra cash from the ongoing stream of business.
What materials you’ll need:
First of all, you’ll need to read this article about fixing iPhones. There’s more than enough information there to get you started. Secondly, you’ll need to buy a Pro Tech Toolkit, a 54 Bit Driver Kit, and a Magnifier Table Lamp. And, finally, you’ll want to invest some time into learning the craft by practicing with friends and family.
  1. Design T-Shirts
This idea involves entrepreneurial talent and a decent level of design skill. You can help promote causes, design t-shirts for local bands and student groups, and showcase your favorite memes. College students are always looking for ways to express themselves. Why not help them along?
What materials you’ll need:
Obviously, you won’t be able to make these t-shirts in your dorm room. You’ll need to outsource that work to another company, like Teespring or Zazzle. It’s up to you to design the shirt, place the order, and make the delivery. You can also develop stickers for student groups by utilizing Sticker Mule. Market yourself with business cards from websites like Vistaprint.
  1. Become a Content Writer
Hundreds of websites need content for their pages, and you can be the one to supply it. With a little bit of research and a working computer, you can write thousands of words a week and get paid handsomely for it (depending on your client).
What materials you’ll need:
To get started, you’ll need an account on a freelance website like Upwork. Then, you should take a Udemy course on generating website content, just to get familiar with the tone and quality that’s going to be expected of you. Other than that, starting a career in professional writing is fairly inexpensive and material-free.
  1. Refurbish Furniture
Have you ever seen an old piece of furniture that you thought you could improve? With a little bit of elbow grease, you can turn someone else’s trash into your treasure. And you don’t necessarily need to dig through garage sales to find a subject. Using websites like Craigslist, you can easily locate unused items and refurbish them. It’s almost like flipping a house.
What materials you’ll need:
It’s impossible to tell exactly what you’ll need, since there are so many different styles of furniture, and even more ways in which they can be altered. But it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll need basic tools (a hammer, nails, a screwdriver, etc.), paint or varnish, and an electric sander. You can find most of these things at The Home Depot or Lowe’s. You’ll also need a large workspace, such as a garage or a backyard.
  1. Walk Dogs
You probably thought about walking dogs as a teenager but, now, you have the ability to take it to the next level. Pet owners are far more likely to trust their dogs with an adult than a preteen, and that gives you an edge. If you market yourself correctly, you can turn dog walking into a full-time, under-the-table job.
What materials you’ll need:
Marketing is the most important part of this equation. You’ll need a website, which you can create through WordPress or Weebly. You’ll also need business cards and flyers (again, Vistaprint is a great resource), as well as a travel water dish and a few toys.
  1. Start a Babysitting Service
Again, parents are far more likely to trust their children with an adult. Not only
that, but an adult with a certification in CPR. You can start a babysitting service for next to nothing and, if you enjoy spending time with kids, you won’t be anywhere near as miserable as you would be working in an office. Also, tax-free work. Can we even argue with that?
What materials you’ll need:
Start out by making a profile on popular babysitting websites, such as Care or Sitter City. You’ll also want to create a professional website, business cards, and flyers. Finally, you can choose to bring toys or entertainment supplies for the kids, but many parents supply those for you.
  1. Become an Airbnb Host
Did you know that you can rent out your home, or a portion of your home, through Airbnb? That’s right – you can make money on empty space alone. You don’t even need an entire house or a room to rent. Believe it or not, there are plenty of couchsurfers that take advantage of Airbnb on a regular basis.
What materials you’ll need:
First, you need to make a profile. Take tasteful pictures of the space you’re going to offer and come up with a colorful description. The area should be well-decorated and cleared of any personal items. When the guest arrives, you’ll need to provide basic amenities (toilet paper, towels, blankets, lighting, etc.) and enough food for breakfast.
  1. Review and Test Games
It might sound too good to be true – but you can actually get paid to test video games. Check out an awesome tutorial here for more information. You should keep in mind that this method of making money will feel more like an official job, with a regular paycheck coming from a specific company. You can find positions on websites like Indeed, and there’s a ton of information online. Time has a useful article on the subject, as does Business Insider and Game Testers.
What materials you’ll need:
Becoming a game tester and reviewer doesn’t involve a lot of monetary investment. But you’ll need a decent resume, a list of experience, and a website (if you really want to make an impression).
  1. Tutor Students
If there’s a subject that you know quite well, but notice other students struggle with, consider becoming a tutor. You can do this at the college level, as well as the high school and grade school levels. If you plan on becoming an educator, this is an especially rewarding experience.
What materials you’ll need:
Other than the usual marketing tools (resume, flyers, business cards, etc.), you’ll need to take advantage of flashcard applications such as Quizlet. You’ll also need basic school supplies, such as a calculator, a notebook, pencils, graphing paper, and a computer.
  1. Manage Social Media Accounts
Far too many businesses want a strong social media presence, but don’t have the knowledge or the drive to make it happen. In order to satisfy their needs, many companies turn to college students to handle their social media accounts. Don’t believe us? It’s actually more common than you think.
What materials you’ll need:
Statistics are the name of the game, in this business. You’ll need an account on Buffer to help analyze the amount of traffic your social media pages receive. You should also invest your time in an Upwork account, as many businesses hire through that platform. Other monetary investments could include business cards and a professional website.
  1. Make and Sell Custom Jewelry
If you’ve got a knack for creating your own jewelry, turn it into something more than a hobby. College students love unique, thoughtful pieces that aren’t generic or common. Take advantage of the environment surrounding you. Or, you could sell your work at flea markets and local events.
What materials you’ll need:
Other than renting out space for a booth at festivals or events, you’ll need to invest in basic materials. You can use a range of different items to make jewelry, so it all depends on your preferences. As we said earlier, Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics are fantastic for affordable, in-style craft supplies. If you plan on shipping your work to customers, you’ll also need boxes and labels for shipping purposes.
  1. Clean Houses
Another one of those preteen
jobs, turned professional. Make flyers and offer to clean houses for a fair price. The bigger the house, the more you make. You can also offer to clean dorm rooms for your friends and classmates. Imagine what college students would pay to have someone else take care of their dishes or dirty laundry!
What materials you’ll need:
You’ll need cleaning supplies, such as all-purpose cleaner, window cleaner, dish soap, rags, wood cleaner, and air fresheners. You don’t necessarily need to bring your own vacuum, mop, or broom. Most households will provide those things for you. You might also find that making an account on Angie’s List is a useful way to generate clients.
  1. Become an Uber or Lyft Driver
If you feel comfortable driving strangers in your car, this might be a viable option for you. Not only do you get to meet interesting people, but you get to make money in the process. Both Uber and Lyft pay their part-time drivers up to $35/hour, and you don’t have to worry about awkwardly asking for tips.
What materials you’ll need:
First of all, you’ll need to be twenty-one. That’s the biggest requirement. After that, you’ll need to obtain a four-door car with at least five seatbelts
that’s less than twelve-years-old. You can check out more information on that here. When it comes to upfront costs, you’ll need pack plenty of water bottles for your guests. You’ll also need a decent navigation application (we highly recommend Waze, which is free). Want to learn more? Uber has an awesome and complete guide here.
  1. Knit or Crochet Beanies and Hats
College students love homemade clothing. You can develop a total monopoly in this niche by knitting or crocheting stylish beanies and hats. And, when you’re starting out, you can even have your friends wear your creations as free marketing sources.
What materials you’ll need:
Luckily, knitting and crocheting doesn’t involve expensive sewing machines and equipment. You’ll need a set of patterns, a box of yarn, a basic set of supplies, and a decent needle set. After that, your business should fund itself. As usual, we recommend Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics for your crafting needs. But you can probably find a few local shops, as well.
  1. Sell Custom Cutting Boards
If you’ve ever been interested in woodwork, this might be the perfect job for you. Cutting boards are unique and fun to make, and college students never think to buy them until they see them. They’re also fairly affordable to build, in comparison to other wood-related crafts. You’ll need your own space for this job, though, so this particular moneymaker might be best for a commuter student. A dorm room just isn’t going to cut it.
What materials you’ll need:
Aside from a workshop area, you’ll need an electric sander, stencils, and a wood burning tool. Michaels has a fair inventory when it comes to woodwork, but you’ll also want to check out The Home Depot and Lowe’s for heavier equipment.
Cutting boards aren’t your thing? Sell coasters to the sororities. I heard house moms hate water stains…
  1. Make Leather Cuffs
Leather cuffs offer a unique style that only college students seem to understand. If you love crafting but also live on-campus, this low-stress method of earning some extra cash could work for you. Rather than making a series of jewelry options, you’ll be able to focus on one, specific item. If you’re not sure where to start, you can check out an interesting tutorial video here.
What materials you’ll need:
You’ll need, of course, leather. You’ll also need a leather burning tool, adhesive snaps, and a leather cutter. If you need start-up materials, Artbeads is an online platform that has an entire section set aside just for leather jewelry supplies.
If cuffs are too big for you, trendy wrap bracelets never go out of style.
  1. Create Surprise Balls
If you’ve never heard of surprise balls before, you’re probably going to fall in love with this money making venture. Made of brightly colored paper, surprise balls are full of streamers and prizes such as puzzles, rings, jokes, whistles, and stickers. These unique gifts are perfect for birthday parties and large events. If you have the right connections, this fun business can take off pretty quickly.
What materials you’ll need:
First, you’ll need to read a few tutorials on how to make surprise balls. We’ve found that Not Martha and Honestly WTF are quality resources. Most websites agree that you’ll need multiple colors of fine crepe paper, confetti, ribbon, glitter, glue, and an assortment of candy or toys. If you’re located near a party store, this is going to become your hotspot for supplies.
  1. Develop a Digital eCourse
Far more complicated than crafting surprise balls, making a digital eCourse involves patience, dedication, recording, scriptwriting, and research. While you don’t necessarily need to purchase supplies right away, you might spend two or three months crafting a quality product. If you’re not sure how to get started, Teach Good Stuff, Freelance to Freedom, and Problogger offer instructions on eCourse creation.
What materials you’ll need:
Once you’ve written and established what you want to teach in your eCourse, you’re going to need to record your content. That’s going to involve a high-quality webcam (we suggest Logitech) and a microphone (we suggest the Snowball). Once you’ve finished, you’ll need to publish your work. Learning Revolution has some great information about that portion of production.
  1. Work for Fancy Hands
Fancy Hands provides US-based assistants for the self-employed, large company executives, and other business owners who need help managing their time and responsibilities efficiently. If you work well with organization, phone calls, appointment-setting, and other secretarial duties, this is a straightforward telecommunication position that can work for you. You can find more information here.
What materials you’ll need:
The materials you’ll need will depend entirely on the client you’re working with. You’ll need a smartphone, for sure, to help with prompt communication (we suggest an iPhone, but you can also use an Android). You’ll also need a laptop or desktop computer that can easily connect to a WiFi hotspot. Employers may have you download different applications or purchase additional materials, depending on the work they have you doing.
  1. Use TaskRabbit
Do you enjoy running errands? TaskRabbit will connect you to households in your local area that need assistance with grocery shopping, medication pickup, cooking, cleaning, and more. The only downside? TaskRabbit is currently available in nineteen cities, including New York, Portland, London, LA, Houston, and Phoenix. If you aren’t located in any of these cities or suburbs, you’ll be limited to virtual tasks (which are typically very similar to Fancy Hands jobs).
What materials you’ll need:
You won’t need much to get started with TaskRabbit, other than a full tank of gas and a professional outfit. Any costs you incur for shopping will be reimbursed by the household, and you’ll be paid an hourly wage that you set when you create a profile. Check out more here.
  1. Help Other People Move
If you have a large car or a truck, this is an easy way to make money. You can also offer labor, rather than transportation, if you don’t own a moving-friendly vehicle. Moving companies are, generally speaking, overpriced. If a household can hire an outside company or individual to help them move without paying an arm and a leg, they will. You can be that person.
What materials you’ll need:
Obviously, you’ll need to market yourself with business cards, flyers, and a website. You’ll also need heavy-duty gloves and moving blankets (if you own the vehicle being used). You should also plan on using a fair amount of gas between trips.
  1. Try Fiverr Jobs
Similar to Upwork (which we introduced earlier), Fiverr connects freelancers in various categories (such as Graphics & Design, Digital Marketing, Writing & Translation, Video & Animation, and Music & Audio) to employers who need work completed. If you’re successful in any of these niches, you should consider making an account and getting started immediately.
What materials you’ll need:
Fortunately, you won’t need anything but a service to offer and an idea. Fiverr has no basis of commitment, no memberships, and no hidden fees. You’re able to keep 80% of each transaction you complete. However, you should keep in mind that Fiverr sets base fees for their workers. For example, if you market yourself in the Writing & Translation niche, you won’t be able to charge more than $5 per job, unless you add extra services for the client to purchase (which can add up to $25 per job).
  1. Sell Used Items Online
This can go above and beyond selling old items that once belonged to you. You can also collect items from your friends and family members, recycling centers, or classmates who might consider trashing them instead of reselling them. Read a great success story here.
What materials you’ll need:
Other than shipping supplies, you’ll need a first “wave” of items to sell. From there, you can grow your collection through marketing and communication. Amazon and eBay are both online platforms specifically utilized for the sale of new or used items. It would be in your best interest to sell through one of them, since they’re both wildly popular with consumers.
  1. Become a Personal Shopper
If you love to shop, this job is perfect for you. Despite the stereotypical personal shopper positions, you won’t necessarily be shopping for the clothes of rich, old ladies. Personal shopping has really taken a turn in the past decade. Read more about it here and here.
Entrepreneur also has a wonderful article about starting a personal shopping business.
What materials you’ll need:
Other than a full tank of gas and a measuring tape, you won’t really incur any costs when you start this business. You may choose to spend money on a professional website, business cards, or flyers. But you can also place an advertisement on Craigslist for free. Since personal shoppers can only handle a limited number of clients, it won’t take long for you to get comfortable in your work.
  1. Be a YouTube Video Blogger
If you have something to say the world, start saying it. Because, eventually, you can be handsomely paid for it. While you won’t start out making money, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of advertising once your channel reaches a certain number of subscribers. Google will directly pay you a portion of their income from ads placed on your videos. How do you think YouTube stars survive without day jobs?
What materials you’ll need:
Like eCourse production, you’ll need a webcam (again, we suggest Logitech) and a microphone (another quality option is the Yeti). The rest of your starting materials depend on what you want to do in your videos, and how you want to market yourself. This is a far less professional platform than, say, Facebook. The most important thing is that your video is interesting and creative, not expensive.
  1. Try Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based form of marketing, in which a business will reward you for each visitor or customer brought to their website because of your personal marketing efforts. For example, YouTube stars that receive money from advertisements placed on their videos are actually taking part in an affiliate marketing program.
What materials you’ll need:
Once employed by a business, you can start marketing to your followers through a social media scheduler and advertisements. You should be smart and creative about your efforts, because affiliate marketing is hard work. While there aren’t any upfront costs to get started, you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time pushing the product before you see any payoff.
  1. Blog!
In the same way that you can get paid for advertisements on YouTube, you can get paid for placing advertisements on your personal blog (assuming your traffic statistics meet Google requirements). This isn’t going to happen overnight, so you’ll need to spend several months (or even years) building your brand, story, and website. The more you post, the faster your blog will grow in followers.
What materials you’ll need:
First of all, you’ll need a website. This can be created through WordPress or Weebly (which we discussed earlier), or you can utilize Squarespace. The most important part of the process will be purchasing your own URL, which is vital to making a quality blog or website. The more popular your blog, the more return you’ll get for your investment.
  1. Create a Niche Marketing Website
So, how do you make money from a website without waiting months or years for your traffic to be high enough? You create a niche marketing website. This is basically a website that utilizes SEO keywords to place your link at the top of the Google search page. Even though your website won’t actually offer or sell any products, it’ll be visited so often that Google will pay you hundreds of dollars each month to place advertisements on your page.
What materials you’ll need:
Other than starting your website, which can be done through a horde of different resources, you’ll need to spend hours each week creating useful content for your page. Choose a smart and thoughtful set of keywords that have proven popular through Google and incorporate them six or seven times in each article you produce. Within five or six months, your website will earn you a decent amount of traffic and income.
  1. Flip Websites
Before we talk about flipping websites, you need to check out Flippa, the most popular place on the internet for doing so. You’ll learn quite a bit just by checking out their page. Flipping websites
involves buying and selling domains for a profit. Basically, your job is to purchase the website of a company that wasn’t so great to begin with. Start an AdWords or AdSense campaign, upping the value of the site, and then sell it for far more than you bought it.
What materials you’ll need:
First, we suggest reading this tutorial on how to flip websites. Then, you’ll need to pool together enough money to make your initial purchases. Similar to flipping houses, you need to be smart about your decisions. Some websites are beyond help. Others have potential. It’s up to you to pinpoint the difference between the two.
  1. Become a Window Cleaner
If you like cleaning, but aren’t prepared to take on an entire house, consider cleaning windows. Most homeowners hate cleaning windows because it involves going outside and thoroughly washing each pane. On homes with many different windows, this can be a challenge. You can really make a market for yourself in this business, with recurring customers and references.
What materials you’ll need:
According to Great Day Improvements, the best window cleaning solution involves a spray bottle filled with fifty-percent distilled vinegar (white) and fifty-percent tap water. In addition to your spray, you’ll need a backpack, a ladder, a series of rags or squeegees, and other necessary cleaning supplies. To market yourself, make flyers and business cards to pass out throughout your neighborhood.
  1. Be an Independent Make-Up Artist
Have you been doing your own make-up since you were thirteen? Do your friends struggle to get the same professional results? Do you know the best products to purchase for a reasonable price? This is probably the job for you. You can make money by doing make-up for classmates, friends, and family. References come quickly when you do a quality job, and you’ll make a name for yourself right away.
What materials you’ll need:
This is going to be a bit more expensive to start up than several of the other business ideas presented in this article. Why? Because quality make-up isn’t cheap. For many individuals, that’s why hiring an independent make-up artist for special occasions is more affordable than purchasing their own supplies. And, for independent make-up artists, that’s why it makes sense to purchase supplies for many different individuals. Read a great article about how to get started here.
  1. Style Hair
Do you have a knack for hair styling? Trusting someone else with their hair, especially for special occasions, is a hard thing for most people to do. You’ll need to be patient, understanding, and smart about how you decide to work. You also need to be willing to work with the design ideas that your clients have. If you can manage all of that, this is a great start-up business that could, potentially, pay the bills.
What materials you’ll need:
Hair styling is, typically, a very expensive business to start. You’ll need a set of curling irons, flat irons, styling products (hairspray, conditioner, shampoo, etc.), scissors, and an area where you can work. The amount of money you need to invest depends entirely upon where you want to style hair (at the homes of your clients or in your own space) and whether you want to offer haircuts or simply styles for special occasions. Read more here and here.
  1. Write YouTube Product Reviews
Yes, you can get paid to write YouTube product reviews. But, how? First, you need to make a Fiverr account and offer reviews for $5 each. Then, you’ll create a video of your honest review and post it to your channel. The more of a following you create, the more businesses will pay for your reviews.
What materials you’ll need:
You’ll need a webcam and microphone (we’ve already suggested Logitech and the Snowball), and a place to record. A huge bonus of this job? Free products. However, you need to make sure that businesses are aware of your intention to create an honest review. Your channel won’t be credible if you only offer positive reviews.
  1. Start Your Own Delivery Service
Have you ever wondered why fast food chains don’t offer delivery for their products? Most people assume that, since orders are so cheap, it wouldn’t be worthwhile. But, imagine making an independent service that delivers any fast food orders (Wendy’s, Arby’s, McDonalds, Taco Bell, etc.) for $5 each. Customers will reimburse you for their food, plus $5 for your time and gas. In fact, here’s the story of a millionaire CEO who did this same this in college.
What materials you’ll need:
You’ll need a car and a full tank of gas. You’ll also need Venmo, so you can accept payment from your customers. We also suggest a website, business cards, and flyers.
  1. Create a Bootcamp at a Nearby Park
If you love to run, jump, climb, and jog, you can actually make money by forming an outdoor bootcamp in a local park. By running your own workouts, you can help adults and teenagers get in shape. You’ll also feel better about yourself, in the process!
What materials you’ll need:
You’ll need basic workout equipment, such as cones, weights, tires, jump ropes, hula-hoops, or anything else you might use to create an obstacle course. Read more information on how to get started here.
  1. Design Graphics
Bloggers love graphics, but they hate creating them. Therefore, they sometimes turn to an outside party to design something for them. If you enjoy working with graphics and have a creative eye for marketing, this is the job for you.
What materials you’ll need:
In order to make quality graphics, you’ll need to download Adobe Illustrator. This is usually fairly expensive, but the student edition is just $19.99 a month and includes a handful of other applications. You can also use a sketch application on a Mac computer, which is cheaper and usually has the same effect. We also suggest Graphic River credits, which will save time with pre-made vector graphs.
  1. Start a Party Supply Delivery Service
Students haven’t created this service yet, and we’re really not sure why. Imagine being at a party. You run out of chips. The last thing you want to do is run to the store for chips, so you call a party supply delivery service and pay them a small fee to bring the chips for you. Yes, you can actually make this service available on your campus by marketing yourself, filling up your gas tank, and running around town.
What materials you’ll need:
You’ll need gas, which we mentioned above. You’ll also need to create a Venmo account, where you can professionally accept payment for the service you’ve provided. Keep in mind, you’ll need to make sure that you aren’t delivering anything that has an age limit (for legal reasons). Unfortunately, this means you can’t purchase beer or cigarettes.
  1. Paint Menu Boards
Menu boards are what customers see when they first walk into a business. The point of a menu board is to draw passerby into the store or restaurant by making a good first impression. Fortunately, this works quite well when the board is thoughtfully and tastefully designed. Unfortunately, this works quite poorly when the menu board isn’t professional in presentation. You can design these boards for local businesses, and offer your painting services as an incentive to bring in customers.
What materials you’ll need:
First of all, you’ll need to market yourself online. You’ll need to get in touch with local businesses and reach a fair wage for your work. You’ll also need a slew of paints, chalk colors, stencils, and other design aids to help you get the job done. Check out some great ideas here. You can also view the work of local San Diego artist Art by Autumn for inspiration.

  1. Be a Secret Shopper
Also known as “mystery shoppers”, secret shoppers are hired by outside companies to determine how good (or poor) the service is in specific restaurants, grocery stores, and retail stores. Not only will you get to visit new places, but you’ll get to report your findings and get paid for it. Be wary, however. Many “outside companies” are scams. You need to make sure you’re working through a reputable service. Read more here.
What materials you’ll need:
Secret shoppers don’t need much money to get started. You’ll need a full tank of gas, a notebook, and a pen to keep track of your reports. That’s about it.
  1. Sew Dorm Décor
College dorm rooms have a tendency to look boring, undecorated, and unloved. You can change that by designing quality dorm décor that helps students feel at home on campus. Start by creating designs for your own dorm. Then, as your visitors see what you’ve done, ask them to refer you to their friends and classmates.
What materials you’ll need:
You’ll need a set of trendy fabric (check out some awesome samples here), a quality sewing machine, and some amazing design ideas.
  1. Sell Class Notes
There are many things that aren’t “okay” in college. Writing other students’ papers, doing homework for your friends, cheating on tests, and copying answers are all “wrong” acts. However, there’s nothing inherently wrong with sharing class notes. Everyone misses class sometimes. It helps them to know what’s going on while they’re gone. So, why not sell your class notes for a reasonable price?
What materials you’ll need:
You’ll need to store your notes on a computer, making them easier to read. You’ll also need to create online flashcards (again, Quizlet is great for this) for your customers to use. Once someone “buys” your notes, give them access to a locked Google Document and send them the URL to the Quizlet page.
  1. Buy Storage Units
Have you ever seen Storage Wars? In the popular television show, bidders try to purchase abandoned storage units. Then, they attempt to flip the contents for cash. Most of the time, bidders were successful in earning their money back and maintaining some kind of profit. If you have the time and energy, this start-up business is fun, interesting, and has the potential for huge payoffs.
What materials you’ll need:
You’ll need a full tank of gas to attend auctions. You’ll also need start-up money with which to bid. Other than that, you may need to rent a trailer to move the contents of a unit to another location. And, of course, you’ll need a location to store or sell your findings.
  1. Become a Campus Brand Ambassador
Brands are constantly looking for ways to break into the millennial market. If you have great communication skills and a large social circle, this could be right up your alley. Many of these positions are performance based, offering commission and bonuses. With a little willingness to talk to strangers and a charming smile, you could be making friends and money at the same time. Check for listings on popular intern sites such as InternMatch, Internships.com and InternQueen.
What materials you’ll need:
Not much is needed to be a brand ambassador, and if there is, usually the company will supply these to you. A clean shirt is recommended and see if the company can provide some swag to make your job easier.
  1. Start Landscaping and Lawn Mowing
On hot summer days, homeowners don’t want to go outside and mow their own lawn. They would much rather pay a teenage boy twenty dollars to do it for them. But you aren’t a teenage boy. You’re old enough to make sure the work is done correctly, and that gives you an edge. You can also do extensive landscaping – something that teenagers rarely offer.
What materials you’ll need:
As always, you’ll need to market yourself with a website, business cards, and flyers. You’ll also need gardening supplies (Lowe’s is a fantastic resource for this equipment), shears, and (potentially) a lawn mower. Many homes, though, will provide a mower for you.
  1. Shovel Snow
Even more than they don’t want to venture into the heat, homeowners don’t want to venture into the cold. And, while long grass doesn’t stop cars from going down the driveway, snowstorms do. This means that, in the winter, you can make plenty of money by shoveling snow for your neighbors, friends, and family. Since the season is long and weather is unpredictable, some months will be heavy and other months will be light.
What materials you’ll need:
All you need to make a quality snow-shoveling business are a few decent shovels, a handful of business cards, and a single-page website explaining what you offer.
  1. Wash Cars
Some car washes aren’t as quality as car-owners would hope. There’s nothing like washing a car by hand, but that isn’t really offered anymore. Or, is it? By starting your own car washing business, you offer a service that most people can use. Without having to leave their home, car owners can have a clean car that hasn’t been unnecessarily damaged. You can also offer interior cleaning, for an extra cost.
What materials you’ll need:
Just as you’ll need when you clean homes, washing cars will require basic cleaning supplies (soap, sponges, buckets, etc.). You’ll also need an interior vacuum, towels, access to a hose, and weather that doesn’t get in the way of your job.
  1. Review Applications and Resumes
You live on a college campus. The students around you are desperately filling out applications and creating resumes. Whether or not these applications and resumes paint the best picture of the individual, however, is a different story. If you’re interested in PR, or you just enjoy helping other people with their resumes, this could be a great position for you. And you can make a ton of money from the right clients. People are willing to pay if it means they’ll get hired.
What materials you’ll need:
Writing and editing jobs really don’t cost much in the way of start-up fees. However, you will need profiles on websites such as Fiverr and Upwork, and you’ll need to keep those profiles as up-to-date as possible. We suggest making several resume examples, and writing a few blog posts or articles about what companies are looking for in a potential employee.
  1. Offer Editing Services
Again, you can access the world of writing and translation through Upwork or Fiverr, both of which will allow you to offer editing services for a set price. On Upwork, you apply for jobs that are specifically posted. On Fiverr, clients will contact you based on your promotional post. Be specific; what do you enjoy editing? What experience do you have?
What materials you’ll need:
Once again, writing itself doesn’t cost additional start-up money. You just need a computer, a WiFi connection, and a stable place to work. We also suggest a printer and a red pen for serious editing jobs, such as college essays or novels.
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Tag the brand you’re mentioning and disclose the relationship. Publish your post to Facebook (or schedule it for later!) We don’t allow Associates to use keyword bidding or other paid search advertising services like Google AdWords, I have amazon and Ebay affiliate account, my plan was to create a site for amazon product review but Affiliate Marketing. Agency News. Airbnb. How eBay is bidding to protect the 20,000 coronavirus-closed businesses on its platform Ex Apple and Pepsi exec John Sculley offers pandemic brand eBay Partner Network, our affiliate program, offers a way for you to make money by referring buyers to eBay without having to sell or ship anything. All you need is a blog, website, social network, or mobile app to apply to the program where you can earn commissions by sending buyers to eBay. The eBay Affiliate Program has traditionally been one of the most popular options for prospect affiliate marketers. It makes a lot of sense at first glance. If you're selling on eBay anyway, and you sell to visitors funneled from your own website, you can get paid twice. But when we break it down into simpler terms, it usually just focuses on the product’s creator or seller and the affiliate marketer. Generally, you can think of affiliate marketing as the idea of a company selling products or services and then seeking out others to help sell those products or services in exchange for profit-sharing.

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