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BLOGGING While blogs are now so commonplace that it’s near impossible not to have come across one yet, for the purpose of this guide, we shall be discussing:
1) what blogs are,
2) how you can make money from blogging, and 3) how you can setup your own blog and be on your way to financial freedom in 2017.

So what exactly is a blog ?
A weblog, shortened to blog, though similar to a website, is a journal/diary that is usually maintained by one person called the blogger. Usually, blogs can be categorized into niches (fashion, travel, entertainment etc.).

The particular niche determines the content and this reflects the passion of the blogger.
Bloggers are usually very passionate about the niche they write about.
Quality content (blog posts) is the fundamental piece of every blog.

To ensure your blog gets lots of visitors–because you need to have people visiting and reading your blog posts to make it popular and in turn make money–you have to regularly create content (blog posts).
Depending on the niche, your content should be trendy, catchy (you can use lots of pictures) and engaging. You are expected to update your blogs often to maintain readership.
Getting Started Here are the definitions of a few words that will appear regularly in the course of this guide.

Blog (n.) – A blog is an online journal or diary that is available on the Internet.
Blogger (n.) – A blogger is an individual who is the blog owner or a person who is responsible for creating content or posts.

Blog Post (n.) – An article or writing that is inside the blog.
This is content that keeps the readers coming back again.

Blogging (v.) – Is the act of maintaining or writing a blog Blogging is quite an engaging venture. In a featured article “the Billionaire Bloggers” on, it is stated that more than 112 million people in the world blog regularly and there are 13 billionaires out of the 1,125 on the list who are true bloggers. Even billionaires are bloggers…so why not you? Blogging, as a profession, has proven to be very lucrative.

However, not many people have the knowledge and understanding to make a successful career out of blogging. Although creating a very successful blog is no easy feat, as the blogosphere is quite competitive, with a good measure of passion, talent, dedication and good business sense, you can become very successful.

There is a need for bloggers to have a drive, passion and expertise in their respective niches to be successful. However, most of the money made by bloggers doesn’t usually come directly from just blogging. A blog mostly serves as a platform or springboard to launch other products and services that bring in income.

There is no method of making money that is better than the other; they all provide endless possibilities for the blogger. All you have to do is to find a combination that works for you, or create your own. The key to making good money from blogging is to have multiple streams of income from your blog.

For instance, if you blog about travelling, then try selling your service as a booking agent or create an affiliate with travel agencies, hotels or Airbnb.

How to Make Money from Blogging There are lots of ways you can make money from blogging. The ways listed below are just a few. Your reach and readership are the major things that will determine how much you can make, as your window of opportunity is endless when your blog becomes very popular.

Google AdSense: Google AdSense is the most popular way of creating income through blogging. Google AdSense is the ad network powered by Google and it is probably the most popular ad network in the world.

Most of the ads you come across when you surf the web are placed on the website or blogs by Google AdSense. Google AdSense ads come in various shapes and forms; some can be images and others text. They are placed in headers, footers or within posts, and anywhere else the blog owner chooses to display them. AdSense is a good place to start for new bloggers because it is easy to set up.

Advertisers pay money for clicks on their ads that are displayed on your blog.
The key here to reaping lots of benefit from Google AdSense is to create good content and drive as much traffic as you can to your blog. The more people who visit your blog, the greater the likelihood is of them clicking on the ads.

Sponsored Posts:
This is one of the most effective ways that you can make money from your blog through advertising. A sponsored post is a blog post that you are asked to make by a company or organization that is trying to reach readers of your blog. In this type of post, you are most likely commissioned to write about a service or product.

You are expected to show the service or product in a good light so as to encourage your blog readers to consider buying from the company or organization.
It is a good practice to be upfront and clear to your readers on your relationship with the company. It helps to maintain your integrity.

Note: Keep sponsored posts to a minimum as it can be offensive to some readers.
Private Ads: Private ads are unique ads that are not routed through Ad networks.
They are a direct partnership between you, the blogger and the business advertising on your blog. Initial contact can be made by the blogger or by the advertiser.
Be clear on what’s expected by both parties. Not sure what to charge ?

Look around to see what others in your niche charge.
You can often find this information on a blog’s advertising page or media kit.
Not sure of how to get adverts ?
There are ways to reach out to your target companies and one of those ways is to visit similar blogs in your niche and see what’s being advertised there.

Contact those companies and who knows, you may just receive a cheque in the mail.
Affiliate Marketing: The job of an affiliate marketer is to promote someone else’s product or service in a blog post or through other means.

When you create links on your post to that product or service using your unique affiliate link or code, you get paid a commission when someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase (or completes a desired action set by the company).
Affiliate marketing is quite popular among bloggers because of the numerous companies out there who are looking to advertise their products.

For instance, if your niche is sports, you can set up affiliate accounts on the various online sports betting websites and create affiliate links to those websites in your blog post. Sell a product: This is another great way to monetize your blog. The easiest way to monetize your blog is to sell a product or service. You can do this directly by embedding images of the product and a button that says “buy now”.

You will want to mention the price but only after a well-written sales copy. It is a good idea to include “bonuses” if possible. This is mostly done when selling digital products such as courses or ebooks. There are basically two types of products you can sell on your blog; physical products and digital products.

Physical Products:
Platforms like Shopify and Woo Commerce have made it cheaper than ever for anyone to create an online store to sell physical products online. Selling physical products online may be a bit difficult due to the various logistics involved but you can find companies that offer white label or drop shipping services, which frees up your time for driving traffic and creating quality content.

Digital Products: If you can’t deal with the challenge of selling physical products, you can opt for selling digital products; how-to videos, recipes, hacks, training courses, or even software, all of which can be delivered electronically.

For instance, Brian Dean, internet marketer and SEO guru, runs a successful SEO membership site called SEO He tutors people on how to make their website or blog such that it is optimized for search engines. It costs about $2000 to join, and he has had many happy members as part of his program.

How to Setup Your Blog If you are convinced about the prospects of blogging, then you should give it a try. First off, before building your blog, you have to decide on the name and niche you would like to blog about. The trick here is to first find your passion.

This will be necessary in the long run because you want to blog about something you know well. You will have to continuously post updates or new things, and the only way to really stay on top of that is to be motivated through your passions.

Once that is taken care of, you should pick a name that is catchy, easy to pronounce and available for domain registration. The next step is to install Word Press and design your theme and layout. Most web hosting companies offer pre-set themes and layouts on Word Press for bloggers.

If you have no knowledge of website design, I would suggest you make use of the hosting sites that offer a “one click” Word Press setup for you. There are various platforms like Wix and Bluehost that offer such features. Then, install plugins to allow for sharing of your posts. This allows readers to share your blog posts on major social media platforms like Facebook and twitter. It gives you more visibility and would help drive traffic to your blog.

Finally, create great content. Compelling content will keep the blog visitor coming back and will encourage sharing of your posts, which will ultimately drive traffic to your blog! Make sure you write and publish regularly, make great use of your network to promote your blog and who knows, you may just be on your way to becoming the next Mashable or TechCrunch. I would advise you to check out Forbes list of the world top 10 richest bloggers for some inspiration and wisdom.

CHAPTER 2 – AMAZON FBA Amazon FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) has become very popular, especially since 2014. This business model is geared towards physical products only, the categories of which will be mentioned later below. Perhaps the reason for its popularity comes from the fact that anyone can sell their physical products online, without having to be a business person necessarily.

A lot of the risk is removed, as Amazon handles all of the inventory storage, shipping and customer service. This is a great advantage because one does not need to take the risk of opening a warehouse, whereas a traditional business owner would not have this luxury. Furthermore, Amazon is very popular and it has lots of traffic already, so finding customers is made easier.

Statistics show that 44% of all ecommerce happens on Amazon.
That is huge considering other popular online stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, and eBay are also trying to sell their products online. While both of the advantages of not needing a warehouse and not worrying too much about traffic are great, there are fees associated with this service that Amazon provides.

The rule of thumb is that Amazon FBA will take about 1/3 of the selling price of your product. However, the fees vary depending on how large and how heavy your product is. There are several sizing categories such as small standard size, large standard size, small oversize, medium oversize, large oversize and special oversize.

Each of the dimensions of these sizes can be found on the Amazon website.
Furthermore, if the product is heavier than 20 lbs, then it is considered to be oversized. Amazon Categories The physical product categories are listed below. It is important to note that Amazon is continuously making changes and may add or remove a category.

Amazon Device Accessories Amazon Kindle Automotive & Powersports Baby Products (Excluding Apparel) Beauty Books Business Products (B2B) Camera & Photo Cell Phones Clothing & Accessories Collectible Coins Electronics (Accessories) Electronics (Consumer) Fine Art Grocery & Gourmet Food Handmade Health & Personal Care Historical & Advertising Collectibles Home & Garden Industrial & Scientific Luggage & Travel Accessories Music Musical Instruments Personal Computers Professional Services Shoes,

Handbags & Sunglasses Software & Computer Games Sports Sports Collectibles Sports Collectibles Tools & Home Improvement Tools & Home Improvement Toys & Games Video Games & Video Game Consoles Video, DVD, & Blu-Ray Watches Wine Out of these,
there are certain “restricted” categories and not everyone can sell products belonging to these categories.

Below is a list of 22 restricted categories that require approval from Amazon before sellers can sell corresponding products. Amazon may make changes to them, so it is important to double check the categories on the Amazon website before you launch a product online.
To gain access to these categories, Amazon has an approval process which often involves providing invoices and other documentation to Amazon.

I would suggest that you avoid these categories if you are launching your product for the first time. Automotive & Powersports Beauty Clothing & Accessories Collectible Books Collectible Coins Entertainment Collectibles Fine Art Gift Cards Grocery & Gourmet Foods Health & Personal Care Independent Design Jewelry Luggage & Travel Accessories Major Appliances Services Sexual Wellness Shoes,

Handbags & Sunglasses Sports Collectibles Textbook Rentals Video, DVD, & Blu-ray Watches Wine Getting Started There are many ways to sell on Amazon FBA including Retail Arbitrage, Online Arbitrage and Private Labeling.
Retail Arbitrage is basically the practice of buying cheap products from big block stores or thrift stores and selling them online under existing Amazon listings.

Online Arbitrage is the practice of buying products online from other websites such as eBay and selling them on Amazon to make a profit. It is important to note that Amazon has made it a lot harder for people to sell through Retail and Online Arbitrage because it is catering more towards brands.

Therefore, it is probably best to avoid these two methods and go for the third option of Private Labeling. Private Labeling requires more work but has a lot of advantages.
Firstly, you can create your own listing for your product, since it is for your own brand.

This gives you leverage because others cannot sell your branded product unless you give them permission to do so. Secondly, as your brand grows, you can add more products and have a real business of your own. In any case, the remaining section of this chapter will focus on Private Labeling.

There are essentially four steps to launching your own private label product:
Product Research, Setting up Your Seller Central Account, Finding a Supplier, and Product Launch. Product Research Not every product will sell well on Amazon.

After selecting your category, you will need to look at existing products on Amazon before you can select a product of your own. To figure out demand for a product, you will need to look at the BSR (Best Seller Rank).

The BSR is located on the listing page of almost every product on Amazon under the
“Product Detail” section. A BSR of 10 would mean that product is selling a lot, maybe hundreds of units per day; while a BSR of 100,000 would mean that the product is not
selling well at all.

The other thing to look for is the number of reviews of existing products on Amazon.
If your competition has 1,000+ reviews and multiple brands have high reviews,
then it is a good idea to avoid such a product.

This is because when you launch your product, you will only have a few reviews.
Most of the buyers on Amazon look at reviews before buying so your sales will be low.
There is software that make product research easier. One of the most popular of such software is Jungle Scout.

On their website, there is a free tool called Jungle Scout Estimator. You basically select a category and enter  a BSR, after which it will display the number of units being sold per month. It is a good idea to check and see how many sales your competitors are getting per day before you launch your product.

Jungle Scout also has some paid tools you can use that will give you additional information such as estimated monthly revenue, FBA fees, number of reviews, number of sellers, etc.
The two main points to keep in mind are that you are looking for a product with low reviews and a low BSR (which means high sales). It may be frustrating but eventually you will find a product you like.

I would advise to go for a product that is relatively lightweight, because heavy products have their own issues. Normally you want to look for a product that weighs between 0.5 to 2 lbs. The price will also matter because if it is too low, then your profit margin will also be low, and can even lead to loss upon launch.

The price range should be between 15 and 60 dollars for standard sized products,
but you can target higher prices if your product is heavy or very large. A good tool to use is the Amazon FBA Calculator, which will show you the FBA fees the existing sellers are paying to sell their products.

You can simply enter an ASIN (a unique Amazon listing identifier) and Amazon will
provide all of the details. It will take a week or more to find the product you are satisfied with. It is important to stay patient and not become frustrated, as many products will either have too many reviews, or the BSRs may not be great, or the price might be too low. In the end, once you have your product, it is time to move on to the next step.

Setting Up Your Seller Account To set up your seller account, you will need to go to After arriving here, you will need to provide basic information such as name, email and address. Once you have your login,
you will be presented with two options.

You can either choose a professional selling plan or an individual selling plan.
The professional plan has a monthly fee depending on which online country you are selling on (i.e.,,,, etc).

For in USA, the fee is $40 per month and other platforms have similar professional selling fees. These fees are for your seller account and should not be confused with FBA fees, which are related to your product.

For a private label product that you are trying to launch, you will likely need a professional plan. Therefore, you will need a credit card so that Amazon can charge you the monthly fee.
It is important to note that you will be charged a monthly fee regardless of whether you make any sales or not.

You will also need to provide banking information so that Amazon can deposit the revenue from your sales into your bank account. Not all bank accounts from different countries are supported, but many countries have been incorporated by Amazon including Canada, UK, Germany and others. After your basic information has been inputted, it is time to move on to finding a supplier.

Finding a Supplier
The most popular website to find a supplier is
Most of the suppliers on here are Chinese but other countries are also available.
You will need to contact many suppliers for the product of your choice because not everyone will reply. Since China has a different time zone, it will likely be night there while it is daytime in North America.
As such you will likely be corresponding every 24 hours. o filter your suppliers, you can select many options including “gold supplier” and “trade assurance.” These checks are put on Alibaba to ensure that you do not get scammed by anyone.
Once you are ready to contact the suppliers,

it is a good idea to ask them the following questions:
1) What is the minimum order quantity ?
2) Can you label this product with my brand name ?
3) How many days will it take to produce X amount of units ?
4) What is your quote for door to door shipping from China to the Amazon warehouse in the USA (or whichever marketplace you are selling on) using UPS, DHL or FedEx ?
5) What is the weight and size of one product ?
6) How many days will it take to ship the products once they are ready ?
7) Can you make special packaging if we provide the package design files ?

After a few days, you will begin to receive responses.
It is important to look at the price, lead time and reputation of the supplier. The lead time is usually around 1 month but if you see something like 2 or 3 months, you may want to ask the supplier to reduce it as much as possible.

The most important thing to decide at this stage is whether you will be able to make a profit after subtracting FBA fees (which you can get from the Amazon FBA calculator through a simple Google search), shipping costs and product costs.
If the costs are too high, it may be a good idea to return to the product selection stage.
The payment terms will also be important.

Normally you want to pay 30% down payment and then 70% after productiois complete (but before your supplier ships to the Amazon warehouse). In any case, once you are satisfied with the data you have, you can choose a supplier.

The selected supplier will likely need the shipping address, as well as your billing information. The shipping address will come from your Amazon seller account once you create a “shipping plan” online. Amazon will ask you to input the supplier name, address and the number of units you will be shipping.

Once that is complete, you will be provided with a PDF file that contains Shipping Labels and also the shipping address. This file and information will then go to your supplier. Product Launch While you are waiting for your products to be manufactured, you can work on things such as your Amazon listing images, keywords, and description.

All three of these things are important because they will ultimately decide if customers want to buy your product or not. You can outsource the description and images or create them by yourself. The keywords are important because your listing will be indexed by Amazon depending on what keywords you choose.

There are free and paid tools available to determine the best keywords. A free tool is Google trends, which shows you the search frequency of a given keyword. Alternatively, you can use Merchant Words, which costs $30 a month to use. Merchant Words gives you data about the number of monthly searches that are occurring on Amazon for each keyword.

You will want to find the most highly searched keywords and insert them into your title without making it seem obvious. Once your listing is complete, the only remaining thing is the receipt of your inventory. Once your supplier ships the inventory, you can ask them to provide a tracking number. This tracking number can be inputted into your Amazon seller account, which will automatically track and update the status.

On your seller account dashboard, the inventory will first show as zero.
Once the inventory is delivered to the warehouse, there will be a slight delay
(a few days) before all of the inventory changes from the “Receiving” status to the
“Received” status. Once it is received, your products are officially live on Amazon.

Now, it is time to market your product and advertise it as much as possible.
You will want to create a Facebook page and run Amazon Sponsored Ads.
These ads will place you at the top of the search results and you will only be charged once someone clicks on your listing.

These ads can be worth it if you are not spending too much and you are getting lots
of sales through them. The Product Launch stage is difficult.
You will want to do a contest, or even giveaways of your products to create
a buzz around your brand.

When you begin to get lots of sales, Amazon will rank your product higher and higher until you reach the top of the search results for your main keywords without needing Amazon Sponsored Ads. However, it is still a good idea to keep running the ads because they will
give you boost.

Once you begin to sell, your inventory will decrease as the days go by. It is important to keep track of your inventory so that you can order more at the right time from your supplier. As you begin to see your inventory fly in and out, you will realize that you have indeed launched a business online that is running almost automatically !

is a great hobby for many and a good source
of income for some. A lot of professional photographers claim that making money
from photography is becoming harder by the day, but photographers that have come
to appreciate the benefits of the Internet are reaping quite a bounty from their work.

There are a lot of opportunities for photographers to make money online and I will show you a few methods. Whatever your interest in photography; be it job or hobby, there are numerous ways you can make money from photography.

All that is required is your camera, an online presence and some creativity.
Getting Started It is advisable that you take a short online course on photography;
that is if you are not already a photographer.
There is in-depth knowledge that you must have in order to excel in this business.  Online courses typically cover all of that and more.

This will only make you a better photographer.
Even if you already have experience in photography, it won’t hurt to take a refresher course.
It can help show you new ways of doing things and the new technology that is being used currently.

There are a number of tutors offering photography courses on Udemy.
How to Become a Successful Photographer
The scope of this guide may not cover the techniques and practice of photography,
but that’s why I have encouraged you to take online courses.

Sell Stock Photography You are already taking pictures; you have lots of portfolios filled with them.If this is the case, you can make good money selling stock photographs. Stock photographs are professional photographs of places, nature, events, people, public buildings or landmarks.

This kind of photography has applications in articles, advert campaigns or anything really. So, that photograph taken on your camping trip with Uncle Ben could just be worth some dollars. Selling stock photography is a great way to earn passive income because you would have taken the picture anyway.

So, why not make money from it. There quite a number of platforms you can register with to upload your photographs for sale. The most popular are Shutter stock, Getty Image, Stocksy and Istock.

There is one thing to take note of before you register and start selling your photos.
Take the time to read and understand the terms and conditions of the platform you are working with. Some of them prohibit you from licensing the same photographs with other platforms while others have limits on how much you must accrue from sales before any withdrawal can be made.

Read carefully and when in doubt, do not hesitate to seek clarification from their respective customer support teams. Sell Prints If you are feeling a little adventurous, then I would ask that you sell prints. This will take you out of your comfort zone.
With selling prints, you will be required to research what images sell the most.

A simple search on Google could sort this out quickly. You may also be required to host your own photography website, where you will be charged with the responsibility of generating traffic to your website. Aside from implementing SEO strategies, you will need to make good use of social media to promote your website.

There are platforms that you can use to outsource the tasks of transaction handling, shipping and printing. This allows you to focus on taking great pictures and promoting your website. SmugMug and Pixieset have great platforms for new photographers who are looking to sell their photographs online.

This avenue is quite more profitable that uploading a stock photograph to major platforms. Here you can set your own pricing,
terms and for the most part you are free to decide how you operate.
The major task here is to invest in driving traffic to your website.
You will need to blog while you’re at it too, so you can create content for visitors outside of the images that you want to sell. This investment could be worthwhile when you start making at least a small income online.

The Internet has changed the world we live in.
Emails have replaced letters.
Skype is now the new telephone exchange.
We seldom rush down to the mall for purchases, but we can buy a house off the Internet.
This is the world we live in today. Reading is gradually evolving just like the dissemination
of information. Our whole lives have changed.
This is the power of the Internet.

The Internet has opened a new vista of opportunity to make money and for businesses to expand into new markets. Before now, say some 25 years back, in order to get access to books you needed to visit the library. There were giant publishers that ensured our cravings for knowledge were satisfied but somewhere along the line came the Internet to change the status quo.

We now have Kindle and CreateSpace, ebooks have become a part of our vocabulary, many online businesses are starting up and the best part is that the promoters are just like you. You can take on the world by publishing ebooks. The big publishing houses may be closing down, but you’ve just opened up for business.

The world is at your feet and ripe for the taking.
Do you want to change your life and find financial freedom ?
Then this is just right for you. Ebooks, as the name implies, are electronic books
which can be  downloaded online. Before now, writers would put together their manuscript and go shopping for publishers.

Many times, good manuscripts found their place in the trashcan because the publishers didn’t see any value in them. Several good writers have been frustrated by the cabalistic actions of publishers. But not anymore! Books can be written and published straight from your living room to the world.

Your ideas now truly have wings !
Getting Started With ebooks, you don’t have to worry about all the attendant challenges of traditional publishing. There is no need for expensive on paper or printing cost or having to deal with creating, storing, indexing or selling the hard copy. You are digital, you create your book, format it for Kindle and CreateSpace, and then you publish.

There are no publishing houses or administrative bureaucracy here.
There are no forced lunches or smiling for the cameras (except if your book makes it to film). You are your own boss! With ebooks, the scope of what you can write is wider. You can tailor your subject to any desired niche.

You can create write-ups on travel, romance, fiction, technology or just about anything. As long as there is a market, you can write your heart out. The Internet is filled with success stories of many self-published authors. Hugh Howey and Amanda Hocking are just a few of the names that have made it big as self-published authors.

E.L. James, the author of 50 Shades of Grey, is also one of the names that has made it big through self publishing. Where You Sell Where to sell your book should be the least of your problems, the Internet has a lot of options for you. You can create your own website and sell your books on your platform, all it takes is just integrating a payment solution like
PayPal onto it.

Your customers will just get a download link to get the book after payment.
Another easy place to sell your ebooks is through Amazon.
They are the largest marketplace for ebooks now with their Kindle (KDP) and CreateSpace. Amazon has the reach that gives your ebook the visibility it needs.

Did you know that 38% of daily sales of ebooks on Amazon are from Self-published authors? To get on a Kindle you just sign up, upload your ebook and get your sales.

Marketing Your Ebook Ebook publishers have the advantage of using different channels to market their books. I suggest that you approach the marketing of your EBook from a range of angles. The best part is he Amazon has a program called KDP Select, in which you can use Amazon sponsored ads.

These ads are great because they put your book at the top of the search results for your desired keyword. Upon launching, it is advisable that you create buzz around the launch. Promote your book on your social media channels by providing links to your website so that interested parties can click on it and make a purchase Share your networks and encourage others to share too. To get users interested, you can offer a snap preview for readers.

This serves as a teaser to encourage their purchasing of your books. Do’s and Don’ts There are a few things you need to know when you make the decision to create an ebook. There are a few rules you have to keep in mind to avoid the pitfalls along the way. Making money from self-publishing is not so much of a smooth ride.

What will set you apart are the strategies you apply to creating and marketing your ebook. Below I have listed a few things to look out for and avoid: Avoid stress. Create an outline before you start writing. Set a schedule of how you will work. You can’t be working all day, create a schedule, and let it guide your work.

The schedule is also to help you guide how you market your book and go through all the steps required to get your book to market. Write about what you are confident about and only what you know. Use easy language. Don’t make your writing difficult to understand. Proofread your manuscripts and correct all grammatical errors, misspellings, etc.

Ask a friend to help double check for errors.
Create a professional look with your layout and cover.
Invest in a good design; people really do judge a book by its cover.
Ebook publishing is for the discerning author. You don’t have to have massive skill in writing, you can explore the option of using a ghostwriter to write while you publish it in your name. This is one of the ways some smart investors have chosen to take advantage
of the e-publishing world.

There has been a lot of buzz recently about this kind of investment stream.
This is largely due to the consistently positive returns most operators have been seeing. Peer to peer lending, P2P lending, platform lending, or social lending,
as it’s sometimes called, is now a veritable source of earning passive income
from a financial investment.

Reports have had it that while deposit certificates are returning annualized yields of 1.33% to 1.7% on money market and savings accounts still going at 0.54%, it is bound to create a buzz when you hear P2P lending returning annualized yields of between 5% and 15%, depending on the risk profile of the target investment.

What is P2P lending and how is it able to generate so much revenue ?
This is the same question on the lips of some of the smartest investors looking
to take advantage of the business tide. I have gone on to try it myself and I will detail a step-by-step guide on how to invest in P2P lending platforms, what you need to look out for, as well as the risk factors and how to mitigate them.

This investment is very profitable. Aside from the monetary benefits you derive as an investor, it is safe to assume that you are also encouraged by the desire to do some good. Peer-to-peer lending uses the principle of crowdsourcing.

The platform pools together lenders looking for individuals or businesses to finance at a rate that is way above the market rate, and there are no hassles of paperwork. Peer to peer lending is a social gathering of individuals who pull resources together to finance loans for individuals or small businesses outside the traditional financial system.

Let us assume that a registered member (John) of XYZ social lending platform needs $2,000 to start-up his small business. He can request for such a business from the platform.
The moderators assess his eligibility and rate his credit worthiness after which, if found good enough for the business, his application gets a nod for bidding by potential investors.
Investors decide on how much they want to invest at all times.

Of the $2,000 request, he could have as much as 20 people pool the resources for him or even one person offer the loan to him. All of these are managed by the moderators of the platform. The money pooled by the individuals represents a percentage investment in the facility. For instance, John gets the loan at 25% the lending platform aggregates the sum and pays out an amount monthly to the investors according to their invested amounts.

These platforms like Lending Club (one of the biggest social lending platforms on the Internet) handle all transactions and communications between you, the investor and the one seeking the loan. You may not handle the process, but you have a choice of deciding your risk exposure.

Getting Started To start investing in P2P, it is important to have an objective.
There is a need here to apply a specific strategy which is born out of your objectives.

Why do you want to invest in P2P ?
Does the investment profile fit your personality ?
How much are you looking to invest ?
And how do you want to allocate your investment ?
Because the choice of what to invest in lies solely in your palms,
you have to develop and apply a strategy.

You could try to give loans out only to small businesses because of the security associated with such loans, or your focus could be on people in certain kinds of employment. Whatever your strategy, research and stick with it. You may have to fine tune it as you go along, but it is important that you stick with it.

Do not sway. Social Lending Platforms
These are the platform on which lending and borrowing take place.
his platform mirrors your social network and it brings together people of like minds looking to invest. Investment in these platforms takes the form of committing to providing a loan to any of the many eligible applicants on the platform.

There are a few leading platforms on the Internet. Let us look at their facts and figures to see if it’s convincing enough to encourage you to consider this investment asset. Lending Club: This is currently the biggest and the most popular social lending platform. They started back in 2007 and since then, they have been providing investors and borrowers alike a stable business model for all to thrive.

There are two loan categories: individuals and businesses. Individuals are offered facilities between $1,000 - $35,000, and businesses between $15,000 and $300,000. They properly vet borrowers and classify them into grades according to their credit score. The grading is also the determinate to how much money they can request.

For investors, a minimum investment of $1,000 is required to be listed on Lending
Club. Interest rates range from the type of loans you opt to invest in and the amount you put up. Prosper Loans: They started out in 2006. Unlike Lending Club, they only provide loans to individuals. Their loan amount ranges from $2,000 - $35,000.

The minimum investment with Prosper is $25. With just $25, you can start offering loans to borrowers. Prosper is a good start for those trying out P2P for the first time without having to risk large initial capital. You can create and test strategies and once you get a hang of them, you can then raise your investment or move to a larger platform. Upstart: They have just recently launched.

They came on stream in 2014 and in that time have been able to raise over
$300 million in loans. Their target audience includes young professionals, recent graduates and startups. The loan term is fixed for 4 – 5 years and interest rates are between 4% and 26%. The minimum investment with Upstart is $100. Upstart is the game changer here. Where other platforms charge an origination fee to the lender’s account,
Upstart does so to the borrower.

They also bear the risk of any default should it occur
(mind you, they have the best repayment rates 94%).
You get your money back paid in full by Upstart. With this platform you don’t get to pick your borrower, you instead invest in a grade. Benefits of Social Lending
This is an inexpensive way to set up a loan shark.

Ideally, if you were to invest in a loan shark business, you would have to take into consideration a lot of factors, from permits to office, stationery, advertising, investing in debt collection, etc. And you would deal solely with defaults which in some cases could destroy your business. With social lending, you also have that capacity.

You don’t have to allocate a large sum of your investment, as a small sum can give you an aggregated advantage as if you had invested a large amount. Your investment is fairly safe since the moderators tend to conduct proper background and credit rating checks to further guarantee the security of your investment.

They provide quick and easy facilities for borrowers usually over the Internet, and without the hassles of paperwork. For the investor, with startups like Upstart, this is a safe and inexpensive way to earn regular income for your investment.

Risk The high yield is a tradeoff for risk. This is not to say that the process or investment is a cesspit where money can just vanish but your exposure is way higher here than with traditional investment assets. The first risk to consider is default.

Default: P2P loan platforms are largely non-collateralized loan facilities,
they are similar in that way to credit card advances. With a non-collateralized facility comes the high risk of default. In this case here, the consequence the borrower incurs is a negative on his credit score and the attendant charges on his loan.

There is no car or house to repossess.
Be mindful and make sure that the promised return is worth the inherent risk.
However, reports published by Lending Club showed defaults were very minimal and also statistical financial reports have shown lower rates of defaults on unsecured loans than their secure counterparts.

Lack of Government Backing:
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ensures and guarantees investors
funds in deposit certificates and treasury bills but that is not the case with P2P lending.
The investment is not insured and you stand the risk of losing both capital and and any gains. Liquidity Risk: Unlike stocks and bonds, you can’t just opt out of the blue and liquidate your investment in P2P.

Because of the nature of the investment, you may have to wait out the tenure. Mitigating the Risk There are several ways you can minimize your risk exposure and still benefit from the high yield profile of P2P. There are a few strategies I will show you that will help you decide on the best course of action to take.

Diversification: it is advised that rather than place a lump sum investment in a single loan, it will be smart to place smaller sums on multiple loans so in case one should default, you don’t lose all your money and interest. Strategy:

Develop a strategy and hedge against default. One such way to do this is to spread your investments across different platforms. Leverage the individuality of the Lending Club and hedge with Upstart. It may sound a little complex but in simple terms, the Lending Club allows you to pick your investments, which in turn gives you a greater perspective on how your money should be used.

You can maximize your returns here. Upstart can be used to hedge against loss on the Lending Club since Upstart takes full responsibility of defaults. This business would require further study, and I advise that you start out with Prosper to learn the ropes. After that you can move on to the others. This is one fine way of making money.
Take advantage of this opportunity.

VIDEOGRAPHY Videography,
like photography, is a great hobby for many and a good source of income. A lot of professional videographers are now able to make more money due to the Internet and social media. Businesses looking to place adverts on social media platforms are turning to videographers to shoot a compelling clip that advertises their business.

There are a lot of opportunities for videographers to make money online and I will be showing you a few of them. No matter if you pick up the camera as a hobby or if you are a professional, there are numerous ways you can make money from your craft. All that is required is your camera, an online presence, creativity and promotion.

Getting Started To derive maximum benefit from this business, it is advisable that you take a short online course on videography and video editing; that is if you are not actively creating videos as of now or you know next to nothing about the craft.

There is special knowledge you must have if you are to succeed in this business,
some of which includes lighting, camera angles, focus, editing, etc.
Online courses will cover all of that and more. There are new technologies, animated effects, editing, and proofing. You can get training from any online course marketplace.

How to Make Money In this guide, I will be showing you opportunities you can take advantage of in your business. Below are just a few ways to monetize videos.
Sell Stock Videos Stock videos are professional videos of places, nature, events, people, public buildings or landmarks.

This kind of video, depending on its quality and subject, can have applications in documentaries, advertising campaigns, or any other form of commercial purpose.
There are quite a number of platforms you can register with to upload your videos for sale. The most popular ones are Getty Image, Stocksy and Istock.

Promote on YouTube Uploading your video to YouTube is a great way to make money that will also help to promote your craft. If you are a nature lover, you can create a video journal documenting your exploits on YouTube, and gain subscribers from fellow enthusiasts. Great partnerships have been known to form from these sites. You never know, you could possibly find your video on National Geographic.

Make Promotional Videos
There are a lot of businesses looking for videographers to help create them professional videos for promotional purposes. With your experience and expertise,
you can excel at such jobs. You could also create videos for ceremonies such as weddings and graduations. One other way you can monetize your skill is to shoot videos for musicians, local bands and theatrical plays. You can even have a partner write screenplays while you shoot them.

The videos can be uploaded to YouTube or sold to television channels.
One of the major social networks you can utilize to promote your work and website is Instagram. It is also a fertile ground for collaboration. As you grow your social media following, look out for companies you can collaborate with. One aspect of promotion
that must not be overlooked is using SEO to improve your ranking.

On your website, include the right keywords in your titles and implement meta-tagging.
The key is to find the right keywords that would display your site when clients search Google for photographers or anything relating to photography. Affiliate Marketing One fun way to make money from your already growing popularity is affiliate marketing.

You are already on your way to gaining those one million followers, so why not utilize your growing followership to become an affiliate for some products. The process is easy. You would only be required to sign up online, and once approved, you can start posting links alongside the content that brings the followers back.

Companies like Amazon Associates have great affiliate programs that you can take advantage of. Freelancing Freelancing is another great way to make money as a videographer. Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr provide you with a base to market
your works to customers who need it.

If these sites don’t fulfill that need, you can try videography specific platforms like Thumbtack and Video To Order. The process of getting jobs there is quite straight forward, just place bids for listed offers and if you win the bid, you get the job.

Simple! Teach This is one way you can earn more money. There are a couple of people interested in videography but do not know where to start. You can share what you know with them and get paid.

There are several ways to do this.
You can create an online course for aspiring videographers or create a YouTube series that focuses videography basics. Online Video Editor Your knowledge in video editing is also a marketable skill.

Just as you use it to better your craft, you can also offer it as a service on your website.
Interested clients can upload their videos to your website and you can help them by editing for a fee.



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