Help Getting Started

A Unique Way to Make Money on Amazon: How I Earn $1,500 a Month

You’re probably already a fan of Amazon as a consumer, since it makes it easy and affordable to order the items you need.

But have you considered how to turn Amazon into your business partner?

Over the past 11 months, I’ve created a business selling private-label products on Amazon — buying a generic product, then selling it under my own brand. The result: a steady, mostly passive income of between $1,000 and $2,000 a month.

Essentially, the business involves finding generic products that are already selling well on Amazon, creating your own packaging and logo, and marketing them better than your competition.

Sound appealing? Let’s break it down step by step for an actionable look at how to build your own private-label business.

Before diving in, though, it’s important to understand this isn’t a get-rich-quick strategy.

While you can realistically make hundreds or thousands of extra dollars per month, it takes diligence, patience and a willingness to see an idea through from start to finish. To be most successful, set your expectations accordingly.

Still interested? Let’s get started.

Step 1: Research and Select a Product

This is arguably the most important and time-consuming step in the process, but the friendly folks at Amazon lighten the burden a bit by pointing you in the right direction.

That’s because the site releases detailed lists of their best-selling products. While the lists are designed to give consumers a chance to see what’s popular, you can use them to your advantage, too.

The best-seller rankings essentially serve as your pre-market product research. Instead of developing a product and then testing to see if it sells well, you can start by seeing if the product sells well and then make a decision regarding whether or not you want to pursue it.

When mining Amazon’s top-100 rankings for each category, be on the lookout for items that are lightweight, high-ranking and generic.

Generic refers to something like a water bottle, silicone spatula or flashlight — all items that can easily be produced with your own brand and packaging. In other words, you wouldn’t want to select a product that’s brand-driven — such as an iPhone or Nike running shoes — because those are protected products that can’t be private labeled.

Once you find a product that you’re interested in, it’s time for phase two of the product research stage.

Check Out the Competition

During this phase, study your competition to see how they’re doing.

For example, let’s say the product you’ve honed in on is an insulated water bottle. While you may know from the top-100 rankings one insulated water bottle brand sells well, you need to learn more about the competitive landscape.

Using the search box at the top of Amazon, run a query for “insulated water bottle” and review the results.

Open up the first five listings and record the following information in a spreadsheet: price, number of reviews, Amazon best-sellers rank and quality of listing. The latter point is discretionary, but after doing some research, you’ll quickly be able to tell the difference between a good listing and a bad one.

Using the information you gather from these five listings, which serve as your sample of the marketplace, determine whether the opportunity is worth pursuing.

Ideally, you want to see the following in your spreadsheet:

  • An average price point between $10 and $40
  • Low numbers of reviews (though a higher number isn’t a deal-breaker)
  • The majority of the best-sellers ranks below 1,000
  • Average or low-quality listings

Don’t be afraid if you can’t find a product right away. It usually takes me hours of research to find an opportunity I believe will work.

However, let’s say your research for insulated water bottles met all of these requirements. Now you’re ready to find a supplier.

Step 2: Find and Contact a Supplier

Once you know you have a good product opportunity, it’s time to find a supplier.

While it’s possible — depending on the product — you could find a supplier in the U.S., it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find a cost-effective one. Trust me on this one and head over to Alibaba to look for an international supplier.

Start your supplier search by entering the same key phrase into the Alibaba search box. In this case, a simple search of “insulated water bottle” will give you thousands of different products and suppliers.

Find the style you’re looking for and research a few different suppliers. Depending on how thorough their listings are, you can usually see the required minimum order quantity (MOQ), price range, style options, lead time and whether they allow for private labeling. However, you’ll need to email the supplier to get an accurate quote for your order.

I’ve found suppliers are willing to negotiate, even on your first order. While they may claim their MOQ is 500 or 1,000 units, it’s entirely possible to talk them down to, say, 250 or 300 units.

Generally, there’s also room for negotiating prices. Just act confident and pretend you’ve been there before — even if you haven’t!

Step 3: Get Your Logo, Design and Packaging

To save time and streamline the process, you can often work on step three alongside step two.

Once you’ve found a supplier who’s willing to let you private label the product, you have to choose your marketing materials. Don’t worry, though — you don’t have to create them yourself!

Use a website like Fiverr or Upwork to hire professional designers at competitive prices.

On Fiverr, you simply search for designers and then send them your job proposal. On Upwork (formerly Elance), you’ll actually create a project proposal and have designers bid for your project. I’ve used both sites, but prefer Elance/Upwork for packaging and logo design.

Assuming you’ve had time to develop a brand name during this process, you’ll want your designer to create a logo that represents your brand and vibrant packaging that sets it apart from your competitors — the ones listed in your spreadsheet from step one.

Once you have your design files, send them over to your supplier and tell them to proceed with your order.

Step 4: Craft a Compelling Listing

Depending on your supplier’s lead time, you could wait anywhere from 10 to 30 days for your shipment to arrive.

Use this time wisely. Start by focusing on your listing. Follow Amazon’s directions and protocol for creating a seller account and then create a listing for your product.

To create a compelling listing:

  • Use high quality images
  • Clearly explain how the product works
  • Describe why it’s valuable
  • Highlight what sets it apart from the competition

While you’ll have to work within the constraints of what Amazon does and does not allow on listings, you should be able to use bolded text and bullet points to accentuate key facts.

As you likely noticed during step one, many sellers don’t do a good job with their listings, yet still sell well. Can you imagine how many more units they would sell with descriptive listings?

This is your chance to set your product apart and differentiate your brand as knowledgeable and informative.

Step 5: Use Fulfillment by Amazon to Create Passive Income

Some of you are probably saying, “This whole process doesn’t sound like passive income.”

Well, up until now, you may be right. However, assuming you did a thorough job in the previous steps, you’re almost ready to sit back and reap the benefits.

Thanks to the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program, you don’t have to manage the monotony of picking, packing and shipping orders.

While FBA takes a small percentage of your profits, it’s well worth it for most sellers. Your shipping costs are included in the fees and your products automatically become eligible for free Prime shipping, which could help you make more sales.

Plus, FBA sellers often enjoy higher search rankings than non-FBA sellers. While Amazon hasn’t officially confirmed this, I’ve noticed it with my own products and friends have seen similar benefits.

For detailed information on how to setup an FBA listing, how it works, pricing, success stories, and more, check out Amazon’s guide for getting started.

Once you set up your listing and ship your products to the distribution center, you can be as hands-off as you’d like. When a customer makes a purchase, you don’t even have to lift a finger. Amazon’s fulfillment centers take care of everything, including returns and customer service issues.

Step 6: Make Your First Sale

In any business or industry, the first sale is typically the hardest to make. You don’t have a reputation or any existing customers, so it can be challenging to convince someone to purchase your product.

Many sellers run some sort of sale or discount during a product’s launch. By reducing the price, you lower the customer’s perceived risk and entice them to take a chance on your product.

You can also use Amazon’s internal advertising system, which allows you to pay for your product to be listed in relevant on-site searches. This is a great way to increase visibility and attract an initial burst of sales.

Another option is to use Google AdWords to drive traffic to your listing. While AdWords will be more expensive, I tend to generate more sales from it than from other methods.

While these are the most common strategies, there are hundreds of other ways to increase sales and traffic. This is where you can get creative and have fun with your product!

Or, if everything is working on its own, simply sit back and let the passive income accumulate.

How Much Could You Earn With a Private-Label Business?

Since different types of products have different price points and associated costs, these numbers are estimates. However, here’s an idea of your potential earnings.

Products that rank within the top 100 in their category often bring in thousands of dollars per day in revenue. Products that rank in the top 500 typically produce hundreds of dollars per day. Even a product in the top 2,000 to 3,000 can earn you a steady supplemental income.

While it’s difficult to estimate the initial investment for your own private-label brand, since it depends on your product, I can give you an idea of how much I spent on my first one, a basic grilling accessory.

I ordered 500 units at a per-unit cost of $3.20. In addition to the $1,600 cost of initial inventory, I spent around $400 to design my packaging and logo, start a website, set up my Amazon business account and pay other minor expenses. So launching my first private-label brand cost me about $2,000.

However, I know people who spent only a few hundred dollars getting their first brand off the ground — and also people who spent many thousands.

Look for a healthy profit margin. I like to aim for a per-unit profit margin of at least 50%. It all depends on the product, but there’s a niche for every budget.

While there’s a lot of information in this guide, it’s by no means comprehensive. Dig around, do some research, speak with other sellers and find out what else you can do to make your private-labeling business a successful and lucrative endeavor.

Your Turn: Will you try launching a private-labeling business? If you’ve sold private-labeled products, we’d love to hear about your experience!

Disclosure: We have a serious Taco Bell addiction around here. The affiliate links in this post help us order off the dollar menu. Thanks for your support!

 

Grab Some Popcorn: These Companies Will Pay You to Watch Movie Previews

We know it sounds far fetched, but it’s possible to earn extra money watching movie previews.

In fact, if you’re really committed, you could earn $300 a month or more with the tips listed below.

1. Earn up to $225/Month Watching Movie Previews

Most of you already know about InboxDollars, but did you know that it will pay you to watch movie previews, celebrity videos, the latest news and dozens of other videos? Plus, you’ll get a bonus $5 just for signing up.

You need to watch all of the shows in a specific playlist to earn your bucks, so be prepared. InboxDollars lets you know how long the playlist runs before you start watching, and playlists range from a few minutes to about a half hour.

The availability is subject to change, but it’s possible to earn up to $225 a month watching these videos!

2. Earn up to $30/Day With “In-Theater Checks”

When he was just getting started, The Penny Hoarder CEO Kyle Taylor used to get paid to attend movie premieres. He got $30 to go to a Harry Potter premiere! (He would have totally gone for free.)

Theaters and movie studios want to collect data about the audience that attends their movie premieres. They want to know how many people buy tickets on opening day, which screening time is most popular and which previews are being shown. And they want independent data from third party evaluators — that’s where you come in.

Movie premiere secret shopping is called an “in-theater check.” To apply, you’ll need to fill out an application with the mystery shopping company Market Force Information.

The application is just a few questions long, and nearly everyone in the U.S. and Canada is eligible.

Once you’re accepted as an auditor, keep an eye out for email alerts for new assignments in your area. You can accept or decline any assignments — so if a movie’s not even worth watching for $30, you don’t have to see it!

In-theater checks don’t come with huge paydays, but you’ll get a free movie and earn about $10 to $20 an hour for your time.

The Psychology of Visual Marketing in Social Media

A picture is worth a thousand words. You have heard that saying over and over I’m sure, and for good reason.

It’s not that the picture talks more than your mother-in-law, but that it instigates triggers inside of your brain that communicates to the important parts causing you to connect in a way that words would never be able to.

The psychology behind visual strategy in social media is very important and I want to share some of the research I have found that will help your social media strategy get stronger by doing one simple thing.

Adding visuals.

The Concept of Visual Marketing

The concept of visual marketing is simple.  Go find an image and use it on your social media update.

That’s just the first part of this whole strategy.  Any image won’t do and I’ll explain why in a moment, but I want to talk to you what you should be doing to create this concept so well that people are reacting every time.

#1: Visual Perception

According to a study done by Stanford University, the human brain has something called visual perception.  This is where the brain calculates its surroundings and then makes an educated guess determined by the experiences that it has had in the past with these surroundings.

Understanding what image you should use is important because you want to be able to play off of past experiences in the reader.

Get the image too generic and there won’t be any connection, go too drastic and you will possibly trigger a bad memory within the brain causing the whole thing to go down the drain.  On that note, being drastic like this can also cause you to reap great rewards as well because you could hit an emotional cord in the reader, making them remember something good in their past experience with an event in their life.

That’s where you want to be with your image.  Always be creating the best content possible with it.  But you can’t always go to the drastic measure because what’s good for one person may not trigger the same response in another.

Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they’re all a projection of you. -Deepak Chopra

But how do I create an image that everyone can connect with?

That is the million dollar question, and one I hope to answer before this article is over.

#2: Why the picture is worth so many words

There is a role that emotion plays with memory and it’s important to bring some of this out when you’re picking your image. The idea behind the picture being worth a thousand words is connected to the emotional side of the brain.

Let’s go a little deeper into this so you can understand why they work.

Both sides of the brain play an important role when it comes to an emotional standpoint, but it’s the right side that focuses on, not what, but how it makes the person feel. The University of Virginia conducted a study about the role of affected information within emotion and perception that shows us why the picture gives its worth to us.

Clearly we are affected emotionally by images and this is why they are so important in your social media.

So the reason it’s speaking so many words to our brain is because it has connected us emotionally with past experiences or future hopes.

But that’s not all.

The Psychology of Visual Marketing

So let’s talk about how the psychology of visual marketing can help your business on social media.

#1: How to Choose the Right Image

One of the reasons people respond to images is that it affects them on a certain personal or emotional level.  That is why it’s so important to entertain your target market on social media.

If you’re an SEO blogger, but you are promoting your articles with food blogger images then it’s not going to work. I know that’s a simple explanation, but you will be surprised at how many people miss this part of the social strategy.

Make sure your image is sharing relevance to what your article is about on social media.  The right image should also have the right color palette that speaks to the reader as well.

Take my brand, for instance. My brand is speaking about Relationship Marketing and why you should be using it in your social media.

When you think of relationships, you think of a warm and safe place where you can be yourself.

I chose this particular blue because, from a psychological standpoint, blue shows trust, reliability, and responsibility.

You want to be able to do something like this in every image that you create.  You should be instigating some sort of positive emotional response every time.

You may also want to bookmark this quick color psychology reference guide from our CMO.

#2: Visual Communication and It’s Power

The image is speaking to the brain.  It is a communication process that must always be marketed.  Since 90% of the brain is visual communication you should never underestimate the power that it has on your target market.

Be ready to build your strategy around visual marketing because of visual communication being so important!Click To Tweet

What do you want your image to say? What can you make it say that will communicate the message effectively and properly to the reader?

Again, take your brand’s message, what the article is trying to say, and communicate that message with your social media update.

While all of this triggers responses in the user in mere nanoseconds, the process behind creating the right image for your visual marketing can be time consuming.

Look for this when communicating effectively with your visuals:

  • Faces: Does your image include a human face?  When in doubt, include a face.  Studies have shown that we are drawn to human faces in imagery.  It’s familiar, it connects and draws the reader in.
  • Screenshots: This shows the reader right off that you’re about to help them accomplish something.  These are very effective forms of communication through visuals.
  • Foreground: Images with a large foreground peripheral and a blurry background also work well.  Just make sure the foreground image is something that people can relate to.
  • Cartoons:  Everyone loves a good cartoon image!  I know I do, and the effects of laughter bring about a positive psychological experience in the user.

Resources

If you’re like me and don’t have the experience to create your own, there are other options out there for you to try. Buffer has an extensive list of free resources that you can use to help you accomplish that perfect image. And again our own Dustin W. Stout has shared his list of the best places to find free images online.

Everything has to be right.  The color, depth, image choice, placement, perception…everything.  It’s not that you couldn’t throw up any old image and hope it sticks, but when it is conjunctive with sending qualified traffic to your site you want to make sure you’ve done your homework.

The Final Thought

Visual marketing has came to the forefront of social media. If you want to propel your brand or business to the top then you have to play the right music. Those notes sing to the key of imagery.

Visual marketing has gone global in 2015, stepped up their game, by making video the strategy to shoot for.  Make sure you create an awesome article.  That’s always going to be a given, but when people are passing you by on social media, no matter how awesome the article is, because you have failed on the image, you are losing a game that you should be keeping up with.

Make use of the tools around you to help you create the best visual marketing strategy your brand has seen all year!

 

Top Five Tips To Sell Products On Facebook

Facebook is an extremely popular social networks and many brands have developed a strong presence on this network. You should consider launching your own social media marketing campaign if your customers are interested in this platform. Keep reading to learn how you can promote your products on Facebook.

You should start by creating an official Facebook page for your brand. Use the name of your brand for your page and take the time to personalize your page by uploading your logo as a profile picture. Official pages are slightly different from personal accounts; you should take the time to explore the different features available so you are comfortable with them.

Facebook is a very popular network, which means it should be easy to integrate it within your other networks. Visit your Facebook settings to get a code you can copy and paste to create a link to your profile, a box that displays your latest updates as well as your number of followers and even a sharing button readers can use to instantly post your articles or web pages on Facebook. Place these codes on your blog or website to draw attention to your social media marketing campaign.

Facebook will provide you with detailed statistics on the number of subscribers you reach out to with each update. You should check these numbers on a weekly basis to get an idea of how popular each update is and how many users saw your post.

Keep track of which updates get the most attention and work on creating more similar content so you can keep improving your campaign. You should also use Facebook to create some polls if you want to get a better idea of what your audience thinks of your marketing campaign or products.

Encourage your subscribers to interact with you on Facebook. Take advantage of the fact that users have many different features available to them. Users can for instance comment on your updates, share them with their friends, tag you in one of their updates or simply write a question on your Facebook wall. Make your customers comfortable about contacting you on Facebook and encourage them to send questions or comments to you.

Consider spending money on ads. Facebook will feature some ads on the side of your customers’ news feed. This is a good way to draw attention to a discount or to a new product. You can also share offers Facebook users have to claim and share with their friends.

Before you spend any money on these features, make sure you have an efficient way of targeting your audience. You should try this method on a small scale and calculate how many products you sold thanks to this strategy to figure out whether or not it was a good investment for you.

These five social media marketing tips will help you develop a strong presence on Facebook. Keep in mind that there are many other strategies you can use and several other social networks you can use to reach out to your audience.

Using Facebook to Become More Profitable: Social Media Marketing Tips

If you own a company, and you haven’t yet set up a Facebook page, you are missing out; this social media site can really be a boon for your business. However, you have to know what to do in order to get your message out to the people that you most want to see it. The following tips will help you market with Facebook effectively.

Your Facebook page and your website should look remarkably similar. You want to be consistent when it comes to color and layout. This will help interested parties immediately recognize your business for what it is, allowing you to really build your brand.

In addition, don’t neglect the small app boxes that are located beneath your cover photo. They allow you to design simple applications that highlight your website or bring together all of your different social media pages. You can even change the pictures that go along with the boxes, so you won’t have to lose sight of your overall image when you use them.

Know what you want to accomplish with your social media page. Some owners get on the social media bandwagon because they think it is what they should be doing. They do a few cutesy posts, but eventually their interest in Facebook dies out because they don’t really know what they are doing.

Think about what you want to get from this experience. Do you want a forum for communicating with your customers? Do you want to increase your brand awareness? Once you have a goal in mind, you can create a plan to help you get what you want.

Know who is following you. Posting something that offends the majority of your audience isn’t going to help you meet those goals that you set above. You want to post information about products that your audience will like, and you want put up information that they can identify with.

For example, if the majority of your followers are stay at home mothers, articles about stress in the workplace aren’t going to interest them, and they are just going to ignore your page. If you want engagement, you need to spend a little time figuring out who your audience is and what they want.

Do not wait too long between posts. In general, two updates a day is appropriate. If you do not think you can post on a daily basis, you can spend a block of time getting your posts ready and then schedule them to show up throughout the week. There is a small clock icon beneath your status update box; you should see it if you click in the box. Use that to help you get organized.

Facebook is a tool that can really put a company on the map. However, you can’t just jump right into it and expect immediate results. Instead, you have to have a plan and work to get yourself some attention. Use the tips above to help yourself create a presence on Facebook.

7 AMAZING Ways To Cook Chicken In The Airfryer

I think I have fallen in love with putting food in a drawer and opening it to find COOKED FOOD. As a person who hates cooking and got an amazing air fryer for Christmas, it took me to an unplanned routine of sharing chicken Airfryer recipes. I end up with some leftover chicken a few times and before I knew it they were in the Airfryer making delicious healthy chicken Airfryer recipes. Then I decided to take on the takeaway and make the likes of KFC healthy and things have gone from there.

But that is the beauty of the humble chicken. They are so cheap to buy and also incredibly versatile at the same time. I could bring out a book about chicken Airfryer recipes and fill it with at least 500 family favorites, just because there is so much scope!

Now that is an idea!!!

Though when I buy a chicken I will get lots of whole chickens and pay just over 2€ each for them. They can then be separated into portions as and when I need them. This means that one day we can have chicken nuggets, another day chicken kievs, or even have spicy chicken wings done buffalo style.

No matter what we make with our chicken though in the Airfryer we always find that we have a lot of quick preparation and then we are done and dusted without having to slave away in the kitchen.

There are even some meals in the Airfryer with our chicken that fall under 15 minute meals!

Let’s Talk Airfryers

But sadly there are many people out there that don’t own an Airfryer. I am like “what????” after all it has been our main kitchen gadget for a number of years now. I even remember when I got mine that it hadn’t even made it across the pond to The States. It has of course now being made into a worldwide kitchen gadget with a lot of the Germans also loving it for their cooking.

Airfryers are of course great because they use air instead of the traditional deep frying method and allow you cook a bit of everything in them. They also give you a crispy texture thus allowing you to have the best ever jacket potatoes or the best ever crispy chicken.

This is the one we have:

 

#1 – Airfryer Chicken Nuggets

Why this chicken recipe is fantastic for the Airfryer: chicken nuggets have to be the most famous processed food in the world. The idea that you serve up something for your children that is the rubbish leftover in the factory from the chicken products disgusts most people. But it is also one of those foods that we all love and is very quick and simple.

But in this version of Airfryer chicken nuggets the chicken nuggets are made from scratch with chicken breast and are so simple and healthy!

#2 – Airfryer Chicken Kievs

Why this chicken recipe is fantastic for the Airfryer: just like the chicken nuggets in the Airfryer this is another classic kid’s favourite that is associated with processed foods. But in this version you simply make your own and its so quick and easy.

Plus forget the kids, the adults will love this too with its amazing garlic centre.

#3 – Airfryer Chicken Wings

Why this chicken recipe is fantastic for the Airfryer: chicken wings are nice and small and carry a very low price tag. This means that families on tight budgets can afford them. Here in Portugal we pay about 1.20€ for a huge tray of them that will easily feed our family for the evening along side of salad and potatoes.

But the reason I love chicken wings in the Airfryer so much is because they are small so you can marinade a huge batch of them and then cook them in the Airfryer. This makes them ideal for easy family cooking.

#4 – Airfryer Popcorn Chicken

Why this chicken recipe is fantastic for the Airfryer: it is like having one of the most fattening and unhealthy recipes in the Airfryer, putting your spin on it and making it healthy. Just like the chicken wings these Airfryer popcorn chicken are perfect for parties and family times. They are also very low calorie compared to the KFC alternative.

Made with some spare chicken breast you can have them in the Airfryer in record time and your kids will think they are amazing.

#5 – Airfryer Fried Chicken

Why this chicken recipe is fantastic for the Airfryer: out of all the takeaways that we all love the KFC is often known as the highest for calories and the one when we have the biggest portions. When you go to McDonalds you will often have a value meal deal with one burger and one fries. However if you head over to KFC you will probably end up sharing a huge bucket of deep fried chicken plus plenty of unhealthy extras.

In this Airfryer fried chicken recipe we are swapping the deep fried for the air fried to bring you a healthy, low calorie version that tastes amazing!

#6 – Airfryer Chicken Strips

Why this chicken recipe is fantastic for the Airfryer: this is the recipe that we use when we have some leftover chicken that needs using up. We hate food waste and you don’t need much of it to do this chicken recipe.

It also takes very little time to prepare and then your Airfryer can be doing the work while you relax.

#7 – Airfryer Zinger Chicken Burger

Why this chicken recipe is fantastic for the Airfryer: well with our love for everything KFC it goes without saying that we would feature their Zinger chicken burger in our Airfryer.

This tastes amazing and it is hard to believe that it has not been deep fried at all! It is perfect for Saturday nights in instead of ringing up a takeaway and perfect for your waistline.

Sooooo…

If you are looking for even more delicious chicken recipes in the Airfryer then you have come to the right place!

One of our true loves in our Airfryer is cooking chicken (turkey works well too) and it’s amazing what you can make in it. We often feel like we have recreated healthy versions of all of our favourite frozen food classics and they make a much better option for our kids.

We have put together our 12 all time favorite ones as chosen by us and by our readers as being the most delicious. They includes all of the recipes featured on this page plus some great bonus ones.

So if you like what you have seen above then here is a chance to check out even more of them. You can download it to your tablet, phone or desktop and then access the recipes whenever you like.