Author: debbie

Extended: What are the first steps to starting a creative online business.

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What you’ll find:

In this episode, Jennifer shares her kept secrets on starting a creative online business. Start your online business the right way with these tips and tricks.

GET THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER WHERE SHE SHARES HOW SHE BECAME A SUCCESSFUL REMOTE PHOTOGRAPHER.

How to find Etsy best sellers and start an online business

Is one of your hobbies creating things? And are your handmade items so good that friends and coworkers keep asking you to make them one? If so, those items could be Etsy best sellers.

Have you ever thought of selling on Etsy? Why not show the world your creative side and make some money along the way?

Shoppers love handcrafted items. Not only are products unique, but many things can be personalized. And nowhere is there better proof of how much love handmade items are getting than on Etsy. And it’s not just handmade items, but digital items, too.

If you’re looking to make extra income from home or an easy way to start your own online business, joining Etsy is a great option to explore. And we will take you through Etsy for beginners and show you how you, too, can start selling Etsy best sellers.

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What is Etsy?

Etsy is the top online platform for selling handmade and craft items as well as vintage goods (items over 20 years old). Think of it as a giant street fair that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. And you never know what amazing item you will find.

Etsy has cemented its place as the top site to go for crafted items with over 2.5 million sellers and 44 million buyers. That’s a lot of people looking for unique items!

Making Money on Etsy

Is it possible to make money on Etsy? Absolutely!

Most of Etsy best sellers have the platform as their sole source of income. And that could be you, too. Not only do you need to know all the ins and outs of selling on Etsy, but it helps if your product falls into the Etsy best seller products.

Being successful and among Etsy best sellers, you must know what are the Etsy best sellers and what fees are involved with selling on the site so you can find the perfect products to sell on your own Etsy shop.

Top Ideas to Sell on Etsy

Whether you already have a hobby or are looking for ideas to sell on Etsy, it’s good to know what items are the most popular with customers. And as you’ll see, the list greatly varies including products that do require a specialized skill to those that just need a know how with certain computer software.

When you find the Etsy best sellers in the categories your product will fall under, look at the keywords each shop is using for their product titles. This is all a part of understanding SEO (search engine optimization) on Etsy. If you want to be among Etsy best sellers, you need to be found quickly. And using popular search keywords on Etsy is one easy way to get buyers to your shop.

Top Product Categories for Ideas to Sell on Etsy:

Craft & Supplies – a very popular category for those who love sewing, needlework, etc. Here you can find cross stitch/crochet/quilt/knitting patterns and even different types of yarn.

Handmade Items – from pottery to wood carved pieces, anything handmade that makes a statement in a room or a special gift fits into this category.

Jewelry – handmade jewelry has never been more popular with people wanting more original pieces to wear rather than mass produced product.

Wedding Items – the wedding industry is always a big money maker as most people want to make their special day a truly memorable one.

Accessories – fashion never goes out of style. And those that love it, love to accessorize. Hats, scarves, gloves, ties, etc. are found in this category.

Paper & Party Supplies – a way to make a party really singular is to have customized cards or party favors, so people turn to Etsy to find that special something.

Clothing – from printed shirts to hand sewn dresses or swimsuits, people find that unique piece on Etsy.

Vintage Items – Any items over 20 years old fits into this item. Rather than create, if you have a good eye at thrift stores, this is a great option for selling on Etsy.

Home & Living – Living spaces can be livened up with wall decorations, rugs, and furniture. And kitchenware and utensils are always in demand.

Arts & Collectibles – One-of-a-kind pieces are very popular on Etsy.

Currently, the best things to sell on Etsy to make money include:

Stickers – shoppers can’t seem to get enough of stickers and are buying them in large quantities.

Notebooks & Planners – from personalizing them to eye-catching graphics, notebooks are something that never go out of style nor demand.

Candles – with people spending more and more time at home, candles can provide great ambiance as well as scent.

Home Décor – shoppers are always looking to add a special something to their home. An individual piece that stands out and reflects their personality.

Personalized Items – always makes for a great present no matter the time of year.

Graphic/Digital Designs – from posters to cards, computer-generated graphics are very popular and easy to reproduce in a multitude of variations.

Posters – everyone likes to have something on their wall. And posters are inexpensive to print and ship out.

Etsy best sellers

Fees for Selling on Etsy

To be among the Etsy best sellers and for making money on Etsy, it’s not enough to know how much making your products will cost you and then determine what you sell them for based upon the percentage markup you pick. You need to factor in the different fees charged on Etsy into your total cost per item.

Etsy makes money from its platform by charging fees from each seller, which include both listing and selling fees. Let’s break down each fee for Etsy for beginners.

Etsy Store Cost

Technically, starting an Etsy shop doesn’t cost you anything. But it does charge you to list items in your store. And what good is an Etsy shop if you have no product to sell?

So, Etsy charges sellers $0.20 per each item that you list. It’s important to note that there is a difference between item and product.

Etsy says an item is the actual item that you are listing. Each variation of that item that you offer is a product. For example, you would list a hand knitted scarf as an item. Within that item, you could offer different colors or lengths. Each of those variations is a product listed within the main item.

With this fee set-up, you could list multiple products under one item and only pay the item listing fee of $0.20 once.

But, the listing fee of $0.20 is not necessarily a one-time fee. If an item listed does not have any sales within 4 months, Etsy will charge you another $0.20 to keep the item listed. But, once a sale is made, the clock automatically resets to 4 months at no added charge to you. So, the more you keep selling, the less fees you will have to pay.

Etsy Transaction Fee

As soon as you make a sale, Etsy charges the seller a 5% transaction fee of the sale price.

Payment Fee

If a buyer, upon checking out, opts to use Etsy’s payment system, then the seller is charged a 3% processing fee AND a $0.25 transaction fee per transaction.

Shipping Fees

Any shipping fees can be avoided if you correctly determine the shipping costs for each of your products. On Etsy, buyers pay the shipping fees that are set by the seller.

So, if you guess on shipping costs rather than weighing packages and determining rates, you could end up paying shipping costs out-of-pocket. The only way to avoid this scenario is to take the time to calculate true shipping costs.

And if your product is digital and can be downloaded, you don’t have to worry about shipping fees at all.

To help you better keep track of fees, what products are selling (and at what price) and what your overall profit is, it helps to use some sort of spreadsheet software. That way you can easily see where you stand financially at any given moment.

Starting an Etsy Shop

Now that you’ve done your homework and decided that it’s time to start looking at how to sell things on Etsy, it’s time for the fun part: starting an Etsy shop.

But before clicking on Etsy and starting an Etsy shop, there’s a few things you need to do first.

1. Make the product – As stated before, there’s no point in starting an Etsy shop if you don’t have any merchandise to sell. So, make sure you have something to list on the website. If your product is small or inexpensive, it will help to have some inventory available with choices for buyers.

The tricky part is to not make too much product upfront unless you can safely store it. But during the first few months on Etsy, it is going be a lot of trial and error as you work with product names, prices, etc.

2. After you have your product, take photos of each product, including different colors, sizes, patterns, etc. And as your photos are what will initially attract buyers into your Etsy shop, these photos need to be of a high quality.

Each product should have at least 5 photos showing the item from different angles, including overview and details. And it helps to have a few very clean images of the product on a clean white background and a few of the product in actual use or in a living setting.

And, you will need to decide on how you want each thumbnail image to look for each product. As the thumbnails will be visible together on your Etsy shop page, they should all have the same look and feel. This is your shop, so in fact, you are creating your own brand.

If you know someone who is really good with photography, it’s worth asking for their help as quick photos taken with your phone just won’t stand up to the quality of other Etsy shops.

Configuring your Etsy Shop

Once you have your product and photos, starting an Etsy shop is quite easy to do. But here’s a break down on how to open your store on Etsy for beginners.

Go to Etsy and click on ‘Open Your Etsy Shop.’ If you don’t already have an account on the platform, you’ll be asked to create an account before continuing.

Next, you need to set your preferences. And this includes how you want to sell your item, which currency to use, what language to use for product descriptions, and shipping location.

Then comes the all-important part of choosing your Etsy shop name. Technically, the requirements are that the shop name must be between 4 and 20 characters long without any spaces and special characters are not allowed.

And it’s important to not rush this step. Etsy is a creative place, so be creative with your Etsy shop name. Though your name should reflect you and what you are selling, it shouldn’t be too narrow a name. Etsy best sellers are always growing and expanding their product offering. So, your Etsy shop name should be able to grow with you.

Now it’s time to start listing your products. For each product, you will need to create a product title and description. And it’s here that you will add your product photos. Once you have everything listed, you then add your inventory for each product option as well as the sale price and shipping fee.

Once you have entered in your products and item options, preview how your Etsy shop looks. Does everything look like it ties together and is from the same brand? If not, you need to fix that as you can bet that the top Etsy best sellers have a coherent look and feel in their shops.

After you’re happy with your shop, it’s time to select your payment options. The two most common forms of payment on Etsy are PayPal and Etsy Payments. If you don’t have a PayPal account, it’s worth opening one up.

Lastly, Etsy will ask you for your billing information, which helps validate that you are you (and a real person).

Personalizing your Etsy Shop

If your goal is making money on Etsy, there are a few extra things you can add to your Etsy shop that will help get buyers to notice you beyond just having Etsy best sellers on hand.

Though it’s not necessary, it adds a nice touch to buyers if you take the time create a profile, FAQ section, and a store bio. Why is that?

Well, Etsy is all about finding unique items from individuals that you do not know. By filling out a profile about yourself and the purpose or origin of your store, you are building trust with your buyers without them having to meet you. All the Etsy best sellers have their profiles and bios completed.

And having a FAQ section that answers questions shoppers may have about materials, build, ship times, etc., is a great way to demonstrate that you are sincere about your shop and gives it the professional touch.

Selling on Etsy

Now you are ready to start selling on Etsy.

Once your Etsy shop goes live, don’t expect for orders to start flooding in. It does take time and effort to start making money on Etsy. Sometimes you may need to play with product titles as well as pricing.

Use your analytics to see which combination drives more sales. And, there is always the option to create ads on Etsy so your listing appears at the top. However, that does cost money per ad click.

And there you have it. Selling on Etsy is not complicated at all. So, if you have the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, an Etsy shop may be perfect for you to start earning extra income from home.

If you stick with it and really learn the platform, the odds of you joining Etsy best sellers list is likely. So, happy selling on Etsy.


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Extended: Podcasting Basics: What you’ll need to start your own show.

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What you’ll find:

In this episode, Ben will teach you the basics to kick-start your podcast. Know the basic equipment, basics of recording (gears, how to record, mic techniques, noise reduction), and even the ambiance.

GET THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH BEN WHERE HE SHARES HOW HE CREATES INCOME AS A REMOTE AUDIO ENGINEER.

Extended: How to build a purpose-driven online brand with Mariela De La Mora

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What you’ll find:

In this episode, Mariela will teach the difference between what is a personal brand, why telling personal brand is so important and how it will serve you in long term. Find out how to find your personal brand that you can tell long term.

GET THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH MARIELA WHERE SHE SHARES HOW SHE LEFT A FORTUNE 500 TO BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL ONLINE MARKETER.

Extended: How to overcome your fears before leaving your 9-5

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What you’ll find:

In this episode, Cienna will teach how to easily leave your nine-to-five fearlessly. Enjoy these tips which are based on her own experiences.

GET THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH CIENNA WHERE SHE SHARES HOW SHE STARTED A SUCCESSFUL GROUP TRAVEL COMPANY

Best Voice Over Jobs for Beginners from Home

Have you been thinking of finding a job that you can do from home that would be fun?

Do people often compliment you on your voice when talking on the phone? Do you enjoy speaking and have great diction? If so, why not try getting into freelance voice-over work?

Now, don’t quickly brush off this idea. Voice over jobs for beginners from home is a unique way to earn income you can do from anywhere. And, it’s work that can start as additional income and turn into a full-time gig if you are willing to put in the time and work.

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What is Voice Over?

We’ve all seen commercials, training videos, presentations, that have a voice narrating what is happening. That voice comes from a voice-over actor.

But voice actors are used in so many more mediums than mainly commercials including videogames, audiobooks, TV programs, podcasts, etc. And the really good voice actors can change their voice, intonation, and speaking style to fit a variety of needs for different clients.

And not every voice over job is recorded in a professional studio. In fact, many voice overs that you hear are recorded in the freelance voice actor’s home! This means that are plenty of opportunities for voice over jobs for beginners from home out there for you to land.

What Does Freelance Voice Over Work Pay?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a set industry standard for rates for freelance voice actors. And that is because there are a lot of variables that go into determining pay from the size of the project to how much experience the voice over artist has.

Starting voice over jobs for beginners from home does not pay much. But that’s ok. Because when starting out doing voice over work from home, the focus is about landing jobs so you can build your voice over resume, gain experience, and, more importantly, build connections that can lead to other jobs.

As you start doing more and more work, the pay rate will increase. So, if you stick with it, doing voice-over work from home will pay.

voice over jobs for beginners from home

How to do Voice Over Work from Home?

As much as you may want to jump into getting voice over jobs for beginners from home, you do need to make sure that you are properly prepared to do the work and sound professional.

And to do that, it means you should be properly equipped before you do. And that requires a small investment to create a small home studio. Even if you have an app on your phone where you can record your voice using your ear buds, you can’t use that to do voice over work from home. Well, let’s say you don’t want to use that.

The reality is that there is a lot of competition for voice actor jobs. And if you submit recordings that are not crystal clear with lots of background noise, no one is going to hire you. In fact, potential clients would stop listening after the first few seconds.

So, if you are serious about doing voice over jobs for beginners from home, you are going to need some specific equipment as working from home is no excuse for not sounding professional.

At the very least, you need to have a:

  • microphone
  • mic stand
  • headphones
  • computer
  • audio editing software (i.e. Audacity, ocenaudio)
  • a quiet room

And, you will definitely want to test the acoustics in your room and your equipment set up before you start applying for work from home voice over jobs.  

Creating a Demo Reel

The best way to test out your equipment set up is to work on your demo reel. So, what is a demo reel?

A demo reel is a 60 – 90 second recording showcasing the best of your voice over abilities.

If you do not have a demo reel, chances of you landing any voice over jobs for beginners from home are dead in the water upon applying. Having a demo reel is a necessity in the voice over industry as it tells producers immediately what you sound like and what you can do with your voice.

The recording should be broken down into several short (10 – 15 seconds) spots that show differences in your voice for various recording needs (business presentations, audio books, animation, etc.) as well as tone (serious, lighthearted, etc.).

And the final demo reel should be an audio file that can be uploaded to any business or client upon application.

So, you have the drive to do freelance voice over work and now the equipment, but how do you find and land legitimate voice over jobs?

How to Get a Voice Acting Job?

Listed below are freelance marketplaces and platforms that are frequently looking for voice over talent.  These are the absolute best places to start your journey as voice talent online.

Fiverr

One of the top online marketplaces for freelancers in a variety of specialties is Fiverr. And yes, there’s even a market search for freelance voice over work.

It’s very easy to set yourself up as a Seller on Fiverr. And for freelance voice actors, you can detail your abilities from languages, dialects, types of recordings, tone, and turnaround time. And, you even set your own starting price.

Fiverr is one of the best places to list on for voice over jobs for beginners from home.

Upwork

Another leading online freelance marketplace is Upwork. And one of their categories is voice over talent making it another great place for work when starting voice over jobs for beginners from home.

After creating your account and profile, you can then browse posted gigs on the platform. If you see one that you like, you can then submit a proposal and bid for that gig. If interested, the client will reach out to you to discuss the project and finalize the pay rate.

And when you are starting with doing voice over jobs for beginners from home, you really should put yourself on as many freelance marketplaces as possible. It’s all about exposure and getting experience.

Freelancer

Rounding out the online freelance marketplaces that are ideal for landing voice over jobs for beginners from home is Freelancer. It works much like the previous two sites.

To get started, you need to create an account and profile. And then you can start submitting bids for projects or responding to clients who reach out directly to you.

Again, you are in control when it comes to negotiating with the client and setting the price.

Voice123

If there’s a great place to start your journey on doing voice over jobs for beginners from home, it’s Voice 123, the world’s first voice over marketplace. Companies and individuals browse the site and listen to the demo reels of any voice over artist they click on.

If they like you, then the company contacts you directly to hire you and you negotiate the pay rate. And, the platform does not take a percentage of your pay. What you negotiate, is what you earn.

To sign up, Voice123 wants to know what languages you speak, the gender and age groups that match your voice (or voice capabilities), what recording capabilities you have, how you can deliver files, and if you offer additional services beyond voice acting (i.e. writing script, adding music, etc.).

The one downside to Voice123 is that you need to be a member to be listed. Since the site does not take any money from your earnings, it has instead a tier membership program that ranges from free to $50 a month. Each tier dictates how many project invitations, search appearances and project auditions you can do in a month. The more you pay, the more opportunities you have for voice acting auditions online.

Filmless

Filmless is a quick turnaround, full-service production company that uses freelance voice actors from around the world to produce high quality videos in 7 – 14 days. And if you are looking for jobs using your voice, this a great place to look.

And they are always looking for freelance voice actors. Best of all, you can be located anywhere in the world as long as you can provide quality audio from your home studio.

To be considered for Filmless, you must be able to provide requested tracks for a project within 24 hours and master the tracks prior to sending them to Filmless. And, you must be able to record any additional pick up lines required by the client.

Snap Recordings

Snap Recordings provides professional voice over recordings for business telephone systems from directories to voicemail. Companies provide their preferred script for their business phone recordings, and a voice over artist then reads the script and the finished recording is provided back to the client. It’s easy and simple.

The application process is extremely easy for Snap Recordings. It is a short form that you fill out as well as a provide your demo reel. One thing that makes Snap Recordings a little different is that they want to know what languages you speak as there are opportunities to record in other languages other than English.

Mandy Voices

Mandy Voices is the leading voice over auditions platform in the US. Companies and individuals post jobs on the website which you can apply for after creating your free account.

With Mandy Voices, you can receive job alerts, receive tips for voice over work, and, even create a free website for yourself and your voice over work.

Voices.com

Voices.com is a wonderful place to start looking for voice over jobs for beginners from home as it is the internet’s largest dedicated marketplace for voice over work. Clients post their jobs along with budget information and the voice over artists submit their audition along with their proposed pricing.

It’s easy to sign up wit Voices.com. And, you can start with a free guest account which allows you to set up a profile and be invited by clients to submit an audition. Guest accounts are limiting, though, and you cannot send in an audition to a public listing.

If you want access to most of the sites features and benefits, you will need to sign up with their Premium Tier membership level which is $499 a year.

Bunny Studio Voice

This dedicated voice over platform features talent from around the world plus the ability to record in over 50 languages and dialects making Bunny Studio Voice an ideal place for finding voice over jobs for beginners from home.

As a voice over pro on their site, you do not have to pay any fees or membership dues. Instead, the site will add their margin over the pay rate that you set for yourself.

To join, first you need to create a talent account. Next, you need to submit a test, which will be reviewed. If your test meets the site’s quality criteria, you’ll be brought on board and listed. And at Bunny Studio, quality sound is key. So, you will definitely need your dedicated voice over equipment and home studio.

Voice Crafters

Founded in 2008, Voice Crafters is aiming to become the premiere global marketplace for voice over actors. So, if you are fluent in multiple languages, this is an ideal place for you to create a profile as they have over 80 languages available to clients.

And on Voice Crafters, there is no need to audition. Potential clients listen to your demo tape and invite you to submit a quote for their project. If they agree to the pricing, you are hired!

To apply, you need to submit a demo reel with top notch quality (demo reels with background noise, static, uneven sound, etc., will be rejected immediately).

Landing voice actor jobs will take time. When starting to look for voice over jobs online from home, you are going to need patience and persistence. There’s a lot of competition, so you have to work hard to make yourself stand out.

And, don’t expect to make a lot of money at first. To land those crucial first voice actor jobs, you need to set your asking price at a low minimum. Remember, you don’t have the experience yet so you can’t ask for $60 an hour. But by setting low rates, you can rack up more and more gigs. And the more gigs you land, your rate can start to increase with your growing resume.

But most of all, remember to have fun with doing voice over work from home. It’s not your typical desk job and there’s nothing mundane about it. A spark of creativity should be in every recording session.


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Extended: How to build your online business using Squarespace

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What you’ll find:

In this episode, Galen debunks the common misconceptions of Squarespace and SEO. She will prove that you can actually build a profitable business with Squarespace.

GET THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH GALEN WHERE SHE SHARES HOW SHE WAS ABLE TO WORK REMOTELY AS AN SEO STRATEGIST

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