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How to Create a Sales Funnel with Thrive Themes

Thrive Themes is all about increasing website conversions, which is also what a sales funnel is all about... and in "how to" post we'll be going over how you can create a killer sales funnel with Thrive Themes.

There are lots of different sales funnel creation services out there, and some pretty darn expensive. Thrive Themes is very cheap compared to others, making it a good option for those not looking to spend too much.

What Is a Sales Funnel?

sales funnel

A sales funnel, aka purchase funnel, is the process of leading people to purchase something, whatever it may be.

The reason it is called a funnel is because it starts out broad at the top, and catches many peoples' attention, and then becomes more narrow as the process comes closer to closing a sale, because naturally some people who may have showed interest early on decide they are no longer interested.

If you are selling something on your website then you have a sales funnel, whether you know it or not... it just might not be a very good one if you aren't aware of it.

There are different forms of sales funnels out there, and some people divide up the process into 7 different phases, but let's keep it simple here... with a common 4-step funnel that goes like this:

  1. Attract 
  2. Capture leads 
  3. Convert
  4. Repeat

1) The first step is to attract prospects, or people that might be interested in what you have to offer

2) Second, there is an opt-in page where prospects would be enticed to enter their email address.

3) Third, they would then be directed to a sales page where the conversion happens... whether that means getting them to purchase a product of your own or getting them to purchase an affiliate product.

4) Fourth. Not everyone is going to convert, or buy what you are selling. But since you have their email address you can then follow up with them again and again, and maybe try selling from different angles.

*There of course is a lot more to it than this, but these are the basics.

What You Will Need

Thrive Themes

If you don't have the all-in-one Thrive Membership, which gives you access to all of the Thrive Themes products, then you should at least have the following:

  • Thrive Architect - for designing awesome lead capture pages and sales pages
  • Thrive Leads - for capturing leads

And, you will also want an autoresponder. Thrive Leads can capture leads for you, but it will need integrated with an email service to store those leads. I use Aweber and this is one of the best options out there, but you can also use some free options like MailChimp.

The Creation Process

Step 1: Attract

At this step you are trying to attract prospects who you think may be interested in purchasing what you have to offer. The Thrive Themes products are not part of this step, but it's very important that we go over it.

There are 3 core ways to attract prospects online:

1) SEO - Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is mainly what I do and what many other Thrive Themes users do as well... which is optimizing your website to rank in search engines, thus getting free search traffic.

Example: You could rank for a post on Google about dog nutrition and then promote organic dog food. People searching for better dog nutrition would click on your website and the sales funnel would begin.

2) PPC - Pay-Per Click (PPC) advertising consists of things like Facebook ads, Bings Ads, Google Adwords, etc., and with this method you pay to attract targeted traffic.

Example: You could advertise on Facebook to people over 65 years old who have shown interest in joint pain and promote a joint health supplement.

3) Social Media - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc... these social media platforms can all be used for free to attract prospects.

Example: You could create an Instagram account about bodybuilding and promote protein supplements on your website.

Targeted Traffic Is Key

Sure, the more sh*t you throw at a wall, the more will stick. So even if you have horribly untargeted traffic you still may get some conversions, but it's better to just target the right people.

  • If you already have a product to sell then you want to target people who might be interested in that product.
  • Alternatively, if you already have traffic coming to your website you can choose a product to sell that this existing traffic might be interested in.

Either way will do. As long as it's targeted.

Step 2: Capture Leads

Now that you have traffic it is time to capture leads, which means it is time to use Thrive Themes' Thrive Leads product. This works perfect for what we'll be doing.

There are 3 different ways to go about this that I'll be going over, starting off with what I personally do most often and have found to be very effective.

Method 1: Capturing Leads from Readers

Okay, so you have a website visitor reading a blog post/article of yours... how do you get this person to give you their email address?

Thrive Leads provides us with a variety of different options (only a small portion of which can be seen in this screenshot)...

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These are all opt-in forms that appear in different ways, shapes, and forms on your website, where people will be prompted to enter their emails.

Option 1 - Lightbox - These are opt-in forms that focus the reader's attention directly on the form... doing so by popping up and turning the rest of the screen dark. They are the center of attention. 

You will be able to choose from a variety of pre-made and fully customizable templates, as you can with any of the different types of opt-in forms.

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For example, this template took me about 1 minute to customize into what you see below, which could be used to promote some sort of weight loss supplement.

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How it could work: You would entice your readers to enter their emails in order to get your free list of 101 tips to lose weight. Then, in your list you could promote your weight-loss supplement.

With the Lightbox opt-in forms you are able to choose when you want them to pop up (after a certain amount of time, immediately, when the reader tries to exit the page, etc.), you can choose the display frequency, and you can choose how you want them to pop up (slide in from the left, rotate onto the page, zoom in, etc.).

Option 2 - In Content - These opt-in forms will appear in your post content. So as the visitor is reading there will be an opt-in form inserted in the content somewhere. You can choose when you want the form to appear to the reader and where at in your articles you want it to appear.

Option 3 - Post Footer - These are opt-in forms that will appear at the bottom of your posts.

Option 4 - Ribbon - A ribbon is a small opt-in form that appears either at the top or bottom of the screen. Readers will still be able to continue reading even as ribbons appear.

*The Lightbox and In-Content options are the most intrusive and disruptive to your readers, yet they often work the best.

*Also, you don't have to choose 1 or the other. In fact, all of the different opt-in forms mentioned above can be active at the same time.

Categorizing Lead Capturing

Inside Thrive Leads you will be setting up what are called "Lead Groups". You can create 1 of each kind of opt-in form per Lead Group.

One very important part of the setup process is choosing the target options.

You will be able to set everything up so that certain lead groups are only shown on certain pages, posts, in certain categories, etc.

I have found categorizing your Lead Groups to be the most effective.

Example: You have a website about dogs. This website has 4 different categories:

  1. Dog food
  2. Dog toys
  3. Dog safety
  4. Dog training

You could then set up 4 different Lead Groups targeting each of the different categories.

One of your Lead Groups would display for readers that are reading posts in the "Dog Food" category and these offers would be relevant to dog food... and so on.

Method 2: Sending Prospects to Lead Capture Pages

Option 1 is great, and is what I do to capture most of my leads, but there is another option... and that is to send people directly to lead capture pages on your site.

This is more for if you are using paid advertising (PPC) or social media to attract prospects. Instead of directing traffic to a blog post (which is still an option, however), you would send them straight to an opt-in page.

So with this method you would simply create a new page in your WordPress website and then open up the Thrive Architect editor to create the page. And, like always, Thrive provides plenty of pre-made and fully customizable templates that you can choose from.

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You can specifically choose email capture landing pages (lead capture pages) to send traffic to.

Here is one of the many beautiful examples... 

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Using Lead Magnets

I didn't mention it at all yet, but all of the examples shown above have used what is called a "lead magnet", and this is pretty important.

A lead magnet is nothing more than something used to entice visitors to give you their email address. Some examples include:

  • A free ebook
  • Free training
  • A free trial
  • A free video
  • A free guide and so on...

It's good to give something away for free, something that actually has value and that people will want, because you can make money later on with the product/service you will be selling.

*Note: Value is key. We aren't promoting trickery and deception here.

If you run a cooking blog it could be something as simple as your "top 3 recipes" or if you run a dog website it could be "1 Simple Yet Underrated Trick to Potty-Train Your Dog". It really doesn't have to be a lot.

BUT... it does have to be very relevant. Relevancy is key and you want your "lead magnet" to be relevant to your website niche and to what you will be selling.

Step 3: Convert

At this point you already have targeted traffic and you have some leads. The traffic that visited your website and did not enter their email address was not targeted enough, but the people who did give you their email addresses showed you that they are interested in what you are offering (since your lead magnet should be somewhat related to your product/service).

Now it's time to convert those leads into paying customers, and there are different methods to do this, as always.

Method A: Promote The Product/Service In Your Lead Magnet

Inside your lead magnet that you just gave away for free you could promote your product/service.

For instance, if you are promoting some new baseball bat your lead magnet could be a "Simple Trick to Increase Your Batting Percentage by 30%" and you could promote the baseball bat inside that free info product.

Don't push too hard though. Remember, the lead magnet was about providing value for free. You can just subtly promote at this point and promote more via email follow-up.

Method B: Build Rapport With Your Leads and Then Promote

Maybe you think it would be a better choice to take it slow. This sometimes leads to more conversions... it all depends on your audience and what you are promoting. 

Sometimes it may be better to follow up with your leads and continue to provide them with good tips/tricks, and just try to build a relationship before going for the sale.

Either Way You Choose... a Good Sales Page Is Key

Whether you go for the sale right away or wait a while, a good sales page is paramount to your success... and this is where Thrive Architect comes into play.

Thrive Architect is the drag-and-drop page editor that Thrive Themes has, and this is an excellent tool to create a killer sales page. And, like always, they have a bunch of pre-made but fully customizable templates for you to choose from so that you have a point to start out at.

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With Thrive Architect you can do so much more than you can with the normal WordPress text editor... and you can do it all pretty easily.

*This is the reason I first became a Thrive Member... back before it was called "Thrive Architect".

What Type of Sales Page Should You Create?

Do you want to get straight to the point or do you want to build more rapport?

Your sales page could be quick and concise, or it could be long and drawn-out. Both are good for certain situations.

A "long-form sales page" relies on a heavy amount of text to convince leads to buy. This would be good if your leads aren't all that familiar with your product yet, where as if they already know a lot about what you are selling then you might not want to bore them by repeating what they know.

If you try to go for the sale right away then you likely are going to need to explain things more, which would require more of a long-form sales page, and vice versa.

Step 4: Repeat

Now you've made some conversions. You've captured leads and you've sent those leads to your sales page... BUT, naturally not all leads are going to convert. This, however, doesn't necessarily mean that they are not interested in what you are offering. It might just mean that they need an extra little push.

Some sources say that it takes 5 to 7 touchpoints to close a sale, on average. I don't know how true this statistic is, but follow-up emails can certainly increase conversions.

The good news is that you have the ability to follow up with your leads again and again, because you have their emails. This is why signing up for an email marketing service like Aweber is so important. It will allow you to send out emails to thousands of people at once, and you can set up follow-up emails that go out automatically after someone has opted into your email list.

But don't just send emails with links to the same old sales page.

Try to change things up a bit. They've already seen that sales page so you may want to try converting them from a different angle, or maybe elaborate some a specific aspect or benefit that they may be interested in.

And be sure not to be too salesy. Don't include links to buy with every email you send out. People don't like this, as I'm sure you wouldn't either.

Sales Funnel Method Without Capturing Leads

Maybe you don't want to capture leads. Maybe you don't want to pay for an email marketing service like Aweber.

Fortunately, you can still make a pretty darn nice sales funnel with Thrive Themes.

You can do everything the same, just instead of trying to get people to submit their email address, you will try to get them to click on a button.

So for example, you could still use all of the different Thrive Leads forms, such as the Lightbox form here...

screenshot

... just your forms would have a single button you are trying to get visitors to click on instead of an opt-in form. And this button would direct traffic right to the sales page.

*Note: This can still work good if you are trying to convert readers on your website. However, if you are using paid advertising (PPC) then it would be better to just skip this step and send traffic right to the sales page instead of trying to get them to click some button. After all, they already clicked on your ad.

The Downsides:

  • One-and-done approach. You have no ability to follow up with non-buyers
  • You can't do A/B testing and use the analytics inside of Thrive Themes, as I'll go over

Recap

  • Attract Potential Buyers through SEO, paid advertising, social media
    • Targeted traffic is key
  • Capture Leads with Thrive Leads
    • Or just use a button to drive traffic to sales page (not as good)
  • Send Leads to Beautifully Created Sales Page by Thrive Architect
  • Repeat by following up with non-buyers via email
    • Which you obviously can't do if you didn't capture leads

Why Thrive Themes?

When I first became a Thrive Themes member I wasn't knowingly creating sales funnels. I just really liked the Thrive Architect (old name was Thrive Content Builder) for creating sales pages. It allows you to add all sorts of elements that can increase conversions with a simple visual drag & drop layout, such as buttons like this...

*This button works by the way.

However, now what I've been using it for a while and now that I also use Thrive Leads to create sales funnels, I've realized it's pretty darn good... and a heck of a lot more affordable than a lot of other options out there, such as ClickFunnels.

Besides it's affordability, here are some reasons I like TT so much.

#1 - Analytics

In Thrive Leads you can monitor your success to see how well your forms are converting.

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You can also do A/B testing which is an absolute must... and can easily increase conversion rates with little work.

#2 - A/B Testing

A/B testing is when you test 2 forms against each other to see which converts better, aka captures more leads.

You'd be surprised how a title change, change of text color, addition of a picture, etc. can boost conversions.

screenshot

You can also test out different types of forms against each other, such as a Lightbox form vs a Ribbon form.

*Note: Thrive Leads only records the leads generated, which is why you can't utilize these features if you aren't collecting leads.

#3 - So Many Sales Funnel Options

TT provides a heck of a lot, including some other plugins that could be part of a sales funnel.

For example, there is the Thrive Quiz Builder which would be another excellent choice for attracting leads and qualifying them. You could set up a quiz for your visitors to take and lead them to purchase a certain product based upon their answers.

Then there is Thrive Ultimatum which allows you to set up urgency timers of different kinds on your website, something proven to boost conversions.

#4 - Good Support

Another reason I'm more than happy with Thrive is because of the team behind it. They provide great support if you ever have technical problems and provide really good service overall.

Alternative Options

Thrive Themes is great for creating sales funnels, but if you are looking for something specifically focused on sales funnel creation it might be a wiser choice to go with a program like ClickFunnels, which provides an autoresponder and shopping cart feature.... all-in-one.

But Thrive Themes works great. You'll just have to go out and get an autoresponder separately. 

Thrive Themes is a great choice for bloggers and people who run content-focused websites, such as me.

So anyways... I hope you found this how-to article helpful... and I hope it can help you increase conversions. 

Want to Support My Blog? You can buy Thrive Themes through my link here. It won't cost you a penny more!

Links & Resources:

A Look at MLM Failure Rates – Yikes!

Thinking about joining that new MLM opportunity? You might want to rethink that after seeing these MLM failure rates.

Ahh, the mighty MLM opportunity. Portrayed as a way to achieve financial freedom. As a way to reach one's true potential. As a way to make boatloads of money and live life to the fullest.

Unfortunately the way they are portrayed isn't in-line with reality, which is why efforts are being made to warn people about the dangers of such opportunities by places like the anti-MLM community on Reddit, the Huff Post and even Business.com...

To get a realistic look at the true failure rates that participants experience in MLM opportunities, continue reading...

What Is a MLM?

MLM, multi-level marketing, is a business model where, instead of selling products in stores, a company relies on an independent sales force to do the marketing and selling. They usually have no requirements to join other than to purchase products or some sort of "starter kit", and they usually have confusing compensation plans that are filled with glitz and glam (with a handful of ways to earn money), but they all boil down to provide participants with 2 main ways to earn:

  1. You can earn commissions via product sales
  2. You can earn commissions by recruiting in other participants and earning from their efforts

The recruitment side of the MLM is the upside and the downside. It gives participants more potential to earn big while building a team and leads to fast growth for the company, but it also makes the opportunity more difficult for most.

The lure is that you can work when you want and operate your home-based business on your own... hopefully achieving financial freedom in the process. But opportunities like this are often presented in misleading ways, portraying participants living "life without boundaries", such as ACN here...

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[Source: ACN.com]

... as well as living a life of fun, luxury, and fulfillment, such as this clip from Mary Kay's opportunity pitch...

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[Source: MaryKay.com]

But as you will see, fancy vacations and driving around in Cadillacs is something that very, very few people get to experience. 

Most people, by large, make very little money.

The Structure That Guarantees Failure

The very structure that MLMs have in place are what causes such disproportional earnings among participants, as we will get to next.

There are different types of MLM structures but they all are the same basic thing: you recruit people into the business, those people recruit people into the business, and so on... which causes the downline to branch out and grow larger the further down you go.

Of course there are sales quotas that must be met and other requirements, but let's focus on the "multi-level" part of multi-level marketing here.

mlm comp plans

From all these people in your "downline" you can earn commissions from... which usually come from products they personally buy or sales that they make.

At first take this may seem great.

Who wouldn't want the opportunity to build a large team by recruiting in new members... a large team that you can earn increasingly large amounts of money from, right?

It is great... IF YOU ARE AT THE TOP.

In any MLM business the money flows from the bottom to the top, which is great if you are at the top but not so much if you are at the bottom.

The people at the top earn extra commissions from the work of others while those at the bottom have potential commissions sucked away from them.

Think of it like this: XYZ business sells health drinks for $100 (a pretty realistic price). As a participant, you can earn a 25% commission, or $25, every time you sell a health drink. BUT... the company actually pays out 75% commissions... and the remaining 50% get's passed up to the sponsors above you. Now if there was no MLM structure, you could keep the entire 75% commission payment yourself.

Good for those on top. Bad for those on bottom.

The other problem is that there are guaranteed to be many more people on the bottom. The very structure ensures this.

Failure Rates & Income Disclosures

WARNING: VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED

The numbers you are about to see are not pretty. In fact, they are downright disgusting.

According to a report by Jon M Taylor of Consumer Awareness Institute, 99% of participants in MLMs lose money. 

Yes, 99% is the claim.

This finding comes after the analysis of 350 MLMs, which includes all the big names.

While not every MLM provides income disclosures of the money that their participants make (probably because it is embarrasing!), some do to try to remain transparent. So let's take a look at some official income disclosures from popular MLMs.

*Note: A lot of times MLMs present their participants' earnings in misleading ways (no surprise here). But after you do the math and cut through the BS, here are some examples of what you will find:

  • In 2018, with 29,500 consultants at Mary Kay Cosmetics Ltd. in Canada, only 1,743 earned more than $100 in commissions for the year. That means only about 5.9% earned more than $100 for the entire year...
  • Team National's 2018 Earnings Disclosure shows that 75.3% of participants made an average of $0.30 for the entire year. You can't even buy a pack of gum with that amount! Less than 1% made enough to live off of.
  • A 2018 disclosure from the essential oils MLM giant Young Living shows that 88% of participants averaged $4 for the year and 7.9% averaged $261, which accounts for 95.9% of all participants...
  • doTERRA's 2018 earnings disclosure states that 62% of participants were at the entry level rank of Wellness Advocate, and only 53% of this group earned any commissions... for an average of $380.
  • Herbalife's 2018 earnings disclosure shows that only the top 1% of distributors who have been in the business for over 1 year were able to earn more than $14,270... meaning that 99% didn't even come close to making enough to live off of...
  • The 2018 earnings summary from Nu Skin states that the average made by "active" brand affiliates was $1,816.10... and this doesn't count those who fail to ever make it to "active" status in the first place.

From here the list goes on and on. Time and time again the earnings disclosures from MLM companies are disheartening. In fact, I have never seen a "good" earnings disclosure. Some may appear to be at first sight, but this is usually only due to confusing layouts and manipulated numbers--all in an attempt to hide the horrific truth that the overwhelming majority of people make very little money.

Forced to File for Bankruptcy

In some situations it can get so bad that participants are forced to file for bankruptcy, as we have seen with LuLaRoe.

According to the watchdog group Truth In Advertising, more than 100 LuLaRoe participants have filed for bankruptcy since 2016.

This is due to 2 things:

  1. As you have seen, earning good money is something that only the top few percent achieve.
  2. Participants can become so brainwashed by the marketing hype and flattery that they fail to see the truth, and continue to push forward, buying more products to move up the ranks and stay afloat... leading to ultimate failure.

Participants are often misled into believing they can make unrealistic amounts of money, which leads them to throw their entire lives into the business... in some cases leading to large amounts of bankruptcy filings.

How Are These Not Pyramid Schemes?

Pyramid schemes are illegal in just about every country. 

MLM's are often called pyramid schemes and illegal pyramid schemes are often disguised as legitimate MLM's, as the FTC warns.

What's the difference between a pyramid scheme and a MLM?

The difference is the sale of products to real customers, emphasis on "real".

A pyramid scheme can still have real products to sell, but are they selling to real customers? This is the question that needs to be answered.

Pyramid schemes will rely on recruitment of new members and their required purchases to bring in revenue, whereas a legitimate MLM will place more focus on actually selling products to real customers, customers who are buying products because they actually want them.

  • Both sell products
  • Both rely on recruitment of new members
  • Both have the same pyramid structure

It is where the revenue comes from that makes the big difference.

Does it stem from real customer sales? Or does it stem from new members being forced to purchase expensive product packages?

When The Lines Start Getting Blurred

The majority of MLM's force new members to purchase some kind of "starter kit", "starter pack" or something along these lines.

However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, these starter packs usually contain business materials and products that new recruits can use for promotion, which are much needed.

The lines between what is considered a MLM and an illegal pyramid scheme start to get blurry when starter kits become ridiculously expensive and overpriced, and when the company places increased emphasis on recruitment.

While this isn't a sure-sign of a pyramid scheme, a company that requires participants to make purchases on a regular basis in order to stay "active" is not a good look... and is more likely to have crossed that blurry line into the realm of illegality.

It happens all the time. Large MLM companies get hit with lawsuits for being pyramid schemes and are then forced to change up their operation to more legitimate means.

The video below details the situation with the popular health & wellness drink MLM called Vemma, which was charged as being a pyramid scheme in 2015...

To Join or Not to Join?

Not all MLMs are equal. Some opportunities aren't that bad while others are down-right horrible.

But the fact of the matter is that they are all MLMs, which all rely on some sort of pyramid structure that siphons money from the bottom to the top... making it a more difficult business for the majority of participants.

For this reason it is advised that you only join if you actually like the products. 

If you make a large purchase of essential oils or nutritional drinks, will you find good use for them if you fail to sell what you need to?

If not then you should either 1) Not join the MLM in the first place, or 2) Not order more than you can handle--the last thing you want is to take on more than you can handle and then be forced to file for bankruptcy like those selling LuLaRoe.

Stay safe out there and don't fall for the trickery of people trying to recruit you in--and if you want a home-based business that doesn't require recruitment and where you don't have to share commissions with people above you, why not try affiliate marketing? And why not get started with the top affiliate marketing training program the internet has ever seen, Wealthy Affiliate?

*Note: I joined Wealthy Affiliate back in 2015 and have since been able to turn my online business into a full-time income.

Freedom App Review – Scam or Productivity-Boosting Miracle?

The Freedom App is supposed to help boost your productivity by blocking out distractions, but how good does it really work?

Is it worth the cost? Is the Freedom app a scam?

These are all good questions that need answered.

I signed up for Freedom close to a month ago and would like to share my experience with it, which includes positives and negatives.

In this review I'll be going over all that you need to know... or at least all that I think anyone would need to know beforehand... including how it works, the setup process, complaints, pros v cons and more.

What Is Freedom?

Freedom App
  • Name: Freedom
  • Website: freedom.to
  • App Availability: Google Play and Apple App Store
  • Purpose: Increase productivity online
  • Cost: Free trial; Premium for $6.99/mo, $29/yr, or $129 for forever
  • Recommended?: Yes

Overview

Freedom, in a nutshell, is a software that helps you increase productivity on desktop computers, tablets, and cell phones by blocking out distractions--making you "free" from distractions, which is how the name Freedom came about.

You are able to manage multiple devices (PC's, MacBooks, Chromebooks, iPhones, iPads, Windows tablets, Android devices, etc.) with one account and stop yourself from wasting time on websites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, on pointless apps, etc. when you need to get work done.

According to Statista, in 2018 users spent an average of over 2 hours a day on social media (latest report available)... and most people probably have no idea the actual amount of time they waste on such. However, social media isn't all bad, and one interesting article from the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham provides reasons on how social media can actually increase productivity... but I would argue that by far-and-wide social media does the opposite... decreasing productivity. And many other sources agree, such as Inc who has labeled social media "The Productivity Killer".

For someone like me who works independently from home, the Freedom app it can be a savior at times. It helps keep me focused and get things done, which I can also see as a big benefit for my other work-from-home people out there. 

Here is a brief 2-minute overview video by the founder, Fred Stutzman, that gives a good explanation:

It's a very simple concept and may sound a bit silly that you need to pay for a program like this that keeps you from wasting your time online, but it can really help and I would definitely recommend it for people who really have a hard time paying staying on track--in particular for those like myself who work-from-home and don't have a boss breathing down their neck to keep them focused.

How It Works

You will be in complete control of what Freedom blocks you from, both apps and websites.

So the next time you are working to get that report done, or trying to finish up that blog post, you will get this screen when you get sidetracked and decide to see what your friends are doing on Facebook (if of course you set it up to block Facebook)...

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Instead of being able to access Facebook (in this case) to see what your friends are up to, you will be blocked.

And the next time you try to see what someone is posting on Instagram when you should be finishing up that project you were working on for a client... BLOCKED!

It's simple, works great, and can really take things to the next level for you if distraction has been holding you back.

Let's first go over how you set up Freedom to block websites and apps...

Blocking

Blocking Websites from Inside Your Account

You will be able to set up Blocklists, which are lists of websites you want to block, inside your account online. They have some commonly blocked websites you can add to your Blocklist or you can type in any website URL to add it to the list.

I created only one Blocklist titled "Distracting Websites" but you can create multiple for various situations if this would help.

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Desktop View

Blocking Apps & Websites from Inside the Freedom App

*Note: I'm using the Android app. The IOS app may differ a bit in appearance.

So you can block all the distracting websites you want by logging into your account, but if you want to block apps you are going to need to open up the Freedom App from your mobile device, which makes sense since this is where the potentially distracting apps are located. You can also block websites, as shown above, from inside the app.

You will be able to easily block apps by simply clicking on a toggle bar next to each app you have on your device...

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Android App View

To get to this area you will want to click on your Blocklists in the bottom menu and then click on "Manage".

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Above you can also see my Blocklist of "Distracting Websites" appear inside the app. I am also able to edit this list of websites right here from my device since everything is synced...

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So when it comes to blocking distractions here is how it works:

  • Website Blocklists can be managed from your Freedom account online or inside the Freedom App
  • App Blocklists can only be managed inside the Freedom App

Scheduling Sessions

Now that you have your Blocklists set up, it's time to tell Freedom when you want it to block you from these distractions.

You can schedule these sessions inside your Freedom account online or inside the Freedom App. And you will be able to monitor the sessions inside either because everything is synced. For example: if you start a session to only block apps on your mobile device, you will still be able to see this active session when you login to your Freedom account from a desktop computer.

You will have 3 options for scheduling sessions:

  1. Start Now - You can start a session right away by just entering the time you want it to run for.
  2. Start Later - You can set up a time later in the day if you want to schedule a block of time to really buckle down and get something done.
  3. Recurring Session - Here you can set a timed session to occur on certain days of the week. This is excellent if you have a fixed schedule and need to block out distractions at certain times of the day regularly.
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Desktop View

As you can see above, you will be able to select which Blocklists you want to block out for the session, or you can choose to block All Websites. And you will also be able to choose which devices you want to enforce the session on, all of which are synced to the same Freedom account.

You will also be able to start a session within the app, as you can see here:

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In the screenshot above I only had it selected to "Block Android Apps" that I have chosen, but I can also choose to block my "Distracting Websites" Blocklist as well...

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*Note: I hope I'm not making this more confusing than it is. Inside Freedom it's actually very simple and easy to set all of this up.

Installing Freedom

As you know you are able to use one account to manage all your devices, and it doesn't matter what they are.

Freedom has the software, apps, and extensions to work on everything... but the installation process will differ depending on the device.

Macbooks & Windows Computers

If you go to freedom.to/downloads you will where you can click to download the software to your Mac or Windows computer.

For Mac you will download the FreedomSetup.dmg file and drag it over into your Applications.

For Windows you will download a .exe file and go through the quick installation process.

Smart Phones & Tablets

If you have an iPhone or iPad you can download Freedom for IOS devices on the Apple App Store and if you have an Android phone or tablet you can download the app on Google Play.

After downloading the app you will be able to login to your existing account or create a new one if you don't yet have one.

Chromebooks & Linux Computers

And if have a computer that operates on ChromeOS or Linux they have an extension that you can easily download on the Chrome Webstore.

*Information on all of this can be found on the Freedom download page.

Additional Complimentary Browser Extensions

Freedom also has some browser extensions that are completely free and are supposed to compliment Freedom--and can be used by themselves if you with.

*These are supported on Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera.

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1. Pause - This extension allows you to list websites that you waste your time on and it makes you pause for a period of time before visiting them... so that you can think for a second if it's really a good idea to proceed.

Example: I have Youtube on my list of sites to block me on because I sometimes find myself watching pointless Youtube vidoes instead of working. So when I try to go to Youtube it will make me "Pause for a few seconds" before proceeding. I have my pause only set at 5 seconds, but you can change this.

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You can get Pause on the chrome web store.

2. Limit - This extension allows you to limit your time on certain websites that might be wasting your time. It as another great way to increase productivity and you can set your own limits.

You can get Limit on the chrome web store as well.

Insight - Another great extension, Insight shows you how much time you are spending on different websites so that you know how much time is going to waste, which may surprise you.

You can also get Insight on the chrome web store.

All three of these extensions are incredibly simple but effective. In particular I like the Pause extension most.

User Reviews/Complaints

On Google Play the Freedom app has around a 3 out of 5 star rating and on the Apple App Store the rating is right around the same.

To be honest, the rating isn't quite as good as I was expecting to see based on my experience. But most of the user reviews out there are positive...

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Some of the complaints I personally have along with others I have found include...

Complaints

Can't Get Out of a Session

Once you are in a session there is no getting out of it and if you want to go to a website or app that you have blocked then you have 2 options:

  1. You can logout of Freedom, whether on the app or from your online account.
  2. or, You can edit your Blocklist to allow you to access websites that were blocked as a session is going on.

*Note: There is a lock feature inside Freedom that allows you to lock in the settings, so that you cannot unblock websites as a session is going on. In this case your only option would be to logout of your account.

I would like to see some sort of override feature to allow users to access blocked apps/websites when in need, which brings me to my next complaint...

No Override Feature

The work that I do online sometimes requires me to use sites like Facebook and Youtube for research. However, I still want them blocked by Freedom because I don't want to end up on these sites wasting my time.

I would be nice if there was some sort of override feature where you would initially be blocked from entering a site on your blocklist but could somehow override the block, such as by entering a PIN/password or something.

As mentioned, you are able to to edit your blocklists during a session as long as Locked Mode isn't on, but this is much more time consuming and a pain.

"Too Easy to Uninstall"... ?

​​One interesting complaint I came across from more than one person is that it is "too easy to uninstall", in which they are talking about how anyone can easily uninstall it and continue to access distracting websites/apps.

These are likely from people who have very serious cases of easily being distracted.

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*I think there would likely be a lot more complaints if it were difficult to uninstall.

Too Many Work-Arounds

Here I am complaining that there should be easier ways to override the blocking power of Freedom and it seems that most complaints are to the contrary... people complaining about Freedom not having enough blocking power.

There are quite a few other complaints from people who wish the app would pretty much take total control of your device and allow no access to Blocklists under any circumstances.

... but I don't think this will ever happen because this could cause a number of other problems.

Just Doesn't Work

And of course, like always, there are some people that have technical difficulties with Freedom, where is doesn't work properly and can be frustrating. Some people have complained that it doesn't sync across all their devices as it should, that it won't work on certain devices, etc. 

I, for one, don't have any experience with this however.

Pros v Cons

Pros
  • Can sync across all devices
  • Very simple layout and easy to use
  • Can easily boost productivity if you often get distracted
  • Not too expensive
Cons
  • Glitches for some people
  • It is possible to get around Freedom and visit Blocked websites/apps (some people see this as a con)

Is Freedom App a Scam?

Absolutely not.

Freedom is a great invention and has a solid team behind it. Yes, this app does take control of your computer/device to some extent... but it definitely not a scam in any way, shape, or form.

I think that the creators are doing a great service by bringing this to the world.

Conclusion - Worth Using or Not?

The cost of Freedom is either:

  • $6.99/mo if you pay monthly
  • $29/yr if you pay yearly (which is $2.42/mo)
  • $129 forever (one-time payment)
  • And they also offer a free trial to test things out

Now whether or not you think it is worth it based on these prices is completely up to you.

How often do you get distracted? How much more money could you be making or how much more time could you be saving if you didn't get distracted so much?

I think it is well worth it for a lot of people out there but it depends on your situation.

Get Your Free Trial of Freedom Here

And at the very least I would recommend using the free Pause, Limit, and Insight browser extensions that they provide. You can't get these on your mobile devices, but they are better than nothing... and free of course.

Now it's your turn: Have you used Freedom? What has been your experience and what do you think about it? 

Leave your comments/questions below. I like to hear back from my readers 🙂

One more thing: I mentioned that I work for myself online. If anyone is interested in how I went from $0 to over $6,000/mo online you can read my guide here... which will explain exactly how I do it and how you can do the same.

14 Ways to Make Money Posting Ads for Companies

Have you ever heard that you can make money posting ads for companies? Well if you haven't, now you have. 

There are many ways to go about doing this, some better than others. The point of this article is to go over a handful of them and give you a better understanding of the opportunities that exist out there so that you have a better idea of what is right for you.

  • Some opportunities have high earning potential, others no so much
  • Some require experience, others don't
  • Some are freelance, some aren't
  • Some you can get started with for free, others have a startup cost

Let's get to it...

14 Ways to Make Money Posting Ads for Companies

Leveraging a Blog

If you have a blog or are thinking about starting one, you will be happy to know that there are a variety of ways to monetize it by posting ads for companies.

1. Google Adsense

While you aren't actually "posting ads for companies" yourself when you use services like Google Adsense, you are helping companies advertise through ads posted on your blog. How it works is you simply paste a code onto your website and Google handles the rest. They decide what ads will be posted to show your visitors and you get paid based on clicks.

While Google does take a about a 32% cut of the fee advertisers pay to place ads (source: reliablesoft.net), it's still worth it for many blog owners because of how easy it is to implement.

  • Pros: Easy to get started with, trusted service, no dealing with clients
  • Cons: Need your own website, low pay, no guaranteed income

2. Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are sometimes called advertorials. They are posts that people/companies will pay you to publish on your blog.

If you have a blog that gets a fair amount of traffic, you will naturally have people and companies in your niche reach out to you for this kind of service.

The purpose of these sorts of posts is to drive traffic to another website and/or promotion. So if you have a blog about Yoga for example, you might get contacted by another website in the Yoga niche to publish a post in order to help promote some new product of theirs.

The sponsor (the person paying you) will write these posts so it isn't much work on your part. However, you want to make sure that the content is unique and that it won't tarnish your brand.

As stated, people may naturally reach out to you for these services once your blog is established. What you can also do, however, is make a menu tab labeled 'Sponsored Posts' on your blog to advertise this sort of ad posting service.

  • Pros: You set your own rates, lots of earning potential
  • Cons: Need your own website and it will need good traffic for anyone to want to pay you for this, not realistic when just getting started, no guaranteed income

Affiliate Marketing & Referral Marketing

Both affiliate marketing and referral marketing are two 'easy' methods of making money where you are essentially posting ads for companies. Neither require any qualifications to get started with and can both be done for free in some ways.

Affiliate marketing is when you promote products for companies and earn commissions when you help make sales. This is an extremely easy business model to get involved with because it requires almost no startup cost. There is no need to create your own products, deal with customers... all you do is promote.

Example of Affiliate Marketing: There are tons and tons of affiliate programs out there, but Amazon's is the most well-known. In order to earn commissions promoting Amazon products all you have to do is sign up to get started, which is free. Fitness equipment, refrigerators, lamps, go-carts, ping pong tables... there are affiliate programs where you can promote pretty much anything you can think of.

Referral marketing is the same thing just instead of promoting products you are promoting some sort of service or opportunity, where you would use a referral link to get people to join whatever it is you are promoting.

Example of Referral Marketing: There are so many examples. Uber is good and popular one. Anyone can promote the Uber driving opportunity and when you get people to join Uber as a driver, you can potentially earn up to $1,000 for just one referral (depends on how long the driver stays with Uber and how much they drive).

3. Affiliate & Referral Marketing On Social Media

This is going to be the easiest choice for most people, but not necessarily the best.

Promoting a product or trying to get someone to sign up for some opportunity through your referral link can be as simple as posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. 

The good news is that this is completely free to do. Joining affiliate programs doesn't cost a thing and there are also lots of free opportunities you can join and then promote with referral links to make money. The bad news is that unless you have a large social media following or have social media marketing experience, this likely won't work out too well.

Posting to your personal social media accounts can be effective, but another approach to take is posting in Facebook groups that are relevant to what you are promoting, which can be very effective if done right.

  • Pros: No startup cost, easy, good income potential
  • Cons: Will likely need a large social following or experience, no guaranteed income

4. Through Email

Another option you have that works great for both affiliate and referral marketing is sending out ads/promotions via email. And no, I'm not talking about logging into your Gmail account and sending emails to a dozen or so people who you know. What I'm talking about is blasting out hundreds or even tens of thousands of emails at once to a large lists of people using an email service like Aweber or GetResponse.

If you have a website then you probably know about 'list building', which is when you get your website visitors to give you their emails... which add to your email list--whom you can then send emails to at any time.

However, most people don't have email lists. The good news is that you can actually purchase these online. The bad news is that it can cost a lot and isn't a very good choice (although some people do it and it works well).

Example: You have an email list of people who like dogs. You send out an email about some awesome new healthy vegan dog-food. Some people are interested and buy the product you are promoting, thus earning you a commission.

  • Pros: Promotions only to targeted people, can contact your list whenever
  • Cons: Most people don't have email lists, no guaranteed income

5. With a Blog

Just about every blog-type website you find on the internet is involved in some sort of affiliate or referral marketing, including my own. And the ones that aren't... well they probably are just unaware that such an opportunity exists or else they would be.

Have you ever been on a website and seen a button where you can "Check Price on Amazon" or just a general link to "click here to buy" or "click here to sign up"? Ya, these are affiliate or referral links most of the time.

It's effective and it works works great. Since a blog is all about writing and providing good content, what you do is write about whatever it is you want to write about and promote relevant products/services or opportunities.

Promotions could be subtle, such as writing a blog post about 'how to train your dog after buying an electric fence' and promoting some name-brand electric fence. Or, they can be much more focused, such as writing an entire review post about a brand of dog food and promoting it.

Placing ads like this on blogs can be very effective and a huge upside is that you can get free traffic from search engines, which can lead to a passive income opportunity... but the downside is that it takes a lot of work--you need a blog!

  • Pros: Effective, passive income potential, high income potential
  • Cons: Takes a lot of work, writing articles/blog posts isn't for everyone, not guaranteed income

6. On Youtube

Youtube is also another viable option that you see a lot of people using. If you like to get on camera and have the personality for this sort of thing then it may be worth considering. 

It is free to use and Youtube is considered the second largest search engine, right next to Google--and is continuing to grow. It can be a great option and you will often see Youtubers monetizing their channels with affiliate and/or referral marketing.

Just think about it... how many times have you heard someone on Youtube say to "click the link down below" to buy a product or sign up for something?

And not only can you earn money from this, but you will also earn from the ads that Youtube displays on your videos.

  • Pros: Free, growing platform, can be extremely effective
  • Cons: Not every wants to be on camera, will take a while to grow a channel, not guaranteed income

Leveraging a Large Social Media Following

If you have a large social media following, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you will be able to leverage this with affiliate and referral marketing as mentioned above, but what you can also do is get paid to give 'shout-outs' and share other people's posts.

This is basically 'sponsored posts' on social media... where you get paid to post something on Facebook (for example) to promote another channel, a product relevant to your following, or whatever it is that someone is willing to pay you to post.

7. Sponsored Shout-Outs

A shout-out on social media is when you simply mention a product, brand, opportunity, etc. in a positive light.

If you have a Facebook page about funny cat videos that has grown to have tens of thousands of followers, you will naturally be contacted by companies looking for you to drive some traffic to them by giving shout-outs.

For this type of thing you will be able to charge whatever you want. There is lots of potential here but you will need a large following for companies to want to advertise through your channel like this.

  • Pros: Lot of potential, you set your own pay rate, no startup cost
  • Cons: You need a large social following, can't just start from nothing, not guaranteed income

8. Sponsored Shares

Posting ads for companies can also be as simple as sharing a post on social media.

For example: A cat product company might contact your popular Facebook page about funny cats to share a post that they recently posted on their page. The purpose of this could be to just increase brand awareness and get more followers or it could be more direct... such as sharing a post that is a product promotion.

You actually see this all the time on social media, just most of the time it is pretty much unnoticeable.

  • Pros: You set your own rates, plenty of potential
  • Cons: You need a large following, can't start from nothing, not guaranteed income (because you aren't guaranteed people will contact you for this sort of service)

Paid Ads

9. Running Pay-Per-Click Ads

Running PPC (pay per click) ads is something that anyone can start doing and knowing how to do this profitably can be a very good skill to have.

If you want to go at this alone you can combine it with affiliate/referral marketing... running ads on Google (Google Adwords) and other search engines to promote products for various brands and hopefully earn commissions.

Doing this correctly (profitably) can be a challenge. But the good thing is that once you find that profitable sweet spot, you often can simply increase your ad spend to increase your earnings. You don't need to naturally gain a social following, create a blog, wait forever to have a bunch of subscribers on Youtube... instead you just pay for traffic instantly.

  • Pros: Can be very profitable, easy to scale, can lead to instant profits if you know what you are doing
  • Cons: Can be very expensive, isn't easy to run a profitable ad campaign, not guaranteed income

10. Managing Company Ad Campaigns

If you have experience running PPC ads you could sell your skills to companies, running their ad campaigns for them. So instead of running your own ads promoting products via affiliate marketing, you are getting paid by companies to run ads for them, sometimes on a per-project/campaign basis.

There are different ways to do this, but what I'm talking about here is freelance, where you can set your own pay rates.

If you go on sites like Fiverr you will see plenty of people advertising their ad managing services...

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There is lot of money to be made here but anyone who does freelance work like this knows that it is difficult when you start out and are trying to get your first clients.

  • Pros: Good potential
  • Cons: Need to have experience, hard to get started on freelance websites without a reputation, not guaranteed pay (because you aren't guaranteed clients)

'Real' Advertising Jobs

11. Work for a Company Running Ads

Up until this point every method of getting paid to run ads for companies has been some sort of independent contractor work... where you are not guaranteed any pay. And while these all have great income potential, failure rates are high without a doubt.

If you are a traditional type of person looking for more traditional style work, then the best option would be to find a real job... working as an employee for a company.

There are tons of job board sites out there where you can find advertising jobs: ZipRecruiter, Indeed, Monster, etc.

A quick search for "advertising" jobs on ZipRecruiter brought up well over 100k results for me. And even when I searched for jobs in my area there were over 600. Some of the jobs you can find are entry level while others require a great deal of experience. If this is what you are looking for it's worth doing a few searches to see what comes up.

The upside to jobs like this is, of course, job security and knowing how much money you will make... but one of the big downsides is that you will need education and/or experience or else you likely won't get hired by anyone.

  • Pros: Job security, salary or hourly wage
  • Cons: Need experience and/or education, limited earning potential

Offline Advertising

When you think of posting ads you probably think of doing it from the comfort of a computer, and maybe sitting on your couch as you relax. But, there are a few easy ways to make money posting ads for companies OFFLINE.

12. Post Ads on Your Car

Have you ever seen cars driving around with large decals promoting different brands? It is logical to think that these people work for the companies, but a lot of people you see driving around with such are just normal people... who are getting paid to have ads posted on their cars.

Carvertis, StickerRide, etc... there are lots of different websites you can go to in order to sign up to cash in on this opportunity.

You will get paid based on where you live, how much you drive your car around in public, what type of car you have and so on. Of course if you have a nicer car you will be able to get paid more.

*If you have a car like that pictured above then this probably isn't going to work

  • Pros: Passive income, no work required
  • Cons: Won't earn much, need a car 

13. Get a Tattoo

Don't worry, I'm not talking about a permanent tattoo that is going to stay with you the rest of your life... although you could probably get paid a heck of a lot more for such.

You won't have to walk around with the ugly logo tat on your forehead forever.

What I'm talking about is getting paid to wear temporary tattoos, which you can sign up to do at places like LeaseYourBody.com.

There have been people who have made 10's of thousands of dollars with this, although these are extreme cases and this definitely shouldn't be expected.

  • Pros: Very easy, passive income, temporary
  • Cons: Probably won't make much, strange looks from other people guaranteed

14. Wear a Shirt

If getting a tattoo, although temporary, is too extreme for you then you may be more interested in simply wearing a t-shirt. We all wear shirts already anyhow... so what have you go to lose?

There are websites like TeesPay that you can join to get in on this opportunity, but you will probably have to join a waiting list because I guess there aren't all that many advertisers willing to pay for this method of advertising yet.

Additionally, at times you will find companies running their own advertising campaigns and paying people directly to wear clothing with their logos and what not. Cracked did this a while back, but it involved more than just simply wearing their shirts and probably isn't the best example.

  • Pros: Very easy
  • Cons: Low income potential, not much opportunity

Scam Warning

Fake job scams in this category are actually pretty common so it's important that you know what to avoid.

Many opportunities are promoted as ways to make easy money "posting links" for companies. If you ever come across an opportunity that says you can make high amounts of easy money, and it just sounds too good to be true... it's probably best to avoid it.

And if you ever have to pay for anything upfront... avoid!.. unless of course you are doing freelance work that requires you to pay for things on your own beforehand, such as setting up a website, paid ads, etc.

Final Thoughts

There are many ways to get paid to post ads for companies, more or less, and I hope this post wasn't too overwhelming. I know I covered quite a lot.

What the best choice for you is depends on what exactly you are looking for. While great opportunities like affiliate marketing are easy and very low cost to get involved in... they are not something you can start making good money with right away. And while working for an actual company as an employee will provide you with good pay from the start, there is less potential and freedom with this. 

So they all have their upsides and downsides.

One of the best opportunities, in my opinion and based on my experience, is affiliate marketing. I've been doing this since 2015 and actually make a living doing so. If interested, you can check out this program that I use to get started... just don't expect to make money fast.

Also feel free to take a look at my top picks for making money from home.

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Club Cash Fund – Scam or Legit? [Review]

Is Club Cash Fund really the super easy way to make money through the mail that it is said to be? Or is Club Cash Fund a scam that you would be better off avoiding?

The question of it being a scam or not is certainly something worth looking into more. After all, there are plenty of online scams, cash gifting scams and whatnot to go around–and this very well seems like it could be something of this sort based on how it looks at a glance.

But anyways… I dug a little deeper into what this system is, how it works, etc. and in this review I’ll be going over all of this, including why I DON’T RECOMMEND JOINING.

Club Cash Fund Review

I came across this place after landing on this website talking about how I could get easy money in the mail, like “clockwork”. My scam senses were tingling but I decided to proceed and check it out.

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That’s when I was directed to the video presentation for Club Cash Fund…

Club Cash Fund

Everything in the video sounded pretty amazing, but of course it all sounded a bit too good to be true as well–which just increased my suspicions.

Some of the things stated in the video include things like “you can start getting $100’s per day in as little as 2 weeks”…

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.. that it is fun and easy, and that no selling of anything is required.

.. that it is:

  • Simple and automated
  • Extremely lucrative
  • and cranks out $100 bills like clockwork

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The video didn’t really explain all that much. It made the opportunity sound incredible, but offered no good explanation of how it all works.

The next step that I was pushed into was to enter my mailing address so that I could get a Starter Kit, which is where all the information would be on how to get started and all.

Although it was seeming more scammy than ever at this point, I entered my info and was directed to another video, which was with “Chad” (real name John), the creator, wearing a red-hot chilli peppers shirt driving his car and mailing out a bunch of starter kits to new members…

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What Is Club Cash Fund?

In short, Club Cash Fund is a cash gifting scheme. What you do is buy into this scheme by sending money (cash or money order) in the mail with the hopes of making money by getting others to do the same. When you buy in you are given access to the system so that you can refer others in.

I know this system is promoted as being some new thing that is an amazing opportunity, but the fact of the matter is that this is nothing new by any means–many have come and gone before it.

The creator of this system goes by the name of “Chad” as you may have heard mentioned, however his real name is John.

Who Is Chad? (John)

Chad, whose real name is John Stalvey, talks about how he has been making money online since 2002 and has had to avoid a lot of scams, but it appears that he as actually been involved in quite a few scammy programs over the years. Worse yet, he has created quite a few.

According to BehindMLM, a trusted website that often exposes unethical programs/systems, Chad created a program called Traffic Authority back in 2015, which I only heard about after the collapse in 2018. Then, later in 2018, he came out with Finish Line Network, which I am very familiar with–it was basically a system where people buy in looking to make money and then try to make money by recruiting others in–not much different from Club Cash Fund, just without the sending money in the mail part of it.

So who is Chad? He’s a guy that has been involved in many shady online business practices… many that have went bust.

Not exactly the type of thing you want to hear when buying into a program..

How It Works

If you watched the video presentation then you have an idea of how it starts out.

How it starts is you watch the video presentation, enter your address and receive a starter kit. Then it’s time to pay to get access to the system, which will cost you $80. You will send this money by mail via cash or money order and it will be split between the person that recruited you into the system, the person that recruited that person in, the person above them, and the company.

With the money that you pay to join you will get access to a website, website hosting and an email service. Then the goal is to recruit others into the system and get them to pay $80 to join. You will send people to your website, get them to give you their email addresses (just like you probably had to), and then they will be sent to the video presentation (same one you probably watched).

So the system is set up for you, you just have to send people to your website and then the process begins.

One thing that makes this particular cash gifting program different from many of the others that are out there is that you don’t handle other people’s cash yourself. It’s not like people are going to be sending you cash in the mail when you recruit them into the system, which is how it would usually work. Instead, there is a moderator and everything is sent to them. So when you join you send your money to the moderator and same with the people that you get to join. When you get paid this is where the money will come from.

In a Nutshell…

  • You send in $80 to join

  • You get a website, hosting and an email service

  • Your goal is to send people to your website to recruit them in just as it happened to you

Compensation Plan

I’ve watched a video on Youtube talking about how this compensation plan has 4 levels and whatnot, but that way of explaining it was confusing as heck.

Think of it like this: When you send in your $80 to join it is split in 4 ways: $20 goes to the person who recruited you in, $20 goes to the person that recruited them in, $20 goes to the person that recruited that person in, and $20 always goes to the system itself.

When you recruit someone in you get $20, the person that recruited you in gets $20, the person that recruited that person in gets $20 and $20 goes to the system.

The Money always goes 3 levels up. It’s nothing more than a MLM (multi-level marketing) compensation plan–a very simple one.

Leverage comes into play when the people you recruited in go out and recruit people, which you make money from–and same with the people that those people recruit in.

Can You Make Much Money?

You absolutely can make money with a shady system like this. While I definitely am not going to be recommending that you join, I won’t lie to you–you can make money–as long as you get in before its collapse, which seems to be inevitable based on Chad’s previous creations and the way this works.

That said, take a look at the income disclaimer…screenshotThat’s right… the projected average income is likely to be anywhere from $20 – $10,000 per year.

Well what the heck is that supposed to mean? What’s the point of even making such a statement?

Obviously Chad is well aware that this system is not the incredible guaranteed to make easy money online that it is promoted as being–which is why he projects that the average annual income could be as low as $20.

“It’s Not Like Some of The Scam Ones [systems] Out There” – HUH???

One of the claims that I’ve heard is that this system is different from any other–like it is some new amazing thing that has never happened before and that you are going to get rich from.

While I will say that the way it works with the moderator and all is a bit different from most, it definitely is not some amazing new creation.

The basics are the same–you buy in and then you try to recruit others to buy in. There are tons of systems like this. Who cares about the part where you send money to the moderator–this alone doesn’t make it some guaranteed income maker.

All in all it sounds exactly like the many scammy systems out there–and it has one major problem that a lot of others do as well…

The Main Problem With This System

The main problem here, which is the reason most people are going to make little to no money at all with this system, is that you pretty much are going to have to have internet marketing experience to make this work.

Traffic is key. Without traffic–without getting people to visit your website you won’t recruit anyone in and you won’t make any money.

But how are you going to get that traffic. I hear people mention posting things on Facebook and in Facebook groups, but this isn’t going to work well. Sure, if you post something on your profile you may get a few people to join, but then what? And posting in Facebook groups, although it can be a very good way to go about this, isn’t something that you just go out and do easily to make money.

I’ve been involved in online marketing since 2015 so I know that traffic generation isn’t as easy as it may seem at first, especially when you are trying to direct people to a scammy program like this–which others will be suspicious of as well, just like you.

Conclusion – Not Recommended

Most people that join this aren’t going to stand a chance of making much. This is one reason I don’t recommend it. Another is the fact that it provides no real value. It’s just a system for making money that you can make money with by recruiting others in, which will then go out and recruit others in–its a big scammy cycle.

Who knows how long this system will last, but probably not all that long.

My advice–don’t join, but if you do you better do it soon while it’s new.

There are far more legitimate and better ways to make money online than this–ways that you can make money by providing real value rather than just recruiting others in to make money. If interested I would highly recommend taking a look at this program that I use to make a living working online–and that I’ve been a member of since 2015.

Alternatively you can take a look at some of my top income ideas, all of which are better than this cash gifting scheme.

I hope you found this review helpful. Please leave your comments and/or questions below. I like to hear back from my readers 🙂

Is CEO Movement a Scam? – What You Should Know

CEO Movement sounds pretty awesome and all, but is it really? Will it really help you make money online or is CEO Movement a scam that you would be better of avoiding?

Recently I came across an ad for this place that was for a ‘100% no cost’ webclass that I could attend. It stated that I would be able to “start and grow your [my] very own social media business even if you [I] have no online experience and nothing to sell”.

If you have been on my website before then you know I make money online–but what I do is affiliate marketing through SEO–so starting my own social media business peaked an interest in me.

The webclass is free, so what do I have to lose, right?

So anyways… here is my review after learning more and looking into it further…

CEO Movement Review

CEO Movement

The founder of this place is Rob Brautigam, who was also involved in a past online business coaching program called Project Q1, which received all sorts of scam accusations.

CEO Movement is described as an exclusive team of online business owners and “10x internet lifestyle entrepreneurs”–which consists of people at beginner, intermediate, and expert levels of online business knowledge. Basically it is a program that you can buy into that will provide you with training to make money online, a Facebook group to interact with other members, and the automated system they have in place to make money (*if you want to make money promoting the same system to others).

There are also expensive ‘mastermind’ events (like many ‘make money online’ programs now offer) that you can attend around the world.

How It Works – What They Don’t Tell You

It all starts out with an email or an ad of some kind. Usually people promote the free webclass webinar. This is how it started for me.

They tell you that you don’t have to buy anything and that they “don’t hold anything back”, but as we all know these free webinars are used to lure people into buying products/service.

There are many different webinars and sales funnels floating around the internet out there. I’ve signed up and watched 2 different ones just to see what was going on and any differences. They may differ some but they all are the same basic thing and have the same basic structure.

In the webinar I was watching the spokesman talked about the process of making money with what CEO Movement teaches its members. The way it works is like this…

First you advertise a product/service/opportunity on Facebook (this is the main traffic generation method used), then you direct people to a page to sign up for something free (like a webinar with free info), then there is a ‘thank you’ page, after that the person gets pitched the “irresistable” offer during the sales video and when they buy whatever it is that you are pitching you get paid…
screenshotHOWEVER, what they don’t tell you is that when you are watching the ‘free’ webinar you are in their sales funnel at that point. At that point you have already signed up by giving your name and email–and you are about to get pitched an “irresistable” offer, which in this case is to join CEO Movement.

It’s a Cycle

Like many of the “make money online” opportunities that exist out there, this place is largely focused on getting people to join, selling them on expensive training and what not, then getting them to go out and do the same–rinse and repeat.

It is true that what you learn here could be applied to just about any online business. The Facebook advertising techniques, the sales funnel approach–this stuff could be used to make money online in many different ways and you could venture out on your own and give it a try–BUT the bottom line is that they want you to promote the system and if you join you will find this out.

There is a Facebook page called Is the CEO Movement a SCAM? that is dedicated to exposing this program as a scam and on the page there are some posts that show messages back and forth between someone looking to join and one of the ‘coaches’.

As you can see below, I’m not making this stuff up. The focus here is obviously on selling the opportunity to live a dream life and then getting those who buy in to do the same–hopefully making enough money to live a dream life by selling the opportunity to live a dream life–scammy isn’t it?
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What You Get as a Member

Automated System

If you attended any of the webinars out there you likely heard a lot of talk about being able to use their automated system, but they likely left out a lot of key information.

The automated system that they are talking about, which you will get access to as a member, is the sales funnel system to get people to join CEO Movement. This entire ‘automated system’ that they are talking about is for making money selling the opportunity. So if you wanted to go in a different direction and use what you learn here to sell your own product or whatnot, you are out of luck.

Training

Of course you are going to get access to training. You will be shown how to do every step of the advertising process, such as…

  • how to market and sell their top product picks
  • how to find a target audience
  • how to use Facebook ads

However, there won’t be much of any focus or training on creating sales funnels or key parts of marketing in this area.

Why not?

Well, because they are counting on you selling the system to other people and using their automated system that is already in place. Sure, this is easier because it requires less work from you, but it’s undoubtedly a bit on the scammy side.

Facebook Group Access

You will get access to a private FB group where you can interact with other members. I love this idea and am really glad they included it here–just because it allows you to connect with others through a 3rd party, meaning you will be able to talk freely (maybe not directly within the group, but you can always reach out to other members directly since you will know them).

Weekly Masterminds

Masterminds have become popular with educational “make money online” programs–as they are here.

Members get access to weekly masterminds, which as far as I know can be focused on pretty much any topic related to online marketing.

1-on-1 Coaching

This might be a bit misleading, because the “coaches” are often a little pushy and may even seem to be a bit more like salespeople.

You will be able to receive help, but most of the help will be provided getting you to promote the system.

Live Events

I’m not completely sure how often live events are held, but they do have live events all over the world and with a pro membership you get access to everything.

Commission Structure (Compensation Plan)

A lot of the information about how this all works they keep pretty private, so I had to do a good bit of digging around to try to find out more.

What CEO Movement has is what is called a 2-tier affiliate structure, which means that you can get paid commissions from the products that your personal recruits buy (tier 1) and from the products that their recruits buy (tier 2).

So if you recruit in Joe and he goes out and recruits in Susan, you will earn commissions from both.

unilevel planAs you can see in the diagram above, there can be unlimited numbers of recruits on any level.

I don’t know the exact commission percentages you earn, but it’s obviously going to be much less for the second tier members than for those you personally recruit in on the first tier.

Cost to Join

So… if you watched one of the webinars you may have been led to believe that the cost is only $99. This is the initial cost but there is more than this.

In the webinar that I watched the spokesman specifically said that once I buy in I would not be upsold on any more expensive products–however this is not the case and is a complete lie.

Once you buy in for $99 on the frontend you will be upsold–and you will be upsold hard.

Appartently there are products that you will get upsold on that cost over $7k. The message below was also posted on the one Facebook page that I mentioned earlier…

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What you have to do is purchase each product at least one time. Well, you don’t have to, but you will certainly be encouraged to do so because once you purchase the more expensive products you will get the ‘licensing rights’ to resell those products, meaning you can sell them and earn commissions.

Members aren’t making big commissions getting people to join for $99. This is small. The upsells that come later are where they earn the big commissions and if you want to earn these commissions you have to buy the products first–even if you don’t want to.

Money Back Guarantee

On the $99 front-end membership product they have a 14 day money back guarantee. The other expensive 1-time purchase products come with a 7 day money back guarantee.

On the refund policy page it sounds pretty easy to get your money back. They call it a “no questions asked” refund policy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is harder to get your money back than they make it seem.

I’ve run into similar programs like this before and they often only let you get a refund “IF” (an only if) you have tried and it didn’t work. This means that you must have went through the training, joined the Facebook group, and did everything to try to get it to work. However, I’m not sure with this particular program–maybe it is easy to get a refund.

Recap

Okay, so let’s do a quick recap of what we are looking at here and put it all together.

  • CEO Movement is pretty much your typical high-ticket “make money online” program
  • They lure people in for $99 and then upsell them on products that cost thousands of $$$–which you have to buy if you want to earn commissions selling them
  • While you can apply what you learn here to other online businesses, you will be pushed to promote CEO Movement to others
  • It’s a cycle–you buy in wanting to make money online and then are pushed to make money online by getting others to buy in, who are also looking to make money online
  • The commission structure is 2-tiered, meaning you earn from your recruitss and their recruits

Digital Altitude, Aspire, Super Affiliate Network, etc.–these are all very similar high-ticket programs and there are plenty of others out there.

*By the way, Digital Altitude and MOBE have been shut down for being scams.

Conclusion – Scam or Not?

While I’m not going to call this a scam because there is a lot of value being provided with what you get when you buy in, I think we can all agree that what’s going on here isn’t exactly all that honest and legitimate.

Just think about it for a second… people are being lured in with the hopes and dreams of making big money online. Much of the details are left out early on, because if people knew what was really going on then many probably wouldn’t buy in. Then after they buy in they are pushed to get others to buy in and are upsold on expensive products that they will be able to resell for large commissions.

Yes you can make money with this. Yes, I’m sure there are people making over $10k per month like you have heard–but is this something worth getting involved in?

Anyhow, I’m not going to be promoting this program on my website here, but I’ll let you make your own decision as to whether or not you should join. I hope you enjoyed this review and found it helpful.

If you are looking for a personal recommendation from me then I would highly suggest taking a look at this program that I use to make over $6k per month online. I got started here in 2015 and am still a member, which says a lot.

Alternatively you can take a look at my top income ideas for making money from home.

Take care and thanks for reading! Be sure to leave any comments or questions below. I like to hear back from my readers 🙂

Is Virtual Vocations a Scam? – Review Tells All

Virtual Vocations is promoted as an easy way to find remote work (telecommuting work), BUT IT COSTS MONEY TO FIND THIS WORK!

Is Virtual Vocations a sleazy job board scam that you should do without or is paying for the membership well worth the price?

In this review I'll be going over all you need to know and then some--such as what all this place has to offer, different features, why they charge for membership, complaints, pros v cons and more.

Let's get to it so that you can see if it is worth it for you...

What Is Virtual Vocations?

Virtual Vocations

Virtual Vocations was founded in 2007 by Laura Spawn and her brother Adam Stevenson--and is a company dedicated to helping people find telecommute jobs, similar to job board called FlexJobs. The main part of their platform is the job board, but they also offer e-courses, job organization tools and a database of trusted telecommute companies.

Now you may be wondering... well what's the point of joining this platform if you can find telecommute jobs for free on job boards like Monster, Indeed, etc.? 

One of the main reasons this place differs from most is because they hand pick their job listings. All job listings are vetted by real people and members are able to rest assured that they won't get involved in any scammy opportunities. Additionally, this place focuses 100% on telecommute jobs so if this is the type of job you are in search of, it can be a lot easier finding a good match here than on other more general job boards.

Virtual Vocations claims to be the biggest hand-screened telecommute job database out there and this very well might be true. Some statistics (which change regularly) that I came across on the website include that they have...

  • 17,284 vetted companies and job boards searched daily
  • Over 680 new jobs found per day
  • Over 20,419 telecommuting jobs total

Their staff scours the internet going on job boards, social media, employer websites, blogs, etc. to find good telecommute jobs that are worthy of listing--and they are quite active when it comes to this.

Sounds pretty good and looks good from a first glance, but let's take a deeper look into what they  have to offer...

What You Get Access to As a Member

Job Board

To search for jobs you don't even have to sign up (but won't be able to see much information).

When you click on Jobs in the upper menu you will be taken to something that looks like this, where you will have a variety of ways to search for that perfect telecommute jobs...

virtual vocations

You can search directly by typing in specific keywords, use the advanced search feature (I'll go over this) or you can search for jobs using the filters over on the left-hand side, which include...

  • Job Category
    • Account Management, Consulting, Customer Service, Engineering, Healthcare, Writing, etc.
  • Telecommute Level
    • 100% telecommute, majority, frequently, occasionally
  • Location
    • Nationwide, you can search by state, region, and even timezone
  • Travel Requirements
  • Weekly Hours
  • Employment Status
    • Permanent, temporary, independent contractor, etc.
  • Employer Type
  • Career Level
    • Entry level, experienced, manager, etc.
  • Education Level
  • Additional Information
    • You can filter for companies that are 100% virtual, continuously hiring, offer benefits and more
  • Date Posted

There are plenty of filters at your disposal to really narrow in on jobs that are a good fit for you.

If you don't choose any filters it will just show you all the newest job listings, which are updated very frequently as you can see...

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This could be a good way to see what all is out there on the table, but you are more than likely going to want to filter your results because there are so many listings.

The Advanced Search feature basically just provides an easier way to use the filters listed above. So if you are going to be filtering the heck out of your results, you can enter everything in at once and filter it all together...

screenshot

What Kinds of Jobs Can You Find?

You can find pretty much every telecommuting job that exists, but most jobs listed here are for US citizens--although many jobs can be done from anywhere.

You will find entry level jobs that don't really require much at all, jobs that you need a college degree for, jobs in management and high level roles, and so on--all of which you can filter for of course.

There are lots of specialty telecommuting jobs in all sorts of fields (engineering, insurance, legal, medical, etc.).

What Kind of Jobs You WON'T Find on Virtual Vocations

The types of jobs that you won't find here are scammy opportunities that pay based on commissions and what not--which include MLM type opportunities, 'build your own business' opportunities and so on.

You will be able to find some freelance and independent contractor work, but much of what you find is remote work where you will be employed by a legit company--vetted by V.V. of course.

Applying to Jobs

V.V. works with companies to try to make the application process a little easier for job seekers. A good number of positions you will be able to apply for directly through the platform. You will be able to manage your portfolio, resume and supplemental documents inside your V.V. account which will make applying simple.

However, not all companies work with V.V. like this and for many postings you will have to apply directly on the company website, or wherever they choose, which you will be provided a link to.

Job Email Alerts

You probably don't want to spend hours each day looking at the new jobs that V.V. posts to try to be the first one to jump on an opportunity--and you don't have to because it's very simple to set up email alerts.

You will have to at least create a free account, and then you can navigate over to Job Email Alerts tab as shown below...

screenshot

When you click on the button to create a new alert, you will be directed to the Advanced Job Search feature where you can choose exactly what types of jobs you want to be alerted about as soon as they are posted.

This is a very necessary feature because time is of the essence when it comes to applying for jobs.

E-courses and Downloads

Not only does V.V. give you a nice curated list of hand-picked jobs, but they also help you get those jobs by providing some e-courses that will hopefully help out. Some of these include...

  • "Creating a Winning Telecommuting Resume"
    • 5 day e-course 
    • Premium only
  • "Telecommute Job Searching for Mid-Level & Professional Jobseekers"
    • 3 day e-course
    • Premium only
  • "Getting Started with Telecommuting"
    • 4 day e-course
    • Available to free members
  • Interview Guide for Telecommuters
    • Download
    • Available to free members
  • 20 Entry-Level Telecommute Jobs You Should Apply for Today
    • Download
    • Available to free members
  • 10-Point Telecommuting Action Plan
    • Download
    • Available to free members

There are some other guides and handbooks available as well. Some are available to all members while others you have to be a Premium Members to get access to.

To get access to these you will have to be a member--you can't access these without signing up. Then you can navigate over to the Telecommute Toolkit to find them...

screenshot

Job Organization Tools

What they are talking about when they mention "job organization tools" are the different little tools available on the platform that allow you to: set up custom email alerts, track jobs you are interested in, save documents like your CV and so on.

These are little things that help you stay organized on your job hunt.

Company Database

What you can also do on the platform is browse through the company database, which includes over 17k company profiles.

You will be able to search for companies in certain industries or you can search by keyword.

If you are interested in applying to a job offered by a certain company this can be a good way to stay up-to-date because you have easy access to company social media, website, news and jobs.

Career Services

Now you won't get access to these as a member, you will have to pay more, but they are worth mentioning in this section. These services can be purchased without a membership but if you have one you will get a discount.

The career services provided consist mainly of resume review. You can choose to have human resources professionals working at V.V. review your resume and help fine-tune it to your needs--professionals who have years of experience in resume writing.

*Note: The prices below are without the member discount.

  • Professional Resume Review - $69.99
  • Mid-level Professional Resume Review - $199.99
    • Mid-level LinkedIn Profile (add-on; can't be purchased alone) - $139.99
  • Executive Level Resume - $249.99
    • Executive Level LinkedIn Profile Makeover - $199.99

Cost to Join

As you know they have a free membership. This is nice and does provide some value, such as the ability to search for jobs, free e-courses and downloads, job alerts and what not, but you will likely feel like you pretty much have to go Premium as a free member.

Why?

Well, because the job database is the main part of this platform and as a free member your access is limited--which in my opinion is the main reason.

You can click to view "free jobs" which will give you full access to the job listings that are completely free to view, but these are limited.

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Many postings will only display limited information (no company info so you can't apply) and when you click to apply you will be sent to the order page to pay for the Premium Membership...

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The cost depends on how you want to pay.

  • Monthly - $15.99
  • 3 Month - $39.99
  • 6 Month - $59.99

I'd probably suggest starting off with the monthly plan. There is a good chance you won't land a job within a month (although some people have claimed to) but 2 months gives you a good amount of time and the cost there would be $31.98 ($15.99 x 2), which is still less than the 3 month plan--but the 3 month plan would be good if you want to take your time with this.

6 months--eh... hopefully you will land a job before then--so that might be a little too much. But it's all up to you.

Shouldn't a Job Search Be Free?

For everyone who is outraged or even slightly upset about having to pay for this service, I'll explain why it is this way and it will make perfect sense--but first let me say that I completely understand where you are coming from.

Job board sites like Indeed and Monster are free, so why isn't this place?

Well, most job board sites list paid job ads. They get paid by employers to list jobs. So what this means is that many of their featured listings might not be the best results, but they are showing up because the job boards got paid to show them.

V.V. doesn't list paid job ads and because of this your job search results are better--but of course they have to make money somehow and this is why you have to pay for a membership.

Is Virtual Vocations Worth The Price?

In my opinion V.V. can absolutely be worth the price you pay, but this is going to depend on what outcome one has after signing up.

If you land a great virtual position that is perfect for your education and experience level, then that easily makes the small membership fee worth it in the end--but if not then maybe not.

Either way, you can always try things out for a month or so and see how it goes--the cost isn't that much.

Money Back Guarantee

V.V. offers a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not happy with their products/services. I have seen no complaints against this, so I assume that they do stay true to their word.

What I Like/Don't Like

What I Like

While no one likes paying for something like this, the membership price is a necessary evil and I like the fact that there are no paid featured jobs, which we can thank the membership price for.

The platform is also well laid out and has plenty of job search filters, making it easier for narrowing in on specific types of jobs.

The organization tools and streamlined application process are also a plus and I like the fact that that they provide additional services (like the resume review) to help job-seekers out more--although you could argue that these are overpriced.

The transparency the company has is another plus-side worth mentioning. We know who is behind the company and they aren't afraid to show their faces, which says a lot. Visiting the About page you can learn more about the founders and upper level management at the company.

Overall there is a lot to like and I think V.V. does a pretty good job helping people find jobs, but there are a few dislikes I have as well...

What I Don't Like

They are a bit pushy with the premium subscription. After joining as a free member it almost seems as if there is no other choice but to pay for Premium Membership. You are taken right to the checkout page to enter payment details. It is only at the very bottom of the page where there is a small and almost un-noticeable button that says "Not Thanks, Let me see my current benefits".

screenshot

It's not a big deal that it's like this, but of course the less 'salesy' the better.

Along with this you will also be receiving promotional emails from them once you sign up as a free member. You can opt out of these emails but nonetheless it is annoying.

Common Concerns

Privacy

Privacy is always a bit of a concern when dealing with places that you are going to be giving personal information to. After all, if you plan on using this platform and taking advantage of all the features then you are going to be leaving them with a lot of info.

They take privacy seriously and aren't going to be selling your personal info for the heck of it. They also make clear in the FAQ section of their website that they never share or sell your email address with any other person/company--and of course they use SSL to encrypt data, which is the norm nowadays.

Support

Support is always a must. You never know when you might run into problems.

Luckily they provide a number of ways to get in contact with them and, all-in-all, I'm impressed.

If you go to the 'contact us' page you will be able to easily submit a support ticket--and they also give you the company mailing address, a customer service phone number (this is becoming more rare) and an email address.

VirtualVocations
2852 Willamette St. #173
Eugene, OR 97405-8200

  • 1-800-379-5092
  • customerservice@virtualvocations.com

Customer Reviews & Complaints

Most of the independent customers reviews I've been able to find come from the BBB's website, which is a good source of reviews that I often look at when doing my research.

The overall average rating is 3 out of 5 stars, which isn't that great, but it's nothing horrible either.

There are quite a few very positive reviews from people who are more than happy with their subscription--because they were able to find good jobs through the platform...

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It is more difficult to find a remote position through a 'normal' job board site--the one review above is completely correct on this.

Complaints

There aren't many complaints worth mentioning.

I'd say that the number one complaint, which I've come across from a few people, is that job listings are already filled...

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This is unfortunately something that happens, and happens with any job board site.

I imagine that they update their listings as best they can, cleaning out filled positions, but this is a problem and can be frustrating to job-seekers.

You also have some reviews flat-out calling this whole platform a scam...

screenshot

... but it seems that they are often upset with the membership fee and don't quite understand the business model.

Concern About Fake Reviews

You can see in the review pictured above the person is accusing Virtual Vocations of publishing fake positive reviews, which is a big problem in the online world.

I have a lot of experience filtering through reviews and it seems to me that there could be some fake reviews left here, but it's hard to say. Some of the reviews don't really seem very realistic and are too much of the same--which makes me think that people could have been encouraged in one way or another to leave falsely positive reviews. But as I said, I am in no way 100% convinced that this is the case--I just wanted to address the accusation above.

Overall the reviews are more positive than negative. This is a better sign than you may think because usually people are more willing to complain and leave negative reviews and skip leaving a review when their experience is good.

Is Virtual Vocations a Scam?

Virtual Vocations is not a scam. I'm sure you can see this, but I just want to make it clear because there are accusations floating around out there.

They provide a legitimate service and have a legitimate business model.

It also might provide some relief to see that they are accredited and have an A+ rating with the BBB.

Virtual Vocations BBB

And as you know, the company is very transparent, which is always important. If a company hides details about what's going on, then that is not a good sign.

Virtual Vocations is very clear with who is running the show, what they provide, costs, etc. They also have a detailed LinkedIn page, are active on Facebook and so on--very public.

Virtual Vocations Alternatives

There are tons of job boards out there--ZipRecruiter, Indeed, Monster, Simply Hired, etc.--but most of the sites, including all of these ones, are for general job searches. 

Yes, you can find telecommute jobs on any of them, but these types of jobs are not the focus and you will have much more trouble finding such.

That said, a lot of these types of job boards are completely free to use so if you are confident you can filter out low-quality or even 'scammy' jobs on your own, and you have the extra time to spend sifting through all the results and doing a lot more research on your own, you can get away with using the free sites. 

When it comes to close alternatives to Virtual Vocations, meaning alternatives that are focused on remote work and don't show paid job ads, then FlexJobs is another choice you have.

Virtual Vocations vs FlexJobs

General - Both platforms are pretty much the same type of deal. Both are job boards focused on remote work, both don't display job ads, both contain hand picked job results, both have membership prices, both help streamline the application process, both provide resume review services and more. They are incredibly similar.

Features - Not much difference here, but V.V. does allow easier job filtering in my opinion, and allows you to filter job results in ways that FlexJobs does not, such as by education level.

Price - FlexJobs wins here. Their monthly price is $14.95 (compared to V.V.'s price of $15.99), their 3 month price is $29.95 (compared to V.V.'s price of $39.99 for 3 months), and they have a year membership for $49.95 (V.V. only offers a 6 month membership and it costs more, at $59.99)

Ease of Use - They are laid out very similarly and if you look at things like the advanced job search feature on either platform you will see the same basic thing, but overall V.V. is probably a little easier to navigate. Searching for jobs, setting up alerts--I would say Virtual Vocations is a tad bit better.

I don't consider FlexJobs to be difficult to navigate by any means, but if you read my review you know that there have been complaints of such.

Reviews - FlexJobs definitely has a lot more positive reviews and an overall higher rating on multiple review sites out there--HOWEVER, in my FlexJobs review I mentioned that I am fairly certain quite a few of the positive reviews left are fake. With Virtual Vocation's reviews I think there is a small chance there could be some false positives, but with FlexJob's reviews I'm almost certain.

So which is better?

I'm sorry to leave you hanging here, but in my mind there is no clear better choice. Virtual Vocations costs more but I think it might be worth a bit more too--so as far as which is the better deal... I don't know.

Pros v Cons

Pros
  • Nice layout - easy to use
  • Hand picked jobs - and lots of them
  • Easy filtering options
  • Organizational tools available
  • Telecommuting jobs for all experience and education levels
  • Most jobs are employee positions, meaning guaranteed pay
Cons
  • Costs money
  • Mostly for people in the US - although as mentioned many positions are available in other places
  • Pushy to get you to pay for Premium Membership
  • Not good if looking for freelance work

Final Thoughts - Worth Joining?

If you...

  • are looking for a flexible telecommuting job
  • want good job search results 
  • don't want ads and potential scammy opportunities
  • have the extra money to spend

... then this place might be worth joining--but it is entirely up to you.

I'd suggest starting with the monthly payment and going from there, which is what most people do.

Other Options

If just looking for a flexible work opportunity, there are lots of options out there.

You could also go the freelancing route, in which sites like Freelancer.com, ProBlogger, and others might be worth taking a look at.

Something else you should consider is doing what I do--which in a nutshell is work for myself writing online on my own websites--in which I earn money from advertising. There is a lot of potential here but it's not something you start making money with right away--it takes time. 

To learn more and get started, you can check out this program I use to make a living--which I got started with back in 2015 and am still a member of.

Take care and I hope you enjoyed this review. Be sure to leave any comments or questions below 🙂 I like to hear from my readers.

Also, some other posts here on this site that are worth mentioning include 70+ ways to make money from home and my top income ideas.

Is Flexjobs a Scam or Worth The Price? – Review

If you are looking for remote work so that you can work from wherever you want, and possibly whenever you want to as well, then you may have come across the FlexJobs website, which claims to provide the best flexible remote jobs around.

Sounds like a no-brainer to sign up then, right? 

Well, the deterring factor, and probably one of the reasons you are looking for more information and wondering if this might be a scam, is because a membership here is not free--and of course you have to be careful with online job sites since there are so many scams online.

So anyways... is FlexJobs a scam? What do they have to offer? Will they really provide you with the best job opportunities? Is it worth the money? 

Let's find out in this review...

What Is FlexJobs?

FlexJobs

FlexJobs is an online job board whose focus is on helping people find flexible jobs, often remote positions. 

What makes this job board different from many of the others out there is that it is specifically focused on flexible type jobs and all of their jobs are vetted by real people--so you won't encounter those opportunities that sound too good to be true.

*What they consider 'flexible' might not be what you consider flexible. I'll go over some of the varying job opportunities they list.

The site was started way back in 2007 by Sara Sutton--who at the time was an entrepreneur who helped co-found another entry-level employment service. After noticing that there was no good way for people to find flexible work, and that many flexible job opportunities were scams, she decided to create FlexJobs. In addition to helping people find flexible work with this site, Sara also founded another site called Remote.co that helps companies see the opportunity that offering flexible remote work positions offers.

Since it's founding it has made quite a presence in the online world, and has even been noticed by Forbes, The Washington Post, CNN and other big media outlets.

Overall the platform is great for those seeking flexible work and could be well worth the price of a membership (emphasis on 'could'--it depends on what you are looking for).

As I'm writing this they have close to 30k job listings for 'flexible' jobs, over 5k companies hiring, 50+ job categories, and their staff spends well over 100 hours each day (total) researching new job opportunities.

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Now of course these statistics will fluctuate, but the point is that they are doing a lot. As you will see in this review, they provide more than just a job search tool and hand picked job postings--they also help job-seekers land positions by providing other help.

But You Have to Pay for a Membership--Is FlexJobs a Scam?

If you are the type of person that thinks it might be a scam just because you are required to pay for a membership--I understand where you are coming from but let me take a minute to explain why it costs money.

All of the job boards out there make money in one way or another, even the free ones. Many of the free job boards are making money through paid advertisements for job opportunities, meaning that they could feature a lousy job opportunity just because someone is paying them to do so. Additionally, many of the free job boards don't have people vetting their postings, and this often leads to a bunch of scammy opportunities.

FlexJobs doesn't allow jobs to be advertised on their platform and they vet every single listing--and this is why they require payment for their memberships--because they have to make money some way and they aren't making it from ads.

How FlexJobs Works

There are a variety of different ways to search for jobs on the platform and it can be a bit overwhelming at first.

You can search for the newest job postings, you can search for jobs by location, by different categories (over 50 of them), through an advanced search and so on.

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And when you search for jobs in any of these areas you can further filter your results.

For example: below I checked out all the new job listings that were posted--but that includes a lot and no one is really going to want to see every single job posted--so what you can do is click on the drop-down menu and filter the results for "only remote jobs", "only part-time jobs", and so on...

screenshot

Now if you really want to filter the heck out of your results you can use the advanced search feature. This will allow you to narrow in on a job using various filters such as:

  • Keywords
  • Words you want excluded in your search
  • US location or international country
  • Job type (Employee, freelance, etc)
  • Work schedule (Full-time, part-time, etc)
  • Job category
  • Remote work level (Fully remote, partially remote, etc.)
  • Career level (Entry level, experienced, etc.)
  • Whether or not you are willing to travel
  • And you can filter only featured and award winning employers if you want to
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*Note: If you are in the US you can filter your search more by selecting a state whereas in other countries you can only filter by whole countries--not that it matters that much since most people using this platform are looking for completely remote work.

Types of Jobs You Can Find

Remote jobs are becoming more and more common, so it's becoming easier and easier for people of all backgrounds to find flexible remote positions that fit their experience... or lack of experience.

As mentioned, there are over 50 job categories that you can use to search for specific types of jobs--all of which will bring up flexible jobs that have been curated by the FJ staff.

If you lack experience and education you can always filter your results to show 'entry level' jobs--and if you have experience and education in a certain field and would like to only see jobs that related to this, you can search for such.

Writing jobs, online customer service positions, remote careers in management--you can find it all. There are a lot of specialist jobs on this platform so don't think just because you are looking for something very specific you won't find it--you might and you can still search for jobs without paying for the membership, which might be worth a try.

Applying For Jobs

Not only does this place make it easy to find jobs, but they also work with 1000's of companies that they list jobs for to make the application process easier on you.

When you find a job you would like to apply for there are two ways to apply, and this depends on the company: you either apply right through FJ or you apply directly through the company.

Below each job posting you will either see a button you can click that reads "Apply for This Job", which will allow you to apply through FJ...

screenshot

..or you will see "To apply or learn more, go to original job post", which will take you to the company website where you can apply for the job...

screenshot

Other Features

Resume Profile

Of course they give you the ability to create an online resume profile, in which you can also attach work samples.

The purpose of this is to speed up the application process because, as I just went over, many of the jobs listed you can apply to right through FJ.

In addition to this, within your resume profile you will be able to select job categories you are interested in and the system will automatically alert you via email of new positions that are a good match for you.

Career Coaching

Members can also pay extra for things like coaching and resume review where FJ's career coaches will work directly with you.

Coaching - What you would do here is fill out a questionnaire about yourself and what type of job you are looking for--then you will be able to schedule a 30 minute live coaching session with one of their career coaches. The goal of the coaching sessions is to ultimately help you find a job faster, and during a session you might go over things about your resume/cover letter, practice interviews, set up an action plan, etc.

Resume Review - During a coaching session you could talk about your resume and get feedback, but with a full-blown resume review you can get a career coach to spend up to 2 hours optimizing your resume as best they can for your situation.

Membership Savings

As a member you will be able to get discounts and deals on a variety of different products/services that could be useful in your flexible job venture. These discounts range from 10% - 50% off and on the website they show discounts for products with:

  • Dell
  • Audible
  • Sittercity
  • Grammarly
  • Carbonite
  • skillcrush
  • QuickBooks and TurboTax
  • and even discounts for places like Costco

FlexJobs Membership Cost

As someone without a paid membership you still have access to the platform and can search for jobs, but the information that you will be able to see will be limited.

For example, below you can see much of the details for a job a clicked on, such as it being a full-time employee position, what education level is required, etc., but there isn't enough info to actually be able to apply or move forward if interested.

screenshot

There is no company information or anything. So pretty much if you are using the platform for free you will be left wanting and needing more--which you can only get if you pay.

The cost to join depends on how long you subscribe...

  • 1 year subscription for $49.95
  • 3 month subscription for $29.95
  • 1 month subscription for $14.95
FlexJobs Membership Prices

The year-long subscription is obviously the best price, but it's not really something I'd suggest--since hopefully you will be able to find a job much sooner than in a year's time.

The 1 month subscription is good if you are hesitant to join, since it is the cheapest, but in only 1 month there is a good chance you won't land a job--so the 3 month option might be the way to go--but the choice is yours.

Add-ons
  • Resume Review - $109
  • Career Coaching - $54
  • Resume Review & Career Coaching Bundle - $139

What I Like

Lots of Ways to Search for Jobs - I know the fact that there are quite a few options for searching for jobs may make things a bit more overwhelming, but I think FlexJobs does a good job keeping things simple while still allowing you to do some pretty detailed job searches.

There are plenty of remote jobs out there, finding the right one is the hard part.

Applying Is Easy - Using this platform also makes the application process a good bit easier than if you were to go out and do everything on your own.

Privacy - Privacy is always a concern when dealing with personal information and fortunately this place takes this seriously. You will be able to set your resume profile to "inactive" whenever you want to so that no one can see it. That said, there really isn't much reason to do this since the only people that will be able to see it are companies that have been vetted and are legitimate--but nonetheless you can do this for privacy reasons. 

Transparency - FJ is very transparent with who they are and what they do, which is nice to see. On the website you can take a look at the management team and their staff. You can see that they are real people and are not afraid to show their faces, which means a lot since with online scams and lousy programs the owners often hide behind their computer screens.

screenshot

Satisfaction Guaranteed - It's always nice to see a refund policy that allows you to get your money back if you are not happy. If you aren't satisfied you have 30 days to request a refund (some complaints about this however--which I'll go over)

Membership Savings - What they provide for the price is already enough in my opinion, so the membership savings is a nice little bonus that isn't really expected when you sign up for something like this.

What I Don't Like

Could Use a Filter for Job Requirements - There is no good way on the platform to search for jobs based on education level or experience level.

For example, you can search for 'entry level' jobs in certain categories, but some of these jobs may require that you have a bachelor's degree and experience--and if you have neither then seeing results that require such isn't going to make sense.

So it would be nice if you could filter your search results for jobs that have 'no experience required' and what not.

That said, there is a workaround that I figured out.

What you can do is exclude certain words in the advanced search tool that would exclude certain requirements. For example you can see that I excluded the words "bachelor" and "experience"--so this will exclude all the jobs that say you must have a bachelor's degree and experience...

screenshot

However there are some problems with this work-around because it will exclude ANY job listings that mention "bachelor" and/or "experience", even if they would say that "you don't need a bachelor's degree" or "no experience required".

That said, I tested it out and got some decent results so it might be worth a try.

Application Processes Can Require a Lot - The companies that FJ posts job listings for get to choose how they want people to apply (as mentioned). Some companies work with FJ to make things easier and allow people to apply directly through the platform while others require you to apply through the company website, and may require a lot.

I guess you could say that this is something "I don't like" but I know it is out of FJ's control and I know that they try to make things easy for us job seekers.

Addressing Scam Concerns

I already mentioned that this place is not a scam and I talked about how they have even been featured in articles by big media outlets like CNN & Forbes, but if you still have some concerns it may be somewhat of a relief to see that they have an A+ rating with the BBB and are accredited, which is as good as it gets (not that what the BBB thinks is always the best opinion though)...

FlexJobs BBB

In addition to being accredited and having a very good rating, they also have quite a few positive reviews left from members who are more than happy with the service provided.

For example, this person wrote that they were able to find a job within a month of becoming a member...

screenshot

And this woman (below) had a similar experience. She claims to have been looking (maybe not all that actively though) for a remote work position for 2 years and finally came across a great match within a month as well--a job match that was in the particular field she was looking for...

screenshot

And here is another great review that I came across--from someone who was able to find a job that fit perfectly with their education and experience...

screenshot

... and another claiming to have found the perfect position...

screenshot

In addition to the loads of good reviews with the BBB, other sites that allow people to easily leave independent reviews, like SiteJabber for example, are filled with positive feedback...

screenshot
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HOWEVER, how can we be so sure that all of these reviews are truthful?

Fake reviews are a big problem, especially when it comes to the online world. It's easy to leave fake positive reviews on many of these sites, or to simply incentivize customers to leave positive reviews. I review different potential scams all the time and see this happening all the time.

In my semi-professional fake review spotting opinion, it does appear that some of these reviews are likely fake or that people have been encouraged in one way or another by FlexJobs to leave positive reviews.

*This is just my opinion having a fair amount of experience filtering through reviews when reviewing programs.

There are too many reviews that are basically saying the same thing, as if they are based on a script, and overall they just seem a bit too positive to be realistic.

That said, even if the positive reviews can't be trusted 100% it definitely does not make Flex Jobs a scam or anything like that--and the fact that there are very few complaints and negative reviews says a lot.

Complaints

One thing that I noticed, which is a good sign, is that the number of complaints over the years has decreased. For example, I was just reading all of the low 1 & 2 star reviews on SiteJabber and found that none of them were written within the last couple years--all were old.

Some of the older complaints were that FJ didn't provide much more than the free job board sites when it comes to flexible job positions, but now they definitely do and the lack of recent complaints about this reflects that.

Other than that there really isn't much to talk about in this section.

There are some complaints I came across that are still relevant from people who think that:

  • The website is too hard to navigate
    • I agree it might be a big overwhelming at first, but I think they do a pretty good job at making it as simple as possible.
  • It is outrageous to have to pay for a service like this 
    • Already went over why it costs money--they have to make money somehow
  • Listings are old 
    • Yes, you can find old job listings here that already may be filled... It may be frustrating and it does happen, but the FlexJobs team does hand-clean and delete filled positions on a daily basis (so they say)
  • Getting a job through them is too difficult
  • Refund refusal
    • There was only one complaint I found about this--apparently someone was refused a refund for not liking what they were provided with. That said, since it is only one complaint and I don't know all the details, I'm not concerned by it.

... and maybe a few other types of complaints--but nothing major that I'm seen that I'd consider to be concerning.

I've Applied To a Bunch of Places & Still Haven't Got a Job--Scam!

The last complaint that I mentioned above, which is that "getting a job through them is too difficult" is something I want to talk more about.

The fact of the matter is that FJ will NOT get you a job. All they do is find you good quality flexible jobs and make the application process easier. For the most part that's it. 

So when you go to apply for a job you found, you definitely aren't guaranteed the position. I've seen some people complaining that they applied to over a dozen positions and didn't land a job yet--well, unfortunately that can happen and the real problem in such a scenario might be that you are lacking the qualifications for the jobs you are applying to.

They provide a good curated list of jobs, but they don't work magic.

Pros v Cons

Pros
  • Only provides flexible job positions
  • No scams or commission based opportunities are listed
  • No paid job ads are listed
  • All listings are vetted by real people--the staff at FlexJobs
  • All companies that have job listings have been vetted as well
  • Lots of search filters to make searching for jobs easier
  • They make the application process easier
  • Resume help is provided
  • Email updates on jobs you might be interested in
  • Trusted company--very transparent
  • Satisfaction guarantee or your money back
Cons
  • It costs money
  • Older job postings are sometimes filled
  • Can be difficult to navigate
  • Doesn't work magic

Who FlexJobs Is Best For

Obviously the platform is for people looking for to work and live a more flexible lifestyle. It's all about helping provide people with a way to take advantage of all the remote (and semi-remote) jobs that are out there.

But it's more than just that. If you want to find remote jobs you can use any job board, such as Monster, Indeed, etc. FlexJobs is for people that are looking for more--more quality job listings from legitimate companies and a simplified application process--and of course they offer the add-on purchases for coaching and resume review.

It's a great platform overall but some people will be able to getaway using the free job boards just fine. If you are worried about getting caught up in a scam opportunity or having trouble finding a job that fits you well then this is when it might be a good choice--or if you are just looking for an awesome platform that makes life easier and have some extra money to spend on a membership.

Final Thoughts - Worth The Price?

As you can guess after reading my review up until this point, I absolutely think that FlexJobs is worth the price, but this all comes down to how you use it.

You still have to put effort into the process of finding jobs. If you put in the work and really use the platform and all of it's capabilities to find some great jobs, then it is easily worth the price. 

In the end it is up to you. 

I hope you enjoyed this review and found it helpful. As always, I love to hear feedback from my readers so if you have any comments or questions just leave them down below 🙂

An Alternative Route

What you also may want to consider since you are looking for flexible work is working for yourself--online, which is how I make a living. 

Now this isn't something where you get hired and start making a wage. What I'm talking about is 'building your own online business' so to speak, which has a heck of a lot of potential but isn't something you start making money with right away--so if you are in need of immediate income then this is not for you.

Interested? If so then I'd recommend taking a look at this program that I use to make my living online--which I joined back in 2015 and am still a member of. This program took me from nothing to over $6k/mo online and is great for beginners.

Alternatively you can check out my top income ideas or this massive list of 70+ ways to make money from home (not very detailed list though).

5 Ways to Make Money With Memes – It Pays to Be Funny

Want to make money with memes? Then read on my friend...

Memes are everywhere these days and for good reason--they make people laugh and lighten the mood.

There are the slightly more offensive memes...

meme

...the cat-themed memes that seem to be some of the most popular (because the internet loves cats)...

meme

...and every type of meme in between.

It doesn't really matter what your beliefs or preferences are, what your background is, where your from, etc.--there are memes for everyone and about everything imaginable.

Everyone likes a good laugh. But what would be even better would be if you could supply the internet with a good laugh while making money at the same time!

Well, you can!

Yes, you can make money with memes and many people are already doing this. Now of course not nearly all the memes you see out there are being made from people making money. Many people create them for fun--and then they go viral. But the point is that you can make money with them and some people are.

And today you are going to learn how you can too!

Meme Overview

So before we dive into this any further, let's talk about what exactly a meme is in the first place.

We aren't talking about the old definition here. We are talking about the new internet meme, which is described on Wikipedia as:

"An Internet meme, commonly known as just a meme, is an activity, concept, catchphrase, or piece of media that spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via the Internet. An Internet meme usually takes the form of an image, GIF or video."

The most common type of meme you will find consists of an image with some text and is supposed to be funny--but there are different kinds.

Making Money With Memes

There are a variety of different ways that you can make money with memes, but unfortunately there is no way to make a lot of money quickly.

Yes,  you might have heard stories about people who have gotten lucky and struck it rich from memes, but this isn't a realistic outcome.

In the following section I'll be going over ways that you can make money with memes that...

  • Take a while to get going but have high earning potential
  • You could potentially make money with quite early, and earnings could be stable
  • And ways you can start earning pretty much right away but that don't have much earning potential overall

Which do you choose?

I don't expect you to answer this yet. We'll be going over the different ways that fall under each of these categories and then you can decide which direction is right for your new meme-making business.

5 Ways to Make $$$ With Memes

1) Create Your Own Meme-Focused Social Media Account

One thing you can do to make money with memes is post them on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you include the right hashtags and such--and keep your meme-content relevant to your audience, there is no reason you can't develop a good following that you can monetize by selling products, selling advertising to other companies/brands/people, and more.

This is easily one of the best ways to make money with a meme business--but the downside is that making money is not something that is going to happen overnight, or even within the next week or probably even month for that matter--BUT, income potential is high.

*I'll be diving deeper into this route in a bit

2) Get a Hip New Social Media Manager Job

Every business is in a race to build their online presence through the use of social media--and many are looking to the younger generations to help them out.

According to ZipRecruiter the national average salary for a social media manager is about $48k a year--not too shabby if your job consists largely of posting funny memes--which it very well could.

A job in this field could encompass everything from moderating comments and responding to questions on a Facebook account to posting funny memes that hopefully go viral.

3) Sell On Etsy

There are millions of buyers worldwide that shop on Etsy for unique items. It is a great site for selling your one-of-a-kind meme products--like mugs, t-shirts, buttons, etc.

Right now there are thousands of results when I search for "memes". Now not all of them are the meme-type products we're talking about here, but there are plenty.

memes on Etsy

Some sell pretty darn well. For example, this simple meme button sells for $5 and there are over 1,000 reviews from buyers--meaning that probably well over 1,000 have been sold...

meme button

4) Upload Your Memes to Sites Where You Can Make Money

Did you know that there are sites out there were you can make money just by uploading memes?

PicturePunches.com (for example) is a website dedicated to funny memes. Anyone can join and post memes about anything. These memes will then be able to be seen by others and can earn you money the more impressions you get, because the website will be making money from ads--the more views your memes get, the more ad views they get and this means more money.

The earning potential is low, but some memes I've seen have earned people up to $1 and slightly more.

5) Meme-Creation Gigs

Places like Fiverr are freelance marketplaces where people can sell online services to clients--and as we know with the meme-craze going on, there are plenty of people looking for high quality memes for their businesses.

You could post your meme-creation service and sit back and wait for clients to come your way (which won't lead to a very reliable income by the way).

As you can see, there are others already selling these services...

fiverr memes

A different route you could take would be to build your own brand for creating memes outside of any sort of freelance platform, such as how this professional meme-maker did...

But as far as the approach goes that the man in the video above took--there is no 'blueprint' or step-by-step guide on doing it this way. He sort of just went at it, put his name out there and kind-of got lucky.

Using Social Media to Make Money With Memes Cont..

Above I mentioned creating meme-focused social media accounts and growing a following simply by posting memes (listed as #1 above). This is easily one of the best ways to make money with memes so let's talk more on it.

How It Works

The idea is that you post funny memes, people follow you more and more as you continue to post and these memes get shared, and once you have a good-sized following you will be able to monetize it in various ways--as I'll go over.

And the memes you post don't have to be all your own. You can also share other funny memes that are relevant to what you post. As long as it is good relevant content that your followers will like, then it's okay to post.

Monetizing Your Social Media

Once you get a good following there are so many ways you can monetize it. Getting the following in the first place is the hard part--monetizing it is much easier.

Some ways you can do so include...

1) Sell Advertising - You see this all the time and often don't realize it. What I'm talking about is when you see large social media accounts posting subtle promotions for other brands, companies, etc.--or even something as simple as sharing a post from someone else's social media account.

There is big money to be made in this. Once you have a following you are naturally going to get contacted by other people in your niche asking if you can share their content, promote their brand, etc. to help them grow--and you can set your own price here.

Large social media accounts can easily make well over $1k just for sharing a post for someone.

Example: NBA Memes is a brand that heavily relies on memes to get followers (duh). On their Facebook account you can often see posts that they very well might be getting paid for. For example in this post they ask people to like a similar FB page called NFL Memes...

NBA Memes

*By the way, their FB account has over 4 million followers--big money there!

2) Sell T-Shirts - Having a meme-based social media account and selling t-shirts work great together. Why? Well, because memes go great on a t-shirt!

The good thing is that t-shirts are very easy to get custom designed nowadays. Sites like Teespring.com make the process painless. You can do everything online and simply direct social media followers to your online shop on sites like this.

3) Sell Mugs - Mugs are another type of item that could potentially sell good with funny meme prints--and are another item that you can easily create custom designs for and sell online.

Printify deals with customized mugs (and t-shirts too), which they can dropship out to your customers.

4) Affiliate Marketing - Affiliate marketing is when you promote other people's products and earn commissions. Now with this method you probably aren't going to be able to find products to promote that have your funniest memes, but what you can do is promote relevant products to your audience.

So for example if you have a Facebook page that is all about pug memes (funny type of dog) you could promote pug products.

5) Sell Your Accounts - One thing that some people do regularly is build up social media accounts with large followings and then sell them. This is absolutely something that you could make good money with--although there is no telling how much because of the different variables at play. In order to do this you are going to need to have an established Facebook account (for example) with a good following.

There is good money to potentially be made selling your own products and promoting other people's, but when you give shoutouts, sell shares and such, this is where the big money is made--and of course if you decide to sell your brand once it is established.

Best Way to Start Out

It is more than likely going to seem darn-near impossible to start out. Brands like Men's Humor, College Humor, NBA Memes and others have millions of followers on social media--and you have to start from scratch.

The best advice is to start small. Start with a targeted niche and you can always branch out later if you decide that is best.

Example: Instead of targeting a large audience of 'dog lovers' with a Facebook account that posts funny dog memes, you could go the more targeted route (as just mentioned) of posting pug memes and gaining a following of 'pug lovers'.

Things will start off slow but that is just the way it is. If you create just 1-2 memes a day and post them on your social media, which takes less than 20 minutes, in 6 months from now you could have a decent following--assuming you use the right hashtags and what not.

How long will it take?

There is no good answer to this question. This depends on your niche, competition, how good your memes are of course, whether any memes go viral or not, etc.

It could take 6 months to a year to be able to monetize your meme-filled social media accounts with advertising if you go about it slowly--or it could take not even half that time if you get a meme to go viral and gain a bunch of followers from it.

Quick Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Out

  1. Create your social media account
  2. Post a few memes and set your account up so that it looks like something you would want to follow
  3. Follow a bunch of other accounts that post relevant memes (this way you stay up-to-date on memes in your niche and have plenty of new memes to share--and get plenty of inspiration for your own memes)
  4. Follow people who comment on the memes of the accounts you just followed (these people obviously like memes and if you follow them there is a good chance they will follow back--because you post awesome memes)

How to Create a Meme

Memes are super easy to create. Most of the time they consist of nothing more than an image with some text overlay.

There are lots of websites where you can create your memes for free. Some good ones that you can check out include:

  1. imgflip
  2. Kapwing - Here you can make memes with images, GIF's and videos.
  3. quick meme
  4. MemeCenter

Or if you wanted to you could use simple software like Microsoft Paint even.

What to Create

For some people creating memes is going to be much more easy than others. Coming up with ideas of what to create can be a challenge and a creative mind is pretty much a must.

So if you are an out-of-the-box creative thinker then this is good.

If not it's not the end of the world. You can look at other memes for inspiration. Of course you don't want to just copy memes, but you can use others to inspire your own creations. This is something that I would highly suggest early on--unless you just have some amazing natural knack for meme creation.

Finding inspirational memes in your niche can be as simple as Googling...

  • "dog memes" if your niche is dogs
  • "funny baseball memes" if your niche is baseball

... and so on. 

It's always better if you can find an authority brand or figure in your niche that posts memes regularly, because not all memes are that great but if you find an authority figure that is posting memes regularly then they probably know what works--but Googling for memes is always an option when starting out.

Important: Not only do you not want to steal other people's memes, but you also don't want yours stolen. The best way to keep this from happening is by simply using watermarks on your memes. This way if people do copy it, your watermark will still be there and it might actually help you out--kind-of like free advertising for your brand.

The Unfortunate Side of Meme Creation

Unfortunately making money with memes is likely much more difficult than it once was.

Why is this?

Well, because the internet is becoming saturation with memes. Everywhere you go you see memes and because of the increased supply the demand isn't as great.

That said, there is still plenty of room for money to be made.

The best advice I can give is to start out with low expectations--if you are going to go the route of creating your own meme social media accounts--and go from there. Don't expect a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time because this will likely lead to disappointment. If you post memes regularly, put out good relevant meme-content to your target audience and are consistent with it, there is no good reason you can't grow a good sized social media account and potentially make good money from it. 

Is Constant Contact a Scam? – Read Before Signing Up

You might have heard some rumors that Constant Contact is a scam, along with people telling you to avoid this place. But is it really? Is Constant Contact a scam or have the people complaining just had unusually bad experiences and/or are just the type of people that like to call everything a scam?

They do have an A+ rating with the BBB, which definitely does not fully answer the question, but is a good sign nonetheless.BBB ratingIn this quick review we’ll be taking an open-minded look at this email service and seeing what all they have to offer, how they compare to other services out there, some of the more common complaints (from people calling it a scam) and more.

Let’s dive into it…

Overview of Constant Contact

Constant Contact

You are probably already well aware–Constant Contact is an email service for small businesses. What it allows you to do is blast out emails to large lists of people with ease, so that you can convert them into customers or keep them returning for more.

Gmail is great for ordinary folks, but certainly doesn’t come close to cutting it if you are dealing with a business.

Overall CC is a pretty good service and excells in some area, but lacks in others–making it a good choice for some but a not so good choice for many others.–we’ll get into this more–but let’s first talk about the prices…

Prices

CC has 2 plans, Email and Email Plus, which start out at $20/mo and $45/mo respectively.

They also have a free trial for the first month, which is a pretty decent length for a free trial, but you may want to proceed with caution after reading the complaints in this review.

Constant Contact Prices

The prices start out at $20 or $45 per month, but that is only if you have 0-500 subscribers. The more subscribers you have the higher the price goes. Below you can see the increasing prices for both plans as your subscriber list increases…

Email

  • $20/mo for 0-500 subscribers
  • $45/mo for 501-2,500 subscribers
  • $65/mo for 2,501-5,000 subscribers
  • $95/mo for 5,001-10,000 subscribers
  • $195/mo for 10,001-15,000 subscribers
  • $225/mo for 15,001-25,000 subscribers

Email Plus

  • $45/mo for 0-500 subscribers
  • $70/mo for 501-2,500 subscribers
  • $95/mo for 2,501-5,000 subscribers
  • $125/mo for 5,001-10,000 subscribers
  • $195/mo for 10,001-15,000 subscribers
  • $225/mo for 15,001-25,000 subscribers

*Surprisingly the price is the same for both plans when you get above 10,000 subscribers–or at least this is how it is listed on their website–which is strange. Why would it be this way? Who knows. What would be the point of staying with the Email plan when you have over 10k subscribers when you could go with Email Plus for the same price? There wouldn’t be any point.

You can get a small discount of 15% on either plan if you signup for an expented period of 6-12 months.

Features

  • Unlimited Emails
  • Customizable Templates
  • Branded or Industry Templates
  • Ecommerce Basic
  • Automated Abandon Cart Email (Shopify)
  • Contact List Import
  • List-Building Tools & Welcome Email
  • Pop-Up Forms
  • List Segmentation
  • Facebook Lead Ads
  • Marketing Calendar
  • Image Library
  • Apps & Integrations
  • Tracking & Reporting
  • Mobile App
  • Support & Chat
  • Learning resources
  • Automated Email Resend to Nonopeners

What Separates Email Plus from Email

In addition to everything listed above, Email Plus offers more advanced Ecommerce features where products can be added directly from a Shopify store, customizable popups, A/B subject line testing, event marketing features, and a lot more automation with features such as the automated email welcome series and automated email behavioral series.

Complaints

The whole goal of this review was to see whether or not CC is a scam–and up until this point it does not seem like such–so let’s dive into some of the complaints and see why people are calling it a scam in the first place.

Independent review sites like SiteJabber are good places to find a number of complaints left from the public. On These websites anyone can easily leave reviews and–while you can’t trust everything you read–it is still a good source of information.

Some of the more common complaints we came across include the following…

Unauthorized Charges

This seems to be the main reason for people calling CC a scam–getting charges on their credit cards when they didn’t know they were going to get them. This mostly seems to be coming from people signing up for the “free” trial only to be surprised when they start getting billed on a monthly basis shortly after.

There are also a few people complaining about the price of their plan increasing without them knowing, but this could easily be due to an increasing subscriber count on their part and the price increasing according to that described above.

SiteJabber Complaints

Frozen Accounts

There are also a few complaints I found from people claiming that their accounts have been frozen and even shut down for no reason, but this seems to be a much more rare occurrence and it’s nothing that you should be concerned about.

Even with all of the negative reviews, the overall rating on SiteJabber is still a 3.5/5 star rating with over 100 reviews left (at the time of writing this), which really is not too shabby, especially considering the fact that most people leaving reviews on these types of websites are doing so to complain about things.

Lack of Automation

This isn’t so much a complaint you will find from customers, but something that we noticed and you should be aware of–which is the lack of automation that CC offers.

We are more specifically telling you about the lower level ‘Email’ plan, which really doesn’t offer much in the way of automation at all–besides an automated welcome message.

Sure, you can upgrade to the Email Plus plan to get a lot more in the way of automated features, but this becomes a lot more pricey and just not the best deal if you are really looking for an email service that provides good automation.

Constant Contact vs Other Services

If it is automation that you are looking for then a service like Aweber would probably be a better choice–which is an email service that many people simply call an ‘autoresponder’. Here you can usually set up a series of messages to go out after someone joins, automatically, and the prices are much lower than that of CC if you wanted comparable automation features.

MailChimp is another good choice, and is by far one of the most popular choices out there–one of the big reasons being that they offer a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers that is pretty darn good.

Who CC Is Best For

There are some ways that CC excels. For example, they have an event marketing feature in which you can manage events with custom invitations, online registration, pavement collections, Etc–and also have a survey feature which not really any other email service offers.

Scam or Not?

While there are a few people who have had some pretty negative experiences with Constant Contact, we see no reason to call this place a scam. They do provide a legitimate service and certainly are not going to risk ruining their 20+ year old reputation by scamming people out of their money.

We understand that it seems like a complete scam to sign up for a free trial and then be charged, but there has to be some sort of explanation for this–and many of the people complaining about such occurrences may have been able to receive refunds which we might not know about.

Conclusion

Constant Contact is one of the many email service providers for small businesses, and is good for many reasons, but it’s probably not the best choice for the majority of small businesses out there. While they do provide some unique features such as event managing and surveys, that pretty much no other email service provides, they’re definitely lacking in the automation department–which is probably where many small business owners would like to see the most features.

Have you tried Constant Contact? What has your experience been like? Would you recommend them to a friend?

We love to hear from our readers and would really appreciate any reviews, comments or questions left below 🙂