One Class Review

One Class Review

If you’re in college or considering going back, you probably want to soften the blow of tuition, books, fees and housing as much as possible. While we have posted about a number of different opportunities to earn money on the side, today we’re talking about something unique – OneClass.

(more…)

RepairSmith Review

RepairSmith Review

We’re in constant search for things that can save you time or money, and this newest discovery is pretty unique. RepairSmith is a service that is currently based in California (primarily) but will be rolling – that’s a car pun – out to major cities across the US later this year.

RepairSmith Review

Their business is simple; take the mechanic to you, wherever you might be. Their mechanics are highly trained, well-vetted and did we mention they come to you? This means that if your car is stalled in your driveway or in the parking garage of your work, you can get it fixed right there. Their vans are exceptionally cool – equipped with a small mechanic’s shop worth of tools, diagnostic equipment and parts, their site boasts that they can handle 85% of common repairs wherever, whenever. They’re open 7 days a week, so even on a Sunday they can get you moving again, and if they can’t fix it on-site, they’ll bring you to one of their partner shops to get it worked on there.

On-Site Offerings:

– Brake pads and rotors
– Fluid fills and changes, including oil changes
– Alternator replacement
– Transmission rebuilding and replacing
– Replacement of catalytic converters
– Replacing spark plugs

What all does using RepairSmith entail?

Their website is incredibly easy to navigate – you can get an active quote in just a few minutes by plugging in your zip code. From there you choose from a handful of different repair options, add on anything else you can think might need fixing, and then submit. You’ll be given a number to call for a fast, simple quote and if you’re satisfied, you can set up the visit.

If by chance there’s more going on than they can fix right there, they always have garages standing by for rapid repairs, which is incredibly helpful.

Is RepairSmith worth it?

There are two things to consider when you’re looking at a new service; does it save you money and/or does it save you time over conventional approaches?

RepairSmith definitely saves you time – you can avoid sitting in the lobby of the mechanic while they change your oil and instead stay hard at work at home. Additionally their repair fleet can in many cases service your car before a traditional garage could get to it, meaning less time without a vehicle.

Monetarily, their services are on-par with traditional mechanic services and obviously pricing will vary based on a handful of factors (severity of the problem, model of the car, etc). You can also factor in the fact that this service saves you a tow in many situations, and prevents you from needing to be out of work. Even if their direct cost is more expensive on some jobs, overall you will save more money and time with RepairSmith for common repairs.

One of the best things I feel about their service is their 12-month/12,000 mile warranty on all their parts and services. While a good mechanic will stand behind their work, to have such a long-standing warranty is truly a testament to how confident RepairSmith is in their mechanics’ abilities.

If you live in LA and would like to give RepairSmith a try, there’s never been a better time. You can book at appointment at this link, and if you don’t live in LA, San Diego or Orange County in general, keep an eye on their site for their upcoming expansion. They might be coming to your city this year!

Work at Home Mom Wardrobe Ideas

Work at Home Mom Wardrobe Ideas

Working at home provides as many challenges as it does comforts, even more when you’re a mother. Balancing a need to get work done without too much fuss but also needing to get your kids to school without looking like a hot mess is a conundrum pretty unique to WAHMs.

You’re going to be at your computer, on conference calls, meeting with clients, and chasing toddlers – what single outfit covers all those bases? Sure, a pencil skirt and a button-down blouse might work for a woman crushing her 9-5, but as a work at home mom, you need versatility. You need comfort, but also style.

Work at Home Mom Wardrobe Ideas

What you need is a wardrobe that fits your personality and unique set of circumstances. Let’s look at some essentials to make sure that every event, meeting and tea time has you looking and feeling your best.

Boss chick chic

Even if you don’t go to an office to meet people, you’re likely on client calls and doing some face-to-face. While working at home gives you the opportunity to be comfortable, you want to look professional and put-together. Plus, there’s something about getting dressed up, doing makeup and assembling a look that is intentional. It really can impact how you work and how effective you feel!

Pieces to consider are wrap dresses, which you can get with relative ease at most clothing retailers. Paired with a cardigan, they’re effortless and they look incredible. Plus they’re exceptionally comfortable.

Button-down blouses and flannels are another solid choice when you want to present yourself as not-quite casual. They’re exceptionally cute with jeans or leggings and in a pinch are simple to swap out if a baby throws up on you or you spill your coffee, both very real hazards when you’re a WAHM.

Make sure your wardrobe has room for a pencil skirt or two. With the right pair of heels, these will make you feel like boss-mom queen of New York, and you’ll command attention in any room you saunter into.

Casual workflow

Of course, not every day will have you meeting with clients and jetting across town for business lattes. Most days are just plugging away at your desk, writing copy, running numbers or cleaning up websites.

For these days, you want to embrace the fact that you work from home. No, I don’t necessarily mean work with no pants (though of course that’s your choice and I don’t judge!) What I mean is there are so many options for comfortable clothes that a WAHM can put together.

Leggings are the new jeans, going well with any outfit and for most occasions. The best part of a good pair of leggings is the fact that you can be sporty or just extremely not into pants that day and nobody will know the difference!

Jeans are a must-have for any wardrobe. Simultaneously casual and dressy if need-be, these staples don’t need to be expensive to have a big impact.

Cardigans are great because they up the fashion factor of almost anything they’re paired with and they’re ultra comfortable. Especially in the winter, you can’t go wrong upping your wow-factor with what is essentially a reverse-blanket.

Comfort is key

If you are really snuggled in for a day of focused work, then why worry about dressing up? We all have days we just want to get comfortable and attack our workload with a cup of coffee and some muffins, so dress accordingly!

Hoodies are the best piece of clothing on the planet by far. Just pull one over your t-shirt and you can do anything; pick up your kids, go to work out, stare daggers at the kids who park their cars too close to your driveway (that might just be me). The point is that they’re incredibly comfy, warm and versatile.

Thigh-high socks are the perfect footwear choice when you’re looking to cover a bit more skin than with a pair of knee highs, but don’t want to wear full tights. Cute enough to go out in but comfy enough to stay warm while you solve client crisis after client crisis, thigh-highs are a must-have. Whether you decide to have a bit of fun (foxy fun, that is!) or a simple black, long thigh-high socks are a fantastic complement to any outfit.

Legs in black thigh socks and dark red heels Legs in thigh high stockings with a fox design

Layering tank tops and simple v-necks are comfortable on their own, and they’re pretty essential to build an outfit. If you’re not going anyway, toss on a tank and a hoodie and get to work!

Can’t forget shoes!

I love Chucks. They’re great because you can put them with a date night outfit or just wear them literally anywhere casually.

A good pair of tennis shoes are great in a pinch and pair well with leggings to provide the illusion that you are, in fact, quite sporty. And if you ARE sporty, then they’re actually practical, too!

Mules are nice because you can slip them on to run errands but they’re so trendy and cute that they’re not un-professional, either.

What are your wardrobe staples when tackling home and business life?

I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Money Making Ideas for the New Year

Money Making Ideas for the New Year

Is making more money a New Year’s resolution? You’ve come to the right place! January 2020 marks the beginning of a new month, year and decade and what better way to enter this transformative period by setting up additional income streams? Whether you need extra cash to aggressively pay off bills, augment your paycheck, save for a vacation or start striking out on your own, making money yourself is incredibly liberating.

Making Money in the New Year

No matter what your personal strong suit, there’s a way to make money doing it. Stretch your fingers, bust out the crafting kit and grab that laptop stylus because we’ve put together some of the best ways to make side cash in 2020.

making money new year

Making money blogging

Blogging isn’t the easiest way to make money – you need to be at least moderately talented at writing or some other creative endeavor. You also need to pick a niche that is interesting and can draw in viewers; you might have a passion for snow crabs, but if nobody else cares, then your blog won’t get traffic.

To generate money using a blog, you need to:

  • Create a blog on WordPress.com or some other intuitive platform that allows you to monetize your posts.
  • Pick a niche that makes money. Topics that are good for this are health, weight loss, IT, web design, financial planning and parenting but there are tons out there. Use Google analytics to find a frequently searched topic you know about and start there.
  • Post. This is the most important part. You need engaging content and it needs to be regularly posted.
  • Once you have a niche, a blog and regular posts that are drawing in views, you can then find a way to monetize your viewership. Ways to do this include:
  • Displaying ads with Google Adsense
  • Doing sponsored posts for businesses in your niche; Intellifluence is a good way to do this.
  • Sell a product you personally create or a service you provide
  • Affiliate marketing by linking to another person’s product or service and getting a percentage of the sale

Simple but not easy

Blogging requires skill and discipline, but if you are able to parlay your interest in a valuable topic into a hobby that pays you money, you’re only one step away from turning it into a full-time business. And of course should you need a blogging mentor, you’re only one step away from connecting (*psst* it’s me – I’m a mentor ;-))

Finally, if you are able to market yourself, you can make good money ghostwriting for other people’s blogs and letting them take the credit. Update your LinkedIn profile to add “freelance blogger” and add some examples of your work. There are dozens of new jobs posted daily in this field on LinkedIn looking for writers to create content for already existing blogs. This is a good way to find work to supplement your own blog’s income.

Freelance writing

If blogging isn’t your thing but you’re still a compelling writer, you can go the freelance route. There are plenty of websites out there that broker fees to find writers for all sorts of jobs. Some pay very little but offer constant work, and some pay more based on your own ability to write, but if you have the talent and time, you can absolutely make money with freelancing.

Textbroker

We’ve written about Textbroker in the past, but it’s still a great site to find work in a variety of topics. Simply apply and test, and you’ll be given at star-level that corresponds to your ability and pay rate. If you get good at turning out orders, there’s a feature where clients can direct order from you and you set the price.

With consistency, Textbroker is a great place to make some extra cash for writing.

Upwork

Upwork as a site offers jobs for more than just freelancing, but it does have plenty of writing jobs available. The pay tiers are less well-defined than Textbroker – you bid on jobs along with anyone else who is interested, and you offer a price along with a sample of your work. The job owner picks the writer they want.

This means you can find some jobs that pay really well and turn into long-term gigs, but it also means there are some on there that want to pay you $5 for 1000 words, which is an insanely small amount of money.

One tip I will give you in particular is never accept less than a penny per word. That’s a very low amount of money as it is but you can at least turn that into cash. Less than that is effectively working for free – and working hard – and it’s insulting. You can find better than 1c per word on almost any broker site, so never accept less.

Verblio

Verblio is a little more involved to sign up for than Upwork or Textbroker, as they need writing samples and a resume. That means, however, that their pay rates and job opportunities are usually better. On Verblio, you apply for casting calls and if the job owner likes your pitch and resume, they hire you directly. There is also a pool of work that anyone can pick up if they meet the criteria, but the real benefit of Verblio is the direct-author jobs as these can turn into ongoing gigs.

Digital media jobs

There are more spaces opening up for digital media experts than in years past. As more businesses are commanding an online presence, they need graphics and charts to visually relay their messages and brand. This is great news for someone with digital media experience.

Upwork

There are probably as many media jobs on Upwork as there are writing jobs, if not more. It’s become a great place to pick up work and the pay is often more competitive than with writing jobs. They’re still not going to pay you what your time and effort are worth as an experienced artist, but it’s a good way to buoy your resume and make some money while you look for better jobs.

Fiverr

Fiverr is a site where people post jobs for anything under the sun and pay you $5 flat for it. While this doesn’t sound awesome, you can get paid $5 for 10 minutes of work designing a basic logo, which is pretty cool.
Obviously it’s on you to decide if what the client is asking for is worth $5, but if it is, then it’s a quick, easy way to make the money to pay for lunch.

Indeed

Normally known for full time job placement, Indeed has started branching out to allow for short term, remote and freelancer jobs to be posted on their site. The best part of these jobs is that Indeed isn’t cheap to use as an employer, which means you shouldn’t be bombarded with “design the layout to my entire book for $7” offers. These are real offers from real companies, and should lead to more in the future.

Creative Circle

A much more sophisticated job site for artists in every niche, Creative Circle has professional-level jobs for digital media, marketing, writing and advertising, among a slew of others. These are real jobs that require you to make a profile and post a resume, and as such, pay very competitively.

The only downside here is that you won’t get very far if you don’t have a decent resume with some work history, so find work you can be attributed to and build your CV to improve your job chances.

Photography

Stock photographs are one of the biggest searches on Google, for everything from digital marketing firms to farms. People want high-quality photos for their sites, books and emails, and often don’t have the talent or time to do it themselves.

This is where you come in and partner with these sites below to get your name out there as a photographer and make some cash in the process.

Alamy

Alamy is the largest source of digital photographs online, and as such, they are INCREDIBLY picky when it comes to whose photographs get sold on their site. You’ll need a DSLR, 6-megapixel camera at least, and then they still might not accept your photos if they’re not perfectly clear and free from glare and other undesirable bits.

With this said, they are the go-to for people who need digital photographs and they pay well, so if you’re talented with good equipment, it’s a great place to start.

Adobe Stock

People using Photoshop or Illustrator who want professional photographs have the option of buying the rights directly from Adobe, which can be faster and easier than searching online and paying a separate service. Adobe pays 33% of the sales price to the photographer, which is a very competitive rate, and if you’re good, this can be a fantastic way to earn extra money as a photographer

Shutterstock

Perhaps one of the most well-known online photograph purveyors, Shutterstock is a great way to sell your images. Because of its brand reach, it’s often the first site that people search for when they need a specific photograph, and their quality control ensures that their stock is high-quality.

Shutterstock also pays around 33% of the sale to the photographer and they have a referral program that pays .04c per sale your referral makes. While that might not sound great, if they’re a prolific photographer, that adds up quickly, especially when you refer many talented friends.

Take photos of local events and sell them on Pixieset

For this you’ll need a personal website to show off your photography and a Pixieset account, but both are incredibly easy to get. Cover your local sports teams, parades and other events, take great photos and upload them to your site, with corresponding Pixieset links. Pixieset will print and ship the photos when someone buys them and they’ll pay you a commission.

Making money in other ways

Creativity expands into a million different categories – baking, sewing and painting are all ways that you might be creative in your personal life that you can potentially still monetize online.

Open an Etsy store

There are Etsy stores for everything – digital photography, clay work, woodworking, and sewing are some of the most popular. In fact, if you’ve ever cosplayed, you’ve probably bought something from an Etsy seller; it’s just that popular.

Along those lines, if you’re considering breaking into the Etsy sewing game, you’ll find there’s plenty of areas to focus your talent and make money. As long as you have the talent, a great sewing machine, and you pick a good niche, you’ll find yourself struggling to keep up with demand for your stock.

Gig apps

Apps that pay you to complete a simple task are becoming increasingly more common. Two of the most popular are TaskRabbit and ThumbTack.

TaskRabbit was bought by Ikea as one of the most common tasks requested through TaskRabbit was to build Ikea furniture. This should give you an idea of the types and ranges of jobs offered through the platform.

ThumbTack requires you to pay to bid on jobs and you pay whether you get them or not, but the jobs pay well. Unlike Upwork which also requires you to pay in credits to bid, there aren’t any extremely low-paying gigs on ThumbTack but the market is competitive.

Postmates

If you have reliable transportation, Postmates will pay you to deliver everything from lunch or booze to important legal documents. Originally designed as a courier service between companies in large cities, Postmates has expanded into almost every marketplace, ensuring quick delivery of whatever you need right now.

No matter your talents, you can make money online in the new year

There are plenty of opportunities out there for someone who wants to make money online. If you’re particularly good at what you do, it’s possible to make a career out of online work, at distance and on your own schedule.

It requires hard work – probably harder work than simply going to a 9-5 – but the feeling of being your own boss and getting paid for your talents is incredible and will fuel your desire to do it more and more. Let 2020 be your year to break free from the daily grind.

Keeping the Christmas Card Tradition Alive

Keeping the Christmas Card Tradition Alive

As a child, I always remember my grandmother getting Christmas cards, usually starting the first week of December. She’d place them all over the huge bay window along with her decorations and I’d marvel at them as they accumulated. My other grandmother had her piano absolutely covered in them from December 1st through January.

Now I consider how many cards we’ve gotten in the last few years – maybe one or two per season? It’s a tradition that is more often than not going out of style, and that’s very unfortunate. The feeling of going to your mail and in the midst of all the ads and bills finding a colorful card with warm greetings is impossible to replicate with email or Facebook posts.

Keeping the Christmas Card Tradition Alive

If you’ve got fond memories of Christmas cards or the concept simply sounds interesting, keep reading. We’ve got some great tips for dipping your toe into the holiday card experience or upping your Christmas card game if you’re a seasoned pro.

Recruit your kids

Nothing resonates with the holidays more than the love and wonder of children. Getting a holiday card with a message of season’s greetings from a child is the height of holiday cheer.

This is also a good exercise in writing for your younger children. Have them write their own well-wishes and draw a picture. If they’re not great at drawing or they prefer coloring, a quick Pinterest search will pull up thousands of card templates for them to color and customize. This is also a good time of year to get their most recent school photos out to friends and family they don’t see often.

And if you don’t have human children, you can always make some cat Christmas cards. Meowy Christmas! (that pun’s free)

red and green holiday card that says wishing you a Merry Christmas

Try your hand at a new hobby

Personal card making is a creative, fun hobby with a practical purpose. Many hobby outlets sell cutting dies, card stock, stamps and other decorative accessories.

Especially around this time of year you can find plenty of starter sets for card making. If you poke around on Facebook or Pinterest, I guarantee you have at least one friend who does it that could help teach you.

The key isn’t getting wrapped up (har har) in making the perfect card. Rather, you should focus on the zen of creative pursuit that allows you to express yourself while engaging in a cherished holiday tradition.

Even if your cards look a hot mess, your friends will be stoked to get them.

Utterly wow your friends and family

If you’re ready to dive headlong into the next level of holiday Christmas cards, you can enlist the help of a professional. Basic Invite is revolutionizing the holiday card and invitation process with layers up layers of customization. With over 180 colors to choose from and nearly unlimited combinations of those colors, you have complete creative control over your card making. They’ll even print you a sample of your card before you commit to buy, letting you see exactly what you’re getting.

You can even customize the color of the envelopes your cards get mailed in! They’ve got stock photos and illustrations, but of course you can add photos of your family, decorations or a really cool cloud if it tickles your fancy. There’s even an option to apply a foil layer to the cards in gold, silver and rose gold, which after a childhood of collecting Pokemon cards, carries a certain appeal.

Whether you’re looking to invoke the ancient tradition of holiday cards or you’re mulling around Christmas party invitation ideas, Basic Invite is a great place to get it all together. Their intuitive address capture tool allows you to post on Facebook, Twitter, etc asking for your friends and family to provide their addresses for correspondence. Basic Invite will store this information and allow you to autofill it when you go to create cards, printing it on the envelopes for you. All you have to do is get them to the post office!

You can check out the full range of services that Basic Invite offers. If you decide you want to totally rock the holiday card tradition this year, use promo code 15FF51 to save 15% off your order.

Indulge in a classic tradition

No matter how you engage in the holiday card exchange, it’s a fantastic tradition to pass on to younger generations. It’s also a great way to brighten someone’s day, especially older family and friends for whom holiday cards were a fact of life.

Whether you make them yourself, enlist the help of your kids or you go through a professional card maker like Basic Invite, Christmas cards are a tradition worth keeping.