Mary

  • 15 Digital Products to Sell Online For Passive Income In 2021

    Selling digital products online is a great way to make passive income either as a side hustle or a full time income.

    I’ve previously shared 63 digital products you can sell online to make passive income and today’s list is a follow up for 15 MORE digital products you can create and sell.

    All of these products are specifically chosen for the 2021 market and beyond based on trends and what is selling. Most of these markets are growing, trending, or have major potential for the future.

    Hopefully these product ideas will give you an idea of where to start creating in order to sell!

    15 Digital Products to Sell Online In 2021

    Here are 15 digital product ideas you can create and sell for passive income:

    1. 3D Print Files
    2. Cookbooks
    3. Copywriting Templates
    4. Courses
    5. Digital Planners
    6. Digital Stickers
    7. How To Guides
    8. Lesson Plans
    9. Product Mockups
    10. Real Estate Templates
    11. Resume Templates
    12. Spreadsheets
    13. Test Prep Guides
    14. Video Effects
    15. Wedding Plans & Tools

    These digital products are all great options, but let’s look at why!

    3D Print Files

    3D printing continues to grow as a market and the recent pandemic sped up adoption of 3D printing for both practical purposes as well as a hobby. Creating 3D print files is definitely a niche market that everyone will not be able to access, but that means there is a lot of opportunity.

    Cookbooks

    There are many cookbooks already on the market but the opportunity exists for creators making recipes and cookbooks for specific niche diets. With so many different niche diets in existence now, there is plenty of room to create cookbooks catering to these specific audiences.

    You can use the niche diet keywords to bring in traffic for sales since you will be targeting such a narrow audience. Remember the saying “the riches are in the niches” and this is definitely the case for cookbooks.

    Copywriting Templates

    Most people are not good writers but effective writing is what often drives successful businesses, product launches, and more. Creating and selling copywriting templates is a great digital product idea because you can target these markets.

    Business owners who need help with copywriting on their websites or emails will purchase templates to save time and money from hiring a copywriter for their business.

    Courses

    Online education is a growing field expected to continue exploding in the future. Creating a course to sell your knowledge in a consumable way that leads people to a desired transformation is one of the best ways to monetize in 2021 and beyond. The online education industry continues to grow with no signs of slowing.

    Courses are a great digital product because they are usually a higher priced product that is a more profitable product.

    Many platforms like Teachable make creating and hosting a course very simple. With the ability to create a course via text r video you have lots of options to create your course and can get started with a free trial as you build out your content.

    Digital Planners

    Planners have been popular for several years but there has been a more recent trend toward digital planners. Many traditional planners have moved to planning on tablets and this has opened up a new digital product in the form of digital planners that can be used in apps like Good Notes.

    There are several courses now that teach people how to make digital planners to sell because it’s such a popular digital product to sell. Once you learn how to make digital planners you can create and sell multiple versions and variations.

    Digital Stickers

    Similar to digital planners, digital stickers are part of the digital planner product line that appeals to a certain market planning via their iPads and other devices. Similar to physical stickers the digital stickers are used to prettify the planners or create functionality.

    Digital stickers are a lower price point digital product but can be made quickly and sold in high volumes which helps with profitability.

    How To Guides

    How to guides are a great digital product to create if you have a large amount of knowledge but do not want to create a full course.

    A how to guide generally will be text based and in the form of an e-book, workbook, and/or worksheets.

    Lesson Plans

    Lesson plans can be an incredible digital product for teachers to create and sell to other teachers. These plans can be based on certain topics or target certain grade levels and ages.

    Sites like Teachers Pay Teachers as well as Etsy allow teachers to monetize their lesson plans by selling them to other teachers. One great option when selling lesson plans is to create multiple and sell them both individually and bundled at a higher price point.

    Product Mockups

    Many creators of digital products like wall art like to use product mockups to sell their creations. Product mockups help digital products sell by showcasing them in their final form. Mockups can be created for framed art, tshirts, and more.

    Creating and selling prouct mockups themselves is a huge business. If you are a creative photographer you can create. avery successful shop selling mockups to other digital product creators. There are multiple Etsy shops doing this with tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of sales from product mockups alone.

    Real Estate Templates

    The real estate market has been hot for a while now in most areas and many real estate agents are making a killing with their services. Real estate agents are a great market t sell to because they often don’t want to create things themselves and are willing to pay for convenience and products that make them look more professional.

    There are many digital products you can create in the niche of real estate templates: new home owner checklist templates, marketing material templates, open house flyer templates, new client packet templates, social media post templates and more.

    Resume Templates

    With many people looking for work there is a rise in the need for resume templates that stand out and get a second look. It’s a gap in the market where people generally overlook this digital product because they assume there are already plenty of free templates online for resumes.

    However there is still room for beautifully designed resume templates and this seller made $5,000 selling resume templates on Creative Market.

    Spreadsheets

    Most people don’t have the Excel knowledge to create spreadsheets that can automatically do the calculations needed for certain tasks. This means there is a huge market for digital product creators to create spreadsheets that help users complete a certain task.

    There are many types of spreadsheets you could create and sell:

    • budgeting spreadsheets
    • rental income spreadsheets
    • real estate deal analysis spreadsheets
    • business bookkeeping spreadsheets
    • financial planning spreadsheets
    • resale inventory spreadsheets

    Test Prep Guides

    Studying for many professional tests can be a challenge. Because of this people are willing to pay for help to study and pass certain tests. If you have successfully studied for and passed a professional test then you could create and sell a test prep guide.

    You can create test preparation study materials, how to pass guides, worksheets, and more around a certain test or how to study for that test.

    Video Effects

    With the explosion of video content online in recent years there has been an increase in opportunities to create tools to improve videos.

    There are many video related products you can create from video effects to stock footage to video transitions, titles and more. Sites like Envato Elements allow you to sell video specific effects.

    Wedding Plans & Tools

    The wedding industry is huge and most brides and grooms plan to spend a massive amount of money on their wedding. Because of these budgets there is plenty of room available for digital products like wedding planning tools.

    There is a market for tools for DIY brides trying to cobble together their wedding plans on the cheap and also for higher end brides who might also have a planner but still want to pay for convenience and organization. This is a great add on digital product if you are already in the wedding industry working with couples as a planner, photographer, or other vendor.

    Why Sell Digital Products?

    There are many reasons to sell digital products especially if you are looking for passive income. Selling any kind of digital product can create a new passive or mostly passive income stream for you.

    Here are a few of the reasons why you should create and sell digital products:

    • You make them once and sell them many times
    • They can be very easy to make compared to physical products
    • Cheap to make since you can use free programs
    • High margins – you have no product cost so you keep the profit
    • Unlimited growth in sales without having to scale any production
    • Unlimited growth in income by reaching new customers

    How To Decide What To Sell

    If you have been trying to decide what to sell then this will definitely help get you started! Most of these ideas can be created in free programs like Canva or PlaceIt.

    You don’t have to have design skills or a background in digital marketing in order to create and sell digital downloads. You don’t need a formal education or design background to create digital products and earn money selling them – you just have to be curious and willing to learn!

    When deciding what type of digital product to sell I would recommend picking an area where you have a passion in life and then deciding the types of products. For example, maybe you think you should make SVG files because they are popular, but you really love making spreadsheets to keep your life and business organized. I’d focus on that instead!

    Or maybe you like planning parties so you think you need to create party invitations. But I wouldn’t limit myself to one digital product. I’d think about what types of products would complement each other in a shop that helps my target audience. You can create listings that complement and link back to each other like related party invitations and party decor.

    More digital product idea posts to help you decide:

    Creating Digital Products Online

    There are a number of ways to create digital products online these days. It’s possible to make digital products to sell for free with a number of programs!

    Adobe InDesign

    Adobe InDesign – I personally use Adobe InDesign for creating all my printables because it’s the best, most reliable and has the most flexibility. There is a learning curve because it’s a professional program but it’s worth it for the hassles it removes. Try creating with Adobe InDesign’s free trial.

    Canva

    Canva – Canva is one of the best free editing programs where you can create a digital products and the paid version is even better with bonus features that help take your work to the next level. Try creating with Canva.

    Selling Digital Products Online

    You will want an e-commerce platform that will allow you to both take payments and deliver your digital products to your customers. There are many different e-commerce platforms that make this possible so let’s look at the best ones for selling digital products specifically.

    Etsy

    Etsy – I love selling on Etsy because you don’t have to find people to buy your digital products – they are already on the platform and Etsy is bringing them to you! It’s easy for beginners to start and Etsy shop and you can get 40 free listings through this link.

    Related posts to help you sell on Etsy:

    Podia

    Podia –  Podia is a more robust platform that will allow you to not only sell digital downloads but also offer memberships and online courses. If you have plans to grow a full online business it’s the ideal platform to use to keep everything in one place and is cheaper than most other platforms. Get a 14 day free trial of Podia here

    Shopify

    Shopify – One of the most popular platforms to use for selling goods online. Shopify has emerged at the top of many seller’s lists for the ease of use, beautiful designs, set pricing, and powerful backend. It offers everything you need to sell digital or physical products and scale your business too. Get a free trial of Shopify here.

    Related posts to help you sell on Shofy:

    WooCommerce

    WooCommerce – WooCommerce integrates easily with existing WordPress websites to sell digital downloads. WooCommerce is not specifically for digital downloads but they have made the process super simple for sellers and do not take additional fees from sales. I currently use WooCommerce to sell my digital downloads on my website. Get started with WooCommerce.

    Growing A Digital Product Business On Etsy

    Etsy has downsides but it’s also an amazing place to build a business and earn an income.

    If you want to grow a business selling digital downloads on Etsy I recommend my friend Sharon’s Etsy Entrepreneur course where she walks you through the process of setting up an Etsy shop and growing it to make $1,000 a month or more. She grew her Etsy store of digital downloads to more than $1,000 a month and has inspired many people to do the same.

    Remember that your business growth will depend on being consistent and growing over time adding valuable products. For most of us we begin with one product and grow over time building on what works.

    Over time you will learn tips and tricks to grow your digital products shop and find that success can be far beyond you expected when you focus on profitable digital products.

    Read More

  • Make Money With Your Brand Clubhouse Panel

    Panel details:

    Panelists and their brand:

    Everyone listed has grown their brands beyond just a single YouTube channel or singular platform. These panelists make money from their brands via courses, podcasts, websites, digital products, affiliate marketing, Patreon, startup companies and more.

    Resources mentioned:

    Questions and Answers:

    I own a digital marketing agency and we are trying to add passive income streams like DIY, DIWY and still keep the done for you. Are there any resources to help create these DIY and passive income products? How can we package and develop the curriculum of what we offer our clients into a DIY system with things like courses and access to our team?

    Jade: Most people have too many platforms and it can get really confusing so packaging should bring people to your website so there are not too many segmented places. 

    If you already have a site, check out Memberful.com that connects all the platforms and your paid email list. Memberful allows payment processing for all the platforms so you aren’t utilizing multiple platforms.  It could connect to the future products you create from courses to paid newsletter and so many other features.

    Sandy: Also check out Beacons, similar too Linktree but offers payments and works with Stripe.

    Sharon: Check out Teachable, it hosts courses and also membership options as well.

    I would like to know about marketing courses. What do you recommend to try for the first time?

    Sharon: We recently launched a course successfully and we used email blasts, Instagram and Facebook groups. We focused on delivering a lot of free content around our topic to deliver value and then if people wanted the step by step they could buy the course. Building the relationship with the audience came first and then that led to course sales.

    Once you have sales then you can reach out to customers for testimonials and share those along with answering frequently asked questions and refining your sales page. Then once you’ve got that done just announcing it on your multiple platforms to your existing audience.

    Sean: We also did a lot of lives and let people see we were real people and get to know us. This let people know more about us to encourage them to buy from real people doing this and answering their questions. We got sales during each live we did.

    Is anyone on Pinterest? I’ve had some brands reach out and I know it’s been good for mommy bloggers long term.

    Sandy: Pinterest is great for video and they are pushing it so definitely repurpose your reels and tiktoks as content for Pinterest.

    Sharon: I use Tailwind to schedule for Pinterest for my site.

    Other notes: Use creator studio and official partner platforms like Planoly for scheduling otherwise sites like Pinterest will lower your reach and cause potential problems. 

    What would you suggest for a YouTuber who just reached 100,000 and is ready to reach the next level? We’ve hit the goal of making our income from home but ready for the next level. Next goal is to ratchet that up. We have an MLM business, Youtube, and we are looking for the next income stream to create stability if one income stream disappears. Another group suggested making something I own since I don’t own the other streams. I have home improvement type content with 145k subs on YouTube and 6k followers on Instagram.

    Nadya: I feel like Instagram is a missed opportunity here if you aren’t utilizing short form content for your home related content. You can lean into the short form content on all of these platforms (YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat). I’ve seen an influencer with a more engaged audience on Instagram has potential for higher brand sponsorships. 

    Other easy ways would be to white label into a brand including the tools you need to do home improvement at home since that’s your topic.

    Jade: I would reframe this and look at creator longevity. You are a media company that also has a product. We are building a community and making sure you are on the right platforms to build community long term is important. If you don’t want to clog up your main channel then you can start a second for short form content but definitely focus on the audience cultivation and then work on the product.

    Create a newsletter or an email or even Facebook messenger (which could be an email replacement with a better open rate since email is not the only option). Creating this will flesh out your overall funnel and help with the multiple platforms leading to a product.

    I recommend having multiple platforms at 100k, evening out your followings on all platforms to hit this will lead to a better overall stable income.

    There are 3 ways to monetize as a creator – sponsored, affiliate, or white label and be the owner of the brand. Looking into creating your own brand and supply chain by doing something like raising money to create a branded product in the home improvement field.

    Recommendations: first even out platforms, even out email list, and then create product and merchandise to grow your brand.

    I’m starting out now as an artist and my focus is an Etsy art business. I’ve also wanted to do YouTube and have so many interests. How do you decide the best platform for your business? Is there a way to figure out the best platform for what content?

    Mary: Filtering in people from different areas is great as long as you are doing content that makes sense on each platform. I’ve had success on YouTube showing my products being used in videos since they are printables meant to be used. Seeing the product in use or being created always generates curiousity in potential buyers.

    Tiktok is a great platform for Etsy sellers right now especially for art since people enjoy timelapses in addition to behind the scenes content. People love watching these and the extra views can grow your audience and bring in potential buyers who will head to your shop and purchase. Showing off how your product is used on YouTube can be done in a similar way and you can even create longer form content showing the product creation.

    Another thing to note is Etsy is it’s own platform that is search based and it’s own beast to learn beyond any of the social platforms. That’s great because it can bring you traffic and potential buyers as well. Definitely learn about the SEO and ways Etsy can bring in traffic to your art for you. There are lots of ways to get your art seen on the Etsy platform itself when you are correctly utilizing SEO, tags, and participating in groups that have sprung up around Etsy with your type of art or style.

    How can I use get content creators to use my original music that I’m creating?  

    Jade: I see you are doing inspired beats and for the jazz type beats so you need to link people by remixing it. Ask yourself how can I make my content link to a relative audience by including things like an artist name and remixing to pull in that audience who is relevant. Doing a Billie Eilish remix with your own music for example.

    Also I highly recommend using TikTok and using duets so you make a track for someone to duet that enables them to share your content. Also using stitching when you mesh a popular track with your own beat. So picking a trending song and putting your music in to remix so you tap into the trends and reach more people.  

    I created a product that has nothing to do with what I do for a living or what I’m known for widely. I’m not sure where the connection is and how to connect with the audience on clubhouse or other platforms that would want this product. How do I reach people when it’s not what I do full time?

    Denis: Sometimes you curate a different audience on different platforms. I offer financial videos on YouTube but share about the aspects of making money on YouTube on clubhouse. So it’s ok to work on different audiences in different places.

    Jade: Agreed, you can have different audiences on different platforms. On TikTok I have a large audience that loves surfing even though that’s not my main topic elsewhere. It’s brought me sponsorships and new audiences and built my overall business even though it’s not my main topic. It’s helpful to grow an audience and doing something different can bring in new opportunities.

    Denis: Shifting your style can help you keep growing and learning because you are trying something new. Nate O’Brien is a great example of this to break through plateaus because he changed up his content in order to keep growing and get to 1 million subscribers.

    I’m a new realtor and I thought it would be great to share my journey so I create content about how to do this and how I created a referral business. I have been on TikTok for about a month and made a discord community but my reels are not doing well. There is no engagement beyond my followers and it’s not reaching out. I’ve been posting daily for two months. How can I reach a larger audience with reels on Instagram?

    Sean: I did 30 days of short form content and reels did the best but I don’t know why.

    Sandy: Don’t give up. It takes reels 3 weeks to a month to catch up on the content you’re creating and start sharing your content.

    I suggest posting less on reels instead of every day. Posting every day or posting too much can lose you followers. Sometimes if people see your content too much they get annoyed and unfollow. Post 3-4 times a week and only post content you know will do well. Tiktok and Instagram are very different;

    Jade: If people scroll by because you are posting too much they won’t show it to larger groups. Tiktok is different and doesn’t show to the existing audience first but instead pushes it out beyond your followers, so use it to test. Also test different things because it’s all about patience and figuring out what works. It’s just about timing sometimes. Sometimes we see people go viral but there can be years of work behind it.

    With Facebook, if you are not advertising and just making posts with your links are they not allowing people to view your content? If you don’t advertise will you get less views? If you share with links will they throttle your views and engagement? What are some tips and work arounds?

    Suzanne: Make sure you are posting from your business page to make sure you are getting that reach. Facebook isn’t suppressing posts but they push out organic content rather than links off the site. Facebook doesn’t want to push content that pushes people off the platform. Some people instead directly upload their content to the platform like uploading their Youtube video to Facebook rather than sending people to YouTube.

    Sean: Links on my personal page do ok but when I do the same links on my business page they only get 1-2 likes unless I advertise.

    Mary: Suzanne is right. Like all platforms, Facebook wants to keep users on their site. You will notice that any of these sites from Facebook to Instagram to YouTube focus on keeping users on their platform for the longest period possible. So they aren’t going to promote things that take people off platform to another site.

    I personally don’t have a brand but would like to become an affiliate marketer. What are you looking for when you reach out to people to promote your products? What have you noticed that makes your affiliates successful?

    Sharon: You don’t need a huge platform if you create long form content where you are trying to rank for keywords that encourage someone to make a purchase. Creating a bunch of informational content that will rank and encourage someone to buy tends to be successful. Also the most successful are people who actually use and love the product, not just promote things that they can make money from. It’s also easier to make content around this.

    Denis: You don’t have to have a big following. I went full time on Youtube with 10,000 subs because of affiliate marketing. The key is you have to give value to people in order to get them to click through and purchase. If you are getting started, get started with things that you are using and once you are better and understand the audience you can move on to things that you don’t use. This is what I’ve done and now I promote things I don’t personally use as long as I know the product is good. 

    Also keep it relatively the same niche with the products you are promoting. It won’t make sense to an audience if you are promoting all different things from beauty to home to finance and are all over the place.

    Nate: You can also have a company make an affiliate program for you if you have the traffic. I’d start with building traffic and use that to go to companies with products if you want to promote.

    I’m a personal trainer who created a physical product. How do I continue the success I had with in person events selling products where I sold out in person? I want to reach new customers and clients and I want to build further. Should I send products to influencers? What advice do you have? 

    Denis: You’re more like the advertiser looking for publishers to create content. As a creator we get a ton of emails asking for promotion from brands with products. I’d look at smaller influencers who usually have more engaged audiences on every platform. Finding those creators with 1,000-10,000 follower audiences will lead to sales and provide a much easier path. 

    Jade: I would go very local based. Emailing 100 random influencers won’t stand out because tons of companies are doing that so doing something different and local based would stand out. Or going to colleges where college students are becoming influencers and giving them product and they do a once a month zoom workout or something. Doing something different that stands out or is fun and unique or be very hyper specific in location where you work with just influencers from a certain college or city.

    Sharon: We are doing influencer outreach right now and we had out interns find accounts they resonate with so it’s not a random list of people. We use a tool Mix Max to automate the outreach and follow up with influencers.

    Jade: Use calendly to schedule times for bootcamps so people can give input on times they can make a live class. Build up your email list before hand to make sure you aren’t doing bootcamps or workouts for two people. 

    Where can you find influencers to help promote your brand? I sent my product to an influencer and go no traction and sales.

    Jade: That happens to all of use. She might have fake followers but it actually happens to all of us. Sometimes you share something and no one swipes up. That’s why brands do long term relationships with year long contracts or 4-5 posts because the first few campaigns might not provide much. Longer basis is better. You can also look into YouTubers because it’s harder to fake followings on YouTube.

    If you want to see if they have a true following you can check on Social Rank.

    Denis: Also consider some people are great at engagement but not great at being a salesman. Not all influencers have this so it is important to make sure you are evaluating whether or not the influencer can sell, not just if they get engagement.

    Big brands reached out to me to sponsor a fireside chat after I created a successful ClubHouse community. I haven’t seen anyone monetize here so how would I price it?

    Jade: My question would be to find out what their goal is and what their intention is to achieve. Shoot for the stars and then let the negotiation happen until it’s something you can accept. Shoot your shot.

    Suzanne: Definitely overshoot on whatever price you think you should get. Ask for more when it’s big companies because they will definitely pay for that. 

    Sean: Also remember you are setting a standard for everyone on Clubhouse and future monetization. 

    I have a job, a wedding photography business, podcast, and I made $12 from blogging in December which was the best $12 I’ve ever made. What do you think can help becoming a thought leader and grow this without killing my limited free time? Tips and strategies without spending too much time. I’m overwhelmed with options and feel limited time.

    Sharon: It’s about what your are interested in like if you enjoy writing then do blogging. The platform matters less because you don’t need a huge audience to earn money with affiliate marketing. If you are giving a lot of value to the audience then the platform matters less.

    Denis: The biggest thing with affiliates is that there are products you need to recommend that you don’t need but can help your audience. I also feel good when I make a sale because I know that will help people long term. 

    Mary: Double down on what is already working. It’s super easy to get caught up in shiny object syndrome and always start new outlets. But if something like blogging is working for you or your podcast is you main thing, double down on that. You don’t have to be everywhere especially if you have limited time and capacity.

    I’m documenting my journey as a 20 year old building a business and want to build a sustainable audience that connects with me. I’m getting lost in between when I’m building the operations of the business versus when I’m creating content. I feel like when I’m doing one I can’t do the other as well and would like to know how to manage this?

    Jade: You have to manage both. It helps to outsource things where you don’t have to spend the time to do things like editing. Also, ask yourself what kind of entrepreneur you want to be in five years. If you love the talking and videos then maybe you want to be more of the creator type business.

    When things get hard and you have less time, when you know who you are and what you want to be then you know which you’ll want to focus on. It’s imperative to do both so delegating can help with accomplishing that. 

    Also try to use platforms with short form content because that is a lot easier than making long form Youtube content.

    TJ: One thing I do is dedicate one day to all the content creation where I film everything and then have that delegated for editing and then the rest of the month you can work on your business. You can do everything but need to be able to focus.

    How did you outsource your editing and where did you find those people?

    Jade: They are people I know or people that reached out to me. It’s about the culture you want to build. Do you want to be friends with them and in person a lot? I personally choose local and aligned values. 

    TJ: Ditto about vibes with the person. I have tried upwork and agencies but I feel like the editor should understand your brand and vibes and humor and that’s great. 

    I feel like the instagram algorithm has changed for me and I’m getting less engagement. How do I improve it? Should I diversify to other platforms? 

    TJ: REELS!

    Sharon: Reels changed it for me, I grew from 3k to 50k because of reels mainly. 

    TJ: Reels has great organic reach. I’d focus on that and pump that. You don’t have to post daily and if you great good content it will help grow your views.

    For the main Instagram platform would hashtags help? 

    TJ: yes hashtags help but be careful because anything basic will be very saturated. If you choose hashtags with 100,000 posts or less it has a better chance to be seen.

    I started my brand and reached out to 30 influencers and 10 responded. What are some creative offers to offer influencers besides money? I’d like to work with influences that care about me and my brand not just people in it for the money.

    Jade: Flatter their ego. If you can’t offer money then flatter their ego, by doing interviews or a creative content series where they are an exclusive guest. As an example a brand reached out to me but couldn’t pay but they offered for me to be in a fashion show and that seemed cool.

    Aim for smaller creators below 100k following because bigger creators are going to expect larger payments.

    Read More

  • How To Leave Robinhood App For Investing

    There are a lot of reasons to leave Robinhood and move to another investing platform. In the last week or two the reasons have increased and more and more people are abandoning Robinhood for good reasons.

    Reasons To Leave Robinhood

    When I previously posted about starting a dividend portfolio on Robinhood, I was very excited about a platform that made investing feel so fun. However, over time I’ve discovered a lot of reasons why Robinhood App is subpar for investing as well as personal reasons too.

    Some reasons to leave Robinhood based on their failures:

    • Outages on days with big volume which have led to people losing hundreds and thousands of dollars
    • Lots of bugs and glitches in what shows especially on days where trading volume is very high
    • Customer service is very limited and if you have a problem you can’t get someone on the phone or email (you can just yell into the void on Twitter)
    • There have been issues with users being hacked and accounts looted
    • Robinhood has been sued and will be sued again
    • There is a lack of transparency on how they operate and make money off of the users which does not match their stated company ethos
    • During the Gamestop / short selling debacle of January 2021, they took action limiting what users could purchase which manipulated the price of stocks in a downward manner
    • The lack of transparency and disclosures from Robinhood in multiple cases pits them agains their users which means you aren’t getting the best deal or service

    Some reasons to leave Robinhood based on my investing style as a long term investor:

    • They don’t offer many beneficial investing account types including IRAs, HSAs, 529s etc
    • Because they don’t offer those account types you can only open a taxable brokerage account meaning you will pay more taxes on gains unnecessarily
    • They don’t offer access to buy mutual funds or bonds or several other asset types that you may want in a portfolio to diversify
    • Focus is on stock picking, options, and other riskier investing styles which can lead beginners into trouble

    Those are reasons to leave Robinhood as your investing platform. Luckily it is easy to transfer your stocks out of Robinhood and move to a better brokerage that offers more account types, asset options, and superior customer service.

    How To Transfer Stocks Out Of Robinhood

    Leaving Robinhood is easy and can be done by opening another account at a different brokerage and then trasnferring your stocks.

    You do not have to sell your stocks to leave Robinhood!

    You can sell some if you want, but remember that for any profits / gains you will need to pay capital gains taxes. If you’ve held the stock less than a year that tax rate can be substantial.

    Robinhood even has a guide to how to transfer stocks out of your Robinhood Account.

    Some important things to note about transferring your stocks out of Robinhood:

    • Robinhood supports partial and full outbound transfers of your stocks.
    • Once you transfer all assets out of Robinhood, they will close your account.
    • There is a $75 fee to transfer assets out of Robinhood to another brokerage.

    The process is pretty simple and most major brokerages can help you walk through it as well. The instructions on how to initiate the transfer from Robinhood are quite simple since the new brokerage handles most of the actual work:

    To begin the process, you’ll need to contact your other brokerage and have them initiate the transfer. They’ll submit the transfer instructions to our clearing partner to transfer over your assets and funds.

    If you transfer all of your assets to another brokerage, we’ll close your account.

    Please make sure you initiate an ACATS (Automated Customer Account Transfer Service) transfer. Please don’t request stock delivery using any method other than ACATS, including DTC and transfer agent transfers.

    You might need to give the other brokerage your Robinhood Securities (RHS) account number. You can find this information in your mobile app

    1. Tap the Account icon in the bottom right corner.
    2. Tap Investing.
    3. Your account number will be at the top of your screen.

    You may need to reference a DTC number for your transfer. Robinhood’s DTC number is 6769.

    After you initiate a full transfer, your account will be restricted to ensure the transfer is processed smoothly. You won’t be able to make any trades on the assets being requested, including options in the underlying asset, while the transfer is in process, but keep in mind that you’ll still own the securities or positions during this time, and they’ll update in the app to reflect their current market value.

    You can use any brokerage and many have advantaged above Robinhood. The three brokerages I personally use and like to recommend to people are:

    Those are the platforms I’ve ended up with and plan to stick with long term. Of note, if you are trading then M1 Finance will not be for you since it is geared toward long term investing rather than trading.

    Why I Left Robinhood

    I decided to leave Robinhood as an investing platform in November 2019.

    I left for several personal reasons and issues with the platform as well. As time has gone on Robinhood has only revealed even more negative issues for users.

    Personally I left Robinhood for a several reasons:

    • Has outages on big volume investing days
    • Has lots of bugs and glitches especially when things get busy
    • Customer service there is almost non-existent and you can’t call them
    • You can email but you can’t expect an answer
    • Users have had issues with hacking and looting of accounts
    • I’m not a trader and the app encourages moves that aren’t the best and can be based on emotion
    • The gamification of investing on the app is fun but also encouraged me to act too quickly and not make the best decision

    I originally downloaded Robinhood to open an account to buy stocks because it looked fun, it’s easy to use, and a lot of other YouTubers used and loved it. Yes, even I buy or subscribe to things because of channels I watch.

    I also had the idea of using this portfolio of making it public and sharing what stocks I’ve bought and why. However, after months of use I realize … I just don’t want to do that. I’m not great at picking stocks, I’m not confident enough to recommend them. 

    I can talk all day about index funds and ETFs but individual stocks still trip me up. I’m not great and analysis and honestly I’m too emotional about buying stocks.

    Robinhood has a ton of bugs and outages. Any time there is high volume traffic during a day the app gets glitchy and has hiccups and sometimes just doesn’t work at all. On the biggest days of the past year with stocks Robinhood basically just shut down and screwed over a lot of people and Robinhood did not seem to care about those people.

    Yes, its a new app and they are going to figure it out but I’ve decided if I want to put a lot of money into a platform, it’s not one that feels like it is still working out the kinks.

    So while there are some benefits to Robinhood and I love a lot of the little features and how easy it is to use… it’s just not enough for me to stick with them long term and build a large portfolio there. Since I’m planning to invest heavily after paying off debt I wanted something more stable that better fits the style of investing I actually like to do. 

    I also personally just want to consolidate. I have multiple accounts at multiple companies and frankly I don’t have time or desire to keep checking multiple portfolios and making sure nothing is on fire or needs to be adjusted. Robinhood is only a small percent of my overall investments yet it’s still something that I feel like I have to give too much attention. This whole experience has confirmed that I’m truly a hands off inventory who likes to make things easy and passive. That means I like buying index funds and ETFs where someone else I trust is doing the stock picking not me. 
    With that investing strategy in mind, I don’t need an app like Robinhood in order to consistently invest in those types of investments. I don’t regret using Robinhood or regret recommending it to people because in many ways it’s still a great option and really did change the investing landscape with no commission fees. But for this point in time.. it’s not right for what I want to do.

    I decided to consolidate and to sell those stocks where I’d made a poor choice and had lost money. I also sold some where I didn’t want to hold the stock long term but the gains were not that high and were cancelled out by the losses on others. This money was used to help me pay down debt and get closer to debt freedom. I planned to move the remaining stocks I wanted to hold long term out of Robinhood to another account at a more reputable broker.

    Sometimes you want to try out new things and investigate what is seemingly working for others and that is totally ok! It’s not a bad thing to stray from what you know and learn and see if you like another strategy or plan with your money.

    In this case, I didn’t like it as much and I’m going to go back to the strategy and investing plan I’m comfortable with and honestly, love the most. I’ll be sticking to my plan and sharing more details with you in the future especially as I start to pour more money into investments to hopefully build a future or financial freedom for our family.

    As always, thanks for watching, reading, and supporting!

    Read More

  • How To Get A Custom YouTube Channel URL

    The process for changing your YouTube channel URL changed recently so this tutorial shows you how to change your YouTube channel URL in 2021.

    Having a custom URL for your channel helps with branding your channel and makes it easy to remember and share with potential viewers.

    In this video and tutorial post I show you how to:

    • set up your custom YouTube channel URL
    • delete your custom channel URL and pick a new one
    • options for choosing your custom URL for YouTube
    • how to change your custom YouTube channel URL
    • custom YouTube URL requirements

    With this process for selecting and changing your channel URL you’ll be able to quickly and easily pick the channel URL you want!

    Custom URL for Your YouTube Channel Step By Step

    How to get your custom YouTube channel URL step by step:

    1. Sign in to YouTube Studio for your account
    2. From the left menu, select Customization 
    3. From the top menu, select the Basic info tab
    4. Under the Channel URL sections, click Set a custom URL for your channel
    5. In the box, you’ll see your current URL and your potential custom URL. You can add extra letters or numbers to make your custom URL unique to your channel.
    6. Click the blue Publish button in the top right of the page.
    7. Click Confirm on the popup screen to confirm your custom URL.

    YouTube Channel Custom URLs Details

    Why would you want a custom URL for your channel? Creating a custom URL is an easy to remember URL that you can share with your audience. It’s easier to remember, better for branding, and customizes your channel.

    Instead of have a channel that is youtube.com/ceJWE8732fjKEWNF# you will instead be able to have a channel URL that is youtube.com/penniesnotperfection for example. It’s much cleaner and easier to remember or share.

    You get to choose your URL but there are some things you can base it on:

    • Display name
    • YouTube username
    • Current vanity URLs
    • Linked website name

    You can also choose the capitalization options so that you can make words stand out of not. For example you can choose either of the following:

    • youtube.com/c/yourcustomname
    • youtube.com/c/YourCustomName

    This gives you even more flexibility to use the custom URL feature for your channel to reinforce your branding.

    Custom URL Eligibility

    Who is eligible to get a custom channel URL? There are some requirements you need to hit before you are able to set up your custom URL.

    To create a custom URL for your channel, your YouTube account needs to:

    • Have 100 or more subscribers
    • Be at least 30 days old
    • Have an uploaded profile picture
    • Have uploaded banner image

    That’s it!

    The great thing about custom URLs is that it is one of the first things you get to do on YouTube while building your audience. Most features won’t unlock until 1,000 or even 10,000 subscribers, but at 100 subscribers you get a custom URL!

    It’s important to note that a custom URL can be changed or removed by YouTube at any time. This could include things like copyright infringement or when an account is deleted.

    Growing Your YouTube Channel

    Once you’ve got 100 subscribers and have selected your custom URL, then it’s time to keep growing until you hit 1,000 subscribers and more!

    If you want to grow and actually make money from your Youtube channel then the following tips should help.

    Get Useful Growth Tools

    Use a free tool like TubeBuddy to evaluate your competition, research keywords, and make better videos.

    TubeBuddy has a free version as well as a couple paid plans. You can get a lot out of the free version as a newbie and when you are ready you can go to the next level.

    I love TubeBuddy for the SEO help but also the bulk management tools, canned comment responses, A/B testing, end screen templates and more.

    Here are the SEO tools you have access to inside TubeBuddy:

    • view and copy video tags from another channel
    • tag rankings so you can track where you rank
    • suggested tags for your videos
    • keyword explorer
    • search rankings
    • best practices audit

    All of those tools help you get your video ranked on YouTube so you get more views. TubeBuddy helps improve your SEO and increase search traffic that will double your views over time.

    Make Good Videos

    Seriously, making good videos is how you grow on YouTube. There are a lot of additional factors but you won’t grow if you make bad videos.

    Here are a few of the best tips from successful creators I’ve followed about making good videos:

    • Get to the point in your videos. Don’t ramble on for a long period at the beginning where people will fall off. Study your old videos too see where people drop off.
    • Make your videos provide value. If your videos are educational then make them very educational. If they are entertainment based then they should provide value by making your viewer feel something. Think of each video and consider what value it is providing someone.
    • Audio quality matters the most even over video quality. You can have top notch video but if your audio is bad people will stop watching.
    • Focus on your presentation and story telling skills. When you first start making videos you probably won’t be very good at this but it’s something that makes the best YouTubers connect with their audience.
    • Every video on your channel is providing some type of value. That value might be education or entertainment or just a feeling like someone belongs. You need to recognize what value you are providing and then put your own unique spin on it.

    Remember that these are all things that you can work on and you can’t compare yourself to other creators. You should work hard to improve your skills and tune out the distractions of others.

    Build Community

    Having a community around your channel and your videos is another great way to guarantee successful video launches and continued success. Building community can be done in a few ways:

    • commenting on other youtube channels
    • responding to all of your comments
    • referencing viewers and comments in your videos
    • giving shoutouts to people in your community
    • giving your viewers a nickname and expected phrases

    Those are just a few ways I’ve found to build my community but you can find what works for you! The most successful YouTube channels have an element of community around them.

    Those are just some of the ways I’ve learned how to grow my channel and consistently doubled my channel size each year I’ve been on Youtube while still keeping consistent and engaged subscribers.

    Learn From YouTube Experts

    Another great way to grow on YouTube (and save a ton of time) is to learn from experts who have already done it.

    You can book one on one time or take a course like my friend Erika’s course Mastering YouTube for the Busy Professional (affiliate link).

    She went from 0 subscribers to over 70,000 and $100,000 earned from YouTube in just one year. I’ve learned a lot from her about both getting views from trending topics and outsourcing to grow faster.

    Taking a course like this or from any big YouTuber will help you learn faster and grow faster because you will make less mistakes.

    All of these things will help you grow faster after you’ve hit your first 100 subscribers. Best wishes on growing your channel to a huge success!

    Read More

  • How To Create & Run Etsy Sales

    Using Etsy sales and coupons can help you make more sales and earn more money on Etsy.

    In this tutorial I’m going over all the things you need to know about sales and coupons on Etsy so you can start running sales and make more money with your Etsy shop.

    This video tutorial will definitely help you use these sales and coupon features in order to increase your sales. It covers:

    • the different sales and coupons you can create on Etsy
    • the targeted offers you can use to make more sales on Etsy
    • how to create a coupon code for more sales on Etsy

    In my Etsy shop for digital products I’ve made more money by running percentage off sales each month and think it’s an exceptional way to make more sales especially for digital products.

    How to Create & Run Etsy Sales

    Setting up a sale on Etsy is simple and it can definitely increase your shop sales and income. When you run a sale you can offer free shipping or take a percentage off the total or listing price. Shoppers see your items on sale in searches and in your shop.

    Here’s how to create an Etsy sale:

    1. Sign in to Etsy and click the Your Account icon.
    2. Click Shop Manager and go to your shop backend.
    3. Click the Marketing link in the left side menu.
    4. Click the Sales and Coupons link that pops up in the secondary menu.
    5. Click the Run Sale button in the pop up screen.
    6. In the new screen you’ll select all your Discount Details.
    7. Choose a discount – for free shipping you can select to only offer free domestic shipping.
    8. Choose a discount – you can offer anywhere from 10% to 70% off the price of items in your shop.
    9. Choose where it’s valid – you can select whether the sale is available in all countries or just one specific country.
    10. Choose minimum order to qualify – select whether there is a minimum number of items to buy (quantity), a minimum amount to spend (order total) or no minimum to qualify for the sale.
    11. Choose duration – you can select the duration of the sale beginning with the start date and the end date up to 30 days later.
    12. Write your terms and conditions – in this optional step you can inform your shoppers or any restrictions, limitations or others. terms that apply to the sale you are running.
    13. Name your sale – you can create a unique name for the sale that shoppers won’t see but will allow you to track sales performance.

    If you do not set a minimum order to qualify for a. sale then you will be able to select specific listings for your sale. In this situation you can edit the sale to include new listings later.

    If you do select a minimum order to qualify, then your sale will include your entire shop and you can not select items to exclude. If you have items you don’t want to go on sale then you should not select this option.

    How to Create Etsy Coupon Codes

    Creating an Etsy coupon code also follows a similar method. When you create a coupon for your Etsy shop you can share it with specific shoppers or with your email list or social media accounts to drive sales.

    Here’s how to set up an Etsy coupon code:

    1. Sign in to Etsy and click the Your Account icon.
    2. Click Shop Manager and go to your shop backend.
    3. Click the Marketing link in the left side menu.
    4. Click the Sales and Coupons link that pops up in the secondary menu.
    5. Click the Create coupon button in the pop up screen.
    6. Select the coupon type you’d like to offer shoppers: free standard shipping, percentage off, or fixed amount off.
    7. For percentage off you can offer any percentage off the price of items in your shop.
    8. For fixed amount off you can offer a fixed dollar amount off the price of items in your shop.
    9. For free standard shipping, you can offer free shipping so the buyer won’t pay a shipping fee. This type of coupon is shop wide automatically but you can choose to offer it only on domestic orders.
    10. Choose minimum order to qualify – select whether there is a minimum number of items to buy (quantity), a minimum amount to spend (order total) or no minimum to qualify for the sale.
    11. Select whether the coupon will be sent as a thank you to existing buyers or not once orders are complete.
    12. Choose duration – you can select the duration of the coupon code beginning with the start date and this type of sale does not require an end date.
    13. Customize your coupon code – give your coupon code a name that shoppers can use to enter to get the discount. You’ll also get a URL with this code name included that you can share to automatically apply the discount.

    How to Create Targeted Offers On Etsy

    You can also created targeted offers that will send discounts to very specific Etsy users who have taken an action. These offers go out to interested shoppers who have either added your item to their cart but have not purchased or who have favorited an item from your shop.

    Here’s how to set up a targeted offer:

    1. Sign in to Etsy and click the Your Account icon.
    2. Click Shop Manager and go to your shop backend.
    3. Click the Marketing link in the left side menu.
    4. Click the Sales and Coupons link that pops up in the secondary menu.
    5. Click the Set up offer button in the pop up screen.
    6. Select who you would like to send the offer to:
      Abandoned cart shoppers —people who‘ve left items from your shop in their cart
      Recently favorited shoppers —people who‘ve favorited something from your shop
    7. Choose coupon type – select the type of discount from percentage off the price of items in your shop, fixed amount off the price of items in your shop, or free standard shipping.
    8. Choose a coupon code – enter a coupon code that will be sent to customers that they can enter at checkout to get the discount. This code will also be used to generate a URL for customers to use.

    Targeted offers on Etsy used to cost $0.10 to send to each individual but they removed that fee and they are now free to use. It’s highly recommended you use these types of sales to reach out to already interested buyers.

    How Sales Can Create More Etsy Income

    Creating your Etsy sales and coupons is the first step of increasing your Etsy sales. Once you have your sales and coupons running you need to monitor their success and then adjust as necessary.

    You can track the performance and success of your sales offers in the Sales and Coupons sections of your Shop Manager.

    In this area yoou will be able to see:

    • how long your sales and offers have been running
    • number of orders per offer
    • items sold per offer
    • average order value per offer
    • revenue per offer

    Seeing these numbers for each offer will allow you to determine whether or not your offer is effective. If you are growing sales then stick with it but it. nothing is happening then play around with the offers you put out there until things start working.

    How To Start An Etsy Shop

    If you’re not on Etsy yet, it’s a great platform to start on and learn how to sell digital products.

    If you want to start an Etsy shop in order to earn part time or full time income then this tutorial for beginners will help you get started! I know a lot of people who have never sold online before can feel intimidated which is why I created this tutorial on how to set up an Etsy shop step by step. It is very easy and seeing someone else do it makes it feel much easier!

    You can start your shop with this link for 40 free listings to jumpstart your shop without having to waste money on those first listings.

    Additionally, here are some posts about starting and growing an Etsy shop that may help you:

    How To Get More Sales On Etsy

    If you have tried out sales or don’t want to sacrifice any profits, you can do other things to get more sales on Etsy.

    This video shares many lessons about getting more sales on Etsy that can help you grow your sales especially as a new seller.

    For more posts about growing your sales on Etsy try out these posts:

    Read More

  • Do You Need A Business License To Sell On Etsy?

    Etsy is a fantastic platform where you can sell a number of different things and even make a full time living.

    Many people starting an Etsy shop want to know the answer to this question: Do you need a business license to sell on Etsy? What do you need business wise to get started?

    Do you need a business license to sell on Etsy? It depends.

    Many states require Etsy sellers to collect sales tax and pay local business taxes. Depending on your state where you do business, sales and use tax can be complicated. Etsy collects sales tax for some states but not all.

    You will have to investigate your local requirements. Visit your state and local government website to find out what the tax requirements are for your area.

    Is your Etsy shop a business?

    Is your Etsy shop a hobby or a business? Hint: If you’re doing it for profit, it’s a business, not a hobby.

    Technically as soon as you start selling and making money you are a sole proprietorship in the USA. With this business type you don’t need to file legal forms or pay any fees to start.

    Depending on what you are selling and where you sell it from, you may also need to obtain certain business licenses locally.

    Check your state or city requirements so you will comply with your local laws to avoid violations and fines. You can look these up by searching Google for “your city” and/or “your state” plus “business license” and reading up on what is required.

    Etsy can be a very fun business, but it’s also a business. Even if Etsy doesn’t require a business license it is a best practice to treat your shop as a business from the start and get everything you need in place from business licenses to separate business bank accounts. Plan to succeed from the start!

    You don’t need anything to start an Etsy shop.

    So you won’t need official paperwork or an LLC in place to start an Etsy shop on the actual platform. Etsy does not require you to have a business license to open a shop. You can start a shop and start selling without anything in place.

    But this does not mean you don’t need one. That depends on your plans and your location. You will want to quickly learn what you are required to have in place where you live.

    This is something you will have to research on your own and consult a professional as every location will have different laws and requirements.

    Check your local rules and be careful.

    In conclusion…

    Make sure you follow your local rules and regulations when it comes to business licenses, permits and taxes. This is a location based issue so there is not a single answer.

    I’m not a lawyer or an accountant. Please do your own research and consult a professional if you have questions (don’t rely on a YouTuber).

    I run an Etsy shop and the business license requirements that apply to me locally may not apply to you and vice versa.

    Additional Resources

    Below I’ve included some links to helpful posts with more information about whether or not you need a business license for selling on Etsy and also for setting up your business properly.

    From Etsy’s seller handbook:

    What’s the best legal structure for my business? It’s an important question, but there’s no one answer, because as your business changes, the best way to structure it also changes.

    Guess what? Technically, you’re a sole proprietorship as soon as you start doing business, so that wasn’t so hard, was it?

    You don’t need to file legal forms or pay any fees to launch a sole proprietorship, which is why the vast majority of small businesses start as sole proprietorships, but there are some legal issues to consider. 

    From Wolters Kluwer:

    Etsy is available to anyone who wants to open an account. But to avoid violations and fines, you’ll want to make sure you are following state and local laws and regulations. Even if you’re only selling items occasionally and consider your venture more of a hobby than a job, the state you live in may still require a license.

    Even though you’re selling online, you still may have to charge your customers sales tax. Depending on the state you’re selling from, sales and use tax can be complicated. There are only a handful of states that do not charge state sales tax.

    Don’t forget to look into local sales tax as well. You may have additional taxes based on the county that you live in.

    From FT Patel Law PLLC:

    When it comes to physical and digital goods tax and licensing laws aren’t always equal. Some states only collect sales tax on physical goods only. Others collect sales tax on both. Check with your area to determine what the law says on physical and digital goods.

    If you registered your Etsy business under a name different than your own you may need to register a Doing Business As. Even if you don’t need to be licensed you may still need to register as DBA with your state.

    Those are a few resources that might help you determine whether or not you need to look further into getting a business license for your Etsy shop.

    How To Start An Etsy Shop

    If you’re not on Etsy yet, it’s a great platform to start on and learn how to sell digital products.

    If you want to start an Etsy shop in order to earn part time or full time income then this tutorial for beginners will help you get started! I know a lot of people who have never sold online before can feel intimidated which is why I created this tutorial on how to set up an Etsy shop step by step. It is very easy and seeing someone else do it makes it feel much easier!

    You can start your shop with this link for 40 free listings to jumpstart your shop without having to waste money on those first listings.

    Additionally, here are some posts about starting and growing an Etsy shop that may help you:

    Read More