Pros and cons of sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship can be a business with only one member that has not been incorporated by state filing. There are pros and cons to sole proprietorships. However, there is no distinction between owner and business and no liability protection. While sole proprietorships can reduce startup costs, they won’t limit your personal liability.

No matter how your business structure is set up, it is important to keep your personal and business finances separate. Combining funds can lead to huge tax, accounting, and liability headaches. Chase ranked first in our review of the best business bank options. A $300 bonus is available to new customers.

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Sole Proprietorship: Pros and cons

 

The advantages of a sole proprietorship Cons of Sole Proprietorship
Simple Setup and Affordable Unlimitable Liability
No corporate business taxes There is no ongoing business life
There are no annual reports/filings It is difficult to raise money
No restrictions on the use of formal business structures Inability to take on business debt
Simple Recordkeeping It can be regarded as unprofessional

 

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5 Advantages of a Sole Proprietorship

The easiest type of business is a sole proprietorship. This type of business does not require any formal setup, annual administration, dedicated taxes or formal record keeping. A sole proprietorship allows you to simply sell goods and services. All bills and debts are your responsibility. All income from business is pass-through, and can be filed on your personal tax returns.

These are the five benefits of being a sole proprietorship:

1. 1. Easy setup and low cost

A sole proprietorship does not require you to file any paperwork or complete formal business structures. The only thing you need to do is start your business. You don’t even have to pay any filing fees or incorporation fees. You may need a permit, special license, surety bonds or business insurance policy depending on your industry. However, you don’t have to file any filings with the state.

This ease of setup and low cost of administration/management makes sole proprietorships great for cottage industries and seasonal businesses. It can be very beneficial to start a new venture, especially one that does not have significant liability.

Sole proprietorships are so easy to establish that they don’t require owners to take the necessary steps to incorporate. This would give them liability protection and other benefits. These steps are not required for sole proprietorships, and they also forfeit the liability protection that comes with formal business structures.

You can protect your liability by incorporating as an LLC using a service such as Rocket Lawyer. You can legally seperate yourself from your business by having them assist you with federal and state filings.

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2. 2.

You don’t have to pay 21% corporate taxes on your business profits as a sole proprietor. You simply keep filing personal tax returns, and any income you receive from your business is claimed as pass-through taxes. All income is subject to your normal income tax rate. Solo proprietors often are exempted from the state franchise and excises taxes.

These exemptions make taxes for sole proprietorships much simpler and less expensive than those of C-corps. Revenue is taxed at company level, and then again when dividends are paid to shareholders. The current dividend tax rate is between 15-20% and 41%, meaning you can pay up to 41% on your taxable profits. This does not include income tax that you pay on your salary.

Pass-through tax benefits are not only available to sole proprietorships. Both LLCs and Scorps can be considered pass-through entities. They avoid double taxation as well as the corporate tax rate. However, LLCs can be subject to franchise or excises tax depending on their operations. This means that taxes may still be higher than sole proprietorships depending on the level of profit.

As a sole proprietor, you might be subject to the following taxes:

  • Normal income tax – As a sole proprietor, there is no salary. All profits are instead filed on your personal tax return, and taxed at the ordinary income tax rate.
  • Self-employment taxes – If you own a business, you will have to pay self employment tax on all income earned by that business. This is the employer-portion FICAtax. This means that you will pay 7.65% additional taxes, or 15.3-16.2% FICA taxes.
  • Sales Tax – Depending on the nature of your business, you might need to collect and pay sales taxes if you sell goods. The amount varies from one state to another, but is usually between 6-9%.

3. There are no annual reports or filings

Solo proprietorships don’t need to file annual reports with the state. You don’t even have to file any other tax returns. This is in contrast with LLCs or S-corporations which generally have to file an annual report after they are formed. This report usually requires the updating of managers or members’ lists.

You would need to file many additional filings if you decide to use an LLC or LLP, Scorp, C-corp, or other entity instead of a sole proprietorship.

  • When you officially establish a company.
  • Annual filing- Charged in most states to keep you company current
  • You must notify the state if you are changing managers or directors.
  • List members –Many types companies must inform the state when their members change
  • An annual audit – Some companies must submit an audit every year
  • Company tax returns Certain types of companies must prepare corporate tax returns, and pay separate taxes for business profits

It is beneficial that sole proprietorships do not have to file an annual return. This saves time and headaches. However, most states charge a fee of $50-$200 for annual filings. Solo proprietors need only file their annual tax returns.

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4. 4.

Others, which are more structured, have certain restrictions on their operations and must meet additional requirements. These requirements do not apply to sole proprietorships. As a sole proprietor, you are free to make any business decision you like, provided it is legal. There is no approval or formal review.

You can skip certain requirements for other business types if you are sole proprietor:

  • Annual meetings –Companies like LLCs must hold an annual meeting to review the lists of members and managers
  • Board Meetings – Some companies must have certain business decisions officially approved by directors
  • Recorded Minutes –Formal minutes must be kept for these meetings of LLCs and corporations
  • Shareholder votes Any formal actions by the company, such as appointing new managers or admitting members, must be voted upon
  • Formal Reviews – Managers need to be formally re-appointed and certain actions must be reviewed.

5. Simple Record Keeping

An LLC or other formal-structured business requires you to separate your personal and business finances. You run the risk of being open to unlimited liability. This is known as “piercing corporate veil.”

Sole proprietors are subject to unlimited liability so many sole proprietors don’t separate their finances. Sole proprietors deposit their business income directly into personal accounts and pay all bills and debts themselves. They treat the business as an extension to their personal finances. This could make it easier to run a sole proprietorship than an LLC.

Although it is simpler to keep business and personal finances separate, it is often not a good idea. Separate records allow you to monitor cash flow and help you manage your business better. First, open a checking account for your business.

Separating finances in a sole proprietorship won’t protect your assets, but it can assist with bookkeeping, as the business grows. If you choose to change to an LLC, or any other type of business structure, it will make things easier. Chase was voted the best business account by us after we reviewed them all. Bonuses are available to new customers.

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5 Con’s of a Sole Proprietorship

Consider the pros and cons of sole proprietorship. One of the biggest disadvantages to sole proprietorship is that it allows for unlimited liability. The business owner can be held responsible for all obligations. If you are looking to grow your business, it is possible that W2 employees won’t be available (only 1099 contract employees).

The following are major disadvantages to sole proprietorships:

1. 1. Unlimited Liability

You don’t have the limited liability protections that an LLP, LLC or S-corporation offers if you are a sole proprietor. If someone is hurt by your business, a product you sell, or a mistake that you make, then you are personally responsible for any business expenses or debts. This means there is no legal distinction between you and your company.

You’ll be responsible for some liabilities in a sole proprietorship.

  • Your business’s expenses
  • Business-related debts
  • Product-related Liability
  • Property-related injuries
  • Insufficient or inappropriate service can result in civil damages

A sole proprietorship has unlimited personal liability. Customers, vendors, and lenders can seek your personal assets to pay any business obligations. This is in contrast with LLCs, Scorps and C-corps which provide a shield of liability between the business and its owners.

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The personal assets of the company owners are protected in an LLC or Ccorp. They cannot be taken by customers, lenders, or vendors to meet the company’s obligations unless the business owners do anything that would allow the corporate veil be lifted or if the owner signed a personal guarantee. A sole proprietorship may not be the right choice if you are looking to legally protect yourself.

Rocket Lawyer can help you form a single-member LLC. This will protect you from any liabilities that may arise from your company. You can visit them right away and receive legal documents in no time.

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Josh Zimmelman Westwood Tax and Consulting An LLC is a limited-liability company that protects your personal assets from creditors and lawsuits. Others entities, such as sole proprietorships and general partnerships, are unlimited liability companies. These businesses have the same owner and company. Therefore, you are liable for all debts of the business, even if the partner takes them on.”

– Josh Zimmelman, President, Westwood Tax & Consulting

2. 2.

Your business will survive if you set it up as an LLC or C-corp. Your business can continue to exist as long as your business files are current and you have proper licensing. However, if you are a sole proprietor and you have to go bankrupt, it is the end of your business.

There is no way to ensure continuity in a sole proprietorship. A family member or employee may be able to continue working in your business but they would be starting a brand new company. They wouldn’t be sustaining your operations. This makes it difficult to plan for the long-term and make succession plans for your eventual exit.

Sole proprietorships cannot hire full-time employees or W2 employees. Although you can hire 1099 independent contractors to work for you, it is not possible to manage payroll or retain employees over the long-term. You will need to incorporate an S-corporation or C-corp if you plan to hire employees in future.

3. It is difficult to raise capital

If you need to raise capital from outside investors, structuring your business as a sole proprietorship may not be a good idea. Because there is no business to sell, it is almost impossible to raise capital unless you have tangible assets and intellectual property that investors could buy into.

Sole proprietorships do not have equity shares and are not licensed businesses. There is no formal process for reviewing business decisions and approvals. Shareholders in sole proprietorships have virtually no rights. These concerns are why investors don’t usually invest in sole proprietorships.

Even an LLC can make it difficult to raise capital. However, you can elect an S-corp, which makes it much easier. A C-corporation is the best option if you need to raise capital, particularly from angel investors or venture capital firms.

4. You can’t take on business debt

A sole proprietorship is not a company that has been established. Therefore, it is not possible to obtain a loan for a business. All debt, even those you borrow to grow your business or run it, is considered personal debt. Lenders may require that all loans are personally guaranteed by the sole proprietor. This means they have the right to seize your personal assets in the event of default.

Because a sole proprietorship does not constitute a separate business entity, you own the business. You are personally guaranteeing the repayment of any business loans to sole proprietorships.

This may not be the case for other business structures. Even if you are an LLC, you will likely need to personally guarantee any type or loan you get, including an SBA Loan. When you take on business debt, make sure that you understand all of your personal responsibilities.

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5. 5. Perceived lack of professionalism

Customers and business partners often think sole proprietors lack professionalism. This may not be an issue for people who want to start a small business from home or make extra money. It is worth taking into consideration the pros and cons associated with a sole proprietorship when you are deciding on the type of business structure that you would like to use.

C-corporations, which are at the opposite end of the spectrum of sole proprietorships and partnerships, are commonly used by large companies around the globe. They are considered the most professional and well-respected. These entities are known for having the most rigid organizational structure and oversight regulations. However, they offer the best opportunity to raise outside capital and provide the highest liability protection.

Solo proprietorships on the other side do not have any form of oversight or management. A sole proprietorship simply means that someone is selling products or working for themselves. Sole proprietors often receive income from their business. Many bills are paid out of their personal accounts.

You can avoid some of this unprofessionalism by opening a small business checking bank in your business’s name. Many providers allow you to use an “doing business under” (DBA) alias. This will depend on the institution. You can find more information in our article on the Best Checking Accounts.

Sole Proprietorship Examples

The pros and cons of sole proprietorships make them ideal for small-scale entrepreneurs just starting out in low cost, low-liability ventures. This is also a better option for small-business owners with no substantial assets, which a creditor could pursue if the business fails.

These are some examples of sole proprietorships that are worth mentioning:

Amazon Businesses

Amazon businesses are often started by people who white label products. This can be done easily as a sole proprietor. You can find more information in our article How to Sell on Amazon.

Etsy Shops

To avoid the expense of setting up and managing a formal business entity, many sellers using Etsy are sole proprietors. You can find more information in our How to Sell on Etsy article.

Other Personal Business

Solo proprietorships can be used to run a variety of other businesses. Sole proprietorships can also be suited to independent service providers such as massage therapists or consultants via platforms like Upwork.

A sole proprietorship can work well for even a small snow-shoving or lawn-mowing business. In these instances, it is important to change to a business that offers liability protection prior to purchasing trucks and other equipment. For example, moving to an LLC or Scorp would protect you against personal liability in the event of injury.

If their business is only a small, part-time venture or a weekend business, some small business owners prefer to be sole proprietors. This allows them to avoid having to register or manage an LLC. However, those who grow eventually opt for a more formal structure which provides greater liability protection.

Alternatives to Sole Proprietorship

There are many business structures that can be used in place of a sole proprietorship.

Limited Liability Company

LLCs make it easy to create and manage a company. You can create them online in most states in as little as 5-10 minutes for $150-$200. Although LLCs offer limited liability protection for company owners, they require annual filings, up-to-date member lists, tax filings with K-1s issued members, and more formal administration.

Limited Liability Partnership

Limited liability partnerships are not available in all states. They can only be used to practice a licensed profession. They are tax-exempt entities and tax liability is passed to their owners based upon the ownership stake.

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Although LLPs function in the same way as LLCs, they can only be used within certain industries.

S-Corporations

S-corps, closely held corporations, are generally considered pass-throughs and receive special tax treatment in some areas. S-corps owners can pay their own salary, but the IRS doesn’t recognize LLC owners being entitled to a salary. However, they may deduct this expense from the corporate profit.

You can find more information in our article C-corps.

C-Corporations

C-corps are the most stable and expensive of all the business structures. C-corps are subjected to double taxation. Corporate profits are taxed at 21%. These profits are then subject to double taxation once they are distributed as dividends to owners of the company, at the individual income tax rate.

You can find more information in our article Ccorps and S-corps .

Is a Sole Proprietorship Right for

The pros and cons of sole proprietorships are beneficial for new business owners who are just starting out. They should not be entering a risky field or needing a lot of capital. They shouldn’t have to borrow money or be at risk of injury. Ideal would be a cottage industry.

Solo proprietorships work best for those business owners who do not have significant assets that could be taken over by creditors, vendors, or customers as a result of debts or liabilities incurred from the operation. This type of business is ideal for entrepreneurs who are just starting their business and plan to move to a formal structure later.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs

1. What are the advantages of an LLC over a sole proprietorship?

An LLC is a better option than a sole proprietorship because it limits your liability as business owner. The sole proprietor of a business is responsible for all its debts and obligations. An LLC allows business assets to be segregated from personal financial accounts. You are personally responsible for any business obligations only if you give a personal guarantee or do anything that would allow “piercing” the corporate veil.

2. 2.Why is it good to be a sole proprietor?

There are pros and cons to sole proprietorships. They can be very beneficial for small businesses or new ones. Unfortunately, many businesses fail. So it’s a good idea to start as a sole proprietorship until you know if your business will succeed. This is especially true for businesses that don’t require large amounts of outside investment or involve a lot of liability.

3. Are You Required to Register as a Sole Proprietor

You don’t need to register as sole proprietor. Depending on the industry you work in, you may need to register for specific licenses.

4. What is the best way to pay taxes as sole proprietor?

You can structure your business as sole proprietorship and continue to pay your personal taxes. You can claim any income you earn from business operations and pay self-employment taxes. Depending on the location of your business, you may need to collect and pay local and state sales tax for any goods that are sold.

Bottom Line

The sole proprietorship is an informal, great structure for small business owners. It is important to weigh the pros and cons when choosing a business structure. These businesses don’t offer liability protection or make it difficult for their owners to raise funds, but they are easy to set up and manage.

How to start a cleaning business: The complete guide

A wide variety of cleaning services are offered by cleaning businesses, such as vacuuming, dusting and floor mopping. Cleaning businesses have been focusing on the CDC-recommended procedures to eradicate the COVID-19 virus. This guide will discuss low-cost ways to get your cleaning business started on a tight budget. In seven easy steps, we will show you how to start your cleaning business.

1. Select the type of cleaning business you want

First, you must decide if you want to start a commercial or residential cleaning company. This decision will impact everything else, from financing to equipment to marketing.

Many cleaning companies do not offer services to commercial and residential customers. Each cleaning company offers different services and requires unique equipment. This is why specialization is important. It is also important to decide whether you are starting your business from scratch or buying a franchise that specializes in cleaning.

Commercial vs. Residential Cleaning Businesses

A residential cleaning service is one that specializes in cleaning homes, while a commercial cleaning service is one that specializes in cleaning businesses. It gets more complicated. The residential cleaning business is typically more affordable to start. However, adding on services like window washing and floor waxing can make it very profitable.

You also want to consider that residential is done during the day, and commercial is during the night. Also, residential cleaning is more detail oriented because the homeowner is more likely to inspect your work, and be particular about how you do certain tasks such as arranging pillows and blankets. Commercial covers more square feet, so you’ll have to work faster and less detail oriented than residential.

You’ll have more customers in residential areas, which means less competition for your business. Your budget and your lifestyle will determine which option you choose between residential or commercial.

Do You Need to Buy a Cleaning Franchise?

Franchises in cleaning are very popular. You can choose from more than 15 brands. Cleaning franchises are attractive because they are generally affordable to start. Many franchises offer the option of starting from home or part time. As low as $3500 for a Stratus Building Solutions franchise

It’s important to keep in mind that not all cleaning franchises will be affordable. Some franchises require a $200,000 investment. These franchises require vehicles, advanced equipment, and a physical location.

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A franchise offers industry and business training, which is why many new business owners opt to purchase it. The Maids, for example, offers seven-weeks of business training. It also provides two days of culture and admin training at headquarters. You can also get four days on-site training at your place. This is a boot camp for cleaning businesses!

Research top cleaning franchises

Franchise Type Initial investment
Stratus Construction Solutions Commercial $4,000 to $73,000
JanPro Commercial $4,000 – $54,700
Vanguard Cleaning Systems Commercial $6,000 – $37,000
Anago Cleaning Systems Commercial $11,000 to $68,000
Maid Pro Residential $58,000 to $222,000
The Maids Residential $63,000 to $141,000
Merry Maids Residential $125,000 – $90,000.
Molly Maid Residential $112,000 to $156,000

2. 2.

Next, you need to create a business plan. Get your ideas down on paper. Also, research startup costs and project how much the cleaning business will make over the next two-years (referred to as financial projections).

traditional business planning is required if you are looking for large amounts of funding from a bank, investor or other financial institution. To help with financial projections, most people will use a business plan software. Software is required to help you understand what an income statement or balance sheet are.

A one-page business plan is possible

The one-page business plan should take you less than fifteen minutes to complete. It’s easy: Simply write one to two sentences for each of the questions provided in the template.

Download template: PDF

Create a budget

You will need to calculate the financials of your cleaning company along with the business plan. Three figures are required: estimated startup costs, estimated monthly expenses, monthly income and estimated startup costs.

These are the most common expenses associated with a low-cost cleaning company:

  • Permits and Licenses: $50 to $500 to Register as a Limited Liability Company
  • Insurance: $500 – $3,500 per year, depending on how many employees. You can expect to pay only a few hundred dollars a month.
  • Cleaning products and equipment: $300-$600 depending on the model of tools. Vacuums of high quality can be purchased for $200 to $300. There are $10 off for several all-purpose cleaning products, $10 off for a broom and $20 on a mop. You also get $20 off for dusting supplies.
  • Advertising:$100 – $200 for print or online marketing
  • Labor: About $12 per hour.

Once you have estimated your expenses, it is time to calculate your rates and the monthly income you will make.

Get your Cleaning Rates Set

Rates will be determined by factors such as location, competition, clientele and interior condition. Upgrades such as wall washings, appliance cleanings and window cleaning can help you earn more revenue.

These options are important when setting your rates

  • Hourly rate: $30-$90 per hour. The most popular billing method is the hourly rate. Call your competitors to get an estimate of your hourly rate and inquire about the cost of service.
  • Flat rate: $120-$150 for a single family home. This rate can be determined by estimating the time it will take to clean a house. This rate may be preferred by customers because they know exactly how much to pay each month.
  • Square Foot Feet Rate: Commercial cleaning companies charge per square foot. An office building will typically be charged between $.05 and $.20 per square feet.

Add up the income and expenses

Once you know your startup costs and monthly expenses and your potential income, the next step will be to calculate your net income (income after expenses) and the time it will take to make your initial investment back. This is also known as breakeven.

Let’s take, for example, startup costs of $4,000. You calculate that your monthly expenses will be $1,000, which includes your quarterly tax withdrawal, or about 20% of your income.

If you clean 20 houses per month, earning $120 per house, that’s $2,400 in income. You will have $1,400 in net income each month after you subtract the $1,000 monthly expenses.

This scenario will require you to breakeven in four months and earn your $4,000 investment back. It’s unlikely that you will have 20 homes within your first month of business. This client base and your return on investment may take more than four months.

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3. 3. Get the necessary funds

You did it! Now you know the amount of money it will take to open the cleaning business and keep it running for at least six more months. Now, you have to raise the money. How do you go about it?

In order to begin your business, it is a good idea to use personal money. Avoid debt whenever possible. If you have vehicles or a physical address, this may not be possible. No matter what type of business you are opening, you will still need to repay the debt if it fails.

To start your cleaning business (bullets), you might consider the following funding options:

  • Personal money: Before you use any personal funds to launch your business, make sure that the money is transferred into a bank account for the business (described below).
  • Crowdfunding – This funding option is often overlooked by new cleaning business owners. Crowdfunding is a way to raise funds from family and friends before you open your business. The funds can be used to buy equipment, and then for prepaid services.
  • Credit Cards: We don’t recommend that you take on large amounts of debt in order to start your business. A credit card can be an option if you are willing to take on debt. You can get a 0% APR for 12-18 months if you have excellent credit.
  • Personal loan – We recommend that you do not take out a personal loan in order to start a cleaning company. Because the loan isn’t secured by collateral, the interest rate is high (12%)
  • Home equity loans: You can get a loan to fund your startup if you have equity in your house. The interest rate on this loan will be very low because it is secured by your home.
  • Rollover to business startups (ROBS).: This is only for franchise openings. ROBS refers to when you use your 401(k), money to open a new business.

You can’t apply for traditional bank loans or SBA loans until you have a minimum of three years worth of income and expenses or paid off any equipment. Banks don’t usually lend to startups.

A bank loan or franchise financing may be available if you are franchising. A bank may be able to arrange funding through the franchise. If the franchise’s overall failure rate is low, a bank might be willing to finance it.

4. 4.

Now that you have enough money to start your cleaning company, it is time to organize your legal documents. To open a bank account for your business, you will need an employment ID number.

Register for an Employment Identification Number

To identify small businesses, the federal government provides the employment identification number (EIN). This number is used to file taxes, open a bank account or get a loan. The IRS offers a free EIN. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete the entire process.

Register the Legal Entity

All owners of cleaning businesses need to register their business as an entity. If a lawsuit is ever filed against your business, you can protect your personal assets by registering as a legal entity. The cost of registering a business depends on the state. It can range from $40 to $500.

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Tip Do not try to save money and skip this step. Cleaning business comes with a risk because you use chemicals in the homes and homes of your customers. You could be sued by customers if you cause damage to their homes, or if you accidentally destroy something. Your personal assets could be used to pay damages if you don’t have a legal entity.

 

  • Sole proprietorship – This is the default structure for your business if you do not register it as a legal entity. A sole proprietorship does not provide legal protections.
  • Limited Liability Company : This is the legal entity that you will most likely choose to run your cleaning business. It is easy to set up and requires little maintenance each year.
  • C corp – The C-corp is another legal entity. It’s easier to set up than the LLC. Many business owners hire an attorney for assistance in setting up the LLC. C-corps are typically used for larger businesses that have many investors.
  • S corporation – Technically the S-corp (small company corp) is not an entity legal. It’s a tax designation. The S-corp was created by Congress to give small businesses similar tax benefits as large corporations. To determine if your LLC can be designated as an S-corp, you can use the custom calculator.

Visit your state’s official website for business registration. You can use an online legal service if you find the site difficult to navigate. IncFile can register your company for free (plus any applicable state fees).

Register for a Business Bank Account

Get a bank account before you incur any expenses or take on any new clients. You want to make sure your personal and business finances are separate as a business owner.

Separate bank accounts are useful for keeping track of income and expenses in order to file taxes. This separation of finances makes it easier to handle any IRS audits.

You can open a business check if you already have a banking relationship. Novo is a great option if you are looking for a bank. Novo is an online bank that caters to small businesses. Novo does not require a minimum balance to open a checking account. Big banks may require $1,500.

5. Get Proper Licenses & Insurance

A license is required for a cleaning business to operate in the locality. All cleaning companies will require insurance. This insurance covers any damage to a customer’s house. Workers’ compensation insurance is required if you hire employees.

Business License

Your state may not require you to obtain a license to operate a cleaning business. Check your state’s website for information about licensing requirements.

A General Business License is required for your city. A record of the businesses that are in operation is all that’s required by most cities. Visit the official website of your city to obtain a General Business License.

Atlanta, for example, requires that all businesses obtain a General Business License. This applies to both online and home-based businesses. The license costs $75. A $500 fine can be imposed if you fail to get a license.

General Liability Insurance

You should at least purchase general insurance (GL). This insurance will protect you from property and bodily injury. A small cleaning business will need GL insurance. It costs around $300 per annum.

Customers may ask for proof that your company is covered by general liability insurance before they hire you as a cleaning service. Customers want to be able to collect for any damage your cleaning might cause in their house or business.

Janitorial Bond

Although you will do your best to find the best people for your cleaning company, there is no guarantee that they won’t steal on the job. In the event of theft, a janitorial bond ( certainty bond ) protects the homeowner.

Here’s how it works. If an employee takes an item from a customer’s house, the bond company will pay for replacement. The bond company places your business on a payment schedule so that you can repay them over time. This is better than a lawsuit or large payment to the client.

A bond is required for new cleaning companies to ensure that thefts don’t cause financial ruin. An annual janitorial bond costs around $200

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required if you have employees. Workers’ compensation insurance covers employees who are injured while on the job and pays for their medical bills, rehabilitation costs, as well as lost wages. Workers’ compensation will cost approximately $450 per employee annually.

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6. Buy Cleaning Equipment

Your first customer is almost accepted! First, you will need to buy the equipment necessary to do the job. Below is a list of affordable items that will help you get your cleaning business off to a good start.

These are the basics you’ll need:

  • Clean uniform or apron
  • Use paper towels
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Latex gloves
  • Use scrubbers
  • Toilet brush
  • Grout brush
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Window cleaner
  • Wood cleaner
  • Grout and tile cleaner
  • Extendable duster
  • Sponge
  • Disinfectants
  • Vacuum
  • Bucket
  • Mop

 

Don’t be overwhelmed by the sheer number of cleaning products and brands available if you are starting from a tight budget. When you first start out, make sure to only purchase the items that are necessary. Do not spend more or get into more debt than you need.

Write down your cleaning wish list items. It’s tempting to want a premium vacuum right now. But resist the urge.

In your business plan, list your wishlist items. Indicate the net income level at which you will make each purchase. There will be milestones in your business that you can look forward to!

7. 7.Market Your Cleaning Business

Let’s discuss low-cost, free ways to get your cleaning company noticed. All online marketing, including Google My Business and social media, is free. Although physical marketing materials may have a price, you can make an impact on customers with creativity.

Material for Physical Marketing

There are many options available for physical marketing materials such as flyers, business cards and postcards. We’re talking about marketing on a budget so I will only discuss one low-cost strategy to market a cleaning company.

Leave a note on a card after each cleaning. Thank the homeowner for their service and ask them to forward your card to anyone who is interested in having their home cleaned.

If you are promoting your business using marketing materials, leave a small gift like chocolates or something that the homeowner would appreciate, such as a hand sanitizer. This is called reciprocity. This personal marketing creates an emotional connection between the homeowner and their customer, which makes them more likely than others to reciprocate.

Online Marketing

These are free online marketing strategies that will help you get your cleaning business noticed online.

  • Google My Business: All local businesses can use the GMB, a free listing provided by Google. Your GMB will be displayed first to potential customers who search for residential cleaning businesses.
  • Google My Business: After you have created your GMB listing, Google will also provide a one-page website for free. Although this is not a permanent website, it is a great option for cleaning businesses on a tight budget.
  • Social media profiles – The best advice for social media success? Choose one platform and use it well. You can choose the social platform that you like best (for cleaning, either Instagram) and build your following there.
  • Local business directory: A cleaning company should be listed at least on Yelp or Yellow Pages. You can find other directories that you should be listed on by doing a Google search for your service and seeing what results are returned.

Network in Your Community

Networking in person is an effective and memorable way to promote your business to potential customers. Try attending small business groups in your area such as the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary clubs. Volunteer to serve as a leader in order to make a lasting impression on the organization.

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Bottom line

We have discussed the steps required and low-cost ways to get your cleaning business started. A franchise is a great option for a new business owner who needs the support and training they need. After you have your first customers, it is important to put in great work. A clean house or office is the best way to market your business.

What is Premises Liability Insurance?

What is Premises Liability Insurance?

Premises liability coverage covers guests who are injured on your property. In all states, the law requires that property owners make every effort to ensure that guests are safe.

Understanding what premises liability coverage entails is the first step to understanding why you might need it. Premises liability refers to the idea that businesses are responsible for keeping their premises safe for visitors. The business is responsible for any injuries or damage that occurs on the premises. The business could be sued or subject to claims. Although every state has its own laws regarding premises liability, each state may have their own definitions of coverage. This could include licensing, invited, or trespassers.

What is Premises Liability?

The property is granted permission to both the invitee and licensee visitor. The licensee visitor is invited, but not invited. Legally, the invitation to use the property signifies that you are committing to the property’s safety.

Although they may not be invited, a licensee can still expect reasonable safety. A licensee could be a delivery driver, utility worker or other person who needs to access your property in order to perform their job.

Trespassers have limited rights. If a trespasser gets hurt while on the property they cannot collect from the owner. In most states, however, the property owner must maintain the property in a satisfactory manner and not attempt to harm the trespasser with traps.

There are exceptions to this rule, however. Trespassers should be warned of any non-obvious dangers. This could be an indication for a swimming pool considered “attractive nuisance” by children. In this instance, property owners would be held to a higher standard of care.

It is essential to read the state laws in order to fully understand your state’s liability as a business owner. Visitors, including those who are trespassing on your property, may be liable to you for a high degree of care and safety.

Types of Premises Liability Exposures

When a business is addressing premises liability, there are many types of exposures. Some examples of exposures include but are not limited:

  • Slip and fall accidents: It doesn’t matter if the floors are slippery because of a wax coating or because water was spilled, this can be a liability for the business owner.
  • Inadequate Maintenance: Even something as simple as a railing that needs new bolts could lead to serious injuries or liabilities.
  • Low security: Businesses are liable if they do not have the security measures or personnel in place to stop people accessing high-risk areas.
  • Defective conditions If someone falls from a chair that has been found to be defective and then hurts themselves, the company is liable.
  • Escalator and elevator accidents: A business owner might be held responsible if someone falls off an escalator without warning and is then injured by the belt that feeds back into the system.

How Premises Liability Insurance Works

Premises liability protection protects business owners against claims arising from property damage and premises injuries. This coverage can be purchased separately or as part of a General Liability Policy. The limits can be purchased separately and are often greater than the general liability policy limits.

Important Exclusions from Premises Liability Insurance

Premises liability does not cover all types of injuries or property damage that may be caused on the premises. These exclusions include:

  • Professional negligence: An error or omission in the care of a professional can result in an injury to a person.
  • Premises liability: Employee injuries Workers’ compensation insurance covers them.
  • Own property of a business: To cover losses to their property, a business must have commercial property coverage.

What are the Covered Shared Premises?

Sometimes, a business owner might lease property owned by another company or person. This can complicate premises liability. The business lease generally transfers all liability to the business, and away from the lessor. The business and its customers are entitled to reasonable care regarding the safety and maintenance of the property.

In cases where the business owner expects reasonable care, the property owner is liable. Parking lot maintenance might not fall under the business owner’s responsibility. Therefore, the property owner would be liable. Elevators and escalators are also the responsibility of the building owners.

Premises Liability Insurance vs General Liability Insurance

Although they may be mistakenly referred to as one and the same, general liability insurance and premises insurance are not. Although premises liability insurance is a part of a general policy, it can also be included in broader coverage.

Premises liability insurance protects against claims that a property isn’t maintained properly or a visitor is injured. General Liability Insurance provides greater protection, including personal property coverage and claims that result from business operations. For example, a homeowner might trip on a handyman’s tool bag and get hurt.

Why do you need a standalone Premises Liability policy?

If you require greater protection for your property, a standalone premises liability policy is a good choice. This is often the case with vacant land, or land that will soon be built on. Contractors’ insurance covers other general liability claims. A premises liability policy would include builders’ risk insurance.

Is General Liability Insurance enough?

A general liability policy that covers premises liability and other issues is acceptable for most small-business owners is fine. If you feel that the limits of the general liability policy are too restrictive, you can get an umbrella policy or increase them.

Bottom line

You, as a business owner are responsible for providing a safe environment for customers and employees. You are responsible for any injury claims that may occur on your property. However, you could also be liable for any lawsuits brought against you by fraudsters. Premises liability coverage protects you against fraudulent and real claims.

LegalZoom Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up an LLC

LegalZoom, an online legal service, assists you in the LLC (limited liability) registration process. Although you can register your LLC online through the state website, many business owners prefer to have LegalZoom assist them.

LegalZoom may offer you questions or other products that you are unsure about during your LLC registration. We discuss what LegalZoom offers and explain why you should pay.

Before you begin reading the following information, you might find it helpful to visit the LegalZoom LLC registration page. Follow the instructions:

Visit LegalZoom

1. Select an LLC name and confirm it’s available

LegalZoom allows you to start your LLC by entering your business name.

If the name is still available, your LLC registration will be valid. You will need to register another business name if the name is not available.

These are the requirements that you will need to follow when naming a business.

  • Be unique – Your LLC name should not be identical to any existing LLC in your state.
  • Do not confuse customers. Don’t give your LLC a name that is similar to another competitor’s to confuse the public or to try to get customers.
  • Avoid restrictive terms

 

Tip If your business name has not been selected and you want to verify that it is, LegalZoom offers a free service in which they will contact the state government to confirm that it is available. Once they have made their determination, which takes around 15 minutes, a LegalZoom representative will contact you.

 

2. 2.Define the purpose of your LLC

After you have been notified that your business name has become available, you will be asked to answer some questions about when you plan to launch your business.

Is this your first LLC:

And what industry your business is in:

LegalZoom asks these questions to provide you with more relevant information and services throughout the process for your particular business.

3. Indicate whether you’ll hire employees

LegalZoom will use this question to find out more about you and offer additional services. This will not affect the LLC.

4. Identify a Registered Agent

Next, you will need to answer the question: Who should you choose as your Registered Agency (RA). Registered agents are your official contact for legal and other state documents.

You could choose yourself as your own RA. However, if you do so, you or an employee must be available Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to receive a legal document such as a summons or subpoena. If you’re not available during this time, you could lose your LLC status with the state.

LegalZoom can act as your Registered Agent if you are unable to be there or if you prefer LegalZoom to do this for you. Many business owners find that having an outside RA provides them with peace of mind knowing they won’t lose any important documents. LegalZoom acts as your registered agent for $249 per annum.

5. Choose from the Recommended LLC Documents

The LegalZoom LLC sign up process for “Essential Documents”, consists of three parts: the Operating Agreement, employer ID number (EIN),, as well as business licenses.

Here’s a further breakdown of the “Essential Documents” LegalZoom is offering:

LegalZoom’s Essential Documents Best for Additional cost
Operating Agreement Business with multiple owners or one who wants to modify the rules of their LLC $99
EIN and Operating Agreement If a small business plans to hire employees or elects to be taxed like a corporation, it can opt to be subject to the corporate tax. $159
Operating Agreement, EIN, and Licenses Licenses and permits are required for small businesses to be able to operate. $199

Operating Agreement

Operating agreements are used to describe how companies run and can help prevent or resolve disputes. Although most states do not require LLCs for operating agreements to be filed informally, many states require that one is kept on file with your company.

No matter what state requirements, we recommend that you draft an operating agreement for your LLC in order to establish your management structure and remove uncertainty. An operating agreement can be purchased through LegalZoom at $99 when you file for an LLC.

You can still purchase LegalZoom through your online account if you decide that LegalZoom is the right service for you.

Employer Identification Number

The EIN (Internal Revenue Service number) is what the IRS uses to identify your company. The IRS website allows you to request an EIN for free. LegalZoom can help you skip this step if you prefer. The EIN is a crucial legal step in starting a business. Without it, you can’t file taxes.

Business License

LegalZoom can help you determine the right type of permit or license your business requires. This is a great service if you have multiple licenses that your business requires from different government agencies.

 

Free ebook: How to Start Your Business Step-by-step guide that will show you how to go form idea to launch your business in just 30 days 

6. Select Additional Business Services

The last step in selecting the pricing package for your LLC is to look at LegalZoom’s other business services, Smart Employer or Total Compliance. You won’t likely see Smart Employer services if you haven’t stated earlier that you don’t intend to have employees.

Smart Employer

The Smart Employer legal package includes unlimited legal forms, legal advice, tax consultations, and legal advice. The Smart Employer legal package costs $39.99 per calendar month after a 10-day trial.

If you believe you will have legal questions for an attorney, or if you will need to create customized legal forms, this may be the right package for you. You could use the legal forms for employment, client, or vendor contracts.

Total Compliance

The Total Compliance package protects you from missing renewal deadlines for LLCs. The state may charge a late fee if you miss a deadline. You may also lose your LLC status if your LLC expires more than six months after the renewal deadline.

7. Select an LLC Package and Pay

LegalZoom LLC costs vary depending on the speed you need your documents filed and what your stats filing fee is. The state filing fee is $40 in Kentucky and $500 in Massachusetts.

If you’re already in business and have customers, you likely want an expedited filing to get your personal assets protected as-soon-as-possible. If you haven’t started your business and can wait for your filing, choose the Economy package.

LegalZoom LLC Packages at A Glance

Economy Standard Express Gold
Pricing $79 + State Filing fees $329 + State Filing fees $349 + State Filing fees
Name check and business filing      
Articles of Organization      
LLC Next Steps Guide      
Peace of Mind Review ™      
Lifetime customer support      
Financial Account Authorization Letter      
Deluxe Organizer N/A    
Official Seals and Certificates N/A    
LegalZoom VIP Processing N/A    
Rush Processing with the Secretary of State N/A N/A  
Express Shipping N/A N/A  
Learn More Learn More Learn More

8. 8.

After you have selected your pricing package, you will need to give the final details to create your LLC. Although the information required will vary from one state to another, generally it is your business and personal information. LegalZoom will also ask you for a payment method.

After you have selected a package, LegalZoom will ask for the following information:

  • Your primary business address: LegalZoom will list any state-specific requirements.
  • You can form a Professional LLC if you are a licensed professional in medicine, law, accounting or architecture.
  • End date of your fiscal years. This is usually Dec. 31. If your business receives large amounts of revenue at one time or another, you may need to consider a different date.
  • Dissolution Date: Choose a dissolution day if you have a temporary business, such as one that was formed to attend a particular event. Your LLC doesn’t need to have a dissolution date.
  • Names of the owners: Enter the names of each owner. If you are the only owner, please enter your name.
  • Ownership interests Describe whether ownership is expressed in units or percentages. Next, list the interests of each owner and select the type of consent required to transfer ownership.
  • Management structure: Indicate if your LLC will be managed by one owner or multiple owners. This will decide who can open bank accounts, sign checks, and bind the LLC.
  • Information about your EIN: LegalZoom will obtain an EIN for you LLC. Please provide details about your business. This information will be required if you decide to apply for an EIN yourself.
  • Contact information: Name, phone number and Social Security number for one of the LLC owners, managers, presidents, or employees to the IRS.

Once you have completed the information, hit submit and LegalZoom begins preparing your documentation. Once it is completed, it will be sent to your Secretary Of State. LegalZoom will notify your via email once the application has been approved. After you have received the notification, your LLC has been set up and you are ready to launch your business.

LegalZoom to Form an LLC: The pros and cons

LegalZoom is a great tool to create an LLC. However, it may not be the right choice for every business. LegalZoom is a great tool that can help you save time and money but it doesn’t replace an experienced attorney.

LegalZoom’s Pros and Cons for Forming an LLC

  • Full service LegalZoom’s add on services can assist you with all aspects of your initial filing, including tax, legal and compliance issues.
  • Time-saving: LegalZoom helps you save time by handling all the paperwork required to form your LLC.
  • Less expensive that hiring an attorney. Attorneys can charge between $150 and $500 per hour. LegalZoom can help you save money by organizing your LLC and handling other legal matters.
  • Additional support and reminders. LegalZoom’s add on services can help you recall important filing dates and answer any questions you may have about running your business.

LegalZoom to Form an LLC: The Cons

  • A limited amount of expertise is No one can replace the knowledge and experience of a qualified business lawyer.
  • More costly than other services: It costs $79 to form a LegalZoom LLC, plus filing fees. Similar services are available on other websites for filing fees (as part a trial), or $49 plus filing fees.
  • More time to respond: Although LegalZoom claims a turnaround time of 7-10 business days for their Express Gold package with a fast turnaround, many customers complain about slow service and long processing times.
  • Potentially confusing. LegalZoom’s Add-ons can be helpful, but they can also be confusing if your aren’t sure which services you require to form an LLC. If you choose to add on services such as tax consulting or registered agent, pricing can become confusing.
  • Limited customer service: Customer feedback reveals that customer support can sometimes be difficult to reach or unhelpful.

Bottom line

You will need to be familiar with state requirements and tax obligations in order to set up an LLC. Although you can register your company yourself, the process can be time-consuming and confusing. For $79 to $359 plus filing fees, you can save money by forming a LegalZoom LLC within 15 minutes.

9 Steps to Starting a Food Truck Business

A solid marketing strategy is essential to help build your customer base and create a compelling concept for a food truck. A food truck is an excellent money-making venture idea. Food trucks that are successful can make more than $500,000 annually, and the startup cost is around $40,000.

It takes approximately three to twelve months to start a food truck. These nine steps are necessary:

  1. Find out more about local food trucks and the laws that govern them
  2. Select a name and a concept
  3. Register your company and open a bank accounts
  4. Fundraise for your food truck
  5. Licenses, permits, or insurance?
  6. Get your food truck registered
  7. Equipment and supplies can be purchased
  8. Train and hire staff
  9. Your food truck can be marketed

Let’s look at each step.

1. 1.

Restaurant MBA estimates that the failure rate for food truck businesses is 60% within three years. Planning is often the key to a successful food truck or a failure. It is important to plan your food truck business so that you fill a gap in the market, supply a demand and operate within the law. Do your initial research and find out about the local food truck scene. Also, research local regulations and laws. These facts will help you determine if a food cart is the right business model for you.

Well-targeted food trucks draw big crowds.
(Image by James Frid from Pexels)

Evaluation of the Food Truck Scene

There are many food trucks in different areas. Before you start sketching your menu business plan, it is important to get an idea of the type of food trucks that are available in your area. Local food trucks can be found at festivals, farmers’ markets, and food truck festivals. You can start your search by simply searching the internet for “food trucks” along with the name of your county.

Take note of the following:

  • Cuisine You want to choose a food idea that isn’t being offered by other food trucks around your area. You don’t want to be the only falafel food truck operating in a small community. You also want to choose a cuisine that is popular.
  • Prices If most food trucks in your neighborhood sell food between $5 and $8, you won’t be able to go too far from this price range. If your area has many gourmet-style, higher-priced trucks, you’ll be able to let your imagination run wild.
  • Parking Location This will allow you to see which neighborhoods are truck-friendly and which ones aren’t.
  • Hours of operation: Breakfast or lunch is a popular time for trucks if many people commute to your area for work. It is a smart idea to develop a breakfast or lunch menu. You might prefer a late-night snack or dinner menu if you’re in a college or tourist town.

Take note of the service style and menu sizes at local trucks. Also, take note of where they park and how busy they are. You can also check out their social media accounts to see how well local trucks market themselves. Ask truck owners about their most pressing operational issues. They will be eager to share their experience with a new food trucker. The camaraderie and support from other food truck operators is one of the greatest aspects of most food truck networks.

Investigating Local Food Truck Laws

There are three main categories of regulations for food trucks: health, zoning and vehicle requirements. The health regulations regulate what equipment you must have for your truck, what permits your employees require, and whether or not you need a commissary. Zoning regulations dictate where your truck can be parked for service, in what areas, and how long you can leave it there overnight. You will need to register your truck, get a commercial driver’s licence (CDL), and determine what vehicle type you can use.

Each state, county, or major city has its own regulations for street vending and food trucks.

New York City requires that every person who works on a food truck must have a mobile food vendor license. Los Angeles requires all food trucks to display No Smoking signs on their trucks. All food trucks must have a current contract with the commissary kitchen in many major cities.

The Commissary Kitchen is A commercial kitchen that can be rented by the hour or daily and which supports mobile food operations. The kitchens in commissaries have refrigeration equipment and cooking equipment. They also have storage areas that can be used to meet the needs of local health departments. Many provide grease disposal and greywater areas, truck maintenance areas, and secure overnight parking.

You can usually find your local regulations by making a few phone calls to your county or city health department, and one to your county clerk’s or city department. You should always ask questions when you speak to someone.

  • What permits and licenses are required for a food truck? And what does it cost?
  • Are separate food safety certificates required for each employee or can one safety license suffice?
  • What equipment is required for on-truck refrigeration and cooking?
  • Do all pieces of equipment have to be professionally installed
  • Do I have to use a registered commissary chef?
  • Are separate vending licenses required for each employee or for the entire business?
  • Is there a limit on vehicle size?
  • What regulations must street vending trucks adhere to?
  • Is it necessary to have a commercial driver’s licence in order to drive a food truck?

These questions will impact how much it costs to open a food truck in your area and how long it takes to complete the process.

2. 2.

Once you have an idea of the regulations that you will need to follow and what food types work in your area, it is possible to narrow down your options and name your food truck. While you need to take into account consumer demand, food trucks are well-known for their creative mixes and personal flavour. Food trucks that are successful reflect the owner’s personal interests and experiences. Buldogis is a popular Las Vegas food truck that serves Korean-inflected gourmet hot dog. Its owners are both American and Korean.

These are some of the most popular food truck concepts:

  • Fusion dishes This concept combines two distinct cuisines in order to create dishes that appeal more to a wider audience, such as Tex-Mex and sushi burritos.
  • Regional cuisine: Popular dishes like breakfast tacos from Texas or lobster rolls from New England are always a big hit, especially when they’re in tourist areas.
  • Health and organic foods:Acai Bowls, cold-pressed juice and intriguing salad combinations are just a few examples of trendy health food options.
  • Comfort food: From fried chicken to mac & cheese, grilled cheese and tacos, comfort foods often equal big food truck business.
  • Gourmet sandwiches Who doesn’t like a good sandwich! Use non-traditional ingredients, or a theme to make your sandwich stand out.
  • Pizza: A wood-fired pizza cart is very popular. However, it might require a permit from the fire department.

Name your food truck

Once you have a basic idea of the concept, you can choose a name that best describes your food. The truck name will be your logo and social media handle. It will also be displayed on the truck’s side. This guide to naming a business provides a detailed overview. Our restaurant name generator will get you started.

Here are some tips to help you choose a name for your food truck.

  • Use a unique name. If another restaurant or food truck uses the same name, you risk violating a trademark. To check if your name has been taken, you can use the United States Patent and Trademark Office online search tool.
  • Be descriptive of your name: Your name should be descriptive of your food, theme and concept. This will make it easy for potential customers to understand what you offer.
  • Be memorable in your name and easy to pronounce Food trucks rely heavily on word-of mouth for a lot of their business. Avoid confusing names. Aim for four words.
  • Select a name that is scalable: A business name that is catchy and fun will help you grow your business, whether you open new restaurants, add more trucks or create new menu items.

Create your Food Truck Logo

business logo is the final piece of your food truck concept puzzle. It should be able to evoke quality food and compete with other food truck operators. Your logo will be used on all marketing materials, including menus, business cards and social media. If you have uniforms or truck designs, it will be the foundation for them.

The impact of your logo on how people approach your truck can be huge. A skilled designer is the best person to help you with this crucial marketing element. This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Fiverr lets you view portfolios of freelance graphic artists. They can design simple logos for food trucks or full vehicle wraps starting at $5.

3. Register your business and open a bank account

You will need to register your state and create a business entity before you can start a food truck. There are many business structures available, including sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation. An LLC is the best choice for most food truck operators. It protects you and your assets in the event that your business goes under, or becomes bankrupt.

While filing fees can vary from one state to the next, forming an LLC doesn’t have to be expensive. The cost of filing an LLC can range from $40 to $500. You can find all the forms on the state’s website for business offices. However, it can be difficult and complicated to file LLC paperwork. We recommend that you use a legal website such as Incfile if you require assistance. Incfile does not charge additional fees for filing your LLC. They can often process LLC paperwork within the next business day.

Register for a Business Bank Account

A business bank account will allow you to seperate your personal and business finances. The account will contain funds that you have invested in your company and can be used to pay licensing fees, permits, and vendor fees. Once your truck is operational, credit card deposits will be transferred to this account. You will also pay your employees and suppliers from the account. Ask your bank about business banking options. You can also see our list of the best checking accounts .

4. 4.

The cost of starting a food truck company can vary depending on where you live, what type of equipment you use, and what truck you buy. The table below, based on data from mobile–cuisine.com gives an estimate of the estimated costs for starting a food truck company.

Food Truck Startup Costs

Food Truck Startup Idea Estimated Cost
One-time charges
Buying a Food Truck $5,000 to $125,000
Vehicle Inspection From $100 to $500
Retrofitting your Truck to Code $25,000. – $50,000
Generator From $1,500 to $10,000
POS Software System and Hardware From $500 to $1,500
Paint From $1,000 to $3,000
Truck Wrap From $2,500 to $5,000
First Food Purchases 500 to $2,000
Papers, Utensils and Goods 500 to $2,000
Website Design From $500 to $3,500
Initial Office Equipment and Supplies From $200 to $1,000
Advertising and Public Relations 500 to $2,000
Consulting, Professional, and Legal Fees 500 to $2,000
Recurring startup expenses
Payroll (Up To Four Staff Members) From $1,500 to 3,500
Commissary and Commercial Kitchen Rent From $500 to $3,000
Monthly Credit Card Processing Fees The average sales price is 3%
Fuel $250 to $400
Insurance $5,000
Permits & Licensing 50 to $10,000 depending on where you live
Total Estimated Costs $40,000 – $200,000

Write a Food Truck Business Plan

If you want your food truck to succeed, it will need a well-written business plan. A business plan is what you put on paper to show potential investors and loan officers that your food truck can be a viable investment. A plan to become profitable will help you understand how long it will take your food truck turn a profit, and what funding you need to keep your business going until then. The food truck business plan is a blueprint for how your business will start, grow, and run.

These sections should be included in your food truck business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Briefly discuss the current and future prospects of the food truck industry in your area, as well as your concept and theme. Also, consider other markets and industries that could have a direct impact on your business. This should not exceed a page.
  • Competitive analysis Determine market trends and analyze your competitors in the food truck market. Are there other food trucks selling similar food or traditional restaurants serving the same type of food in your local area? This will help you to explain how your truck can appeal to these people by offering a unique take on a favorite dish, or spiced it up with a secret sauce.
  • Organizational and management: Describe how you intend to manage your business. This includes standard operating procedures, staffing and the responsibilities of each key employee and partner. Is your truck only street-side or will it cater to private events? What will you use to prepare and store most of your food? Please describe the layout of your truck. What number of customers can you service in an hour?
  • Product line List your menu and ingredients. Also, list the cost of cooking the food and the price you intend to sell it. Note if you’re sourcing ingredients from a notable vendor or local farm. This section should demonstrate that you are well-versed in food costs and profitability.
  • Market plan: Describe your plans to market your food truck company. Word-of-mouth and influencer marketing are important marketing channels for food trucks. Your marketing efforts can be boosted by attending well-attended festivals featuring food trucks.
  • Financial projections Break down your projected expenses and profits for the first three to five year. You should have a monthly breakdown of busy and slow months if you live in an area with many seasonal changes.
  • Financial requirements: Describe how much money you will need to fund your food truck. When applying for a loan, indicate how much money you require.

Make sure you include every detail when preparing your business plan. In other words, you should list your marketing strategy and explain how each line item will reach the target audience, what it will cost, and how many customers they will bring in. Your product line should include all food items. The ingredients and price of each item must be listed. Include logos and branded menus. Include photos of the truck as well as a rendering by an artist if you have purchased a truck.

Food Truck Funding

Many people don’t have the capital to start a food truck. A key step in financing your business is financing. A majority of lenders will require you to prepare a business plan prior to issuing a loan. Make sure that you have this plan, as well as the amount and credit history.

These are some financing options for food truck owners who want to start their own business:

  • Loan/finance program for equipment: You can borrow money from truck sellers or equipment financiers to buy the truck.
  • Rollover to business startups (ROBS: If you have more than $50,000 in retirement accounts, you can create a ROBS. This will allow you to use retirement funds to fund your business without having to pay early withdrawal penalties.
  • Business credit cards If your ability to pay off debt is a strong point, a company credit card might be a good choice.
  • Personal Loan: This is an option for those with good credit and less than $50,000.
  • Microloan From Small Business Administration (SBA: Although microloans are smaller than traditional business loans, they may still be large enough to cover startup costs for food trucks. For loans less than $50,000, check out the Microloan Program of SBA.
  • Find investors: It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member or a friend, finding investors to fund your food truck venture requires strategy. To convince investors to finance your venture, prepare your business plan and your concept.

Some funding is not provided by banks or big investors. Crowdfunding can help you to cover some or all your initial budget if your friends and family are supportive of your food truck idea. The business plan can be used as a starting point for creating a convincing crowdfunding page. Crowdfunding for food trucks is a great way to get a crowd of people excited about your truck.

Our How to Crowdfund a Small Business guide will provide a more detailed explanation of crowdfunding.

5. 5.Obtain Licenses, Permits and Insurance

Did you do the same research as in step 1? This is the time to take action and get all required licenses and permits, as well as insurance. There are three types of licenses or permits you will need: general business licenses; food service licenses; and vehicle licenses. Most food truck permits and licenses will cost $100 to $500 depending on where you live.

A mobile food vending permit is one of the licenses your truck needs.
(Image from Charleston-SC.gov)

Licenses for general business include:

  • Doing business as (DBA) registration: If you want to operate your truck in a sole proprietorship, or under a different name than the LLC registered with the state you will need to obtain a DBA.
  • Employer Identification number (EIN), This number is given by the IRS to your business and serves as your identification for tax purposes. You will need an EIN if you are going to hire employees. Register for free at the IRS Website.
  • Business license All small business owners need a licence to operate in the state where they are located. The cost of this license varies from one state to the next, but is usually less than $500. Some states combine the process of obtaining a business license with business registrations, but this is not the case in all cases. To find out the requirements in your area, you should consult your state’s business agencies.
  • State sales permit: This license registers you business with the state’s sales tax authority. All food truck sales are subjected to local and state sales taxes. To ensure that you accurately log your sales tax payments, you must register with your state. This permit is usually free.
  • Reseller’s License: This license allows you to buy wholesale goods and resell them tax-free.

6. Get your food truck registered

Many of the licenses and permits you will need depend on what type of vehicle you buy. This step usually occurs simultaneously with your permit process. A food truck can run from $3,250 to $300,000 depending on its condition.

No matter what your budget is, it’s important to invest in the highest quality food truck that you can afford. You can reduce the risk of having to repair the truck later. Look for a local builder to make sure that your requirements are met.

You should ensure that your truck has the latest equipment, such as:

  • Ovens and refrigerators work properly
  • With the right pressure, hot and cold water can be obtained
  • First aid kits and fire extinguishers are available at board
  • Proper food storage
  • Professional installation of critical equipment

Some places require proof that the truck’s gas and electric equipment was installed by licensed professionals. Ask for documentation if you’re looking at a used truck.

BlackForest Food TruckChalkboard Menus are a popular choice for food trucks.
(Image courtesy of Pinterest)
Screenshot of Used Food TrucksUsed food truck come fully equipped with useful features such as awnings.
Road Stoves image
Screenshot of Mercedes Sprinter Van Converted to Food Truck A new Mercedes Sprinter Van can become a food truck.
Apollo Manufacturing Image
Screenshot of Customized Food Truck A custom truck can be used to convert an old vehicle such as this Citroen conversion. Pixabay image by Artem Dmitriev
Screenshot of Vinyl TruckVinyl truck wraps protect your food truck with eye-catching graphics
(Image courtesy Flash Forward Wraps).
Screenshot of Houston Juiceton TruckHouston’s Juiceton Truck showcases handpainted murals.
(Image courtesy Juiceton Truck).
BlackForest Food TruckChalkboard Menus are a popular choice for food trucks.
(Image courtesy of Pinterest)
Screenshot of Used Food TrucksUsed food truck come fully equipped with useful features such as awnings.
Road Stoves image
Screenshot of Mercedes Sprinter Van Converted to Food Truck A new Mercedes Sprinter Van can become a food truck.
Apollo Manufacturing Image
Screenshot of Customized Food Truck A custom truck can be used to convert an old vehicle such as this Citroen conversion. Pixabay image by Artem Dmitriev
Screenshot of Vinyl TruckVinyl truck wraps protect your food truck with eye-catching graphics
(Image courtesy Flash Forward Wraps).
Screenshot of Houston Juiceton TruckHubbston’s Juiceton Truck showcases handpainted murals.
(Image courtesy Juiceton Truck).
BlackForest Food TruckChalkboard Menus are a popular choice for food trucks.
(Image courtesy of Pinterest)

Where can I buy a food truck?

There are many options available for buying a food truck. A seller can sell a used truck on eBay, Craigslist or through an online directory. A fully equipped truck can be purchased for as low as $50,000. However, it will require that you paint the outside and renovate the interior to suit your business.

Here are some good websites to locate used food trucks:

An escrow service is recommended if you buy a truck online. An escrow service will hold your funds until the seller delivers the truck. They will release the funds only when the truck is accepted by you. eBay, for example, offers an integrated option to pay via Escrow.com in order to protect both buyers and sellers.

A manufacturer such as 800BuyCart can also sell a new food truck. Their standard trucks are priced at approximately $18,000. Ford, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, and Mercedes-Benz are major car manufacturers. For pricing and other options, you will need to contact your local dealer. Prices for new cars from major manufacturers should start at $40,000 plus any equipment.

Construction of a Food Truck

If you have the funds, custom-built food trucks will set your food truck apart. Northwest Mobile Kitchens, Cruising Kitchens and Prestige Food Trucks are experts in building custom food trucks to your specifications. Custom food trucks can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000. Everything is brand new and purpose-built. It doesn’t matter if the previous owners took care of the truck, or if the gas lines were installed by a professional.

Lease a Food Truck

You might consider leasing a food truck if you are only operating sporadically or have limited funds. Trucks are leased by brands like RoadStoves and Mobi Munch, both based in Los Angeles. Leasing is a good option if there are truck agencies in your area. Leases often include a lot of included services. RoadStoves customers get access to a commissary and truck parking as part of their truck lease. Food truck leases are often between $3,000 and $4,500 per month.

Leasing is not an option because the truck can’t be customized to meet your specific needs. Magnetic decals are a great way to personalize the truck with your logo or menu. You may have to stop your business until you find another truck.

7. Buy Equipment & Supplies

Now that you have your truck, permits, and menu in hand, it is time to set up wholesale accounts and finalize equipment requirements. You will still need additional tools, even if your truck has all the necessary equipment. Food truck equipment includes generators, condiment tables and registers. To avoid sales tax and bulk purchases, you will need to open accounts with food suppliers.

If you use your truck to cater event, you may want to purchase tables and chafing dishes.
(Image from Border Grill Truck and Catering)

Exterior and Truck Wraps

The truck wrap covers those bright trucks with nose to tail designs. Professionals should install a full truck wrap. It can last from three to five year. A truck wrap installation costs anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000, including design and installation. If you don’t have the funds, you can get smaller vinyl decals printed at your local sign shop and then install them yourself. You should not leave any area larger than 2 to 3 feet for the professionals.

Truck wraps can be purchased from a variety of companies including:

You can also paint your truck’s exterior. Although this is cheaper than vinyl wrap (ranging from $1,000 to $3,000), it should be done professionally. Painted decorations may not last as long and are less durable than vinyl wraps.

Your contact information and logo should be displayed on your truck’s exterior. Handwritten chalkboards or dry erase boards can be used to display food truck menus that are subject to change. A professionally printed, professionally designed menu is a good option if your menu changes little from day to day. A menu design can usually be requested from the person who designed your food truck logo. You can also use an app-based menu maker like the one provided by Canva.

Cooking and serving equipment

You may be able to cover most of your primary equipment requirements with your truck or commercial kitchen. You may have to buy additional cooking equipment if you require unique elements such as wood smoke, rotisseries or metal skewers. While commercial kitchens may have blenders, spatulas and tongs that you can use, the supplies available in a shared space are often limited. Cambro containers are a good option to transport your prepared food to your truck. Cambro also sells small equipment such as a food processor and baking sheets. Secure storage is a must in a commercial kitchen lease so that you don’t have the hassle of lugging your food processor from one place to another.

Catering will require you to have a few sturdy, collapsible tables as well as chafing dishes. This will allow you to keep your food warm outside. Most small equipment can be found at your local kitchen supply or restaurant. Sur La Table, a popular cooking brand, offers 10% off to professional chefs. These items can be found through Sysco or other mainline distributors. Table linens are the only type of equipment it is not worth investing in. These can be rented by you or your caterers to match the event’s color scheme.

POS Equipment

Consumers are increasingly relying on mobile wallet, credit and debit payments. Recent restudies have shown that 80% of consumers have used contactless payments in the last year. Up to 70% of millennials use smartphones for payment. Although it technically is possible to run a cash-only food truck you will be severely affected by inability to accept debit, credit and mobile wallet payments. A cloud-based mobile POS system is the best way to accept digital and card payments.

These tools have advanced significantly over the last few years, and are now more accessible to food truck owners. Many of our top-ranked food-truck POS systems are wireless and cellular-network-compatible, and many can be used for free. Square For Restaurants is our favorite food truck POS system. You can download the Apple App Store software and get started taking payments within a few hours.

However, POS systems can do more than just pay for payments. A good POS system for food trucks will help you track your inventory levels, alert you when stock is low, count inventory and track cash transactions (reducing the risk of employee theft). Modern POS systems can also be used to log customer information, manage social media accounts, monitor internet reviews, and more.

Setting up Vendor Accounts

Sysco is a mainline distributor. If your food truck is busy, you should open wholesale accounts. You will get a discount on food and beverages, and you can save time driving as many distributors will deliver directly into your commercial kitchen. Once your credit application has been approved, most vendors work on a net 30-system, which means that you have 30 days to pay the invoice. If you wish, you can still pay by check at delivery.

It may be more beneficial to open accounts with local wholesalers than national distributor chains. You should find one that supplies the majority of your food and beverages. The fewer suppliers you have, the less invoices you will need to process each month.

Tip: Create a single sheet that contains your credit application information to speed up vendor account creation. Your name, truck name, address, EIN and banking information should be included.

Best Business Ideas for Making Money

51 51.

  • Start-up costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $78,000
  • Management Consulting is a broad term. You can make it whatever you want, depending on market, niche and client needs. Some examples of niche focuses include government compliance, new technology introduction, and strategic planning. This industry offers a wide range of services, including marketing and strategic planning. Find the right audience for your problem solving expertise by examining what you know.

52. Mobile Hair Salon

  • Start-up costs: $1,300+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $65,000
  • Mobile technology is a common trend in the world. It’s why we brought the idea of hair salon and automotive detailing to the streets. People expect greater conveniences. This includes the ability to bring the service directly to their doorstep. The startup costs can run up to $1,300 depending on the quality and age of the vehicle and how it is built. However, the payoff can be attractive. To be able to offer cosmetology services, you will need to complete professional training. You can click below to learn more about cutting-edge marketing strategies for your mobile or stationary hair salon.
  • Similar: Top 17 Hair Salon Advertising Ideas (& How To Implement Them), and Hair Salon insurance

53. 53.

  • Startup costs: $2,000+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $26,000
  • It is almost entirely dependent on whether you require a van or truck to start a moving business. The startup costs will be higher if you need a van or truck. The equipment costs for those who already own a vehicle are minimal. Your company will undoubtedly be responsible for valuable assets. You should look into local options for insurance and bonding, as well as workers’ compensation insurance. This is important if your business is to succeed.
  • Similar: 15 Top Franchises

Did you know:

Success in the moving industry is usually defined by economic wellbeing. The economy is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4.8% from now through 2025.

54 54.

  • Startup costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $52,000
  • You can also do the packing and unpacking if the vehicle and full-service moving company are not in your budget. Startup costs of about $2,000. This includes the cost of dollies, ropes and elastic cords, furniture belts, tape, boxes, bubble wrap, and tools.

55 Wallpapering / Interior painting

  • Start-up costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $65,000
  • Even though DIY is becoming more popular, many people still struggle with wallpapering or painting their homes. You will need a vehicle to run this business. However, a personal vehicle can be sufficient. The equipment cost doesn’t have to break the bank. The business will be successful if it does quality work and provides accurate written estimates. You can read our article about insurance for painting companies to ensure your safety.
  • Related: Best Painting Insurance Companies

56 Private Tutor

  • Startup costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $26,000
  • You may need to provide both emotional and educational guidance when tutoring children of all ages, from kindergarten through high school seniors. Learning disabilities and learning deficiencies can often be caused by emotional blocks. You can provide this service in person or remotely. Experience or a degree will be of great benefit.

57 Product Development Service

  • Start-up costs: $3,900+
  • Potential for Earning: $33,000+
  • Another broad category is “Product Development”, which can be defined by the market or industry chosen and the niche of the business owner. This could include product/prototype design (see Design of Retail Products), and/or 3DCAD Modeling, as well as the logistics of manufacturing. This is the process of creating a product and making it a reality. It can be done for individuals, small businesses or corporations whose entire business model depends on product development.

Did You Know?

27% of the $12.3 billion annual revenue for the product development industry is made up of CAD and other design services.

58 Property Management Service

  • Start-up costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $65,000
  • Property managers are not always the job of landlords. It is quite different to owning real estate than managing tenants, collecting rent payments, inspecting properties, and communicating with tenants. This service-based business is great for those who enjoy managing multiple properties. It requires minimal startup costs and can make a good profit. A variety of skills is necessary to be a successful property manager. However, a related degree may not be required. You can read our related article about property management.

59 Restoration Service

  • Start-up costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $58,500
  • Every year, basements and houses flood for many reasons. People need fast service. This service business deals with damage caused by fires, floods or general water. It doesn’t matter if it’s a storm or a burst pipe, water removal and drying flood damage are essential. These services are highly sought-after, especially during the rainy season. This business may also include the removal of hazardous materials. Make sure to factor in these costs into your overall budget.

Did you know?

In five years, the industry’s total revenue has risen 0.5% to $4.0 Billion. It jumped 3.2% in 2021.

60 Tax Preparation Services

  • Startup costs: $2,000+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $130,000
  • Although tax preparation services can be added to an accounting company as described above, there is enough demand for them to stand on their own. It will depend on the type of service offered to determine if a related degree or credential would be necessary. Check your state’s requirements as prerequisites. However, in order to obtain a valid Preparer Tax ID Number (PTIN), you will need to register with the IRS. Start your application at the IRS Website.

61 Technical Writing

  • Startup costs: 500+
  • Potential for earning up to $98,000
  • A technical writing company is a service that creates product manuals, software documentation, and technical guides. This requires extensive research and time as well as high-quality computer systems. This business requires more than a degree or certification. It requires the ability to interpret complex and technical information into common language and understandable information. This area of work experience will be a benefit to your business.

62 Test Preparation Services

  • Start-up costs: $1,300+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $58,500
  • This business can also be tutored. Clients can interact with you online, in person, at home, or in public places. The best audience for test preparation is high school graduates who are preparing for standardized tests like the SAT, ACT and GRE. This business is also suited for one-on-one coaching and group training classes. It is possible to get a degree in a related field. Some states require a teaching certificate.

Did You Know?

21% represent the total $14 billion industry in Testing and Educational Support.

63 Virtual Assistance Service

  • Start-up costs: $1,500+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $58,500
  • This business has the advantage of being completely virtual. Anyone looking for a Virtual Assistant (VA), anywhere in the world, is a potential client. Remember that the majority of people and businesses who require an assistant need to organize reports, customer Rolexes, receipts, etc. A highly organized communicator is essential for this job. The owner should aim to hire more VAs to scale their business. At that point, business growth will be limited by the demand.

64 64.

  • Start-up costs: $1,500+
  • Earning Potential: $130,000+
  • Web design has a lot of earning potential. Every business should invest in a new website from the start. These are just 129 of the many business industries that require web design services. While a related degree could help credential the company, your best assets are your website (it’s your best advertisement), your programming and marketing experience, and the right software and equipment to create your masterpiece.

65 65.

  • Startup costs: 500+
  • Earning Potential: $78,000+
  • This type of business would include all except technical writing and grant-writing services. It also includes creative writing, copywriting and journalism. This business type is best if you have a relevant degree and experience. Strong referrals are also helpful. Many writers begin by applying online for freelance writing jobs. Develop an online portfolio of writing that shows your skills as a writer. You may need to start with lower rates and get samples of work before you can find higher-paying clients. Many freelance writers start their own business and market their services via a variety of websites such as Upwork and Fiverr.

66. Disability Consultant

  • Start-up costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $98,000
  • The demand for disability consultants is increasing as the world strives to be more inclusive. Although companies are expected to comply with the Americans for Disabilities Act regulations for their buildings, employee relations, and other areas of their business, they may not know how. This business will help companies with disability claims, reasonable accommodations, compliance, and other matters. This business will require experience and a related degree.

67 Transcription or Medical Billing

68 Personalized Books for Children

  • Start-up costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $52,000
  • To be able to create and illustrate personalized children’s books on your own requires creativity, artistic ability, creative writing skills, an appreciation of children, and a lot of patience. This may be the right niche for you. It’s great news that you can reuse these beautifully illustrated templates once customers have responded to them. You can also customize the templates by changing their names.

69 Software Developer

  • Start-up costs: $1,500+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $130,000
  • This business is also known as web development, front-end development and software engineering. It can be very profitable. This is not a business you can start right out of school. Experience, as well as training in multiple platforms and computer languages, and the ability communicate technical information clearly and concisely to clients will all be key. Your greatest startup expense will be web hosting, software and hardware.

70 System Integrator

  • Start-up costs: $1,300+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $130,000
  • Entrepreneurs can also make a better living by working independently and almost never run out work. Although advanced and more robust IT systems are a great way to take your business to the next level, integrating these systems across departments, equipment, and individuals requires advanced technical and communications skills. It is essential to have knowledge in a range of software and hardware systems. Training and/or education are a prerequisite.

71. Vacation Rentals Broker/Agent

  • Startup costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $78,000
  • Please see the Property Manager listing. A Vacation Rentals Agent or Broker deals in short-term rentals and not purchases. The Vacation Rentals Agent or Broker is responsible for all aspects of renting property to absentee owners. This includes finding renters and writing rental contracts. They also collect rental payments, check for damages, distribute keys, communicate with renters, and generally keep an eye on everything. Your geography will determine how much work you have available. Areas with high renters and a large inventory of homes for rent are more appealing.

Did You Know?

Online advertising and searches on vacation rental websites have led to a rapid growth in the vacation rental industry. The market for vacation rentals is expected to explode at a compound annual rate of 3.4% between 2019 and 2027, reaching $113.9 billion in 2027.

72 72.

  • Start-up costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $160,000
  • This niche could be very appealing for a marketing professional who is able to identify agriculture, farming, or the food chain of your interest. This is exactly what it sounds like. A farm must sell products in order to make money. However, farming is a full-time occupation that doesn’t require any marketing skills. The business will require the establishment of a supply chain, advertising, sales outlets and product specialists. This unique area would benefit from a background in commodities.

73 Decks and custom outdoor furniture

74. Exterior House Painting

  • Startup costs: $2,000+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $98,000

75 Floral Scaping

  • Start-up costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $58,500
  • It is rare to refer to flower scaping as anything but a service within the “Landscaping” umbrella. It is a viable business idea, and can be used to grow flowers or flowering plants. This service can be used to supplement existing landscaping and can also serve events. It is a smart move to have a degree in ornamental horticulture or extensive knowledge about flowering plants before you enter this business.
  • Similar: 27 Unusual Landscaping Business Cards Ideas & Examples, and How To Start a Lawn Care Business

76 Junk Removal

  • Start-up costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $52,000
  • Although this business requires a vehicle, it is not the only one. However, startup costs are minimal. The cost of hauling junk can easily translate into revenue, with a price tag of hundreds of dollars. There are no other requirements or qualifications required to start a junk removal business. Once you have a large vehicle, the biggest hurdle is over.

77 Herb / flower farming and nursery

  • Startup costs: $1,300+ (except if you require land).
  • Potential for earning up to $78,000
  • Your farm or nursery will determine the cost of your startup. The land and seeds can be purchased fairly cheaply if you are only in this business to grow the plants and sell them wholesale to restaurants. If you want to start a business that sells direct to customers and retail access, such as a nursery or garden centre, you will need to invest in shelters, such as greenhouses or shops. This business can offer acres of land, different crops, retail, wholesale, restaurant supplies, or even food delivery with company vehicles. To get your ducks in order, you can check out the USDA Checklist.

78 Food Manufacturing Consultant

  • Startup costs: $2,000+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $104,000
  • You are the food-product equivalent to a product development consultant. Once again, you will be trying to make a profitable, marketable food product out of something you made in your own kitchen. This job is challenging and fun, and covers everything from marketing and branding to production and sourcing. It would be smart to get a related degree and experience as well as an Associate Membership to Foodservice Consultants Society International.

Tip An hourly rate for a Food Manufacturing Consultant is $150

79 Packaging and Labeling Services

  • Startup costs: More than $10,000
  • Potential for earning up to $100,000
  • A Packaging and Labeling Service works in the same way as a Food Manufacturing Consultant to bring a product to market. However, it focuses on packaging and labeling. This service helps to find packaging suppliers and facilities. This service helps customers find packaging that is suitable for the product’s shelf life, attractive, and that meets all legal nutritional labeling requirements. These businesses are often involved in label and brand design for many industries. A good packaging and labeling consultant will be familiar with FDA, FPLA (The Fair Packaging & Labeling Act), and FSMA regulations, and indications.

80 80.

  • Start-up costs: $5,000+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $98,000
  • “Specialty Food Production” refers to a variety of foods, including sweets and cookies, crackers and pasta, nutritional products (shakes and powders), seasonings, sauces and condiments, as well as beverages, sweets and cookies. Every food producer must comply with a variety of regulations, certifications, licenses and permits. This industry is highly regulated. It’s best to get started with the FDA’s Guide to How To Start a Food Business.
  • Similar: How To Open a Juicebar

81. Vending Machine Company

  • Startup costs: $3,000+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $52,000
  • A vending machine business can be started with minimal capital investment. The number of machines purchased, new or used and the stock you keep them in will determine your costs. You should also consider the cost of your vehicle and where you plan to place them. You can keep costs low by purchasing smaller, used machines as well as maintaining them and making inventory.
  • Similar: How to Start a Vending Machine Business

82. Auctioneer

  • Startup costs: $650+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $13,000 Per Auction
  • We are not talking about online auctions in this instance, but traditional auctions, which continue to take place all around us. Even though you may start slow and small, startup costs are minimal enough that you can easily start this type of business part-time with mentorship until it becomes self-sustaining. This is not an easy job, but it’s possible. To learn more, visit Auctioneers.org.

83 B&B or Boutique Hotel

  • Startup costs: $13,000+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $230,000
  • A bed-and breakfast or boutique hotel, not to be confused with , can provide a great opportunity for business owners who are savvy. A piece of property that is well-zoned in a desirable area and that attracts weary travellers time after time is the biggest barrier to entry. This means that you will need to invest $13,000 in the property. You might be interested in the possibility of hosting, feeding and accommodating guests in a beautiful property. There are many resources available to help you further research this small business opportunity.
  • Related: Hotel Marketing Strategies for Increasing Your Bookings

84 Messenger/Errand/Courier Service

  • Start-up costs: $1,300+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $70,000
  • More services are available to help us manage our lives as we get busier. This is good and bad news for budding errand businesses. Although competition is fierce with companies such as UberEats or TaskRabbit, there is still enough demand for niche services to be worthwhile. You can get a piece of this $116-billion industry by offering niche and differentiated services and tapping into technology at every opportunity.

Did You Know?

This industry employs approximately 1 million people. The decline of brick-and mortar stores and the rise of ecommerce will be a positive trend.

85 85.

  • Start-up costs: $6,500+
  • Earning Potential: As High as $130,000
  • Individuals with experience and education in international trade can make a lot of money by facilitating the transportation of international goods within and outside the country. There are many commodities available, including office supplies, packaging materials, fashion apparel and fine art. For those interested in entering the industry there are many trainings, certifications and textbooks. However, the best place to begin is to browse the SBA’s Office of International Trade Online Resource Center. Next, locate your local Trade Assistance Center within the SBA resource network.
  • Similar: 20 Best Profitable Items to Import From China

86 Life Coach

  • Start-up costs: $2,600+
  • Earning Potential: up to $100,000
  • Life coaches focus on holistic, sustainable, holistic personal improvement for clients. They also help with career and health. A life coach needs to have basic technical skills, such as listening, people, organization, communication. Also, general liability insurance is recommended due to the serious nature of their work. International Coaching Federation Credentials are also helpful in establishing expertise.

87 Personal Shopper/Stylist

  • Startup costs: $650+
  • Potential for earning: up to $45,000
  • A personal shopper, who acts as a coach and shop-only, is an interesting addition to life coaching. It could be shopping for clients’ clothes, gift shopping or picking up groceries. As with life coaching and courier services, finding a niche is key to your business model. You must also be different from other businesses like Stitch Fix. To ensure you are compensated fairly for your time, skill, and transportation, it is a good idea to calculate and set your hourly rate.

88 Personal trainer

  • Startup costs: $130+
  • Potential for earning up to $85,000
  • This industry offers attractive opportunities for small businesses, with low startup costs and barriers to entry, high earning potential and an expected annual growth rate (+3.2%) through 2025. A certification is a great way to be a nutrition and fitness guru. You can find our complete article below that provides a detailed guide to starting a personal trainer business.
  • Similar: How To Start a Personal Training Business [With a Plan]

89 Photocopying Service

  • Start-up costs: $6,500+
  • Potential for earning up to $78,000
  • On average, you can charge 49 cents per copy for full color or black and white copy services. Additional services that you could offer include faxing, shredding, computer terminals and faxing. You only need to have good visibility in your chosen area, high-quality, high-capacity equipment, and a large number of customers. This type of business will require rent costs and a large inventory of high-quality, top-of the-line equipment.

How to become a real estate agent

A real estate agent can be someone who is legally licensed to represent sellers and buyers in property transactions. Although the licensing requirements vary by state, all agents must comply with state requirements. You will need to pass the exam, take prelicensing classes and find a sponsoring agent before you can submit an application to the state’s real estate board.

These are the steps you need to take in order to become a real-estate agent.

1. Review Real Estate Requirements for Your State1. Review Real Estate Requirements for Your State

Before you register for classes or take the licensing exam, make sure to check your state’s requirements regarding real estate licensure. You can do this by visiting the website of your state’s realty commission and researching your state’s minimum licensing requirements. The following state-specific guides can help you navigate the licensing process:

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California
Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri
Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont
Virginia Washington Wisconsin Wyoming  

To be eligible to transact real estate within their states, applicants must be at least 18 years old, have US citizenship, complete coursework and pass a licensing exam. Some states have reciprocity agreements that allow you to do business with other states without the need for a secondary license.

Reciprocity laws permit licensed agents from one state to legally practice real estate in another without needing to satisfy additional licensing requirements. Our complete guide on real estate reciprocity.

2. Complete Real Estate Prelicensing Coursework

Once you’ve determined your state’s licensing requirements, you can visit the website of your state’s real estate commission to find out which prelicensing courses you need and whether you can take them online. Although not all states allow you to take your prelicensing courses online, most do. This makes it an attractive option for people who prefer the convenience of internet-based learning and the flexibility that comes with self-paced instruction.

Find out more about the top online real estate schools, and how they compare to each other. Once you have found the right online school for your needs, sign up through their website to complete the course requirements and exams. Each school will give you proof of your coursework completion that you can attach to your license application.

To find the best school for you, take our quiz:

Which Real Estate School is Right for You?

We’ll match you with the right product for your business by asking you some questions.

Question 1

Which is your main reason for pursuing a real estate course?

Question 1 of 3

1 minute approx

  

Question 2

Question 3

 

3. Register for & Pass Your State Real Estate Licensing Exam

Register to take your real estate exam via your state’s website. A proof of completion of prelicensing coursework may be required. You will also need to pay a $50-100 registration fee.

To fully prepare for the licensing exam, you might consider taking a exam prep course. A course can provide valuable study tools such as flashcards or practice tests. You can take the exam once you are confident in your knowledge of licensing topics.

4. Locate & Join a Sponsoring Agent

After passing your exam, you will need to find a sponsoring brokerage before the state issues you a license. Mentoring, training and work experience can all be provided by a sponsoring broker. To discuss sponsorship, find brokers in your local area. Prepare a list with questions for the broker to be asked during the interview.

Next, compare the pros and cons of each brokerage. Consider benefits such as mentorship, training, and team support. After you have made your choice, contact them to ask if they are willing to sponsor you. Find out how to select a realty company you want to work for.

5. Submit Your Real Estate License Application

Once you have successfully completed the courses and passed the exam, you can submit your license application. You can go back to the website of your state’s realty commission and fill out an application to obtain a license.

Some states require you to submit fingerprints and a criminal background check in order to complete your application. You will be required to pay $125 for a background check. Also, your fingerprints must be submitted for review.

You will need to wait for up to six weeks after submitting your completed application to be notified that the application has been approved. Some states will send you an email notification of approval for your license so that you can notify your broker quickly, but most states will only send official notification by mail.

 

You can find more information about these five steps in our step-by–step guide How to Get a Real Estate License.

How to Market Your Real Estate Business

Although a realty license will allow you to be identified as a salesperson or agent, it is not enough to become a successful agent. Still, you will need to develop and implement a marketing strategy that is focused on building trust and relationships. This will allow you to find your first client and increase the number of leads that are sent your way.

Networking is the key

As a new agent, networking is the most important thing. You can introduce yourself to people in casual settings as an agent. You will build relationships with local people and become a respected agent. People will find it easier to reach you for help with property issues.

There are many opportunities to network, whether you’re online, in person, or at events. The National Association of Realtors is the largest professional association for real estate professionals in the country. You will also receive the title of Realtor. This is a mark of professionalism and trustworthiness that many clients consider to be a sign of expertise.

To join, go to the NAR website and fill out the application. You will also need to pay the $150 annual fee. This fee covers your admission to networking events at local and national levels, continuing education classes that will help you improve your marketing and sales skills, and the designation of real estate agent.

Select a farm area

Your license as a real estate agent allows you to assist clients in buying and selling properties within your state. It will take too much time and effort to reach all potential clients in your state.

Your marketing efforts should begin with identifying the geographic area you wish to target. This is your farm region. You can build strong relationships and a strong reputation by focusing your marketing efforts on a single location.

Utilize Real Estate Lead Generation Tools

Although organic outreach and networking within your farm are the best ways to generate leads, there are many other lead generation tools that you can use to bring potential clients to your door. One such tool is a real estate website.

You can select from many high-quality lead generator website builders specifically designed for real estate agents. Many of these site builders can be integrated with a CRM tool to manage customer relationships. Your website builder can help with follow up and client communication. Some examples of the best website builders include:

Real Estate Lead Generation Software Best for
Real Geeks (Best Overall) Agents looking for an easy-to use website with CRM and managed marketing
Zillow Premier Agency Agents who need an IDX website with a CRM to manage Zillow leads
BoomTown Teams looking for IDX websites that offer lead assignment and follow up tools, as well as a live client concierge
Zurple Agents looking for a customized IDX website to suit their needs
  Agents looking for IDX websites that have intuitive CRM and enhanced search filters
  Agents in real estate are looking for an easy, affordable IDX website to generate leads.

You can also refer to our guide on top methods to generate real estate leads for more ideas about how to expand your influence and gain more clients.

Tools & Resources for a New Real Estate Agent

Although networking and organic outreach are the best ways to generate leads, there are many companies that offer tools that can help you save time and money. Ask your coworkers about their preferred CRM, lead generation tools, and marketing platforms.

Here are some best lead generation companies to help you get started.

ProspectsPLUS ProspectsPLUS! ProspectsPLUS is an online direct mailing service that offers a variety of templates and mailing options. Brochures and postcards ProspectsPLUS allows you to quickly get printed materials at a fraction of the cost.Contact ProspectPLUS!

Real Geeks Real Geeks is our top pick for a lead generation tool because it includes a website builder and CRM. This provides everything agents need to start selling. Pricing is customizable, but prices start at $250 per month. Real Geeks also offers managed services starting at $300 per month. Prices will vary depending on whether you have a budget for Facebook advertising or pay per click marketing (PPC).Visit Real Geeks

Zurple Zurple is real-estate lead generation software that brokers and agents love to work with data. It allows you to create a website for real estate that targets a particular farm area. However, it also offers lead capture. For $399 per month, the software will automatically create a search profile that gives you additional insight into when leads are most likely to be engaged.Visit Zurple.

BoldLeads BoldLeads provides buyer and seller leads for only $399 per month. This is an excellent option for brokers and agents who want to be in a position to test their marketing strategies using A/B test pages.BoldLeads

Zillow Premier Agent (ZPA). Agents looking to advertise on Zillow.com can use ZPA’s IDX website and CRM. Leads range from $20 to $60 depending on where you are located and how competitive the market is.Zillow Premier Agent

Zoho CRM Although Zoho CRM is not a real estate-specific software, it offers a free CRM plan that allows up to three users, a real estate management add-in and workflow builder. This makes it an excellent choice for new agents. This can also be integrated with social media tools so agents have the ability to track and monitor their interactions with potential clients via LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.Visit Zoho CRM

CINC CINC is a powerful tool to generate leads for real estate agents who are more comfortable in front of clients on their phones than behind a desk. Its fully integrated mobile app, digital concierge service and monitoring and qualification of leads for you allows you to be faster than your competitors. You can also get marketing assistance for $500 per month, plus the cost to advertise.Go to CINC

ProspectsPLUS ProspectsPLUS! ProspectsPLUS is an online direct mailing service that offers a variety of templates and mailing options. Brochures and postcards ProspectsPLUS allows you to quickly get printed materials at a fraction of the cost.Contact ProspectPLUS!

Real Geeks Real Geeks is our top pick for a lead generation tool because it includes a website builder and CRM. This provides everything agents need to start selling. Pricing is customizable, but prices start at $250 per month. Real Geeks also offers managed services starting at $300 per month. Prices will vary depending on whether you have a budget for Facebook advertising or pay per click marketing (PPC).Visit Real Geeks

Zurple Zurple is real-estate lead generation software that brokers and agents love to work with data. It allows you to create a website for real estate that targets a particular farm area. However, it also offers lead capture. For $399 per month, the software will automatically create a search profile that gives you additional insight into when leads are most likely to be engaged.Visit Zurple.

BoldLeads BoldLeads provides buyer and seller leads for only $399 per month. This is an excellent option for brokers and agents who want to be in a position to test their marketing strategies using A/B test pages.BoldLeads

Zillow Premier Agent (ZPA). Agents looking to advertise on Zillow.com can use ZPA’s IDX website and CRM. Leads range from $20 to $60 depending on where you are located and how competitive the market is.Zillow Premier Agent

Zoho CRM Although Zoho CRM is not a real estate-specific software, it offers a free CRM plan that allows up to three users, a real estate management add-in and workflow builder. This makes it an excellent choice for new agents. This can also be integrated with social media tools so agents have the ability to track and monitor their interactions with potential clients via LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.Visit Zoho CRM

CINC CINC is a powerful tool to generate leads for real estate agents who are more comfortable in front of clients on their phones than behind a desk. Its fully integrated mobile app, digital concierge service and monitoring and qualification of leads for you allows you to be faster than your competitors. You can also get marketing assistance for $500 per month, plus the cost to advertise.Go to CINC

ProspectsPLUS ProspectsPLUS! ProspectsPLUS is an online direct mailing service that offers a variety of templates and mailing options. Brochures and postcards ProspectsPLUS allows you to quickly get printed materials at a fraction of the cost.Contact ProspectPLUS!

What Characteristics Make a Real Estate Agent Successful?

The education and legal aspects of representing sellers or buyers in property transactions is all that you need to learn before becoming a real estate agent. Agents who are successful must also be able to communicate effectively, efficiently, organize, and engage their clients. To be successful in real estate, you need to look beyond the professional aspects of real estate agents.

These are the top characteristics of a great real estate agent.

  • Selling skills: The ability to present a compelling case for a purchase is the backbone of any career in real estate.
  • Sales and marketing knowledge: To succeed in real estate, you should be familiar with the basics of real estate advertising, copywriting, public relations, and marketing.
  • Time management expert: To manage their busy schedules, real estate agents must have great time management skills.
  • Outgoing and extrovert: Assess your social and listening skills. If you are able to pick up small details and have people confide in, you may be a good agent for real estate.
  • Learn There are many states that require a lot of education after licensure to maintain and renew your real estate license.

It is more than just education that makes a successful career in real estate. Trustworthiness and approachability are essential for building relationships with potential buyers and sellers. Ask for help from other agents if you have any problems. Ask fellow agents and brokers for their advice on managing agent-client relationships.

 

Learn more about How to Be Successful in Real Estate.

How to Become an Agent in Real Estate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

What is the cost of real estate school?

Prelicensing courses in real estate are typically $200-$1,000 depending on the state. Some states, like Texas, require 180 hours of coursework. This can vary depending on the package you choose and the real estate school. Others, such as Florida, only require 63 hours of coursework and cost $99-$435 depending on the study aids.

Are there any online classes in real estate?

It all depends on your state’s requirements. Many states allow real estate agents to take classes online through an accredited school such as Real Estate Express. Click here to find out if your state permits you to take classes online.

How much does it cost for a real estate license application to be submitted?

The fee for a real estate license is $300 to $400. It should be sent directly to the state real estate commission. Additional $125 is available for states that require fingerprints or a background check in order to approve a real-estate license.

What is the average salary of real estate agents?

Based on experience and whereabouts, a full-time agent in real estate can earn between $40,000 to $75,000 per year. The health of the local housing market, the amount of time that an agent invests in the business and the average home sale price in the area all impact these estimates. Learn more about real estate agent salaries.

What is the difference between prelicensing and exam prep courses?

Your state will require you to complete prelicensing coursework in order to schedule your licensure examination. Exam prep classes, which are not required by your state, help you to master exam materials.

Bottom line

The first step in becoming a real-estate agent is to research your state’s licensing requirements. This will lead to obtaining a real license. But that’s just the beginning of your real-estate career. We’re always generating new content. For more information on how to improve your career as an agent, you can subscribe to our free newsletter.

How to start a blog in 7 easy steps

How to start a blog in 7 easy steps

How to make money with a blog is as easy as seven steps. Although you can launch a blog within a day, it will take three to six months for your blog to gain traction on Google and become profitable. These steps can help you accelerate the success of your blog.

You will need to select a platform for blogging and a hosting provider. Bluehost is a great place to host your WordPress blog. It costs only $2.95 per month.

Visit Bluehost

To start a blog that makes money, you only need to follow seven steps:

1. 1. Decide what type of blog you want to start

First, decide what topic you want to blog about. Perhaps you already know what your blog will be about. You need to be aware of the basics to make sure you choose a niche with real earnings potential.

You need to narrow down a niche you are able to serve well. This will allow you to significantly reduce your competition. It is better to provide content that caters to your specific needs than a generalized piece of content at any given time. Nerdfitness, for example, was a blog that became very popular quickly despite the fact that there were many fitness blogs. It appealed to nerds who wanted to be fit.

— Ted Chong, Blogger, Digital Senior

Types of blogs

There are many different types of blogs that you can create and each one appeals to a specific niche audience. A blog where you are already proficient in the topic or have deep knowledge and experience is the best.

These are some of the most popular blogs:

  • Food blogs If you are passionate about cooking and creating new recipes, you might consider starting a food blog. This niche is very popular on the internet.
  • Wellness and health blogs: If your passion is for fitness and health, you might want to start a blog about it.
  • Business blogs These blogs are focused on a specific set of business interests and needs, such as leadership or entrepreneurship.
  • Start a Travel Blog if you are passionate about adventure and travel.
  • Lifestyle blogs A popular niche in blogging, lifestyle blogs discuss a set of lifestyle choices, interests and unique tastes from the blogger’s perspective.
  • Craft blogs If you find the idea of sharing your craft knowledge appealing and there is a large demand for DIY craft ideas, then you might consider starting a blog.
  • Finance blogs: These blogs discuss how to save money, invest your money, live within a budget, as well as other topics related to personal and business finances.
  • Blogs about sports: If your passion is for the game of football, you might want to create a blog about it.
  • Mommy blogs These blogs are focused on parenting, homemaking and personal challenges that mothers face.
  • Entertainment blogs You may blog about movies, television and music as well as theater and celebrities.
  • Beauty and fashion blogs: These blogs usually discuss fashion trends, hair, makeup, and other beauty products.
  • Hobby blogs You have the option to blog about any hobby you choose, including model trains and gardening.

It is entirely up to you what type of blog you want. You can make money blogging by choosing a niche you are comfortable with.

Lifestyle blogger Joanna Goddard talks about a variety of topics on her popular blog

Keyword Research

Because people are searching for these topics most often, you want to write about them. This will help your blog get more traffic. If people don’t find you blog, you won’t make any money.

It is important to research keywords if you want your blog posts to rank on the first page in search engine results. You can also research keywords to find out how competitive the terms you are targeting.

Google’s Keyword Planner is the best tool to do keyword research. Although it is simple to use, you will need to create a Google AdWords Account to access the Keyword Planner tool.

Blog posts that are focused on high traffic terms and low competition terms can improve the likelihood of your posts ranking highly in Google’s search results. is our guide to the best ways to rank highly on Google.

Google’s Keyword Planner helps you discover volume and competition levels for keywords

2. How to make money with your blog

Many new bloggers make the biggest mistake of not deciding how to monetize their blogs. Before you launch your blog, you need to plan how you will generate income.

Affiliate marketing is one of the most successful ways to make money blogging. You can add advertisements to your website, sell products or services, or get paid sponsorships to promote your blog posts.

You don’t have to sell anything on your blog if you are not selling products or services. If you want to monetize your blog in six months, however, you should have something to sell within six months.

Alexis Mathews - how to start a blog Bloggers don’t necessarily need to have a product to market in the beginning. However, it is a good idea to have a product or service you can launch within six months to avoid making a hobby out of blogging. From the beginning, a clear revenue stream is essential. It is very competitive in the blogging world so it is important to do your homework early on to ensure that you are successful.

— Alexis Mathews, Marketing Strategist & SEO Specialist, Premier Executive Media

You can read our popular article How bloggers make to learn more about how you can generate income blogging. These ideas will help you get started with your money-making blogging endeavors.

3. Choose Your Blogging Platform

There are two main types of blog platforms. You can have your blog hosted on a different website. Although this is often free, there are significant restrictions in blog design, monetization and visibility in search engines. You can also create a self-hosted website with a content management software (CMS), and a hosting company for as low as $2.95 using BlueHost. The best way to make money online is to create your own blog.

Create Your Blog on another Website

Many free blogging platforms are available, including WordPress.com and Blogger. These websites connect you to other bloggers.

Hosting your blog on another site has its downsides.

  • No custom domainSince you don’t get your own custom domain name (ex: yourbusiness.com vs yourwebsite.wordpress.com). This could lower your authority as an authoritative blogger.
  • Monetization issues: Your blog won’t be fully monetized. There are strict guidelines for making money on free blogging sites.
  • You have limited control. You don’t have complete control over your website. Your personal blog will also disappear if the website hosting it is shut down.
  • Lower search rankings: SEO may not be as easy to control, which can negatively affect your page rankings on Google.
  • Design limitations for blogs: These sites have design and HTMLcoding restrictions. You won’t be in a position to design your blog exactly the way you want it to look.

If you’re not serious about building a blog, or just want to have fun sharing your thoughts and experiences with others, then consider creating a blog on another website. You can open a blog account free of charge on WordPress.com. This site also has many upgrade options that will help you grow your blog.

The WordPress.com dashboard lets you customize the look of your blog

Create Your Own Blog

Self-hosted blogs offer great flexibility in site design and monetization. A self-hosted blog is the best way to make money from your blog. Remember that every company needs a website. A blog should be part of your business plan.

These are the most popular self-hosted blogging sites:

  • Bluehost and WordPress: WordPress has become the most widely used blogging platform. Bluehost is a low-cost option for hosting a WordPress site. It costs only $2.95 per monthly. Bluehost is quick and easy to set up your blog.
  • Squarespace is an all-in one website platform that includes hosting. Squarespace’s easy-to use website-building interface makes it possible to create beautiful blogs. Prices start at $12 per month.
  • Wix This all-in-one website creator is well-known for making it easy to create a blog. Wix sites can be started for just $13 per month. Compare Wix and WordPress .
  • DreamHost and WordPress: DreamHost is another hosting provider you can use with WordPress. Plans start at $2.59 per month and don’t require a year commitment.

You can also consider other blogging platforms. These options will help you get your blog up and running quickly.

4. 4.

You will need to choose a domain if you decide to host your own blog. Bluehost offers a free domain during the first year of hosting.

Your hosting vendor can also sell your domain separately at sites such as Namecheap and Hover, where the average annual domain cost is $8 to $15. Domain renewal rates tend to be lower with domain-registration sites than with hosting providers.

These are the essential elements of a domain name:

  • Description for your blog: People will be able to identify what you’re writing about by simply looking at the name of your site. minimalistbaker.com, for example, is a food blog that features recipes with less than 10 ingredients.
  • Keywords You want people searching Google for information related to your expertise to find your blog. People who search on Google will see your primary keyword in the domain.
  • A domain that is easy to spell and pronounce If your website is difficult to spell or pronounce, it will make it more difficult for people to remember. When choosing your domain, be clear and use standard spellings.

It may take some time to find a domain name with millions of blogs online. You have a better chance of acquiring the domain name you desire if your blog name is unique.

You should immediately purchase a domain that you find. Domain registration websites are well-known for monitoring domain search queries and increasing the price for those that were not purchased.

5. 5.

After you have completed steps 1 through 4, it is time to design your blog. This will depend on which platform you use. Squarespace and Wix offer standard themes that you can customize your website.

You will need to install WordPress if you decide to use a WordPress website. Bluehost makes it easy. Navigate to the BlueHost dashboard and scroll down to the website section. Click “Install WordPress” to follow the instructions.

Bluehost makes it easy to install WordPress from its dashboard

Personalize your blog with design and personalization

You can choose from the many templates available through SquareSpace and Wix. These templates take care of key design elements for you so you don’t need to be a designer to launch your blog.

Because of its stunning modern templates, Squarespace is a popular choice for bloggers. Squarespace is an excellent choice for bloggers with minimal design skills who want to create a beautiful blog. SquareSpace has 21 templates families, which means that there are 92 designs available. This is a list of top free Squarespace templates.

When creating a blog on SquareSpace, simply choose a template and start designing your blog

The Wix ADI will assist you in designing a website based on the answers to a few questions. Wix also offers a variety of templates. Wix offers more than 300 templates. Be careful, however, because you can’t change templates once your blog is live.

Wix is one of the most user-friendly blog platforms. Wix is a great platform for people with little technical knowledge.

Wix offers more than 300 different blog templates

You will need to choose a theme to your website if you opt for a WordPress blog hosted on your own server (WordPress.org). This is the best option for bloggers looking to make a profit. A WordPress theme is a template or design framework that allows you to customize your website. There are many WordPress themes, many of them free. Premium themes offer more design options and flexibility than free themes.

Bluehost allows you to access a variety of premium and free themes when you host your blog. It’s quick and easy to install and you don’t have to stick with one theme. You can also change your theme at any time.

Example of a responsive WordPress theme available through Bluehost

Divi is a premium theme that offers more customization options to your blog’s design. It comes from Elegant Themes. Divi is not only a theme but also offers a page builder that’s easier than WordPress’s default post editor. Divi’s page-builder tool makes it easy to create beautiful pages that are customized. This is why Divi is so popular among non-technical bloggers. Divi is $89/year for annual access.

You can also hire a web developer or designer to design your blog. Fiverr makes it easy to find the right freelancer to help build your blog. Fiverr freelancers can be found for almost any budget.

Example of a website design freelancer on Fiverr

6. Develop Blog Content

After your website is built, you can start to add content to your blog. This is the most important step in starting a blog. Content marketing allows you to give your audience something valuable, build trust and convert customers into readers.

Types of blog posts

To engage your readers and make money, there are many types of blog posts that you can add to your site. For maximum appeal to new and returning visitors, the most successful bloggers mix their content.

These are some popular formats for blog posts that you can add to your site.

  • How to posts: Show people how to do something. These are the most common how-to posts.
  • Expert roundup post: Get input from experts on a particular topic or about a particular theme. Post all the expert responses in one post and add your own perspective.
  • Reviews:Choose one product or service to review and provide an objective assessment. Compare features, options, price, etc. Next, tell blog readers whether you recommend the product or service and why.
  • Success stories: Everyone enjoys a success story. Please share a story about a successful experience and the factors that led to it. This is a great way for blog readers to be inspired.
  • Interview postsInterview other people on a topic that interests you. Interview experts in your field, or anyone who has an opinion about what you are writing and wants to share their views.

You’ll quickly discover which posts are most popular and which convert visitors into buyers by experimenting with different types. Take what you have learned and use it to improve your posts.

Example of a roundup post on Fit Small Business

Other types of blog content

Your blog will not only contain blog posts. A page about you, strong calls for action (CTAs), as well as some lead magnets-based email capture devices will be important. You may need to add more content depending on what type of blog you have. The best blogging tips are not just about content creation.

Your “About Me Page”

Your blog needs a strong About Me page (or About Us). Your About page will likely be the most popular on your site. Make sure to include compelling content to show visitors why they should stay on your blog.

Your About Me page is likely to be the most popular on your website. You want it to greet your visitors and confirm that they have found the right blog. Keep it conversational and original. Your visitors should know why you created your blog and what it can do for them. Give your visitors a glimpse into your past and experiences to increase your credibility.

Strong CTAs

Strong CTAs should be included in all of your pages and blog posts. CTAs tell your visitors what they should do next. You might send your visitors to a “pillar” post. This is a post that best describes the purpose of your blog.

A second step you might want site visitors to take is downloading a resource or tool you offer. These resources and tools are known as lead magnets and can be a great way to build your email list.

Lead magnets

It doesn’t suffice to bring new visitors to your website. You need to retain them once they are there. Although email marketing is a great method, you must have an email list in order to effectively do so.

Bluehost offers a free business email account. You will need to set this up. This is an important step, since getting an email from [email protected] will look more professional than getting an email from [email protected].

Here are some ways to get email addresses from your business once you have it set up.

  • Create an electronic book or PDF: Make an ebook or a PDF that contains information not found on your website. Before sharing the information and resources, ask people to enter their email address.
  • Send out a weekly newsletter to people. To get people to sign up for your newsletter, you can either have a pop-up on your site or a box at your top asking them to subscribe to your weekly tips.

You are motivating people to visit your site by sending them regular emails about the latest updates on your blog.

Example of an email capture form featuring a lead magnet from the Minimalist Baker blog

Other site content

Your site’s other content will contain any additional information you wish your visitors to see. Images and links to products or services that you wish to promote, ads, and affiliate promotions are all examples. You can also include videos, infographics, links to related social media channels, testimonials and other content. It is a good idea to have content that helps site visitors and leads to sales.

Bri Seeley - how to start a blog “The best advice that I can give new bloggers is consistency, consistent, consistency. As a blogger, I’ve seen bloggers who desire immediate results. After posting several blogs, but not reaching a million views, many bloggers quit. You can set a posting schedule, plan your strategy, and then batch your content. Share it with everyone, more than anything, and keep going!

— Bri Seeley, Entrepreneur Coach

7. Get more traffic to your blog

In Step 6, we mentioned that creating an email list can be a great way of generating high-quality traffic to your blog. A great way to make money is to learn search engine optimization (SEO), and then implement SEO strategies on your site.

SEO strategies can be used to optimize your blog so search engines like Google recognize your pages and rank them high in search engine results. Your blog will get more traffic if you rank higher on Google’s search engine pages rankings.

Yoast SEO, a powerful plugin for WordPress that integrates with your site, is highly recommended by top bloggers. Yoast offers both a premium and free option.

A popular way to increase blog traffic is to post on social media, directing people to your blog. Facebook and Twitter are the top platforms for driving blog traffic.

Make sure you are targeting the right visitors to your blog with all traffic-generating methods . This means that you are only attracting people who are interested and qualified to use them. A website that attracts traffic to your blog from people not interested in it will increase its bounce rate. This is the number of visitors who leave your site immediately after they have finished reading. Google page rankings suffer from high bounce rates.

How to start a blog Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

What is the cost of starting a blog?

You can start blogging free of charge on many sites like Medium and WordPress.com. Self-hosted websites are popular for people who want to make money with their blogs. With Bluehost, you can create a self-hosted website for as low as $2.95 per month.

How can you make money from a blog?

Sites like Squarespace and Wix are great options for starting a blog. Affiliate marketing, selling products and creating sponsored posts are some of the most popular ways to make a living blogging. You can make the most of your blog by choosing a profitable niche that has enough demand over time.

How much money do bloggers make?

Bloggers make an average of $100 per month, but this is only because they don’t have sites that are optimized for making money. Smart blog monetization strategies can help even new bloggers earn between $500 and $3,000 per month. Bloggers who are successful earn anywhere from $10,000 to six figures per month. Some blogging statistics indicate that marketers who concentrate on blogging are 13x more likely to see positive returns on their investment (ROI).

Can I create a blog without paying anything?

WordPress.com Medium, Blogger, Wix, and Wix are the top places to start a blog for free. Although you can create a blog without paying for hosting, the best bloggers make their sites through WordPress.org or DreamHost.

Bottom line

A blog can be a great way for you to share your passions with other people who are interested in the same topic. If you are passionate about the topic, your blog could become more than a hobby. It can even be a source of income.

Four Steps to Sell Books on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Four Steps to Sell Books on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allows anyone to sell books. All you need to open an Amazon KDP account and sell books on Amazon is free. You also get paid every time a book is sold. In just four steps, we’ll show you how to set up Amazon KDP accounts and sell books on Amazon.

How Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing works (KDP).

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing allows independent authors to sell e-books as well as print-on-demand books through Amazon. You don’t have to pay anything to join KDP. Every time your book sells, you will be paid a royalty of 35 to 70% of the book’s cost.

KDP authors can sell on Amazon and other marketplaces, such as Smashwords. You can also enroll your titles in Amazon’s exclusive sales program KDP Selection. KDP Select titles cannot be sold directly through Amazon. However, in return for exclusivity, they are eligible for additional promotions such as:

  • Listings for Kindle Unlimited (KU – Amazon’s most popular subscription program pays authors per-read, rather than per-sale.
  • Listings on Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – This gives every Kindle owner access and, like KU, you are paid per-borrow.
  • Inclusion into KDP Select Promotions – Special pricing countdown and limited-time pricing help readers attract and grow their book reviews.

KDP Select allows KDP authors to choose whether they want to list all, none or a select number of titles. This gives you complete control over where and how your books will be sold through Amazon. We’ll now show you how to use KDP to start selling e-books through Amazon in just four steps.

1. Register for your free Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing account (KDP).

No matter if you have a book in the works, you can open an Amazon KDP account. It’s actually a good idea not to have a book yet, but you can still open an Amazon KDP account. This will allow you to access KDP’s many useful tools and publishing tutorials. Once your book is completed, you can already create an account.

Go to kdp.amazon.com to set up your Kindle Direct Publishing Account. You’ll see the following screen:

In a short video, the KDP sign in screen guides you through the basics of up-front.

You will need an Amazon account in order to create a KDP Account, as you can see from the yellow Sign-in button. Note that Amazon strongly discourages individuals from having more than one Amazon account. Dave Chesson, Kindlepreneur says that authors can open a separate Amazon account under a business entity. This is a great way to seperate your book sales and your personal Amazon account.

KDP - Kindle Direct Publishing - Dave Chesson “Writers and business professionals can sell books on Kindle direct Publishing without withholding any royalty payments,” states Chesson. Amazon has the appropriate tax form to include royalty earnings on business taxes. It’s smart to keep your royalty earnings separate for professional authors and those who sell books on Amazon for business.

Once you have decided how you want to proceed, as an individual or as a business, you can create your Kindle Direct Publishing Account. These are the details you will need to sign up for your KDP account.

  • Your business or author name
  • Your phone number and address (for Amazon, but not public access)
  • For royalty payment deposits, your bank routing number and account number
  • Your tax information (Social Security number, for individuals, or Employee Identification Number (EIN), for businesses entities

This information will allow you to sign up for your KDP account in just five minutes.

It takes only minutes to set up your Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Account.

After you have set up your Kindle Direct Publishing account, you can log in to your KDP dashboard as shown below.

Visit the Amazon KDP help center to quickly learn the ins-and-outs of selling books on Amazon.

You can upload, price, manage and track all your Amazon book titles through the KDP dashboard. You’ll also find many tools that will help you publish e-books as well as print on demand paperbacks or audiobooks. Then, market them across the Amazon marketplace.

You should explore these tutorials and tools before you publish your book. To understand the expectations of Amazon KDP regarding writing quality, you should also review Amazon KDP’s content and quality guidelines .

2. 2.Set up your Author Page in Amazon’s Author Central

It’s important to set up your Amazon KDP Account. Next, you should create your Author Page in Amazon’s Author Central. This page allows you to list all your titles in one place on Amazon. It also gives you the opportunity to share your biography with other Amazon customers.

It takes only minutes to set up your Author Page in Author Central.

To create your Author Page you will need to sign up to Author Central. This takes only seconds and is completely free. The entire process can be automated as Amazon pulls in your information from your Amazon account.

Once you confirm your author identity, Amazon will connect any books you’ve already published to your page, like my book below:

Once you’ve confirmed everything, Amazon will email you a link to your Author Page setup screen, where you can add your head shot, bio, blog posts, and even your speaker or appearance schedule if you have one. It can take Amazon a few days to make your Author Page live, so it’s a good idea to set it up when you create your KDP account so it’s ready when you are.

Your Amazon Author Page is hosted on Amazon and once set up, it lists all of your titles in one place.

Joanna Penn is a well-known author, who publishes fiction and nonfiction books in Kindle and print. She makes great use her Amazon Author Page as a marketing tool. This page features her titles available on Amazon and includes video and a blog post that will help her readers to learn more.

Joanna Penn uses her Amazon Author Page as a hub for her books, plus exposure for her blog posts from her WordPress website .

3. Amazon KDP – Create your book listing

Once your Kindle Direct Publishing account is set up, you can concentrate on writing your book. Once your manuscript has been edited and the cover art is complete, you can upload it to Amazon KDP to make it available on Amazon.

You will need to create a listing in your Amazon KDP dashboard. Click on your Bookshelf to select the book you wish to publish. For most KDP authors, this will be a Kindle ebook. If you want, you can also publish paperbacks directly from this screen.

You can create a listing for an e-book or a paperback print-on-demand book, but you can also add a paperback option to your e-book listing now or later on.

KDP guides you through a 3-screen process to create your book details, upload your cover and e-book content, and then set your price. Although it’s very easy, it can be a bit more complicated if you have some details in advance.

Creating a book listing in KDP is pretty quick if you have everything prepared ahead of time.

Screen 1 – Details

Your Book Detail screen is the first screen. It’s also the longest. Once all required fields have been completed, you can’t move on to the next screen. Here are some things you can do ahead of time to speed up the process.

  • Title and short subtitle. Be sure to include your most important keywords or phrases.
  • Select categories for your book. You can list your title within two categories. Learn more about how to select e-book categories and research methods in our ebook publishing guide.
  • Key phrases or keywords – Help readers locate your e-book on Amazon by listing up seven keywords or key terms related to your title.
  • Book description Amazon allows you to use 4,000 characters for your e-book topic. Make it appealing to readers so they want to read more. Include keywords throughout.
  • Series and Edition numbers – You can include this information if your book is part a series or a new edition.
  • Contributors You can mention the names of editors and collaborators in your book credits.

Screen 2: Amazon E-book Content

Once you have entered your book information, you can upload your e-book file or cover art to the next screen. You will need the following:

  • Kindle file – This is usually a Kindle-ready.mobi or a.ePub that KDP will convert automatically upon upload. Find out how to save your e-book for Kindle.
  • Cover art Kindle Direct Publishing allows cover art to be saved as a.jpg and.tiff files. The KDP cover artwork guidelines recommends a size of 2,560 pixels high by 1,600 pixels wide. To create a cover that is eye-catching and meets the guidelines, you can either use KDP’s free cover maker or the Canva e-book templates, or hire a Fiverr designer to help you.

KDP’s e-book publishing process is a simple three-screen affair.

Notice! Note! ISBNs can be used for e-books, but they are required for printed books. Amazon will assign an ISBN number to you for free if your paperback book is published through Kindle Direct Publishing.

KDP will show your files as successfully imported once they have been uploaded. This step should be easy if you follow our Kindle format guide. After uploading your e-book, you can see how it will look on different Kindle devices using the built-in Kindle Previewer.

KDP’s online preview lets you test drive your new e-book in different Kindle screen sizes.

Once you have checked everything in the Kindle previewer you can move on to the final screen. Here you will set up your pricing and finalize a few details before launching your book on Amazon.

Screen 3: Pricing

The last screen will allow you to set the book’s price and royalty preference. You can also choose the Amazon marketplaces where the book will be sold. You can also enroll your book in the KDP select program to enjoy the Amazon exclusivity benefits.

E-books priced at $2.99 and over qualify for a 70 percent royalty payout. E-book titles under $2.99 only receive a 35 percent royalty payout.

The Pricing Screen is not as complicated as the other screens. However, you will need to make some important decisions. These decisions are not set in stone. You have the option to change your pricing or opt out of KDP Select, as well as your royalty percentage. These are the things you should keep in mind when making these final decisions:

KDP Select Benefits & Enrollment

KDP Select allows you to many promotional tools that can be used to increase sales. Each title is eligible for enrollment and the program runs on a 90 day cycle. Your book will be in KDP Select. However, the same content cannot be published in an e-book or blog. You must wait for the 90-day period to expire before you can publish your book elsewhere. You can renew your title in KDP Select if you wish to keep it long-term.

KDP Select allows you to:

These promotions are not available to titles that aren’t part of KDP Select.

Territorial Selections

Self-published authors with full copyright can publish anywhere. Amazon even makes it easy by automatically converting currencies. If you are publishing to an international business or in collaboration with others, it is important to ensure that you have the correct tax structure and rights to publish in all or some of these countries.

Pricing & Royalties

Amazon allows you price Kindle Direct Publishing ebooks starting at $0.99 and ending at $200. Amazon will not allow titles to remain permanently listed at $0. Only titles that are enrolled in KDP Select can be eligible for free pricing. Pricing also affects the royalty percentage that you choose and thus your profit potential. The 70 percent royalty is available to titles priced at or above $2.99 A book can be sold for less than $2.99 but your royalty is still 35 percent.

KDP Select lists your ebook in Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library . You also make money per-read or per-borrow. This is how Amazon handles payouts on these programs.

This screen contains the main elements. You will need to check off a few additional fields, but they are quite self-explanatory. You can now click Publish your Kindle E-book after you have completed the fields.

And that’s it. Congratulations! You’re now a published indie author. Your e-book listing will appear live in Amazon’s Kindle marketplace within 72 hours, and KDP will email you the notification when it’s live. Ours took about 45 minutes to become live and available for purchase:

Once you have created your listing, submit your format e-book to Amazon KDP. It takes only minutes to be a published author.

4. 4.

Ok, so clicking the Publish button isn’t but. It’s only the beginning of your work. Now you must market your book on Amazon as well as other outlets. This step will depend on whether you participated in Amazon KDP Select.

We’ll discuss your marketing options based upon your KDP Select selection, and then we’ll cover other ways to market your ebook and draw readers.

Amazon KDP Select – Enroll Your Title

Dave Chesson, Kindlepreneur, said that authors who enroll in KDP Select have a greater audience because of the exposure to the large Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owns’ Lending Library reader bases.

Your e-book as a KDP Select title will be listed in both lending listings. You’ll get paid per-borrow or per-read based on the program’s payout plan. While you can have a KDP Select title and not be eligible for these lending programs, most authors find them to the best way to gain reviews and build a readership.

This is not the only benefit. Chesson says that KDP Select’s success is due to writers who look at every aspect of the program, not just the KU or KOLL benefits. To gain new readers, you can use Kindle Countdown Offers and book promotions that are limited-time . These strategies can also be used to increase momentum for titles that have been out longer.

These promotional benefits will be available to you if your title is enrolled in KDP Select.

If you’re not enrolled in KDP Select,

You can also sell your book through other e-book marketplaces, such as B&N Press (Barnes & Noble NOOK readers), Kobo and Apple iBooks. These listings can be handled by you, just like Amazon KDP. You will need to create your own account, profile, and upload titles. You can also use an ebook distribution service such as Draft2Digital and Smashwords to distribute your ebook to these sites, among others. Although these distribution services cost an additional fee in addition to the royalty payments other sellers marketplaces make, the time saved is generally worth it.

You cannot sell titles that are listed in Amazon’s KDP Select program through other marketplaces as part of the exclusivity arrangement. This is a great way to market your product to more people even if you are not a participant in KDP Select.

Other Amazon Marketing Strategies

Amazon’s book advertisements can be used to get readers, regardless of whether your title is in KDP Select. Although this comes with costs, these ads are keyword-driven and can be very effective for getting titles in front readers who are interested in their topic.

Amazon ads are run on the pay-per click (PPC) model. You only pay when a potential reader clicks the ad and visits your e-book listing page. This is half of the battle for attracting readers. You can also decide your budget and the amount you are willing to pay for each potential reader who clicks on your ad.

You can choose from two types of Amazon ads once your book has been listed in Kindle Direct Publishing.

Sponsored Product Ads

These ads allow you to specify the keyword and appear at Amazon’s top search results as sponsored products. These are the top two results for our search “how to publish an ebook”.

Amazon’s Sponsored Product Ads use keywords to appear in targeted search results.

E-books: Product Display Ads

These ads are listed as related products in other ebooks or product pages.

Amazon’s Product Display Ads - kindle direct publishing

Amazon’s Product Display Ads are listed as “related items”, on the Amazon listing page for other products.

Request a review

Amazon reviews are an important marketing tool for authors. However, Amazon has strict guidelines regarding reviews. A review is not a tradeable copy. You cannot offer compensation for reviews. And you can’t ask to be given a “good review”. You can request a review. The best way to ask is to put the request in the back of your ebook, such as this:

Matthew Mather, the author of “Nomad” and many other titles, asks for a review at the end of each book.

You can thank your reader by including a link in your “back matter”, such as the page above. Kindles automatically request this from readers who have completed a certain portion of a book. This will let your readers know what to do.

Market Your E-book outside of Amazon

There are many other avenues that you can market to potential readers, as well as build a fan base. Here’s a list of elements you should consider.

Start Your Own Website

Joanna Penn, best-selling author and nonfiction author, says that a website is a key component of author careers.

Joanna Penn manages multiple author websites to reach her fiction and nonfiction audiences.

The best authors see their e-books simply as products that can be sold. A website is for them a primary marketing and branding tool.

Joanna Penn - kindle direct publishing “It’s how agents, publishers, journalists and bloggers judge your professionalism,” states Penn. Penn attributes much of her success to her website’s reader base and the email lists she has built through them. Joanna Penn, author and coach and founder of The Creative Penn says, “I have built a multi-six-figure company off the back of my email lists and author websites.”

Penn, along with many other successful authors, turn to WordPress to build a simple and affordable website. Bluehost is only $2.95 per monthly. You can even get a quick start WordPress tutorial to help you with the setup process. To get started, enter your name below.

Send a Press Release

Two types of authors can use press releases to effectively market their books: business professionals and those who are publishing a book in a series. Press releases can be targeted at journalists, bloggers, and publications that follow your genre to help spread the word about the latest installment. A press release targeted at industry-related publications and reporters can help you get coverage, reviews, commentary, and even interview opportunities.

eReleases.com allows you to target specific audiences with your release distribution. eReleases also gives you the tools to create and manage distribution, or you can hire seasoned professionals to do it for you.

Go to e-releases.com

Create an email list

Once your website is live, you can begin building your email database to communicate with your subscribers. To market your current or upcoming titles via email marketing, you can connect to an email marketing service. To entice readers into signing up for your mailing list, you can use sneak peek chapters, new releases, and promotions that are first to the public.

Make the most of your social media channels

You can create social media author Pages on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram and share posts about new releases, teasers of works-in-progress and free promo announcements. This will help you connect with your followers and build a following.

Participate in Book Clubs or Reader Collectives

You can also attract new readers to your books by joining local and online reading clubs. GoodReads (part Amazon), Reedsy Discovery and LibraryThing all have specific reader communities you can use to promote your e-books. You can give away free e-books or giveaways depending on how you use KDP Select. Or, simply announce any KDP Select promotions that will help you gain new readers.

Here are some mistakes to avoid when selling books on Amazon KDP

Expecting instant results is the biggest mistake when selling books through Kindle Direct Publishing. Selling an ebook is like marketing other products. It requires dedication, work, time, effort, and a variety of marketing channels. Authors rarely see a return on their investment after publishing multiple works and marketing them all. This is why it is so important to build a readership.

Publishing a poor work on Kindle Direct Publishing is the second biggest mistake new writers should avoid. Badly edited books with many errors and poor writing are a big turnoff for readers. And messy covers won’t help you sell your book. Both errors are against Amazon’s quality guidelines. Don’t rush to publish. You should take the time to edit and create a cover that is memorable.

There are many freelance editors and cover design professionals who can help you create e-books on Fiverr. These experts are well-versed in Amazon’s quality guidelines, and can give your work the professional shine it deserves.

Visit Fiverr

The bottom line

It is easy and difficult to learn how to sell books through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. After your book has been written and saved in Kindle format you can sign up for Amazon KDP to list your book on Amazon. There are only a few pieces of information and decisions that you need to make.

The real work begins once your Amazon book listing has been published. This is where you market your title and author brand. Amazon offers many tools to help you do this, including a free Author Page and KDP Select’s many promotional possibilities, as well as paid ads. Your work can be promoted beyond Amazon’s borders through other e-book marketplaces and press releases, online book clubs, collaboratives, and your website, email, or social media outlets.

Do you have any e-books you are working on? Let us know what e-book creator platforms you use and which marketing tools you use to do the job.

Blog vs. Vlog: Which is better?

Vlogging and blogging are two popular ways to make money online. Which one is best for you? You need to know the differences between blogging and vlogging if you are unsure whether to start a blog or a vlog. To achieve great success, you’ll want to learn the best practices used by top bloggers and vloggers today.

What is a blog?

A blog, originally called a “weblog”, is a collection of content that has been created and published online. Although blogs are usually managed by individuals, they are popular on business websites as well. Bloggers are people who create blog posts.

Although there are many blogs that can be of general interest, the majority of blogs are targeted at a particular niche market, or group who have similar interests, needs, and wants. Blogs are not static documents. They are an ongoing communication channel that provides new and relevant content.

Blogs often contain dynamic links to other internet content. They may also have interactive or community engagement components, such as comments sections. While blogs started as simple text documents, today’s sophisticated blogs feature dynamic visuals or videos.

Esther and Jacob, bloggers at LocalAdventurer.com, generate over $20,000 per month blogging.
(Source: Localadventurer.com)

What is a Vlog?

A vlog (or video log) is the video equivalent to a blog. Vlogs are similar to blogs in that they target a specific audience with common interests and needs. Vlogs can and should include metadata text, but the star of any vlog is the person/people who are talking about it.

Vlogging has seen a boom in two ways. YouTube’s 2005 launch was the first. It is still the most used platform for vloggers. The second was the rise in popularity and use of smartphones, especially after smartphone video capabilities improved to the point that anyone can record high quality videos from anywhere.

Ryan Kaji of the Ryan’s World YouTube channel has earned $26 million as a vlogger making him the highest-paid vlogger to date. He started vlogging when he was three.

When you should blog vs when you should vlog

Vlogging and blogging are different in that the content creator uses video, as well as the location where it is hosted. Vlogging is a great option if you enjoy talking with people and are comfortable in front of the camera, but don’t necessarily plan to create a website. Blogging may be for you if you are a writer and want to build your own website.

Many people blog and vlog because they feel that video and text-based content allows them to reach the largest audience.

Blogging vs Vlogging Comparison

  Blogging Vlogging
Popularity There are 31.7 million U.S. bloggers1 and 77% read blogs2. Worldwide, there are 2 billion YouTube users and 5 billion videos viewed daily.
Is Editing Possible after Publishing? Yes You cannot, but you can reuse footage that has been previously recorded.
Content Hosting Costs Up to $29 per Month YouTube, Instagram (IGTV), Facebook and TikTok are free
Content Length Supported From short to long Video lengths are allowed to vary from short to long depending on the platform.
Equipment required A computer or smartphone, an internet connection and a blogging platform Smartphone with video capabilities, microphone and lighting equipment, internet connection, video editor software
Potential for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization is simple for text-based content Optimizing video-based content can be more challenging
Popular Monetization Options Advertising, brand sponsorships and affiliate marketing. Product and service sales. Advertising, brand sponsorships and affiliate marketing. Product and service sales.
Demographics of Audience Varies by niche Variable depending on niche. In general, video is more popular than text-based material with audiences below 30.
Potential for earning $0 to six figures and more $0 to six figures and more

1Statista; 2OptinMonster; 3Statista

Another option to explore podcasts

It would be remiss of me to tell you that content development options are limited to blogs and vlogs. podcast is another popular way to connect and build an audience. Podcasts are typically audio-based but can be audio-plus-video-based. Podcasts are a great way to reach a large audience who prefer to listen on the go.

Use What Your Audience Prefers to
Blog Check out your content
A vlog Pay attention to your content
A podcast Listen to what you have to say

How to Start a Blog

There are many ways to start blogging. Blogs can be made on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. Blogs can also be published on other general publishing sites, such as Medium.

A self-hosted WordPress blog is a good choice if you want to make a living as a blogger. WordPress is the most flexible and popular blogging platform. You can even launch your WordPress blog using Bluehost, your web hosting provider, for as low $2.95 per month.

Visit Bluehost

Choose a Profitable Blogging Niche

There are many niches that you can choose from. However, some niches are more lucrative than others. You want to be successful as an entrepreneur by choosing a niche that is compatible with your skills and interests.

These are the top 11 blogging niches.

  1. Blogs for moms and parents
  2. Food and cooking blogs
  3. Lifestyle blogs
  4. Blogs for business
  5. Blogs about fitness and wellness
  6. Entertainment blogs
  7. Blogs about personal finance
  8. Hobby, craft, and DIY blogs
  9. Travel blogs
  10. Blogs about product reviews
  11. Fashion and beauty blogs

Cookie + Kate is an example of a popular food blog that also has active YouTube channel.
(Source: Cookieandkate.com)

Create Excellent Blog Content

The blog’s overall content strategy can have a significant impact on how successful it performs. It is important to write amazing content about topics that are highly sought-after. This is the key to blogging success. You can create a blog that is both successful and lasts the test of time by consistently creating high-quality content.

Blog content can be mostly text-based, which is quite common. Blogs that are well-respected tend to be more creative in how they present their content. They often include interactive quizzes, videos and high-impact graphics.

Repurposing blog content is a great way to get the most from your content development efforts. You can convert blog posts into scripts that you can use to create videos for your vlog.

How do bloggers make money?

Bloggers can make money in many ways. Your blog’s income will depend on your audience, the traffic to it, and the monetization strategies that you use.

These are the top ways that bloggers make money.

What is the Average Salary of Bloggers?

Bloggers who treat their blogs as a business and have a solid blog business plan will make more than those who treat them like hobbies. While some bloggers make very little, others are able to earn between $200 and $2,500 per month.

Bloggers can make five figures per month. Many bloggers have quit their 9-to-5 jobs to start successful blogs that let them work remotely. Although you may not make a lot of money blogging overnight, it is possible to make a living. Although it takes hard work to create a blog that is profitable, it is possible.

The Show Me the Yummy Food blog is an example of a six-figure-earning blog.
(Source: Showmetheyummy.com)

How to Start Vlogging

It is easy to get started as a YouTube vlogger by simply holding your phone in front of your face, pressing the record button and then uploading your video on YouTube or any other popular vlogging platform. The truth is that successful vloggers spend a lot more effort in creating shareable videos and coming up with their overall strategy for vlogging.

 

Tip How To Start a Vlog In 8 Steps for more information on how to launch your vlog

 

Choose Your Vlogging Platforms

Bloggers who are most successful usually build their blogs on the websites they own. Bloggers are not as successful as vloggers who post videos on sites that host them.

YouTube is the most popular platform for vloggers because of its large active user base. More than 30,000,000 YouTube channels are available with 15 million creators uploading over 80 million videos each month. Around 16,000 YouTube channels have over a million subscribers, which is a sign that many people are becoming vloggers.

Beauty vlogger Michelle’ Phan’s YouTube channel has nearly 9 million subscribers.
(Source: Youtube.com)

YouTube is the most popular place to vlog, but it’s not all that. You can vlog via IGTV on Instagram, which stands to represent Instagram TV. You can also vlog via Facebook’s live video option. Or, host videos on Facebook via Facebook View.

TikTok is the most popular and exciting trend in vlogging. It’s a video-sharing social network service. TikTok videos are only 15 seconds long. However, you can combine four 15-second videos for up to 60 seconds. TikTok’s most popular videos are fun and entertaining.

Ryan O’connell has millions of likes on TikTok for his roller-skating vlogs.
(Source: Tiktok.com)

Choose a Profitable Vlogging Niche

Vloggers and bloggers have a lot in common, but there are also some differences. Both blogs and vlogs are popular niches in beauty, fashion, finance, lifestyle, finance and travel. Vloggers also enjoy comedy, entertainment, and gaming.

The Markiplier YouTube channel has over 26 million subscribers and specializes in gaming and entertainment videos. (Source: Youtube.com)

Are You a Suitable Audience for a Person Under 30?

Vlogging is different from blogging in that the audience is older. Particularly millennials prefer video content to text-based content. Vlogging is a great option if your target audience is younger than 30.

60% of millennials are binge-watching videos on YouTube
(Source: Mediakix.com)

Create Excellent Vlog Content

Quality content is essential for bloggers and vloggers. However, the process of creating quality content is very different.

Make sure you have the right equipment for vlogging

Even newbie vloggers sometimes underestimate the importance of creating a shareworthy clip. It can be difficult to create the kind of videos that today’s viewers expect. However, a video that provides viewers with extreme value doesn’t necessarily have to be as polished and professional as a Hollywood production.

Here’s a list of common equipment used for vlogging.

  • A smartphone/camera with video capabilities
  • A microphone that captures your voice and doesn’t pick up background noise
  • A tripod is a sturdy support for your camera.
  • When the natural light is not sufficient, there are auxiliary lighting options
  • Teleprompter software can be downloaded to a tablet and laptop.
  • Professional backgrounds
  • Software for video editing such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker or Filmora9

Show Charisma to the Camera

You’ll also need to improve your video delivery skills. It is not common for people to be charismatic on video. To be able to speak on video with flair and finesse, it may take some practice. You will be more engaging as a vlogger if you have more experience.

To save time and create content, you can create a Vlog script

While some vloggers seem to “wing it” when speaking on camera, others are skilled at creating the illusion that they’re speaking from a script. You can cut down on the time it takes to film your vlog as well as the time spent editing it. A script helps you to stay focused on what you want to show on your vlog and serves your audience better.

Example of a vlogger video shoot
(Source: Spectrum-Brand.com)

How do Vloggers make money?

Vloggers, for the most part, make money using the same monetization methods bloggers use. This includes advertising, affiliate marketing and selling all kinds of products and services.

YouTube content can be used to earn advertising revenue through Google AdSense . Vloggers are eligible for advertising income. To join YouTube’s AdSense program, you will need at least 1,000 subscribers.

Estimated Google AdSense earnings for a vlogger with 50,000 daily ad views on YouTube.
(Source: Influence Marketing Hub)

What is the Average Salary of Vloggers?

Because very few vloggers publish this information, it is difficult to determine what an average vlogger makes. Vlogger income can vary greatly, just like bloggers. I mean from $0 to millions.

YouTube vloggers get paid between $10 and $33 for every thousand views. Most successful vloggers diversify income streams by using sponsored videos or product sales to generate the majority of their income.

A recent YouTuber survey found that vloggers can earn $100 to $1,000 in sponsorship fees when they have videos with at least 10,000 views per month. Vloggers who have millions of views per month can make six- to seven-figures in sponsorship fees for one vlog post.

Alpha M., a men’s lifestyle vlogger, monetizes his video with product sponsorships. He has 6 million subscribers. Source: Youtube.com

Bottom line

Your personal preference for content development will determine whether you blog or vlog. Some people are naturally suited for video while others are natural writers. While you can make a living as a blogger or vlogger, it is possible to make more money by blogging and creating vlogs.

What is a good bounce rate for a blog?

The bounce rate is the percentage that people visit your blog and do not take any action, such as clicking a link, filling in a form, purchasing, commenting, or making a purchase. You must create engaging content and improve the user experience to maintain a good bounce rate.

What is a good bounce rate?

Your industry and type of website will determine your bounce rate. Blogs can be described as “content” websites. This means that you create content for your readers to read. You can also monetize your blog content through affiliate links, or selling products and/or services. Bloggers have an average bounce rate of 40% to 60%, which is considered a “good” bounce rate.

Good and normal bounce rates across industries
(Source: Kissmetrics)

Accurate Data & Analytics

You should also be aware that Google Analytics data may not reflect the correct information if multiple plugins are feeding into the tool. This was something I had to learn the hard way even though I’ve been blogging for years. One day, I installed a plugin that fed data to Google Analytics. (Read the fine print! Even though I already had a Google Analytics plug-in, it was still installed.

My bounce rate dropped to 50%. It is not common to see a bounce rate this high for bloggers, so it was a sign that something had happened. Look at the plugins you have and check for duplicates if you notice a high bounce rate. If your bounce rate is between 40-60% (good for bloggers), then you may just be creating great content that people enjoy reading.

You can see that sometime in February, I downloaded a plugin that gave me duplicate data in Google Analytics, resulting in a sharp drop in my bounce rate. This wasn’t discovered until the end of April. I removed the plugin and my bounce rate came back up literally overnight.

9 ways to lower your blog’s bounce rate

A high bounce rate on your blog means that your content is poor, readers encounter errors when viewing content, the blog is slow or user experience is poor. You can identify the reasons your bounce rate is high and make improvements to your content to increase traffic and income.

1. 1. Increase blog speed

Have you ever visited a blog that took forever to load? You want to learn how to make challah bread. But there are so many ads, pop-ups and data-rich features that it is impossible to even access the content. Instead, you look for a new challah recipe. This is not what you want for your readers.

Here are some ways to speed up your blog:

  • Reduce the number of elements on your pages: pop-ups and ads, HTML, tables and JavaScript.
  • Use a caching plugin.
  • Limit your plugins to the essentials.
  • You can choose a fast web host like Bluehost, or Dreamhost.
  • Instead of uploading the videos directly to your website, use an external video host and embed them.

Use the WordPress.org plugin search to find a cache plugin. You can see if the plugin is compatible to your version of WordPress and review ratings.

2. Make your post easy-to-read

Which is easier to read? What is easier to read? A long textbook with few images and long paragraphs, or a magazine article that has many pictures and lots of short paragraphs. The brain is drawn to order, symmetry, and patterns. It will be hard to read if your blog post has a lot of text. Most likely, the reader will search for a blog post with less text.

These features can be added to blog posts to make them easier to read:

  • Bullet points (see what? there?
  • Images
  • Video
  • Numbered lists (Pro tip: Search engines hate when you include more than one number list in a blog post)
  • Lesser paragraphs
  • Pop-ups and ads are minimal (consider other business plan strategies).

Here are two examples of the same article. Which one do you find easier-to-read?

3. Take a look at other metrics

Are you having a bad bounce rate on one page or the entire blog? You should adjust the content of pages that have a low bounce rate for the whole site.

Google Analytics also offers other metrics to help you understand the state of your blog. If you are concerned about your bounce rate, look at the blog analytics “session duration” which tells how long an average person spends on your website. Low duration could indicate that your content is not great or is irrelevant to your reader.

22 minutes is a fantastic session duration. This shows that readers spend a lot of time reading blog posts in a single visit.

4. Enhance the navigation of your blog

It is easy to find other areas of interest on your blog, which will make it easier for readers to stay with you. You need a fantastic navigation menu to do this. Bloggers often include a “STARTHERE” button in their menu. This button tells the reader about you and your blog’s purpose. It also indicates what steps they should take (e.g., read this blog first, then this one next). This is the end of this article.

A button should be included for each topic that you blog about to create a great blog menu. It shouldn’t exceed three to five topics. A page about you and a search engine for your readers will be required.

An example of a start here page

5. 5. Make your content hyper-relevant

You probably have a keyword or phrase that you want to rank in search engines every time you write a blog post. It is important to pay attention to keywords that rank for terms you don’t mean to.

Let’s take, for example, a blog post about Voyageurs National Park at the Minnesota-Canada border. While you write about backcountry camping, you mention that the park also offers houseboat rentals. You might be #1 in the keyword “Voyageurs National Park Houseboat Rentals” if there is less competition than “Voyageurs National Park National Park,” but only #7 for your intended target.

Do you think this means that houseboats should be ignored? No. This can be tackled in several ways:

  • You can write a bit more about houseboat rentals, and then create an entire guide to houseboat rentals at Voyageurs National Park. This ultimate guide can be linked to in your article about Voyageurs National Park.

OR

  • You can increase the section that you discuss houseboat rentals. This can be a whole section in the original article.

You will remain at the top of search results for this keyword and can answer any questions a reader may have about houseboat rentals in that national park. Because you answered all their questions, they don’t have any reason to click on another blogger’s article.

Using Ahrefs.com, we can see that the keyword difficulty rating of the term “voyageur national park houseboat rentals” is only 15. The original term, “voyageur national park” has a difficulty rating of 50.

6. 6.

Your ultimate guide to credit cards and travel has been created. The reader deserves and wants more. To encourage your reader’s exploration of the topic, share related blog posts in your Ultimate Guide.

You might link to a post about the best travel rewards credit card cards in 2020, for example. A blog post that you wrote about improving credit scores can be linked to so that readers can apply for rewards cards.

An example of linking to relevant blog posts within an article
(Source: Idyllic Pursuit)

7. Optimize Your Blog for Mobile Viewers

The percentage of global web traffic from mobile devices has been around 50% since 2017. You can expect to see a lot more mobile traffic to your blog. Make sure you optimize your layout to accommodate these visitors. You will need a responsive theme for your blog (sometimes called mobile-responsive).

Many themes are mobile-responsive, but others aren’t. Mobile responsive themes will look great on any device, whether it’s a tablet, a mobile phone or a desktop computer. Look for a theme that offers this option when choosing a blog theme.

A responsive theme for a blog is an example
Source: MiniJeannie

8. 8.

The reader will leave your site if you link to another website from your blog post. They can only return to your website if they click on the back button or if they remember the name of the blog. Readers shouldn’t be able to do this. Instead, set your links so that they open in a new tab/window.

Just below where you insert your URL is an option to mark whether you want the link to open in a new tab.

9. 9.

When you attempt to navigate to a blog site that is no longer available, a 404 page will be displayed. This occurs when you unpublish a post or delete a blog entry. Many blog themes include a default page called 404. This page simply tells the reader that the page they are looking for cannot be found. Most likely, the reader will leave the blog to find another answer to their question.

It would be great if you could give the reader reasons to stay on your site, even if they land on a 404 page. Include links to your blog’s categories pages or “START HERE.” pages. A search tool can be included to allow the reader to locate a blog post that is relevant.

An example of a helpful 404 page
(Source: The Blonde Abroad)

Bottom line

A bounce rate is a barometer of how responsive your readers are to your blog content. A high bounce rate means that your site’s navigation menu, content, and user experience need to be improved. These changes are usually quick and easy.

Joining an ad network is a popular way to make money from blogging

Joining an ad network is a popular way to make money from blogging. There are many networks to choose from, so it can be hard to find the right one for you.

To find the best ad networks, we’ve done extensive research on all available options. The network that is right for you depends on your level of experience, whether you are just starting out, have over 100,000 page views per month or fall somewhere in the middle.

After a thorough analysis of all options and looking at hundreds real-life income reports from bloggers, we found that the top five ad networks are:

  • MediaVine The Best Overall Ad Network for Bloggers with 50,000-100,000.00 sessions per month
  • Google adSense:Best if you are a beginner or have less than 10,000 page views per year
  • Ezoic Best for bloggers with 10,000-50,000 page views per monthly
  • AdThrive Best for those who have more than 100,000 page views per month
  • Media.Net The Best Google AdSense Alternative for Bloggers with Less Than 10,000 Page Views per Month

How Ad Networks Work

An ad network is a direct contact with advertisers and handles all details related to advertiser negotiation, creation of ads, and management. You will be provided code to use on your site when you sign up for a network. This code can often be done through a plugin that makes it easy to control where the ads appear on your blog. You have control over the location and number of ads that appear on your website in most cases.

You receive a percentage of the fees that the advertiser pays to the ad network as an ad publisher. The amount you make depends on many factors, such as your website traffic, blog niche, quality of content and the perceived appeal of your site to potential advertisers. You can make more money if you have more success with advertisers placing ads on your blog.

Pricing models for the Common Ad Network

The average blogger receives between 50% and 75% of total ad revenue from networks. The rest of the fee is retained by the network for the effort they put into acquiring advertisers and managing this process. Each network has its own terms. Some networks do not disclose the formula for ad compensation.

There are many ways to advertise, but these are the most common.

  • Cost Per Thousand (CPM).Advertisers are charged a fee for each thousand impressions that a single ad gets.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC), Advertisers are charged a fee for each click on an ad.
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) Advertisers are charged a fee when someone clicks on an advertisement and makes a purchase.

You will be called a publisher when you post ads to your site via a network. Ad networks may discuss publisher compensation in terms like Revenue-Per-Thousand (RPM), Revenue-Per-Click (RPC), or Revenue-Per-Acquisition (RPA). This is the other side of the coin. Networks may discuss what publishers receive, minus the cut that the ad networks take for managing the advertising process.

How we evaluated Ad Networks

The number one reason people join ad network is to make money from blogging. So you need to optimize the amount of ads you receive on your blog. When evaluating the options, we focused on their potential to make money.

We also considered the following factors when reviewing our findings:

  • Easy setup: You want to quickly start making ad revenues with an ad network.
  • Support The most reliable ad networks provide significant support for their publishers and respond promptly to questions.
  • Timing and payout threshold : Bloggers need to be paid promptly. It is not a good idea to put up with long hold times on your earnings while you wait for a payout threshold to reach.
  • Reporting and Dashboard: It is important to be able quickly to see the performance of advertisements on your blog.
  • Traffic requirements Many ad networks have minimal traffic requirements that can sometimes be quite high. We took a look at each network’s traffic requirements.

For this article on the top ad networks to use for bloggers, we analyzed hundreds of income reports from bloggers. MediaVine is the most popular ad platform.

Mediavine is the preferred ad network for bloggers who are successful. To join, you need to have at least 50k sessions per month.

Mediavine uses sessions to get into many ad networks that require page views. Sessions are one-time visits to your website. If a visitor visits your blog but views three pages, their session count is one, while their page view count is three. Mediavine’s strict requirements for session count mean that not all bloggers are eligible to join the network, especially if they are just starting out.

Five of the Best Advertising Networks For Bloggers

Your monthly blog traffic will determine which ad network is best for you. Your earnings potential will increase the more traffic you have. We reviewed dozens of ad networks and found MediaVine was the best choice. Each one has its own reasons, which we will discuss.

1. MediaVine – Best Ad Network for Bloggers With 50,000 – 100,000 Sessions Each Month

MediaVine is a top ad network because its payouts are much more generous than many others. Mediavine is reported to have earned bloggers 200-400 times more than Google AdSense.

Mediavine pays 75% to publishers, while Mediavine keeps 25%. After year one, you can earn an annual loyalty bonus of between 1% and 5%. Bloggers who have high traffic sites and generate five to fifteen million impressions in a 30-day period are eligible for a revenue share between 80% and 85%.

Mediavine is well-known for its fast-loading ads. This is essential to ensure that your website loads quickly. It’s easy to sign up. Simply complete the Google form, and you will be notified within days whether or not you have been accepted. To be accepted, you will need a website of high quality that meets MediaVine standards. Mediavine requires you to verify that your Google Analytics has recorded at least 25,000 sessions within the last 30 days.

Mediavine requires at least a 90-day commitment. Mediavine membership requires a minimum 90-day commitment.

Bloggers who don’t reach the MediaVine minimum of 50,000 monthly sessions traffic threshold are often disappointed. Bloggers often take months, if not years to reach this volume.

MediaVine at a Glance  
Minimum traffic: 25,000 sessions per month
Acceptance is difficult It is not easy
Easy account setup Simple
Publisher dashboard: It is intuitive and very easy to use.
Customer support: Good
Potential income: Better than the average
Limitations on payouts Minimum payout threshold $25-$200
Methods of payout ACH, PayPal and paper check. Wire transfer fees apply.
Timing of payout: Net 65 is 65 days between the time money is earned and the time when the publisher receives ad revenue.
Google Certified Partner in Publishing? To join MediaVine, you will need to be in good standing at AdSense

Example of an ad served through the MediaVine network
(Source: TheWalletMoth.com)

MediaVine offers income potential

We gathered real-world examples from income reports of bloggers to give you an idea of the potential earnings you could make with MediaVine. These are just a few examples where bloggers have made money using MediaVine.

The intuitive MediaVine dashboard makes it easy to track ad performance and earnings. (Source: MediaVine.com)

2. Google AdSense – Best Ad Network for Bloggers with Less Than 10,000 Page Views

Google AdSense is one the most straightforward ad networks to join. It is also the largest network, with more than 2 million publishers. Google is the king in online ads. Millions of advertisers are competing for Google ad space. This could lead to more revenue opportunities.

Signing up for Google AdSense is simple and straightforward. You will usually hear if you have been approved within 48 hours. Once you have been approved, you have two options: manually place ads on your blog, or add code to your site to automatically post ads that are tailored to your website’s content and layout.

Google shares 68% of total Ad Revenue with publishers for display ads, and 51% to search ads. They do not disclose their revenue share for AdSense products. Google offers both CPC ads and CPM ads. Advertisers can choose the method they wish to pay for ads. Google then delivers ads to your website that it believes will be most profitable for you (and Google).

Google’s intuitive dashboard makes it easy to track earnings and ad performance.
(Source: Google.com/Adsense)

Google Certified Publishing Partners are the most prominent ad networks. This means that you must be in good standing with Google AdSense. AdSense is an excellent place to start if you are a beginner blogger. Bloggers often move to other networks when their traffic exceeds 10,000 pageviews per month.

AdSense’s biggest drawback is the fact that you won’t likely make much money. It’s still a great way for your audience to become used to seeing ads on your website as you increase your blog traffic.

Google AdSense at a Glance  
Minimum traffic: No, although you will need to submit a reasonable amount of content to be approved.
Acceptance is difficult Simple
Easy account setup Simple
Publisher dashboard: It’s easy to use and good looking
Customer support: Fair to the Poor
Potential income: Low
Limitations on payouts Minimum $100
Methods of payment EFT, wire transfer, Western Union Quick cash, Rapida, checks by post, EFT
Timing of payout: Each month, earnings are finalized and paid between 21 and 26 of the next month

Google AdSense Offers Income Potential

We compiled real-world examples from income reports of bloggers to give you an idea of how others make money with AdSense. These are just a few examples where bloggers have made money using Google AdSense.

  • The Money Ninja blog made $158 with 47,594 pageviews in a single month.
  • Evolving Table made $87.30 with 100,340 pageviews in one month using AdSense and an additional $191.48 via Gourmet Ads (an advertising network for food bloggers).
  • The She Dreams of Alpine blog made $20 in just one month from 762 sessions.
  • This Online World generated $166.17 with just over 20,000 page views per month.

Google offers a calculator on its site that helps you see how much you could earn for various niches and traffic volumes. (Source: Google AdSense)

3. Ezoic – Best Ad Network Bloggers with at Least 10,000 Monthly Pages Views but Less Than 50,000 Sessions

Ezoic recommends that your page views per month average 10,000. If you do not meet this threshold, admittance to their network is unlikely. Ezoic asks for original content and a track record that shows identifiable traffic. In other words, Ezoic wants you to know where your traffic comes from.

Ezoic has been certified as a Google Publishing Partner. To join Ezoic, you will need to follow Google Ad policies.

Ezoic’s ad network is easy to use. Ezoic’s support for publishers is outstanding. They offer 24/7 online support and you even get your own account manager. This is rare among low-traffic ad networks. You have full control over the location and number of ads that are placed on your website.

Ezoic features an easy-to-use dashboard and simple-to-understand monetization reports. (Source: Ezoic)

Ezoic is proud to offer a site speed accelerator that it claims can improve website speed, unlike some other networks with slow ad server that can slow down your site. Ezoic offers fast payouts for an ad network, with a Net 30-payout schedule. Ezoic also has a $20 payment threshold, which is lower than Google’s $100 requirement. Ezoic is not tied to MediaVine, which requires a commitment of 90 days. You can leave or join Ezoic at any time.

Ezoic at a Glance  
Minimum traffic: Minimum 10,000
Acceptance is difficult Medium
Easy account setup Simple
Publisher dashboard: Excellent, intuitive, and simple to use
Customer support: Excellent
Potential income: Bloggers with 10,000-25,000 page views per month are well served
Limitations on payouts $20
Methods of payment PayPal, check and direct bank transfer (Payoneer).
Timing of payout: 30 Day Net
Google Certified Publishing Partner Yes

Ezoic has the potential to generate income

Ezoic doesn’t release the exact formula for publisher payouts but it is well-known for producing earnings that are up to four times more than Adsense. Ezoic’s superior payouts can be attributed to its data-driven machine intelligence functionality, which optimizes ad types as well as ad placement on the site.

These are just a few examples from what Ezoic users report making with Ezoic.

  • Ezoic makes 95% of the Johnny Africa blog’s ad revenue. is an average $450 per month and has about 2500 pageviews per day.
  • From 13,454 pageviews in one month, The Mathers on the Map made $129
  • From 223,322 pageviews in one month, the Alluring Souls blog earned $1.304

Capital Matters did a head-to-head comparison of earnings results from AdSense and Google and found Ezoic was dramatically superior in terms of earnings per thousand visitors.
(Source: Capital Matters)

4. AdThrive – Best Ad Network for Those With 100,000+ Page Views per Month

AdThrive is a network that you should seriously consider joining if your blog receives more than 100,000 page views per month. AdThrive works in the same way as other ad networks. AdThrive manages all aspects of your site, including ad optimization, advertiser relationship management, and even ad optimization. AdThrive offers free video hosting and the AdThrive video player allows you to start making money from your website.

Blog owners who have blogs that generate a lot of traffic often think about working with advertisers to create custom ad contracts. AdThrive claims it can provide a 173% increase in revenue over self managed ads. You get paid regardless of whether the advertiser pays AdThrive (which isn’t always true when you sell your ads).

AdThrive requires that traffic come from the US at least 50% and that you are in good standing with AdSense as AdThrive has been certified by Google. Although it is easy to apply for Adthrive though, this premier network may be strict about reviewing your site’s content and quality.

 

Tip You will need a blog of high quality with excellent content to be admitted into the AdThrive network.

 

The AdThrive publisher dashboard makes it easy to track earnings and ad performance. (Source: AdThrive)

AdThrive publishers will earn a 75% ad revenue share. AdThrive keeps 25% for its services. This payout model is very similar with MediaVine’s, except that there are bonus incomes and higher traffic.

AdThrive is a network that works with many high-quality partners. This means that you can make more per thousand page views with AdThrive as opposed to MediaVine. Each blog is unique, so it’s worth running a test to determine which network best monetizes your site.

AdThrive At A Glance  
Minimum traffic: 100,000 page views per month
Acceptance is difficult It is not easy
Easy account setup Simple
Publisher dashboard: Excellent, easy to read and navigate
Customer support: Excellent
Potential income: High
Limitations on payouts $25 for all other methods, except wire transfer which requires a minimum of $100
Methods of payout ACH, echeck and PayPal. Paper check and wire transfer. Feels apply to wire transfers and paper checks.
Timing of payout: Net 45
Google Certified Publishing Partner Yes

Income Potential with AdThrive

AdThrive has a very high income potential. AdThrive’s payout is Net 45, compared to MediaVine’s Net 65. This means you get paid 20 times faster. Many MediaVine publishers switch to AdThrive after they reach AdThrive’s high traffic requirements.

These are just a few examples from blogs that have made money through the AdThrive network.

  • The Thrive/Strive blog earned $3,779 and had 435,2981 pageviews in a single month.
  • Kate Kordsmeier made $3,516 and had 137,925 pageviews in a single month.
  • From approximately 700,000 page visits in a single month, the SuzanRose.com blog earned $8.686
  • Living the Blog made $11,268 in just one month from more than 4 million sessions.

AdThrive has a simple three-step application process to join the ad network. (Source: AdThrive)

5. Media.net is the best alternative to Google AdSense on new and low-traffic blogs

All of the ad networks we have mentioned so far are Google Certified Publishing Partners. Media.net is not Google Certified Publishing Partners (GCPPs). This makes it an excellent alternative for anyone having problems with AdSense. You will need to use a non-GCPP network if you are ever banned from AdSense.

Media.net is a specialist in contextual ads from Yahoo!Bing. Display, video and native ads are also used by the network. These ads can be customized to your website’s look.

Contextual ads show ads that are related to your website’s content based on keywords used. A contextual ad might be displayed for products that help with stress relief if someone searches for “stress management” on Google.

 

Tip To increase traffic and increase your ad revenues, you must understand the proper use of keywords.

 

Although Yahoo-Bing’s network is smaller than Google, the quality of Yahoo-Bing’s ads is almost as good. Some even say that it is better.

Media.net does not require minimum traffic, but you will need to have a good website design and intuitive navigation. You also need to have several pages and posts on the site before applying for this ad network. It’s quick and easy to sign up and you will be notified about your acceptance in 48 hours.

Media.Net at a Glance  
Minimum traffic: None
Acceptance is difficult Simple
Easy account setup Simple
Publisher dashboard: Average
Customer support: It’s great that you get a dedicated account manger
Potential income: Google AdSense is comparable to Google AdSense, but slightly better
Limitations on payouts $100
Methods of payment PayPal and wire transfer
Timing of payout: 30 days net
Google Certified Publishing Partner No

Media.Net offers income potential

Media.net doesn’t disclose the exact payout structure, but many bloggers claim they get between $3 and $6 per thousand impressions via the network. This means that you might earn a little more or less than AdSense, but not nearly as much as AdThrive or MediaVine.

Because income reports from Media.net publishers are difficult to find, successful bloggers tend to increase their traffic quickly. They move to higher-paying networks such as MediaVine and AdThrive once they have accumulated more page views.

Here are some examples of bloggers who have used the Media.net network.

  • The Ladies Making Money blog made $621 in a quarter (page views unknown). After it reached the minimum of 25,000 sessions, Media.net switched to MediaVine.
  • The Simply Organized Home blog made $62.33 with 36,016 pageviews in one month. It also earned $91.33 AdSense from the same month. This is permissible since neither network has an exclusive policy.

With Media.net, you have access to all types of ads, including display, native, contextual, and video ads. (Source: Media.net)