Archive for Adventures in Working from Home

How I Make Extra Money Testing Websites

As a stay-at-home mom, I am always looking for ways to make money at home. Just because my husband brings home the bacon doesn’t mean I can’t help out; especially with the holidays right around the corner. But I have a new reason for wanting to make a few extra bucks. My best friend and I are obsessed with Outlander; the books and series on Starz. Our love for Jamie Fraser has inspired us to take a trip to Scotland to live out our fantasies (well… sort of). Of course, this trip through the standing stones won’t be cheap. So, I’ve decided to make a little extra money on the side to dedicate to this trip without adding a strain to my family’s finances. After many attempts to find a way to put a little more money in my dream vacation fund, without having to also pay for childcare, I think I have finally found my new favorite way to make money at home. The answer, testing websites!

What Does a Website Tester Do?

As a website tester, I simply visit websites and follow directions that are provided to me. I have to thoroughly explain my thoughts and actions while my voice and screen are recorded. Each test takes about twenty minutes and usually pays about $10 per test (Although, I once took a five-minute test which paid about $3).

Requirements

What I love about testing websites is that anyone can do it! The companies want everyday people testing their websites in order to gain insight and make the websites more user-friendly. All that is needed is:

A Computer

Internet Connection

A Quiet Space

How to Become a Website Tester

There are several different companies that pay website testers. All you need to do is sign up and download their voice recorders onto your computer. The tests are then posted onto your dashboard and available on a first come first serve basis. For this reason, I use two different sites, usertesting.com and trymyui.com, to increase the number of tests available.

And that’s it! Easy Peasy! Please let me know if you have used any other user testing sites in the comment section. I’d love to try them out myself!

Six Things to Consider Before Joining a Multi-Level Marketing Company

Plus your recruiter interview worksheet!

So, you are considering joining a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company. Maybe a friend told you about the opportunity, maybe you were at a party and thought, “Hey, why can’t I do this?” maybe you even read my post: The Truth about MLM: From Someone Who’s Not Trying to Recruit You. MLM’s can be a great side hustle, but before you jump in there are a few things to consider. It’s important to know what to expect before getting into any business; which is why I created a Free Recruiter Interview Worksheet to help you make an informed decision.

1. The Product

obviously working for an MLM (or Network Marketing as they are sometimes called) means that you will be selling some sort of product. Whether its jewelry, skincare, books, or healthcare products it should be something you really care about. Although the consultants usually say, “The products sell themselves!” The truth is if you’re selling jewelry and you don’t wear it regularly you may find it very difficult to sell the products. People can sense when your heart isn’t into it.

Some questions to ask about the product:

  • What is it?
  • Is it easy and convenient to use?
  • Is this a product I am passionate about and will use every day?
  • Can a potential client easily buy this from a store?
  • Why might a potential client prefer to purchase this particular product over a similar product at a retail store?
  • What is special about this product? (Does it help others? Is it vegan? Is it more ethical than similar products?)

2. The Company

Another thing to consider is the actual company. Some companies have been around for a long time. And for a good reason! It’s because they really do care about their products and their consultants. Now, this doesn’t mean that a good company doesn’t have consultants that fail. It means that they go out of their way to help you succeed. A good company has ethical business practices and a good reputation. You may even want to check with the Better Business Bureau.

Questions to Ask about the company?

  • What is their reputation like?
  • How will they help me succeed?
  • What kind of advertising do they allow?

3. The Initial Investment

Joining an MLM is similar to buying into a franchise. Just like a franchise, it requires an initial investment. In return, you are given access to the products, a website, and training to help you sell the products from your home. Unlike a franchise, the initial investment is usually fairly small. Many companies allow you to get started for under $100! However, often this advertised investment isn’t the true amount it costs to join. Buying inventory or paying extra fees for websites and other products you need to be successful need to be accounted for.

Questions to ask about your investment:

  • How much do I need to get started?
  • Am I required to buy inventory?
  • Are there other fees for websites or other products I need to get started?
  • How much do I need to sell in order to make back my initial investment?
  • Am I required to meet a sales quota? (Just a note here! Any requirement that involves placing a certain number of orders IS a sales quota.)

4. Making Money

Now we get to the part that I’m sure you are most interested in. Making money! That is the whole point of all this, isn’t it? This is important because it can affect how you sell your products. If the company sends you a commission check you may only be able to sell your products for the amount the company requires. This means that if you want to give a hostess discount (or a VIP/Friends and Family discount) you can only give discounts when the company approves it. However, if you pay the company the wholesale price of the product you have more control. For example, If you sell a lipstick for $20, you would have to give the company $10 (the wholesale price of the product) then you pocket the extra $10 as profit. This gives you the freedom to run your own specials and sell the product for less, should you choose.

Even more important than how YOU make money is how your up-line makes money. Usually, multi-level marketing works like this, for every amount that you make, your up-line makes a percentage of that. Now, a credible MLM company will pay your up-line out of the company’s pocket. If at any time YOU are required to give up your own money to pay someone else it is a scam.

Questions about making money:

  • How do I make money from my sales?
  • Are there other ways to make money in this company?
  • How much commission would I make?
  • How does my up-line make money?

 

5. Community

One of the best things about joining an MLM is that you don’t have to do it alone. As they say, “You’re in business for yourself but not by yourself.” So when you are deciding on embracing the business opportunity remember you will also be embracing a community too. For this reason, I recommend asking about training and area meetings that would be available to you as a consultant. Most recruiters will even allow you to attend a meeting before joining so you can see what it is like. This is a good opportunity to meet others involved in the company and ask them some questions about their success and how they feel about the work involved.

Questions about the community of consultants

  •  Does this area have success meetings or training?
  • How often do they take place?
  • Can I attend a meeting before making a decision to join?

 

6. Do You Have What it Takes?

Finally, and probably the most important consideration is something you need to ask yourself. Do you have what it takes? In order to be successful in MLM businesses you have to be passionate, borderline obsessive, about the products and you have to be persistent, or maybe even stubborn. And you definitely need a thick skin. Although many consultants like to say that the products sell themselves, the successful consultants will tell you that they had to hear a lot of, “No’s” before getting a “yes.”

 

One Last Thing

Remember this is YOUR business. If you don’t feel passionate about a particular product line or you don’t feel a certain company is right for you, don’t be afraid to say no. It is perfectly acceptable to shop around for your ideal MLM company.

The Truth about MLM

From Someone Who’s Not Trying to Recruit You

My guess is, if you clicked on this blog post you have been approached by someone trying to recruit you and you are considering joining. If this is true for you then this may be worth reading.

Every time I log into Facebook anymore it seems like someone is trying to sell me something. There are so many people involved in various multi-level marketing (MLM) companies that it’s hard to avoid them. Some people may think these independent distributors are suckers, but the truth is, they’re just trying to help out their families. Everyone is looking for a side-hustle these days and MLM companies make it easy to get started.

Although I am no longer involved in MLM I have actually been a part of two different companies. Yes, I am a two-time MLM failure and I’m still not willing to call it a scam! The First time I became an independent distributor it was for a company that sold jewelry. I will be honest with you. I was nineteen at the time and I thought of it as more of a job than a business. My up-line may have taken advantage of this just to get a new recruit. The second time I joined, I was the one who sought out a company to be a part of. Unfortunately, when I was looking for information about MLM all I could find were posts from people who had failed at MLM (they usually said it was a scam and to stay FAR AWAY!) and post from people currently involved with MLM who were looking for new clients or team members (obviously they only had great things to say about it). This was hardly helpful. For this reason, I would like to tell you my, only slightly biased, review of the multi-level marketing business opportunity!

“Unfortunately, when I was looking for information about MLM all I could find were posts from people who had failed at MLM.”

Why I Joined

For the purposes of this post, I am going to focus on my most recent experience in MLM. I was involved with a company that sold makeup and skin care products. My family and I had just moved from New Jersey to Texas. Since it was such a big move I did not feel comfortable putting our 4-month-old daughter in daycare right away so I could return to work. So, I decided to look into working from home. Multi-level Marketing seemed like a good way to do that.

Other than just making a little money from home I had a few other reasons for joining. First of all, I wanted to meet new people. Being a stay-at-home mom so far away from everyone you know, can be very isolating. I thought even if I don’t actually make any money I could probably get products I already use for much cheaper and at least save us money. Finally, I was interested in someday starting my own business. This seemed like a good way to learn about running a business without a huge investment or returning to school.

What I learned

First things first, no matter what company you get involved with it IS a business! And just like many small businesses most of them fail. So be sure to remember that when people try to talk you out of it or tell you it’s just a get rich quick scheme.

Because it is a business you really do need to treat it as such. That means doing things you may not want to do, consistently. It also means managing your finances like a business too. One of the best things I learned from this experience was how to use the money I was bringing to invest in my business without going broke.

The most important thing I learned is to never take business advice from someone who will benefit from you taking it. When you are a part of an MLM the person who recruited you is part of your up-line (various companies will call it different things, sponsor, director, etc.). The good news is that they want to help you succeed. When you succeed, your up-line is rewarded; so they can be a great asset. The problem is that sometimes they can encourage you to make certain decisions because they know that they will be rewarded if you do.

For example, my up-line was very happy with me. A few months after I started out I was making a profit. I had consistent clients and was mostly making sales online. Honestly, it was turning out to be a pretty good drop-shipping endeavor. Unfortunately, the more orders I placed, the more money my up-line made. So, for months she had been encouraging me to purchase a large amount of inventory. I decided from the start that I would not buy inventory because most of my sales were purchased online and delivered directly from the company to my clients. It just didn’t make sense for me to have a lot of inventory. My up-line insisted that buying inventory would motivate me to move more product and gain more local clients. After some time I finally caved and this was the downfall of my business.

For the record, I do not blame my up-line for MY decision to buy inventory. I really do believe that she believed she was helping me… and also herself.

Now, I am going to contradict myself here. You really SHOULD listen to your up-line. Especially if they are doing well within the company. Their experience could really benefit you. But before you take their advice be sure to get opinions from others who won’t directly benefit from it. And of course, always trust your gut.

So, if you are looking for a truthful opinion about these multi-level marketing companies, here is mine. No, it’s not a scam. Yes, it IS a business. Your success depends on you; your reason for joining, your management, and your decisions. And remember whether it is a success or failure it is a learning experience!

There you have it, an actual, only slightly biased review of multi-level marketing. If you liked this post be sure to follow my blog. And check out part two of this post: Six Things to Consider Before Joining a Multi-Level Marketing Company.