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How This 45-Year-Old Sold 2 Sites for Mid Six-Figures Thanks to SEO and Email Marketing

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How This 45-Year-Old Sold 2 Sites for Mid Six-Figures Thanks to SEO and Email Marketing

She started off with a homeschool e-commerce store, followed by a blog to drive traffic to her store. Much to her surprise and delight, her blog income quickly surpassed her e-commerce income.

Carrie went on to create two more sites from scratch: one to sell homeschool bundles and one to sell homeschool resources that she created and self-published, called Daily Skill Building .

Last year, she also took over the blog of a late friend of hers in the healthy eating and living space called My Big Fat Grain Free Life.

Along the way, she used unique approaches to grow her traffic and increase her revenue, and she perfected the art of email marketing, nurturing a very lucrative list to 200k subscribers.

Carrie sold 3 of her sites, 2 of them for mid-six figures each. She has developed a passion for flipping businesses and, over the last 20 years as an entrepreneur, she has gained a wealth of knowledge.

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Keep reading to find out:

  • What type of e-commerce store she originally opened
  • How she grew her homeschool blog
  • How she grew her bundles website
  • How she created her store with her own homeschool resources
  • How she has progressed with her healthy living and recipe site
  • What happened when she sold her first e-commerce site
  • How the sales of her bundle site and homeschool blog went
  • Her main marketing strategies
  • Her thoughts on SEO
  • Her approach to keyword research and link building
  • How she creates content
  • How she grows her email lists
  • The resources and tools she uses in her business
  • Her main challenge
  • Her greatest accomplishment
  • Her biggest mistake
  • Her advice for other entrepreneurs

Meet Carrie Fernandez

In 2004, I made the decision to leave behind my corporate life after years of working in the real world since the age of 14. My motivation for this change was to care for our toddler while helping my husband with his web design and programming business. 

During this time, I took on the challenge of learning how to design websites and all the related skills to assist him, which unexpectedly sparked my interest in starting an online business.

With a strong background in retail management and a genuine passion for that type of work, I ventured into the world of e-commerce in 2009. 

This marked the beginning of my journey as an entrepreneur, creating opportunities to combine my skills and interests into a thriving online venture.

Why She Created Her Sites

Armed with my newly acquired web design skills, I set up an e-commerce store in 2009 where I offered homeschool curriculum as a dropshipper.

I created an e-commerce store for homeschooling curriculum because it provided me with the opportunity to purchase curriculum at a discounted rate through a distributor. As a homeschooling mom myself, this was quite advantageous. 

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Initially, I had no expectations of profitability; my primary goal was simply to establish an online presence in order to become a retailer.

At that time, there existed a prominent distributor who allowed me to purchase products at wholesale prices and handle direct shipping to my customers. Regrettably, this distributor has since ceased its operations.

This all led me to create a blog specifically focused on the homeschooling community in 2011. This blog served as a powerful marketing tool for my curriculum store.

To my surprise and delight, within just two years, the income generated from my blog surpassed that of my e-commerce store. Pinterest was my #1 traffic source during this period. 

My First E-commerce Store: 2009-2013

In order to obtain discounted curriculum for my own personal use, I established my first e-commerce store and secured a wholesale account with a large distributor. To my surprise, this e-commerce store turned out to be profitable!

Despite having no marketing budget, I employed creative strategies such as giveaways and leveraging social media platforms to promote my store. My primary focus was on expanding my newsletter subscriber base and nurturing those relationships with customers. 

In 2011, I made the decision to launch a homeschool blog solely for the purpose of marketing my curriculum store.

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The success of my e-commerce store can largely be attributed to offering lower prices compared to competitors. 

However, this came at the expense of thin profit margins due to the manual processing required for each order. It became evident that I found greater fulfillment in investing time into my blog instead.

My Homeschool Blog: 2011-2023

When I first started my homeschool blog, it was initially intended as a marketing tool for my e-commerce site. I would write reviews of the curriculum that I sold and host giveaways to grow my newsletter list. 

As someone who had experience with various homeschool publishers through my e-commerce store, I decided to collaborate with them to offer reviews and giveaways on my blog. 

It was during this time that I came up with the idea of providing exclusive sponsored freebies to my subscribers, which I sourced through my connections in the homeschool industry. At that point, my subscriber list had grown to 200,000! 

At that point in time, as I hadn’t started creating my own products yet, but I collaborated with other publishers and bloggers who did. 

For a fee, I would provide their resources to my subscribers for free, but only for a brief period of time, never exceeding a week. It was made clear to the subscribers that by opting in for the free download, they would be added to both the sponsor’s list and mine if they weren’t already subscribed. 

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This proved to be highly beneficial for my sponsors as it resulted in up to 10,000 people opting in for the free offer and expanding their subscriber base. For me, it served as an effective method of driving traffic and increasing ad earnings.

At its peak, my homeschool blog had a team of eight writers. It evolved into a platform similar to a daily deals site for homeschoolers where we shared freebies, giveaways, and special offers related to homeschooling. 

Initially, our main source of traffic was Pinterest as it sent us most of our visitors. However, when Pinterest made changes that caused many bloggers to lose a significant portion of their traffic overnight, including myself, I realized the importance of learning about SEO. 

From that point onwards (mid-2021), I made it my mission to learn SEO strategies and became completely absorbed in mastering them.

I switched to an SEO focus in July of 2021, at which time my homeschool blog was indexed for around 35,000 keywords. By spring of 2023, my homeschool blog was indexed for over 115,000 keywords.

How This 45 Year Old Sold 2 Sites for Mid Six Figures Thanks
1708997164 208 How This 45 Year Old Sold 2 Sites for Mid Six Figures Thanks1708997164 208 How This 45 Year Old Sold 2 Sites for Mid Six Figures Thanks

Build Your Bundle: 2014-2018

In 2014, I decided it was time to start another business in the homeschool space, and Build Your Bundle was born. This was during a time when bundle sales were very popular for customers and profitable for business owners. 

There was only one homeschool bundle sale at the time and they wouldn’t allow me to participate as an affiliate because I wasn’t a part of their network, so this was my response to them.

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To create a unique offering in the homeschool market, I developed Build Your Bundle with a different approach compared to other bundle sales. 

Recognizing that homeschooling is a distinct niche, I wanted to provide customers with more flexibility and choice. With Build Your Bundle, individuals could hand-pick the resources they want included in their personalized bundle.

Daily Skill Building 2019-Current

In 2018, I introduced my first product on my homeschool blog and continued to develop and self-publish additional resources.

With the goal of eventually selling my homeschool blog, I made the decision to move my shop from the blog onto its own dedicated website, an e-commerce store. This led to the establishment of Daily Skill Building in 2019.

How This 45 Year Old Sold 2 Sites for Mid Six Figures ThanksHow This 45 Year Old Sold 2 Sites for Mid Six Figures Thanks

At that time, my primary method of marketing was through my homeschool blog, which received between 300,000-500,000 monthly page views, depending on the season. 

Additionally, I had built a large newsletter list consisting of homeschooling families, providing me with a significant audience for marketing purposes.

Fast forward to today, we now offer over 100 different resources that we self-publish. The majority of our products are available in digital format only; however, we do have nine titles that are also available in print.

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My Big Fat Grain Free Life 2023-Current

In April 2023, I had the opportunity to take over my late friend Jen’s blog, My Big Fat Grain Free Life. Previously a personal project for Jen to share recipes and life updates with loved ones, I saw potential in transforming it into something more. 

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With a focus on SEO, my goal was to make the blog a valuable resource in the realm of healthy living through nutritious foods.

Upon taking over, the blog had 2,000 monthly sessions but required significant updates and improvements. 

To start, I saved the entire site in PDF format as a keepsake for Jen’s family. Then, I conducted a thorough site audit and removed any personal stories that did not rank for keywords or have backlinks. 

In order to track progress effectively, I created a spreadsheet that documented each URL’s indexed keywords, backlinks, and best keyword positions. Posts without backlinks or indexed keywords were deleted while recipes were saved for future use.

With the blog now cleaned up and streamlined, I focused on the design and page speed and changed the logo and theme. Since April 2023, I have updated 57 posts and published an additional 125 new ones.

Much to my delight, just nine months after taking over the blog, its monthly sessions went from 2,000 to over 60,000! 

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I applied to Mediavine and went live with ads in February.

Timeline of events:

  • In 2009, I started my first online company. It was an e-commerce drop-shipping company selling homeschool curricula.
  • In 2011, I started my homeschool blog. Within two years it exceeded the income of my e-commerce site.
  • In 2013, I sold my e-commerce site.
  • In 2014, I started Build Your Bundle with a business partner. This company was a once-per-year, week-long bundle sale in the homeschool space.
  • In 2018, we sold Build Your Bundle.
  • In 2019, I started Daily Skill Building and moved the products off my homeschool blog. This site grew fast and was catching up to the income I made from my homeschool blog.
  • In April of 2023, I acquired my deceased friend’s food blog from her husband (My Big Fat Grain Free Life) which had been sitting for several years.
  • In July of 2023, I sold my homeschool blog.

When it comes to working on my sites, I work Monday to Friday for about 6 to 8 hours a day.

Selling My First E-commerce Store (2013)

In 2013, I made the decision to sell my ecommerce store, which was generating a profit of around $40,000 per year. The reason behind this choice was that the business lacked automated order processing and every order had to be manually handled. 

It required a significant amount of effort, especially considering our low profit margins ranging from 5-7%. To alleviate some of the workload, I hired a homeschool mom friend to process the orders. 

However, due to the low profit margins, it became more burdensome than it was worth, especially when compared to the higher earnings from my homeschool blog, which required less effort.

Eventually, I sold the ecommerce store for $150,000 to another company within the homeschool industry. Looking back, there were a couple of mistakes I made during this process. 

The first mistake I made was not using a broker to handle the sale. Secondly, we allowed owner financing. We received a deposit of $40,000 and agreed on monthly installments of $3,055 for three years to complete the payment. 

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Unfortunately, things took an unfortunate turn when the purchasing company not only defrauded our wholesaler by almost $30,000, but also stopped making their monthly payments altogether. This left us with an outstanding balance of $50,000.

To assess our options and potential recourse in this situation, we sought legal advice and had an assets check performed on the new owners of our company. 

It turned out that they were heavily in debt and had no means of repayment or assets that could be recovered. Consequently, we had no choice but to write off this loss and move forward.

Selling Build Your Bundle (2018)

Build Your Bundle was established as an exclusive annual sale, available for just one week. Crafting this event to maximize profitability within that limited timeframe was an immense undertaking, requiring our dedicated team of six to invest approximately six months of the year working on it. 

The magnitude and stress associated with operating a website with such a short sales window took a toll on my personal health.

However, despite the challenges, Build Your Bundle proved to be highly profitable. Keep in mind that all revenue was generated during the single week of our sale.

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In our first year, we made a net profit of $45,290; in the second year, it rose to $109,689; in the third year, it reached $123,717; and in our final year, we achieved a profit of $148,100.

Having learned from the disaster we faced during our first sale, we decided to enlist the services of Quiet Light Brokerage to handle the sale of Build Your Bundle. This process was thorough and involved expert guidance every step of the way. 

Chuck Mullins served as our dedicated representative and did an exceptional job. As far as I know, he is still with the company, and I highly recommend his services. 

Quiet Light Brokerage provided a concierge-like experience throughout the entire process and even participated in calls alongside us when engaging with potential buyers.

Ultimately, after approximately one month on the market, we successfully sold the website for a substantial six-figure sum. Specific details are subject to contractual confidentiality.

Selling the Homeschool Blog (2023)

My blog generated a diverse range of income streams. One of my main sources was through the sale of dedicated eblasts to my large subscriber list, which ranged from 150,000 to 200,000 subscribers. 

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Each send of these eblasts made $3,000! 

Additionally, I sold banner ads, reviews, sponsored posts, giveaways, and social media marketing to further monetize my blog.

I booked sponsored eblasts on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the frequency varied based on the season. Homeschooling has quite a bit of seasonality. 

Sponsors would provide the HTML content for their campaign, and I added a disclaimer to the top and bottom of the emails.  

Initially, I partnered with AdThrive (now Raptive), but after a few years, I transitioned to Mediavine and experienced increased RPMs.

The last five years of owning my blog, I earned an average monthly income of $18,000. This revenue breakdown is as follows:

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  • Advertising packages: 35% (combination of sponsored posts, dedicated eblasts, web banners, reviews, etc.)
  • Dedicated eblasts: 31%
  • Ad earnings: 25%
  • Affiliate income: 5%
  • Website banners: 2%
  • Miscellaneous: 2% (social media marketing, sponsored posts, giveaways, sponsored freebies, etc).

I decided to sell the blog at the beginning of the year in 2023 and started the process of preparing the site for a new owner. 

This time I used Motion Invest, since I was such a fan of Spencer’s, and he recommended it. It was a much different process than using Quiet Light, and I was a bit surprised at the lack of involvement from them. 

I will admit, it was a much easier process to get listed, and since I had sold two sites previously, I wasn’t very concerned about doing the negotiations on my own.

In less than 30 days I had found the perfect buyer! My homeschool blog sold for mid-six-figures.

Right now I’m working on my new-to-me food/healthy living blog, My Big Fat Grain Free Life, and my homeschool curriculum publishing company, Daily Skill Building.

At the time of writing this, my food blog gets around 60k monthly sessions. I haven’t focused much on SEO for Daily Skill Building, mostly because I haven’t quite figured out how to nail SEO for product descriptions yet. 

My blog posts on that site rank well though!

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Her Top Marketing Strategies

My number one marketing strategy is my list! 

Newsletter lists can be very lucrative, and building relationships with your subscribers is key. 

I currently have around 20,000 subscribers for Daily Skill Building and just under 1,000 for My Big Fat Grain Free Life, for which the list is about 6 months old. I also utilize Facebook ads for Daily Skill Building.

As for my success with my other lists, I made it a point to send emails to my subscribers every Monday and Wednesday, featuring free homeschool resources. 

In each email, I would share a personal story or message at the beginning, creating a sense of connection and relatability. 

I also encouraged my subscribers to engage with me by inviting them to reply with any questions they had. By doing so, my subscribers felt like they knew me on a personal level.

To further encourage engagement, I offered monthly rewards based on engagement. Those who remained actively engaged throughout the month by opening emails and clicking links were eligible to receive an exclusive freebie. 

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To streamline the process, I used automation to tag and identify engaged subscribers easily.

Her Thoughts on SEO

I have focused 100% on SEO for My Big Fat Grain Free Life. I write about what interests me, but I heavily research the keywords before writing. 

I use the RankIQ keyword library for low-competition, high-volume keywords and do my own research to find keywords that I want to write about. 

I tend to also fly by the seat of my pants, so if I get in the mood to write a specific type of post, I may veer off my content calendar and just go for it.

Keyword Research

I start out by searching the term I’m interested in and looking at the domain authority of the blog posts that show up on page one of the SERPs. 

If the DAs are in range of mine, or there is at least one lower-range DA in the results, I grab the URL of the top-ranking, non-sponsored post and analyze it using Ahrefs.

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I glance through the keywords and look at the traffic it’s bringing in. If the keyword difficulty score is in the green and there is good enough traffic potential, I then look at the comprehensiveness of the top ten posts in the SERPs to see if I can write something better or from a different angle. 

If I would only be regurgitating all the exact same info as the other posts that already rank, I skip it and move on.

If I determine that information is lacking for the posts that show up in the SERPs, I run a report in RankIQ for my chosen keyword.

It’s important to note that the Ahrefs keyword difficulty score is not a metric that I really trust; instead, I rely on what RankIQ tells me. 

If I run the report and the difficulty score is out of my range, I do not proceed. If the RankIQ report shows acceptable keyword difficulty, I begin the next step, which is outlining the post for the target keyword.

Link Building

I have never spent time or money on acquiring backlinks, I’ve just let them happen naturally, but I am huge on internal linking! 

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As I’m writing posts or approving pending posts from an author, I add links into the content naturally. 

Before I sold my homeschool blog, there were several thousand posts, so Link Whisper was helpful with that. I still use Link Whisper for my food blog, but I don’t have to rely on it as much since I know my content.

Another thing I do is make sure that all new posts have at least one internal link going to them, but usually a few, right after being published. 

I keep a spreadsheet of all my new and updated posts and include the target keyword for each. After I publish a new post, I open the spreadsheet and glance at my list and pick the ones that are good to include a link to my newest post. 

I use a plugin to prevent the date from updating when I add links, so Google doesn’t see it as an updated post.

Carrie’s Content Creation Process

Each month I plan my content for the next month and use Trello to assign posts to authors. Trello includes the blog post title, RankIQ keyword, and an outline of all the headings. 

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My authors know how to format the post properly and use RankIQ. They save completed posts as pending and then I go in and read, tweak, and add internal links

I currently have about 250 articles on My Big Fat Grain Free Life. Half of those are new posts I have published since taking over the site, 57 have been updated, and the rest are still in need of an update or redirection.

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Her Email List

I am huge on newsletter list building! It was the bread and butter of my homeschool blog, bringing in an average annual income of $126,775 for the last 5 years I owned it. 

I grew that list to over 200,000 and even kept it heavily pruned, using automation to remove unengaged subscribers. 

My homeschool blog was built around freebies, and we had a subscriber library with hundreds of free downloads. This was a key factor in building the list. 

In the early days, it happened through giveaways and sponsored subscriber freebies before we started creating our own products.

My food blog’s newsletter list is growing much slower because my main focus has been pumping out content. 

I have a few free opt-ins that have gained me just under 1,000 subscribers so far, and I have plans to create a free library like what I had on my homeschool blog, since it was so successful. 

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It’s just that this space is quite a bit different than homeschooling, so I have to get creative.

Her Favorite Resources and Tools

The first SEO course I took was Adventures in SEO by Lena Gott. She teaches SEO in a way that those who have limited chunks of time can easily manage the course. I learned a lot about SEO through this course but didn’t stop there! 

I follow Brandon Gaille, The Blogging Millionaire, and listen to all his podcasts. I use his tool RankIQ and trust what he says. 

I also listen to Spencer and Jared with Niche Pursuits (love those guys!) and keep an eye on what Mike says at SSEO. I also enjoy listening to Shane and Jocelyn at Flipped Lifestyle.

The main tools I use to run my business are RankIQ, Ahrefs, and Trello.

Her Biggest Challenge

One of the most difficult things for me is when I must rein in my new business ideas

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I have often found myself spread too thin between multiple projects, which is usually when I decide to sell something. 

Over the years, I have had a team of up to 8, but I still struggle with delegating the big things, like content planning and keyword research, which take up a lot of my time. 

I tend to be of the mindset that nobody can do it better than me, so I just do it myself. That has hindered me from growing faster.

Her Greatest Accomplishment

Flipping businesses has been a huge accomplishment for me. 

Watching your idea come to fruition and become successful is a huge accomplishment, and it’s extremely rewarding when you sell something you thought up for mid-six-figures.

What She Wishes She Knew When She Started

I wish so much I would have learned SEO in the beginning instead of depending on Pinterest for traffic. 

I have zero doubt my homeschool blog would have been so much more profitable had we done things right from the beginning.

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Her Main Mistake

The biggest mistake I have made was selling my first company with owner financing. I will never sell a business and take payments again.

Her Advice for Other Entrepreneurs

The best advice I can give is to start out doing things the right way. Learn everything you can about SEO and apply the best practices from the start. 

Be patient and learn from professionals who have a proven track record of success, like Spencer Haws from Niche Pursuits and Brandon Gaille with The Blogging Millionaire.



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16 Passive Income Side Gigs To Make More Money in 2024

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16 Passive Income Side Gigs To Make More Money in 2024

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In a recent article, Ramit Sethi shared his top 16 passive income ideas if you want to earn more money in 2024. These ideas range from investing in the stock market or real estate to starting a podcast.

Read More: How I Make $5,000 a Month in Passive Income Doing Just 10 Hours of Work a Year
Check Out: 6 Unusual Ways To Make Extra Money (That Actually Work)

If you’re looking for ways to boost your income this year, here’s what Sethi suggested — in no particular order — and how to make them work for you.

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Ridofranz / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Write and Publish eBooks

Writing a successful eBook requires knowing and understanding your audience and what they need.

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Some audiences might look for how-to guides or self-help books, while others simply want a good story. Whatever the case may be, knowing is the first step to making this a lucrative side gig for you.

It’s also important to be knowledgeable about the topic or niche you’re writing about. That way, you can become an expert and build your own brand, thus increasing your reach and sales.

You can publish eBooks on platforms like Amazon.

For You: 30 Best Games That Pay Real Money in 2024
Trending Now: 26 Ways To Make $1,000 Fast — In a Week or Less

Sponsored: Owe the IRS $10K or more? Schedule a FREE consultation to see if you qualify for tax relief.

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blackCAT / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Creating Online Courses

If you’re skilled in a specific niche, you could create and sell courses related to it online. You’ll need to understand your audience and what they want. It also helps to be skilled at marketing and social media.

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Sethi suggested creating a “learning journey,” which starts your audience on the path from complete novice to becoming experts themselves. Over time, yours could become the go-to course for people all over the world.

Try This: 10 Proven Ways To Get Paid for Amazon Reviews in 2023

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mixetto / Getty Images

Create Exclusive Membership Sites or Content Communities

For this one, you’ll need to create a platform or online presence where you can reach and connect with your ideal audience. From there, you can start building members-only sites that individuals must pay a small fee to access.

They get exclusive content, while you earn extra cash. Resources or information on those exclusive sites could include videos, forums, eBooks, and more.

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FabrikaCr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Start a Podcast

Do you have a great voice and something worth talking about? If so, you might want to start a podcast.

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With a podcast, you can generate income through speaking and sharing what you know with your audience. To become successful takes time and a lot of commitment. You’ll need to regularly come up with episode ideas, record them, edit them and promote them.

But once you’re off the ground, you can build a loyal fanbase and make reliable income. You can increase your earnings potential by adding exclusive content to sell to your premium followers, as well as via advertisements and sponsorships.

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AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing entails recommending products you believe in to your audience. You can do this in many different ways, such as through blogs, videos or social media platforms. Every time someone in your audience uses your referral link to buy a product, you’ll receive a commission.

Be authentic when using affiliate marketing, though. Make sure your audience knows about your partnerships and only recommend products you personally stand behind.

By doing this, you can build even more trust with your audience, while establishing a lucrative system for affiliate marketing.

Explore More: Get Paid To Listen to Music: 10 Proven Ways

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Sell Stock Videos and Photos

If you enjoy taking photos or making videos, then consider selling your creations on platforms like Adobe Stock and Shutterstock.

The competition can be tough, especially at first, so be persistent and only put out the highest quality of goods. Try to make everything a little bit your own, a little unique, so that it stands out.

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Nattakorn Maneerat / Getty Images

Low-Yield Savings Accounts

A traditional savings account, or low-yield savings account, is a low-risk way of growing your money. It’s slow, yes, but steady. And if you contribute regularly to your account, you can boost your savings more quickly over time.

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pressureUA / Getty Images

Make a YouTube Channel

Creating a YouTube channel is another way to general passive income. It takes a lot of time and persistence to get started, but it can be worth it in the end.

Start by deciding which niche, field, or topics you want to film or stream and stick with them. You can earn money from advertisements, affiliate marketing and sponsorships.

Discover More: 7 Creative Sources of Passive Income To Consider in 2024

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Dropshipping

Dropshipping involves selling goods you don’t currently have. You can do it through an online platform or store, like Etsy.

Every time a customer buys something you’re selling, their order goes to a third-party supplier that makes that item and ships it to them. All you need to do is maintain your online shop and market the products.

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mtlapcevic / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Rent Out Your Things

If you have a lot of useful items that you don’t often use, such as power tools or bicycles, you can rent them out to others for a price. You can do this on platforms like PeerRenters or Fat Llama.

To get started, you’ll need to determine the price and list your item so others can find it.

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sommart / iStock.com

Use High-Yield Savings Accounts or CDs

High-yield savings accounts (HYSAs) are savings accounts with a higher than usual yield, or rate of return. As with traditional savings accounts, you can access your money at any time. The more you contribute to the account and the longer it remains there, the more money it can generate.

Certificates of deposits (CDs) are similar to HYSAs, but they often have an even higher yield. The trade-off is that your cash is wrapped up in the account until the CD matures, or the term is up.

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Both options are low-risk and can help you build small amounts of passive side income.

Read Next: 10 Ways To Double Your Income With ChatGPT

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natrot / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Invest in Dividend Stocks

Investing in dividend stocks is riskier than HYSAs or CDs, but it can also have greater returns. With these, you buy shares of a specific company and receive a portion of that company’s earnings at regular intervals.

Choose companies with a good track record of dividend payouts and growth potential. Diversify your investments to minimize risk, too.

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gopixa / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Get Into Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

If you don’t want to purchase property yourself, you can still invest in REITs and generate passive income that way.

REITs let you invest in real estate without having to manage your properties yourself. They still generate income in the form of regular dividend payments, but they’re more liquid than buying property.

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Use Money Market Accounts

A money market account is similar to a savings account, but it generally has a higher interest rate. In exchange, you may have to maintain a higher minimum balance or face more withdrawal limits or restrictions.

The good news is that these accounts are very low risk, making them a good option for building small amounts of passive income.

Discover More: I’m a Financial Advisor: These 5 Index Funds Are All You Really Need

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Purchase Bonds and Bond Index Funds

You can also generate money in the form of bonds and bond index funds.

A bond is essentially a loan that you give to a corporation or the government. In return, you receive steady interest payments.

With a bond index fund, you essentially give investors a set amount of cash that they use to invest in different bonds. These funds offer you more portfolio diversification and can reduce the overall risk.

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Since bonds are generally less volatile than, say, stocks, they’re a good option for more conservative investors looking to earn money passively.

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monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Buy Real Estate

If you don’t mind the process of buying, maintaining, and selling or renting out property, you can always get into real estate investing. You can flip homes or rent out buildings for a profit.

Do your due diligence before getting into real estate, though. Research different areas, current market trends, interest rates (unless you’re buying in cash) and property types to ensure you’re getting the best return on your investment.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Ramit Sethi: 16 Passive Income Side Gigs To Make More Money in 2024

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The 11+ Best Generative AI Tools To Help Improve Your Workflow in 2024

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The 11+ Best Generative AI Tools To Help Improve Your Workflow in 2024

Looking for the best generative AI tools? 

You’re not alone. Professionals everywhere are eager to tap into the potential of generative AI, recognizing its ability to streamline workflows, spark creativity, and boost productivity.

In this post, we’ll look at the 10 best generative AI tools available, exploring their features, capabilities, and how they can change your workflow forever.

Let’s dive in:

Let’s start with the general-use AI tools!

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1. ChatGPT

chatgpt-best-generative-ai-tools

ChatGPT is the most popular all-in-one generative AI tool on the market. Designed by OpenAI, the high-tech chatbot can understand and generate human-like responses on various topics.

From writing and coding to solving math problems and giving relationship advice, ChatGPT has you covered on all fronts. It’s trained on over 570 GB of data (still expanding); it only needs one prompt to give you an in-depth, thorough answer.

One of ChatGPT’s greatest abilities is that it can remember past interactions. This allows it to give more refined responses by learning from your previous queries. You can also train the chatbot to adapt its style or tone according to your preferences. 

With the launch of GPT-4, the chatbot gained new features like AI image generation, access to the internet, and third-party plugins. All of this is available in the paid ChatGPT Plus plan, which currently costs $20 USD per month.

Key Features

  • Condense lengthy text into digestible summaries 
  • Debug code and auto-fix complex errors 
  • Eliminate language barriers with accurate text translation
  • Swiftly solve math problems of varying complexities

Pricing

ChatGPT is free to use. You can upgrade to ChatGPT Plus for $20 per month to access the newer GPT-4 model and other cool features.


2. Gemini

gemini-google-chatbotgemini-google-chatbot

Gemini, formerly known as Bard, is a progressive generative AI tool built by Google. 

Perhaps the most notable highlight of the chatbot is its access to the Google search engine. This allows it to read websites in real-time and extract up-to-date information.

Gemini can also interpret YouTube videos, provide location-based suggestions, and understand voice commands.

Unlike ChatGPT, the free version of Gemini can generate AI images and browse the internet. It also has a bunch of new options like response modification and easy sharing for collaboration.

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Gemini is already showing promising results amongst other generative AI models, and its capabilities will only increase in the near future.

Key Features

  • Choose from 40+ languages to interact with Gemini
  • Use both text + images for more comprehensive results
  • Conduct real-time web analysis via Google Search
  • Write and debug code across various programming languages

Pricing

Gemini is free to use. You can also purchase Gemini Advanced for $20 per month to access their 1.0 Ultra model, along with 2TB of storage and various extensions.


3. DALL-E

dalle-chatgpt-image-generative-toolsdalle-chatgpt-image-generative-tools

DALL-E is an advanced generative AI model capable of producing images from textual descriptions.

Developed by OpenAI, the tool can create stunning visuals in various styles. Some of its best use cases include generating logos, illustrations, thumbnails, or even posters for marketing.

DALL-E can also repaint over existing pictures or create variations of artwork in multiple styles within minutes.

Currently, DALL-E is exclusive to ChatGPT’s paid version. And despite some limitations, it remains a valuable tool for crafting illustrations and marketing artwork.

Key Features

  • Generating hyper-realistic images in various styles
  • Place text or titles on AI-generated images
  • Design infographics, comics, or logos
  • Fine-tune outputs with basic commands

Pricing

DALL-E is only available as a part of ChatGPT Plus, which costs $20 per month.


Best Generative AI Tools for Content & Coding

Creators have lots of options here.

4. Jasper 

jasper-ai-writing-assistantjasper-ai-writing-assistant

Jasper is a revolutionary AI co-pilot that automates and simplifies content generation. It has a library of 50+ templates for creative tasks like blogging, text summarizing, and copywriting.

One of the many strengths of Jasper is its refined outputs and personalization. Unlike traditional machine learning models, Jasper can produce extremely convincing captions and content—something that has proven to boost conversions and results for marketers.

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Its intuitive interface allows users to tweak various parameters such as tone, style, and more. Additionally, businesses can preserve their unique brand voice to generate consistent ad copy with every command.

With recent updates, Jasper has shifted into an AI-powered project management and team collaboration tool—making it a must-have for content strategists and brand managers.

Key Features

  • Create visually appealing images with AI art generation
  • Engage in conversations with an integrated chat feature
  • Find templates for product descriptions, social captions, and more
  • Access Jasper’s features while writing emails via its Chrome extension

Pricing

Jasper is available in a variety of affordable plans:

  • Creator: $49 per month (single seat)
  • Pro: $69 per month (single seat)
  • Business: Requires a quotation

You can try out both the Creator and Pro plans with a 7-day free trial and save 20% on yearly billing.

Want to learn more about Jasper? Check out our full Jasper AI Review: Is It Still The Best AI Writing Assistant?


5. Koala

koala-writer-chatbot-seokoala-writer-chatbot-seo

Koala is one of the best generative AI tools in the market for SEO content creation. 

Powered by GPT-4, the tool lets you create ready-to-publish long-form content within minutes. It conducts real-time SERP analysis to evaluate competitors, find the right keywords, and use them to write fully optimized blogs and articles.

To publish this content, you can connect Koala to your WordPress site for one-click uploads. Website owners can choose from 7 writing styles and 4 POVs, and edit H2/H3 subheadings for more fine-tuned outputs.

If you want to dominate your niche with stellar articles, Koala is the perfect platform to generate informative and SEO-optimized long-form content on a budget.

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Key Features

  • Performs real-time SERP analysis for keyword optimization
  • Choose from 7 writing styles and 4 POVs for human-like readability
  • Automatically adds AI images, YouTube videos, and internal links
  • Bundle comes with KoalaWriter + SEO-focused chatbot 

Pricing

Koala has a free version that uses GPT-3.5 and is capped at 5,000 words/day.

You can also purchase one of their paid plans:

  • Essentials: $9 per month (15,000 words + 250 messages)
  • Starter: $25 per month (45,000 words + 500 messages)
  • Professional: $49 per month (100,000 words + 1,000 messages)

More plans are available for agencies that require greater outputs. Koala also provide a free trial limited to 5,000 words and 25 chat messages.

To learn more about Koala and its content creation abilities, read our KoalaWriter Review: AI-Powered SEO Content At A Great Price?


6. Claude

claude-ai-writing-assistantclaude-ai-writing-assistant

Claude is a cutting-edge AI assistant tailored for businesses and professionals. 

Its capabilities extend to handling various text-processing tasks, including content creation, coding, and creative writing.

Claude can adapt to your tone/style to hold naturalistic conversations while safeguarding your data with strict privacy measures.

Whether you’re seeking to generate bulk content, boost productivity, or enhance customer support, Claude’s versatile features are at your disposal. 

Claude is available both as a chatbot and an API that can be integrated with your app or website.

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Key Features

  • Produce in-depth responses of up to 75,000 words
  • Generate text, translate languages, and create diverse content 
  • Upload up to 10MB files for large data processing
  • Secure usage with advanced filtering systems

Pricing

Claude chatbot is currently free to use in certain countries.

You can also upgrade to Claude Pro chatbot for $20 per month to get improved GPT models, high priority, and more usage.

To find out the pricing model of Claude’s API, click here.


7. GitHub Copilot

github-copilot-coding-toolgithub-copilot-coding-tool

GitHub Copilot is the go-to generative AI tool for both new and seasoned coders. It’s powered by OpenAI Codex and offers on-the-spot suggestions to developers.

As a virtual coding assistant, Copilot can understand your codebase, fix bugs, create new features, and suggest improvements.

The recent upgrade to GPT-4 sharpens Copilot’s suggestions even further, making it better at handling specific tasks and ignoring off-topic queries.

Copilot can also help troubleshoot, providing solutions for errors directly from the terminal. One example is recommending a change in the Node version to avoid compatibility issues.

Github Copilot offers flexible pricing and free access for students, teachers, and open-source maintainers. 

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Key Features

  • Analyzes existing code to offer relevant suggestions
  • Auto-complete repetitive sections of code
  • Utilize Python, JavaScript, Ruby, C++, and more
  • Collaborative coding features for large teams

Pricing

GitHub Copilot is available for individuals at $10 per month.

For organizations, GitHub has two plans priced for one user:

  • Copilot Business: $19 per month
  • Copilot Enterprise: $39 per month

8. AlphaCode 

alphacode-programming-aialphacode-programming-ai

AlphaCode is an advanced programming platform developed by Google DeepMind. 

The platform stands out for its ability to accelerate programming through features like auto-completion and error detection. 

AlphaCode can generate multiple solutions and not just auto-complete lines of code. This allows programmers to explore different approaches and solve problems creatively.

AlphaCode is powered by a state-of-the-art Large Language Model (LLM) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) that’s extremely capable of understanding human prompts and translating them into functional code. 

While the interface of AlphaCode is quite basic, its raw power and open-source nature make it particularly attractive for coding competitions and software development.

Key Features

  • Highly accurate code predicting algorithm saves time
  • Detects error in real-time and provides fixes
  • Cluster similar solutions to reduce complexity
  • Submit up to ten solutions per problem to increase success chances 

Pricing

AlphaCode is completely free to use.


9. Cohere Generate

cohere-generate-content-aicohere-generate-content-ai

Cohere’s Generate is a transformative text-generation AI tool for turning ideas into impactful words.

Powered by an advanced RAG (Retrieval Augmented Generation) model, Cohere Generate excels at producing engaging copy with factual accuracy.

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Its extensive dataset and fine-tuned models make content generation tasks a breeze. Customers can effortlessly generate ad copy, landing pages, and product descriptions with Cohere Generate.

Moreover, its understanding of natural language and code structures simplifies coding tasks, saving tons of time.

Overall, Cohere’s Generate is a super-reliable tool for improving workflow efficiency, whether you’re a marketer, copywriter, or just an everyday user.

Key Features

  • RAG-powered chatbot ensures accuracy and safety
  • Augment research with intelligent paper conversations
  • Get instant responses tailored to your needs via an integrated chatbot
  • Communicate seamlessly in 100+ languages

Pricing

Cohere Generate is currently available as an API. You can test their model for free using their Playground.

Pricing for the Production API start at:

  • Command: $1/mil token (Input) | $2/mil token (Output)
  • Command Light: $0.30/mil token (Input) | $0.60/mil token (Output)

For greater capacities, you can contact Cohere’s sales team.


AI is increasingly getting better at all types of media!

10. Synthesia

synthesia-ai-generative-avatarssynthesia-ai-generative-avatars

Synthesia is an AI text-to-speech tool designed for creating digital videos using AI avatars. 

It can write a well-written script on nearly any topic in 120+ languages, convert it into human-like narration, and apply it to realistic AI avatars.

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Synthesia has a user-friendly dashboard filled with various templates and 160+ AI avatars to ease the video creation process. 

Users can also build AI clones of their face and voice, select an accent of their choice, and display closed captions in multiple styles with the platform.

While Synthesia’s avatars struggle to imitate natural expressions and emotions, it remains one of the top platforms for AI voiceovers in the market.

Key Features

  • Design or choose from 160+ AI avatars for use in videos
  • Build engaging scripts for various video formats
  • Choose from 120+ languages, accents, and tones
  • Built-in tool to capture short screen recordings for demonstrations

Pricing

Synthesia is available with three priced plans:

  • Starter: $22 per month (120 min. per year)
  • Creator: $67 per month (360 min. per year)
  • Enterprise: Contact sales team

To test Synethsia, you can create a free basic video. Or, you can contact their sales team for a free demo.


11. ElevenLabs

elevenlab-ai-voiceoverelevenlab-ai-voiceover

ElevenLabs is another cutting-edge text-to-speech tool that specializes in AI voice generation.

It has a full suite of generative AI tools, including voice cloning, 29 languages+accents, a dubbing studio, and more.

Users can also customize various settings in ElevenLabs to fine-tune their voiceovers’ emotional range and clarity.

Production houses and YouTube channels can particularly benefit from ElevenLabs. Just upload a video file, and ElevenLabs will automatically translate it into 29 languages with extreme accuracy.

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Their long-form voiceover tool called ‘Projects’ is another game-changer, making it simple to convert thousands of words into realistic voiceovers for audiobooks.

With flexible pricing plans and a free version, ElevenLabs is an indispensable tool for creators and publishers.

Key Features

  • Generate voiceovers in 29 languages and 120+ voices
  • Customize clarity and vocal styling with sliders
  • Clone your voice with incredible realism
  • Voiceover books and large documents with Dubbing Studio

Pricing

ElevenLabs has a free plan that lets you voiceover 10,000 characters per month.

For more capacity and features, you can purchase one of their plans:

  • Starter: $5 per month (30,000 characters)
  • Creator: $22 per month (100,000 characters)
  • Independent: $99 per month (500,000 characters)
  • Business: $330 per month (2,000,000 characters)

12. MidJourney

midjourney-generative-ai-toolsmidjourney-generative-ai-tools

MidJourney is a highly capable text-to-image AI tool for digital artists and designers.

Using a powerful diffusion model, MidJourney can create photorealistic images from simple descriptions. It’s significantly better at replicating textures and generating edges than DALL-E 3.

MidJourney is currently available on a Discord server with four paid plans starting from $10. While the tool is capped at 2048×2048 resolution, its realistic outputs and accurate structures compensate for the slight lack of resolution.

MidJourney’s version six represents a leap forward in AI-driven art creation. Its users will enjoy greater control and precision in bringing their imaginative visions to life. 

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Key Features

  • Hyper-realistic image generation with accurate textures
  • Remove and replace image backgrounds with ease
  • Create visuals in multiple stylistic ranges
  • Extensive control over images (aspect ratio, size, etc.)

Pricing

MidJourney is available in a variety of paid plans:

  • Basic: $10 per month
  • Standard: $30 per month
  • Pro: $60 per month
  • Mega: $120 per month

That’s it for our list of the best generative AI tools. Each one of these platforms is the best in their category and offers plenty of value for the money. 

Whether you’re a content creator, graphic designer, or programmer, you will find them handy for reducing manual work and completing tasks and projects. 

Try one of them yourself and see the power of generative artificial intelligence first-hand. 

Want to find out if someone is secretly using AI tools? Check out our list of 7 Best AI Detectors To Try Online (Paid + Free)



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