EPISODE 66 ~ MAKE MORE: Freelancer.com’s Top 50 Fastest-Growing Freelance Job Types!

It helps to know what’s hot and what’s not and freelancer.com is the largest freelance marketplace in the world with more than 29 million users and 14-million project requests, so these folks know what they’re talking about.
The Fast 50 Report analyzed over half a million jobs posted this past quarter. Here’s what’s hot, according to their study. Number one was Jobs related to business functions, which was scary for me because I didn’t know what any of the jobs WERE! For example: •Networking Technology is a business functions job. I had to look it up and Networking Technology is the exchange of data between different information systems.
•ASP is another one. That’s a microsoft program for building websites.
•And then there are jobs using “React.js.” Back to google I went where I learned that React.js is something that helps you build user interfaces from small, isolated bits of code. I still don’t really get it, but if YOU do, then you can make some good money DOING it!
Fortunately, the next category of hot jobs were right in my sweet spot, so I didn’t have to continue feeling like an idiot. Next hot category: writing jobs. Yes! Including Academic Writing, Article Rewriting and Ghostwriting.
And final hot spot from the freelancer.com study: Engineering jobs, particularly mechanical and electrical engineering.
Of course, if you want to “Make More” it also helps to know what’s NOT hot, so you don’t waste your time and you can get retrained if necessary. freelancer.com said jobs related to YouTube, Bitcoin, BLockchain, social networking and Twitter were NOT in high demand in recent months. Now THAT is fascinating, since those are such modern fields. Then again, tons of young people are already experts in those areas, so maybe there is too much supply for the demand.
Final thought: If you are unhappy in your field and choosing between different ideas, a wise friend of mine once said: pick the thing you would enjoy doing that will also make you the most money. Lists like this one can help.


Take a look at freelancer.com‘s top 50 fastest-growing freelance jobs:

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EPISODE 35 ~ TOP TIP: Avoiding Financial Failure By Being the “Hunter” Not The “Hunted”

Here is a Top Tip that I love. It’s my motto as a consumer, actually.  Ready?  “Be the hunter, not the hunted.”  Sounds kind of weird, but let me explain.  All sorts of bad things happen to us financially when we respond to those who come after us with their products and services.  Instead, do your research and do business with companies and charities that YOU seek out and you’re likely to get a much better deal and avoid scams and rip-offs.  Once more time, all together now: “Be the hunter, not the hunted.”   

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EPISODE 31 ~ FIND YOURS: Local Governments: Check Out This Town That’s Helping Citizens Find Their Missing Money

Find unclaimed money with The Easy Money Show

Let’s talk about our find yours topic for today: local governments that are doing a good job of letting people know about their unclaimed money.

Because, after all, it’s YOUR money, not their money.  Some governments have tried to shorten the amount of time until an account is considered unclaimed to just ONE year, so that banks and brokerages have to turn the money over to them and they can USE it!  Booo!  Other have tried to pass laws saying that if citizens don’t claim their money within 10 years, the state gets to keep it.  Double boo!

So, I think it’s a good idea to tip our hats to the good guys that are doing all they can to help reunite YOU with YOUR money.  I’m going to do this every so often on Easy Money.  This time I want to highlight the City of Lake Forest, California.  Lake Forest put a page front and center on its own website where its residents can search for unclaimed money held by the State of California, which hasn’t always been so good about returning peoples’ money. 

Lake Forest citizens AND businesses can search on this new page by using an interactive map or searching by name and address.  If they find something, they can click a link right there and then to claim their money.

Now THAT’s easy unclaimed money.  

  Kudos, Lake Forest!

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EPISODE 20 ~ MAKE MORE: Selling Royalty Free Music Is a Creative, Lucrative Side Hustle

Thanks to modern technology, if you’re a musician and composer, you can easily record your songs and sell them as a creative side income.  My next guest doesn’t want us to use his full name because he’s a respectable government lawyer by day and a secret musician at night.  Please welcome Evan Barrett to Easy Money.  Hi Evan!

When did you first start playing music and get the bug?

I have been playing music pretty much since I was in 2nd grade. Started with piano lessons.  Back when I was a kid there was software where we could write music. My friends and I wrote a song – Gerbils like to Fly – and it was pretty great as you can imagine. The bug stuck with me and most of my life I have been playing an instrument and writing songs consistently since middle school.

Did you ever consider a full-time career in music?

I play guitar, bass and keyboard.  I’ve been in bands and then when I went to law school I just focused on that. At some point I realized I had a hard drive of half finished songs and I didn’t have the time or energy to be in a band to get them out there and didn’t know how to promote them to launch an album so I started to look at other ways to release my music.

Did you do it for love or money?
In law school, by the time I graduated, in addition to student loan debt I had $10,000 in credit card debt. I paid it all off. That was my first order of business. Paid it mostly off before licensing. But I think it was a motivator for finding more ways of making money.  It helps pay off student loans.

How did you come up with the idea of selling your songs online as stock music?

One day some little part of me realized that all my songs needed to hear the light of day (to mix metaphors), and I began researching sites to license music.  After lots of research I found a few sites that let me pretty easily record, upload and I didn’t have to promote. Buyers would find them on their own.  In your 30s you often feel done with music and I say no – there is still a way of getting it out there if you want people to hear it.

What sites do you like and why?

I am on several sites. The sites I know that work well are Audio Jungle, Pond 5 and Premium Beat. Most sites that have video stock also have audio stock. Pond 5 is the most artist friendly. They let you be more experimental. I make the music I want to make. I don’t try to make it for licensing. I just record and put it up. Pond 5 also lets you set your own prices which is nice. 

For those who don’t know how stock music sites work, can you explain?

It’s sort of like Ebay or Amazon. You type in – fast, classic rock songs – as a buyer and the search engine will pull up sound clips. You can listen to a preview. It is pretty easy. People that need the music know where to go.

Who was the client?

Clients are anonymous so don’t know who buys your song.  I really do wish I knew more where songs are going.  But one day I was home and we turned on a Fios on demand movie so we were on the guide and this really familiar song came up and she wasn’t in the room and I said did you put my song on the computer. The song was over before I realized it was my song. So for about twice an hour for about a year, Verizon was using it on their On Demand channel. That was one place I have seen it.

Is there some street cred in having your song picked up by a well-known company?

In terms of credibility, it definitely helps if you can find one placement and pitch or mention that to other people.  Because that  Verizon thing happened I was able to go to a friend  who is a contractor with NPR and get him to put a few songs on his broadcast.  It’s allowed me to get music on the radio!

Are you ever surprised by which songs sell?

You don’t know what your big songs will be. They sometimes surprise you. Probably about 5 or 6 tracks (various versions of them) are 70%-80% of my earnings. That changes over time. Certain songs hit and I can’t really predict which ones it will be. I think the search engine may reward success so if you sell a song, it might show up higher. It might not have to do with the song. It could be about the site.

How much time do you spend, how many sites are you on and how many songs have you put out there?

•I spend about 20 hours a week.

•I am on about 7 sites but only 2 or 3 actively.

•On the main site I’m on I probably have 200 songs and little edits and clips of those songs cut into stingers and things.

So how much do you make per song?

It’s about $10 -$20 a song but there are other licenses if larger productions need it that can take it to $50. Also are back end performance royalties where if used on TV for example, the networks have to pay a performance royalty. I haven’t gotten one of those yet. They run about a year behind when the song is broadcast so fingers crossed.

Has this become a nice side income for you?

I started 2.5 years ago and it was about $15 a month. It has grown pretty consistently since I started.  I make about $300-$400 a month at the moment.  As this grows I definitely see it becoming more and more significant. I would imagine that part of it is getting my music on more sites which I’ve been lazy about bc it’s more fun to me to write the music. But if I got on more sites I think my earnings could multiply considerably.  It’s sort of an addiction so I can get more gear and write it off which is a nice side bonus.  As a musician you find things you want. It’s sort of an addiction so I can get more gear and write it off which is a nice side bonus.

Speaking of gear, what equipment do people need to do what you do?

It requires at a bare minimum:

  • a home computer
  • a piece of recording software that ranges from $300-$500.
  • An audio interface which is $100-$200
  • and a lot of practice.

OK, so advice for other musicians who want to sell their music as stock.  First, you say you don’t need to write Grammy-worthy tracks, just clean, consistent songs.  What do you mean?

You need to be able to write songs and not every musician can do that.  There isn’t enough margin to send this out to a producer or go into a studio.  You have to do it yourself at home.

What type of music should people try to sell?

The broader you keep it the better.  Looking at the market I think almost every kind of music works if you can do it well. You have to make the music you can do well. Go with what you are skilled at writing and  playing because comes down to that performance.

You say avoid knock-off songs.

If you are just doing a knock off song it will sound like 500 other knock off songs on the site and people wont buy it. If you go with the genre you are familiar with you can probably also do it faster and this is a numbers game to some extent, the more you can get out there the better.

And, finally, you say, if you can sing, do it!

I can’t sing to save my life, which is unfortunate.  If you can sing there is more money to be made because there is premium placements with singing and song writing.

Evan Barrett, song writer and music licenser, thank you so much for joining us.  Evan has provided even more detailed advice for licensing music in a guest blog post and that will be at EasyMoneyShow.com/20.

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EPISODE 20 ~ FIND YOURS: Credit Bureaus Can Help You Claim Your Missing Money

Find unclaimed money with The Easy Money Show

This one is really more about claiming yours.  The government doesn’t always make it easy to get your unclaimed money back.

The positive spin on this is that the bureaucrats want to make sure they don’t give the money to the wrong person.  The cynical view is that they’re reluctant to part with your money because they’re using it on various government programs. 

So, whether it’s federal or state, county or city, you usually have to jump through some hoops to get your money back.  Many people give up when the bean counters start asking for paperwork proving the unclaimed money is theirs.  You may be asked for proof of an address where you live 40 years ago.  Or they might ask you for the account number of the credit union where you banked way back when.  Or to verify that you really did work at the company that turned over your unclaimed paycheck. 

Who keeps records like that?  The credit bureaus, that’s who!  This is a terrific trick!  If you have to produce ancient financial records in order to claim your missing money, order your free credit reports from all 3 credit bureaus and one of them is likely to have the information in its database!  This has worked for several friends of mine.

To order your free credit reports, just go to AnnualCreditReport.com.  That is the one and only site mandated by congress to give each of us one free credit report a year.  I’ll say it again AnnualCreditReport.com —not some other site that advertises heavily.  I’ll also provide a hyper link from my site, EasyMoneyShow.com, so you can be sure to go to the right spot.

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