How I Earned over $2,700 in 5 months with the GoRead Buzz Program

Over the past year, I’ve become more aware of the power of supplemental, diversified income streams. Having revenue from multiple sources can act as a safety net, build towards a savings goal, and monetize a hobby, to name just a few.

The challenge with many sources of revenue is the time and work they take, along with prerequisites like a specific skill set or a product to sell. My Etsy shop, for example, involved a ton of up front work in learning how to design, print, and cut planner stickers, sourcing materials, building inventory, and branding.

When I heard about the GoRead Buzz Program in August of this past year, I was impressed at the accessibility it provides to those looking for additional streams of revenue but without the start-up headache. My friend Limor introduced me to the platform, and given her financial savvy, and how choiceful she is with where she places her time, her endorsement meant a lot.

I’ve since been on the platform for 5 months in which time I’ve earned over $2,700USD WITHOUT SELLING ANYTHING. That’s right; these earnings came entirely from my engagement and activity with the platform, without selling a single book, recommending a single product, or promoting a single brand. I reinforce this point because that’s what makes the GoRead Buzz Program so accessible for people from all backgrounds. 

What Is GoRead?

I often describe GoRead as a hybrid between Facebook and Amazon. It’s a network where authors, booklovers, content creators, and thought leaders can follow one another, share their own content, comment on books and topics, and buy books, all within the same platform. 

You can join GoRead as a reader, which is completely free and allows you to engage on the platform and take advantage of their Litcoin program where you can earn virtual currency to buy books. Litcoins are earned by engaging in the site: adding books to your virtual library, becoming a Fan of your favourite author, sharing posts from GoRead on your social media channels, and more. 

The GoRead Buzz Program

 If you want to take full advantage of the platform and use it as a tool to generate income, you must sign up for the Buzz Program. There are a wealth of benefits from joining, but some of the most salient are:

  • The ability to earn hundreds of dollars every month through their Global Revenue Share Program
  • The power to build your brand by publishing and sharing content with a captive audience (particularly valuable for authors, bloggers, entrepreneurs, business owners)
  • The opportunity to sell more books (directly though GoRead!), eBooks, courses, etc. and/or drive more traffic to your website 

Requirements

Every month, you must complete a series of activities that will drive your Revenue Shares and build your presence on the platform. While these have changed a bit over time, the current requirements (as of January 2017) are as follows: 

  1. Write a minimum of one article per month, published to your article page. This should be around 300-800 words and can leverage content you’ve already posted somewhere else (on your blog, for example). Your article should align with your niche. For me, it’s personal development, but if you don’t have a brand, you can choose your own (advertising, sports, fashion, etc).
  2. Promote your articles on GoRead and other social media websites through a minimum of 5 shares per month. This can be you sharing one of your articles 5 times on GoRead, sharing 5 of your articles once each on a different social media platform, or any combination.
  3. Create at least 10 posts a month on your Author page. A post can be written, an article, a picture, or a video link. Posts must be related to your personal interest or professional expertise. Your articles count towards this as does any other GoRead content you share to your Author page.
  4. Share posts, articles, or content from either your GoRead page or any other post on GoRead to other social media at least 6 times per month.
  5. Buy at least 1 book per month from GoRead (not using LitCoins).
  6. Have an active $29 GoRead Buzz Plus Subscription. Once you sign up, you’ll provide your credit card and will be charged automatically on a monthly basis.

You must complete requirements 1-6 in order to earn your first share and “unlock” the ability to earn subsequent shares. Note that your required spend each month will be around $50-60USD depending on how expensive the book you choose is, and where you’re shipping the book to ($30 membership + book + shipping).

Right now, GoRead has a promotion called the “Doubler” – if you complete steps 1-4 twice (e.g. publish a second article, promote your article an additional 5 times), you will activate the Doubler and receive an additional 2 shares.

Based on the above, your base earnings will be either 1 share (no Doubler) or 3 shares (with Doubler).

Additional activity will earn you even more shares. These activities are all optional:

  • Gaining new Fans on your Author page: Every increment of 10 new Fans will give you one additional Revenue Share
  • Driving referrals to GoRead: Every 3 people you refer (who sign up for the Buzz Program) will give you one additional Revenue Share
  • Getting your articles shared by others: Every 20 shares your content receives from other GoRead members will give you one additional Revenue Share

On average, I’ve been earning around 12 Revenue Shares per month, with the Share Price normally ending at around $30. I’ve also often earned $25 commission from one of my articles being featured (they do a weekly round-up of the top 5 articles of the week). 

Final Considerations

While I’m a huge advocate of GoRead, there are some weaker components of the program that are worth mentioning to help you decide whether this is the right platform for you. 

  • Earnings can fluctuate month over month depending on several factors including the share price, your activity, how many times your articles were shared, etc. This, however, isn’t different than many other self-driven income streams (e.g. Etsy shop revenue, blog affiliate income, etc.).
  • Payment is delayed. This point is the biggest frustration I’ve heard from others on the platform. Cheques are supposed to be mailed out the 20th of the month following the earning period, but this can be delayed. Revenue earned in October, for example, would be sent via cheque on November 20th at the earliest. That being said, given how easy and fun this is as an income stream, the wait isn't a major deterrent, at least for me.
  • The platform is still relatively new, and as such there are occasional bugs in the site’s functionality. These are normally resolved within a few hours and the Support team is relatively responsive.
  • Shipping prices to Canada are high. Given how affordable (and often free!) shipping on books is through Amazon or Indigo, the $12.99 USD shipping charge can feel unreasonable. That being said, shipping is super fast and I believe it’s more affordable within the U.S.
  • At present, the overall shopping experience is mediocre. If you’re searching for a particular book, for example, a floating drop down of options is generated, but there is no easy browse functionality like Amazon offers. You have to go to each book to check to see if it’s in stock, and there are no recommendations engine available to help you find books you may like.
  • It’s complicated, especially at the start. As you can see, a number of activities must be completed every month and some even overlap. The required activities sometimes change month over month as well. Once you’ve been a member for 2 months, it will become far more intuitive. 

Ultimately, if you enjoy writing and/or are a content creator and/or entrepreneur yourself, GoRead is a phenomenal way to build your brand while earning additional income.

If you have any questions about the program, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer.

Happy earning!

Unique Holiday Gifts from truLOCAL

Unique Holiday Gifts from truLOCAL

As many of you know, Curtis and I tried out truLOCAL for the first time a few weeks ago and we are big fans! They are a new Canadian company offering monthly delivery plans of high-end, locally sourced meat, fish, and poultry products which are all: 

  • Free Run: Support humane animal treatment
  • 100% Local: Sourced from within Ontario
  • Antibiotic-Free with No Added Hormones: High quality and clean

truLOCAL is offering some unique gifts for the holidays and I'm excited to share them with you.

First are their E-gift cards which are perfect for family, friends, colleagues, and suppliers who love to cook and value clean, local, and humane alternatives to what's often available at the grocery store. One of the things I love most about this idea is that it's an experiential gift - the recipient gets to enjoy not only the process of cooking and eating, but also customizing their own box! From bacon to ground turkey, steak to chicken breasts, there are a ton of options to choose from.

Second is their Holiday Steak Box which includes 5 gourmet AAA New York Strip Steaks which are between 14-16 oz. To be honest, I wasn't sure what "AAA" meant (since I don't eat beef!) but a quick search showed that it is a very high quality assigned to beef that is juicy and tender and also resilient in a variety of cooking methods (read: will still taste good even if not cooked on a BBQ)! Score one for condo cooking!

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Minimize the Holiday Craze with These 3 Simple Tips

The holidays may be over a month away, but if office tower decorations and traffic at the mall are any indication, the pre-holidays effort is in effect for many. I find December to be one of the most stressful months, as holiday parties, potlucks, family get togethers, and errands seem to take up every ounce of free time. Today I’ll share some simple ways you can take charge TODAY to lessen the burden once the madness really hits.

  1. Sort out your holiday party wardrobe. Waiting until the last minute on this one can lead to either wearing something you don’t like, or buying something impractical at the last minute. Instead, decide what type of attire is required for each event, shop your closet first, and then either pick up some new pieces or new outfits. Shop with the mindset of practicality (“Can I wear this again?”) and if you have the time, shop online to avoid a trip to the mall, and maybe even save some money. [BONUS TIP: use sites like eBates to get cash back on your online purchases!]
  2. Make your shopping list. Deciding what to get your family and friends (and everyone else on your list!) by mid-November is ideal so that you have time to price compare and have a plan of attack for Black Friday. While it used to be more of an American sale weekend, recent years have seen it move to Canada, and in many cases flyers are available a few days ahead of time. Use them to make a shopping strategy, so that when the weekend hits, you can make a beeline for the things you need. Shop online or wait until Cyber Monday if you can to avoid the lines and crowds.
  3. Mark your calendar. Whether you use a planner, app, or calendar, make note of the events you have and the preparation each one involves. Going home for Christmas? Make a note of when you have to pack. Attending a potluck? Make a note to grocery shop and cook or bake beforehand. This will give you greater (and earlier!) visibility so that you don’t get caught scrambling.

I hope these tips help as you gear up for the holidays. Leave me a comment with any other suggestions you have!

truLOCAL Review + Promo Code for 10% Off!

truLOCAL Review + Promo Code for 10% Off!

Learning about new Canadian companies is one of my favourite parts of being a blogger, so when truLOCAL reached out to me, I was excited to hear more. As some of you may know, I used to be vegan, and while I now eat fish and poultry, I remain aware of the importance of how food is sourced and some of the steps we can take to better treat our bodies, animals, and the planet. truLOCAL's guiding principles and business model are really appealing and I'm excited to share the experience of my first order.

For those of you unfamiliar with truLOCAL (as I was!), they are a Canadian company offering monthly meat delivery plans of high-end locally sourced meat, fish, and poultry products. Their products are all:

  • Free Run: Support humane animal treatment
  • 100% Local: All sourced from within Ontario
  • No Added Hormones and Antibiotic-Free: High quality and clean
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Uber: A Millennial Love Story (and $10 coupon code!)

Uber: A Millennial Love Story (and $10 coupon code!)

As the token millennial at family gatherings, I’m often asked about “this Uber thing” – “What is it?” “Why is it so great?” and “It’s causing a lot of issues for the taxi drivers, you know.”

I live in Toronto where taxis are expensive and we don’t have an ideal public transportation system. I also don’t have a car. Given this, Uber has been my go-to when the public transportation system doesn’t cut it, and that’s meant close to 100 rides in the past 2 years.

I am a staunch supporter of Uber from a customer experience perspective. Yes, I am aware of the challenges their introduction has posed on the existing taxi system. I recognize there have been complaints in the past about their insurance coverage and whether it stacks up. I’m not, however, here to comment on these more “political” aspects. Instead, I’ll share why, from a millennial user perspective, the Uber experience is so positive.

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