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.
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
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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Buy at least 1 book per month from GoRead (not using LitCoins).
- 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).
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.