For Writers And Bloggers: A 5-Step Guide To Create, Publish, And Promote Your eBook FOR FREE

If you ever considered self-publishing your own book, this guide will walk you through all the steps it takes to get this done from the planning to the publication. How to edit, format, design, publish, and promote your book for free.

Publishing a book is something that has been on my list for a very, very long time. I have been reading about the best ways to do it and all the important tips and tricks and things to pay attention to, especially as a first-time publisher.

Beside the fact that I have longed to create and publish a book simply because of my love for writing in general, this can also be a very good way to earn passive income.

This guide is mainly directed at non-fiction ebook publishing, but most of the tips here do apply on creating and publishing any type of book. And I do mention a few tips on fiction writing and paperback publishing briefly.

Whether you consider self-publishing a fiction or a non-fiction book and whether it is a 100-page book or 10-page guide, the steps below will help you have a better understanding of how this process goes, and the best way to go about it, without spending a fortune.

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1. Planning

Before even starting on the writing process of your ebook, there is some planning that needs to take place, and that is in order to ensure a more smooth process in the development stages and for a more successful outcome.

Planning here is a two-step process: A. Book outlining and B. market research.

A. Outlining

First thing about planning your book is to have an outline that specifies the major points that will be discussed, and to have a clear understanding of what the outcome should be from reading this book.

What is the end goal? Why would someone buy this and how will it help them?

When you answer these questions, it will guide you through the writing process and give you direction so you don’t lose track while you’re a few dozen pages in.

Because if you lose track of the main topic, so will the reader. And that’s not what you want.

You can do this by simply creating the index page of the book, as this will have an overview of everything that will be discussed, including main and subtopics.

The same thing applies in writing fiction, whether you are a plotter or panster, you have got to have a clear outline for your novel and know exactly where you want to go with this. And that is both to help you in the writing process, and also in order to be able to move to the next step of the planning process.

B. Market research

This is another crucial step that also has to come in the very early stages of creating your book, and before you’d have started indulging in the process of content creation.

After you have decided on the idea of your book and specified the main topics that will be discussed, you should then start doing some market research; figure out whether this book and this idea will be successful or not.

And there are a few ways you can do this:

  • You can use Google to find out the best-selling books in your niche/genre and see if any of them have similar ideas discussed. Read the reviews and see what people thought of the topic.
  • You can email some of your friends or family members and tell them that you’re thinking of writing a book that will go through so and so; ask if they would be interested in buying this book. And if not, why?
  • Another way you can market research your book idea is through asking on social media. You can use Facebook groups or Twitter, and do the same thing you did with the emails.

The results you will get from all the three methods above will give you a clear idea of what people actually want, and wether your book would be able to fulfill that or not.

I get that with fiction writing many writers are not always fond of the idea of having what people want direct their writing process; and I am one of those writers.

However, market research doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change the whole book, it just gives you an idea of what works and what doesn’t, and you then have the option to take that to tweak your idea or your technique accordingly and where you see fit.

It can also be an inspiring process to bring some new ideas to your attention.

2. Content

Now that you are done with the planning process and confident that your idea has an interested audience, you are ready to work on the actual book and develop the content.

After you have written a first draft of your book, either fiction or non-fiction (check out these writing tools), you will need to go through a few steps to polish it and prepare it for publication.

A. Editing

There are two method you can go about editing your book: the paid method and the free method.

Before we dive into this one, let’s just agree that a properly edited book is, in a way, more important than the writing itself.

You may wonder, how come editing is more important?

Well, this is because if the book is poorly edited, with grammar, spelling, and syntax errors, it gives a message across to the reader that it is written by an amateur, which will kind of decrease your credibility and authority.

And that, in turn, will make it hard to follow your advice with confidence, even if your advice is indeed foolproof. So, make sure you pay extra attention to the editing.

Now let’s get into the editing process and start with the free method first.

A.1 Free editing

To ensure that your piece is carefully edited, there are a few steps you might want to follow.

Spelling errors

Almost every major writing program has a spell check option. So whether you are using MS Word, Google Docs, or Pages, make sure the spell check is enabled and go through the entire piece to check for any errors.

Grammar errors

For grammar errors, you can use a program like Grammarly or WhiteSmoke. All you will need to do is paste the entire content of the book into the program and let it check for grammar errors. It will show you the error and the suggested correction to apply.

Just make sure that you either correct the errors in the original piece or copy and paste the corrected version from Grammarly and save it.

Alternatively, you can download the add on to your browser and have Grammarly detect the errors right into the writing program you are using.

Stylistic errors

Grammarly can also help detect some basic stylistic errors; and if you have a paid version, it shows you more advanced ones.

You can also use a tool like this one to point out any punctuation errors you have.

There is also a list of other similar free tools for both grammar and stylistic errors you can find here.

Proofread

After you have done all three steps above, you want to re-read the full thing again to make sure there are no missing words or any errors that may have slipped through any of the previous checks.

It is best if you either copy and paste the content in a different program than the one you used to write, or print it and read it on paper.

This is because when you read the same piece over and over, your eyes will get used to the words, and you won’t really be seeing the errors anymore.

So by changing things like the fonts, colours, or the display on which the text is showing, it helps make it look fresh and you will become more conscious reading it.

Bonus tip: Read with your mouth not your eyes. When you speak the words out loud, it will be much easier to find any missing words or odd sentence structure.

Proofread x2

When you have thoroughly went through the book and managed to fix all the errors, the final step would be to give it someone, or a few people, to proofread it for you.

You can just ask one of your friends or a family member. Or you can find beta readers online, many of them would do it for free or in exchange for a similar favor, like beta reading each other’s work, which is still a great deal.

A.2 Paid Editing

Now, if you would rather pay for the editing to make sure that nothing slips, or if you don’t have the time to edit it yourself, you will also have a few options.

But before you pay for services, make sure you understand the different services available and which one of them you actually need.

You can either hire an editor or a proofreader, depending on your need and also your budget.

Editing usually involves correcting sentence structure and adding/removing words to make the text more appealing and readable, along with correcting any language mistakes and syntax errors.

It is a more involved process. This is a better option if the language you write in is not your first language. Or if you feel that your writing could use some polishing. This is usually a more expensive service.

While proofreading is mainly focusing on language mistakes like spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors only.

This is an option you would opt for if you just worry you missed an error and want a new, yet professional, pair of eyes to scan it for any errors. And this is usually a cheaper service.

You can read more about this here.

Where to find editors and proofreaders

Fiverr and Upwork are some famous examples of websites where you can hire freelance editors and proofreaders.

To make sure you pay your money for the right person though, go through the list of the category you want to hire from and read the reviews and check their portfolios and their ratings.

Once you decide on the freelancer you want to hire, don’t send them the entire book all at once. It’s better if you send them only a few chapters first as a sample, to see how good they are, and let them know that if the work is done properly, you will then send them the whole book.

This is to avoid paying a full payment for the whole thing and still end up with a poorly edited book.

Another way you can have your book edited is through doing some online search and looking for editors or editing offices around you. This may be a little more expensive than a freelancing editor online, but will most likely have even better results.

B. Formatting

The book is written and edited, now it’s time to properly format it!

Formatting will vary based on where you plan to publish your book. There is more on the publication process below.

But, for now, let’s just say that formatting an ebook for Amazon is different from formatting it for other ebook distributors, and will also entirely differ if you aim to have it published as paperback.

  • Opting for a website like Kindle, they have their own formatting guide that you would need to follow in order to get approved for publication. You can watch this video to see the steps.
  • If you will go for publication on your website or other ebook websites like iBooks, you can read about the general guidelines and a step-by-step guide that walks you through it in this article for Pages users and this guide for MS Word users.

Learn more about the different format types for ebooks here.

  • If you want to opt for a paperback option too, then read this article that is a step-by-step guide on how to format your book to self-publish in the paperback form for free.

And just like editing, you can always hire a professional to format your book for you, if you feel like it is too much work, or if you are looking for a more efficient route and have the budget for it.

This is an example of a website that offers formatting services.

3. Design

Finally, the book is finished! Now the one last step before it is finally out there for the world to see is the book cover!

Book cover design is very, very important. You want your cover design to pop and attract attention but also not to look tacky.

Choosing the right cover design is as important as choosing the right topic for your book; in fact, it can be more important sometimes. Because as cliche as this sounds, most people do judge a book by its cover.

There are also two routes you can take when it comes to designing the cover, a free one and paid one.

A. Free cover design

A free cover design would basically be you creating the design yourself.

You can create your own book cover design for free using a photo editor program like Canva and Infogram.

They both provide paid plans, but the free version is just as good with plenty of features and design templates.

Or if you already have Adobe photoshop, you can also use that to design your book cover. You may also use GIMP which is a similar photoshop program, but for free.

To have an idea of the steps it takes to design a book cover, watch this video for an ebook cover and this for a paperback book cover.

If you don’t know what your book cover should look like, you may do some Google search.

Check out book covers for similar books and try to see if there is any colour combination or text style that you like and use that as an inspiration to create yours.

Another way to get some ideas would be to take a look at the book cover templates available on Canva.

You will still need to make changes to the design though, as these covers are available to everyone who uses the program and you wouldn’t want to have a copied book cover of someone else’s. But it is a good way to get some ideas.

I have not used Adobe photoshop before, so I don’t know if this is something that is available there too or not.

B. Paid cover design

Just like with editing, paying for a cover design will vary based on how much you are willing to pay.

And also whether or not you have a clear idea about what you want the cover to look like.

Freelancers

You can go for similar freelance websites like you did with the editing, hire a freelance designer and provide them with the idea of the cover design and the colour palette you have in mind.

But what if you don’t have an idea of what your cover should look like and haven’t found anything matches it from searching Google?

99 Designs

There is a website called 99 designs, where you can either hire a specific designer to work on your book cover or create something like a contest; providing all the information you have in mind about the design and the book itself and all available designers create their own version of the design.

In that case, you will end up with a number of different designs for your book to choose from.

Once you settle on a design you like, you then pay for registration and get the design. After signing up, you may also ask them to make any changes you wish to have on the design.

This option is a bit pricy, as the registration for this site starts at $299. But you do get dozens of different covers designed by professionals.

4. Publication

There are several options when it comes to publishing your book. You can publish it on your website, publish it on Amazon as an ebook or a paperback.

Let’s go through these options separately.

A. On your website

You can install a plugin on your site like WooCommerce or Squarespace commerce where it allows you to sell both digital and physical products.

After you download the plugin, you will choose to upload a digital product (a PDF copy of your book) where you will be required to fill some information about your book, like the title and description, and set a price for it.

You will also need to implement a payment system on your site. Most people use and trust Paypal; so that might be the safest option to go with.

But there is a number of other payment plugins you can use depending on what is compatible with your site. If you are a WordPress user, you can find plenty of options here.

Bonus tip: Before promoting the book, make sure you test the process on your site first. Set the price to 0, purchase a copy, and see if everything works properly.

Watch the below tutorial to learn how to get started with WooCommerce.

Woocommerce Tutorial: Installation, Setup, and Adding Your First Product

B. On Amazon

The second option is to publish your book through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) where it will be available for all Amazon users.

On KDP you have the option to make your book available in an ebook format and also as a paperback.

Having your book on Amazon will, of course, allow for more exposure and will most likely bring you more sales as opposed to having it only available on your website.

However, there is something you will need to consider when publishing on Amazon is that your book must have at least 2500 words to be accepted.

So, workbooks with lots of empty space/pages or very short guides would not be approved for publication.

Also remember that it needs to be formatted according to KDP’s format guide.

Publishing on Kindle is an easy process that is mainly a few clicks of a button. You will upload the digital copy of your book, fill information about the book and set a price.

And while setting this up, you will have the option to choose “paperback.” This will make your book available for paperback orders as well.

There is also an option for you to receive a copy of the printed book for revision, just to make sure that it looks good in print.

Watch the below tutorial to learn how to start with KDP.

Getting started with KDP

5. Promotion

Everything about the book is set and ready to go live. But before you go ahead and publish your book, you should have a promotional strategy in place first.

There are three stages for promoting your book: prelaunch promo, launch day promo, and post launch promo.

A. Prelaunch promotion

Prelaunch promotion is the most critical one because it will build the momentum up to the day of the publication.

Why it is the most important stage is because if you get enough people excited to buy your book, you will be able to make a decent number of sales on your first day, which is how your book can become featured on Amazon’s best sellers of its category, for example.

Being featured on this list means that everyone visiting Amazon’s page to buy a book, will see your book among the first ones on top, which means more exposure and more possible sales.

How to have a powerful prelaunch promotion for your book

B. Launch day promotion

On the day of the book launch, you should work towards trying to drive the highest traffic to the book and get as many downloads as you can.

B.1 Social media

Post about your book 3-4 times on that day, across all your social media accounts. However, try to make each post different, maybe once share a snippet, once ask for people to support you by downloading, once ask them to leave a review.

So that it doesn’t feel like spamming, and also for the post to actually be interesting and get interactions, instead of simply sharing a plain link.

Also, go to Facebook groups that are made for book promos and add a link to your book in as many as you can.

B.2 Your email list

Sending 2-3 emails to your list (since this is your launch day, and you don’t normally do that, it wouldn’t be considered spamming).

In each email, you can ask your subscribers to do something different.

For example, you can send an email first thing in the morning announcing that your book is now available and ask them to go to the link and download.

Then in a 2nd email, maybe midday or in the afternoon, ask them to share the book link with their friends or on social media to help deliver it to more poeple.

Then may be send a 3rd one the following morning, and you can ask them to leave a review on the book if they haven’t already.

B.3 Family and friends

Contact everyone you know, personally, and tell them that your book is available and to download it and leave you a review.

C. Post launch promotion

You are going to need to plan your on-going promotion that follows your launch day, before the actual launch day.

C.1 On your Website

There are two types of promo strategies you can offer on your website:

1) Run a promo that during x number of days, people can purchase the book at $0.99 and then the price will go up to be $9.99, for example.

2) Make the book available for free purchase for, say, 3 days, and then set it at a low price for another 3 days, and then it goes up to the original price after that.

Usually these promos can last up to 6-7 days after launch day.

C.2 KDP Select

Another great option for promotion you can use would be if you will publish your book through Amazon. You can choose an option on there to enroll in one of their promos under KDP select.

Which is a similar idea to the above ones, however, your book will be available for a much wider audience of course.

They offer two types of promo:

  • Kindle Countdown Deals. They put a discount on your book with a countdown to the day the price will go up again.
  • Free Book Promotion. They offer readers worldwide your book for free for a limited time.

Here are a few more tips on how to become a best selling author on Amazon.

However, note that, in order for you to enroll in the KDP Select promo offers, you must be exclusively publishing on KDP. So, you wont be allowed to have a digital copy of your book available on any other platform, including your website.

Bonus tip: After the free promo on KDP, increase the price gradually not all the way up at once. You can start with $0.99 first, then increase that after 2 days or so.
Because your book will not immediately be moved from the free books list. And if people browsing the free list and your book is there, listed for like $10, they obviously won’t buy it. But if it’s there at $0.99, they may think it’s still a good deal.

Extra promo tips:

To get more attention to your book and more downloads during the promo days, whether you have it on KDP or just your website, you may also want to do the following:

  • Post about it on all social media accounts, multiple times a day, throughout the promo duration
  • Send emails to your list every 2 days, asking them to download the free/discounted copy and leave a review
  • Post on Facebook groups that are specifically made for free book promos at least once every day during your promo days
  • Tweet to dedicated accounts that share free books and share your book link with them, they will mostly retweet or tweet about it
  • Use relevant hashtags with your promo tweets on Twitter
  • Submit your book to free KDP book promo websites (in case of free promo option)
  • Submit your book to paid KDP book promo websites (in case of paid promo options, or when you put the price back up)

For Writers And Bloggers: A 5-Step Guide To Create, Publish, And Promote Your eBook book FOR FREE. Pinterest
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Have you considered publishing a book before? Or maybe you already published one and have some tips for first-time publishers? Let me know in the comments below.

Till next week, happy days!

Passive Income In Egypt: How To Invest In Egypt With Little To No Money

How can you create multiple streams of passive income sources in Egypt? How much money do you need to start an investment in Egypt? Learn 5 ways through which you can invest in Egypt with little to no money at all.

Disclaimer: I am an engineer. I have nothing to do with finances and I do not give any financial advice. Thank you.

In this post, there are 5 different ways through which you can invest in Egypt. And there are two reasons as to why I decided to put this post together.

First is that last year, and before starting this blog, when I tried searching for ways to invest in Egypt to be able to start this journey, I couldn’t really find anything helpful that could put me on the right path.

Most of the information I found were created by and for people in other countries like US, UK, Canada, etc. I was very disappointed to be honest. Like why aren’t more people thinking of this and why isn’t it more common?

So, in the back of my mind, I always knew I wanted to go more in depth about how to invest in Egypt, but I was waiting until I have enough information to actually fill a blog post.

The second reason I decided to write this post is because, whenever I talk to someone here about my journey and what I plan to do with creating passive income and all, I’m usually met with a confused face followed by something along the lines of, “wow! you’re different!” (as if I just came up with the concept) or “Investing? Isn’t this for, like, rich people? I don’t really have that much money around.”

And I realized that so many people here don’t have that concept of investing in general. Despite that there are so many opportunities around them to do so, somehow this investment mindset is not that common. At least not in the minds of those around me.

So I thought it would be a great idea if I can put together a post that shows people they can invest in Egypt and they can do it without necessarily being filthy rich or having hundreds of thousands of pounds to start.

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1. Nakhlaty

Nakhlaty (en: my palm trees) is a project that I have come across very recently. This is an agricultural project that basically revolves around planting date palms and selling/exporting the dates.

The location of this project is in Siwa Oasis, located nearly 50 km east of the Libyan border and 560 km from Cairo.

What you do is you visit their website first and register. They will then send you a short guide for the entire project and all the information you may need to know about the investment.

And within a few hours, you will receive a call from one of their representatives to explain things further and see if you are interested and want to book an appointment to sign the contract.

I have not invested with them yet, however, I find this a very good opportunity with a decent return of money. And also a great way to make money through planting more. So it is definitely on the top my list.

How much money do you need to invest in Nakhlaty?

The price of 1 Feddan (that is 40 palm trees) is 210K EGP with a minimum downpayment of 65K EGP and you have the option to pay the remainder on installments over 3 years, paid quarterly.

And there is another option if you are looking for something less expensive, you can opt for investing in only 1/2 Feddan for 110K with a minimum downpayment of 30K EGP and installing the rest same way, over 3 years. 

But note that these prices above are not fixed as they did announce a rise in prices that would take place some time during next month.

The first downpayment would be paid at their branch at the time of signing the contract and the remaining installments can be deposited in their bank account.

Once you are done with the installments, you are not required to make any additional payments for the entirety of your investment period which is 50 years.

And if you decide to invest in the next few days, they actually have an offer going that you can pay the downpayment on a 2-month installment. (Quite the good deal if you ask me!)

How much profit would you get from investing in Nakhlaty?

The profits are quite tempting once you pass the first 3 years. 

Starting from the 4th year, you get a profit of 24% and then it keeps increasing every year until it is 70-75% per year.

The reason your profits start from the 4th year is because this is how long it takes for the planted palm trees to grow and bear fruit.

2. Retirement Accounts

This enables you to set aside money on a regular basis, to be invested over the long-term for your retirement. Most plans I found last somewhere between 15-20 years and you are always free to renew. The minimum would be a 10-year investment.

There are two options for such investments: You can either have a safe investment in markets and areas that are almost risk-free or choose to put your money in a more risky investment option.

I personally chose the safest option to put the money in as I’m not looking to risk my money in any way at this moment due to very limited resources; however, once I have established a decent source of passive income, I would very much like to try investing in one of those more risky investments and see what kind of profit they might provide.

How you get started with one of these is either by directly going to one of their main branches or sign with them through their representative in one of the banks they advertise through. 

I honestly never tried going directly to a branch, because I only ever hear of them when I am in the bank.

And I’m more inclined to registering with ones that are advertised through banks than just Googling random companies online. I don’t know if this makes any difference integrity-wise or security-wise, but it’s just a personal preference.

Two well-known examples that I’m also familiar with are AXA (through CIB) and Allianz (through Emirates NBD).

How much money do you need to start a retirement account in Egypt?

The one I signed with requires as little as 600 EGP per month. Others may require up to 1k EGP as a minimum installment, and usually it never exceeds the 1k.

It would also depend on the company you choose, but most of them will have some or all of these payment options: monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

Just a tip if you consider this one, you better start with an amount a little less than what you can afford, because you will need to pay that amount for the entire period of your contract.

And you can of course increase the starting amount at any point during the contract.

How much profit would you get from a retirement account investment in Egypt?

Mostly you are given an average percentage as the profit you get is not always a fixed amount and that is because it is usually connected with other factors such as the financial situation of the country, however, you can expect a profit anywhere between 10-25% after your first year.

This percentage can always increase or decrease, however, the differences are not catastrophic and you can always ask the representative to show you statistics of how this investment has been doing over the years to know what to expect.

And with the current advancement in the economic status of the country and all the new projects happening, I think it is a quite promising climate for finances and investment.

Depending on which company you will sign with, there will be a lot more than just an investment benefit for you. Main features that all companies would have is a decent healthcare coverage and a life insurance that will cover you/your family in case of critical illness, disability, or death.

3. Real Estate Investment

To invest in real estate in Egypt you have a few options depending on how familiar you are with this field and how much money you are willing to put into it.

A. Flipping houses

You can buy apartments that are in a quite poor condition with a cheap price, renovate it with the least amount of cost you can, then sell it again with a high price to match the current market price.

How much money would you need to flip a house?

That will entirely depend on the area you plan to invest in, but an approximate range you can say anywhere from 200K to 900K.

You may also check this article, while it’s not specifically for Egypt, it does give you an idea on how to choose the houses to flip and how to renovate with the least cost possible.

How much profit would you make flipping houses?

I don’t think there is a definite amount as to how much you can make flipping houses, because there are so many variables when it comes to this kind of business; the location, the condition of the place, the market price, and the economic status, etc..

I have seen people make 50-100K profit and I have seen others make 500K+ profit.

So I would say this would depend on your luck and how good you are in choosing the right place at the right time. But I wouldn’t get into this business if I’m not knowledgable in this field.

B. Home construction companies

If you can’t afford buying a house and renovating it, or simply don’t have the time for all that work, you can turn to a hands-free real estate investment.

Turn to investing in real estate companies that would do all the work for you and you would just get the profits at the end of every year.

You can find these companies through realtors or just googling them and see which one is near your city, read reviews and check what people are saying about it first.

If you would like a recommendation, you can contact me and I’ll give you details of the company I’m investing in.

How much money do you need to invest in a home construction company?

Most real estate companies I checked would accept a minimum of 50K for a fund. And in most cases, you can always increase that later on.

How much profit would you get?

That will sort of vary based on the company and the nature of the estate they work with either residential, commercial, or entertainment, etc.. However, you can expect a range between 30-50% as an average yearly profit.

Read: Passive Income: 4 Real Estate Investing Options

C. Real estate funds

This real estate investment option was announced earlier this year that it has finally been introduced in Egypt. This is a mutual fund that focuses on investing in assets offered by public real estate companies.

So this would be a way for you to invest in real estate funds with huge estate projects throughout the country without the risk of buying individual stocks through original stock market investments.

However, as of the writing of this post, the company that announced the beginning of this fund, Naeem Holding, has unfortunately cancelled such plans.

It seems that this is something that is in talks right now though according to this article and this update. However, there hasn’t been any news yet on whether it will be open for the public investors or not, if it does though, it would be one of the best real estate investment options you can opt for.

According to Naeem Holding’s earlier announcement, this fund would have cost a minimum of 50K EGP and yielded a profit of 25% yearly. So this is an expected average of what this investment could be about.

I’ll be on the lookout for any news on it and will be updating this post accordingly.

Read: Passive Income: Investing In Index Funds For Beginners

4. Dryve

Another type of passive income source you can opt for is renting your car to a car rental company like Dryve.

It is a start-up company that is said to be the first digitalized car rental service in Egypt through which you can rent a car or put your car up for rental on a mobile app.

And they don’t only offer rental cars to individuals but they are also partnered with Uber, providing them with rental cars for drivers who don’t own a car.

What’s good about this company is that they are also partnered with AXA insurance company, which provides you with a full car insurance coverage on your rented car.

All you would need to do is sign up through their App and list your car up for rent.

How much money would you need to invest with Dryve?

Well, if you do have a car that you are willing to give up for part of the day or give up completely, then that would be 0 EGP.

If you don’t have a car, I honestly wouldn’t suggest buying a car just for this purpose. Whatever the amount you’d put even in a used car can be put in a much better and more stable investment.

How much profit would you get renting to Dryve?

Dryve has a calculator on their website where you can enter the details of your car: brand, model and year, and they provide you with the expected revenue you would make renting it.

However, when listing the car you actually set your own prices, you can choose to set the price you see fit.

Read more about Dryve here.

5. Airbnb

This is a company that connects tourists with available houses offered by locals in the country of their destination to stay in for the period of their visit.

The great thing about this company is that you don’t have to rent an entire house if you don’t have that to spare. You can rent a room only, in the house you already live in.

Renting a room, you would also need to provide them access to the bathroom and the kitchen (too obvious but had to say it, just in case). 

There are a set of rules and things you may want to familiarize yourself with first before stepping into this one. I have an entire article published where I went through all the details you need to know to become an Airbnb host today.

How much money do you need to invest with Airbnb?

Well, it will cost you absolutely nothing. The things you would need to provide the guests would be basic amenities like a towel, toilet paper, a cover, a pillow, who doesn’t have that in their house?

So cost is 0 EGP.

How much profit would you make investing with Airbnb?

That would depend on the location of the place you offer. If you live in an area that is close to sightseeing places, a public transportation route, supermarkets and restaurants and such, then you can set a high price and find interested guests.

You can have an idea of the price range you may set for a room here. They mostly range between $10 and $55 per night.

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I hope this list can help someone take their first step towards starting their own passive income source today, because, as you’ve just read, it is not as complicated and not as costly as most people think it is.

Till next week, happy days!

Passive Income: 5 Ways To Invest Small Amounts Of Money (From $500 To $0)

If you think you must have a lot of money before you can start investing to generate passive income, think again, because in this post you will find 5 different methods through which you can invest your money with amounts as little as $0!

Disclaimer: I am an engineer. I have nothing to do with finances and I do not give any financial advice. Thank you.

Many people are aware that they should invest their money to be able to secure their future and create a better life for themselves and their families.

But many people also assume that in order to be able to start investing and create a passive income source for themselves, they need to have a lot of money first, and that is a wrong perception.

If you really want to start investing and create some passive income sources for yourself, you can start investing right this second. Even if you have $0 in your bank account.

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Investing if you have anything between $500 and $50

1. Mutual funds

Investing in a mutual fund is like investing in a large group of stocks. The money is pooled from multiple investors to invest in these assets.

Many mutual funds require thousands of dollars as a minimum investment, but there are some that can be as low as $50.

What you will need to do to know if this is a good fund for investment or not is to track this fund’s performance over the years to see its pattern and how and when the rates of interest are affected.

You would also want to pay attention to the annual fees deducted from your account and compare it to the interest you would be getting to make sure that the fees are not too high.

While investing a 50$ in a mutual fund, where maybe your annual interest would be something around 7%-10% for most funds, does not seem like much of profit maker, if you can manage to increase this amount over time, like maybe add $50 every month to your profile, this would create a much better profit over time.

You may also want to read this breakdown of how studying the history of a certain fund and investing something as little as $500 can make you more than $520,000.

2. Real estate crowdfunding

Real estate crowdfunding is defined as an online pooling of capital from investors to fund mortgages secured by real estate, such as redevelopment of distressed or abandoned properties, equity for commercial and residential projects, acquisition of pools of distressed mortgages, home buyer downpayments and similar real estate related outlets.

So for someone who is looking to invest a small amount of money, there are a number of crowdfunding websites that work on connecting investors to these kinds of projects that need funding in exchange for a profit from the project.

One of the most well-known real estate crowdfunding websites is Fundraise where you could start with only $500 to invest in real estate and start gaining annual profits. For similar real estate online investing options check this article.
You can also find crowdfunding websites that would accept investments for as little as $100.

The above options are mostly available for US residents only, though. For European countries, you can check the options listed here.

I haven’t been able to find ones that would accept funds from other countries (specifically Egypt since this is where I am), if you happen to pass across one, please let me know in the comments.

3. Retirement account

A retirement account is a form of individual retirement plan, provided by many financial institutions, that provides tax advantages for retirement savings.

In the US, there is the 401(k) which in most cases is available for employees through their employers, and the good thing about this is that you can actually decide how much money you would like to have deducted from your salary to put into this account.

You also get to choose the kind of investment you would like to have your money put into. Investment options available include individual stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs. You can read more about the benefits of this plan here.

So if you do have that provided through your job, you already have an investment going, you should just decide how much of your salary you would like to deduct to make for a better long-term profit.

However, if you don’t have a retirement account, you probably should. You can start your own retirement plan by following the steps in this article.

Here, in Egypt, it’s not the same process. Because what employees get is mainly a pension. It is a fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee’s employment years, and from which payments are drawn to support the person’s retirement from work in the form of periodic payments.

So I would suggest starting your own retirement plan through any of the available insurance companies. I am more inclined to registering with ones that are advertised through banks, I don’t know if this makes any difference integrity-wise or security-wise, but it’s just a personal preference.

Some well-known examples include AXA (through CIB) and Allianz (through Emirates NBD). Some of these plans you can start with as little as a 600-pound payment per month.

Investing if you have $0

Now let’s say you don’t even have a dollar/pound to spare, you literally have no money, can you not start an investment that can bring you passive income?

Of course you can!

4. Airbnb

This is a company that facilitates tourists’ stay in a country by providing them with an online service to rent apartments, rooms, and hostel beds, etc, for the short period of their stay.

The best thing about Aribnb is that you don’t need to have a spare house to be able to make money renting, you can simply rent a room in the house you already live in and gain income with literally no extra cost on your part.

What you will be required to provide your guests with will all be things that you already have in your house which are the basic amenities for living.

You can read more about the requirements here.

One other great thing about Airbnb is that even if you don’t have a spare room at your place, you can still make money with them through providing an experience instead.

This is not exactly a passive investment; however, I couldn’t bring up Airbnb and not mention it, since you will be making really easy money.

An experience, as defined by Airbnb, is an activity designed and led by inspiring locals. They go beyond typical tours or classes by immersing guests in each host’s unique world. It’s an opportunity for anyone to share their hobbies, skills, or expertise without needing an extra room.

So, offering an experience can be anything from cooking them traditional home made dishes to taking them on special tours in places they wouldn’t be able to reach on their own, and many more examples.

This would be an easy and fun way to earn money. If you want to learn more about how you can easily make money with Airbnb, you can read this article I published earlier Passive Income: How To Make Money With Airbnb 

5. Use your skills

If you have certain skills that can be put into use (or are willing to learn) this could be a great source of passive income for you. But what kind of things can you create that would help you generate passive income?

5.1 The world of design

Design can be in more than one form. If you are a web designer, for example, you could create and sell website themes. You can find here the best markets where you could sell your themes.

If you’re a graphic designer, you have various options to make money, you can design and sell book covers, or printables that you can provide as PDF files (downloadable material) such as calendars and planners, or even create print-on-demand designs for notebooks, T-shirts, and mugs, etc..

5.2 Photography

You can make money simply by taking photos and putting them up for sale on the various websites available such as iStockphoto or Shutterstock.

All it takes is the camera which is already in your phone, given that most smartphones at the moment have a good camera quality, and a few videos, like this one, to help you take good photos, and probably some passion for photography in the first place.

5.3 Create an online course

Another option where you can make passive income is if you put together an online course. If you have a particular skill or an expertise in any field, you can put together a course material and upload it as a series of lessons on a teaching website. And every time someone enrolls in this course you get paid.

There are plenty of websites available where you could create and sell such course. Teachable is one great example where you would also find resources and a lot of useful material to help you create a professional looking course.

5.4 Write an ebook

The last and probably most time consuming option (maybe it’s a tie with the online course) on this list is to create an ebook.

This can be something as simple as a how-to guide to walk someone through using a certain device or create something DIY or anything else that you think someone might need help with and is not already available or that you think you can deliver in a better and easier way.

Or you can create a more in-depth book where you share extensive information through your knowledge and experience in a certain topic. Check this list of websites to see where you can sell your ebook.

You can also find more details on how to make money online in Passive Income: 5 Online Businesses That Work

Till next week, happy days!

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