How to Take Pictures for Amazon Listings

Learn Both the Outsource and DIY Routes

There are two different routes that you can take for product photos: outsourcing or DIY. There are plenty of pros and cons for each of these routes, and we’ll be going over each of these here:

Amazon Product Photography

The Outsourcing Route

Pros

  • Easier to implement (copy+paste what you’re sent)
  • High-quality work
  • The relief in knowing you can relax and let someone else do your dirty work!

Cons

  • More expensive ($155-$176 depending on the number of photos you get)
  • Slower turnaround (photos can take up to 2 weeks to finish, description can take up to 2 days)
  • The potential of one of these outsourcing agents screwing up which could set you back a bit (i.e. you wait 2 weeks and the photos end up not looking how you wanted so you need them to redo it)

The DIY Route

Pros

  • No cost to you (assuming you have a camera)
  • Faster turnaround (assuming you don’t slack off!)
  • The satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself!

Cons

  • More difficult to do
  • More work on your part
  • Quality might not be as good (unless you’re a professional photographer)

The first route we will be looking at is outsourcing your photos.

The Outsourcing Route for Your Photos

Requirements:

  • $126 (plus shipping)
  • A small shipping box for your product
  • Printer
  • Packing tape
  • USPS, UPS or FedEx

For a full list of all of the tools I recommend for Amazon FBA go here: https://www.techprosperity.com/amazonfbatools

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Upgraded Images is a fantastic California-based company that will take photos of your products at a really good rate.

All you have to do is fill out their order form, print it off and mail it to them with your product.

If you don’t have a printer, just save your files to a USB drive and take it to a local print shop (FedEx Office, Office Max, or Office Depot work as well).

This page details where you need to ship your product based on which carrier you decide to go with.

I recommend having them do at least 6 photos for you which will amount to $21 per photo ($126).

Unless you plan on using these photos in brochures, catalogs, etc. you should choose their “Take Me Online” option for your photos as this option is best for Amazon sellers.

When I used them, it took a little over 2 weeks for them to complete my photos without the rush delivery.

Since we’re in no hurry, I don’t recommend buying the rush delivery as it will use up vital monetary resources you will need to build your business.

Just wait out the 2 weeks, trust me, it’s worth it.

Filling Out Their Order Form

When filling out their order form, you will be required to provide your information including your name, shipping address, etc.

Fill everything out where applicable (i.e. if you don’t have a company name just put N/A or leave it blank) then choose the following options:

Which package would you like?

Pick the “Take Me Online” option as I mentioned unless you need photos large than 1200×1200 to use for catalogs, brochures, etc.

Which optional services do you need?

Clipping paths are unnecessary, I don’t recommend getting rush service, and you won’t need the photos on a CD since they’ll send you them in a zip file via email so don’t check any of these.

Special Instructions

Here’s where you need to explain to them what you want your photos to look like.

What I recommend you do is send them a bunch of photos of what you want your photos to look like so they can have a frame of reference.

You can grab these photos on Amazon or from your supplier’s page on Alibaba.

Here’s an example of what I did in the past when I had them take photos for a belt I tested out selling:

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I just copied and pasted the images from different Amazon pages into a Word document, printed them off, and sent them in with my order form and product.

Please note that Upgraded Images will NOT use models in your photos so if you need a model to be in your photo you can either do it yourself or find another photographer.

Shipping Your Product to UpgradedImages.com

If you don’t have a small shipping box, head on over to either Walmart or a hardware store and buy one yourself.

You’ll also need packing tape so grab some while you’re there if you don’t have any.

Once you print your order form and example photos, pack them into the small shipping box and make sure you tape the top and bottom well.

Depending on whether you go with USPS or UPS/FedEx you’ll have to send the product to a different address.

You’ll see information on which address you need at the bottom of the order form.

Send your product through whichever carrier you choose and wait patiently for your photos to arrive in your email.

Once you receive your images, simply go to your Inventory page in your Seller Dashboard, click “Edit” by your listing, go to the “Images” tab, and upload your images.

Now that we understand how to outsource our photos, let’s take a look at how to DIY your photos.

The DIY Route for Your Photos

Requirements:

  • A high-quality camera (most iPhones have great cameras – I use my iPhone 7 Plus’s camera and it’s fantastic)
  • Good lighting

Optional:

If you don’t have a high-quality camera, I recommend grabbing one otherwise your photos might end up not looking great.

I found this quality camera on Amazon that has good reviews and is at a fairly cheap price range, but feel free to search around yourself to find a good camera.

If you have a newer smartphone, such as the iPhone 6 or 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S7 you should be in good shape.

DIY Lighting

As far as lighting goes, you have a few options:

I personally use the lamps/daylight light bulbs option for my lighting needs.

This is your choice, so go with whatever fits your budget.

Taking Your Photos

I recommend checking out this video by Jungle Scout as it will give you all the information you’ll need to take great photos yourself:

A few things I would note:

  • You can either use the Amazon seller app to touch up your photos as shown in the video or by using this tool here: https://burner.bonanza.com/
  • You’ll want to take around 5-6 photos
  • Get a second opinion on your photos from your spouse/friend/etc. to see if they would click a listing with your photos

Here is an example photo I took for a pet product I sold in the past:

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If taking your own photos ends up not working out for you, just pay the $126 and go with the above outsource method.

When you’re ready to move on to creating a product description, read my post “How to Write an Amazon Product Description“.

How to Create a New Product Listing on Amazon

Step-By-Step Tutorial on Adding an Amazon Product

If you’re looking to sell products online, Amazon is easily one of the best platforms to use. However, setting up a list can be confusing if you’re unfamiliar with their Seller Central website back end. In this post, I’ll be showing you step-by-step how to set up your own listing on Amazon.

Create a listing on Amazon

If you’re here after reading my previous post about finding a supplier on Alibaba, I recommend you follow that post’s advice and wait to start a listing until you’ve picked your supplier.

With that, let’s dive right into creating your listing on Amazon!

Sign Up As An Amazon Seller

The first thing you need to do is sign up as an Amazon seller.

You have two options to choose from:

Individual Seller

As an individual seller, you have virtually all of the features as a professional seller except:

  • No monthly fee
  • $0.99 fee per unit sold
  • No Amazon PPC or Promotions

There are also some other tools that professional sellers have access to that individual sellers don’t, which you can read about here, but for where we are now you don’t have to worry about this.

Professional Seller

As a professional seller, you have virtually all of the same features as an individual seller except:

  • $39.99 monthly fee
  • No $0.99 fee per unit sold
  • Amazon PPC

You can either sign up as a professional seller now or wait until you start advertising your products.

Note: You will likely have to provide additional information about yourself in order to be allowed to upgrade to a professional seller (i.e. bank statement, government issued ID, etc.) so just keep this in mind before you upgrade.

A quick word of advice: It may be more cost effective to stay an individual seller until your business starts to gain momentum. The only downside, of course, is that you won’t be able to use Amazon PPC or Promotions which can help bring traffic to your listing and boost your listing organically. It’s up to you how you want to proceed, and you can always upgrade/downgrade your account later.

Setting Up Your Account

Once you choose to be either an individual or a professional seller, you should be taken to a page that looks like this:
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Charge Method

You will need a credit/debit card to continue registering your account.

Seller Information

Pretty self-explanatory – just fill out your information including your full name, address, phone number, etc.

Identity Verification

Amazon will need you to verify that your phone number is correct by either calling you or sending you a text.

Click “Continue” once you’re finished, and fill out any other prompts Amazon asks from you.

Add Your Product Listing

Once you’re all signed up, you should be brought to your seller dashboard which looks like this:

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Hover over the “Inventory” tab and click “Add a Product”

You should be taken to a page that looks like this:

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Since we are going to be listing a brand new product, click “Create a new product listing”.

On the next page, you will need to select the category for your product.

Amazon can help you find the best category for your product when you type your product into the search bar like so:
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Click the category that you think best fits your product.

In my case, I chose “Pet Vest Harnesses”.

Next, you’ll be taken to the details page where you need to fill out some information:

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You are required to enter information in the lines that have the red star next to it.

Depending on which category you select, some of these options might be different.

Add Details to Your Listing

Here’s a general overview of what needs to be added in order to finish your listing:

Vital Info

  • Manufacturer: The name of your manufacturing company. I normally just place the brand name in this box.
  • Brand Name: This will be the name that shows up above the product title on a listing (click here for an example). I recommend coming up with a name that’s both catchy and related to the niche you’re selling in.
  • Product Name: The product title.
  • Product ID: The UPC, SKU, or ASIN code for your product.

In order for us to register a new product, we need to have a UPC code.

Thankfully, UPC codes can be purchased for very cheap from a site called SnapUPC.

If you plan on selling more than one type of product, it might be wise to buy 5 of these UPC codes rather than 1 as it costs less per UPC if you buy them in bulk.

Once you purchase your UPC code/s, place the code into the Product ID line on the Vital Info page.

Variations

If you plan on selling different variations of this product (i.e. color, size, etc.) then you can add a different variation in this tab. However, just remember that for each variation you have to have a different UPC code. For sake of keeping things simple, I recommend not adding any variations to this first product.

Offer

  • Condition: The condition of your product. Since we will be selling products in new condition, select the “New” option.
  • Your price: The price of the product.
  • Fulfilment Channel: You have the option of either fulfilling the order yourself or having Amazon fulfill it for you. Since we plan on using Amazon’s FBA program, select the “I want Amazon to ship and provide customer service for my items if they sell.” option.

Images

This is where you will add your product images. I’ve written on the topic of taking product photos so I won’t go into too much detail here.

Description

  • Key Product Features: This is where your product’s bullet points will go that are featured underneath the product title (click here for an example).
  • Product Description: This is where you will add your product description. I’ve written on the topic of how to get great product descriptions, so definitely check that article out once you’re done with this one. For now, just write something generic – you’ll be able to edit this later.

Keywords

  • Search Terms: This is where you can add keywords people might search for that relate to your listing. Feel free to add as many terms as you like.

More Details

This is where you can add several different details about your product like the material, volume, thickness, etc. Go ahead and add any details you think a potential buyer would want to know about your product.

Once you finish filling all of this information out, click “Save and finish” to be brought back to your inventory.

If you are unable to click “Save and finish”, you may still need to fill in a specific field that is required to continue.

When you’re ready to move on to taking product photography, read my post “How to Take Pictures for Amazon Listings“.

How to Find the Best Suppliers on Alibaba the Easy Way

Step-By-Step Tutorial on How to Use Alibaba for Amazon FBA

Simply put, Alibaba is the Amazon of product manufacturers. You can find an insane number of products sold by Chinese suppliers at ridiculously low prices. You’re even able to customize your product by adding a logo, having a specific type of packaging, having your product be a specific color, etc.

Alibaba Group Logo

Just as an FYI: for this post, I won’t be focusing on the branding aspects of your product.

Instead, I’ll simply be showing you how to buy 10 generic samples of your product.

The reason why we want to buy samples before ordering hundreds of products is simple: we want to test the market to see if this product will sell well.

Sure, we’ve got some data that tells us the product will likely sell well, but until we actually sell the product we won’t know for sure if it is a profitable product!

Hence the need to test our product first.

Now that you understand what we’ll be doing, let’s start searching for a supplier!

Searching For the Right Supplier

First thing’s first, create your Alibaba account.

I recommend creating a separate Gmail account for when you sign up so you won’t get inundated with emails from suppliers (trust me on this).

Next, head on over to Alibaba’s homepage and type your product into the search bar.

In order to find the right supplier for us (i.e. someone that is both trustworthy and credible), we need to add in a couple of filters.

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Gold Supplier

According to their website, being a Gold Supplier means you have a paid membership on Alibaba.com.

All Gold Suppliers in China must pass their Onsite Check while those from other countries and regions must pass an A&V Check.

In other words, gold suppliers are much more credible than non-gold suppliers so if you don’t want to get scammed, it’s best to go with a gold supplier.

Assessed Supplier

Similar to the Gold Supplier selection, an Assessed Supplier is someone who has been quality inspected as well as had their company completely scrutinized to make sure they are legit.

Having both the Gold Supplier option and the Assessed Supplier option checked will massively reduce any possibility of getting scammed.

In fact, I think it might be safe to say it’s nearly impossible for you to get scammed on Alibaba.com unless you are extremely unlucky or pick an unverified, newer supplier.

Of course, we want to be as careful as possible, but Alibaba has been around long enough and has cracked down on scammers so much that you shouldn’t run into any issues.

Plus, since you can pay with either a credit card or PayPal, you have another layer of security with both of these options.

Picking Your Supplier

After selecting both Gold Supplier and Assessed Supplier within the filter section, this was the first product I found on the list:

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Check out the right side of the page to see more information on the supplier.

This info includes:

  • YRS Icon: This tells us how many years the company has been a supplier – generally the longer the better.
  • Location: Where this supplier is based – generally China is the best way to go as their prices are cheapest.
  • Transaction Level: This tells us how many transactions this supplier has done over their time on Alibaba. Having more transactions generally means they’re more reliable to do business with.
  • Supplier Assessments: These give us more details on how their assessments went. You can look more into this yourself if you’re curious, but you don’t have to.
  • Response Time: How quickly the supplier will get back to you on average.
  • Response Rate: The rate that the supplier messages back everyone. (i.e. if 100 people message them and they respond to all 100 of them then it would be 100%. If they only respond to 70 of them it would be 70%, etc.)

From what I can see so far, it looks like this specific supplier would be a good fit for us to do business with.

The price range is $2.3-$3.88 per unit, and since we plan on selling them for around $20-$40 per unit that’s a pretty significant profit margin!

Reaching Out to Suppliers

Click the “Contact Supplier” button on the product page.

You should be taken to a page that looks like this:

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I recommend following the script I have provided here (obviously changing up the product information and your name), but you can modify this however you like.

Here’s the script so you can copy/paste:

Hi there,

We’re a [niche] distributor selling products within the United States. We’re interested in adding [product] to our product lineup, and thought your products looked great!

My boss would like me to order 10 sample sets/units of this product. Would you be willing to send some top-quality samples?

My boss would also like you to use your express shipping account.

Let me know what else you need from me to get this sample order shipped!

Look forward to working with you,

[Your Name]
Purchasing Agent for [business name]

A few key things to note with your script:

  • Write as though you are an employee of a company, do NOT say you are the boss. This is important as you want the supplier to know they are working with a serious business that will build a partnership with them.
  • Ask for 10 samples. If they are unwilling to send you 10 samples, tell them that your boss only wants you to order 10 samples to test the market. If that doesn’t persuade them, then just find another supplier. There are so many suppliers on Alibaba that it shouldn’t be hard to find another one.
  • Always ask if they can use their express shipping account to send you their samples. If they’re unable to, that’s still fine as long as the shipping isn’t outrageous. Since the products we’ll be buying aren’t very large, the shipping shouldn’t be very much.
  • Uncheck the share my business card with the supplier option. If the supplier inquires more about you or your company and won’t do business with you until you answer their questions, just look for another supplier. In my experience, most suppliers are willing to work with you as long as you present yourself well and seem willing to build a business partnership with them through ordering and reordering products from them.
  • You can use a fictitious name for your business. In my case, I have an LLC so I’m using it as my business name.
  • You can also provide your newly created email to have them reply to you on that platform instead of Alibaba’s. This is optional, many people like to follow up over their email because Alibaba’s user interface can be difficult to navigate.

Once you’ve written your script, click “Send Inquiry Now” and wait for the supplier to respond.

Generally, suppliers will respond to you within 24 hours.

You may send additional inquiries to other suppliers to see if you’ll get a better deal with them.

The suppliers will likely ask you for information including your address, a contact name (your name), a phone number, etc.

They will either bill you via PayPal or you can use a credit card to pay for the samples.

Once you order your samples, the supplier will give you a tracking number and roughly how many days it will take to get to you.

Moving Forward

You might be asking yourself, “What happens after I sell through these 10 samples?”

At that point, all you’ll have to do is reach out to your supplier again and request to order more units.

I recommend starting slowly by ordering anywhere from 50-100 units and then scaling up as you make more sales.

When you’re ready to move on to creating a listing on Amazon, read my post “How to Create a Listing on Amazon“.

How to Find Products to Sell on Amazon

Learn Product Research Using Jungle Scout

Trying to find the right product to sell on Amazon can be an incredibly time-consuming and difficult task. Thankfully, the folks at Jungle Scout made it easy for people like us by developing an incredible tool that’s both simple to use and insanely efficient.

Amazon On The Web

Using this tool, I will show you how you can find profitable products to sell in literally just a few clicks!

Let’s get started by checking out Jungle Scout’s web app tool which is actually an entire database of Amazon products.

Purchasing the Jungle Scout Web App

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First thing’s first, head on over to Jungle Scout’s web app page and sign up for the tool.

I know, I know, it would be way better if there were a free way of doing this, but truthfully there isn’t anything that comes close to this tool – free or otherwise.

The only “free” way of doing this is manually looking through hundreds of Amazon listings which would take FOREVER!

Our most valuable asset is our time, so I recommend not taking the more time-consuming route.

You can either pay yearly (like I do) and get 3 months free or pay $39 each month (assuming you get the startup plan which is what I have).

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive right into the tool itself!

Using the Jungle Scout Web App

Once you’re all signed up for Jungle Scout’s web app, head on over to their product database tab.

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As you can see, I have certain filters already set up on my web app.

The reason why I chose these specific filters is that the type of product we want to sell needs to be generic, lightweight, brandable, not too competitive, and make roughly $3000 per month (that’s 10 products a day sold at $10 each).

Here’s more information on what each of these filters is:

Marketplace

You can pick between products sold on Amazon’s US website, Canada, Germany, the UK, etc.

My Advice: Pick whichever market you plan on selling to (thanks, Captain Obvious!). Chances are you’ll be selling primarily to the US marketplace.

Categories

You can filter out different products based on the categories shown here.

My Advice: The categories chosen in the above screenshot tend to reap the best results for me, however, you can also add Beauty, Beauty & Personal Care, Sports & Outdoors, and Toys & Games if you’re having trouble finding a good product. I would not recommend adding any of the unchosen categories, but you can, of course, play around with it yourself to see what works for you. I have just found it extremely difficult to find products meeting my criteria in those unchosen categories.

Price

The listing price of the product.

My Advice: The ideal listing price range is between $15-$100. Any less won’t be as profitable and any more will be too expensive to buy inventory for.

Net

The amount of money you will make after selling the product with fees applied.

My Advice: Set the minimum net amount to $10 as anything less won’t be very profitable.

Rank

The BSR (best seller’s rank) of the product. This is Amazon’s way of ranking how well products sell in their respective categories.

My Advice: Since we want to find a non-competitive product that sells well, we want to find a product that is within the 6000+ rank. Anything less than 6000 tends to be too competitive.

Est. Sales

The estimated number of sales per month for this product. Since Amazon doesn’t release their sales numbers, Jungle Scout uses their own formula to estimate the number of sales these products have each month.

My Advice: I always have 300 set as the minimum number of products sold each month since we want to find a product that sells roughly 10 units a day.

Est. Rev.

The estimated amount of revenue per month for this product.

My Advice: Again, the goal is to find a product that can sell 10 a day at $10 so I set the minimum revenue at $3000 per month.

Reviews

The number of reviews for this listing.

My Advice: In my opinion, the sweet spot for a noncompetitive product that sells well is under 50 reviews. You can play around with this setting, but I would not go over 200 reviews as it will be more difficult to rank for organically.

Rating

The rating of the listing between one and five stars.

My Advice: You don’t want a product that has a bad rating (unless you can somehow make the product better, which would be the only exception to changing this), so I would always make sure the product is between 3 to 4 stars at a minimum.

Weight

The weight of the product in pounds.

My Advice: We want a product that weighs no more than 2 pounds. Think of it this way: we want the product to be able to fit in a shoebox. This small size will cut down on shipping when we order our product from a supplier.

No. Sellers

The number of sellers selling this product.

My Advice: I don’t bother using this setting, but it can be good to see how many other people are selling this same type of product to test its competitiveness. I’ve found this setting to not always be accurate, though, so my advice is to take it with a grain of salt.

Listing Quality

The quality of the listing based on the title of the listing, the bullet points, the overall description, and the photos.

My Advice: I don’t pay much attention to this setting either, but obviously a listing that sells well with a poor quality score means we can likely do well with an even better, more optimized listing.

Product Tier

The size of the product.

My Advice: This should be a no-brainer, we never want to sell an oversized product. Always have standard selected.

Seller

Which type of account is selling this specific product.

My Advice: You have 3 choices: Amazon, Fulfilled by Amazon, and Merchant. The Amazon option will show products sold by Amazon.com’s own private label, the Fulfilled by Amazon option will show products sold by people like you and me who use their FBA services, and the Fulfilled by Merchant option will show products sold that are shipped by the sellers themselves. I like to just select Fulfilled by Amazon as we are wanting to see if we can emulate what these sellers are doing.

Search Keyword

Using this search bar, you can filter by specific keywords in the product’s title.

My Advice: This can be useful if you are wanting to look for specific products to sell (e.g. gloves, belts, fidget spinners, etc.) otherwise just leave this blank.

Exclude Keywords

Using this search bar, you can exclude products from showing up based on specific keywords found in the product’s title.

My Advice: Use this to filter out products that you are either unable to sell or don’t want to sell (e.g. supplements, sex toys, NFL jerseys, etc.). I personally don’t use this filter much, but it is still useful nonetheless.

Results Per Page

The number of products displayed on the page.

My Advice: Set this to 200. It just makes it easier not having to sift through tons of pages.

Phew! That was a lot of information!

Now that we’ve gone over what each of these filters is, I recommend you set your filters exactly like mine.

Once you’re done, move on to the next section.

Search For Your Golden Product

Hit the “search” button and the tool will load a list of products for us to sort through.

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The products will be filtered by “Product Info” by default showing them in alphabetical order.

What I like to do is filter by “Net” so I can see products in order from most profitable to least profitable, so click the small down arrow next to “Net” in the top row.

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You can click the product’s title to be taken to that product’s listing on Amazon.

Open up a few products that look promising so you’ll be able to research them more in depth later.

Remember: The product we are looking for should be generic, lightweight, brandable, not too competitive, and make roughly $3000 per month.

After researching for quite awhile, this particular item caught my eye:

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A tactical dog vest sounds like a generic, brandable product, and with those numbers, it would likely sell well while not being too competitive.

Optional: Using the Jungle Scout Chrome Extension

Now we’re going to check what the first page looks like when we search for this product’s main keyword in Amazon.

“Dog Tactical Vest” sounds like the most basic keyword people would search to find this product.

Using Jungle Scout’s Chrome Extension, we’re able to compile data on the first page’s search results in seconds.

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I like to look at the averages listed at the top to see how difficult it would be to rank on the first page for this product.

According to the data, the average number of reviews is less than 100 which is a good sign, and there are several products on the front page that don’t have many reviews.

This shows that this particular product isn’t overly saturated, and there is an opportunity for us to rank on the front page.

In order to solidify if this is the right choice, we need to see if there are suppliers on Alibaba.com that can make this product for us.

I’ll be showing you a more in-depth look on finding a supplier on Alibaba in a different post, but for now quickly jump over to Alibaba.com and search for your product.

Search For Your Product on Alibaba

When I searched for “dog tactical vest” this is what the results returned for me:

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As you can see, there are several different manufacturers willing to make our product for us.

This is the most important step to building a successful Amazon FBA business, so be sure to spend as much time on this as possible!

When you’re ready to move on to finding a supplier, read my post “How to Find the Best Suppliers on Alibaba“.

Irrational Fear: A Short Story About Overcoming Your Biggest Obstacle

Originally Written in August 2015

Derrick looked on as the beast staggered towards him with blood red eyes. This was the beast that was blocking Derrick’s journey into the vast, beautiful World of the Unknown. Normally afraid, today was different as he felt a strange sense of courage normally foreign to him. He needed to get past the beast and into the World of the Unknown at all costs. In that moment he knew, it was now or never. The beast or him. Brandishing his trusty dagger, Derrick ran at the beast full force with nothing held back.

Irrational Fear

The beast let out a roar and charged at Derrick with what looked like smoke puffing out of its nostrils. The two were nearly face-to-face when the beast suddenly stopped in its tracks as a look of fear flashed across its face. The beast quickly spun around and ran the other way as fast as it could.

Dismayed, Derrick skidded to a halt, looking on in disbelief as the beast scampered the opposite direction.

“What’s wrong, I thought you wanted a fight?” Derrick yelled as the beast ran the other way. Upon hearing this, the beast quickly stopped several yards away from Derrick and swung its long, scaly neck around to face him.

“A fight? Against you?” the beast scoffed, “I wouldn’t stand a chance against you!”

Derrick couldn’t believe what he was hearing. The beast was several feet taller than he was, had sharp claws, tough, scaly skin, and teeth that looked ten times sharper than his dagger. A creature like that shouldn’t fear anything. Derrick began to wonder if the beast was merely taunting him.

“I get it…you’re just playing with me, aren’t you? Do you really think I’m that stupid? Look at you! Your sharp claws and teeth, your tough skin and large frame! I know I’m probably going to lose to you, but I’d rather die in battle than lie down and let you have me without a fight!” Derrick shouted as he pointed his dagger at the beast.

“You really don’t get it, do you?” the beast sighed, “You’ve already beaten me.”

“What?” Derrick shouted.

“Look closer.”

Derrick squinted his eyes to get a better glimpse of the beast standing a few yards in front of him. Strangely enough, the beast’s previously large frame was suddenly a lot smaller than it was before, what was once a towering creature now looked more like a small house cat. Its skin was now more akin to soft, delicate fabric than the tough, impenetrable armor originally covering the beast before. Even its sharp claws and teeth were now much less intimidating and almost laughable. This was not the beast he had been terrified of his entire life.

“But…but I don’t understand,” Derrick said, confused, “Just a minute ago you were twice my size and had sharp teeth but now…now you’re nothing.”

“You see me for what I truly am, Derrick,” the beast said, “I am nothing. You spent your entire life avoiding me, worrying about me, changing yourself because of me, losing sleep because of me, not doing what you love because of me, hating yourself and others because of me…now do you see how ridiculous and irrational your fears were? Why have you made me out to be this terrible monster?”

Derrick, still in shock over this daunting revelation, sunk to his knees as he tried to process everything that the beast was telling him. Could it be that his fears were the whole time irrational? Was this beast really just…nothing? Had his imagination made this creature into something much more diabolical than it really was?

“This whole time…I was so afraid to face you and explore the World of the Unknown because I didn’t think I could defeat you. I had to hide from you…and yet, you were nothing more than a tiny, weak and pathetic creature that I could have crushed without any problem…” Derrick said as his anger increased with each word spoken.

“You’re correct, Derrick,” the beast said.

Derrick picked himself up off the ground, ran toward the beast and placed his dagger at the beast’s throat.

“Before I do this, tell me…what are you?” Derrick asked the beast as it lie helplessly under Derrick’s blade.

The beast looked up at Derrick as its body began to wither.

“I’m the Boogeyman when you were five, I’m the witch who almost boiled you alive in that dream you had when you were nine, I’m the shame you felt after that kid threw your lunchbox into the bushes when you were eleven, I’m the worthlessness you felt after your boss yelled at you when you were eighteen, I’m the business you were too scared to even start when you were twenty-two because you didn’t want to fail. Call me whatever you want, but ultimately we both know what I really am.”

“…you’re nothing,” Derrick said under his breath.

“The only one that kept you from exploring the World of the Unknown for all these years was you, not me,” the beast said as it drew its final gasp of air.

Derrick slashed the beast’s throat with his dagger but quickly realized the beast no longer had any substance. In fact, Derrick began to wonder if the beast ever had any substance, to begin with! The beast’s body continued to wither as Derrick lifted his eyes to see a vast, beautiful landscape in front of him that he had never seen before.

Derrick laid his dagger down on the spot where the beast had died. He no longer needed to fight, he knew he had won. Running full speed ahead, Derrick’s mind was now free to explore, create and innovate without fear that the beast of his past would rear its ugly head again.

And even if it did show up, he reasoned, he knew exactly what the beast was:

It was nothing.

And nothing would ever keep him from his destiny again.

How to Make Money Building Websites Part Time From Home

Make Five to Six Figures Working With Local Businesses

“Here you go,” the business owner said as she handed me a check for $500. As I took the check from her, it’s hard to put into words the excitement I felt as I saw my name in the “PAY TO THE ORDER OF:” line and that beautiful “$500” amount smiling back at me.

Young man working on his laptop in a coffee shop

After we shook hands and I made my way back to my car, I felt a deep sense of accomplishment as I had just sold my very first client on a web design project.

What made this moment even more fulfilling was that I had only just started building websites 3 months ago.

As I drove back home from this meeting, a litany of thoughts began to plague my mind:

“What if she thinks the site sucks?”

“You’re a fraud, you barely know how to build websites!”

“How are you going to have the time to build her a new site?”

Thankfully, I overcame these thoughts and within a few weeks I built the site, collected the remaining money owed to me, and continued working with the client to this very day.

Since mid-2014, I have made 5 figures (xx,xxx) building and maintaining websites for clients.

The work I did was completely part-time and only with a handful of people, so had I spent more time marketing my services I know I could have made even more.

I didn’t quit my day job, worked a few hours each week on my client’s websites, and still made a lot of money.

So whether you want to build your own digital marketing agency, make side money as a freelancer, or learn skills that can get you a career in digital marketing here are some tips that I’ve used to become a successful freelance web designer.

Start Building Websites

Before you even think about marketing yourself as a web designer, you have to actually get out there and build a website yourself.

I know, it sounds pretty obvious, but plenty of people these days love to talk big games on things like entrepreneurship, digital marketing, etc. when they literally have nothing to show for it.

Don’t worry, though, because gone are the days of having to master coding, HTML, and CSS thanks to software like WordPress.

What You Need to Build Your First Website

  • Domain Name (yourwebsite.com) – This can be bought through a domain registrar like Namecheap for as low as $10 per year.
  • Hosting Server – This is a server where your website’s files are kept. I recommend using Siteground as their pricing is affordable and their site is easy to use.
  • WordPress Software – This can be installed for free on your hosting server with literally one click.

That’s seriously it!

Try building a simple website about anything, whether it be your own personal blog or a fan site about your favorite show.

Spend time each day learning how WordPress works, play around with new themes and plugins, and, of course, Google anything and everything you can think of related to web design.

Trust me, it’s better to jump in and learn as you go rather than waiting to take action until you “know enough”.

Had I done that, then I wouldn’t have had the skills to build a website for my first client 3 months after I started learning web design!

By that point, my first client’s website was the fifth website I ever built rather than the first, so I had a better grip on what I was doing.

Also, that client may have found someone else willing to build them a site instead of me, and I could have lost out on that opportunity completely!

Thankfully I didn’t, and you won’t either if you just start.

Tell Your Friends

Once you start building websites, let people know about it.

No, I’m not saying you should be like Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration, but I am saying you should make others aware of your new found skills.

The reason why I tell people to do this is simple:

I found my first client through a friend after a chance conversation with him at a wedding.

I told him I was building websites and he told me a local ballroom company that he spent time at needed a new one.

So, I got the owner’s contact information and have been working with them ever since!

I’ve redesigned their website twice, have done SEO work for them, and even found another client thanks to a referral by them.

Let’s just say that chance conversation was what propelled me to not only make several thousands of dollars independently but also gave me the skills to get a job in the digital marketing field.

Who knows? Maybe there’s a chance conversation waiting for you someday after you let people know what you’re doing!

Get Your Logistics in Order

Ideally, you want to do this before you have a meeting scheduled with your first prospective client, but it’s OK if you end up having to scramble the day before like I did (just don’t expect much sleep that night!).

You’ll want to create a proposal that includes your scope of work, pricing, and how long it will take you to complete their website.

There are tons of proposal templates available on the internet, so just find one you like and add all the necessary information – it doesn’t have to look perfect.

It’s also recommended you either show them your portfolio or a mockup of what you have in mind for their new website.

Again, this doesn’t have to be perfect – just come up with something and do your best to sell them on it.

You will learn a ton just by meeting with this first prospect even if they don’t end up going with you, so don’t be discouraged if things don’t go the way you want right away.

Tips When Meeting With Prospects

  • When meeting with your prospect, have your proposal printed off and ready for them to sign.
  • Make sure the proposal not only looks good aesthetically but is easy to understand.
  • Try to limit your proposal to only a few pages (maximum of 5 in my opinion).
  • Be as descriptive as possible, but at the same time try to only include the necessary information (explain the importance of responsive design but don’t rattle on about a specific WordPress theme you like).
  • Look your prospect in the eyes, and make sure you act very engaged and interested in their business.
  • Sit up straight and speak confidently.

The biggest mistake I made when I first got started working with clients was I priced myself way too low for the amount of work I did.

Price yourself accordingly, for example:

I set my price at $1000 for the first website I built and had my client pay me $500 upfront and $500 when I finished.

Personally, I find this pricing to be sufficient for your first client.

Make sure that you explicitly state in your proposal the work that you will be doing, and advise them that if you end up having to go outside the initial scope of work that it will cost extra.

Of course, you want to be understanding and ensure that your client is satisfied, but getting this out of the way upfront will save you hours of working late into the night for free (trust me, I would know!).

Look For Local Opportunities

I’m gonna be honest with you:

You’re probably never going to build a website for Coca-Cola.

You might, however, be able to build a website for that local restaurant you drive by on your way to the bank every Thursday morning.

Make a list of all the small businesses within driving distance of your house, Google them, and see what their websites look like.

If they’re outdated, hard to navigate or rank low in the search engines then you’ve probably got an opportunity on your hands.

Reach out to these business owners via email or just walk into their establishments and introduce yourself.

Leave them your contact information and try to set up a follow meeting with them to discuss your scope of work and pricing.

Remember: the worst thing they can say is no.

Learn As You Go

If you can’t tell, I’m purposely not being as descriptive with things as I could be because I want you to get out there and learn things yourself by taking action.

I didn’t learn how to build websites, write proposals, or work with clients through reading a handful of articles.

I learned by doing.

If you feel like you don’t want to get started working as a freelance web designer until you “know enough” then I suggest you stop reading this and just start messing around in WordPress.

I’m serious, quit reading this right now and start building a website.

Keep going, and if you hit a roadblock Google will be your best friend.

The only thing holding you back from cashing a $500 check written to you by that local restaurant is yourself, so get to work, learn as you go, and stop complaining.

Conclusion

You can read a million different articles on things like web design, SEO, etc., but until you actually open the WordPress backend and start exploring it yourself you’ll have nothing to show for your knowledge except a big head.

These 5 steps are what ultimately took me from working at a grocery store to working at a digital marketing agency with double the income and even a nice side hustle that made me 5 figures.

Get to work, and I promise you if you don’t quit you’ll do well.

Namecheap is the Best Domain Registrar and Here’s Why

A Review of Namecheap's Domain Service

If you’re needing a cheap domain registrar that both has great customer service and an easy-to-use interface, then Namecheap is by far the best choice. I’ve been using NameCheap for almost 3 years now and have had zero issues with them, so I can’t recommend them more.

NameCheap Logo

Here’s an in-depth look at why Namecheap is the best domain registrar and should be used by everyone (even you diehard GoDaddy fans…do those even exist?)

They Don’t Call Themselves Cheap for Nothing!

Just like the name implies, NameCheap’s pricing for domains is incredibly cheap averaging around $10 – $11 per year for their .com domains.

With their monthly coupon codes they come out with, however, you can get your domains at an even cheaper rate of $9 – $10 (every dollar counts, right?)

While their .org and .net prices can vary in pricing, their .com prices consistently remain low which is why I like them a lot.

Another cool feature is that the more years you buy, the cheaper the per year price will be as you can see in this photo:

Namecheap Pricing

Basically, if you know you’re going to have the site around for more than a year, it might be smarter to buy the domain for 2+ years upfront rather than waiting to be auto billed for it each year.

Personally, I recommend if you’re just getting started to just buy the one year and once your website becomes more established you can buy more years to bring the price down.

Beautiful Interface

Namecheap has evolved their interface over the years to better serve their audience.

I know this because as part of their audience, I’ve been consistently blown away by how awesome their site gets each year.

I love minimalist design, so when Namecheap updated their dashboard to look more like this I instantly fell in love:

Namecheap Dashboard

So much beautiful white space!

Easy to Navigate

Not only is the site beautifully built, but it’s also insanely simple to navigate around the backend.

If I need to transfer a domain, sell a domain, or simply update my nameservers I know exactly where I need to go.

As someone who has bought dozens of domain names over the years, having a domain registrar that is simple to navigate not only saves me precious seconds of my time but also keeps me from pulling my hair out trying to find things I need.

Namecheap keeps things simple (stupid) and that’s why they’re, in my humble opinion, the best domain registrar to use for web designers, entrepreneurs, or average joe’s looking to start a WordPress blog.

Customer Service Awesomeness

I’m personally a huge fan of the chat feature on sites as it’s way faster than email or submitting support tickets.

Similar to Siteground, Namecheap has a chat feature that allows you to be in contact with a representative within seconds.

These guys have always answered my questions in a professional matter, usually resolve the issue within minutes, and have never cussed me out once – even when I get snappy with them!

These three things alone are clear to me why their customer service is spectacular, but if you don’t believe me reach out to them yourselves and see!

The Cons of Using NameCheap

I keep things honest on this blog, so I’m being genuine when I say there’s very little issues I’ve had with Namecheap as a whole while working as a web designer and a niche blogger.

The thing with domain registrars is that you don’t really work within their dashboards for long periods of time unless you need to update your hosting, transfer a domain, sell off a domain, etc.

These things don’t happen very often unless you’re like how I was when I first got started in online marketing and bought a new domain every other day (I don’t recommend doing this).

The only real problem I’ve had with them is that I couldn’t get a refund for any of the domains I had bought either impulsively or because I decided not to create a website with that domain anymore.

Namecheap’s registration agreement tells you outright that their domains are nonrefundable, but who actually reads these?!

All kidding aside, this is very normal for a domain registrar to do so it’s not much of a complaint to make.

Plus, Namecheap has a domain marketplace where you can sell your domain at your own price with Namecheap taking 10% of the sale which isn’t bad.

I will say, however, that most of the domains I’ve been able to sell successfully sold for around $5 with only one I can think of that sold for more.

So, to put it bluntly, if you’re going to buy a domain anywhere you better make sure it’s the name you want otherwise you’ll never get all your money back.

Conclusion

In my experience, Namecheap is great, and easily the best domain registrar to use.

GoDaddy isn’t terrible, and they have plenty of promotions that are good (with a billion other upsells), but I find Namecheap to be a far superior domain registrar.

Call it brand loyalty, but Namecheap will always have a special place in my heart as the first domain registrar I ever used and will likely continue to use for years to come.

3 Best Shared Hosting Companies For Your WordPress Site

Build a Stable Website by Selecting the Best Company to Host It

When it comes to hosting a website, there are only a handful of shared hosting companies that I personally would recommend using. While shared hosting is slow compared to other forms of website hosting, it is also one of the most affordable and is perfect for people to use if they want to build a website quickly.

Best Shared Hosting Companies

Here are 3 companies that I have used personally over the years that I would recommend anyone use to get started building their website.

1. Siteground

Siteground

Siteground is hands-down the best shared hosting company that I’ve used when it comes to pricing, speed, interface, and ease-of-use.

I’ve been using them for nearly 2 years on both client and personal websites and there’s very little I can complain about.

Their customer service is also fantastic. Thanks to their chat feature, if I have any issue I can immediately get assistance without much wait time.

Siteground cPanel

Siteground’s easy-to-navigate cPanel.

The only real issue I find myself running into is that their server seems to cache my site’s files to the point where if I make an update it will not always immediately take effect.

Their customer service always takes care of this problem, but it’s a little annoying having to deal with this issue at times.

Another slight con with Siteground is that its pricing is slightly higher than the other shared hosting companies mentioned in this list.

Not much of a con as I think Siteground is the best shared hosting company and it’s worth paying a little more for a better product, but I figured I’d include this as a con for penny-pinchers (definitely know what that’s like).

Siteground Pricing

PROS

  • Overall fast hosting compared to most other shared hosting companies
  • Easy to use interface
  • 1-click installation of WordPress
  • Affordable pricing
  • Great uptime (99.9%)
  • Fantastic customer service

CONS

  • Server caching issues
  • Slightly more expensive than other shared hosting on this list

2. Bluehost

Bluehost

Bluehost is one of the most popular shared hosting companies out there, and so naturally back in 2015 I decided to try them out for both my personal and client websites.

While I did like their customer service (they refunded me after I purchased their yearly plan without question when I decided to go with Siteground instead) and overall great hosting performance, I was not a big fan of their cPanel interface.

I’m not sure if they’ve updated their interface since 2015 as I haven’t used them since, but at the time their cPanel interface was difficult for me to navigate compared to others I had used at the time like HostGator, Siteground, etc.

As you can see in this photo, their cPanel interface looks very different compared to Siteground’s:

Bluehost cPanel

#NotMycPanel

Maybe this doesn’t bother you, but it did for me when I first signed up with them.

Also, I kept running into advertising for MOJO Marketplace whenever I would try to install a site or just navigate through their cPanel.

Every time I installed WordPress on a site it would automatically install their MOJO Marketplace plugin, and sometimes I would randomly end up on their website with no explanation.

I get the need to upsell customers, but it annoyed me having to constantly see this little green guy with the eyepatch all the time.

Mojo Marketplace Mascot

“Hi there, wanna buy some themes?”

Again, this was back in 2015 so things may have changed since then (I would hope).

Overall, Bluehost is a good place to get started with hosting your new website if you can’t afford Siteground.

Bluehost Pricing

PROS

  • Good hosting speed
  • Great customer service
  • 1-click WordPress installation
  • Low price

CONS

  • Difficult to navigate cPanel interface
  • Not as good as Siteground (proof)
  • Too much green eye-patch guy

3. HostGator

HostGator

The first ever hosting company I used, HostGator will always have a special place in my heart.

They are a fantastic place to start for newcomers as they have an easy to use interface and customers can get started for as low as a penny for their first month.

HostGator cPanel

Very similar to Siteground’s cPanel design.

Unfortunately, while the insane affordability and easy-to-use interface excel with HostGator, their hosting falls apart due to its snail-like speed.

I didn’t realize it at the time when I first started using them back in 2014, but HostGator is insanely slow when compared to other hosting companies *cough*Siteground*cough*.

While they’re great to use if you need a cheap way to get started building websites, don’t count on them as being a reliable company to keep your website stationed (especially if it begins to pick up a lot of traffic).

My advice to you: use HostGator if you’re tight on cash and want to familiarize yourself with things like WordPress, cPanel, etc., then switch to Siteground once your site is starting to gain traffic and you can afford the $90 per year fee.

HostGator Pricing

PROS

  • Easy to use interface
  • Dirt cheap pricing
  • Great customer service
  • 1-click WordPress installation

CONS

  • S-L-O-W!

Conclusion

I hope this brief overview of the 3 shared hosting companies I’ve used over the years has given you a general idea of what the best shared hosting company is.

As I mentioned, many of my qualms with Bluehost and HostGator are issues I’ve experienced in the past, such as their interface, so feel free to try these other companies out for yourself and prove me wrong – I honestly don’t mind.

If I were you, though, I would throw in with Siteground as they have yet to let me down.

Of course, if something new rolls around that I end up using instead of Siteground then I’ll be sure to update this article!

4 Life Lessons I Would Teach My Younger Self

Things You Wish Someone Would Have Told You

I sometimes dream about one day being able to take a time machine back to 2003 on my first day of the 7th grade so I could reassure myself that everything was going to be OK. I then would proceed to give myself a sports almanac from my time so that I could become a millionaire by the time I was in my 20’s.

Silhouette of male skilled and confident businessman is thinking

All kidding aside, I think we all have certain things we wish someone would have told us when we were younger.

For me, I definitely have a laundry list of things, but here are four life lessons that I would have wanted to know.

1. College Isn’t Always Necessary to be Successful

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that I needed to go to college to be successful, I wouldn’t even come close to paying off my student loans.

Ouch.

While a college degree is viewed by many as the pinnacle of success, several of the most successful people today either dropped out of college, never went to college, or went to college but don’t really use their degree.

A few examples include Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, who dropped out of Harvard his sophomore year; Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, who dropped out of school altogether at 16; and Pat Flynn, founder of SmartPassiveIncome.com, who graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Berkeley but after being laid off started his own online business in 2008.

Now, don’t get me wrong, college is a fantastic place that can provide a person with exceptional opportunities.

If my child wanted to go to college, I would do everything in my power to make it happen.

However, the idea that college is always a prerequisite to success is a myth, and many successful people today are proof of that.

I personally don’t regret going to college, as that’s where I met my fiancée, but I would explain to my younger self that college isn’t always needed to be successful despite what people might tell us.

With as many opportunities as there are today, many people are able to build successful businesses for themselves by being smart and not losing focus.

2. Play Less Video Games and Spend More Time Learning

I won’t lie: I am the master of Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64.

Hands down (proof).

I spent more hours on that game than I can even begin to fathom, but if I would have spent even half of that time on things like learning entrepreneurship, business, wellness, writing, etc., I would have saved myself a lot of time and energy that could have been spent elsewhere.

Of course, I don’t regret being the master of Super Smash Bros., but if I could I would explain to my younger self that while video games are awesome, gaining valuable knowledge is far more awesome and can propel us to do amazing things in our lives.

3. Develop Your Creativity and Never Stop Dreaming

When we were children, all we did was create.

We built rocket ships, sailboats, forts, and imagined we were cowboys, pirates, and astronauts.

We wrote stories, invented things, and dared to dream the impossible like traveling to space or exploring the depths of the Mariana Trench.

Did any of us have to learn how to do these things?

No, it just seemed to come naturally.

Many people lose touch with their creative side after they’re told to “grow up” and eventually start working a desk job where they wonder how the heck creative geniuses like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk are able to do what they do.

It’s easy: they never stopped dreaming.

If I could, I would teach my younger self to always value their creativity, never stop dreaming, and let their imagination run wild with possibilities.

4. Spend More Time With the Ones You Love

After my grandpa died of cancer in April 2010, I realized how short this life is and how valuable our time spent with the ones we love truly is.

The last thing he said to me before he slipped into a coma on his hospital bed was, “I love you”, and as I left his room a new sense of purpose began to form in me as I desired to make every moment count not only for me but for the ones I loved.

Time is the most valuable asset we have, and spending it wisely can spell the difference between a life lived to the fullest and a life filled with regrets.

If I could, I would explain to my younger self that life is precious and should be spent with the ones we love and cherish.

We should find time each day to tell the ones we love how much they mean to us because we never know when they will draw their last breath and say, “I love you.”

Living a life of regrets is never a healthy way to live, but self-reflection like this can help us recognize how far we’ve come in our lives and give us valuable insight that we can teach our children as they discover life the same way we did growing up.

5 Reasons Why Michael Jackson Was Successful

Learn How to Dominate Your Arena Through the King of Pop's Example

Considered by many to be the greatest entertainer of all time, it’s no secret that Michael Jackson was one of the most successful performers of the 20th century. A phenomenal singer, dancer, and songwriter, Jackson is cited by many artists today as one of their biggest influences due to his artistic innovation and raw talent.

Michael Jackson

Though it seemed he was born to be famous, his success wasn’t the result of genetics. Instead, there were several things Jackson had to do to bring him to the level of success he had during his lifetime. Here are 5 reasons why Michael Jackson was successful.

1. He Strived to Be the Best in All He Did

Whether he was hitting the high notes or dancing the robot, Jackson made it his aim to be the best in all he did. He spent countless hours practicing his dancing alone or with choreographers, and even said that sometimes he would lock himself in his home, turn on some music, and just feel the rhythm as he perfected his steps in his dance studio. Jackson believed in working really, really hard and never settling for the ordinary, which no doubt greatly contributed to his success as an entertainer.

2. He Did Things That Had Never Been Done Before

At a time when MTV would predominately play music videos by white entertainers, Michael Jackson became the first black person to have their music videos played on the network in the early 80’s which paved the way for future black artists to do the same. With the release of his album Thriller, which broke the record for the most Grammy wins in 1984, he also released the groundbreaking music video of the same name which doubled as both a music video and a short film. This style of creating music videos was revolutionary, and since then countless artists after Jackson have used this technique for their own music videos. In all that he did, both in the recording studio and on the film set, Michael Jackson loved pushing the envelope and trying things no one had ever done before.

3. He Persevered Through Challenging Times in His Life

To say that Michael Jackson had challenging times in his life is an understatement. From the abuse he suffered from his father at an early age to things like third degree burns on his head and face, vitiligo, drug addiction, and false accusations of child molestation, Jackson had his fair share of misfortunes. However, rather than caving in to his surrounding circumstances, he channeled his emotions and used them to create fantastic music throughout the 90’s including the single You Are Not Alone which became the first song ever to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Jackson fought hard to the end, planning to perform 50 consecutive shows at the London O2 arena before tragically dying from an overdose mistakenly administered by his doctor in 2009. Despite everything he went through, Michael Jackson persevered through incredibly challenging times in his life which no doubt greatly attributed to his success.

4. He Stayed Humble

Humility was an important virtue to Michael Jackson, and his actions spoke to this plainly. From starting charities for sick children to his efforts in helping save the environment, Jackson thought more of others than his own personal success. As a groundbreaking artist who literally changed the world with his talents, he never let the success get to his head and was able to continually churn out fantastic creative work by keeping his focus on others rather than himself. His humble attitude and heart to serve were no doubt a huge factor in his success.

5. He Valued His Audience

Though Michael Jackson had vocalized on numerous occasions how much he did not like to go on tour, he still did because he loved performing for his fans. While rehearsing, his main goal was to always blow his audience’s minds and give them the best performance possible. The reason is simple: he valued his audience. This is an important principle to live by because without an audience it doesn’t matter how great a person’s talents or ideas are, if nobody can see or hear them then there’s no point. A perfect example of why Jackson was so successful can be seen in how he treated his audience by providing them with insanely awesome content and recognizing each and every one of them as valuable.

Conclusion

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Michael Jackson’s success is notable and his journey to becoming a successful person can certainly teach us important lessons on building our own personal success.