For many people, being online is more than a pastime. An entire ecosystem of online jobs has emerged in the past three decades. Whether you are a blogger or freelance graphic designer, you may be thinking of ways you can capitalize on your skills. There are many ways to do this and, if done right, you can set up successful multiple streams of income (MSI).
By establishing multiple streams of income, you can have a diversified income. This article explores seven ways you can build successful multiple streams of income online. Before diving into that, let’s first talk about the importance of MSIs and how to set them up in a way that best suits you.
The Importance of Having Multiple Streams of Income
As the saying goes, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. Having more than one source of income can protect bloggers and other freelancers financially when their main sources of income run dry.
Setting up multiple streams of income is similar to investing your money in multiple investments instead of going all-in on just one stock.
If you focus solely on one investment, you will lose everything in case that investment goes wrong. On the other hand, diversifying your portfolio will allow you to get through crises relatively unscathed.
Unlike active income sources, passive income will come flowing even when you’re just putting in minimal effort. Later in this article, we will discuss ways to generate passive income as an online worker.
How do you diversify your income source?
There are various ways you can diversify your income source and keep finances flowing smoothly. Below are some of the best ways to create multiple streams of income. You can set these income streams up bit by bit until you get a cash flow you’re comfortable with.
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1. Leverage affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is when a company pays someone to advertise its products or brand. Whether you blog, create videos, or generate social media content, you can collaborate with different companies as an affiliate and receive commissions for every purchase (or click on your affiliate link) made from your blog.
Affiliate marketing is a highly profitable income stream. In fact, according to Web Market Support, 81% of brands and 84% of publishers use affiliate marketing. You can start becoming an affiliate by joining relevant affiliate networks like Amazon, ShareaSale, RewardStyle, LinkShare and Voluum.
It’s better to collaborate with brands that you trust or the ones that are relevant to the niche content you create. Be sure to write honest reviews about the brand’s products and always disclose if the links cited are affiliate links. It’s not just a good thing to do ethically, it’s also a legal requirement.
You’ll see that most sites disclose affiliate earnings. For instance, This Is Why I’m Broke makes the disclosure on its homepage. Anyone accessing the site will know the site can receive commissions if they click on some of the links there.
Even if your country’s marketing regulations don’t require you to disclose your affiliate partnerships, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Sell physical products
Aside from promoting other brands, you can generate extra income by selling your own products and services to your website visitors. These can range from physical products to digital ones. You’ll have to create a relevant product that appeals to the niche or industry you’re in.
That’s exactly what lifestyle blogger Kirsten Smith did. She started out by writing lifestyle, fashion, and self-help tips on her blog. When she had a following, she proceeded to start her own skincare line, Bettyquette. She leveraged the audience she gained from her blog to get her product line the media coverage it needed to take off.
If you want to take this approach, create a product that can bring value to your audience and followers. You can start off with printable items, meal plans, or digital subscriptions.
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Then, you can expand your product range. Different business models, such as dropshipping or print-on-demand, allow you to sell custom products without having to worry about inventory, logistics, or shipping.
Aside from selling products from your website or ecommerce store, you can also launch an affiliate program of your own to generate additional sales and expand your market reach. Affiliates, after all, like promoting products that sell and generate commissions.
3. Accept sponsored posts
If you’re a content creator, you can accept sponsored posts to generate extra income. A sponsored post is content you publish on your blog, podcast or video channel on behalf of a brand.
That content can be written by you or by the brand you sealed the partnership with. It can come in the form of product reviews, a list post that includes the sponsor’s products, or a thought piece that highlights your audience’s need for the sponsor’s products.
It can be hard to find sponsorships if you’re just starting out, but once you have a following, brands will start lining up for you to create content about their product. The income you earn from sponsored posts will vary widely. You need to consider your niche and the number of your followers when you negotiate rates for your content.
According to Financial Samurai, you can charge between $50 to as much as $5000 for a single post, depending on your reputation and reach.
While there are reports of content creators earning higher than $5000 for a single piece of content, these bloggers or vloggers tend to be the top-performing influencers in their niche.
When you do accept sponsored content, make sure to disclose you’re being paid for the post. It’s a rule from the Federal Trade Commission in a bid to ensure “products and services are described truthfully online”.
Check out this example from Making Sense of Cents, a blog that provides financial tips. Michelle makes the disclosure right on top of the blog post, so even before a person starts reading the content, they already know the writer is receiving compensation for it.
While publishing sponsored content is a good way to earn money from your site, you need to respect your audience by working only with reputable brands within your niche. Your site visitors see the sponsored content you generate as an endorsement of the products you feature.
If they buy the product and end up not being satisfied, your credibility will take a hit and your content will attract less traffic.
4. Make money by selling ebooks
If you’re a writer, you can put your talents to good use by creating ebooks. An ebook is a book in a digital, downloadable format. You can either compile all the best blog posts from your site or create a totally new and unique set of content.
Selling an eBook is a great income-making opportunity. Once you’ve finally crafted your winning content, you can promote it on your website and social media.
Unlike the traditional publishing process, you no longer have to pay for the delivery and distribution of your book. Interested website visitors can just get it from your site. That means that you can earn cash with little to no capital.
By publishing your own eBook, you can tackle in-depth topics and position yourself as an industry expert or creative writer. It’s also great for generating leads. You can sell your eBook on your website or platforms like Kindle direct publishing, Payhip.com, blurb, and the like. Just link the product page on your website.
Lawyer L.J. Ross, for example, self-published her first fantasy novel on the Kindle direct publishing platform in 2015.
Since then, she has released 19 novels and sold a total of 4.5 million copies of her ebook. She has also established a separate print label to serve the market for paperbacks.
How much money can you expect to make out of ebooks? Many writers charge up to $5 per copy, depending on their niche and reputation. While L.J. Ross’s ebooks won’t win any Nobel prizes for literature, they are thrilling and fun to read.
They also fill a specific market need. By making a decision on the market you want to reach and writing ebooks for that market, you can achieve the same kind of financial success.
Banner advertising, also known as display advertising, is the digital form of a billboard. It is a clickable visual banner that aims to drive traffic to a particular website. If you already own a website, you can earn more money by renting empty spaces that could use a bit of content.
It’s not hard to find advertisers who might want to rent space on your website. You can join a display network that helps you connect with advertisers, such as Google AdSense, Fomo, Monumetric, Ezoic, and Mediavine. Some of these networks will require you to show proof that your site generates enough traffic to attract potential customers for their clients.
Once you’re accepted, the display network will give you a script that you’ll add to your site. The script will automatically display a banner ad that varies according to your site visitors’ habits and preferences.
Can banner advertising be lucrative?
Just to give you an idea, research by IAB found that revenue from digital ads reached a landmark high of over $28.4 billion during the first quarter of 2019. Obviously, your earnings are directly linked to traffic volumes. The more visitors you are getting on your site, the more money you can earn.
6. Build a monetizable niche website
Niche websites target a small segment of a large market. Their articles focus on specific topics and are often seen as guides for that particular niche. Creating one can be highly profitable with the right amount of SEO knowledge.
Steve Scott, for instance, started out with the stevescottsite.com website, which he used mainly for affiliate marketing.
He decided to branch out and created two other sites: the Authority Pub, which focuses on giving publishing advice to content creators, and the Develop Good Habits site, where he talks about how you can develop good habits:
The good thing about branching out is you can cater more to create a niche site that appeals to a particular audience demographic. That can translate to more revenue from advertising, affiliate marketing, and paid partnerships.
To successfully create a niche website, you will need a good content marketing strategy. You’ll need to identify the relevant keywords that matter for your niche and produce lots of content that fills this need.
You may use advanced rank tracking tools to discover keywords that you can use in your content to attract visitors.
A nice example of a niche site is Electric Bike Reviews. As you might have guessed from the name of the site, all they do is electric bike reviews.
The site has a clear target audience in mind.
Google has rewarded the site for creating hundreds of in-depth reviews. According to Ahrefs, they get more than 50,000 visitors a month from search traffic. I’m sure the real number of visitors is more like 150,000 visitors a month.
Aside from blogs and websites, you can also generate video content for video-sharing platforms such as YouTube. While you may think of YouTube as a site where you can watch music videos or sports highlights, you can find a wide variety of niche content in it, such as travel videos, cooking lessons, toy reviews, or live video game streams.
For instance, Stevin John, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, has made a sizable fortune creating educational videos for children through his Blippi channel on YouTube. Many of Blippi’s videos have millions of views. All in all, the video content in his main channel has generated over ten billion views – more than one view for each person on the planet.
Aside from Blippi’s main channel, where he visits play places and other destinations across the US, he also has multiple channels in different languages as well as a dedicated channel for toy reviews.
Between June 2019 and June 2020, Blippi made around $16 million in ad and merchandise revenue. With parents demanding more child-friendly content, it doesn’t seem like Blippi is done with creating his educational videos.
7. Create an online course
Why not try launching your own online course? You can make a profit by showcasing your skills and helping others to hone theirs as well. When done right, online courses can be steady sources of passive income.
There are numerous ways you can create an online course. On some platforms like Udemy, you get paid every time someone registers for your course.
You can include audio and video files in your online course to make it more engaging and easier to grasp. Most course platforms even let you create different course packages that you can charge different price points for.
Your online course can be about any skill or topic you’re passionate about. However, it’s good to do your research on which online courses sell the most and how they’re crafted. Analyze your target audience and figure out which topic can give them the most value.
The great thing is, once you create your course, it becomes an evergreen piece of content that continues to bring in additional income with no additional work. It’s a no brainer when it comes to finding multiple streams of income.
Building multiple streams of income is no easy task. The key here, however, is to capitalize on a skill you’re passionate about. As an online worker or freelancer, you can set up multiple income sources without having to spend too much.
There are multiple ways of establishing independent sources of income. For example, you can become an affiliate for brands, get paid for partnerships or work in high-paying part-time jobs.
Selling your own products can be effective, too. These products can be physical or digital products. For digital products, creating an eBook and an online course is a great way to display your skills and earn a profit at the same time.
Furthermore, you can start your own niche website to cater to a market you know and love. With this website, you can feature strategic banner advertisements that gain a lot of clicks.
Whatever the method, with multiple streams of income, you’ll end up finding your ground and gain that financial stability you’re aiming for. Good luck!
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