Most Americans have one stream of income (a job) and less than $1,000 in savings. If you're a part of this majority, you're one layoff away from a catastrophe.
I hate to be so dramatic, but it's quite true.
Your eggs should never be in one basket. Just ask any millionaire.
Regardless of whether or not you want to become a millionaire, I beg you to have multiple income streams. The worst thing you could ever do to yourself is depend on any one source for your financial livelihood. There's just too many unknowns — too many things out of your control.
Today, there's no excuse for not diversifying your income. It's just too easy (after some initial hard work) and fun to make money online.
In this post, I give away my favorite ideas for making money online. This is by no means a definitive list. In fact, it's a highly curated list of income streams I have tested or have thought of creating myself.
Education is the second largest industry in the U.S. following healthcare, with $1.6 trillion spent annually in the U.S. alone and $5.5 trillion globally, as of 2015.
Times are changing rapidly, and with it, people need and want to develop new skills to better themselves.
What do you know how to do that you could teach someone else to do?
Create a course
According to a report by Degreed, nearly 85 percent of people said they learn things for work by searching online, at least once per week, and nearly 70 percent of them learn by reading blog articles weekly and asking for recommendations from peers and mentors.
A course can be a big upfront investment that has a big monthly (recurring) payoff. Since launching my course in April, I've made nearly $10,000. Aside from making updates to the course, my only investment was the initial time I spent making the course (about three to four weeks of work because I repurposed a lot of my previous client work to make the course). And of course, I had to purchase a domain name and website hosting — both of which were a minimal investment.
Course Tips and Tricks
Course Technology Options
Create an ebook.
Ebook Distribution Options
Ebook Tips and Tricks
Subscription businesses are nice because it's recurring revenue for minimal effort. Here's three ideas for subscription businesses.
Note: These will be more of a long-term (but minimal) maintenance type of thing.
Create a Slack community.
Even if you don't have a course, you can still create a really good Slack community. Just check out these paid Slack communities.
Slack Tips and Tricks
Create a network
Do you have a large, influential network? Make money off of it.
Here's a few good examples of private, paid social networks.
Network Technology Options
Create or curate premium content.
Or you can create or curate content for your own membership site that you update weekly or monthly. A good example of this would be One Month.
Premium Content Technology Options
Premium Content Resources
Utilize the assets you have lying around from previous client work or former jobs. Here's a few types of assets that people love.
If you do a specific process consistently, it's likely you have a template or two up your sleeve. Valuable templates can be anything from resume templates (very popular) to blog post templates. It doesn't have to be a web design template although those are popular too.
Templates Tips and Tricks
Templates Selling Options
An easy to make more money is by sweetening the template deal by creating a bundle of templates or premium content to accompany your templates.
Bundle Tips and Tricks
Bundle Selling Options
Sell your photos
Photographers, photojournalism students or people who take good pictures are perfect candidates for selling photos.
Photos Tips and Tricks
Photo Selling Options
Sell your notes
Take notes for books you're reading, courses (online or offline) you're taking, long articles you're reading and long videos you're watching. Basically, you can take notes and sell them for anything that teaches people how to do something.
Note Selling Options
Buy and sell domains
This is relatively simple to do and can bring you loads of money if you buy the right domains.
Domain Name Tips and Tricks
Domain Selling Options
Domain Name Resources
If you're a developer, create an app in a weekend, then launch it on Product Hunt the following week. If you can't code, partner with a programmer. Tell her you'll market the shit out of the app if she creates it.
Build a Mac app
Mac App Ideas
Mac App Resources
Create a web app
Web App Ideas
Create a Wordpress Plugin
WordPress Plugin Tips and Tricks
WordPress Plugin Selling Options
WordPress Plugin Resources
Search Fiverr to see what the most purchased scripts are or to find scripts that are missing.
Create an online business to sell or to generate recurring revenue.
Dropshipping is a supply chain management method in which the retailer does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer.
Dropshipping Technology Options
Create an ecommerce store
Scour Polyvore or Lyst — two popular shopping apps — to get ideas for products that are sold out and look easy to make. For instance, I saw on Lyst that this unicorn bracelet was sold out, and I decided to make my own unicorn bracelet, which I never got around to selling.
Ecommerce Technology Options
Easy Product Ideas
Create a job board
Job boards are relatively easy to make, and if you drive traffic to your site, you can charge at least $249 per post, as sites like Inbound.org and Designer News do.
Job Board Technology Options
Job Board Tips and Tricks
Create an agency
Lots of highly qualified people are out of work right now. Find them jobs or freelance gigs and take a cut for your "finder's fee." This should be easy if you more work than you can handle currently.
Agency Technology Options
While I hate advertising, I have considered some of the following advertising solutions as ways to make money, but I've only tested native ads myself.
Become an influencer.
Have a large following on Instagram, Twitter, Medium, Facebook, Reddit, Product Hunt, Youtube or Snapchat? Get paid to feature offerings you like. The more friends, fans and followers you have, the more money you can make.
Influencer Advertising Resources
Create affiliate accounts.
You'll either need a website, email list, blog — basically an audience — to be an affiliate advertiser.
Affiliate Ad Tips and Tricks
Affiliate Ad Resources.
Write native ads.
Native advertising or sponsored posts are simply long-form advertorials that look like a typical blog post or email. It's like nonchalant advertising because it doesn't look like an ad. Native ads cost a lot more than regular ads because it's so much longer.
Native Ad Resources
Do you have a blog, podcast or email newsletter? Get industry leaders to sponsor your project, like Really Good Emails does.
Join 55 million other Americans who are currently freelancing. Freelancing is great because it centers around deliverables, not hours worked, which means you can schedule it around your full-time job.
Learn how to build WordPress websites, and sell them. It's cheap. It's easy to do. And it can take less than 20 minutes to set up. Yet more than half of all small businesses still don't have a website.
Make money on your own schedule.
On-Demand Support Resources
Write for blogs
Make money from blogging for different publications. The larger your following and the better your writing, the more you'll get paid.
Go ahead; steal my ideas.
I hope one — or three, four… — of these tickled your fancy because I'm so serious when I say: Diversify your income streams. If you do, you won't have to worry about one catastrophe wiping you out someday.
Oh, and if you do take any of my ideas, will you click thelittle green heart at the bottom of this post, por favor?!