Do you know what I hate and am terrified of? The idea that my income depends on one client, or one job.
How scary that should this client drop me, or this business fold up, my family’s lifestyle and well-being would change drastically.
And so I vowed that I would never depend on the one client or the one job to sustain me and my family.
Whether you’re a freelancer or employed full-time, you need to have multiple streams of income.
Below is a list of alternative income sources you can start on the side. I like these ideas, because you can start small then, if necessary or as your time and energy allow, go bigger.
Other Ways to Earn Income
If you’re a freelancer, a part-time job is a good way to earn steady income on the side. It can also be a good way to build your resume, develop contacts, and keep your skills sharp.
If you’re employed full time, offer freelancing services. Of course, I’m assuming you don’t have a high-powered job that pretty much fills up your days and uses all your energy.
If you’re already a freelancer, consider offering other types of services. For example, a copywriter I know also offers graphic design and web design services.
3. Sell on eBay
Selling on eBay, Craig’s List, or Kijiji (if you’re in Canada) is an easy way to make extra income. You don’t have to have your own website or know a lot of techie stuff.
4. Sell in Person
Join a network marketing company like Avon, Mary Kay, Scentsy, financial services, or insurance. This is especially good if you’re already a happy customer of their products. Some people make full-time incomes from this, so it can definitely become lucrative, if you find the right program and manager/director.
5. Become an Internet Marketer
Internet marketing itself involves several different income streams. For example, with my blogs, I earn income through affiliate marketing, advertising, and selling my own information products. However, it can take time for internet marketing to become profitable. You have to learn a lot, set up websites, create content, generate traffic, etc, etc, etc. Once you get the hang of it, though, not only will you be making extra money. You’ll have developed marketable skills you can offer clients or prospective employers.
If you’re interested in internet marketing, check out my other blog, Magnetic New Marketing.
6. Be a Real Estate Agent
If you’re willing to put in the time and money to get licensed and have an interest in houses, why not become a real estate agent? Again, this can bring good financial rewards, depending on how hard you work it, and how good you are.
7. Make and Sell Your Own Products
Do you bake? Love to craft? Put those hobbies to work by turning them into a side business. A self-employed PR consultant I know sells pastries to pay for her children’s music lessons and sports activities.
8. Rent Out Property
If you can afford it, buy property and rent it out. Finding good tenants and maintaining the property doesn’t need to take up a lot of your time.
9. Teach, Coach or Mentor
Teach a class, or offer coaching and consulting services, to help other people do what you already know how to do. For example, if you’re a writer, offer to be a writing coach to graduate students who are writing their dissertations. Web consultant and online marketer Angela Wills earns a substantial income from intranet-based training courses.
And it doesn’t even have to be related to your freelancing services. A VA, for instance, teaches fitness classes at a gym. She says, “I don’t exercise unless I get paid.”
If you’re a writer it seems perfectly natural to start writing your own books. It’s now easier than ever; you don’t even need a publisher. I know of freelancers, not necessarily writers, who are publishing and selling their own books on Amazon and Kindle. It’s getting profitable, too, I hear. And, no, they’re not writing how-to-make-money-online types of books. In fact, one is writing about zombies.
Here’s an excellent book on self-publishing by Guy Kawasaki (review coming soon!).
Those are the 10 alternative income streams I’ve come up with, thanks to contributions from my freelancer friends.
Take your talents, skills, hobbies, and special interests and monetize them somehow.
Which of these income streams appeals to you? Which one will you pursue? Let me know your thoughts!