Multiple streams of income can help you reach your financial goals quicker than a single income stream, e.g., a regular nine-to-five job. Achieving financial independence, retiring early in Portugal, buying a new car or house, or getting out of debt – multiple sources of income will help you get there faster.
You might’ve read that the average millionaire has seven income streams. While there’s no data to back that up, it makes a lot of sense. The more income streams you can build, the quicker you’ll be able to realize your financial objectives.
The good news is that multiple income streams are available to anyone, anywhere in the world. You can earn extra money and build multiple revenue streams in various ways.
Continue reading to learn about different income types and get ideas for earning extra cash.
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Different Types of Income
We usually differentiate between two income streams – active and passive income. Both will get cash in your pocket, but there’s a difference in the level of effort you have to dedicate to each one.
Active income requires regular work. It comes from a salary, hourly wage, or commission for specific duties or services you provide. A common source of active income is a regular day-to-day job. In theory, the more you work – the more you earn.
While an active income source like wages can offer you stability, tax benefits, insurance, and annual vacation days, it also has limitations.
One of them is time.
There are only so many hours a week, and it’s impossible to work 24/7. If you decide to start a second gig on top of your regular full-time job, there might not be enough time for life outside of work.
Active income can also limit the amount you earn. If you’re working an office job, your salary will most likely stay the same every month, except for pay raises and other bonuses.
With passive income, you are your own boss and decide what level of effort to put into your endeavors. When you’re earning money passively, you’re not working for it regularly.
To create a passive income stream, you’d usually have most work at the beginning and minor tasks along the way to keep the money coming in at a steady pace.
For example, if you’re setting up a print-on-demand business, you start by opening your store, creating and publishing your product designs, and listing them online. Once you start selling them, a print-on-demand company like Printify takes care of the production and shipping of your products.
Seven Types of Income Streams
In addition to active and passive income, there’s much more to income diversification. Finance professionals usually highlight seven streams of income that can help you diversify your cash flow:
- Earned income is the money you receive for a job or self-employment. This is the most popular way to make money and is usually the only income stream.
- Profit income comes from selling a product or service for more than its original price. It can come from running a store, selling products, or offering services and getting paid for your time.
- You can earn interest income by investing your money and making it work for you. Stocks, bonds, index funds, and other financial products offer ways to earn interest with your money.
- Earn dividend income by buying shares of a company and receiving dividend payments. Keep in mind that not all companies pay dividends.
- Rental income is a great way to earn money from your property if you have enough money for the initial investment. Your original investment will also grow in value.
- Capital gains income comes from selling a capital asset (property, house, work of art, shares of a company, etc.) after it increases in value. The capital gains tax will be applied to your income.
- To earn royalty income, you create something unique and charge others for using it. The royalties can come from books, music, patents, digital content, etc.
Now that you’ve got a basic idea of the various types of income, let’s look at some of the most popular income streams to earn extra money.
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Ideas for Multiple Streams of Income
Whether you’re looking for a second source of income based on your hobby or want to build multiple passive income streams that bring in extra cash every month, there are plenty of ideas to try out.
The internet and technology have changed how we make money. Having multiple income streams is more accessible than ever – all you need is to pick your path and dive in head first.
Go over the ideas described below and see what a good fit for you is. We have focused on online income streams because they’re accessible to everyone worldwide.
Selling POD Merchandise
A print-on-demand business can be a great additional source of income. Print on demand, or POD, is a dropshipping business model that lets anyone design and sell printed products without any upfront investments.
First, you need to sign up with a print-on-demand platform like Printify. Then, pick a product and customize it – design anything from t-shirts, hoodies, socks, mugs, posters, etc. When your products are ready, connect to an online store and publish them. For example, Etsy is an excellent choice for beginner merchants.
Once you’re ready, it’s time to spread the word about your store and sell products. The print-on-demand provider does all the rest, including production and shipping.
When you sell an item, you pay the product’s original price and shipping costs. The markup you add in the store is your take-home pay.
The global print-on-demand market size is forecast to reach $39.40 billion by 2030, so now’s a great time to start a POD business.
If you’re available for freelance work, there are many options for making money online. Whether you’re a designer, writer, marketer, musician, programmer, or professional in many other fields, more people and businesses are searching for freelancers.
Websites like Fiverr, Upwork, Toptal, and others form the perfect platform for talented freelancers to find work online. Register on the platform of your choice, indicate the services you’re able to offer, and provide some background information about your skills and experience.
Set the price of your service to be a bit lower when just starting. Getting a gig can be difficult when you have zero reviews and ask for a lot of money. You’ll also want to optimize your profile to get more sales using keywords, tags, and effective descriptions.
If you’re wondering whether it’s worth spending your time on this type of second income stream, consider that the top earners on Fiverr take home an average of $118,000 per year. You’ll probably not earn that much right away, but there’s a figure to shoot for.
Investing in Stocks
While some are intimidated by the stock market, it’s one of the most effective passive income streams for building wealth. Over several decades, the average stock market return amounted to approximately 10% annually.
If you don’t have enough knowledge or time to keep track of financial markets, try using the services of a professional broker or use a robo-advisor. However, if you feel confident enough to manage an investment portfolio yourself, you can do that too.
After creating your investment account with a financial institution, you need to set your investment budget. Most online brokerages don’t have any account minimums, so you don’t need a lot to start. There’s also the option to purchase fractional shares of stocks and exchange-traded funds.
Although the stock market has had some great returns in the long term, monthly and annual results vary a lot, and it’s always possible to lose money. One of the safest bets to make money in the stock market is to be in it for the long haul.
If you research the topic and come up with a solid investment strategy, stocks provide a great way to generate income with little or no effort.
Creating Online Courses
Have you had a full-time job for so long that you feel like an expert in a specific field? If yes, why not create an online course? People love learning from others, and this is a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with the world.
Start by planning your curriculum. Research the most popular and trending topics, and see if you can cover any of them. Build on your experience and knowledge when designing the outline of the course.
Next, record your course. Use a digital camera or a smartphone for the video, and make sure the audio quality is good. You can also keep it simple and only record your screen if you don’t want to appear on camera.
Then, publish your course and promote it online. You’ll earn passive income every time someone purchases the course. All online learning platforms offer support throughout your journey, so find the one that suits you best and start teaching.
If you’re passionate about a topic and have valuable information and experience to share, you can earn money blogging. Once you start a blog and generate substantial traffic to the site, you can earn income from monetization.
There are several ways to generate money from your blog. For example, you can place advertisements on the blog and get paid every time a reader interacts with an ad.
If your content is getting a lot of traction, and you see that the audience would be willing to pay for it, try introducing subscriptions. You can make money directly from the content.
With numerous blogging platforms available for every need and purpose, anyone can start a blog. Pick a niche and stick to it, consistently produce high-quality, valuable content, and build another income stream with blogging.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money without any significant upfront investment. All you need is to refer to a product or service on your blog, social media profile, YouTube channel, or website, and you can get paid every time someone makes a purchase through the unique link you’ve shared.
For example, with Printify’s affiliate program, you can earn a 5% commission from each sale your referrals make. All you need to do is sign up and share the affiliate links, and you can start earning money immediately. Active affiliate partners earn an average of $1,000 per month with Printify.
Writing an E-book
Writing e-books is another excellent source of income that can be extremely lucrative. Although printed books still outperform their digital equivalents, e-books are becoming more popular and are easier to create and sell.
If you choose to write a nonfiction book, make sure that you stick to the topic and provide helpful information. The book itself doesn’t have to be long to provide value to readers. Maybe you’ve already got a blog? Turn the blog articles into a book.
Come up with an outline and a draft, include visual elements, and ask someone else to proofread the content for you. Make the title fun and captivating, and come up with an eye-catching cover – these are super important when selling online.
Selling Stock Photos
Do you take photos as a hobby? Or maybe you have a lot of beautiful pictures sitting on your smartphone? You can turn those pics into passive income.
Businesses, designers, publishers, and marketers are always looking for images to use in their content. Although pictures depicting people tend to be the most popular, there’s a demand for all kinds of photos. You can shoot food, nature, sports events, concerts, parties, street photography, and anything else.
Selling Digital Products
In addition to online courses, e-books, and stock photos, there are plenty of other digital products to sell for passive income. You can concentrate on a niche you’re experienced in or focus on what’s in demand and trending.
Here are some ideas for digital products that are in demand:
- Art and music – digital posters, mockups, social media filters, digital wallpapers, premade logos, illustrations, fonts, textures, sound effects, sheet music.
- Templates and tools – Instagram post templates, Lightroom presets, digital planners, beats and sample packs, cover letters, WordPress themes, and spreadsheets.
- Entertainment products – reaction videos, product comparisons, video games, mobile apps, comedy, and prank videos.
Starting a YouTube Channel
YouTube is one of the biggest social media and online video platforms on the internet, with more than 2 billion monthly active users. Starting a YouTube channel and uploading videos doesn’t require any upfront investment. Anyone can do it, but is it worth it?
The average YouTuber makes approx. $0.018 per view, which adds up to around $180 for every 10,000 video views. While that might not seem like a large amount of money, you need to remember that once you’ve created a video, it can stay on your channel forever and continue generating passive income.
Video content has been on the rise for years. Research shows that people watch 16 hours of online videos per week. Many also find it easier to learn about a new topic through video rather than reading. If you’re on the fence between starting a blog or a YouTube channel, the latter might be the right choice.
There’s no need for next-level editing skills when starting out. You can use a smartphone to film videos and edit them with free online software. As long as the content is valuable and engaging, you should bring in more viewers.
Patreon and Similar Services for Creatives
Have you managed to build a passionate online community around the creative work you do? Whether you’re making music, art, or videos, your followers can provide extra financial support. Membership platforms like Patreon, Memberful, and Podia give you the chance to provide patrons with unique content in return for money.
For example, you could have a YouTube channel where you’re earning money from ads and run a Patreon account to offer subscribers unique insights and additional content.
Sponsored Social Media Posts
If you’re active online and your social media account has a solid follower base, try adding sponsored content to your income streams. You don’t have to be a movie star or an athlete for businesses to pay you to promote a product or service. But you do need to put in the work.
For example, Instagram is huge for sponsored posts. When starting, define a niche to focus on and publish content that’s relevant to it. Get to know your audience – where they are, what’s their age and gender, and when they respond to the content.
Post consistently to keep your audience engaged, and use hashtags and geotags to reach more users. You can then start tagging brands that fall within your niche. For example, if you’ve got an account focusing on outdoor adventures, tag companies selling outdoor gear. It’s a good idea to start with smaller brands, as there’s more of a chance they’ll discover you.
If nothing else works, pitch paid sponsorships to brands that are active on social media. This way, you can get new gigs without waiting for the brand to find you.
An average Instagram influencer with 1,000 to 10,000 followers can make approximately $900 per post. Not bad, right? Put in the work and reap the rewards later.
Offering Expert Services Online
With previous examples, we’ve established that it’s possible to build multiple streams of income based on your experience and skills. In addition to blogging, writing an e-book, or creating an online course, you can also offer your expert services online.
For example, if you’ve managed to create a successful blog that brings in regular traffic, try selling individual consultations in your field of expertise. Show the value you can bring to the table and add paid services to your multiple income funnel.
If you’d like to focus on a specific industry or niche, always look for new opportunities other businesses offer. For example, if you’re good at design, digital marketing, or content creation, try signing up for the Printify Experts Program.
This way, there’s no need to worry about bringing in customers. Printify will match you with the people who need your services.
The Importance of Having Multiple Sources of Income
If you’re still on the fence about whether it’s worth having multiple income streams, look at some of the main benefits you get when adding other income streams to your full-time job.
The most obvious benefit of all. Building wealth gets easier when you create multiple income streams, and achieving financial freedom becomes more realistic. We all have our personal financial goals, and having multiple income streams allows you to reach them faster.
More stability and safety
When earning income from a single source, everything can turn sour quickly if something happens to that sole cash flow. Adding additional income streams to your primary job can help protect you against unexpected job loss or other emergencies.
Diversifying your income streams is a good idea. While one industry might suffer an economic downturn, another might still be going strong. Having multiple streams of income helps protect you from potential economic shifts.
More free time
We’ve mentioned several passive income streams in this article. Passive income lets you earn money while not actually doing the work. Earn income while your products or services work for you, and enjoy your free time.
You might’ve heard about FIRE. It stands for “financial independence, retire early”. While early retirement might not be on everyone’s bucket list, multiple income streams can help.
Whether it’s financial freedom or more free time you’re looking for, putting in the extra work and creating multiple streams of income is worth it.
Having multiple income streams helps build wealth and achieve your financial goals. Whether you’re self-employed or have a regular full-time job, it’s possible to create additional income streams with minimum investment and little or no money.
An average millionaire is said to have seven different streams of income. While becoming a millionaire might be a long stretch, creating multiple income sources lets you have more financial stability, diversifies your cash flow, and gives you more spare time.
Whether it’s active or passive income you’re after, there are plenty of opportunities, and many of them don’t require any upfront investments. If you’ve ever wondered about being your own boss, try Printify. Design and sell your unique products online and start earning today.
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