How to Diversify Your Income Into Multiple Revenue Streams

Date:

Share post:


This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Grace Ryu, a 23-year-old content creator based in Houston. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

I quit my tech job in March 2023 to explore other income streams. My 9-5 took up too much of my time, and I wanted to focus on ways to make money while I was sleeping or traveling.

Chasing different income streams aligns with my personality — it satisfies my desire to explore and try as much as possible. If I grow bored with one area, I can shift my focus to another, and if one stream isn’t that profitable, I have others to fall back on.

Here’s a breakdown of my eight income streams, with earnings, difficulty level, and time spent each week:

1. Luxury picnic business

Easy rating: 9/10

Lucrative rating: 7/10

I run a luxury picnic business with my best friend and my boyfriend. We initially posted our products on Facebook Marketplace and school flyers and broke even the first week of promoting them.

We re-invested all that money into expanding the business model, like buying more equipment for group picnics. We’ve since worked with businesses like Kendra Scott, local hotels, and Texas A&M University.

We have a six-person team, so I no longer do the physical setup and tear down, and I only put in one hour a week. During March through May, October, and November (peak picnic months), I can take home up to $3,000 a month.

It’s easy and affordable to start and doesn’t require many skills besides having an eye for aesthetics. It’s also lucrative because profit margins are very high since there are little to no variable expenses.

2. Influencer brand deals

Easy rating: 8/10

Lucrative rating: 10/10

I’m a micro influencer, and I have a TikTok account where I post about my life, my streams of income, and product promotions.

Brands reach out and ask me to post a dedicated or integrated TikTok video. I used to make content for brands for free, but now I charge at least $1,000 per post.

I spend around one hour a week on brand deals. At first, making content and editing was hard because I had to get used to the software and apps. After doing this for two years, I’m very fast at it because I know exactly which clips to add and how to do voiceovers.

It takes time to build a following on a platform, but once you get to that point, it’s very easy to work with brands for sponsorships. I make between $1,000 and $2,000 per post for about an hour of work.

3. Affiliate marketing

Easy rating: 7/10

Lucrative rating: 9/10

I started doing affiliate marketing through Amazon’s influencer program and make anywhere from $500 to $2,000 monthly.

In my TikToks, I feature work-from-home essentials from Amazon and link them. Then, people go to my storefront and buy through the links, and I get paid a commission.

It takes about five minutes to apply for the program, but you have to have a social media profile that promotes content.

If you never post anything, you’ll likely get rejected. I have friends who only have a few hundred followers, but they make unboxing videos, so they were accepted.

Anyone can do affiliate marketing because it’s easy to start, but the money isn’t always guaranteed. It takes lots of time and patience on any social media platform for a post to go viral, which will bring in sales. Once that happens, money comes in fast over a few months, and it’s all passive income.

4. User-generated content

Easy rating: 4/10

Lucrative rating: 8/10

User-generated content (UGC) differs from sponsorships because it’s content for brands to use directly. I used to work with a lash company, which paid me to make TikToks, but I don’t post that content on my account.

I have a few retainer clients, which means I’m paid a regular monthly fee in exchange for a set amount of content.

I earn about $6,000 to $8,000 a month from UGC. It takes around eight hours a week and can be more demanding than other income streams. I need to craft videos that convert well in sales, which takes extra brainpower.

5. Pet sitting

Easy rating: 10/10

Lucrative rating: 10/10

I got into pet sitting as a side gig while working in tech. I started on Rover, an app that links pet owners with sitters. Setting up a profile and passing a background check is quick, and you can start earning as soon as you’re booked.

It’s ideal for remote workers like me — getting paid to hang out with cute animals is great, and I can still manage other tasks, like checking up on my picnic business, answering emails, or creating content.

In January 2024, I was pet-sitting almost every day, and I enjoyed it because it was such a relaxing job. The only downside is I didn’t get to travel as much since I needed to stay with the pets.

It’s an extremely easy side hustle if you understand pet care and behavior. Pets are super easy to work with as long as they’re not puppies — puppies are more work.

6. Airbnb arbitrage

Easy rating: 2/10

Lucrative rating: 4/10

Airbnb arbitrage is my least favorite income stream — I may be letting go of this soon because the Airbnb market isn’t as hot as it used to be a few years ago.

How it works is I rent a property from a landlord for $1,700, for example, and once my business partner and I get the green light to use it as a short-term or mid-term rental, we list the property on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. We’re tenants but act more like property managers, and we then earn profits from these listings.

After splitting earnings with my business partner, my net profit is around $600 per month. Since we focus primarily on mid-term stays, which require less frequent turnovers, my partner and I spend about five to six hours monthly on maintenance and cleaning, typically at the end of each stay.

It’s my least favorite side hustle because the financial risk is the highest — you have to accommodate guest needs, and the work is not enjoyable either. After monthly expenses, I don’t think the payout is enough to justify the effort.

7. Selling digital products

Easy rating: 10/10

Lucrative rating: 4/10

I created a content creation e-book because I’ve had many people on social media ask me to coach them. Whenever people ask me about content creation, I direct them to my link so they can buy my e-book.

I sell it for $20, and each month I make $60 to $80. I don’t promote it that much since I only have it as a resource for when people ask.

Anyone with enough knowledge about a specific topic can create an e-book or digital product, so it’s easy to do. However, it does take time and effort to bring in sales.

8. Nannying

Easy rating: 8/10

Lucrative rating: 9/10

I nanny for a family that flies me from Houston to New York three or four times a year. I stay for two to three weeks and get paid $1,200 a week.

My day-to-day is very simple — I take the girls to school in the morning, and when I come back, I can make content or go outside and explore the city. When the girls come home, I eat dinner, play with them, and then put them to sleep.

The families I babysit for in Houston and the family I nanny for in New York are all amazing to me and compensate me generously, which makes my job enjoyable and easy. The hardest part is when the kids are sick because I have to be more hands-on. Aside from that, once you become familiar with their routines, it’s super chill.

I wish I had diversified my income sooner

Although building my income streams took a lot of hustling upfront, I wish I had started sooner. I went from making $8/hour working a labor-intensive job as a ranch hand to now making over $100,000 a year from only working around 40 hours a month.

For those who are considering creating more income streams, don’t be reckless or stingy with your spending. Be courageous in investing in yourself, a business idea, or in others. If your dreams don’t scare you a little, they might not be big enough.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

A New Era for Sales Teams

Related articles

The Best Commercial Fire Extinguisher for Your Business

If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.In...

Please Make a Small Donation to Help More Kids Play Soccer ⋆

Help! I’m taking part in the 31st Annual Austin Marathon Gives to raise money for Soccer Assist,...

Going once, going twice…Open Enrollment ends soon!

Published on January 11, 2024The clock is ticking for you to get health coverage for 2024. Open...