If you’d like to build your own business that you can run from the comfort of your home, or if you’d like to make more money with a side hustle, you might not know how to get started. Learn some steps you can take to discover potential income streams and take on active and passive income opportunities.
Brainstorm Income Ideas
If you can’t figure out how you can make more money from home, evaluate your interests, talents, and resources so you can brainstorm ways to use them to make extra money. In addition, the brainstorming process makes it easy to get many ideas out at once that you can revisit later if necessary.
Using a mind map lets you connect different income stream ideas to your main business concept. Start with your main business concept in the middle, then draw spokes that connect to boxes with broad income stream ideas that interest you. You can continue branching out to list specific activities and ideas that might work for you.
For example, if you specialize in marketing, write down “marketing.” Next, you might narrow down this concept by writing down “freelance consulting,” “online teaching,” and “blogging” since those are ways to potentially monetize your marketing experience. You can then add details for each income stream idea. For example, you might jot down affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and advertisements as ways to monetize your blog, and you could note certain e-learning platforms or specific course ideas.
Figure Out How To Get Clients
Do further research on the multistream income ideas from your mind map. This will help you better understand what each idea involves, decide if it’s viable for you, and plan how to proceed.
During your research, you might find you need training or experience before pursuing a specific income stream. For example, if you’d like to create an online course, you should have some experience as a teacher or tutor. You’ll be better at creating the course, and people you’ve worked with in the past might want to take your course or refer others to you. Toni Frana, career services manager at FlexJobs, also advised via an email to The Balance that having an online portfolio can help you demonstrate your experience and skills in that field.
Also build connections with people in the field you’re interested in working in. That way, you can learn more about the industry, but you’ll also be developing relationships with potential future clients. Consider finding a mentor in your industry who can advise you on their experiences. “Building a successful freelance career isn’t just about your experience; it’s also about who you know,” Frana said.
When you do start to find clients, it helps to test the waters with just a few to ensure that freelancing works for you and you can manage your workload.
Try Offering Related Freelance Services
If you’re already an established freelancer in one field, you might want to start expanding your home business with related freelance activities. That way, you can leverage existing skills and experience to find more work and boost your income.
For example, a marketing professional might offer freelance services in search engine optimization for company websites, serve as a consultant, or tutor students. Frana said, “Being diversified as a freelancer is great, because it allows you to reach various clients, showcase a range of skills, foster different relationships, and tap into new revenue channels.”
You can leverage your existing network, advertise through your website, and use social media to find clients.1 Frana advised looking into freelancing job boards to find additional opportunities.
Incorporate Passive Income Opportunities
While active opportunities such as freelancing are good, they require significant time and effort to earn money. This can make it challenging to manage several streams at one time. Therefore, you should take advantage of passive income opportunities so you can benefit from an additional cash flow that you don’t always have to work at.
You’ll likely need to do some work upfront to create your passive income stream. Some examples of passive income streams include making and selling downloadable items such as e-books and digital art, creating prerecorded online courses on sites that will pay you when people watch them, and investing in dividend stocks. You’ll need to create the product you plan on selling, or you’ll need to do the research on which stocks to invest in. Although you might need to update your courses, products, or investment portfolio, you won’t have to consistently work at it in order to make money.
For example, if you specialize in small business marketing, you might create an introductory course on Udemy. You’d research the curriculum, record video lessons, and make supplementary materials for students. After you set the course price and the course becomes active, you’d receive a revenue share for each student who buys your course.2 You could market the course on your website to attract more attention. You’ll want to periodically update the content and interact with students to improve the value of the course.
Pursue New Income Streams Carefully
Once you have some income streams going, monitor them closely so you know when you’re capable of expanding or when one stream appears not profitable. When the timing is right, you can replace unprofitable streams or expand with new ones that interest you. However, consider these decisions carefully to avoid harming your current success or becoming overwhelmed with your workload.
For example, you might introduce new freelance services for existing and new clients. These could be related to your business’s core area or something completely new. In addition, you could pursue more business-related passive opportunities such as writing an e-book, making a YouTube channel, or creating an app.
You can also explore passive income streams not relevant to your main business. These could include renting out a room on Airbnb or investing in financial products such as stocks and bonds.