Council Post: Five Alternative Income Streams That Capitalize On Your Existing Knowledge

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Olivia Jaras is the CEO of Salary Coaching for Women.

Even if you have a good job with a good income, setting up additional revenue streams is a good idea. Why? For starters, none of us has a crystal ball. The events of the past year and a half make it clear how fast circumstances can change. Even absent a pandemic, markets can change with surprising rapidity. You need to be prepared and the way to do that is to be flexible and proactive.

To create multiple income streams, you first need to know your “genius zone.” In other words, what ignites you? What are you passionate about? What is it that you don’t need to read a motivational script first thing in the morning to get going? You want to figure out what you are the go-to expert on. Maybe it’s not at work. Maybe it’s a hobby. Look around you. Are there things you do for fun that you know really, really well and do them naturally? 

Next, you need to figure out who your passion can serve. Who will your clients or customers be? If you can determine this, you’re in a good position to monetize your passion. 

Then, ask yourself if you can break your passion down into components and use those to create more than one income stream. This is the act of diversifying.

Once you’ve figured out the unique ways you can serve others, you need to market your services. In my experience, one of the best ways to do this is by utilizing LinkedIn, which is far more than a Facebook for professionals.

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Here are some ideas for the types of skills and products you can market on LinkedIn:  

Become a consultant.

If your passion has given you particular expertise on some topic, or how to do something or how to solve a problem, you can become a freelance consultant-for-hire, especially if your topic or how-to is rare or in-demand (or both).  

Are you tech-savvy and love to “geek out” in your spare time? You could develop a more specific consultantship that assists people who are not comfortable with technology. If you’re patient, you could generate an income stream making yourself available to the technophobes out there who need help learning a new program. You can walk them step by step through downloads, set-up, configuration, etc. Some may need help with basic tasks like organizing information into folders or getting a new device up and running. There are people out there who will pay good money for that kind of assistance. 

Write an e-book.

Are you a wordsmith? If you can write, you can position yourself as an authority on a subject with an e-book. E-books, fortunately, need not be as long as regular books; nor need they be as expensive and time-consuming to produce. If you’re not comfortable writing, but still think you have something to say, outsource the bulk of the wordsmithing to a ghostwriter. 

Craft an online course.

Would you be willing to invest the time it would take to design a course you could sell online? This is another way to sell your knowledge and insights and could accompany an e-book. Walk your readers or listeners through a step-by-step process to solve some immediate problem they have. As more and more education moves online, this kind of thing has definite potential as an income stream. Do your due diligence, of course, and be sure the information you’re charging for is accurate and up-to-date. 

Put out a newsletter.

Do you keep up with current events? Have a knack for communicating news or telling stories? A newsletter can be a great way to showcase your knowledge and make it easier for others to stay up to date. With a large enough following, you might even be able to get businesses to advertise in your newsletter and pay you for ad space. 

Master affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing, in essence, allows you to earn a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. Many large companies now have affiliate marketing programs. You have to understand their products thoroughly to make affiliate marketing work, but if you do your homework — especially by using the products yourself — you might find it supplies you with a little extra gas money each month.

Those are just a few ideas, most of which can be set up fairly quickly and can help bring in extra cash. The goal is to make your income streams work for you. But don’t create more than one income stream at a time, especially if this is new to you. You don’t want to get overwhelmed. Make it fun. Make it a game and compete with yourself. You’re playing in your genius zone, after all, and doing things that are natural for you — only now you’re making money doing it. What could be better?


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