Creating Multiple Income Streams
I know many people who got a job out of college, worked there for 30 or 40 years, and then retired. How many people expect that now?
Nowadays, it seems like people are freelancing more than ever. Or even if you have a full-time job, you need a side hustle.
When I was young, I thought I could write a novel every year, and live comfortably as a writer. After all, people did it, right?
Yes, a select few. But I realized that the vast majority need to have multiple income streams to make it as a creative professional. Very few writers just have one source of income. And if you do, what do you do if it dries up?
This is an idea I first encountered in the book Making a Living Without a Job, by Barbara J. Winter. I’ve had a job all through my 20s and 30s, but I’ve found this book invaluable for supplementing my income and making money by writing.
Multiple income streams goes beyond the concept of a “side hustle.” It’s like a prism: it involves exploring every opportunity to maximize your income.
I’m a writer, but you can apply this principle to just about anything: tech consulting, art, or healthcare, for example.
Writing Articles, Ghostwriting, or Freelancing
As you can probably tell, this is the bread and butter of my writing income. I write stories on Medium, and get paid once a month.
Many other Medium writers freelance or ghostwrite. I’ve been busy and haven’t spent as much time on this. However, I’ve read that if you can land steady clients, this can be lucrative.
I still get royalty checks from books I wrote under a pen name 7+ years ago. Granted, the last check was only $20, but I haven’t done any promotion for the books in years. It’s basically free money.
I’m working on some novels now. If I can publish them, that’s an additional source of income.
A lot of writers are afraid to speak, but it pays, and can build your credibility. Everyone’s an expert in something.
Where to start? Local libraries and universities are always looking for speakers. Call and pitch a presentation for them. You’d be surprised at how often people accept.
When people think of teaching, they often think of teaching college classes, where you must hold a master’s degree or doctorate.
However, if you get creative, you can start your own classes. I know someone who holds “paint and sip” classes. The restaurant hosting it gets income from people having dinner and drinks, and she gets to keep the revenue from the registration fees.
Tutoring is also a good way to supplement your income. If you’re knowledgeable about a skill —say, English grammar, or mathematics — parents will pay you to help their kids learn.
Many content creators have a Patreon or Ko-fi, or sell customers an exclusive newsletter. This is becoming more and more popular, especially for artists.
No matter what your path is, you can secure more money by starting multiple income streams. It requires creativity and flexibility, but the benefits can pay out for a long time.