Here is a guest post from Steve at Personal Finance Startup. As a writer of this relatively newer blog on the blogosphere, Steve presents some really wonderful articles about all apsects of personal finance that I thoroughly enjoy.
Pat was the first person to bring to my attention the ability to generate streams of passive income from online ventures. His LEED ebook success and informational blog has inspired me to brainstorm numerous online ventures of my own with the hope of replicating his success. Pat's LEED ebook generates the majority of his income, however, his pursuit of eHow earnings, iphone apps and affiliate marketing shows his desire to diversify his passive income. He's fortunate enough to have an income stream that most likely won't dry up in the near future as green architecture is a growing field.
The only way to feel completely comfortable relying on passive online income is to have numerous income streams. Through Pat's examples and Yanik Silver's book, “Moonlighting on the Internet” [This link leads to Amazon. Full disclosure: I earn a commission if you purchase through this link], I've been filled with the necessary inspiration and optimism to create numerous online income streams. I'd like to share with you my potential online ventures to further inspire you towards generating online income streams that will add up to a raging river towards financial independence.
Currently, I host The Personal Finance Start-Up Blog that I started as a way to detail my journey from an entry-level engineer towards financial independence. I hoped to provide unique personal finance information for young adults and self-employed individuals. The problem with this blog is I don't see it generating a large amount of income. I do think I can generate a stream of income from this blog through affiliate and PPC advertising, but only a very small one.
In the very near future, I want to start a fantasy sports blog. Not only is fantasy sports a passion of mine, but the fantasy sports blogosphere is much less developed than the personal finance one. Additionally, the popularity of fantasy sports is definitely increasing. I already spend a significant amount of time following fantasy sports, so I'm always up-to-date in the fantasy sports realm. All I have to do is put my opinions on a website and generate a following. I intend to generate income through advertising and potentially annual draft kits, or premium content, which would require a membership. There is also the potential to become an authority in the field, which might open doors for writing articles for local newspapers or other larger fantasy sports websites.
Pat's LEED ebook inspired my own test prep ebook ideas. I have been tutoring high school students for over a year. I tutor high level math and science topics and have excelled at teaching test prep. This tutoring experience has provided me with the necessary experience to teach the same content in numerous ways, which will hopefully help high school students succeed in these challenging and stressful courses. Through searching the web, I have not found very good online resources for high school students. I should be able to put together ebooks similar to Pat's that will hopefully be just as successful.
Informational products are Yanik's specialty. I consider ebooks to be informational products, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. I'm thinking about developing an informational product with my Dad that might contain an ebook, templates, how-tos, marketing advice, etc. My Dad has a plethora of information on turning ideas into products. He knows all of the steps that are needed to turn a Eureka moment into a product on the shelf at your local Target. My plan is to form a partnership with my Dad where he provides the content for the informational product and I do the online formatting, sales and marketing. This is a great example of how you don't even need to be the expert in order to develop an online income stream.
Get Started Now
There are so many different ways to generate online income streams. The first step is to brainstorm. It only took me about an hour to generate this list of ideas that will keep me busy moonlighting for at least a year. For brainstorming I recommend writing down all of your passions, all of your skills and all of your friends' and families' skills. Even if this list isn't exhaustive it should contain enough ideas to get you started.
After you generate your list of ideas, the next step is to get something on the internet. The first product doesn't have to be the final/polished product. Pat generates nearly $20,000 a month from his LEED sales. He didn't start out with the ebook and audio book, but he had to start somewhere. Put something up on the internet and find out if you have a market. If you begin generating some sales, then refine your product and add bonus material. This will make your product more appealing and allow you to increase the price.
I hope my post helped kick start your creative juices. If you're not sure there is a product you can sell, just remember that there are numerous ways to earn income online, you just have to keep an open mind. You can blog, write ebooks, open yahoo stores, sell second hand treasures on ebay, create informational products and create membership websites just to name a few. You don't even have to be an expert to generate streams of income online. The two keys are getting started as soon as possible and don't put all your eggs in one basket. Develop as many online income streams as possible to create your raging river towards financial independence.
Oh yeah, and in the end I want my raging river to turn into a lazy river. I mean, who doesn't love a lazy river?
For more from Steve, check out The Personal Finance Start-Up Blog when you have the time.