There is an absolute ton of information out there about earning money online, creating digital revenue, starting a side hustle, and topping up your current income with online and more passive products or services.
There are a hell of a lot of scams out there but there are a few absolute gems too.
As someone who works full-time and does some occasional freelance work, I have never really given myself a chance to start exploring these options, but it has been on my mind for a very long time.
But even I – with nearly 15 years of working in the digital and online space – can look at everything and feel entirely overwhelmed.
But what does sometimes help me is to write and log what I’m doing. It helps me gather my thoughts, lay out a plan, have some accountability and stops me from getting paralysed by overwhelm.
So that’s what we’re doing here.
What Digital Revenue Options Are There?
Part of the reason I have struggled to get started is the sheer number of options out there, and wanting to learn all of them and do all of them at the same time. I feel like I can eventually get to the stage of being able to test or play around with all of them – and share my experiences – but not simultaneously.
But what are the digital revenue/side hustle/second income/choose your own descriptor models we’re looking at?
- Print on demand – where you design products or goods, list them on your website or another shopping platform (like Etsy), and when a customer buys from you, you have a fulfilment supplier that prints and ships the goods directly to the customer
- Dropshipping – similar to the above, but it doesn’t involve goods that require any printing. In this case, they’re already made and ready to go
- KDP – Kindle Direct Publishing. Put very simply, this is where you upload book templates to Amazon, and when someone purchases, Amazon takes care of the printing and shipping and you earn a commission.
- Printable and digital products – things like digital planners, invitations, clip art, and online templates
- Affiliate marketing – Basically you recommend products and when someone purchases through your link, you get a commission
- Courses and membership sites – Have an area of expertise that you package your knowledge into a course on? This would be an option for how to sell it.
- Virtual or online services – Basically time for money for a service you provide. I do this as part of my freelance website management work.
- Info products/digital downloads – Similar to courses, except info products tend to be lower priced and one-off purchases (usually), but you can use the term interchangeably.
- SaaS – software as a service. If you know how to build or at least white-label an app or software, you can sell that software and charge your own customers directly.
- Coaching or consulting – Someone pays you for your knowledge. Pretty much what online personal trainers do.
- Paid newsletter – Exactly what it says in the title. People pay a subscription, typically monthly or yearly, for a newsletter from you. This will typically be delivered by email, but I have seen some businesses do a physical printed one.
- e-Commerce – Basically running an online store and physically shipping goods to customers (usually)
- Advertising – If you run a high-traffic blog, YouTube channel, podcast, or social media account, this will mean getting paid by other businesses to advertise their products or services. Arguably, this is what most “influencers” tend to do.
So What Will I Be Trying?
At some point, I will be trying all of the above. 100%. I am less keen on courses because it is a lot of work to put in to not even know if it will sell well. So maybe not that one. But the others, definitely yes.
But unsurprisingly I don’t have the bandwidth to do all of them at the same time.
So I am starting with one. Ok, maybe two or three. But definitely not all.
I am definitely starting with KDP and I will look at digital products and print-on-demand alongside it.
The benefit of all of them is that:
- They are scalable without me needing to trade time.
- They have a low start-up cost – almost nothing.
- They are relatively simple for where I’m at with my technical skill level.
So that is what I will be starting with and I’ll share updated and tips as we go.
But the most important thing is to start, and that is what I am doing now.