At the time, I was a college student with only two streams of income:
- A part-time job
- Selling things on eBay
Combined, I was making less than $30,000 per year.
Fast forward to now; I am my own boss and have built multiple streams of residual income that pay me every single month.
In this article, I will list and describe each income stream along with key insights I’ve gathered along this entrepreneurial journey.
I hope that by sharing this, I can offer a roadmap for those who also yearn for financial independence and wish to navigate the dynamic landscape of online entrepreneurship.
My Income Streams:
- Digital Products
- Display Ads
- Amazon Associates
- Affiliate Marketing
- Rental Property
- Real Estate Syndications
- Dividend Investing
- Capital Gains
- Bitcoin Mining
- Bank Interest
In fact, my channel has over 1 million subscribers and is one of my most lucrative income streams.
My channel is part of YouTube’s Partner Program, and it earns monthly ad revenue.
This becomes an option once you’ve hit 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours on your videos.
Like any other business, being successful on YouTube requires consistency, creativity, and patience.
But if you’ve got a knack for creating engaging content that resonates with an audience, YouTube can be a great source of residual income.
2. Digital Products
Digital products are essentially anything you can sell online that doesn’t have a physical form.
I’m talking ebooks, online courses, digital art, music, templates, stock photos — the list goes on.
The beauty of digital products is the ‘create once, sell many’ model.
Once you’ve put in the effort to create a product, it can be sold an infinite number of times without any manufacturing or shipping costs.
Selling digital study guides and online video courses is how I was initially able to quit my job as a respiratory therapist in 2018.
And this is still one of my top income streams today.
3. Display Ads
If you’ve got a website or a blog that pulls in a decent amount of traffic, display ads are a classic way to generate income.
It’s like turning your website into a digital billboard.
Companies pay to place their ads on your site, and you get paid based on the number of views or clicks those ads get.
It’s pretty straightforward — the more traffic your site attracts, the more you can potentially earn from display ads.
4. Amazon Associates
Amazon Associates is an affiliate program where you earn commissions by promoting products sold on Amazon.
If you have a website, blog, or even a strong social media following, you can share product links and earn a percentage of any sale that happens through your link.
Thanks to Amazon’s enormous marketplace, you can find and promote products that genuinely align with your audience’s interests.
With platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you can write and publish your own ebook or even a print book, all without the need for a traditional publishing house.
Whether it’s a romance novel, a how-to guide, or a book of your favorite recipes, self-publishing lets you turn your ideas into income.
You’ll earn royalties for every book sold, and the best part is that you have full control over your work.
My business utilizes three methods of self-publishing:
- Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
As previously mentioned, KDP is Amazon’s ebook publishing tool, and it’s incredibly user-friendly.
You write your book, format it according to Amazon’s guidelines, create a captivating cover, and upload it to the KDP platform. It’s open to anyone and completely free.
What’s more, you can reach readers worldwide, and you keep up to 70% of the sales revenue.
But what if you’re old school and love the feel of a physical book?
In this case, you can also self-publish paperback books with Amazon.
They provide a print-on-demand service, which means your book is printed only when ordered, reducing your upfront costs and eliminating the need for a large inventory.
And, with the popularity of audiobooks soaring, it’s worth considering turning your written word into spoken word.
ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) is Amazon’s platform for this.
You can narrate the book yourself or hire a professional to bring your words to life. Once produced, your audiobook will be available for sale on Audible, and you can earn up to 40% royalties.
One of the great things about self-publishing with Amazon is the control it gives you. You’re in charge of everything from the content, cover design, and the price.
And whether you choose Kindle, paperback, or audiobook (or a combination!), you can turn your writing passion into a residual income stream.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a revenue-sharing strategy where you earn commissions for promoting another company’s products or services.
It’s all about promoting products that align with your audience’s interests and needs.
For instance, if you’re running a fitness blog, you can promote health supplements or workout gear.
This involves sharing a unique referral link, and when a purchase is made via this link, you get paid.
This is a popular method for making money online, and it’s one I’ve used in my business for several years.
Just remember that trust is key in affiliate marketing, so only recommend products you truly believe in.
If you run a popular blog, podcast, or social media, sponsorships can be a great way to monetize your platform.
Companies will pay good money to get their brand in front of your audience.
This could involve creating sponsored content, where you feature a company’s product or service in your blog post, YouTube video, podcast episode, or social media post.
The key to success with sponsorships is balancing the promotional content with your usual content so your audience doesn’t feel overwhelmed by ads.
This is one of my least favorite methods of making money online, as I prefer to stick with non-promotional content.
However, for those who have a huge following and can create engaging sponsored content, this can be a very lucrative income stream.
8. Rental Property
Imagine owning a property that not only appreciates over time but also brings in a regular paycheck.
That’s the potential beauty of investing in rental real estate.
You purchase a property, renovate it if needed, then rent it out to tenants who pay you monthly.
This can provide a steady stream of income and also offer the benefit of diversifying your investments.
Not to mention the tax benefits!
Just remember that being a landlord comes with responsibilities, like maintenance and dealing with tenants.
It’s not all smooth sailing, and sometimes it can be quite demanding.
That’s why I use a property manager to take care of the day-to-day hassles.
From finding reliable tenants to handling maintenance issues and ensuring rent is paid on time, they make the process so much easier.
Yes, their services come at a cost, but in my experience, the peace of mind and free time they provide are well worth it.
It lets me enjoy the benefits of owning a rental property without the headaches of being a landlord.
9. Real Estate Syndications
This could include commercial real estate, apartment complexes, or large-scale development projects.
A syndication is typically led by a sponsor who manages the property and makes the big decisions.
I like to invest in these deals as a passive investor, which means that I contribute capital and then sit back while the sponsor handles the operations.
Investing in apartment syndications can provide regular income in the form of distributed profits from rental income.
Additionally, when the property is eventually sold or refinanced, investors often receive a share of the appreciation.
One of the major benefits is the passive nature of the investment.
Instead of dealing with midnight repair calls or late rent payments, you can reap the benefits of real estate investing without the day-to-day hassles.
As with any investment, there’s risk involved, so it’s crucial to thoroughly vet the property, the market, and the syndication team.
But for those looking for a hands-off way to invest in real estate, apartment syndications can be a fantastic option.
10. Dividend Investing
Dividend investing is kind of like having a company pay you just for owning a piece of it.
You buy shares in a company that pays dividends, and voila! — you receive regular payments (usually quarterly) from the company’s profits.
These companies are often large, stable, and profitable, like Walgreens, 3M, or Johnson & Johnson.
It’s a great strategy for those looking for a steady income stream and is often associated with a long-term, buy-and-hold investment style.
I manage my dividend portfolio separately through M1 Finance, which is free to use and simplifies the process.
Their user-friendly platform offers automated investing and rebalancing features, so my portfolio stays on track without constant attention.
Plus, their fractional shares capability means you can diversify across many companies, even if you don’t have enough to buy whole shares.
11. Capital Gains
Let’s say you buy an asset, like a stock, house, or cryptocurrency, and later sell it for more than you paid for it.
The profit you make is called a capital gain.
It’s basically a way of earning money by investing wisely and selling at the right time.
This is often easier said than done.
However, earning capital gains has helped grow my net worth over the years, so I had to include this income stream here in this article.
Just remember that investing for capital gains also comes with a fair share of risk. The market is unpredictable and can swing in any direction at any time.
That said, with a well-planned strategy and a balanced portfolio, capital gains can significantly contribute to your financial growth.
Just ensure that you’re aware of the potential downsides and always invest responsibly.
12. Bitcoin Mining
When a problem is solved, the miner is rewarded with Bitcoin. This is how new Bitcoin is added to the system and how transactions on the Bitcoin network get verified.
I got started mining by hiring a company to do everything for me.
In other words, I purchased the miners, but they run them for me in their own warehouse (for a fee, of course).
This makes it truly passive on my end, and I receive Bitcoin rewards directly to my wallet each month.
Reach out to me on Instagram if you want to learn more about this process.
13. Bank Interest
Here’s a fun fact: your money doesn’t have to sit idle in a bank account. Instead, it can be working for you.
How? Through high-yield checking accounts.
This isn’t your average everyday account, but one that pays you interest simply for using it.
As the name suggests, these checking accounts offer a higher interest rate than traditional ones.
So, while you’re swiping your debit card, paying bills, or simply letting your money sit in the account, you’re earning a little extra dough.
Now, it might not make you a millionaire overnight, but it is a low-risk way to grow your savings. Plus, it’s completely passive.
For example, I use Bluevine for my business checking account, which, at the time of this writing, earns 2% interest simply for doing business.
Keep in mind that some banks may have requirements to earn these rates, like using your debit card a certain number of times a month or maintaining a specific balance.
But if you’re looking for a simple, safe way to earn a return on your money, a high-yield checking account is a solid option.
So, there you have it. From affiliate marketing to rental properties, real estate syndications to high-yield checking accounts, these are just a few ways to create multiple streams of income.
Remember, diversifying your income can help secure your financial future and allow you to weather economic storms.
It’s all about finding the right mix of passive and active income that aligns with your lifestyle, skills, and financial goals.
So, why not start exploring these opportunities today?
After all, the journey to financial freedom is a marathon, not a sprint, and every step you take could bring you closer to your destination.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not financial advice. I’m not a financial adviser. Always do your own research or consult with a professional before making any investment decisions.
Brant Reader is an entrepreneur who runs a portfolio of niche websites and grew a YouTube channel to more than one million subscribers. He is passionate about health, fitness, building wealth, traveling the world, and helping others do the same.