“Never depend on a single income. Make investments to create a second source.”

This quote from Warren Buffet highlights the importance of creating a second source of income. A secondary source of income boosts your confidence, on the job as well as outside of it. Financial security is one of the reasons why many people compromise on their dreams and never follow their passions. Multiple sources of income mitigate the financial risks. It also empowers people to exercise their creative freedom and take calculated risks to achieve their life goals.

Making money on the side with a full-time job may be hard but not impossible. It takes some time, initial investment and patience.

Here are few ways that can help you generate a decent extra income without quitting your full-time job.

Google AdSense

If you don’t know about the Google AdSense yet, it is an advertising exchange service by Google that helps you monetize your web properties such as websites, blogs, YouTube videos, etc. If you know about Google AdSense, you may have heard that it generates very little income and is no longer profitable today. Even though it creates peanuts, I recommend starters to try it out. In the long run, it provides an excellent ROI without eating your time. In 2013, I wrote a blog on the topic “careers after graduation” and applied AdSense. After that, I never looked at the blog. At the time of writing this blog, I have earned a total of around $850. With some minor tweaks, the earnings are expected to increase to around $100 per month (currently it is $50 per month). With an investment of around $40, if I can earn $1200 per year and that too without doing anything, I don’t think it is a bad investment at all. To generate an equivalent rental income from real estate, you need to purchase a flat worth $40,000.

Google Adsense Earnings Report
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Google Adsense Earnings Screenshot

Investment:

Money

$40 per annum ($10 for domain name and $30 for a basic hosting plan)

Time

1st month – 8-10 hours (Deciding a name, registering a domain, purchasing hosting and creating the website)

2nd to 6th month – 6-8 hours per month (In research and curating content, or putting relevant data on site if you are not comfortable in writing)

6th month onwards – Nil (Although you may give as much time as possible, the content would be sufficient to become a base for generating consistent income)

Returns

First Six Months – Nil (A new site must be at least six months old to get approved for AdSense)

First 6-12 months – $10-15 per month (This is the minimum. It could be much more if your topic is unique or content becomes viral or is of high quality).

12-24 Months – $25-30 per month

24-36 Months – $40-60 per Month

36 Months onwards – $100+ (If you invest 4-6 hours a month in keeping the content updated).

These estimates are based on the basic minimum investment and ordinary work. If you can write excellent content which becomes viral on social media or serves a niche audience, the AdSense income could be much more than what is estimated here. Many bloggers earn $1+ million from AdSense based on their traffic and target audience. Also, a site that caters to US audience will generate significantly higher AdSense income than a site that targets emerging countries such as India. I will post a detailed blog on Google AdSense later.

Create a Responsive Website in Six Easy Steps

Freelancing

By working as a freelancer, you can start generating an immediate income. To start, you need to decide on a niche service that you can provide. If you can acquire customers regularly, the freelance income can surpass your full-time salary within a year or so. The freelance income can eventually convince you to quit your job and start your venture. Since freelancing requires active involvement and finding regular clients, you need to devote sufficient time on a regular basis. Therefore, it is recommended to those who can consistently work hard to provide quality services in addition to the full-time job.

Everyone can do freelancing without initial investment or training!

Investment

Money

Nil-$50 per month

Time

At least 2-3 hours per day (maybe more on weekends in finding clients)

Return

For first six months to one year – $300-500 per month (depending on the time spent in client acquisition and working)

1-3 years – $500-1500 per month

Beyond three years, your freelance income depends on how much time you are devoting, the quality of client base and business acumen. Many freelancers earn even $10,000+ per month and more. It entirely depends on the direction you provide to your freelancing business.

How to Maximize Your Income as a Freelancer?

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be little tricky for beginners and suggested for those who have some working knowledge of digital marketing. In affiliate marketing, you promote others’ products and services and earn a commission on every referral or sale. It is one of the best ways to build passive wealth. For example, I bought a mobile phone on Amazon, and I liked it very much. I can post a review of the same on my blog and recommend it to my friends or readers. If anyone is purchasing the mobile or other items on Amazon using my referral links, then I will earn a commission. Most e-commerce firms use this technique to increase their revenue. All coupon sites use affiliate marketing on the back-end to generate revenue.

Investment

Money

$200-500 per month (Website, hosting, content curation and promotion)

Time

At least 4-6 hours a day (More if you want to start generating revenue soon)

Return

Due to stiff competition, you may take almost six months to generate your first income through affiliate marketing. However, once you start making money, there is no looking back. Successful affiliate marketers make $30+ million per annum of revenue with a team of just 2-3 full-time employees and some freelancers.

Amazon Affiliate Program Screenshot
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Amazon Affiliate Program Screenshot

Selling Digital Products

If you are a writer, cook, a professional or an expert in a particular field, you can write ebooks and sell them on Amazon or several other marketplaces. If writing is not your forte, you can hire a writer to put your expertise into the words. The online marketplaces such as Amazon and Flipkart promote your products and charge a fixed percentage of revenue as commission on each sale. Many professionals have become millionaires by writing and selling ebooks and other digital goods or services. Apart from ebooks, you can also sell video tutorials, research reports, academic assignments, etc. to generate consistent income. If you are a graphic designer or photographer, you can register on ShutterStock, iStock or Graphic River to sell your products.

Investment

Money

Fix Investment – $100-1000 (Depending on your writing or oratory skills)

Recurring Investment – $50-100 per month to promote products

Time

Initial – 100-150+ hours (Depending on the product)

Recurring – 2-3 hours per day to promote products on various forums

Once buyers start rating your book positively online, you have to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your hard work.

Return

First six months – 5-10 sale (The revenue will depend on the price of each unit of the product)

Afterwards – 2-5 sale every month if the product is resonating with its target audience.

The sale should get double every 2-3 years and so will be the income.

Note: These figures are for new sellers. It is based on my discussion with some successful sellers who have sold $1million worth of digital goods or services. However, the actual figures may vary. If you are a well-known personality, you may be able to sell a large number of books within a short span of time. It also depends on the quality of products, extent of promotion and the niche. Over 50% of the new books on Amazon have not seen a single sale in the first six months of publishing. Thus, you need to make your product outstanding and promote it extensively to make it a bestseller.

Become a Seller on E-commerce Marketplaces

Not only digital goods but you can sell almost anything without owning the product. For example, you can sell mobile phones without having an inventory of the same, thanks to the booming e-commerce sector. You can register yourself as a seller on online marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, or Snapdeal, etc. and create product listings. For the shipment of goods, you can tie-up with a local mobile phone vendor. You can work on a revenue sharing model with the supplier.

Many off-line retailers have no time or understanding of online channel. Thus, they can give you a good discount as well as a great commission for selling their products in bulk.

Investment

Money

Fix – $10-100 (For creating product listings, images, or deposits, if any)

Recurring – $200+ per month (For SEO and promotion of product listings)

Time

2-4 hours depending on your experience in digital marketing and the knowledge of the product

Return

The return on investment depends on the category of products and the margin. It may take almost 3-6 months to generate first few sales. However, once you get first 10-15 ratings, then things become quite simple. After a year or so, you will see a sudden jump in the sales and revenue.

Teach Online

Do you love teaching? If yes, then this is the right time to convert your passion into a full-fledged business. Gone are the days when you needed to rent a property in a prime location and spend a lot to make it upmarket to start a premium educational center. Today, you can launch a coaching institute or an education center with just a computer and a good internet connection. Companies like Adobe and Cisco WebEx provide inexpensive tools and the infrastructure which can be used to teach hundreds or thousands of students online. You can also record the live lecture videos to sell it later as a product. If teaching is your first love, then start exploring this option today.

Investment

Money

Fix cost – $0- 500 (On Educational material, content, etc. You can save this money by doing everything yourself)

Recurring – $50-100 per month + a fee depending on the number of students. (Cost of the education infrastructure provided by the companies)

Time

You can start with 3-4 hours per day and increase it later based on enrolment

Return

Based on your expertise, reputation, years of experience and niche you can make around $1500 per month easily with a year or two after launching the course. There is no limit to the maximum amount as it entirely depends on the direction you give to your business.

Adobe eLearning Solutions
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Adobe eLearning Solutions

If you are planning to quit your job and start a business on full-time basis. Read following article to know more about low investment business ideas:

Low Investment Business Ideas

Conclusion

Many other types of work can be done to build a great source of income. I will keep adding them as and when I try something new myself or any of our clients do it (with their due permission). One thing is critical for all kinds of businesses – Working online requires your commitment and time more than the money. You need to take a horizon of at least one to three years to make your business successful. However, the sooner you start the better it is. So don’t wait for a perfect date to start. If you want to build multiple sources of income, then right time is “now.” I wish you all the luck.

Do you need any help, let me know through comments!