If you’ve dreamed of financial freedom then you probably have a magic number in mind. Let’s entertain this thought for a second.
After you reach that number, what’s next?
You finance savvy folks probably have a foolproof plan to “make your money work for you.”
Continually generate revenue while sipping pina coladas on the Coast of Paradise Island.
That’s the dream right?
Let your money work for you while you live the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Now grab a pin and let’s puncture this bubble for a second.
With monthly expenses, unforeseen expenditures and a set salary, most of us will never live to see our master blueprint blossom into all its glory.
But here’s the good news:
There truly is a way to take a low risk, low-cost investment and transform it into a lifestyle of passive income with infinite potential.
My money has been working for me since I graduated from college. With loads of student debt and only $180 in liquid cash, this sub $200 bankroll was more than enough to return a multiple six-figure income year after year.
The short answer is starting an online business.
…But not in the conventional venture or angel funded route.
In fact, investors are not welcome (yet).
And today, I’m going to share something that will make you wonder why you didn’t start sooner:
5 insanely practical online business ideas that will make your pennies work for you and kick start your journey to some out of the box income diversification and multiplication.
Let’s jump right in.
…Before you get soaked, you need to get your feet wet
Just as an army needs a base, you’ll need to have your own website.
Rather than spending thousands of dollars on web development, 2015 technology and some simple instructions to create a website is all you need.
1. Sell your knowledge or acquire the knowledge so you can sell it
What kind of advice do your friends and family come to you for?
Over the wonderful years of your life, you’ve built a wealth of knowledge from your positive and negative experiences.
You may be the “deal expert”, the “home renovation guru” or the “relationship advisor”.
Remember the good old days when you first began your research and experimentation? Remember all of the mistakes you made throughout the process?
Here’s the deal:
People will pay you to avoid making the same mistakes you’ve already made.
John Lee Dumas, the founder of Entrepreneur on Fire reported a whopping gross revenue of $388,643.22 last month (June 2015).
Of that sub 400k, $218,876 came from the sale of his online course “Podcaster’s Paradise” and another $105,875.08 in sponsorship income from his podcast.
If you’ve been following Dumas’ adventure, then you know that he has grown tremendously as a podcaster and a teacher.
He didn’t attend Harvard with a major in podcasting.
He read about it, learned about it, got consumed in it and tried every angle to optimize his podcast without the initial technical know-how.
Rather than being just “another adviser”, he created a video and community based course that now generates multiple six-figures for him each month on autopilot (almost).
The objective of selling an online course is to provide value to others who want to learn what you know.
And the reward?
2. Promote items you love, but don’t own
Word of mouth drives sales. Period.
Let’s face it:
If it’s highly recommended by someone you trust, you’ll be more inclined to purchase one brand over another.
Affiliate marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry. With that said, there’s enough for you to get a piece of the pie.
In its simplest form, you promote a product with a custom link, someone clicks the link, makes a purchase and you get paid a commission for the referral.
There are three common models in affiliate marketing:
a.) Promote products you’ve used. Review them. Recommend them.
This is a great way to provide valuable insight on products, software and services. The benefits include developing rapport with your fans while building a long-term passive income machine in mind.
b.) Promote the highest paying affiliate products and pretend that they are without flaw.
Unfortunately, people are still trying to pull a fast one on others. Once your referrals discover they were duped, they will likely request a refund and you will not get paid your commission. These websites don’t last and you get the distinct pleasure of feeling like a scumbag.
The commission isn’t so hot then is it?
c.) Have others promote products for you.
Have you heard of Slickdeals.net?
If you haven’t, then stop reading this and you’ll find a hot deal on a product you absolutely do not need.
Slickdeals is America’s largest user contributing deals forum.
Average people like you and I find a “slick deal” and post it for the world to see.
But here’s the catch:
Pretty neat right?
Last year, they reported nearly 12 million unique views per month. In addition to their ad banners, you can make an educated guess that their affiliate commissions are in the multi-million dollar range.
If you’ve ever posted a deal on SlickDeals, I’m sure they would love to thank you for your contribution to their bankroll.
Here are a few affiliate networks you can easily integrate into your website:
- Commission Junction
- Amazon affiliates
You’ll find everything from fortune 500 companies to your next-door neighbor’s basement company.
3. Write about your passions and interests
Others are just as passionate and interested in the things you love.
Sure, they may not love your baby as much as you do, but reading about your experiences raising your little one is a topic others will resonate with.
Scary Mommy started as an innocent online journey of Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home time with her children. It landed her two book deals and was eventually acquired by digital giant Vinit Bharara.
Pinch of Yum started with a husband and wife duo. Lindsay writes and photographs her latest recipes and her husband Bjork is the tech guy behind the scenes.
This blog is more than just a clever name that brinks a smile. They’re now reporting well over $20,000/month blogging about what they love:
Smokler doesn’t have an early childhood education degree and Lindsay isn’t a chef at a Michelin star restaurant.
They wanted to share what they’ve been up to and are now generating passive income 24/7.
4. Sell your services
You might not be a graphic designer, but you must have other talents that others don’t.
Perhaps you have a knack for writing, coaching or even something as simple as data entry.
Sure, these may not seem like the most lucrative business ideas, but Google’s data would strongly disagree.
Would-be customers hire people like you and I to save time or to have someone else do a better job than they are capable of.
So how is this money working for you?
The keyword here is: outsource.
A job such as data entry can be purchased abroad for as little as $1.50/hour. Assuming your state’s minimum wage is $8.00 or more, you can easily profit over 500% each hour.
5. Resell services you have no talent in
The average small to midsized business invests a minimum of $300 on their company logo.
Yes, I know. You’re not a graphic designer…
But here’s the deal:
You can find professional logos for $5 on Fiverr.com.
Fiverr is a website where individuals around the world can sell a service for a flat fee of five big ones.
There are obviously cases where you get what you pay for, but there are rare gems on this network that I send recurring business to.
Because they do a spectacular job and I’m able to resell it for a minimum of $300.
Think about it this way:
If you sell one item a day and profit $295 per sale, you’re looking at $107,675 in profit over the year.
Your turn to live it out…
The dream of becoming a penny stock millionaire is a gamble at best.
The dream of a viable “automated” business that will continue to return dividends is no dream at all.
It’s a reality.
None of the above are “get rich quick schemes”. They all require work and learning to scale a free flowing stream of revenue.
Although these are not fool proof paths, they provide a solid blueprint of exactly how thousands of online entrepreneurs have been making their hundred dollar investments compound into a solid money making machine.
My dream was never to live on an island and I’m sure most of you would agree that it’s not yours either.
What matters is the time that we have on this earth, how we spend it and who we spend it with.
Greater than “financial freedom”, making my money work for me has given me the freedom of time. A truly priceless gift.
So it comes down to this last question:
Are you ready to let your money work for you or will you continue to work for your money?
Sam Oh is an online entrepreneur who has explored and built numerous businesses leveraging the digital world. He continues to develop new start-ups and documents his online adventures at moneyjournal.com.