10 Best Ways To Diversify Your Income

By Zach Buchenau

Last Updated: November 9, 2020

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10 Best Ways To Diversify Your Income | Be The Budget

Are you looking for ways to diversify your income? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Put simply, in the world of personal finance, your income is your most powerful asset. Without it, you lose the ability to save money, pay for your lifestyle, and achieve any of your financial goals. The good news is, the bigger (and more secure) your income is, the more opportunities you have to pursue your passions and achieve the financial life of your dreams.

And that’s why diversifying your income may just be the most important financial step you ever take.

But, what does it mean to diversify your income?

Diversifying your income is the practice of creating more than one stream of income. Whether it be a side business or a second job, diversifying your income lowers your financial risk by spreading your income across multiple sources, and therefore, reducing your dependence on one single source.

But let’s be honest, while it sounds great in theory, I think we all know that’s easier said than done.

The real question is, how do you do it?

Well, that’s exactly why I’m sitting here writing this post. You see, while I love budgeting, saving money, and living a frugal lifestyle, my absolute favorite aspect of personal finance is entrepreneurship, and figuring out ways to earn a bigger income.

There’s just something awesome about setting a goal to increase your income, and then getting out there, living boldly, and achieving it. I have butterflies just thinking about it. Seriously, it gives me such a rush!

But, before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s worth stating that diversifying your income is hard work. It takes intentionality, discipline and consistency. But for those that are willing to put in the necessary effort, the rewards can be incredibly, well, rewarding.

So, if you’re ready to put in the work, but just need a few ideas to get you started, here are my top 10 ways to diversify your income.

1. Start A Blog

Ok, seeing how you’re reading this article on my blog, it’s probably pretty obvious that starting a blog is my favorite way to diversify your income. I mean, of all the items on this list, this is the one I chose. And for that reason, the first item on our list of ways to diversify your income, is to start a blog.

Now, despite what you may have heard, blogging is not dead. In fact, I would say the complete opposite.

Don’t get me wrong, like any business venture, it is hard work. But for those that are willing to learn how to blog properly (so that you generate traffic and revenue), and stick to it, blogging can end up generating thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars in revenue per month.

Seriously, there are tons of bloggers out there that make seven figures per year. And the best part is, the overhead (i.e. the costs associated with running a blog) are incredibly low. Which, in turn, means the profit margins are incredibly high. Can you say, ‘no brainer’?

You see, the benefit of blogging, is that there are all sorts of ways to generate revenue. For example, you can earn money through: display advertising, affiliate income, sponsored content, membership sales, lead generation and so much more. Beyond that, once you build an audience, your blog can become a spring-board for just about any venture you decide to start (including almost every other option on this list).

Now, all that said, if you want to start a blog, you need to understand that it can take quite a while to build enough traffic to start generating meaningful revenue. Depending on your niche, it can take anywhere from months to years to start making a good amount of money through your blog. But, for the bloggers that stick with it, the income potential is huge.

So, if you’re looking for a great way to diversify your income, and you have the patience, perseverance and drive to stick with it for a few years, I can’t recommend blogging enough.

Thinking about starting a blog? Here are a few of our other posts that might interest you:

2. Sell A Service

If starting a blog doesn’t really sound like your cup of tea, and you have a marketable skill that other people or businesses would be willing to pay for, then you should consider selling a service.

For example, if you are great with social media, you could start a business managing the social media accounts for local businesses. I know for a fact that many businesses are willing to pay hundreds, or even thousands of dollars per month for this service. Why? Because they know they need it, but they can’t stand doing it themselves. Talk about a great opportunity to earn some doe-ray-me!

To name a few other examples, you could start selling services like:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Data Entry
  • Proofreading
  • Life Coaching
  • Graphic Design
  • SEO
  • Video Transcription
  • And Much More!

So, if you have a passion for something that other people are willing to pay for, don’t be afraid to start selling it. This can be a great way to diversify your income.

Top 10 ways to diversify your income | Be The Budget

3. Start An eCommerce Business

If you have a little cash laying around for inventory, and you like the idea of selling physical products, you could start an eCommerce business.

Though, before we go any further, seeing how Be The Budget is a debt-free blog, we do not recommend going into any kind of debt to start any of the income streams on this list. Remember, if your goal is to make more money, the last thing you should do is take on debt.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten my debt-free spiel off my chest, starting an eCommerce business is a great way to earn some extra income. In fact, if you stick with it, this could easily transform into your full-time gig.

Like blogging, however, starting an eCommerce business can take quite a bit of time, and a whole lot of effort. But, for those that are up for a rather large challenge, this can be an incredibly rewarding path.

4. Create/Sell An Online Course

If you like the idea of starting a digital side hustle, and you have a skill that other people would love to learn, then you should consider creating and selling an online course.

This is a phenomenal way to diversify your income. And here’s the best part, despite what you might think, you don’t even need to be an expert. You just need to know more about your subject matter than somebody else, and be able to communicate it well to beginners.

And in even better news, there are people looking for online courses in almost every subject you can imagine. From programming to gardening to painting to woodworking to singing to photo editing to pretty much anything else, if you know how to do something better than an absolute beginner, create an online course about it.

You don’t have to market yourself as a master. In fact, many of the best courses I have taken were taught by somebody that wasn’t a master. And because they were a little closer to my skill level, I actually felt like they related to me as a student a little better. Just because somebody knows more than you about a subject, doesn’t mean they will be a better teacher. Just be honest, be authentic, and teach what you know.

You might be surprised how many people will be willing to pay for your course.

5. Invest Consistently

Of all the options on this list, if you want to diversify your income, investing should be a prominent part of the mix. Seriously, in the world of personal finance, compound interest is the most powerful force you have at your disposal, and you should take advantage of it as much as you possibly can.

Though, I want to be very clear here, if you want to diversify your income, you should not treat investing like a short-term play. Rather, you should focus on consistency over a long time. That way, as you’re monthly (more immediate) income grows, your future income is growing as well.

Compound interest takes time. And if you have the patience to consistently contribute to your investments, and let them grow over the course of decades, you will reach a point where the interest you earn far outpaces your monthly income.

Want to learn more about investing? Check out these related posts:

6. Freelance

If you have some skills with the written word, graphic design, photography, videography, or something similar, freelancing is a great way to diversify your income.

I know for a fact that many companies and bloggers are willing to pay good money for freelance writers, photographers and videographers. Seriously, I have seen writers make hundreds of dollars for a blog post, photographers make thousands of dollars for a photo shoot, and videographers make tens of thousands of dollars for a video shoot.

Obviously, the amount you get paid will depend on your skill level and quality of work. But even if you start small, you can earn a seriously awesome income as a freelancer.

Side note: If you’re considering freelancing as a way to diversify your income, be sure to check out my previous post: 9 Lucrative Freelance Skills You Can Learn Online. In this guide, I reveal some of the highest-paying freelance options, as well as some top-rated courses you can take in order to learn the necessary skills you need in order to start charging for your work.

7. Start A YouTube Channel

If you have a passion for a particular niche, and you’d like to diversify your income, then you should consider starting a YouTube channel.

Similar to blogging, it can be difficult to gain any kind of following on YouTube, but if you become a student of the craft, hone your communication and videography skills, you can make an impressive income through YouTube.

I personally follow quite a few YouTubers that make over $1 Million per year. Yep, you read that right.

Just in case you didn’t know this, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world… right behind Google. So, to put it simply, there are billions of people using YouTube. So, if you’d like to get a piece of the financial pie, then turn on your camera or smartphone, and start recording videos. You never know, a few years from now, you could be one of those YouTubers making 7-figures a year.

Talk about a great way to diversify your income!

How To Diversify Your Income | Be The Budget

8. Get A Second Job

Ok, I realize that most of the items on this list fall into the category of entrepreneurship. But if you don’t really have a desire to go the route of starting your own business, then getting a second job is another phenomenal option.

And the best part is, of all the items on this list, getting a second job is probably the quickest way to diversify your income.

I mean, if you get a part-time job, you could be earning an extra income within a couple weeks — maybe less.

Thinking about getting a second job? If so, you might like a couple of our other posts:

9. Start A Podcast

Podcasts are becoming more and more popular by the day. Because of that, if you’ve been thinking about starting a podcast, now is an incredible time to get going!

If you need information on starting a podcast, I highly recommend checking out this guide: How To Start A Podcast by Pat Flynn. He is an enormously successful Podcaster, so if there’s anything you need to know, he’s your guy!

Additionally, starting a podcast can be a great addition to a YouTube channel or a blog. So, if you want to add a couple extra sources of income to your financial situation, this is a great way to go.

10. Teach Music Lessons

Do you know how many people want to learn to play an instrument? While I can’t give you an exact number, I can tell you it’s a lot.

So, if you know how to strum some chords, tickle the ivory, or play any musical instrument at all, I highly recommend teaching music lessons as a way to earn some extra income.

In fact, if you like the idea of teaching music lessons as a way to diversify your income, you should check out my previous post: How Much To Charge For Music Lessons. You might be surprised how much money you can charge as a music teacher, as well as the different options available.

Final Thoughts

If you want to diversify your income, now is the best time to get started. And while I can’t guarantee that it will be easy, I can tell you that once you start seeing the money roll in, you will be incredibly happy you took the leap.

So, how are you planning to diversify your income? Whether you pick one of the options in this article, or something completely different, be sure to comment below. I can’t wait to hear about it!

Oh, and if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to Be The Budget! Our community is growing fast, and we’d love to have you join in on the fun!

Zach Buchenau

About The Author:

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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