This article was last updated in March of 2019. I will continue to update this information as my streams of income change over time.

Having multiple streams of income, to me, is the key to running a successful online business.

I don’t have to tell you this because I know you’ve heard it a thousands times already..

“Never put all your eggs in one basket.”

And as a full-time entrepreneur, I rely solely on the income I make online, so this is especially true for me. That is exactly why, over the years, I have worked on building multiple streams of income within my business. So if one happens to go away, I will still be able to survive knowing that I have money coming in from other sources.

People ask me all the time, “Brant, you dabble in a lot on the internet, but how do you actually make money?”

And that is the goal of this article.

I am going to share with you the income streams that show up in my bank account each and every month, which, by the way, allows me to work for myself full-time from home. Let’s get started.

YouTube Ads

No, I’m not a YouTuber, but yes, I do run a semi-popular YouTube channel within the niche of my main website/business. I usually publish 1-2 videos per week and run ads on the videos, which is starting to bring in consistent revenue.

At the time of this writing, the channel is still brand new (under a year old), but I’m approaching 3000 subscribers and have seen steady growth.

(Keep in mind, you have to get at least 1000 subscribers before YouTube will allow you to run ads on your videos.)

But my goal of the channel isn’t to make money off ad revenue. My goal is to generate leads from the videos back to my website and ultimately convert the traffic into signing up for my email list. For an internet marketer as myself, the money to be made from YouTube is on the backend. The ad revenue is just an added bonus.

Google Adsense

For the people who don’t have a clue about making money on the internet, this is the first thing they think of. And admittingly, it’s how I thought I was going to rake in all the dough when I was first starting out. 

But basically, Google Adsense lets you place ads on your website and you get paid once someone clicks on one of the ads. 

You’ve definitely seen them everywhere. Here’s an example of what they look like:

I don’t really run many of these ads on any of my websites anymore. The reason is because it only pays a few cents each time someone clicks on one of your ads. And ads just interfere with your content and devalue your site, in my opinion. That’s why you won’t see any on this website. 

But still — like I said — I do still run Google Adsense some. It’s an easy way to make a couple hundred bucks each month. 

Credit Card Rewards

This technically isn’t an ‘income stream’ per se, but all the free points and miles that I generate using credit cards definitely adds up in a big way throughout the year.

My wife and I travel quite a bit, and for the most parts, all of our trips are either free or greatly discounted thanks to credit cards rewards. 

Here’s a brief explanation of how it works: 

I pay for basically everything, other than my mortgage (because they won’t let me), with a credit card. This includes food, gas, bills — you name it. In exchange for doing so, the credit card companies give you points or miles on each transaction that can be redeemed for travel purchases.

You can use these points to book free plane tickets and hotel stays anywhere in the world. It’s a beautiful thing.

But here’s the kicker: You MUST be responsible and you MUST pay off your credit card balance in full at the end of each month.

Otherwise, you are going to pay an arm and a leg in interest, and you’ll end up losing money overall. This is what the credit card companies want. They want for you to make the minimum payments month and collect your interest payments as you pay off the debt.

Never do this! Always pay off your balance in full each month, reap the free credit card rewards, and enjoy free vacations for life courtesy of the biggest banks in the world. 

If you’re interested, my favorite (and by far the best) credit card that I use for all business expenses is the Chase Ink Business Prefered (affiliate link). Once you sign up and spend a certain amount within the first few months, they’ll give you a ton of free points worth enough to pay for your first trip. It’s amazing, to be honest. 

Dividend Investing

I’ll keep this one short and sweet. Dividend investing is a form of investing where you buy shares of companies that disperse some of their profits back to shareholders (in the form of dividends).

It’s another way to earn passive income each month (or quarter), depending on when that particular company disperses their dividend payments.

I do all of my long-term stock market investing through Vanguard. They make it super simple.

But for my quote-unquote “play money”, I use an app called Robinhood. It’s pretty dope in regards to trading individual stocks and crypto currencies (which is not something I do a lot of, just occasionally). Sign up through my link and we both get a free stock. 🙂

Self-Publishing: Kindle

This one is pretty self-explanatory. At the time of this writing, I have 14 books that are published and for sale on the Amazon Kindle Platform. I wrote a few of them myself. And I hired ghost writers to write the other ones for me.

Essentially, once the books are published, you really don’t have to do anything else. This truly is a pretty simple way to earn passive income each month. The more books you publish, obviously the more money you’ll make. I plan to publish about 10 new books each year.

I learned all about Kindle Publishing from an online course I went through called K Money MasteryIt’s beginner-friendly and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to get started publishing books on Amazon. It’s one of the easiest methods to get started making money online. I believe you can try it out for like $7, so definitely check that out if you’re interested. 

Self-Publishing: Paperbacks

This is method is the same concept as publishing on the Amazon Kindle Platform. You can take the same book that you already published and sell them as paperbacks as well.

This is possible thanks to an Amazon company called CreateSpace. They take your book manuscript and cover image, and whenever someone buys your book, they’ll print the book and ship it straight to the customer.

You don’t have to lift a finger once the books are published. All you have to do is check for the direct deposit that comes directly to your bank account each month.

Self-Publishing: Audiobooks

Again, this one is the same concept as the previous two. You take the same books you already have published on Kindle and CreateSpace, and publish an audio version as well.

This is possible thanks to another Amazon company called Audible.

Audible lets you hire a professional voiceover artist that will record your book into an audio file. Then you can publish the audiobook for sale on Amazon.com. Again, once it’s up there, this is yet another form of passive income. 

Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is a form of affiliate marketing. Here’s the gist of it:

You link to various Amazon products on your website. If visitors click on your affiliate link and make a purchase, Amazon will credit you and pay you a commission which is a small percentage of the sale.

Here’s another example.

On this website, if you visit my Reading List page, you will see that I’ve listed out each and every book that I’ve read over the years. Each book listed has a link attached to that specific book on Amazon.com.

So if you were to click one of the links and make a purchase, I get paid a commission for sending you to Amazon. You only make roughly 4-5% commissions on each sale But if your site is getting a lot of traffic, it starts to add up pretty quickly.

Another great thing about Amazon Associates is that they give you credit for any purchase within 24 for hours of clicking your link.

So back to my previous example.

If someone clicks a link on my Reading List page and visits Amazon.com. But instead of buying the book, they get distracted and end up purchasing, let’s say, a lawnmower. As long as it’s within 24 hours, I still get credit for that sale. How neat is that?

This is my second largest income stream at the time of this writing. 

eBay: Reselling

I got started making money online by selling on eBay. I started off just by selling my own items. Old clothes and other stuff I had laying around the house.

But once I discovered how lucrative it could be, I started trying to sell as much as I could. I started going to local thrift stores to find items for pennies on the dollar that I could resell for huge profits.

We’re talking old vintage jackets that I paid $3 for and could resell for $50+. Once I had several items listed in my eBay store, I actually started making pretty decent money each month.

The problem is — it’s hard to scale.

You can only go to the thrift store so often. And it gets old restocking your inventory after a while. Not to mention taking photos and listing the items for sale.

There are plenty of people who do this full-time, but it’s definitely a grind. This is why I’ve stopped selling on eBay as much as I used to.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love going to thrift stores every now and then to see what treasures I can find. But now, I’m focusing my time on higher-value activities that I can truly scale and earn passive income over time. 

eBay: Dropshipping

I talked about how I failed at eBay dropshipping in My 2018 Annual Review. If you’re not familiar, here’s the gist of it:

Basically, all it is — you find items from websites like Walmart.com and Amazon and list them for sale on eBay at a higher price. Once the item sells, you order the product using the customer’s address and have the product shipped directly to them. You never see or touch any of the products and you never have to worry about carrying any inventory. All you do is earn profits on each sale.

Sounds great, right?

It could work. The problem for me was that the margins are so small. In order to earn decent money from this business model, you will need to list thousands of these items.

Ain’t nobody got time for that. Because like I said, I’m trying to spend my time on my websites — that will grow organically and earn passive income over time.

I’ve mostly stopped doing this business model altogether, but I do still have a few of these dropshipping-specific items in my eBay store. And because of that, I am including this here as one of my income streams. Even though I’m only making less than $100 per month from this method. 

Shopify: Dropshipping

Shopify is an eCommerce platform that lets you build an run an online store. It makes managing sales and inventory extremely easy.

This process is the same concept as I explained earlier with eBay dropshipping.

This difference is, the items that you’re selling are coming from a site called Aliexpress.com. If you’re not familiar, it’s basically the Chinese version of Amazon.

So yes, the items you will be dropshipping are coming straight from China.

Once a customer purchases something from your store, the supplier (from China) will ship the item straight to the buyer’s house. Again, you never see or touch any of the inventory.

There are teenagers and kids way younger than me making bank doing this. You’ve probably seen them flexing their Lamborghinis on YouTube and Instagram.

I’m still pretty new to Shopify. But I haven’t done less than $1,000 in a single month yet since I started. I’m definitely going to expand this income stream in the coming months (in 2019).

Shopify: Print-on-Demand

I could have probably just grouped this income stream together with Shopify dropshipping. But to me, they are two completely different business models.

Here’s how this one works:

I will come up with a design for a T-Shirt, hoodie, coffee mug — literally anything. Either I will create the design myself, or if it’s more complex, I’ll hire a designer to make it for me. Then I can upload the designs onto apparel and offer it for sale in my Shopify store.

Here’s the beauty of it:

When someone makes a purchase, a printing company will automatically print the shirt and ship it directly to the customer. Again, you never have to see, touch, or feel any of the inventory. All you do is make a profit on each sale. I partner with a company called Printful to print and ship all my orders. 

This is the income stream that I’m most looking forward to expanding going forward. I much prefer this one over dropshipping from Aliexpress. Mainly because the T-shirts are made here in the United States, so the shipping times are much faster — which means my customers are much happier. 

Online Cash Back

This isn’t technically an income stream but I do receive PayPal deposits every month from Rakuten.

All you have to do is install their plugin in your browser. Then when you shop online, you click the button and automatically receive free cash back for literally doing nothing.

It works with almost every website and you can earn up to 10% cash back on some sites.

If you’re not already using it, you definitely should. It’s basically free money. If you sign up today using my affiliate link, they’ll send you a free $10 gift card.

Digital Product Sales: Online Courses

I saved the best two for last because selling digital products is how I earn the majority of my income. All the income streams on this list are nice, but the most powerful way to make money online is by creating and selling your own products.

I created helpful video courses that I sell on my main website to students. It’s great because they get value from the content that I teach, and I get value from them in the form of money.

There are quite a few courses that I’ve yet to record and create. My monthly revenue is directly correlated with the courses I sell — the more course I create, the more money I make. I just need to get the work done.

Digital Product Sales: eBooks

And last but most certainly not least, eBooks. This is currently my biggest income stream at the time of this writing. That’s right, selling PDFs.

It’s a beautiful thing because you can create an eBook once and then sell it over and over again without doing any additional work.

I use Gumroad to sell digital products. When someone buys, they automatically send the customer access to the eBook or course.

My big focus now is repurposing the content inside of my eBooks and turning into video courses to sell as well. 

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. That wraps up my current list of income streams that I earn through my online businesses. Nothing super-fancy, but I’m fortunate that the amount earned from each method combined adds up to a total that’s high enough for me to work for myself.

I anticipate that this list will change over time, so I’ll keep it updated as I add and subtract new income streams. Thanks for reading all the way to the end. What income streams are you working on today?

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