Getting Serious About Building Up My Multiple Streams of Income in 2014



Multiple Streams of Income2013 was a pretty big achievement for me as far as passive income goes.  It wasn’t that long ago that I thought that taking advantage of a few free credit card offers or checking account promotions was the way to make some good money on the side.

Little did I know, however, that through treating my blogging ambitions more like a business rather than a hobby that I would be able to make more money in a month than I made in a whole year using those methods!

In 2013 I made a commitment to really ramp up and diversify my multiple streams of income beyond just My Money Design.  I was really encouraged by more “online entrepreneurial”-type websites like Sparkline (formally Think Traffic) that proclaimed one-sentence mantras like “a blog is NOT a business”.  After researching and learning a ton about niche websites from websites like Niche Pursuits, I decided that this was going to be the best way to build up my revenue beyond what I was making from just my blog.  For anyone that needs any further encouragement in this area, I invite you to look at how much Adsense revenue Pat Flynn takes in each month from his Security Guard Training HQ niche website.  Are you making +$1,800 each month with no effort?

 

Why So Much Focus on Multiple Streams of Income?

A few weeks ago we did a pretty deep dive comparison between two retirement savings strategies: Using a taxable one like a regular stock or mutual fund brokerage account versus a tax-sheltered one like a 401k plan.  Not only did we confirm that the 401k-like approach was the better deal (go figure …), but we also learned (myself included) something very important about this strategy:  By just how LARGE of an advantage the tax-sheltered plan really is!

Despite this seemingly good news, it also comes as a huge disappointment to my overall early retirement plan.  In previous posts I’ve talked about how a large part of my approach to become financially free would include building up my taxable accounts by possibly even diverting some of my usual tax-sheltered savings to it.

But now I’m not so sure that’s such a good idea anymore.  After looking at how much money I could potentially be cheating myself out of, how can I in good conscious sabotage our future like that?

So then what can I do about it?

The only thing I can do – Make more money!!

Truthfully?  All this revelation does is incredibly motivate me to push my efforts even harder to build more multiple streams of income!  Regardless of what I decide to do with my investments and how I choose to save them, I know that the simple answer is to make more money than I am right now.

If I did that, I wouldn’t have to put so much emphasis on what or how I save.  This way I could use the extra income to fund whatever endeavors I desire.

So then going forward for 2014, what am I going to focus on?

 

Niche Websites:

For over a year the front-runner of my passive income initiative has been to develop niche websites.  And for the foreseeable future they will probably continue to remain so.

Since the beginning, my ultimate goal has been to build several of these sites and make multiple streams of income somewhere between $500 – $1,000 per month per site.

Can you imagine it?  If I was successful at building up just a handful of these sites, that would almost double my take-home income.

Multiple Streams of IncomeSo how’s that going?  You can click here to read my most recent niche website progress update.  But basically we’re up to over $600 per month with very little maintenance.

I’ll be honest and tell you that in the beginning of 2013 it was a very slow-go with this passive income building effort.  Unless you’ve built successful websites in the past, you’ve really got a lot to learn (as I found out) when it comes to properly strategizing, researching, creating, and promoting these kinds of sites.  That’s exactly what the bulk of my time was spent doing.

Seems kind of defeating, but the good part is knowing that they do work!  Every week I read several different blogs that report their niche website income and there is lots of evidence that they can be a very significant stream of income.

So even though I’ve got so much further to go, I’m extremely proud to see increasing month-over-month progress and increasing profits!  And going forward I’m going to commit myself to this effort by doing the following: Focusing!

Earlier this year when I committed myself to making my first niche website (which I’ve dubbed NS1) a success, the site went from total obscurity in the Google search results to No. 5!  Around that time it also started to make a few hundred dollars per month passively in Adsense.  Sweet progress!

Now my goal is to turn my attention to my NS2 and NS3 projects to get them up to the +$500 of revenue as quickly as possible.

Beyond that, I’d also really like to get started on something else that’s on my mind … NS4.  I’ve got a plan on paper and I’ve been somewhat antsy to create it.  Why?  Because the monetization strategy would be different.  With this new site I’d use Amazon instead of Adsense to generate income.  From other websites I’ve read I’ve heard nothing but good things about Amazon and how you can make so much more than Adsense by using it.

 

Other Website Related Initiatives:

Related to the subject of niche websites and blogging in general, there are certainly a lot of other off-shoot ideas we could try to earn some extra cash.  Here’s a brief list of some of the other things I may end up trying to build up my multiple income streams in 2014:

  • Selling my niche sites.  What better way to lock into my earnings than to sell my sites when they are at their peak?
  • Flipping websites.  If my niche site building techniques work well enough, perhaps I could purchase already established websites and breathe new life into them to the point where they start to see some profitability.
  • Other blogging services.  I’ve considering putting some of my know-how up for sale to those who need it.  These would be things like keyword research, content creation, link building, etc.  I’m sure I could provide good value to those who need help doing the things that I do every week.
  • Write an eBook.  This has always been an interest of mine, and it is one that I hope to act on in the upcoming year.  eBooks can be pretty lucrative as side income if marketed correctly.
  • Private advertising across my sites.  It’s worked for this long.  Why stop now?

 

Investing:

As you can probably guess, managing your money is just as (if not more important than) making it.  That’s why I will always continue to educate myself in the ways of taxes, retirement savings, and investing in general.

Using a lot of the money I earned in 2012, I was able to start off 2013 by funding my first major dividend stock purchase.  I used a combination of strategies such as the Dogs of the Dow and the Dividend Aristocrats to make my selections.

While I don’t fancy myself the next Warren Buffett, I have been pretty lucky with a few of my individual stock picks over the last 2 years.  For example, when I owned Apple (AAPL), it went up almost 75%.  My current holdings of Pitney Bowes (PBI) are also up almost 100% for the year.

Does this make me some kind of stock picking wizard?  Not at all.  But it does seem to suggest that spending a little time researching company fundamentals and making conservative decisions can result in worth-while payout.

Even if we devote only a small portion of our overall portfolio to this particular endeavor and it results in an increase of a few thousand dollars, that would be almost as beneficial as say creating a niche website and making a few hundred dollars every month.  Plus it would again be a nice diversification from the blogging side of things.

Readers – How about you?  What will you do to push your multiple streams of income in 2014 and make even more money than you are now?  

 

Related Posts:

1)      Passive Income Ideas to Start Making Extra Money Now

2)      How to Make Money with a Website and Why Most Personal Finance Sites Don’t

3)      My Money Design Turns 2 – Plus SEO Tips and Tricks

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Comments

    • says

      Thanks! But no, I’m not self-employed or even working towards it. I still have a full-time job. All this extra effort to make income is just to further along my early retirement plan. The more I build up and invest, the sooner I’ll be ready!

  1. says

    Wow nice work on the niche websites. My goal this year is to continue to develop my blog. I have an idea for a niche site but I want to wait and focus more energy on my blog for the time being. Good luck in 2014. Sounds like you have some exciting projects ahead.

    • says

      When you’re just getting started working on your main blog is always a top priority. But don’t be afraid to try out another site if you have a good idea or can find the motivation to try it out. Honestly I probably learned more about blogging, SEO, and website development from my niche sites than I did from running this blog.

    • says

      With so many writing jobs why don’t you outsource some of the writing projects to a handful of VA’s or freelancers through Elance? I’d be willing to bet that for $5 to $10 each you could find a ghost-writer to create some pretty quality articles that you could then add your personal touches to and make your own.

  2. says

    This is seriously an awesome post. I was thinking the same thing as I was reflecting on 2013 and what I wanted to do differently in 2014. I really worked hard at my blog and I am seeing some of the rewards of that work, but I want to start a second website next year in a niche that is totally different. I’ll have to start reading your blog more often as it sounds like we have similar goals for next year.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..How I am getting a free $400 for travel in the New YearMy Profile

    • says

      I’m not sure how much more monthly income you could really add to your portfolio! You’re out-doing all of us with your five figure months!

  3. says

    My income goal for 2014 is to double my online income. I started to focus on online income last year and made a decent amount. My goal this year was to double it and I reached that goal back in September. My goal now is to double it again. I know I can’t “double it” forever, but it’s a fun challenge to see w if I can do it. 2014 will take a lot of work for my to reach my goal, but I am confident that I can reach it.
    Jon @ MoneySmartGuides recently posted..How To Find WorkMy Profile

    • says

      Why couldn’t you double it forever? :) I’m sure there are a lot of big bloggers who started out just like us and then found their way into six figures within no time.

      You’re absolutely right that doubling or even increasing your income every year is a fun and challenging game. But out of everything else I could think of doing, it has one of the best rewards to go after!

  4. says

    I love those ideas. I don’t think I know enough to create niche websites, but what a great concept. I especially like the Amazon idea. I think your ideas are similar to what we hope to do with real estate. Get enough rental income to cover expenses and save retirement accounts until we are older. It’s not totally passive, but if you have enough money, repairs and such are not a big deal.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..One Year After Paying Off Credit Card DebtMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Kim. It’s funny you say that about websites because you’ve already done such a great job of building up and promoting your blog already. The only difference when you run other sites is that you spend a little more time paying attention to the stats and lean on VA’s more often.

  5. says

    Glad to hear about all your success with the websites. But you still have to write stuff for it yes? I don’t know much about it so it’s got me curious. I think my big goal for next year is creating an online course that people can download. A lot of work up front, but hopefully a good source of passive income.

    • says

      Actually, no, I don’t write much for my other sites at all. Most of it was outsourced through Elance, and all the promotion was outsourced through oDesk. That allows me to write just for My Money Design and focus on my overall monetary plan.

      Having some kind of downloadable course would be incredible! Even with all the free stuff on the Internet, the informational industry is still booming with people selling instructional DVD’s, videos, ebooks, speeches, etc. I’ve often thought of putting something together like that myself.

  6. says

    Congrats on your success with the niche sites! That’s cool how you’ve been able to accomplish this and generate some quality extra income. Really, the idea of multiple streams of income is a great one, and I think it will be more important (and more possible) each passing day going forward.

    I have a few domains I’ve bought for such purposes, now it’s a matter of making a plan and doing it. Also, buying an existing blog could be another way to get such income, and almost treat it like an annuity.

    Anyway, excellent post.
    Tie the Money Knot recently posted..100 Ways to Make Extra Money on the SideMy Profile

    • says

      I would have never thought of it like an annuity – I like that analogy!

      Whether you build off an existing blog or start from scratch, I think there’s a lot of opportunity out there. Even if you don’t use those sites directly to make money, they can still help you to build links to your real money sites.

  7. says

    I really like that you’ll be expanding your niche site efforts into the Amazon affiliate marketplace. I’ve made a few feeble attempts at Amazon niche sites myself – but have not had success yet. I just started working on another one that I plan to put some serious effort into. We’ll have to compare notes and strategies. I know I’ve learned from my past mistakes and I’m determined to make this one work (even though it’s being built around a product that I have NO interest in and care nothing about!).
    Matthew Allen recently posted..[Dumb] Passive Income Report for November 2013My Profile

    • says

      I’m pumped to try something that relates back to Amazon. I feel like almost every success story I read these days talks about how Amazon has been such a big part of that reward. With the little bit of time I’ve got coming up for Christmas I’m going to take my time and look at what my options are for a product selection. Nice and slow is how it’s going to go this time. I will confess that I’m a little frightened to try to create a site outside of personal finance. It’s going to be more tricky to get links or network with other site owners that I’m not familiar with.

  8. says

    Congratulations on your success!

    I hear you on the tax-sheltered accounts. As much as I want to maintain more of my investments outside of the tax shelter where they are more easily managed, the long term performance of a 401k or IRA is very difficult to ignore. Currently, I contribute enough to get my employer match, but am focused on building a nest egg for purchasing some rental real estate.

    As for financial goals – rental real estate, and growing my website income 10x. One of the benefits of just starting out – it’s easier to hit big numbers like that…
    Jack @ Enwealthen recently posted..Want to Save $100,000 on Your Mortgage? Improve your Credit ScoreMy Profile

    • says

      It would be like passing up money on the street to NOT take full advantage of those tax sheltered accounts. Especially now that I’ve calculated the difference between using a taxable vs tax-deferred plan, I’m all in from here on out when it comes to maxing out my contributions.

      Good luck on those real estate goals and growing your website income. Watch out – it becomes infectious!

    • says

      If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to get involved with doing some investing. So much of it can be done tax-free, and that alone makes it worth the investment!

    • says

      Thanks Jeff. I know over the years we’ve all tried a lot of different things to build sustainable income from our websites. I really feel like ever since I diversified my efforts, I’ve seen more stable forms of income. But 2013 felt like just a taste. I’d like to make 2014 the year to really take flight.

  9. says

    It is good to see that you’re making a nice decent income with websites.

    However I dont think this cant last for more then 10 eyars from now. I think the internet will change drastically the coming years.

    Anyway, good luck for 2014!

    • says

      I unfortunately have to agree to some extent. I would have never guessed 10 years ago that the Internet would be the way it is now, so how can I expect things to be the same in another 10 years. By then who knows if blogs will even be relevant or if web browsing will be like it is now.

      One thing I do have confidence in is the fact that 1) information will always be sought after (no matter what form it is available in) and 2) that advertising will evolve wherever technology evolves, and those who find a way to exploit it will benefit.

  10. says

    hey MMD,

    great stuff you have going on here and I was also once an avid niche site maker. It worked really well about 5 years ago where these little adsense monetized sites would make you a very healthy and respectable income online. Nowadays with all these google algorithmic changes, I just don’t feel like it’s as viable anymore.

    g’luck to you my friend.
    mil @ freeancial recently posted..How to trend trade stocks the easy wayMy Profile

  11. Etta Y. Oneill says

    Thanks so much for all the tips! I have a lot of websites that i have been looking to make money with, most of the time i am choosing a highly competetive niche like SEO or Hosting etc, thats what I do for a living. Using your tips though I will go down the route of CPA, I am already with CB and Amazon.
    Etta Y. Oneill recently posted..No last blog posts to return.My Profile

    • says

      Thanks and welcome to the site Etta. I know what you mean by choosing keywords that are in your niche or comfort zone. For the first time I’m going to break out of it and build a website that has nothing to do with money.

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