With national unemployment rates standing at over nine percent in 2010, those with traditional jobs may think they are safe. Promises of pensions, severance packages, and other benefits can lull you into a false sense of security. After having lost several lucrative jobs in the past few years to young minimum-wage earners, it became clear to me that diversifying my income stream was not only a good idea, but a necessity. No one should be dependent on one company for their entire livelihood. Here is how to branch out from nothing into having multiple streams of income, using nothing more than your personal computer and your intelligence.
Turn Your Passions Into Earnings
If you like to write, sew, or make jewelry, take the time now to set yourself up with a way of turning that hobby into a revenue stream. Artisans and craft folks alike can sell their wares on Etsy or Ebay, writers have sources such as Associated Content, Seed, or Demand Studios, and photographers also have sites such as iStockPhoto and Shutterstock. Set up these accounts now and do some minor participation. You never know when you’ll need to turn your passions into income. Having your accounts set up properly and ready to swing into high-gear will bring you peace of mind and financial security.
Try New Things with Existing Materials
Just about everyone owns a digital camera, word processing program, or sewing basket. Don’t ever let the idea that you are not a professional at any given task make you believe you cannot earn with it. I myself doubted my skills at photography. Now, I am taking photos and gaining income from them by making slide-shows. Far-flung relatives love seeing them, and I earn every time they come back to admire them. This concept can be applied to just about any interest or hobby you may have. By testing the waters early, before you are desperate, you can learn what is marketable and what is not.
Find Steady Online Work as Well
In addition to selling pieces of your finished work, find an online job you can do in your spare time. As I wrote in a previous article, ChaCha is a good work-at-home option for some supplemental income. KGB is another text-answering service that offers flexible work-at-home opportunities. If you aren’t phone-phobic, there are myriad companies offering customer service and technical support from home. These types of jobs will help fill in any gaps in your earnings. When I am feeling uncreative and cannot write another word, I can still work ChaCha and continue earning.
In short, living with only one source of income is dangerous. One lay-off and you are in trouble. By utilizing the options available to make money online, you too can diversify your income streams so that the loss of one project simply means you move on and work more at the existing projects you do have. Before you know it, you will not fear losing any one project or job!