If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that living on one source of income has never been a wise decision. Even loyal, hardworking individuals that had offered companies their blood, sweat and tears over the years found themselves on the street when the pandemic came a-knocking. In a highly volatile and changing world, job security is in constant jeopardy.
Luckily for most, ever since the dot com bubble, the internet has provided individuals with new opportunities of making money. While this was a bit challenging in the past since if you wanted to conduct any business on the internet you’d need some technical know-how, it has become exceptionally easy today to create a new source of revenue online. This is thanks to all the available platforms and services like eBay, Amazon, PayPal, YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, Instagram, Patreon, and many more.
But diversifying your income streams is not just sound advice, it’s an actual, legitimate business strategy.
What business and governments can teach us
In the business world, you’ll hear the term diversification quite a lot.
On the regional level, governments like that of Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been endeavoring tirelessly to diversify their economies, meaning they have been looking to spread their revenue streams more evenly through investments in sectors like travel, tourism, education and more. That’s because GCC countries have long-relied on the sale of fossil fuels to power economic growth, something they have recently realized is no longer feasible. This was especially apparent during the 2014 oil price slump that saw oil prices hit rock bottom. We saw another drop in prices and demand for oil during this ongoing pandemic, serving as another urgent reminder.
As for investors, you’ll often hear them talking tirelessly about diversifying their portfolios, spreading their risk factors, so to speak, across different industries so that if one fails, another can make up for the losses.
As for businesses, they look at multiple streams of revenue, such as direct sales, subscription models, expanding to new markets, etc. to ensure that they have a safety net should one source dry up or take a temporary hit, like with COVID.
If governments, millionaire investors, and businesses are doing it, then it’s time we as individuals took a page out of their book.
The options available
For many people laboring at the 9-5 grind, it’s becoming easier than ever to be able to pursue additional sources of revenue. While some professions, like copywriting and photography, lend themselves well to freelancing, most employees don’t have the skills or time to manage some work on the side.
Luckily for them, online platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Twitch mean that almost anyone can start an online business with little to no resources, save for a camera, phone/PC, and an internet connection. We say business, because as an online personality, you are the business, brand and the source of all content (the product). Nowhere has this been apparent as of late than on TikTok, the short-form video social media app that has blown up in recent years. TikTok stars are made overnight, often through entertaining comedy skits filmed with friends and family with nothing but a simple smartphone. Almost anyone can make it big on TikTok with talent, hard work, and a bit of luck. There is no catch.
For those looking for a more involved online experience, video game streaming on a platform like Twitch or producing high quality videos (whether entertaining or informative, or both) YouTube are also options.
Additionally, Instagram is becoming the go-to destination for influencers and small businesses looking to start and grow new brands. Sponsorships are plenty, and many content creators go on to build a large enough of a following to start their own product lines.
You don’t need to always fret about follower numbers though, as data shows that the ROI generated by sponsored posts from micro influencers with less followers are much greater than that of those with millions of followers, because engagement rates when it comes to these less-known influencers are higher. So, even if you’re still small-time, you could be the online content creator that brands are exactly looking for.
So what are you waiting for? Grab that camera, gather your friends, and start making!
Let’s help you get started:
Influencer Beginner Guide: 5 tips for new content creators
Influencer Beginner Guide: 5 pitfalls to avoid as a new content creator
Content Boost: How to improve your on-page engagement