In this era of economic uncertainty, it is especially important to have different ways to earn money. Your plan for multiple streams of income is completely individual. It is also fluid. You observe the times. You pay attention to the concerns of your community. You follow your interests. You adjust for other factors in your life
Multiple Income Streams
Everyone should have more than one source of income.
In an earlier article, I wrote about my ideal home business of teaching. This spanned a period of my life when I was homeschooling my three children and I did not want to be obligated to go out of the house to earn money. I created an excellent income part-time in my own home so I could still be the primary caregiver and teacher for my children. It lasted for a decade and it was wonderful.
My New Ideal Home-Based Business
Times change. My children grew up. I wanted to follow new interests other than teaching. I was particularly eager to pursue web design and to use my graphic arts training in the new digital world. I started a part-time job in creative services and spent a lot of evening hours learning about the Internet and website design. In the back of my mind was growing the desire to create a web-based income stream. I did not want an online store. I wanted to publish.
For many years, I thought that this would take the shape of a business where I designed web sites for other people. I’ve always been a freelancer, no matter what else was happening in my life, so this seemed a natural direction. But there were obstacles. The field of web design changes constantly. Trying to keep current while coping with my other responsibilities was proving impossible. I was falling two or three steps behind for every step I managed to take forward.
I realized that my real desire was to have my own web site. However, I was knowledgeable enough to know that this would only bring financial success if the site was extremely well-designed, had lots of useful content and attracted plenty of traffic. I was also wise enough to admit that this was not likely to ever become a reality in this lifetime, at least not on my own.
A Content Site Experience
Let’s rewind a few years. I had designed a website to showcase my father’s hobby which was backyard waterwheels - he had drawn blueprints and wanted to sell them. The site has generated a small but steady income for him ever since. He was anxious for more people to know about his website and not sure how to promote it, so I tried to help him with that.
In 2008 I had discovered and signed up for Squidoo, which was very young then. I saw it as a way to give my dad’s hobby of waterwheels some more exposure. Because I enjoyed the Squidoo interface, I also posted a journal about a once-in-a-lifetime ViaRail trip that my daughter and I took. I followed these lenses for a few weeks but after that I pretty much forgot about Squidoo.
Revisiting Content Publishing
Fast forward five years. In October 2011, I received a notice that I had a pending Squidoo payment of $5.22. After I picked myself up off the floor, I promptly logged in. A lot had changed in five years. What’s more, it appeared that people were earning money there. I was intrigued, so I decided to put a number of weeks’ concentrated effort into adding a few quality lenses to my portfolio to see how they did. Commuting to a full-time job does not leave me with a lot of time to spare, so I did not set my expectation of what I could accomplish too high. However, one of my lenses quickly moved into tier one. That shocked me. Two of my lenses earned purple stars. That delighted me.
One solid result came from the experiment. I found that I really enjoyed being part of a content writing community. What’s more, this appeared to be the solution to my quest for a web business. It had all that I was looking for - teaching, sharing, publishing, community support, online selling without having to stock or ship products. I appreciated being able to create content that had value and would actually be found by search engines. I liked the earning power of many writers banding together. And I still got to be independent.
In my exploration of Squidoo I discovered that some of the writers were promoting a new content site called Wizzley. It appeared to be similar to what I had already experienced, but several things attracted me strongly.
- Wizzley has very high standards for writing quality. This is important because it hurts me to be associated with junk.
- Wizzley has a generous earning structure.
- I am happy to have been able to join Wizzley close to the beginning. In one way it’s a leap of faith, but being an early member of a site mean you get to enjoy the whole journey. You just need to stay invested.
As you have probably guessed by now, this has become one of my multiple streams of income. It's still in the future - earning hasn’t happened yet. I'm in the growing, planning and creating stage. I have a lot to learn. I am looking forward to pursuing the opportunity.
Read the other article in this series
This is a page about a simple business I ran from my home for ten years.
My Ideal Home-based Business
How I created an interesting, profitable home business to bring in extra income as a stay-at-home mom. By changing a few details, it could be just right for you too.