My Tenth Revenue Stream Is “Miscellaneous Revenue”

Every Friday I sharing each of my ten revenue streams (even though I missed the last 2 Fridays, while in California and Atlanta). With this post I only have 3 left (this is #7 of 10). I’m big on diversifying personal income, whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee. My intention with this series is to inspire or encourage you with your own diverse revenue streams. Below this post you’ll see links to the previous posts, or you can click on the Multiple Streams of Income category on the left.

I’m not quite ready to share the other three revenue streams yet, so I’ll share the most ambiguous. This could be “all the rest of the stuff.”  In this revenue stream I include misc stuff, which specifically includes:

  • Writing projects. I have been paid to write stuff, from white papers to blog posts on other blogs.
  • Affiliate revenue. This includes a few bucks here from my Happy About affiliate program, as well as other affiliate programs I’ve joined.
  • Advertising. Theoretically I might be able to make some good money from advertisers, based on the traffic I get on my sites (including this blog, the LinkedIn blog, JibberJobber the application, etc.).

Realize that some people have any of these three as their main income/revenue stream, and some people make a ton of money from any of the three.  For example:

  • Freelance writers can make six figures from writing gigs (the issues include (a) getting the gigs (and competing with all of the other writers out there) and (b) actually doing the work – this is not easily scalable, which means you can only write so many hours a day/week/year.
  • I know of some affiliate marketers who make a few thousand a month from their affiliate programs, and others who supposedly make five or six figures a month.  It sounds appealing to “make money while you sleep,” which is indeed possible, but it takes a lot of work and effort to make more than a hundred bucks a month.  A TON of work.
  • Supposedly one of the top bloggers in the world, dooce.com, makes between “500k and $1M” from her blog.  I’m guessing most of this is in sponsorships (at least six figures).  There is only one Dooce.com, however… and many wannabees.  In another space (web 2.0 tech pundit) Michael Arrington’s blog supposedly makes an easy seven figures a year, but realize they have an entire team producing content, programs, etc.

Below are thoughts about this revenue stream for me.  I realize I could hit this harder and make more money in any of these three, and perhaps other revenue opportunities, I count all of this as “miscellaneous” because I’m focusing on revenue that I think is longer-lasting, and more value-add to my ultimate goals with JibberJobber and my company.

Writing Projects

This is hard work.  I have only taken writing projects that come to me (instead of me looking for them)… the money is okay, but freelance writing is highly competitive, and for me the biggest problem is that once I get the project, I then need to carve time out to do it.  I’ve become quite jealous of my time in the last year.  Based on my experience, I can make five figures a month writing, if I pursued it heavily.  Again, it’s a great profession, but not my focus.  And to make five figures a month you really have to hustle (in getting each contract as well as meeting the deadlines).

Affiliate Revenue

A few months ago I put Indeed search into JibberJobber more prominently, as well as on my blogs (if you are getting this blog post via email you won’t see the Indeed search).  I can easily clear a few thousand dollars a year on this income stream alone – it’s not a lot of money but I figure every $83/month stream adds up ($83*12 months is about $1,000/year)… if I find a better thing to put in some of the places where the Indeed widgets are I might do that, but I’m not actively looking to put a bunch of affiliate bling all over… some blogs overdo this.

I also have a number of affiliate links for books I recommend, although I have not pursued this with Amazon yet.  Funny, I figure I should make at least an additional $83/month from Amazon, but it ticks me off that they are (or were, last time I looked) only giving about 4% of the sale to their affiliates.  Happy About gives 30% (you can sign up for the Happy About affiliate program here).

Again, not a huge focus but I figure I’m leaving some money on the table by not pursuing this more.

Advertising

I met with internet marketing expert Carl Chapman last week (actually, he let me crash at the Chapman Hotel while I was in Atlanta, the entire week!), and he was convinced I should be getting a significant amount of revenue from advertisers on all of my websites (based on the traffic I’m generating).  Carl suggested I find a cold-calling salesperson and giving him/her a healthy royalty on sales… I am almost-kind-of open to this, but I’m not excited about cluttering up my properties with stuff unless they the advertising will really pay off.

Here’s the interesting thing about this tenth revenue stream… the statement from above is:

Again, not a huge focus but I figure I’m leaving some money on the table by not pursuing this more.

So the question is – should I spend my time developing this $15k-$20k revenue stream or should I focus more on other revenue streams that are worth more… ?  When I listed out 2009 revenues, and 2010 projections, I was quite shocked to see that this stream is a small fraction of the others (on paper).  It made me realize if I didn’t do any of this anymore, that’s OKAY.  But what I do in this stream is mostly passive, so I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing, and not aggressively pursuing much here (unless I can find that key salesperson who can do a great job selling advertising or sponsorships).

Helpful information?  If you have an information product, have purchased one, or want to have one, what do you think makes it successful?  Share thoughts or ideas below :)

Here is a breakdown of the revenue streams I’ve shared so far:

1 thought on “My Tenth Revenue Stream Is “Miscellaneous Revenue””

  1. Jason,
    I totally agree with your ideas and success with diversifying your income streams! I have been in pharmaceutical sales for over 12 years now and have witnessed how having all of your eggs in one basket is not as secure as diversifying. With the changes in my industry, a lay-off is only a voice-mail away. That can quickly be devastating to your financial situation, as well as compound the issues you might be dealing with in your personal life. I am lucky that I have a wife that is being extremely supportive, in my journey to find a new career path, and is able to increase her income by independent contracting with additional clients. Just like in sales, it is nice to have a broad base of good clients that you can work to make better rather than one great client that can go away overnight and leave you with nothing. An example would be in Real Estate Title Sales, that happened to a friend of mine when the mortgage crisis hit. Tough times!

    I was surprised to see that you do not get more of a revenue stream from either your affiliates or advertising. I might be the odd customer when I buy books, amazingly mostly from Amazon, but 90% of the time I take a look at the option to “see what other people purchased.” I’m not very up to date on how the affiliate system works but, I would expect you to make much more than $83/month from Amazon. Simply due to the number of people who have either bought your book from them or have ended up on their website by looking at your book, I would think that would be a larger stream of income.

    As far as advertising revenue, just looking at this blog, there is a lot of available space on the right hand side. You wouldn’t have to fill the entire site by “putting a bunch of affiliate bling all over.” But, by simply adding a few additional advertisers, you could fill some space and make the page have a little more “pop.” By looking at the links you have on the left, I’m sure some of those folks would be willing to pay a little cash or a little more cash, to be more prominent or inviting on this website. I understand that you are trying to give back to the folks like me who have, unfortunately, had an unexpected career realignment and I hold you in “very high regard” for that help! But, there is no reason that you should not be “rewarded” monetarily for allowing access to other sites in order for them to make some cash too!

    Just some thoughts… Thanks.

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