COVID got you down? Feeling the lockdown blues? If you've been sat at home over the last few months, or even if you haven't you may be waking up to a new way of thinking about the world of earning money and the world of finance - and by finance, we mean personal finance.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that our steady income may not have been as steady as once thought. Many thousands of people are waking up to the realisation that they live paycheck-to-paycheck, and many are less than a month away from bankruptcy if they lose their job.
That's not a fun place to be.
Building A Future
If you've been happily cruising on spending money as it comes in and enjoying your life without a thought for the future, 2020 may have come as a bit of a shock to you. Within weeks everything went from the normal we all knew and put up with to the 'new normal', and the only thing about this new normal that stays constant is that the situation is always changing!
So, what are we to do?
The changes we're all facing are huge, but the clever people amongst us have woken up and realised that life doesn't have to be this way. Sure, things are hard now, but with a little effort upfront, there is no reason why you can't build an income stream, or several income streams, that could either supplement your current income or replace it entirely.
The Passive Income Change
If you've ever heard of the term 'hustle culture' then you'll know what we mean by passive income. If not, then please allow us to introduce you to a new way of thinking.
Passive income is, in its purest form, income that you accrue by doing no work. If that sounds like a bit of a pipe dream, then you'd be right to be suspicious. Passive incomes CAN work, and there are thousands if not millions of people earning a passive income in one way or another.
Still, passive incomes are sometimes confused with 'get rich quick' schemes, and there are very few passive incomes that happen overnight!
Building a passive income stream takes a lot of work, and most of the time that work upfront is not paid. You may find yourself working very hard for a very little in the beginning, but stick at it, and there is no reason why you can't be part of the new wave of people who earn extra income every month.
How to Earn A Passive Income
Are you wondering how to jump in and begging to earn a passive income? Keep reading; we have eight ways you can earn a passive income. Some of these are more passive than others, and many will involve a lot of work upfront.
No method of passive income is guaranteed, but as we've found over the last few months, not many things in life are guaranteed.
If you have any kind of brand or platform, you need to be doing affiliate marketing. Whether you have 10,000 Instagram followers or 10,000 monthly visitors to your blog, it's time to get into affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is easy if you're recommending products see if they have an affiliate scheme, remember that people buy people, your viewers are more likely to buy because you recommend it, but make sure what you recommend is genuine and for a genuine reason.
There is also a rough limit that people are willing to spend. That £6,000 hot tub may have a 5% commission rate, but it's very unlikely people will buy one on the off-chance, best stick to products under £150.
Are you good at selling but you have nowhere to hold stock? Then drop shipping could well be for you.
Dropshipping involves your customers making an order, which is then sent to a third party who picks, packages, and sends the customer's order. You pay the third party a small percentage for doing the work, and you work on selling your products.
It is a great way for those who want to get into retail and own a shop but might not have space or money to buy and store stock, or time to ship it.
A dropshipping website can be run as a side-line to a full-time job quite easily.
Trading Stocks and Shares
If you have some savings, with interest rates so low now might be a good time to get involved in trading stocks and shares.
With more and more apps coming on the market aimed at the 'ever day trader', stock and share continue to be a popular way to make a passive income.
This is definitely one of the riskier ways to earn a passive income, and it will take a while to learn, but it could also be one of the most lucrative.
Write an eBook
If you have a skill, why not turn it into a book? Do you have 100 great knitting patterns for beginners? How about 'how to set up a blacksmithing forge'? eBooks have become popular in the last few years, and they are a great way for writers to avoid the long and arduous process of finding a publisher for their book.
Even if you want to stick to writing fiction, you could publish on a self-publishing platform like Kindle for very little commission, and once your book is out there, it can stay out there for as long as you like.
eBooks can be a great tool to add to a niche blog website or a YouTube channel too.
You thought blogging was dead, right? You were wrong! Blogging is alive and well in 2020, and it's helping thousands of people to earn a passive income, sometimes even replacing their full-time income completely, but it's not as easy as it seems.
The key to making a blogging business a success is to find your niche and write excellent content. Writing a hundred low-quality 300-word articles on generic topics on a generic site and hoping it will make you money won't work; you'll just be running on a treadmill doing a lot of work and getting nowhere.
You need to find the right niche, that would be somewhat underserved on the internet and create excellent, really helpful content that people want to read, enjoy reading and serves their need for your information.
It's tough, but with adverts and sponsorships, you can build your blog up, hire writers, and perhaps even end-up lying in a hammock while your bank balance grows!
Stock Photography and Videography
Good with a camera? Get out there and take some stock photography and stock videography! Companies are always looking for fresh photography and video clips, especially those including a diverse range of people.
If you have a group of diverse friends or family, get them to all sign a model release form and put them in all kinds of different situations and take photos and videos of them. You would be surprised what sells on stock photography and stock video sites; the best advice is to upload everything you have that you can legally upload and see what happens!
For people, recognisable buildings, artwork, and children, you will need to do a model or property release form that complies with the site's rules and your local privacy laws.
Become a YouTuber
Warning: this is a LOT more work than it looks!
If you're good in front of a camera and you have something to share, why not start a YouTube channel? The key here is to share something interesting and not just a daily vlog. Casey Neistat is popular because he is Casey Neistat, not because he is doing a daily vlog.
Simon Whistler is an excellent YouTuber to look up to, he runs around seven YouTube channels for which he is the host and works very hard, but the benefits are a fun job that can become very lucrative.
Create an E-Course
Perhaps one of the best passive income streams you can do is to build an online course. The best part is, this can be fully passive if you want it to be!
There are lots of ways to do a course, it can be a 'standard' paper version, by creating a book and course materials, you may want to do a video course or a mixture of the two.
There are many platforms you can share your course on, such as Skillshare. Still, one of the more lucrative ways to run a course is to build your brand and host the course yourself; you can then keep all of your income, and even better if you can offer an affiliate scheme to your members, so they work on advertising your course for you!
We hope that gave you some interesting ideas to get started on earning a passive income to support you in these difficult times.