I set out this morning to write a single article about how my book writing and selling business has developed into a strong and very reliable source of income for me. As I started writing and continued to do so, the words just flowed nicely, thoughts came into my head, and I started realizing that this article was going to be really long. I mean, as things continued to develop, I realized that the article was going to be way too long. Thus, I decided to make it a series of posts that I will run over the week. Let’s get started.
Business developments for Bob
Over the last 2 years or so, I have been pretty open and clear that I have been attempting to move to the point where the bulk of my income is earned from writing and publishing. Primarily, this means writing online content such as blog posts and writing books.
This morning, I was looking over some statistics and numbers and realized that I have basically met my goal. I still want to make more progress in this area, but for about the past 6 or 7 months now, I am indeed making the bulk of my income from writing and publishing. It feels good to have accomplished this.
What are my sources of income?
I have always been a believer in creating multiple streams of income. When I say multiple “streams” what I am talking about is many different sources of income, generally small amounts of income (thus a stream). Of course, there is the hope that one or two of those streams will grow into a river. But, it is still good to have many streams feeding into that river. Why? Because sometimes there are droughts. When a drought strikes one area, it is always good to have streams in other areas that feed into the overall income to protect you from those dry spells. When I say a drought, or a dry spell, what I mean is that business is cyclical and one of your “streams” of business may go dry for a time. Business may dry up, or slow down significantly. If, however, you have multiple different income sources, it is doubtful that all of them will suddenly dry up at the same time. In fact, it may be that if all of your streams are flowing nicely, you may be making a real killing with income flowing in at a tremendous rate. As a few of those streams go into drought mode, though, you still need to have enough “water” flowing through the other streams to make sure that life is still livable. It’s that simple.
When there is a drought, that means it is time to put a bit of extra effort into that stream that has dried up. If you put in the effort, you may be able to “make rain” and get the stream flowing again. If you try hard over time and the drought doesn’t abate, well, it may be time to leave that stream and find another source.
Generally, my streams of income over the past 15 years or so have included:
- Sales of products on eBay.
- Content publishing online.
- Online sales and delivery of Gift Items (flowers, chocolates, plush, etc).
- Investigation Services.
- Shampoo Sales
- Book Sales
I am currently adding a new stream that will hopefully grow into a significant contributor to my river of income. That new stream is Membership Websites and Online Courses. I will be writing more on this in the future.
Out of those 6 streams of income that I noted above, some have come and gone, others are on the rise. For example, eBay. eBay used to be a huge river of income for me, but now it is zero. What happened? It was a huge amount of work, and as I developed other streams of income, I made the conscience decision to stop doing it, it was just too taxing on me. Another business that I listed, the Shampoo sales has come and gone. It was also a major source of income for me at one time, but something happened that caused the business to flounder. It was a matter of a partner becoming a competitor and cutting me out of the business. These things happen, which is why it is good to have those other streams in place. Each of the other businesses on the list, though, is still producing money for me.
Of course, even though there are four types of businesses listed that are still producing income for me over the period of 15 years, there has been an ebb and flow to each of them. Business is cyclical, it swings like a pendulum. Thus, there have been good and bad times with each of these businesses. For example, I mentioned that my shampoo business had really dried up and was no longer making money. That’s not fully true. It still makes money, but only about $10 per month from a small amount of advertising that I have on the website. There was a time, though, when I was making a profit each month well into 5 figures from that one product. In fact, I made more per month from that product than some people make in an entire year. So, you can see that it turned out to have run through a real cycle, but the cycle has basically ended now. The eBay is completely dead now, by choice, I don’t even earn a single dollar from eBay any longer.
Over the course of the rest of this week, I will look into a number of different angles to this. Some of my topics in the following days will include:
- Ways to make money as a writer.
- Why I wanted to turn publishing & writing into an income river, and how I did it.
- Content publishing results.
- Book sales results
So, come back again each day this week to complete the story. You might even get some ideas to help get your river of income flowing!
See you tomorrow?