The Startup
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The Startup

13 Ideas That Can Make You More Money than 5 Years Working a 9-5 Job

The influencer bros and personal branding knobs will tell you to go big. Forget that. Go tiny.

Photo by Cory Bjork on Unsplash

It’s not evil to make money online.

The economy is tough. People are dying to find ways they can boost their income. If I can help people do that and improve the world in the process, then here I am.

These are the money ideas worth considering. Be warned though — if you nail one of these ideas you probably won’t need a 9-5 job anymore.

Start a newsletter in a niche

Newsletters are misunderstood.

There’s so much nuance and opportunity if you look at the finer detail. One of the best resources I’ve found is Nathan Barry’s podcast (founded ConvertKit) with popular newsletter owners.

It’s a gold mine. Your head will explode when you see how much money can get made from a niche newsletter.

The way to pick a niche is to choose something you care about or are knowledgeable in. Then go to community hotspots like Reddit to validate whether any groups are already in this niche. That’s how you work out if your topic is too obscure. Most aren’t but don’t assume. Follow the data.

Many don’t know how you can win big (financially) from a newsletter. Five years ago if every business needed a blog to stay relevant.

Now every business needs a Substack-style newsletter.

Businesses aren’t going to start newsletters.

Nope. According to media expert Balaji Srinivasan they’re going to buy existing newsletters relevant to their industry. This new trend means if your newsletter is good you could sell it to a big business and stay on as the chief editor.

Now you know how newsletter writers are going to get rich.

Write an eBook that solves a specific problem

People are drowning in problems.

Yes they can search the internet and get lost, but what we really want is a curated solution to a specific problem from a perceived expert.

So many people overlook the power of an eBook.

I wish you could see my email inbox. Every day I get people emailing me, asking for a copy of my eBook. It has high-perceived value, and it’s the engine behind my astronomical growth lately in email subscribers.

People adore eBooks because they secretly love to read and learn. If the book’s formatting is simple it’s even more tempting for readers.

How to do it

Write online. Observe the data. When a piece of content does well, turn it into an eBook and sell it on Gumroad. Price it at $0 with a pay what you want option. You’ll get plenty of people happy to pay $20.

Connect with busy creators

The internet is full of creators across a large group of social media platforms.

You can tell by their follower counts and engagement on their posts how busy they’re likely to be. If you want to be a creator, or simply want to make extra money online, direct message them and ask if you can:

  1. Manage their community
  2. Or manage their email list

Do it for free. Make friends and gain trust. In the future, help them launch a new product or service. Then revenue share with them when they launch it.

No audience building required from your side. Huge upside. I can’t believe everyday people aren’t unlocking this stupidly simple way to earn extra cash.

Invest in financial assets

You give up your time to earn money.

How you store that time is crucial. If you store time in government-issued currencies, it melts away yearly from record-high inflation. Dumb.

Basic financial assets — stocks, crypto, real estate — are how you store time so it compounds and makes more money over the long term (minimum 5 years is a great timeframe).

If you can’t afford to buy financial assets, create digital assets instead.

Use the money from digital assets to buy financial assets. Let your existing job pay everything else. Then when your financial and digital assets make more money than your job … quit!

Write online despite your fear

I get it — you’re afraid people will judge you or your boss/family/friends will read your writing and abandon you forever. These fears aren’t real. It’s your brain making stuff up.

Write content in a google doc.

Publish your writing on:

  • Substack
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

As you publish you’ll gain followers. Turn those followers into subscribers. And subscribers into customers who happily buy what you sell.

Tweet from my Twitter

Learn a skill on Youtube

Youtube is better than university when it comes to making money.

Watch videos on Youtube between 6-10 pm every night to learn a new skill. Watch your mind expand, and your imagination and curiosity ignite.

Teach that skill to people two steps behind you using:

  1. Gumroad
  2. Teachable

A Youtube skill is better than a skill you learn for your job because that requires an employer or boss to enable an increase in money.

Online skills are permissionless with infinite upside.

Create a template to save people time

A template is a shortcut.

People love to buy shortcuts because creating things from scratch is hard work and full of trial and error.

The templates that make the most money are:

  • Book templates
  • Sport templates
  • Tweet templates
  • Website templates
  • Cooking templates
  • Notion (2nd brain) templates
  • Organization/productivity templates

Why can’t you systematize something as a one-page template and sell it on Gumroad? You can amigo.

Build a tiny unconventional audience online

The influencer bros and personal branding knobs will tell you to go big (like their ego).

No way. Forget that.

Build a tiny online audience on your favorite social media app. Then simply ask the audience “who needs help?”

A few people will either comment, DM, or email you. Great!

Jump on 30-minute calls with each person. Help them for free. At the end of the call tell them you have a business that can continue to help them if they want to save time and be held accountable.

Call it coaching. Call it consulting. Whatever. Labels are stupid.

This is an underrated way to quickly make money 1–1, even if you only have 50 followers. Try it.

Build a Web3 app

We have apps on our phones. Yay.

These are called Web2 apps and they’re broken. We’re dying for change. Big tech has the lowest trust of all time, according to research. We know we’re being exploited but we allow it because of the convenience.

Web3 apps are the future.

They are built on decentralized blockchains that rebuild trust online. It’s early though. That’s great news if you like money and building apps.

Build a social media app we can trust and love. Sell it for loads of cash.

Become a high-ticket closer

The average person hates selling.

They’re afraid of it or feel dirty when they do it. That’s okay, it’s human nature. And there lies the opportunity.

Help people who hate selling. Content creators are an easy market. Or anyone with a high-priced product or service that costs more than $1000.

Let these selling haters outsource the selling to you.

Divert their leads/audience to a new landing page that gives you contact details of interested prospects. Speak with them. Match needs to solutions you can sell. Get a commission from every sale.

Create a Substack newsletter

Paid newsletters limit reach.

If I can’t read your newsletter because it costs money, I probably won’t go through the friction of reading it.

Another way is to offer a Substack for free.

Get relevant businesses to place short ads in your newsletter for cash. Or use your free newsletter to promote your own books & courses.

Now you have a way to make money and for your Substack newsletter to be shared online and grow the audience organically. Genius.

Buy the Ethereum cryptocurrency

Digital assets can earn passive income.

Just like a home you buy to rent out to tenants has utility, so does an established and trusted crypto like Ethereum.

If you own Ethereum or decide to buy some, then there are two options to get interest and make passive income:

  • Use an “earn” program offered by any major cryptocurrency exchange
  • Or stake your Ethereum (give it) to the network. Learn how to here.

Money that makes money while you sleep is beautiful.

Start a podcast (but not how you think)

I bash podcasts a lot.

Everyone has got one. So what? Having a podcast doesn’t make you special or different. Few understand.

But podcasts are a powerful way to make money online.

The challenge with podcasts is there’s no discoverability. That means if you launch a podcast and that’s all you do, no one will listen. The trick is to start a podcast when you have one other discoverability channel to point people to the podcast — Twitter, LinkedIn, a website with traffic, etc.

Once you have eyeballs (1000 people is plenty) on what you do, launch a podcast and get guests who have audiences slightly bigger than yours.

Now you can make money from podcasts with ads. Borrrrrinnnnnggggg.

The better way to make money is to be an affiliate for the guest’s product or service. Each sale makes you a lot more money than an ad ever will.

Closing Thought

This stuff is child’s play.

Pick one idea above and take action on it. In the long run, you’ll make more money from an online side hustle than five years working a 9-5 job. A job is designed to pay you the least amount possible.

Making money online has infinite leverage and compounds over time.

Once compounding kicks in, you begin to own your time again. Free time is better than getting rich.

This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.

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