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What's the best way to make money, for you?

I've been observing trends of how some people make money.

I think often we dream of 'the one' way of making money. Mostly evolving around subscription revenue (because that is the safest). Whereas in reality, we should think about it as layers, or pieces of the pie.

This can be especially important if you are targeting a niche. To target a niche it can be safer to have a variety of incomes. If one dips, the other can support it. And overall hopefully it will create a nice sustainable business.

With Ministry of Testing we had events, sponsorship and membership revenue. When COVID hit it was bad (because of events), but luckily our sponsorships and memberships it was what kept it afloat.

With Rosieland I have a vision of similar diversification of how to make money, all whilst staying focused on serving a market.

What do you feel is your ideal way of making money?

  1. 6

    Selling software is the best, but selling developers' hours is the easiest for me.

    I made much more money by jumping from one dev contract to another than by building and selling my own products, which is a pity because it's starting to nerve me.

    Regarding different income streams, I'm building my products under one legal entity, so every product is an actual or potential income stream. That's diversification for me.

    1. 3

      As well as earning money, freelancing also gives you a wider knowledge of the problems people are willing to pay to solve. Who knows, maybe this will even lead to your next big idea. Earn money for a service -> automate that service -> sell the service.

    2. 2

      This is exactly what I do. I have few software products (one very popular product in its domain), but what I earn through them is no match to what I make through Technical Consultation and Software Design Services.

    3. 2

      I think your pain is shared by many of us here :D

      1. 2

        Indeed! I feel extremely lucky to have "writing code for a living" to fall back on though. Both client work and building side projects are two sides of the same coin.

  2. 4

    Freelancing is always a quick and simple way for me to make a couple hundred $$$.

    1. 2

      I agree. But I think that freelance does not scale very well. Your time and energy are limited so you cannot serve a lot of people at the same time.

      1. 2

        Agreed. Freelancing is nice for quick money, but gets old after a while and that’s why being an indie hacker is 10x better! 🎉

    2. 1

      Yea def the easiest to get started. I feel the same!

      The limiting part is it contributes the least to sustainable factor.

      I think it is awesome to start freelancing to take the pressure off, then spend more effort thinking of things that can build on top of each other.

  3. 3

    Ideal way would be digital products and/or subscribtions.

    Less ideal is content, screencasts, courses, and mentorship.

    The reality is consulting and services since they're much easier to start and sell.

  4. 3

    Ideal and reality are definitely different for me.

    The easiest way I make money is through my sales training and coaching. The course has already been developed and I just have to deliver it. For coaching, I have a structured way to get the best out of both new and experienced people doing sales.

    That said, subscription revenue from SaaS, membership, or productized services would be "ideal."

  5. 2

    Great post, @rosiesherry.

    I think one way to make money that is overlooked is becoming an affiliate and offering to help people onboard or coach around that particular affiliate product.

    Almost every SaaS product has some type of program to sign you on.

    Especially great if you have an existing following on any social channel.

    1. 3

      Yes, I should make a more comprehensive version of the picture.

      I expanded it a bit on Twitter, but there's room for more.

      1. 1

        Interesting and very insightful. Is there a reason to the color coding in terms of ease of market entry?

        1. 1

          I like rainbows, lol. And it's part of my Rosieland branding.

          I'm putting more thought into it though, my husband rightfully mentioned 'levels', rather than 'layers'.

          So consider this a beta for now. 😇

          1. 1

            Rosie - thank you so much for sharing this! So helpful!! :D

  6. 2

    Online begging, works like a charm.

    Best way for me is to sell digital products online. No customer support, no bug fixing, no nothing. Put it there, market it if you can and enjoy your lambo.

  7. 1

    Best way to make money is to have the business on auto-pilot. Easier said than done though. Second best is to make money doing something you're passionate about.

  8. 1

    I like the concept of diverse variety of incomes. Fully support.

    Another angle to think about it from is what stage the solution is at:

    Early on when a concept/solution is new you sell as customizable of a solution as possible to find a good fit (consulting like sales, one-off big projects)

    As it matures and the market awareness builds you can sell to more customers who understand what they're looking for and what they value so your offering can become more productized and efficient with sales(defined products)

    When it becomes larger it becomes more competitive and you have to sell differentiation monetization is more around packaging and combinations, full service (products, services, support)

    As it reaches mainstream levels then it becomes about carving out a specific community you serve best and the value becomes the community (products specifically for lawyers/doctors/founders..., newsletters, forums, events)

    When it breaks past mainstream into hot trend (or maybe hits hot trend on its way to mainstream) interest in supply races to keep up with demand - you sell courses on how to do it yourself/become a ___ professional.

    And lastly as when it gets crowded and super noisy then the value shifts to trust and curation. "There are hundreds of ___, we source the best ones." (Blogs/websites, outsourced __ services, advertising, affiliate revenue)

    Just another spin on it to think about. Especially if you are frustrated that it feels like the moment for your product/talent passed - it hasn't. You just need to adapt your business model/revenue structure.

  9. 1

    Expectation: SaaS, subscriptions, advertising, courses

    Reality: Job, and investing

  10. 1

    The only side projects that are making any money at all for me at the moment are one-time payment apps. Not sure where that fits in the chart, maybe in line with "info products/course".

  11. 1

    Stock investing I would say. There is huge potential. Definitely the easiest way.

  12. 1

    FREE Content and FREE Advice (on YouTube) that lead to meeting folks with great ideas that I can INVEST in - basically playing the long-wait game.

  13. 1

    Wish someone showed me this diagram when I started haha!

    Was tryna push round pegs in square holes!

  14. 1

    Display advertising has worked pretty good for me. However the CPC is low these days and CTR is slowly declining as more and more people start using Ad blockers. So, I am moving to SaaS and selling my own WP plugins.

  15. 1

    Ideal: SaaS products, e-books and fully asynchronous online courses (udemy like), with minimal customer support.

    Easiest (though very limited): Consulting and freelancing.

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