When you’re looking for ways to work from home or build your own business, you’ll likely come across the concept of diversification. This is something that many work-at-home advocates say is critical to your success, but what does diversifying your income mean and how does it fit into your own work-at-home plan?
I’ve found that diversification is an important aspect of my own work-from-home business, and it’s one that everyone interested in working remotely should understand. Here’s what you need to know about diversifying and working from home.
What is diversity?
Basically, diversification in this context means that you have more than one way to make money from home.
This can look like any number of things, especially when you’re working for yourself. Look at an example of this. Say you wanted to work from home by starting your own blog and monetizing it There are many different ways to diversify your blog monetization, and you probably aren’t going to just pick one strategy and do nothing else. For starters there is advertising revenue and affiliate revenue. You can also diversify your blog by selling your own products. And then you can move on to self-publishing a book on Amazon. Plus, you’ll find that there are some great opportunities for you as a freelance writer, blogger for hire, or even a virtual assistant. And once you’ve got blogging down pat, it might be time to start a second blog – giving you a whole new source of income. Each of these opportunities gives you more variety.
But it doesn’t just stop there. For each “new arena” you branch out into, you can diversify. If you are selling products on your own blog, the sky is the limit. You can put together some printables, a workbook or guide for something you teach on your blog, a bundle of graphics or images, or even some handmade items. You can also branch out into selling courses or training programs — more variety, with no real limit to what you can offer. The more “types” you sell, the more you diversify there.
If you venture into monetizing your blog as well as offering services, you’ve got another opportunity to diversify Freelance writing is a service, but it comes with options for everything from blogging for businesses to drafting press releases and more.
Likewise, if you open the door to virtual assistance, you’ve got a huge opportunity to diversify. You may specialize in email management or social media management, but you can offer any number of services, from data entry to WordPress SEO. There’s no limit to what businesses and entrepreneurs are willing to “hire out,” and if there’s an aspect of working online that you’ve mastered or that you enjoy, you can start offering that service. The more of these services you offer, the more diversified you are.
A note of caution, however: Be careful not to spread yourself too thin or diversify too quickly. It’s better to be really strong in just one or two areas before moving on to another than to come out of the gate with everything under the sun on offer and never get a chance to master any of them. If you’re not ready to niche down into a specific subset of services, consider an industry niche instead (like being an all-around VA for bloggers or a healthcare writer-of-all-things).
What about telecommuting?
If you’re working for a traditional company in a telecommuting position, diversity looks a little different for you. Regardless, it’s always smart to expand your horizons in any job and pick up additional skills along the way. This makes you more valuable as an employee and gives the impression that you are investing in the company, not just the job. Managers love to see this kind of drive in their employees, and it could mean you open a few doors for yourself in terms of promotions and higher pay.
Be sure to check out what your HR department has to offer. It is entirely possible that there are programs and funds available to provide you with additional training or education at little or even no cost to you. Make a case to your boss about how valuable it would be for you to take a specific software training or attend an industry conference and see what happens!
Another thing to think about if you’re employed in a more traditional role (even if it’s in a non-traditional setup) is the benefit of diversifying your sources of income, so that your main job isn’t your only source of income. What I’m getting at here is the side gig, something that has become almost a mainstay for anyone looking to work from home. This will allow you to tap into the benefits of diversification without giving up the stable income you’re already making, and means you’ll have some protection against being left with nothing if the worst happens and you lose your main job.
There are several ways you can generate a second income depending on your skills, interests and available time:
- If you only work part-time, you can simply pick up another part-time work-at-home job. This gives you a little safety net if a company moves or cuts their remote workers. If you don’t need the money right now, you can save it for an emergency – something we should all do a little more of.
- Maybe you could consider something a little more passive. Even if you’re not a blogger, there’s no reason you can’t write an ebook, put it on Amazon, and wait for the royalties to come rolling in.
- Perhaps you are a girl who likes a lot. If you spend your weekends at garage sales, consider flipping a few of these items on eBay or Amazon.
- It won’t make you rich, but you can pick up a few hours per week as a website tester or search engine evaluator.
- You can take a more passive income route by investing in peer-to-peer loans or REITs.
Benefits of Diversification
The real benefit of diversification is that you never have too many eggs in one basket. If you’re a freelance writer and 90% of your income comes from one client, you could be in trouble if that client ever cuts your contract or drops you altogether. Likewise, if you’ve got a blog or an Etsy store and 90% of your traffic comes from just one traffic source (like Facebook or Google), your business is at risk because the slightest change in that source’s algorithm can cut you off. on the knees
Diversification keeps you from becoming overly dependent on one source of income, but it also shows you how to be the best at what you love to do. When you diversify, you have hands-on experience with a wide range of tasks and experiences. The more you do these things, the more you’ll realize it’s not just what you enjoy, but where you perform best. Many people initially set out to do one thing, but over time they realize they are good at something else. Having the ability to test different ways to make money and choose the one that works best for you gives you a lot of freedom in the long run… not to mention a much more stable income outlook than if you relied on just one source.
So diversity in a nutshell. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!