How I Created 11 Online Streams of Income

Michael Leonard

Most people think working for yourself is “risky’ but it’s not true. I think working for someone else is much more dangerous.


Because for most people, it means that you only have one stream of income.

If something happens and you suddenly don’t have a job, you’re forced to live off savings, credit cards, and desperately search for a replacement job. This can lead to settling for any job and repeating the same cycle over again in the future.

While entrepreneurship is risky as well, personally, I think it’s the safer route.

Not only do you get to control your own destiny, but you can create multiple income streams, scale your efforts, and not have a boss.

But in all reality, it probably won’t happen overnight.

When I quit my 9–5 in 2017 to become a blogger, I had almost no money coming in. Instead, I cut costs and saved up 12 months living expenses to give myself a runway. I figured if I had more time, I’d figure out how to make money online.

In the first few months, I made some money blogging, dog walking, and flipping stuff online. But everything was a struggle, it was nothing like a 9–5. Needless to say, it wasn’t the lavish, laptop lifestyle that I had imagined.

For years I struggled because I tried to do to much instead of sticking with one idea and seeing it through. And I don’t want you to go through the same struggle.

Luckily, I stayed the course, figured it out, and have created 11 different online income streams. Plus, I’m making more in my 9–5 without leaving my house.

This is proof that your situation can change if you keep learning new skills, invest in yourself, and never give up.

If you want to make money online as a writer, course creator or coach, keep reading. Here’s a breakdown of each online income stream and how I created each one.

Freelance Writing

Once I quit my job in May 2017, I thought blogging was my ticket to success. I was convinced that in no time I would have huge site traffic, affiliate sales, ad revenue, and online courses.

But after about seven months of 12–18 hour days, I had none of the results I imagined.

Instead, all I had was credit card debt, self-doubt, and a hurt ego.

I knew that if I didn’t switch up my approach, I would have to go back to a 9–5. So I pivoted from blogging to freelance writing in January 2018. I was determined to do anything I could to never go back to the corporate world and give up on my dreams.

Within a few months, I made more freelance writing than I did in 18 months of blogging.

From January 2018 to January 2019, I was able to 10X my monthly income ($650 to $6,500) working part-time. Now I make anywhere from $7,000 to $20,000 per month writing.

Typically, I don’t like to have more than 3–5 clients at a time as it gets overwhelming and want to focus on different projects.

January Results

Here’s a breakdown of my writing clients I had in January 2020 and what type of projects I did for them.

Client #1 — Golf Niche

With my golf client, I wrote three new golf instructional posts and completed six old post rewrites. The new posts were on a per word basis and the rewrites were a fixed rate. In the past two years I’ve done over 100 new articles and rewrites for this client.

Client #2 — EasyWebinar

With EasyWebinar, I created four new blog posts between 1,000 to 2,000 words each. They provide me with the keyword and search terms and I go make the rest happen.

Client #3 — Digital Marketing

I got referred from a past client and got paid to write a 1,500-word post as a ghostwriter.

Client #4 — Personal Development

My biggest writing client of the month was another ghostwriting project who I’ve worked with for one year.

I created four new blog posts that are each around 2,000 words each. Plus, I also created four emails for his list as well.

Online Course

Online courses have helped me so much as an entrepreneur. During my dark times the first year of entrepreneurship they helped me learn about SEO, Pinterest, affiliate marketing, blogging, Instagram and so much more.

After having a lot of success in the past few years as a freelance writer, I created my own course to help writers and struggling bloggers learn how to monetize their words.

It’s a 40+ video lesson program that goes step-by-step to teach new writers how I made over $100,000 as a freelance content writer.

Students learn how to:

  • Land clients
  • Create a website
  • Build a portfolio
  • Start writing routines
  • Scale their income

And a lot more. The beauty with online courses is that you can scale them without trading your time for dollars.

Plus, students can learn at their own pace, get results, and have access for life!

January Results

I leave the sales page up year-round but promote it with launches and bonuses on a quarterly basis. A few people enrolled in January despite only having organic traffic.

Coaching and Consulting

An ascension of my online writing course is working 1:1 together for more accountability, strategy, and focus.

Starting a blog and freelance writing has changed my life entirely and I love to help others speed up success. Coaching new and ambitious freelance writers is one of my favorite things to do.

January Results

I have two coaching options that people enrolled into in January:

Freelance to 5K Accelerator Program

This is a 60-day, immersive 1:1 coaching experience with me to help people launch their own freelance writing business. Students have regular Zoom calls, instant access to my writing course, email support, and messaging.

I promote this on my email list, Instagram, and podcast.

Online Writing Consulting

As someone who’s tried over a dozen online businesses in less than two years, I have a unique perspective with the online world.

In January, I helped a few people monetize their ideas with a paid “Pick My Brain” call that lasted about 60 minutes.

I don’t promote this except on my website but a few people reached out on Instagram.

Medium Partner Program

I am so excited to start writing again on Medium.

I relaunched writing on Medium in January as I genuinely missed the platform. While client work pays well, it’s not always the most exciting content.

Personally, I always enjoy sharing my own journey as I know other entrepreneurs, freelancers, and writers can relate.

Previously, I had only been sharing on my podcast, Inspire Your Success. But after having Anthony Moore on the show twice (and crushing both interviews), I realized I needed to get back to writing on here.

In January, I published six articles and made a whopping $266. But as I publish this in March, my Medium earnings will pay the mortgage.

Remember, things can change quickly!


Who doesn’t love affiliate paychecks?

They take so long to payout sometimes that it’s easy to forget about them until all of a sudden they end up in your bank account.

I don’t put much of an effort into generating affiliate income but I do have links on my website, old Medium posts, and podcast show notes.

January Results

My main three affiliate programs were Amazon, Bluehost, and an online course that I promote.

7 Biggest Takeaways From Making Money Online

Hopefully, this breakdown of 11 ways I made money online in January 2020 gives you some ideas of what’s possible.

While it didn’t happen overnight, I now don’t have to worry if something happens to one income stream. In these uncertain times, one of the best things you can do is protect yourself by creating several online income streams.

Here are seven takeaways for creating multiple income streams as a writer and coach.

  • Blogging takes a long time. Writing good blog posts takes time. Making money from your blog takes even more time. If you need money now, opt for freelance writing to monetize your writing quickly.
  • You can land writing clients in tons of different ways. I’ve landed writing gig on job boards, Upwork, email pitching, referrals, social media, and more. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can only do it one way.
  • You can get paid to write about anything. I still can’t believe people pay me to write about golf, personal development, and digital marketing (even though I’ve been doing it for two years).
  • Niche down if you want to sell coaching. Just like writing, people don’t want to work with generalists. Niche down, launch a program and create content that will help people and get them into your world.
  • Focus on your message and get to know your audience. Most online course creators want to sell everything to everyone. But instead, you should get to know your audience extremely well then create products that will help them solve their problem. Get on the phone with people to understand your audience!
  • Create an ascension model. As you can tell, I have a lot of different ways for people to work with me. I have free content (podcast, Instagram, Medium), paid content (online courses, consulting, & coaching) and offer writing services for clients. I suggest having multiple offers that cost different amounts so more people are likely to work with you.
  • Test and find out. Not every idea will work so don’t get too attached to them (like I did with blogging). Instead, test each new idea out for a set period of time, stay committed, and measure the results objectively. Quit what isn’t working and scale what is using the 80/20 rule.

Final Thoughts

Don’t forget, less than three years ago I only had one income stream from my 9–5 career. And when I did quit my job, I was making money walking dogs and selling stuff from flea markets.

The point?

Things can turn around quickly if you stay committed, keep learning, and never give up.

Hopefully, this gives you the motivation to start making (or growing) an online business.

If you can help people with anything I feel it’s your obligation to share your gifts with the world.

Whether you want to do it full-time or as a side hustle, just start your online business. People around the world are looking for your help, don’t leave them stranded!

Photo by smithore on Deposit Photos

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My name is Michael Leonard and I am the creator of Inspire Your Success. I'm on a mission to help readers build online writing businesses and quit their jobs to live a life of freedom!

Scottsdale, AZ

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