You can sell your ebooks through Amazon's Kindle program or Apple's iTunes Connect, which gives you access to a large majority of the digital-book reading market and the barriers for entry are incredibly low. You don't need to invest lots of money to make this happen, but you do need to invest lots of time, not only in writing the ebooks, but in marketing them as well.
The second (and cheaper) path assumes that you have the design and dev chops yourself to build your dream software. Naturally, it’ll take more time to get your product off the ground, but being able to bootstrap the development of your software lets you retain more ownership in your business and be more in control of your path, making this a lower-cost, but higher time investment to make money selling apps.
Amazon Mechanical Turk is a service that lets you make money online through doing paid microtasks. Each task is something simple that requires human interaction like rating search results, checking for the right spelling on search terms, categorizing the tone of an article, or even basic translating. You can do these tasks from anywhere you want and make money online from the world’s largest e-retailer.
Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)
For example, let’s say you signed up to become an Amazon Associate so you can make money as an affiliate of Amazon. You then create a gardening video showing people how to plant a small tree. Find the exact shovel you are using in the video, on Amazon, get your affiliate link and put it in the description of your video so people who are interested can buy the same shovel on Amazon. For every person that buys the shovel, you earn a commission.
There are many ways to get people onto your list. Lead magnets are one such resource. For example, you can build ebooks, checklists and cheat sheets. But you can also do content upgrades, such as PDF versions of an article with added resources in them, four-part video training series, and more. Think about your audience and what you can offer them to better serve them, then treat them with some respect and you'll eventually reap the rewards.
Now, it’s time to plan out your show. If you’re doing an interview-style show, you’ll now want to start getting some guests involved. You can use your existing social network to reach out to people you already know or are connected with on Twitter or Facebook. You can also head to Medium or Amazon to find authors or experts on topics specific to your niche.
Job well done, Satrap. The first thing I look for in a site like this are signs that the author is being paid to hype the companies. It’s very tough to find good information that isn’t stricken with bias. There were a couple of times during the article where I actually got excited thinking, ‘Hey, I could do that. I’d actually LOVE to do that.” That being said, I can’t help noticing that you refer to all of it as “extra” or “supplemental”income. Are you saying that with all of these options, sticking to one’s regular “day job” is required? In your experience, if someone really commits to doing this, is it possible to earn a decent living? Cubicles suck.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.