Last night I did an interesting exercise. I wrote down on a notebook the question: “How can I earn 10,000 dollars per month?”. I then filled the page with 20 empty dots and committed to come up with 20 good ideas for generating that amount of money each month. This morning I thought that it would have been nice to share this list with you, and possibly read some other ideas as well.

I got this idea from a book I’m reading written by Brian Tracy, No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline, which is an awesome book by the way.

Writing this list was very hard, but it helped me to clear my thoughts. I’m not far from breaking this monthly five figures goal, and now I have tons of new ideas. Note that these are all things that apply to my current situation, but I do hope that you’ll get something out for yourself as well. As a final warning, remember that all of these methods require hard work and discipline, and most often they have no guarantee of success. Oh, and there are taxes to pay.

Enough said, here’s my list of 20 ways to break the five figures monthly income goal:

  1. Offer consulting. This was the first item on my list, and for a good reason: it’s relatively easy to make $10,000/month by offering professional consulting. If you are a professional and you work 40 hours per week, you can reach this goal by charging 65$ per hour. Or, you can charge $100 per hour and work 25 hours per week. How to charge that much? Upgrade your skills, and offer over the top, high professional services. And ask more.
  2. Internet Marketing. These are what some people are referring as easy money. They’re hard money though. A few months ago I did an experiment where I was trying to rank on google for a review of a product that I liked. Eventually, that review made something like $600 dollars in 3 months, and it’s still earning something today. I call that experiment a success, but that’s only part of the story, in fact I also created another two websites that got me nowhere. If you want to make money through internet marketing, you certainly can, and here’s a very good guide, just remember it has a learning curve and you’ll have to put the hours.
  3. Workshops/Training. I know people are making a fortune with this. Ever thought of offering professional workshops or training? Let’s say that you know a technology very well, and company X needs someone who’ll teach their staff how to leverage this new technology, how much might possibly company X pay you for the service? A lot of money, apparently. Another variation is to organize a training workshop where everyone can join and pay a fee. A thousand bucks is very common (and cheap) for a two days training, and you’d only need 10 people per month in order to reach your financial goal. Lesson learned? Be a professional and invest in new technologies.
  4. Selling professional video tutorials. If you don’t want to do onsite training and all that stuff, a good alternative is to sell short videos for $9 each on the internet. You’ll need to sell more than a thousand per month, but the market is there and people are already doing it.
  5. Saas. Saas is an acronym for Software as a service, which is referred to those services (usually websites), where you pay a monthly fee and you can use a service. For example, a perfect example of saas is an online project management software, where you pay a fixed monthly fee and you can use the service. The good thing about saas websites is that they are generally inexpensive and accessible for customers, and if you have a good product is generally easy to scale up and make money.
  6. Creating a web agency. I once had this idea to create a virtual web agency. I’m already a professional programmer, but I got this idea of creating a team of skilled developers and designers and sell web design services. In my idea, I would have used websites like Elance to find work, and then outsource as much as I could.
  7. Creating a membership site. This is similar to idea number 4, yet is different. Let’s say that you know very well how to take care of your parrot, or you are an expert martial arts teacher. In that case, you could create a membership site in which you provide high quality tutorials and videos for a fixed monthly fee, which can be as high as $200/month. If you want to learn more about this, I highly recommend the free training at online profits.
  8. Flipping websites and blogs. This is probably the harder and more time consuming item on this list, but it’s worth a mention. If you work very hard, it’s possible for you to create and sell around 20 websites per month and then sell each of them for $500 or more. If you want to do this, do hire some virtual assistants to help you build websites.
  9. Creating a very good piece of software. Some people think that desktop applications are dead. They’re not. It’s possible to make good money by selling desktop applications, but they have to be good, very good. And you also need the skills or the money to hire someone else that does the job for you. That said, this is something that I’ll certainly want to try in the future.
  10. Writing a top selling book. I’m not going to tell you how to write a best selling book, because I haven’t done it myself, but it’s an idea that many have tried to implement with success (and many have failed).
  11. Buying and selling stuff on Ebay. My first business was selling stuff on Ebay. While I wasn’t making anything near 10,000$ a month back then, it’s also true that I knew nothing about business, nor about buying or selling stuff. By doing proper market research it’s certainly possible to make some good money on Ebay, especially if you have an unique product that no one else has and that everyone wants.
  12. Adsense. The idea is to create a very big network of highly targeted websites, and make money through adsense. Assuming that you can get a 2% click through rate, and that you would get 20 cent for every click, in order to make 10,000$ you would need around 5,000,000 visits per month, which is a lot, but it’s doable. Also note that with that traffic you’ll be able to make a lot more money by selling advertising, so in reality you could get by with even less traffic.
  13. Renting and sub-renting. I had to include something impossible on this list. If I had the money, I’d either rent or buy some real estates, and then sub rent to other people. I don’t have the financial resources at the moment, but buying properties has always been a lucrative business which I want to get in in the next years.
  14. Sell something stupid on the internet. This is another stupid idea, but like other stupid ideas, people have made money with it. Create something stupid, even useful if you want, like a digital product, and then sell it for $1 on the internet. If it goes viral, you’ll probably be able to sell several thousands copies. Rinse and repeat. Note: this is probably the last thing I’d do on this list in order to make money.
  15. Doing a startup. If you have the technical knowledge, or you’re willing to partner up with someone else who does, doing a startup is a good way of making money. Depending on the nature of your startup, you may see the money after some time (if you sell it), but generally speaking you can get good returns on your time.
  16. Opening a beauty franchise. In order to do this, I’d need capital. That said, I’ve noticed that beauty shops here in Europe go extremely well, and that there are not many franchises. If I’d have the opportunity, I’d certainly try to fill up this void with my franchise and possibly become very rich after having paid off my initial debt.
  17. Selling iphone apps. There are several developers making good money by selling iphone/android apps. There are also several people making that kind of money and more by outsourcing all the process. On my side, I’m currently making my first iphone apps. Who knows, maybe it’ll be a hit, otherwise I’ll go ahead and create another one.
  18. Buying and selling websites. This is something to do when you have a good domain knowledge about internet marketing in general. It’s often easy to find websites listed at bargain prices, which you can then resell for more. Without capital, you’ll have to start slowly, but with time and with more capital you’ll have access to more powerful websites that you can then resell for an higher margin.
  19. Copywriting. I once heard that the top copywriters earn thousands for a single sales letter. The good news is that from what I’ve seen, everyone can write good sales letter, provided they’re willing to study and practice writing and psychology. I don’t plan on doing this anytime soon, but it’s an option to keep in mind.
  20. Becoming a top reseller. To do this, you’ll have to join a big corporation which would pay you for referrals. This is nothing near my dream job, but I guess I would go into sales if I’d need the money, especially if I would be paid by commissions. There are hundreds of books written about selling, in all its form, so I guess it shouldn’t be to hard to apply the principles and sell enough to make a five monthly figures.

Some of those items are improbable, but there are some good gems. Remember that all of them require a good amount of hard work, and you have no guarantee of success. Still, also remember that you have nothing to lose if you want to try any of them, and the worst case scenario is that you’ll learn a lot of new things.

Do you have other ideas that you want to share for making a five figures monthly income?