How to Diversify Your Business Revenue

How to Diversify Your Biz Revenue: Why I Created 9 Revenue Streams in My Business

Entrepreneurship is an ongoing series of a/b testing. You’re figuring out what you enjoy to do, who you’re serving and what you actually enjoy selling and sharing with your community. For me, the process of figuring out how I would like to make money online has been fraught with uncertainty, indecision and bouts of imposter syndrome. How to make money with my online brand was something that I spent a lot of time thinking about throughout the past couple of years. What I didn’t realize was that it would take awhile for me to find areas of monetization that made sense for me and my community. I now make money 9 different ways and I love how I’m able to bring money into my business throughout the year in different ways. Currently I’m focusing on building up more passive income which is my favorite way to make money online. But passive income isn’t passive and can take awhile to build to sustainable levels. With that in mind, I’ve diversified my income and while it was initially difficult to do, it was the one action that helped sustain my business-especially during 2020.

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Qube Money

When I first started my business, my finances were a mess. I was paying off debt and just trying to hustle until my business grew. I tried everything to keep my finances in order ranging from using online money management platforms, spreadsheets and the envelope system. This year I discovered Qube Money which is a digital envelope system paired with a debit card. You deposit your money into an FDIC insured account and then can spend based on dedicated Qubes that you’ve created within the app. If you’re paying for tools such as Flodesk for your emails, Thinkific to host your courses and coaching programs, or Deskpass for your coworking access, Qube keeps you organized and can be one of your dedicated business accounts. I’m a proud affiliate of Qube Money, check out the link that I share in the show notes.

Listen to the Show

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  • Shida’s On the Loose-Creating a brand for Black women needing help with the logistics of taking an adult “Gap Year”

What Happened When I Started?

I’m going to be candid and say that when I first started focusing on diversifying my revenue streams my income dropped. An upcoming guest of The Brand Building Lab podcast mentioned that she had a similar experience. In looking back at diversifying my income I found that it took awhile to:

  • Identify the different types of revenue streams that were a good fit for me and my brand
  • Get a feel for historic data. Basically, what works when?
  • Learning what converts to create income for each revenue stream

With that in mind, I’m going to share the different revenue streams that currently flow into my business.

Affiliate Income

This has ebbed and flowed in my business throughout the years. I will be candid and say that I have not focused on growing my affiliate income as thoughtfully as I should have. Especially considering how much I love affiliate income. This happened because I was still a/b testing what I enjoyed doing in my business. My content veered away from evergreen content which is the bedrock of affiliate income. The great thing about affiliate income. Once you learn how it works you can duplicate the process. The other issue that I dealt with was finding affiliates that made sense for the content vertical that I was sharing. For Michelle is Money Hungry this was surprisingly difficult because I was reluctant to share business content on the site because I didn’t want entrepreneurship to take over that project.


I write both fiction and non-fiction ebooks. I LOVE writing and self-publishing books. Ebooks are a wonderful way to establish expertise, provide big value at a low cost for your community and make passive income. Once you publish a book you can market it over and over again. And with ebooks you can update them to keep them relevant and get readers in front of your work in evergreen content, podcast episodes, social media, as a guest in front other people’s communities. As for my fiction books (romances) I’ve created a unique platform for that project with the idea of uplifting authors of color in that space.

Digital Course Sales

I created my digital course “Make Money with Ebooks” as a way to answer questions that I kept being asked about how I was making money with ebooks. Digital courses function similarly to ebooks in that I can reference the course in a large number of places such as in my social media content, during podcast interviews and other media appearances as well as on my podcast. I can also create content around the topic of the digital course on my website and reference back to the course as well as Thinkific which is the platform that I like to use to house my online course/resource and coaching content.

Freelance Writing

I’m going to be honest and say that in the beginning of working for myself I didn’t enjoy freelance writing. There were a couple of reason why. I was broke when I first started self-employment. I couldn’t really say “no” to projects. So, while I was excited that I was getting paid $15 to work from home and write a post. It soon became clear that working $15 posts wouldn’t be sustainable for the long-term. I also had one problematic client who also didn’t respect any of their writers’ boundaries and also paid late. Then my mindset around freelance writing changed overtime and here’s why. I connected with other freelance writers who were making a significant amount of money writing for well-known organizations. These writers were also able to grow their platforms by leveraging the projects they worked on to grow their brand. I also learned about how to think about my time vs. money as this relates to the projects I said “yes” to. And, I began connecting with projects ranging from $250 to a $1 or more a word.


In 2019 I hosted my first Money on the Mountain event which is a women’s money event. The goal with this event was to have conversations around empowering financially single women (who may be coupled up). What I love about hosting events is that I can highlight and share other creators of color and allies who might find it more challenging to get in front of audiences to share their wisdom. Events also provide the opportunity to create brand partnerships, sell swag, affiliate marketing, and ticket sales. They’re a PITA but can be a great way to add revenue into your business. I should also mention events such as one-off webinars and online conferences.


For the longest time I was a bit resistant to the idea of coaching. I just didn’t feel like I was in the right headspace to coach other people in how to do what I was doing. Part of this was because of imposter syndrome. But also because I was working on a pretty large financial mess that distracted me from growing certain areas of my business. Interestingly enough as my debt and financial mess cleared up the more energy I had to embrace coaching in my business. I actually love it. I really do. What I realized about my initial resistance to coaching was that I needed to create some clarity around the role that coaching plays in my business and the client journey within my business. Basically, I wanted to create resources/tools/and products that served people from wherever they are at financially. I didn’t feel comfortable with the trend of just popping on the scene and having a high-end coaching program. Then, pushing for people to go into debt in order to pay for my services. Nope. Can’t do that. Not ethical and not sustainable as a business model. In my brand building I do the following:

  • The Client Buying Journey
    • Free content such as this podcast and website
    • Free content via social media, etc.
    • Referrals to other helpful resources, etc.
  • Inexpensive products
    • Ebooks ranging from $2.99-19.99
    • One off webinars free-$97
  • One on One Coaching
    • $200-$600 based on what is discussed. These coaching sessions range from 1-2 hours.
  • Group Coaching Program
    • The Brand Building Lab $3500

Basically, the goal is to meet people where they’re out without encouraging them to make financial decisions that could harm them.


If you’ve met me before you’ll know that I love to speak. Speaking and connecting with audiences in person fuels me on so many levels. COVID was so painful because I had to do this online for a year. For the longest time I’ve spoken to audiences via different conferences and front facing spaces for free. Now, I’m focused on attracting paid speaking opportunities. These opportunities can happen locally, online, and at events.

Brand Ambassador Projects

This is a new one for me that I’ve been hoping to eventually attract and I’m excited to say that this has recently happened. Brand ambassador projects as an influencer may involve going on video and sharing a specific talking point. These opportunities basically signal that a brand trusts you to be front facing in THEIR business. In order to attract those projects it has to be really clear to other companies who you are and what you do.

Grant Writing

A lot of people are really sleeping on grant writing as a way to bring money into one’s business. This is a huge mistake especially in 2021 and 2022 when a huge amount of grant funding is occurring because of stimulus spending. There are a number of third party distributors who are tasked with funding projects or business on behalf of the funds that they’ve received. Your VA can help you to facilitate this process.

Why Diversify Business Your Income?

It’s never good to have all of your eggs in one basket. Right now people who primarily provide freelance services are facing headwinds because of the potential of the PROAct passing. I know of a large number of entrepreneurs who are panicking because of the changes that might occur and kill their business. They will have to pivot. Diversifying your income also acknowledges the ebbs and flows in revenue based on:

  • The time of year
  • Interest in your products and services
  • What’s happening in politics
  • Where someone is at in your business’s buying funnel. I shared how I designed mine with that in mind.
  • Your current area of focus. Sometimes business owners shift their area of focus depending on where their interests lie or what they have energy for.

Having a diversified income has really taken some of the stress out of my business. During the months when I’m making a lot more passive income I’m able to focus on different parts of my business. Having diversified income allows me to pivot quickly when a revenue stream drops off.

Upsells and Downsales

This is the last revenue strategy that I do embrace and thought I should mention. Upsells and downsales in your business. Here is an example using a coffee shop order.

  • You go to the coffee shop and order a medium sized latte.
  • The barista suggests a pastry (an upsale) you can can say “yes” or “no”
  • Downsale maybe that you share a deal but that it may create better customer happiness or longevity in your business funnel such as a freebie that a customer can access via email or signing up for an app.

With a diversified revenue model I’m able to design these opportunities when I feel like it makes sense. If you’re currently building out your business, spend some time thinking about the revenue streams that are energetically in alignment with your brand. I will admit that the revenue stream that I plan on phasing out by the end of 2021 is freelance writing. I’m more interested in using that time building up my own products and services moving forward.


How are you diversifying your business revenue?

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