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How I Plan to Double My Income Within 3 Years

A realistic approach of side-hustling my way to 6 figures while keeping a full-time job

I’m already making around half of what I’m aiming for from my full-time job. And I’m planning on keeping that, so this amount is included in the following calculations. But let’s take a look at how I’m planning to double my total income to 6 figures within the next three years. Hopefully, even sooner.

My following report depends on 5 key business avenues to further explore this year and beyond. Moreover, it relies on my full-time job, as eluded to earlier, and, lastly, it’s based on vigorously watching my expenses. That’s just a bonus, though. It won’t count towards my goal.

With this in mind, here are my 5 business ventures or side-hustles — in no particular order — that I’m trying to evolve and advance in the next 3 years.

1. Creating YouTube videos without talking or being in front of the camera

Confession: I’d love to make — for lack of a better word — “real” YouTube videos. Standing in front of the camera, shooting A and B-roll, editing, setting up a regular schedule, etc.

I just don’t have the time to do that. Being a father of 4, having a full-time job, and considering YouTube as my 2nd or 3rd side-hustle, does take its toll on time management.

I’m also rather uncomfortable in front of the camera. So, instead, I managed to build a promising content creation routine on YouTube with what you would call “Making Money on YouTube Without Making Videos”. Just google that phrase, and you’ll be amazed by the results. I was when I did that.

A lot of it seems like (and probably is) a scam. Many ways do work, however. I was surprised to find out that numerous high-earning channels on YouTube are “faceless”. Without a person in front of the camera, or even voice-over audio. A typical example of this would be “compilations”. But I think this type of niche is highly saturated as it is.

A more interesting niche I discovered is animated statistics or timelines. With one of my YouTube channels, I recently started to focus on animated timelines. It does take a little bit of time to do, but it’s a promising outcome.

You’ll probably be laughing when you hear my second niche on YouTube: Slideshows. Yes. Photo slideshows. That’s a thing. An underrated one if you ask me. Create a slideshow, add a nice audio track to it, and you’re done. You just need to figure out a good topic.

With these two methods, I’ve generated over 2000$ (1700€) in the last 8 months. That is not a lot of money, but it is for the time I put into it, about 4–5 hours a month. It’s also steadily rising. I plan to increase this amount exponentially in the next 3 years by putting in more time and uploading more regularly.

Screenshot by author

Now: 200$ per month
This Year: 350$ per month
Year 2: 600$ per month
Year 3: 1000$+ per month

2. Consistent writing schedule

My first love in terms of side-hustling has always been writing. It was 15 years ago when I wrote my first blog post, and it is to this day. What I’ve failed to do in all these years, though, is taking this passion to the next level by making it a profitable side-hustle — in other words earning considerable money from it.

I’ve already taken the initial steps to catch up on that. I started writing here on this platform with some success. Earning the bonus in April and steadily increasing my monthly paycheck. I also set up a tangible and, more importantly, actionable plan for my blog, websites, and other writing opportunities in the near future. I’ll come back to that at number 3.

The first step in increasing my writing income is a stringent writing schedule. Since I only have so much time left in my day — working from home full-time and enjoying as much time with my wife and the kids as possible — I need to up my productivity game profoundly. This means scheduling out every hour of the day. It also means perfecting my writing routine. I can’t devote more than 2 hours a day to it yet. I’m going to use these hours to increase my content three-fold in the coming months.

Now: 200$ per month
This Year: 400$ per month
Year 2: 700$ per month
Year 3: 1000$+ per month

3. Evolving my website & blog

I’m in the middle of completely revamping my website, adding a blog to it (again), and optimizing it for future financial opportunities. This includes posting consistently on my blog, exploring options like affiliate marketing, selling digital assets, and growing my mailing list. My website will serve as a building ground for customer relationships and business opportunities.

Additionally, I intend to diversify this revenue stream with two other websites in different niches. One of which is already in place for my YouTube channel.

Revenue streams will include affiliate marketing and advertisements from Google Adsense and other vendors. But I’ll try my best to do this tastefully. I’m a hobby web designer, and I hate nothing more than seeing a nice-looking website ruined by ads and pop-ups everywhere.

Affiliate marketing is a strategy I have mostly ignored the last few years. I’m planning to make up for this in the coming months. Not only on my websites but also through my YouTube channels and my mailing list. My estimates for this are still modest. I suspect the outcome to be higher, honestly.

Now: 0$
This Year: 10$ per month
Year 2: 50$ per month
Year 3: 200$+ per month

4. Web Development

Step 4 and especially step 5 cater to another one of my passions. Ever since my college years, I’ve been deeply interested in web design — and as a consequence of this — in design as a whole. I’ve worked in web development right after college. I also freelanced for a while. I’m going to pick up where I left off there.

I hope that this will lead to a small, irregular income stream. Back in the day, I made 1000$ for one project that took me 3 days, for example. In between, I had small gigs that paid 100–200$.

Now: 0$
This Year: 50$ per month
Year 2: 150$ per month
Year 3: 500$+ per month

5. Exploring My Mailing List

Over the last few months, I have slowly grown my mailing list to 1000 members. In my case, mailing list might be the incorrect term; it’s more of a customer list I generated through Gumroad.

On Gumroad, I offer a number of free icon packs for iOS. With every download, I get a new member on my mailing list. Now that’s different from my newsletter list, which I just recently started. I’m still in the process of deciding how to use that in the future.

Through my Gumroad customer list, I plan on releasing additional digital products. A couple of new icon sets, as well as a little secret project. But this time paid, not for free. The existing customer list gives me a nice headstart on marketing these new products. I also already generated money with these free products through donations. Quite a few people donated a small amount for the icon packs they downloaded. That’s incredible!

If all goes according to plan, this side-hustle could become one of the — if not the top-earning one for me. The power of e-mail marketing, right?!

Now: 50$
This Year: 300$ per month
Year 2: 1000$ per month
Year 3: 1500$+ per month

Total estimation

Summing up these 5 side-hustles, I should be making 4200$ per month in addition to my full-time job paycheck within 3 years. That would add up to just shy of 100,000$ a year. 99,600$, to be exact. Since some of my estimates are very modest calculations, I suspect this to pass 100,000$.

Key Takeaways

Let’s quickly recap:

  1. Creating YouTube videos without talking or being in front of the camera
  2. Consistent writing schedule
  3. Evolving my website & blog
  4. Web development
  5. Exploring my mailing list

Now, I don’t expect to keep this up for a significant amount of time. Mainly because it will be a burden on my free time, it will require a lot of dedication and planning. I wouldn’t want to do this for the rest of my life. Rather, I intend to see which one of those side-hustles is most promising in the long run.

Within 3 years, I will hopefully have figured this out. I will also have saved a good amount of money. And I may have found other exciting opportunities along the way. Or I will have failed miserably. We’ll see. Failure is just a stepping stone on the way to success.

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