Potential Income Sources

Potential Income Sources – Becoming A Paid Expert Part 3

Profit From Your Expertise

In this final post of our three part “Becoming A Paid Expert” series, I list the most common and practical ways to make money from your expertise – as I see it.

In part one we focused on free learning resources to becoming a paid expert and part two we looked at paid learning resources.

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate and/or partner links, which means that if you purchase or use one of the product links provided, I’ll benefit monetarily or otherwise. It won’t cost you a penny more to use my links (provided directly from the product suppler or vendor). Thank you in advance. 🙂

The purpose of this series on becoming a paid expert is to show you that what you’ve learned, or can learn, is one of the most powerful assets you’ll possess. Today we hear many entrepreneurs talking about the impostor syndrome. Don’t allow impostor feelings to hold you back. You CAN become a paid expert without a buttload [Fun Fact about ButtLoad] of credentials. No diplomas needed? Absolutely.

If you can deeply understand someone’s needs and can solve their problems better than anyone else — that’s what matters. And if you can’t, no credential will make up for it. ~Ramit Sethi

Let’s get started on “Potential Income Sources” for the paid expert.

So let’s be honest, it would be impossible to list every single potential income source for experts, mainly because there are an endless supply of things to become an expert at. Right? I mean, maybe you get paid by legal firms as an expert witness or are compensated ten grand a pop to speak from stage.

In this post, I’ll cover a handful of popular options often seen in the online business world. Hopefully this will get your creative juices flowing and more will come to you.

Online Courses

Online courses come in many different styles and packages. For example, Writer’s Digest has about 200 expert writing tutorials on video and they offer paid access for $199.00 per year or $25.00 per month (at the time of this writing).

Humm, how many paid subscribers would you need at $199/year to make a six figure income? Just a little over 500 people according to my calculator. That’s very doable, isn’t it?

Leslie Samuel has (or had) his Become A Blogger University (He may still have the course but my links seem to be broken and the main URL says it is sold out right now). Anyway, it was a nice blogging course in the form of a membership site. The course ran for $47/month when I took it and I believe I paid for about 10 months.

At that price Leslie needed less than 180 paid members to generate a six figure income.

achievable * conceivable * feasible * obtainable

What’s the trick? We hear many pros referring to your minimum viable product (MVP) and getting sales to validate an idea and yada yada yada. Sure, that’s all great advice but it really boils down to value, doesn’t it? Not just perceived value but actual value for your customer.

Off Topic - SkippableLook. Squirrel.

Without going too deep into the rabbit hole, there are membership sites and there are MEMBERSHIP SITES. LeadPages$ has me for life. Why? Not only because they have incredible value but they have a model that causes me to become more and more vested the more I use it. I’m not going to just drop the service once I’ve created a heap of content and plastered links and opt-in boxes all over my blog and posts. No, I’m going to happily pay every month. (Actually, I pay by the year because it is cheaper but you know what I mean).

GetResponse$ is the same way. I have too much time and effort invested in lists, forms, and automated actions to even consider switching to something else right now.

Websites like LeadPages$ and GetResponse$ have a business model that actually creates “need” with the value they offer. ~ Brian D. Hawkins

They reinforce that need with quality training but I need to get back on the track here. Your course or tutorial membership sites will need to rely on real value if you’re going to keep the members happy enough to stay a while and help bring in others.

In the “Buying Your Expertise With Paid Resources” section, I mentioned online course websites like Udemy, Creative Live, and Lynda.com. Sites such as these may also be worth looking into for offering your online courses. You can even take a Udemy course on giving a Udemy Course. 😉

Websites like CreativeLIVE and Udemy already have an established audience but getting in front of those audiences vary site to site. For example, the average Udemy instructor makes about $7,000 a year and they make it fairly easy to get started. CreativeLIVE, on the other hand, has very stringent instructor requirements and has no application process linked to their main page.

Skillshare teachers average $3,500/year and they do not require teaching experience. Sites like Coursera and ed2go are going to prefer a college degree in most cases.

Paid E-Books

Just as paid online courses, asking someone to pay for information is going to require real quality and trust. I don’t necessarily mean a quality platform or image (although that wouldn’t hurt), I mean quality information worth every cent someone paid for it.

Personally, I prefer good ole’ PDF as a file type for ebooks but there are other options. Go with whatever you feel your customers will prefer.

To create ebooks I use Scrivener$. In fact, I use Scrivener to create ALL of my written content, including blog posts and marketing copy. (I mentioned in part two of this series that I took a Udemy course so I could get the most from Scrivener)

Business Consulting

Are you a paid consultant? Who isn’t, right? I think most of us have hung up that shingle a time or two and many of us keep it up permanently. While it’s not a passive income, consulting allows us to help others and generate a solid income. Hey, let’s be honest with each other – it’s a nice ego boost to show off our expertise every now and then as well. 😉

Local Business Consulting
Every time I step into that role I come away very frustrated from working so closely with business owners that think on a completely different level than most online entrepreneurs.

I’ll tell you the truth, it takes a special kind of person to work with local businesses; at least for many of the businesses I’ve dealt with.

Cheap? Hard to believe but I had a millionaire ignore my invoices for months. I had another pay me with software he bought through one of his employees so he’d get the student discount.

Know everything? Sometimes. Hard to get to say, “yes”. You betcha.

Why am I telling you this? Well, not just to rant a little, I’d rather forget those troubles than talk about them. I want you to understand the potential if you can overcome the challenges that make the rest of us run back to our digital safe zones. If you can become an expert at something local business people are willing to pay for, you simply need to become an expert at handling the business people too. Then you’re golden.

“Done For You” Services

Done For You” services was my main point for this expert series. You see, learning everything is kind of a pain in the butt. You know what I mean?

We had to learn to create and setup WordPress. We had to learn to write and publish posts. We had to learn social media marketing, SEO, building community, and on and on. I’ve been blogging for well over ten years and I still find myself, well, to be kind I’ll say “less than adequate” in many areas. Areas that are very important, even crucial, for my success. Don’t even get me started on time, neither one of us have enough time for me to start ranting about that stupid unrelenting clock.

Seriously, do you know everything about Google Analytics? You didn’t think it was as simple as adding a little java-script to your website, did you? Did you know that code can be customized? Did you know where you put it is important? Do you know how to effectively setup goals in Google Analytics? Do you know how to implement UTM tracking links into your Analytics? What are the best third party add-ons to connect to Google Analytics? Do you know how to read, understand, and improve conversions based on what Google Analytics is telling you?

That’s just the basics but here’s the real question… How many people do you think are willing to pay an expert to setup and/or maintain their Google Analytics? I’m betting hundreds of thousands if you can find them. Now, how many people do you see actively offering such a service? I have you thinking now, don’t I? Aren’t you glad you kept reading? Lol

Google Analytics is just one example. I went with that because everybody and their nephew goes with graphic design, writing, and coding. That and it is a Udemy course I recently took. 🙂

Who would pay an expert to setup their email marketing campaigns?

Who would pay an expert to create, setup, and organize their lead generating content download library?

Who would pay a legal expert to create their custom policies, terms, and disclosures? Okay, becoming an expert here can take eight years of college and law school so it might not be one of my best examples.

Busy people understand the value in outsourcing and there are still many niches wide open for those willing to invest the time and effort into becoming an expert in those fields.

Write A Book

This is a huge task to tackle and one I have not taken on myself. For that reason, I don’t want to spend too much time here so not to mislead you. I have talked to and heard enough published authors to believe most don’t make a massive income directly from writing books alone.

Blogging buddy Steve Scott (Twitter) is one exception I know of when it comes to Kindle books so if that’s the route you’d like to take I recommend you follow him closely – Steve Scott on Amazon$.

Don’t allow the lack of direct income for traditionally published books deter you, however. I’m betting many popular keynote speakers would readily admit that becoming a published author played a major roll in their speaking careers.

NoteA Note On Pricing

I’m going longer than I planned here but I want to mention pricing as an expert. Part of Becoming A Paid Expert is getting paid. Keep in mind, when you’re helping someone in a real way, don’t cut yourself short when it comes to pricing. Almost everyone seems to price too low in the beginning and that probably has to do with confidence. I could dedicate an entire post to the topic of pricing but keep in mind that your expert knowledge and ability is worth a premium. Price accordingly.

Remember, You only need to be one or two levels above your customer to make an impact in their lives and business.

Now go forth and enjoy the riches your expertise so deserves.

Related Articles
✔ Becoming An Expert With Free Resources – Becoming A Paid Expert Part 1
✔ Buying Your Expertise With Paid Resources – Becoming A Paid Expert Part 2
✔ Optimizing Your High Value Content For Leads And Profit
✔ 15 Potential Income Streams For Bloggers
✔ A Dozen Reasons To Blog Other Than Directly Making Money
✔ When Should I Monetize My Blog To Maximize Blog Earnings?
✔ Take Your Blogging Skills To Town For Profit -€“ Local Business

Affiliate Disclaimer: The post above contains affiliate and/or partner links, which means that if you purchase or use one of the product links provided, I’ll benefit monetarily or otherwise. It won’t cost you a penny more to use my links (provided directly from the product suppler or vendor). Thank you in advance.

About Brian Hawkins

Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and an all around great guy.


  1. Steve Scott is a tremendous resource on the Kindle front Brian. He knows his stuff inside out, backwards and around. Now that I’m promoting my 122 eBooks I follow his lead both with tons of free giveaways and also low cost price points. I moved mine from 3 bucks to 99 cents because it felt right, you know? I intend for as many humans around the world to download them so finding that price point will help my intent manifest. More than that I am not trying to make money with them. I intend to free folks. Awesome post BH.

    Signing off from Nicaragua.


  2. Steve is the guy to model, that’s for sure Ryan. I love that you both use Kindle Unlimited too. We have free access to everything just be being a Kindle Unlimited member. I appreciate you stopping by and I’ll post your Amazon link in case anyone wants to follow you there. 🙂


  3. Hi Brian,

    I too use LeadPages and GetResponse to simplify my work with out worrying about losing contacts with my subscribers, Yes I agree with you online course are best way to earn money, blog consultancy and Ebook are also allowing so many blogger to earn huge amount of money, thanks for sharing the information, see you soon.

  4. So finally great source of information about paid expert…
    Such and informative post

    Thank you so much

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