The idea of simply starting an AI and letting it work automatically while you take care of other things and admire your increased bank balance in the evening is tempting. So are they all charlatans promoting the greatest income ideas on YouTube and social media?
No, they are not. It's just that the examples presented are usually the best in their field and often the ones with more resources, a team and a large following to build on.
There are a lot of serious AI ideas
But there are many ideas on how to use artificial intelligence to create additional sources of income or even start your own business.
This article is for small and micro entrepreneurs or employees who want to earn a few extra dollars. Medium and large companies have other options and there are other (more lucrative) business models using AI for them.
1. Write a book and offer ghostwriting services
Now you can either start your long-awaited book project yourself or offer a service to others. Many people enjoy writing their biography, no matter how interesting and relevant their life was and is.
You can interview people, have them transcribed, and use the transcripts to create a rough draft that you can work on with your client. You can also use AI tools for proofreading and cover design.
AI image design tools can be used to create picture book illustrations, coloring pages and the like, and in combination with AI text tools such as ChatGPT, even 1:1 personalized children's books are possible.
2. Create online courses
There are many experts who want to share their knowledge with others, but are afraid of the hassle of creating an online course. With the help of AI tools like ChatGPT, you can get course ideas, structure your course content and create video scripts for your videos.
You can create your own online course with your knowledge and then sell it on your own website or on various online platforms like Udemy, Skillshare or Domestika.
Bonus tip: With translation tools like DeepL, you can also have your online course translated into other languages. This is easier for headless courses (where the instructor is not visible in the videos) because only the text and audio need to be translated. There are also avatar tools that create a clone of you that speaks many foreign languages.
3. Selling photos and images
With the power of text-to-image technology, images can be generated as templates in a variety of different AI tools, which can then be sold in different formats.
12 Format Ideas
Here are some suggestions for you
My current favorite tool is Leonardo AI, which allows you to generate about 30 images per day for free. There is a lot of competition out there, but if you focus on either the masses or certain niche topics that suit you, you can make some money with it.
4. Selling T-Shirts
As mentioned above, you can create images and then offer them through print-on-demand providers such as Spreadshirt, Merch-by-Amazon, Etsy*, and/or your own Shopify store*.
Be aware, however, that competition is fierce and the best designs are quickly copied. Basically, this income source is a "numbers game", you need to go for mass production to generate significant income.
The operator of the website AI-Apparel has developed this principle and implemented it in a clever way. He has added AI image generation to an ordinary T-shirt shop. Customers can play with it and design their own individual T-shirt and order it directly in the store.
5. Create stickers with AI
The idea of having AI design stickers or patches goes in the same direction as the last two ideas. These can then be created on a plotter and sold by the customer, or this can also be implemented with an on-demand service provider.
There is also the option of having the patch templates embroidered and reselling the sewn patches. Think of a sports club, a family crest, or a carnival club - many institutions like to have their logo beautifully implemented. A useful AI tool in this context is Plusvector*, which can generate a vector graphic from a text command. This vector graphic can then be used to create the sticker.
6. Create and share songs
With the help of AI tools, you can now create (or have created) your own music tracks quickly and easily. It is important to read the fine print of each provider: Some do not allow you to use the songs for commercial purposes. If possible, you can then upload the finished musical works of art to Spotify or YouTube and hope to earn money. However, I consider the earning potential to be rather low.
7. Start a YouTube channel with AI videos
You may have noticed the videos on YouTube, where short video sequences are strung together to present topics such as sayings, funny things, or facts about the world. With the right technology and tools, all of this can be done in a short amount of time. The texts are spoken by a computer voice and the videos are uploaded in many different languages. Some of these channels have very high traffic.
You can generate ideas for topics and content with ChatGPT and use Canva to create thumbnails, graphics and in some cases video snippets. You can create the videos yourself with Pictory, for example. Once you reach 1,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel and 4,000 hours of watch time, you can monetize your channel, which means you get a cut of the advertising revenue from YouTube.
8. Become a semi-expert in an AI tool and provide related services
Due to the extremely large number of different applications and AI tools, it is impossible to know every tool inside out. If you like an application, buy a tool and get familiar with it, you can offer this "expert knowledge" as a service over time. Either through classified ads, marketplaces like Fiverr (see image), Upwork, or social media channels.
9. Create Audio Books
In addition to creating texts and books, you can also "set" audio books to music using AI voices as an additional distribution channel. For example, if you have created a children's book, you can use a text-to-speech tool to quickly turn it into an audiobook.
Here is a short example of the last paragraph, spoken by a child's voice (in British English).
Work in progress - this list is constantly being updated.