What is alternative income? Do you know? Most of us are familiar with the concept of regular income. We get a job, work a set number of hours, and get paid an amount of money we can count on every week or two. But how does creating alternative income differ from a regular job?

Alternative income can be either regular or variable in payment frequency, but often is associated with ways of making money that do not require us to trade hours of our time for the monies we receive. In my estimation the best kind of alternative income revenue streams you can find are those which require no time effort other than in the short term and supply a regular stream of income in the process. The most common type of alternative income we are used to is investment income. Most of us are familiar with the concept that we save some money, invest it, and then that money produces interest payments which help us leverage our wealth. The alternative or investment income then helps us to create a larger sum to reinvest and we then begin to receive larger interest payments over time. Our money works, but we do not once the initial savings and investments are made.

Creating alternative income or passive and residual income revenue streams work a lot like the old investment income strategy for gaining wealth. But did you know that you can create them without having much money to invest? The other two things we all posses which have value are our time and knowledge. There are many ways to create alternative income by investing either your time, knowledge, skills or any combination there of.

What do most ways of making alternative income have in common? While strictly defining what alternative income is can be a bit dicey, most alternative income sources have a few common denominators. The first is that you often will not get paid hourly, and that the income you receive for your efforts can be sporadic. Alternative income sources may or may not pay on a fixed schedule, but they do have a second advantage which leads to the other common denominator. Alternative income opportunities usually do not require you to be there in person to get paid. There are exceptions to the rule of course, but generally speaking alternative income tends to be more passive in nature. Once the initial work or investment is done you will continue to make money from your initial investment, be it in time, money or sweat equity. Alternative income sources are a real advantage because there is no limit on their upside potential, where as your time is a limited resource.

Ten Alternative Money Ideas

1. Build a CD ladder using high interest bearing CD accounts. Your investment is safe, insured and you can always access your money if you need it. While interest rates are fairly low at present, beginning a CD investment ladder is a good way to get started with alternative income for beginners and those who have few funds to invest.

2. Try freelancing for quick alternative income. There are some great money making alternatives out there if you have minimal writing, graphic design, software, or office type skills. Try sites like Mechanical Turk, Go Freelance, Elance, RentACoder, Guru, Textbroker and others for making money with contract work from home. While these are not as passive as some other ways of making extra money, they do provide a solid part time income. On occasion you can find work for monthly projects.

3. Similarly, if you enjoy writing you can write for sites like eHow, Associated Content, Squidoo, Infobarrel, Hubpages and others to begin making some money online. I love these sites for the solid income they provide and the creativity I get to use with writing my articles. Articles continue earning once posted from there on out.

4. Create downloadable products for sale on Clickbank, Amazon or LuLu. Truly a passive alternative money maker, there is a voracious appetite for information on any topic. The creation of downloadable products is a great way to make extra money. Write on any topic, the more tightly focused and obscure the information the more profits you will make with less competition. Once the work is done, your product is saleable for an extended period of time.

5. Take Digital Stock photographs to sell online. There are numerous companies offering commissions for each download of digital photos. What sells well online? Just about anything from vintage photos to snapshots of your family vacation. You will make more commissions the larger your photo portfolio gets over time. Don't worry if you are not a professional, there is a huge market for everyday snapshots and candid shots of people, objects, places and events.

6. If you are into making videos or have an offbeat sense of humor, there are numerous video sharing websites online. Sites like YouTube, Revver, and Vimeo will share their advertising revenues with their content creators every month. The more interesting content you create, the more you will profit month after month.

7. Use Google Alerts to find online contests, sweepstakes and giveaways to enter. You can make a lot of cash just for filling out a brief survey, sometimes as brief as just a few sentences.

8. Start a blog and tell the world what you know. Blogging is a perfect way to share you interests and insights with the world. You will gain readership every month and then can sell advertising to make money from your writing efforts. There are plenty of free blogging platforms available to get you started with no money down. Try Blogger, Wordpress, Blikweb or Livejournal for free hosting.

9. Become an affiliate. Once your blog is getting regular traffic you can join affiliate programs like Adsense, Amazon or Ebay to make additional income from your efforts.

10. Sell something online. Open an Ebay or Amazon store, and set it up to run on autopilot. For more information on setting up an autopilot Ebay store read How to Start an Autopilot Ebay Business.

There is no doubt about it making money with alternative income is the way to go to build solid financial resources and wealth. While making money via alternative income may not be the fastest road to wealth, it certainly is the least risky when done right. You do not need a lot of money to get started, your own ingenuity and hard work is often all that is required. Of course, a lot of tenacity and creativity never hurts either. Creating legitimate alternative passive income takes a while to get started, but the payoff is nothing short of explosive financial gains in the end.