Passive Income Streams Can Keep Your Freelance Career Afloat

By Erin Ollila, Contributor, on February 27, 2017

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One of the most common self-employment struggles is maintaining a steady stream of income. Work is either feast or famine, and in the downtime, freelancers are forced to spend a chunk of their administrative (aka nonpaid) hours actively searching for ways to keep their income consistent. The time you could’ve spent on bettering your business is wasted chasing potentials that may just fizzle out.

So, how can an indy worker balance the unpredictable income plaguing their career choice? Passive income streams. It’s time to diversify your income with products or services you can create or implement and then leave alone, watching as they make money for you. Sounds great, right? Here are five passive options you can introduce into your business.

1. Ad Revenue

Why not make your website work for you? You’re already using it to market your services or products, but installing ads on your site will help you bring in additional income while you focus on your actual work. If someone clicks on the ad — regardless of whether they make a purchase — you get paid a certain amount per click.

2. Affiliate Sales

You can also market another person or company’s products or goods, or create a system in which others can do the same for you. For example, if you’ve worked with a business coach who’s opening a new program, you can act as an affiliate by recommending it to your email list or social media followers. For every closed sale you refer, you’ll receive a percentage of the profits. If you have a product or service that would benefit from affiliates promoting your business, onboard them. Paying out a small percentage attracts more customers, which means less work for you.

3. E-books

If you have a lot of knowledge on a topic, share it. E-books are perfect passive income streams. You create the book once, and with a little marketing and regular social sharing, you can leave it untouched and watch as it brings in income for you. Don’t be concerned if your grammar or syntax skills are shaky. Hire a ghostwriter to help you get your ideas on the page or an editor to help you clean up your copy. Don’t stop at just one e-book, either; if they perform well for you, build on ones you already created or publish others relevant to your industry.

4. Graphics

If you’re an artist or work in the graphic design industry, consider creating a line of downloadable prints for specific holidays, birthdays, weddings and special events. Keep in mind that your consumer has different needs, and create everything from cards and invitations to wall prints. Remember, you’re not making physical products, just creating the same graphic in various dimensions to supply your customers with various print options.

5. Self-Guided Courses

Similar to e-books, courses are a great way to incorporate passive products into your business while sharing your knowledge with current and prospective clientele. Better yet, you can develop courses that can be shared as self-guided videos, slides or emails, and use them as part of your sales funnel to achieve even bigger results down the road. Let’s say you design websites: You might offer a course on developing a brand style. As the student progresses through your course, you can nurture them to contact you for personalized web design.

Ultimately, passive income streams can grow your business. With a little effort on the front end, you can expect a serious return on your work. No longer will you be stuck worrying about your income, because it will trickle in regularly.

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