You don’t need me to tell you that there’s only so much time in the day for you to work on client projects.
And while freelance life is awesome, after a while you realise it’s hard to scale your business when you’re stuck trading time for money. So the amount of income you earn is tied to the number of hours you work.
So… then what?
Well, then it’s time to look into other ways in which you can make money from being an expert in your field i.e. monetize your knowledge. It’s called diversifying your income.
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For freelancers, an obvious first choice is blogging.
As a freelancer, you probably already have a website for your business.
If not, go and set up your website first. It’s easy and we have all the instructions here.
Now it’s time to add a blog to your website and turn it into a new, mostly passive, source of income for you.
Blogging is a fantastic way for freelancers to make money from your knowledge and share your expertise with a much larger audience.
Your blog can be a great asset to show off your knowledge to potential new clients. But, more than that, your blog can be monetised and help you earn those dollar bills without having to stick to an hourly rate.
How exactly can you monetise your knowledge and make money from blogging? We’re glad you asked.
Below are four different ways for you (aka a freelancer) to start a blog and make money from it.
You should also check out this article we wrote – it’s perfect for newbies: Make Money Blogging (for Beginners): How to Make Your First $100
1. Affiliate marketing
One of the most popular ways to sell your knowledge and make money from a blog is through affiliate marketing. This is a great way for new bloggers to get started as it doesn’t require you to have any products of your own.
This means you promote other people’s products and services on your blog and every time someone makes a purchase, you earn a commission in exchange.
To promote these products and services, you will need to sign up to the affiliate programs for the relevant product. Once done, you’ll receive a unique link, which you can use to promote the product to your blog audience.
This link contains a tracking code, so when someone makes a purchase based off your recommendation, you will receive the credit and more importantly, the commission for it.
That, in a nutshell is how affiliate marketing works for bloggers.
As a freelancer, there are probably a lot of products and services you use in your own business. Think about tools that make your work easier; products that have made your business more productive or even software you use for work.
These are great things to promote to your blog audience since you personally use these products and services. As an expert in your field of work, your audience will trust your opinion and will be more likely to buy thanks to your recommendation.
- As a web designer you might do a design tutorial showcasing a specific piece of software.
- As a writer you might write a post listing the best tools for freelance writers.
- If you are in IT you might do a review on the PC computer that you use to code.
If someone reads your article, clicks the link to your product recommendation and buys, then you make a commission on that sale.
Digital marketer freelancer and blogger, Matthew Woodward does a great job of producing articles that generate affiliate income.
In the above article, Matthew does a comparison between two of the top SEO research tools, Ahrefs and MajesticSEO.
This article is valuable for anyone who is looking help with their SEO.
Throughout the article Matthew uses affiliate links to link back to the Ahrefs software. If a visitor clicks that link and makes a purchase, he gets a commission.
Pretty cool right?
Think of how many products and services are related to your freelancing niche. Each of these products have the potential to make you passive income in addition to your freelancing work.
If you’re keen to learn more, we’ve got an epic article on how affiliate marketing works and how bloggers can make the most of it. Check it out here: How to Get Paid to Promote Products: Your Guide to Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
Ready to move on to selling your own products instead? We recommend starting out with an Ebook selling your expertise.
An Ebook is a great way to package your specific knowledge and expertise sell it to your audience. Since they already know and value your expertise, they are likely to purchase an ebook that helps them out even further.
- If you are a freelance WordPress developer, you could create an Ebook on how to DIY a WordPress website.
- If you are an Instagram marketer, you could write an Ebook about how to generate website traffic via Instagram.
- If you are a copywriter you could create an Ebook about copywriting tactics that help convert sales.
These are just a few examples. Think of all the opportunities available to you to create an ebook around a topic you know so well.
You get to share your passions or your expertise with an audience. It also pays off in dollars of course, once you start making sales and have yourself ready for a brand new source of passive income.
Freelance designer Megan from Ruby & Sass sells an Ebook showing people how to create effective Facebook images for their ads.
Megan now has another source of income outside her client work. She has the opportunity to sell this ebook on her blog or she can even upload it to platforms such as Amazon or Clickbank to reach a larger audience.
For a detailed breakdown of how to create and sell ebooks, read this article: How to Sell Ebooks Online: Make Money Selling Digital Products
3. Online courses
Want to go one step further and take your knowledge-sharing to the next level? How about creating an online course to monetize your knowledge then? In fact, very often bloggers will create an Ebook and then expand on the same topic in their online course.
A course is a great way to really go deep into a topic and help your audience learn new skills.
- If you’re a graphic designer who specialises in typography, you could create an awesome online course on how to do eye-catching typography.
- If you are a website security expert you do a course showing business owners how to properly secure their website.
- If you are a Google advertising specialist you could create a course teaching people how to set up their first campaign.
Think about your skill set and what you are most proficient in, and consider if there is a demand for other people wanting to acquire the same skill. If so, that would be a great topic for an online course.
Course creation has become very popular as it’s a great way to make money from your knowledge. Once you create the course, you have a product that you can sell for years down the track. Additionally, you can make some serious money with courses.
Freelance Pinterest marketer Kimi Kinsley sells a number of courses on Pinterest.
The course above sells for $197. If Kimi sells justs a few of these courses a month, that adds a nice top up to her freelance income as well.
For more advice on creating online courses, be sure to check out the section on online courses in this article.
4. Banner advertising
Finally, you can always sell your knowledge by placing banner advertisements on your site. This of course only makes sense if you have consistent, good quality traffic coming to your site regularly.
The most popular (and usually the easiest) way to get started with banner advertising on your blog is to start with Google Adsense. This is an advertising platform operated by Google and once you sign up, you allow Google to place ads on your blog. Every time someone clicks or sees an ad (depending on what you choose), you earn a commission.
However, If you go down the banner advertising path it’s better to avoid platforms like Adsense. You really need a lot of traffic for a platform like Adsense to be worth it.
A more profitable way is to find private advertisers in your niche and negotiate a rate for them to advertise a banner on your site.
Banner advertising can be a great way to make additional income as a freelancer. To make it work, you need a site with a lot of traffic. So focus on building traffic first before jumping into banner advertising.
Wrapping it up
So there you go, four excellent ways for a freelancer (i.e. you) to monetize your knowledge and make money from it with blogging.
As you can see, your freelancing income doesn’t need to be tied to doing one-on-one work with your clients alone. You don’t need to be limited to trading your hours for dollars. There are other ways to make the most of your expertise.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, don’t forget that by selling your expertise, a blog can turn into a really fantastic source of income for you. From affiliate marketing to banner advertising and your own products like ebooks and online courses – there are so many possibilities for you.
Get started by creating good quality and useful content for your audience and then move on to the next step aka monetisation.
If you’re not sure how to get started, we can help. Our FREE 5-day blogging course is designed for newbies interested in setting up a blog that makes money. Sign up here.
And of course, don’t forget that in your quest for creating a blog that becomes a source of passive income, you are also putting yourself out there and really showing to potential new clients what you’re capable of doing. So your blog can also become a great source of leads for new clients. Win-win.
After turning her back on office life in Australia, Radhika set out to create a life lived on her own terms (a constant work in progress). As co-founder of Fulltime Nomad, she is super passionate about helping others live life with more freedom and flexibility, and a bit of travel thrown in for good measure.