Passive Income for freelancers in 7 Tips


Freelancing is mostly associated with active income – you get paid for the hours you put in or for a certain workload, ideally a finished project. However, there is another way to earn money as a freelancer - passive income.

Passive income is something you don’t put direct effort into once it is established as a source of revenue, but once you go through the effort of setting it up, it will bring in money.

As with most things that seem a bit too good to be true, it is quite difficult to start earning a significant passive income. If you do it right though, your efforts will eventually start bringing in money while only requiring minimal work towards maintenance.

Why Passive, Recurring Income?

The benefits of passive income almost speak for themselves, but here are a few of the top reasons that generating a recurring, passive income should be on your list of priorities: 

  • Stabilise your income: One of the biggest downsides to being a freelancer is that your income will not be stable month to month, especially in your first few years. Losing a client or not winning a pitch can make your income drop drastically, which is not a great position in which to put yourself.

A stream of passive income provides a more stable, recurring means of earning money that you can rely on when the freelancing side of your business gets quieter.

  • Work once, earn forever: There are only so many hours in a day, which means that your active income is always going to have a limit. Passive income, however, requires a lot of initial work - but once you have it set up, you simply need to put in a few hours of maintenance here and there to keep things afloat.


Passive Income Opportunities

Got you interested?

Then check out these ways of earning passive income as a freelancer and see which one suits you most. We’ve also included some niche examples for different freelance fields.


Would like to share the passive income infographic on your site?:

1) Selling ad space on your blog or site

One of the first things that comes to mind when it comes to passive income ideas is monetizing your marketing instruments. Your blog or site can serve twofold: first and foremost, it attracts customers. With enough visitors, you can turn it into a revenue source for yourself and other companies, too. Selling advertising space is a great way to earn some money on the side while continuing to build up your audience.

2) Guest blogs and eBooks

Another way of generating passive income is selling your know-how and experience in the form of guest blogs. If you publish informative and helpful articles on your blog anyway, why not try selling them to others? Not only can you get an extra income source, you also attract more attention to your own services.

If you really enjoy writing, you can also try publishing an eBook. As a freelancer in your particular niche, you probably have a lot to tell others who would like to walk the same road. It takes a lot of effort to create an eBook, but they also have huge potential if successful.

3) Affiliate marketing

Becoming an affiliate of a potentially-helpful service for your clients is sometimes frowned upon, but it can be a good, honest way of earning some extra money. Recommending a hosting site of your choosing to clients can save them a lot of research time. Or maybe you use some other service or have read a certain book that you found extremely helpful. Be upfront about earning a small cut on a sale, though. If you can earnestly say a service or product is worth it and earn something doing it, go for it!

4) Selling unused work

Often freelancers will create things that don’t make it into the final version of a project. Whether it is photos, graphs, written content or anything else, you can probably find a buyer for it somewhere on the internet. Be careful about what your contracts say, however; you can only sell content that you legally own. As long as that’s the case, don’t let your unused work gather dust. Turn it into a profit instead.

5) Create subscription models

Subscription models or memberships can entail a ton of things depending on your freelancing field. Whether it is site maintenance, SEO work, extra content on your newsletter or something else, a subscription means you offer some amount of work  or an extra piece of content on the side but won’t have to worry about finding clients for it. If you can establish yourself as someone with expertise, people will be willing to pay for additional content from you. Those small monthly payments add up, but make sure you consider the time spent communicating with your clients as to not get underpaid. Make that extra content worth your time.

6) E-Courses

Another way to share your experience or expertise in your field is e-courses. These require a good amount of effort to set up but can become a great source of passive income. There are a lot of ways to go about offering e-courses: depending on your business strategy you can try sending them per mail, posting them on YouTube or selling them on a dedicated platform like Fedora or Udemy.

7) Sell templates or WordPress themes

This one is especially important for graphic designers. Themeforest is a good site where you can sell your templates and create passive income.  As WP themes are very popular at the moment, these are a very good passive income source for freelancers.

8) Video Content: YouTube

The way people are consuming video is changing a lot. TV is taking a second place and alternatives such as Netflix or YouTube are entertaining people now. If you like to be in front of a camera, creating YouTube videos can be an alternative to create income streams. If your videos get lots of views, you can benefit from ads. You can also try other approaches such as sponsorships or affiliate programs.



Passive Income Options for Web Designers & Developers

There are multiple different recurring income opportunities specifically for web designers and developers. A few popular ideas include

Website maintenance

Website maintenance includes carrying out any necessary updates, tweaking the layout and back-end of a website, monitoring security, and ensuring the website is running and working as it should be. Some clients will pay a monthly or weekly retainer to have you responsible for the maintenance of their website, which will include being on-call should anything go wrong.

Although it requires a bit of your time every once in a while, it can also be a passive income when everything works just fine.

Website hosting

Offering web hosting to your clients can be a lucrative means of passive income, but you’ll need to know what you’re doing to ensure that if something goes wrong, you are able to protect your client’s website with minimal downtime.

Flip Websites

Designers and developers have the huge advantage of knowing how to create and set up a website to have it ready to go far quicker than the average person. Many people are willing to pay to have a ready-made website that they can simply start adding posts to, rather than having to deal with the hassle of arranging hosting, designing the website, and all the other backend elements that go into web design and development.

Flipping websites - which means buying a domain, setting up the website, and then selling it for profit - can be a great means of passive income if you are quick at getting websites up and running.


Passive Income Ideas for Freelance Writers

While the ideas listed above (guest blogging, writing an eBook, etc.) are applicable to freelance writers, there are a few other passive income opportunities perfect for your skills.

Write and Publish a Book

Writing a book does not equal instant passive income. It is hard work pitching your book to agents, editing it, and even then, there is no guarantee the book will be a hit. 

That being said, writing a successful book can be a fantastic stream of passive income for many years to come. If you already have a platform such as a popular blog, you may find that getting an agent is easier than cold pitching an idea.

Self-Publish a Book

These days, it is easy to self-publish your own book, either turning it into an eBook, an audiobook or a printed book.

The two most popular options to self-publish your own book is to go through either Amazon or to publish the book yourself on your own platform (i.e. if you have your own blog already). 


Have any questions or other suggestions on earning passive income? Get in touch with us via the comment sections below, we are always happy to hear from our readers!


Create your freelance profile and land new projects without any fees!

 Sign up now

More articles

  • 8 Ways to convince clients they should outsource

    Outsourcing is something a lot of big companies do today. It can help businesses grow in many ways: finding experts that they don’t have readily available in-house, saving time and money and helping get new points of view and fresh ideas from outside.
  • 10 skills which no freelancer can do without

    We often talk about how many things are needed to be successful as a freelancer, but we rarely say which exactly, mainly because they really are a lot. Everybody who has tried out being a freelancer for at least a year or two, knows just how vast the required skillset can be. For those of you thinking about going into freelancing and wonder what they could do to increase their chances of success, here are the 10 skills you are absolutely going to need:
  • How to Get Started As a Freelancer Without Quitting Your Day Job

    Beginning a freelance career can be challenging. It involves giving up financial security, a set routine, and is a usually big step out of your comfort zone. However, transitioning from a regular day job to freelancing doesn’t have to be terrifying, or a huge risk. You can start freelancing on the side.


  • Commented by poornima on 31.05.2018 at 09:09 h

    Almost everyone who is making money online has gone through months (or even years) of trial and error...

    They've also spent thousands of dollars to test out the correct ways to make money online.

    But ask yourself - do you REALLY want to go through of all these pain, expenses and frustrations?

    Here's the shortcut for you to make real money online now:

    If I had this opportunity when I first got started, I would definitely be making more passive income.

    With this shortcut, you get to clone an internet millionaire's entire internet business.

  • Commented by venu.m.r.datasolutions on 06.07.2018 at 13:29 h

    This guy has been secretly making passive income with his highly profitable "secret webpage" online.

    But today...

    He wants to share this "secret webpage" with you!

    Best of all? He's even going to SHARE the profits with you too!

    It requires no selling and absolutely NO experience needed.

    Even newbies are already making money with it:

    Don't miss out on this very rare opportunity.

  • Commented by roopamrdatasolutions on 23.07.2018 at 04:20 h

    Most people failed to make money online because they don't have a proven system that works for them...

    Good news is, this system has helped more than 100 ordinary people, including newbies to make real money.

    You can be one of them too:

    The best part is...

    -You don't need to write or produce any unique content

    -You don't need to create any products to sell

    -You don't need to write up any sales letters

    -You don't need to provide any customer service or follow up support

    -You don't even need to learn about internet marketing!

    See how this can be done with real proof here:

    Don't be left behind.

  • Commented by srsoftwaresolutions on 24.07.2018 at 10:05 h

    The best part is...

    -You don't need to write or produce any unique content

    -You don't need to create any products to sell

    -You don't need to write up any sales letters

    -You don't need to provide any customer service or follow up support

    -You don't even need to learn about internet marketing!

    See how this can be done with real proof here:

    Don't be left behind.

  • Commented by sandhiya chithra on 24.08.2018 at 11:32 h

    By the way this is 100% LEGAL and ETHICAL..

    It has NOTHING to do with any kind of
    Cryptocurrency or financial trading.

    It also has NOTHING to do with Facebook,
    Amazon, Shopify or any of the usual suspects.

    It’s totally NEW and UNSEEN.

    Go to this private page right now or you’ll
    regret it later:

  • Commented by Devendra Tyagi on 12.12.2018 at 08:59 h


  • Commented by Natalia Campana on 12.12.2018 at 09:21 h

    We're glad you liked it, Devendra!

  • Commented by Realyn on 17.02.2019 at 09:16 h

    Great tips! Fiverr isn't only good for finding people to do small tasks for you, you can also use it as a means of earning passive income.
    Here's free email course that shows you how to sell products on Fiverr, resell Fiverr services and more to help you earn easy cash:

Comment this article