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Another 13 Ways to Earn More Income While Freelancing
Portrait of Andy Leverenz
Andy Leverenz

February 7, 2016

Last updated November 5, 2023

Another 13 Ways to Earn More Income While Freelancing

Freelancing is like a roller coaster of change when it comes to earnings. To keep money coming in a freelancer needs to find a way to generate income in both good times and bad. Passive income and side projects can help aid a freelancer when times get tough. Below is a list of ways to earn more on the side if you haven’t already taken the leap to do so. There are numerous ways to earn extra income. Just remember that it’s up to you to use your skills and also your desires to carve the path in which you wish to take.

1. Write for other blogs

No matter who you write for, writing is without a doubt a great way to share your knowledge and opinion on a sometimes viral scale. Many people have taken to the web to release their thoughts and ideas on pretty much anything they care about. This is especially true for growing networks like Medium. Luckily, blogs still exist and are usually the initial source for a lot of content you read on Medium.

Many blogs focus on a particular niche of topics. This helps identify with a specific audience. Niching out on topics generally increases readership from those individuals and promotes a consistent bond going forward.

What you have to decide as a writer is where your expertise lands. You obviously need to know a bit about whatever it is you are writing about. You could vomit a lot of garbage out on the topic of your choice but doing this makes it rather transparent to anyone coming to your blog or another blog for guidance.

Writing for other blogs is a great way to both market yourself and make some income on the side. You’ll quickly grow a list of peers who look to you as a professional. Your words are seen by more eyes and you get to make a few dollars on the side. It’s a win-win scenario if you have the chops.

I myself wrote for a couple of popular blogs before starting Web-Crunch. For me, it was a great way to learn how the larger blogs work so I could one day later use the tried and true tactics towards pushing my own blog live (thus Web-Crunch was born). Your results may vary, but I encourage you to get in contact with your favorite blogs and inquire about writing for them. In my past cold calling(via email) worked surprisingly well.

2. Write and Sell an eBook

I’ll be blunt and say an eBook is a lot of work. There’s also no guarantee anyone will give two shits about the book let alone pay for it. We live in a world where knowledge is easily accessible and with that people prefer convenience over reward. Some eBooks are worth their price and more while others were just a marketing scheme to get your money.

I’m currently writing an eBook called Pro Tumblr Theming. My goal isn’t really to make money off the material, but rather help any Tumblr themers’ save some time and headaches I had as well as spread awareness for Web-Crunch. We are a growing blog but we have a long way to go to see any real results.

Writing an eBook helps promote yourself, your skills, and hopefully expands your market reach. You can certainly earn extra income from the book but the real point of releasing an eBook is the funnel it creates for your other business(s). The eBook is a way to attract future clients so depending on it for complete income isn’t the best move from the start. Only unless you publish several successful books should you start to focus on writing only eBooks.

3. Build a product or service

Building something takes a lot of effort but there can be a lot of rewards if it’s something people need to help to solve their own problems. All products and services got started somewhere and the ones we know and love today were simply a matter of something that scaled efficiently.

A lot of designers and developers, for instance, have side projects that are some sort of mobile or web application. These people saw a problem and attempted to fix it as a result of their own interpretation.

If you decide to build a project you can’t expect it to take off overnight. In fact, most ideas fail but if you turn many of your ideas into something that monetizes, chances are that one day a single idea will make it through the pack and rise to stardom.

4. Network

Networking is crucial to operating a business. So much of your workflow comes from references or word-of-mouth. If people don’t know about you then you won’t succeed, plain and simple. Networking is easy for some and hard for others. Don’t let it be the reason you can’t succeed. Any more you can connect with people on social media, at meet-ups and conferences across the globe. Look for people who share the same interests as you. If you become acquainted there's a good possibility they may send some work your way or refer you to someone who is looking for help.

5. Contribute to other projects

Some startup types of companies are always looking for talent to help their idea hit the ground running. As a freelancer, you are often a hired hand. Contributing to an open-source style of the project helps you on many levels. You earn good money, learn new things, and also market yourself to people who know they can call upon you for future work.

Contributions to projects like web frameworks is also a good way to spread the word about yourself. If people see you have contributed to a popular piece of software (or something equivalent) they will instantly put more trust in your skills than any other average joe in line for the job.

6. Sell your work

Selling what you create is another way to make additional income. Unfortunately, this type of market has seen a flood of attention and, as a result, is rather crowded. You can build anything from custom WordPress themes to a custom-crafted typeface and still have many customers. Some freelancers give their digital goods away free to promote their other businesses while others depend on their digital goods as their sole income (which is completely possible).

Popular sites like Creative Market and the Envato Market ring a bell when it comes to selling digital goods. There’s too many ” theme” shops to list so I won’t bother :) A newcomer is the [Designer News Market(

7. Perform usability tests for other creatives or companies

You can get paid to be a candidate for usability testing. Many companies perform usability studies on their products before shipping them to production. This is a good way to validate any new changes or improvements based on what was built prior if at all. UserTesting lets you sign up as a tester to get some side change just for testing out anonymous companies' applications or websites. It’s not a get rich scheme nor is anything but if you have the extra time and are willing to help you can earn a few dollars a month to supplement something else you’re spending money on (Phone bill, coffee runs, groceries, cab fare, etc...).

8. Create an online course

Creating an online course is another way to kill many birds with one stone. You can market yourself, become a well-known professional, and make money while doing so. If your course is a popular one the potential is there to earn some serious money. Creating a course takes time upfront but upon finishing you will be able to sit back and watch interest rise and hopefully users as well.

Some sites allow you to submit your courses though have fairly strict regulations. If you have ever considered doing a course I would read the instructions for submission first to see if it’s really what you want to do. Don’t let me scare you!

A couple sites worth checking out:

9. Take advantage of your photography skills (If you have them)

A lot of designers have probably taken a photography course or two if they have gone to an art school of any type. Many of us enjoy shooting photos of stuff that inspires us. Why not reap the benefits of your photos and selling them on stock photography websites? I recently went to parts of Italy and Spain and plan on adding a few photos for sale. Why not?

Some popular options:

10. Share your clients

Tying into networking as mentioned before you can use your network to share and distribute work if you happen to be busy at some given point. Other freelancers who are also busy might get inquiries for hire, but have to turn the project down. Hopefully, if you played your cards right, they may decide to mention you as a possible prospect for the work needed to be done. This is otherwise known as a referral.

You may ask how would you make money on this? Well, you can decide what’s fair between you and another freelancer or just charge a fee/percentage off the final project total since you referred the new client. Sometimes freelancers are generous and just decide to let you have the client whereas others look to earn a little something on the deal even though they won’t be doing much of anything to contribute.

11. Become a hosting reseller or provider

If you build websites chances are you’ve dealt with some type of web hosting in your time. You probably have dealt with clients who need a hosting provider as well. If this issue arises you can earn a bit by offering a monthly or annual hosting plan to the client that takes care of the hosting cost as well as any maintenance you have to perform to keep things up and running. This is another one of those schemes where you won’t make a lot but if you get enough clients interested the earnings could potentially take care of some overhead costs you have elsewhere.

12. Learn a new language or skill

Like many freelancers, I’m always striving to learn more so I can offer more. Being talented or, at least, aware of many different types of skills helps you hone in on more projects rather than being forced to look for the same type of project over and over.

In general, as a freelancer, you probably excel at one thing and are “okay” at others. You can either get decent at everything or be known for being really good at one thing. I have personally found more success knowing a bit about many things. This very thing helps keep you sane as sometimes a variety of projects is very fulfilling. We aren’t robots after all...

13. Display Ads

Adding display ads to your blog (hopefully you have one by now) is a great way to earn money over a longer period of time. Many well-known blogs depend on ad spaces to keep live. If you have a blog that starts to get more impressions you can be sure (if you have ads displaying) you will earn more and more. Sharing your articles on popular channels is a good way to increase page views. You can also link your blog when adding comments to other websites and blogs as well. The more views mean more money from display ads in your pocket!
Getting started is fairly easy with Google AdSense but there are more options once you start to increase traffic. Check out services like Syndicate Ads or Buysell Ads for more info.

Finishing Up

There you have it. 13 more ways to earn some extra income while you are freelancing. I’m almost sure there are numerous more ways to earn more money, but it just boils down to your drive, skills, and if you have the extra bandwidth. Some of the ways I’ve mentioned maybe old news to you but that’s because they have been proven to work. My advice would be to be as diverse as possible. Have as many side projects as you can. Doing this results in more income, added security during dry times due to passive income streams, and just makes you better at everything you do. Now get out there and earn!

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