I see too many beginner – and even advanced! – web designers only getting paid per client project. They forget about all the recurring and passive income opportunities for designers and freelancers. It’s a shame because there are SO many available to be taken advantage of. That’s why I wrote an eBook about my top 11 passive income sources that I work with. Especially focused on passive income for Web Designers.
Recurring and passive income is important. Because, as we are creators of our own income and success, growing passive income should be part of the growth.
But first, for new freelancers and beginners out there:
If you want to get this book, it’s right here. I wrote it to help beginner Web Designers and Freelancers. However, after talking to many of them it seems that experienced Freelancers and Digital Nomads could also benefit from looking into it.
Many of them are missing out on “free” income every day.
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How Do Web Designers Create Passive Income?
From my own experience and years of working with clients all over the world, I can tell you that there are two main ways freelancers can make both recurring and passive income:
- Earn commissions from referring products for other companies (Affiliate income)
- Offer your own monthly services on a recurring basis to existing clients
This is how I have done it for years, and I can easily categorize my recurring income into these two main categories. There are several methods and probably more clever ways that I haven’t even looked into yet. Let’s just focus on these two for now.
I will also say that being one of Shopify’s first “Experts” back in the days (“Shopify Expert”), is the source of most of the true “passive” income that I earn every month. I get paid monthly without doing any work or spending any time on it.
Regardless, I get paid a neat amount from Shopify every month just because I added my client to the Shopify platform, once.
Offering your own monthly services for a fee is also a type of recurring income, but it is not passive. If you offer a service for clients and they pay you monthly, there’s work to be done for them. It’s still a good income source to have because it’s a steady money flow, so keep it on your list of future offers to your customers if you’re just starting out.
Passive income, compared, is generated by doing a little bit of work one time and you will earn commissions on a monthly basis. Or a few times per year depending on the partnership deal and how many sales you refer. Your job only involves signing up as an affiliate, get your links, and share them with your customers and the world.
How to Start Building Passive Income for Web Designers and Freelancers
Creating websites became my way of building my freedom platform. Now I spend more time teaching this craft to beginners, freedom-seekers, people that are shit-tired of their job, struggle with a nasty educational system, or just want the freedom to travel the world.
Making websites is one of the easiest ways to begin this journey because the only thing you need is a laptop or home computer, and the Internet. Where would you like to work from? (Right now I’m sitting at a café in Chiang Mai, Thailand)
When I work with various clients around the world, I have a specific workflow that I follow. Part of this workflow is to make sure that whatever services and tools they need for their website or business in general, I will have an affiliate partnership with.
For example, when a new client comes to me for a brand new website, they will need a domain and hosting. I offer them 2-3 suggestions depending on their needs and budget.
- Cheaper hosting like Dreamhost
- More high end hosting like Siteground
- Managed hosting like Flywheel or BionicWP
I am, of course, an affiliate partner with all of these companies, so I send my client my signup link to make sure I get a commission for their hosting purchase.
If it’s a more high-end client, I now offer them my own hosting package which includes having their website taken care of by us every month. They will then be added to a Flywheel hosting package which will deliver a much faster and secure website.
Some of the services that I have affiliate links for will pay out a one-time commission. Some will pay me a monthly passive income. Take for example ConvertKit, which brings me a 30% monthly commission for all the clients I have suggested use it.
Clients often need various tools and services. And I only recommend quality solutions that would actually benefit them. I also have tools that will pay me $200-400 per referred client (explained in my book).
Keep a Document of Your Affiliate Links and Service Offers
When you start out as a Web Designer or Freelancer for other services, there are two ways for you to start preparing your plan to grow your passive income.
Create one document for the following two reasons:
- One note or document for all your affiliate links
- One document to list your own services and prices
First, you will sign up for various affiliate deals and programs to get your partner links.
Later, when you talk to your clients about a new job or maybe to make changes to an existing project, keep tools and services in mind that you have an affiliate link for.
If there’s anything your client would need in the form of online services, software, or tools, make sure to have your affiliate link ready to send them.
Don’t just push all kinds of expensive services on clients if they truly don’t need them. It’s bad practice and sooner or later, you will lose your reputation. Only offer relevant solutions within your industry.
If you’re doing Web Design, coding, or writing, don’t out of the blue offer your customer an affiliate link to some fancy dog food just because the commission is good!
Also, keep one document ready with the monthly or weekly services that you offer. Make sure they sign up for your service package using their credit card instead of having to send them a bill for manual payment every month. This is how I do it and it’s very predictable. There are no questions asked about this method from my clients, ever.
Just make sure you get yourself set up with a nice payment system that automatically will send your customer a receipt for each charge on their card. Automate this as much as possible.
My Top 11 Passive Income Sources for Web Designers
Getting back to my quick-read eBook: I wrote this one to help beginners get set up growing their passive and recurring income faster.
In this book I cover the basics of what being an affiliate is, how it works, and where you can sign up to get started.
I’m also including my top tools and services that fit perfectly into the workflow for any Web Designer – just for those that read this book! I include direct links to all affiliate signup pages so you can get set up fast and have your links ready for the next client project.
Keep this in mind:
I have often helped beginner Web Designers and Freelancers create their online income, even by doing work for free for their first client, BUT, they will still send their client an affiliate link for services like domain and hosting, and tools like Divi for WordPress and ConvertKit for email marketing (something they all need).
Boom! Just like that, they make their first online income, and it’s a RECURRING INCOME, even without getting paid for the job itself.
Obviously, I can’t stuff my whole eBook into this article, so to get more details and clever workflows, plus the 11 best affiliate income sources that I use all the time, consider purchasing my eBook here.
It will cost you the equivalent of 3-4 cups of coffee to get it. That’s something you can afford yourself to get set up growing your monthly passive and recurring income as a freelancer.