So, here’s the thing – you could go online and use a search engine to look up topics like “how to be your own boss” or “the best ways to make money independently” or even “how to make money freelancing”. As a result, you would find an abundance (overabundance, really) of sites that list valid opportunities, and just as many pointing you towards not so valid options.
Doing such a search would allow you to find work from home schemes, multilevel marketing concepts (like selling Avon and recruiting others to do the same), and scores of ways you can make money a bit at a time (like Fiverr or crafting and selling on Etsy). You would probably run into a lot of our articles, too. After all, we constantly cover the many valid ways to make money independently, including everything from recycling for cash, driving, and so much more.
Yet, it would be silly to ignore the fact that so many of these recommended ways to make money independently have a lot in common. And if you really want to discover just how to be your own boss and earn a good living while doing it, you need to understand just what it is that these best ways to make money independently have in common.
Look for the Common Traits
“So,” you might say, “what do these methods for being your own boss share?”
They can ALL involve tactics for generating passive income.
Just what is passive income? As freelance expert Pat Flynn explains, “You can stop trading time for money and start building a business that works for you.”
Let’s emphasize those later words – a business that works for you. In other words, a business that at some point is able to develop such momentum that you hardly have to put effort into it. Keep in mind, there is no such thing as an effortless business model, but the whole concept of a “four hour work week” is a realistic goal.
It helps to think of building a business that generates passive income as you might envision building a snowball that you eventually develop into such a large entity that it can roll down a hill, gaining in both size and strength along the way. So, it starts small and can feel like it might never amount to much, and it can take some struggles to get it to a functional size and shape, but then there comes that moment when it suddenly seems to take on a life of its own and just grows.
Subsequently, passive income is derived from your efforts at setting up an independent business that, once put in motion, grows. Yet, just as that rolling snowball can gain in size by collecting from any points of contact, so too can a business designed for passive income bring in income from a variety of channels or “streams”.
Think of passive income streams as points of contact or overlap. Where does the main focus of what you are doing overlap with income earning options? What relates to your passion or interest, and how might that draw a paying audience? For instance, you write about food. Where is there overlap? Cooking gear, rare or unique ingredients, tutorials and how-tos, eBooks of recipes…these might all be passive income stream concepts to tap into.
Once identified and established, these streams will also not need the level of attention and effort that a typical business requires.
The best part? You can use the best methods for generating passive income with almost any other line of freelance work or any passion you might have. Seriously, almost anything you do to earn money as a freelancer can also be used as the foundation of passive income business. Writing, crafting, selling products, offering services, driving your car, and mystery shopping are but a few of the ways you can make money, but if you also explore ways of expanding them and generating passive income from them, you make a lot more.
A Simple Illustration
As an example, let’s say you decide to sign up as a driver with Lyft or Uber. For many, that is where the income stream both begins and ends. Yet if you want to be your own boss and earn a good living, you may be able to use passive income building methods to get a lot more out of your “day job” at the wheel.
As an example, you can use some or all of the following methods to generate non-stop, and yet, passive income:
- Affiliate marketing
- YouTube videos
- Email marketing
- Article and eBook writing
- Udemy and online course creation, and much more
How might that work? Each day or night you drive your private vehicle for one of the on-demand services. This means your car is available as a rolling billboard, and websites like Wrapify might help you to take in a lot of income by literally wrapping the car with paid advertising. This is totally passive income, but authentic income nonetheless.
Of course, there are those other ways to make money independently still available. You might blog about life behind the wheel, sharing funny stories, driving or routing tips, travel tips for your city or region, amazing road food destinations or reviews and so on. Within that blog, you can consistently place URLs and product endorsements for any affiliate marketing relationships you develop. You can create a Udemy course about urban driving or “how to become a driver” for your firm, and make similar videos for a YouTube channel.
If you can find a way to make it humorous as well as informative (perhaps making how “not” to drive videos), you also have a shot at going “viral”.
And even more importantly, as you grow an audience through places like social media and email marketing, or just through blog reading and sharing, you consistently develop passive income streams. For instance, you might recommend a certain type of wiper for your vehicle, a certain product for keeping the interior of the car smelling fresh, and a certain GPS device. You can write another blog doing a comparison of GPS gear or other items, and as these are shared, and more people click, you earn more income.
Once you generate enough traffic, Goggle helps you create another stream through ad space on your sites, and also through the development of your own PPC campaigns.
Now, it only sounds complex, but it is honestly the best route to make reliable income as an independent, self-employed freelancer.
Benefit from the Many Ways to Make Money Independently
As you might guess, though, the creation of passive income means doing a lot of the heavy lifting upfront and then coasting from that work a bit farther down the road. It also means being a good communicator and really maximizing the channels through which you can communicate with your intended audience.
Because of that, many experts in how to make money freelancing advocate some time spent in building something as simple as a well-written, relevant and popular blog. It requires you to have a lot of excellent and unique content relating to your focus. While there is a lot of free material or stuff you can re-hash and reuse from other, similar blogs. It pays off if you take the time to develop plans for original material.
You also benefit by mapping out weeks or even months of material, inserting places in the schedule where you can review and reconfigure your plans. Most experts call this an editorial calendar, and it is a huge tool for success.
Let’s first start with blog content.
It can include blocks of text, but don’t forget that these can be tutorials, reviews, case studies and even alternative information like nicely done infographics, in addition to the typical opinion pieces. The main point is to NEVER SELL blatantly in the blog. Instead, make it something useful, entertaining and problem solving for your audience with a nice added bit of “help” in the form of a call to action.
As a good example, a mobile food cart blog might compare mobile payment processing options. They won’t promote their food cart(s) or business. Instead, they help readers solve a problem. Yet, within that blog they might monetize their efforts with an affiliate marketing link to one of the payment processors, some of the gear used to process mobile payments, and so on. The blog might close out with a comment about the recommended system, and an affiliate link would direct the reader to the sale.
Keep in mind that your blog is also going to be a main channel for driving traffic, and traffic is always targeted and has a goal in mind. The blog is just “phase one” of your method for creating passive income, and it really is the best starting point. Get this up and running successfully, and the rest of the passive income building will go much smoother.
Don’t ever try to build the whole system at once because your efforts will be too diluted and inefficient. Start with the blog and website.
For example, a bit earlier we looked at the example of someone who is driving for a service like Lyft or Uber. They might blog about their career and balance the commentary pieces with tutorials and product reviews. They can also use the blog to help readers with issues like improving their winter driving, and rather than itemize tactics in the blog, the blogger start to branch out on their success by making a video or even an online training module.
In a blog, they could send readers to a landing page for an online course or the promo video page at YouTube for the course. The course would be a fee based option that readers might enroll in and learn all kinds of smart driving and winter safety tips. The course could also have a workbook for parents to share with teen drivers or elderly drivers, and it should also have a social component that enables that blogger to consistently alert readers and fans to new content. The editorial calendar could even incorporate plans for a bi-weekly podcast about everything from driving and cars to interpersonal relationship tactics for those in the service industry.
But, as you see, it starts with the website and blog, developing the initial audience and really getting communication and management down to a science. From there, the “snowball” can really get rolling.
How to Start
As one of the best ways to make money independently passive income does require a lot of planning. To get started, you will need:
- A web host where your blog and/or websites can live.
- Themes or templates on which to build the site or blog.
- Tools for building email lists, landing pages, and offering shopping carts.
- A specialized tool for building online courses.
- An easy to use editorial calendar system.
- Email list management tools that can automate a lot of the tasks necessary for optimal communication. For example, if someone unsubscribes, gets in touch via email, converts from lead to client or anything else dealing with emails, this tool should manage most of the work for you.
Before you panic, realize that everyone who has discovered how to make money freelancing and generating passive income has begun with nothing more than a well-chosen domain name, a website, and a blog. From there, you can do almost anything imaginable in terms of passive income generation.
Take the time to see what others in your specific “niche” are doing. You can actually learn how to make money freelancing in your particular area easier and faster when you watch others already succeeding in that same (or similar) endeavor.
If you need a bit of inspiration, look to Matthew Allen. He is actually a full-time trucker who drives big rigs as his day job but who also makes a lot of extra income each month via passive income. His site, “Dumb Passive Income” features a full blown “how to” in getting started in even the most unlikely careers.
It really is not rocket science to be your own boss and earn a good living. It just takes some time spent identifying the right niche for you, personally. Doing a bit of research to see what others are already doing. Making a well-designed editorial calendar, and then setting yourself up with affiliate marketing options, a domain name, and website and blog. After that, it is just a matter of time before your passive income builds and grows.