Taxes & business banking for the self-employed


Freelancer Extra Income Ideas: monetise your skillset

Kate Bailey

Freelance Editor

May 2, 2020

The rise of digital education, self education, and the idea that anyone can learn anything online has shown the demand people have and their willingness to use digital platforms. What opportunities can freelancers find, no matter their field? It’s an interesting question especially for those with really specific skills - do you just have to work with clients when you’re first getting started? Or, is it a good transitional option to consider if your skills can bring you additional income outside of the B2B sphere.

Teach a course, gain an audience

Across the world there are millions and millions of people watching classes on a variety of different education platforms. If you don’t have an audience already, putting together a teachable class is a great way to get your course content out into the world and in front of a lot of people. Sure it can be a lot of work to put together a course, but, it is work you would in theory only have to do once - that is the beauty of online courses and long-lasting digital content.

Be the expert you want to see in the world

Many people prefer to learn from experts - people have a very specific knowledge in one specific area. And, while this may not be entirely applicable to you as a person or professional, there is ultimately a lot of value in picking a topic or skill you really have a strong and demonstrable skill set in - and allowing people to learn from it. And just because you market your skillset and teach others, does not mean you diminish your earning status or peoples desire to work with you. If anything, people would prefer to have an expert being the one to work on their project.

Identifying Passive Income Opportunities

When we are talking about making an e-course, a workshop and things that are similar we are ultimately talking about passive income opportunities - a concept some freelancers have found a lot of success with. Passive income is income that you receive without actively doing something for each month. You once generate a value that promises you monthly returns in the future.

For example, write a book that ends up on the bestseller list and get a decent royalty all your life. Start a popular e-course explaining the functions of grammar and editing, and watch small amounts of money roll-in monthly. The Internet brings us a number of advantages in both the private and the business world. The digitization creates more and more opportunities without creating huge investments, creating value, starting a business and generating a passive income.

For example, you can record a video about your skills or teaching your skills without much capital. You do not need to hire any staff or office space for that but just a PC, a camera and a little creativity. We are going to tell you that there are some challenges with passive income. First of all, building passive income means a lot of work in the beginning, for which you will not receive the income immediately. Do not expect quick successes but go with your perseverance and really be OK with waiting to generate passive income. 

Reliable Passive Income = finding a niche

Go around the world with your eyes open and ears, and you'll quickly see which areas people around you are dissatisfied with in different subject areas. This dissatisfaction is for you the first indicator that there is a niche here to satisfy a need. Bargain portals have recognized, for example, that it brings an added value for the people the current discount offers from various discounters or online retailers on a page to summarize and thus make the users centrally available. The added value for the user is that they do not have to look for bargains themselves but simply go to the pages on the Internet and get immediately displayed all the current bargains.

Create your own offer

So, after knowing which niche you can and want to serve, there's no time to waste. The faster your offer is, the sooner a passive income will set in. For example, if you create an informative website where you show your users how they can generate passive income, for example, research the various articles and write descriptive texts that convey the most important information to your target audience. After you've published your own homepage, it takes some time for your content to be listed on the Google network, read and shared with users, and so, step by step, get more users onto your page. 


Stay on the ball

Let's stay with our example in which you want to generate a passive income through your own homepage. Your goal is clear, your page is up and the first users come to your site. You can now - depending on the topic - deal with affiliate programs or banners to generate passive income from your website. Whatever type of source of income you choose, it is important that you stick to your project even after the initial euphoria. Even if the big rain of money is still missing at the beginning, do not be discouraged here. The actual success is only apparent in the course of time. The more content you generate, the more benefits you can offer your users. The move to passive income is unlikely to get rolling this way. 

The Clear Advantages

The benefit of passive income is that you do not have to actively do something each month. Sure, the money does not fall from the sky but the passive income creates the advantage that you have to generate only one time effort that has made possible in hindsight over a long period of passive income. In that context, it can be seen as a kind of retirement plan.

The work that we put into a project today serves as a cushion and income for daily life in the following years. Especially in today's working world the employment biographies are often unpredictable. For example, you can put a little time into your own project after work or on the weekends. At the same time, of course, you keep your active job. And better so step by step your own income.

If the success comes and your passive income continues to rise, you may eventually think about giving up your actual job. From this point onwards, you will be taking full advantage of the passive income benefits. You've done some work in the past and can now cash in the proceeds every month, you can use your times and do the things you actually enjoy the most. Travel, meet people who are important to you or just dedicate yourself to your hobbies.


The Disadvantages

Disadvantages are probably the wrong word at this point. But there are certainly challenges on the way to passive income. Even if we have a multitude of options to choose from in the digital world, we are also spoiled for choice here. The path to passive income requires sufficient preparation.

After you have found the right path for you, you need the necessary staying power to actually generate a passive income. However, the long breath will pay off here, thus closing the door to the above-mentioned advantages of passive income.

Workshops & IRL Education

Less passive and more active, but likely using the same materials and the asme concept (monetising your skills) is holding and hosting in-real-life workshops.  This would involve having a clear lesson plan, clear modules, a place to host it or an organisation to partner with to host it, and a way to spread the word. Then, in order to motivate and successfully lead your students through learning workshops, conditions must be created that make this possible.

  • Present the learning offers in an appealing way.
  • Raise the interest of your students for the topic.
  • Make the work assignments clear and understandable that independent work is actually possible.
  • Let your students control the work results themselves.
  • Choose action-oriented offers for your students.
  • Have enough material ready.
  • Access task formats known to learners.
  • Offer the students a variety of work assignments and prevent a "flood of works".
  • Allow enough time for work in the workshop.
  • Offer the students compulsory and elective or additional exercises.
  • Look for a red thread within the workshop offers.
  • Give the students enough space to work.
  • Make for a quiet working atmosphere.
  • Motivate your students to an active participation.

Once these prerequisites have been created, there is nothing in the way of goal-oriented, active and motivated work. You will quickly see how enthusiastically your students will embrace and implement this new form of self-study and how the extra money that is generated goes a long way with your work.

Of course, like accessing support for Freelancers it can be hard to access feedback or information on alternative income streams, so we hope this is a good set of ideas that could potentially lead you down a path of uncovering earning potential.