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5 Freelancers Share How They Make Passive Income in Their Biz

At some point in your freelance business, you will max out on how much you can make with one-on-one services. In order to keep building their businesses without having to hire staff, many freelancers launch online courses to serve more customers and tap into passive income.

How freelancers make passive income

These 5 freelancers have found a loophole in the dollar-for-hours freelance reality and share how they came to develop their passive income.

Nat(alia Real), Website developer at

post image 3Course title
DIY Website Maintenance: Be Your Own WordPress Superhero

Why did you create your course?

I created it because I saw a massive need for it. Tons of entrepreneurs and DIYers breaking their websites or losing them to hackers because they didn’t know what they didn’t know — that websites require regular maintenance, just like our bodies and our dogs (and boyfriends, etc.). And there weren’t any complete resources out there, so I put on my Website Superhero cape and got to work!

Is this course for your current clients or someone different?

You know, both. I give it to my premium website package clients for free so they can take care of their websites themselves. And it’s also amazing for the clients who hire me to make tweaks or fixes to their websites, who are DIYers, and buy the course to be self-sufficient.

Additionally, it’s for graphic designers, web designers, and VA’s who aren’t so familiar with the development part of things. They need that for their own site maintenance and/or to offer maintenance as a service and create a new income stream. So, it’s a pretty sweet win-win scenario.

How does this course support your business and long-term goals?

It helps position me as a WordPress expert and provides an additional income stream into the future. Further, very importantly, it’s helping a lot of people across the globe; I’ve been receiving wildly positive feedback via testimonials and social media and am super pumped about it.

Lisa Butler, Website developer at who has built over 100 websites on WordPress.

post image 2Course Title
Get Your Website Together, formerly Code Create Now

Why did you create your course?

One of the things that I hear the most from email subscribers is that they have a pretty good understanding of design and code but struggle to put the pieces together. I can only help so many people 1:1, and I don’t think that everyone needs to hire out their website — especially when you have the desire to learn how to do it yourself. Since so many of my clients and readers are creative entrepreneurs, we have a lot of ideas that require us to have more than just our main website (hello, ecourses!). Having the knowledge to build your own website can save you a lot of time and money. There are so many resources out there, but you’ll spend more time Googling than you will actually building your website. So I created my course to help people put those pieces together and reach customers beyond just the ones I’m able to work with 1:1. This year, I’m relaunching the course with more resources on the design and planning aspect of building your site and adding community support, because I know one of the hardest things about building your own site is going at it alone.

Is this course for your current clients or someone different?

Clients who hire me for 1:1 work have hit the point in their business where they don’t want to DIY their website anymore. My course is a way for me to help people who aren’t quite ready for the 1:1 work yet.

How does this course support your business and long-term goals?

I love my 1:1 work, but there’s only so much of it that I can do. At a certain point, trading hours for money not only limits the amount of money you can make, it also limits your freedom. The thing I love most about my business is the freedom to travel — but travel requires taking time off from my 1:1 work. This course allows me to make money that isn’t tied to the amount of time I put in. I can take on less 1:1 work and travel more, without worrying about losing income or having client work to answer to while I’m out of the office.

Erin E Flynn, Coach for web designers/developers at

post image 1Course Title
PS. Write Soon!

Why did you create your course?

Hunting down new clients constantly is hard–after a while I realized my best clients were repeat customers or past clients who referred me to others. I spent about a year testing follow-up methods and found an easy (not sleazy) way to keep in touch with past clients and keep them coming back!

Is this course for your current clients or someone different?

I’ve recently shifted my focus from working with small business owners to create websites, to helping other web designers and developers navigate their own businesses. This course is geared towards web designers and developers (though other creative fields will also find it useful) who are tired of hustling and want to keep working with great clients.

How does this course support your business and long-term goals?

Having this course and my ebook really helps me bring in some passive income. With development work and one-on-one coaching, there’s a limit to how much I can get done every day, so adding courses and books to my lineup helps me reach more people and help more of my audience. I’ve found that I love teaching and I plan to add a few more courses and books to my lineup soon!

Elyse Sparkes, Personal Trainer at

Elysee SparksCourse Title
The Tone & Tune UP Workout

Why did you create your course?

I created Tone & Tune UP because I want to teach people principles that will help make exercise a regular part of their lives (even when they’re super busy!) in a way that can actually feel good and be rewarding.

I noticed many of my clients had a similar story. They had tried all the counting calories/measurements/weigh-in/fat + weight loss programs, but they just gained weight back and didn’t keep up with the workouts. They tried signing up for the gym but stopped going because they hated it, it took up too much time, they felt uninspired, or didn’t know what moves they’re supposed to be doing.

I’ve gathered my best tools from my certifications in personal training, yoga, and meditation, and my personal studies in neuroscience and coaching to create a workout program that is smart and effective, and I want to share this lifestyle with as many people as possible!

Is this course for your current clients or someone different?

This course is for my current clients and new clients alike. It’s for anyone who wants to create a consistent exercise plan with at-home killer workouts in record time (all my workout videos are 30min or less) with tons of motivation, encouragement, and accountability along the way.

How does this course support your business and long-term goals?

Tone & Tune UP absolutely supports my long-term business goals. I want to help more and more people get moving in a way that makes them want to do it. I’ve already been able to reach more people and get people exercising all over the world! In addition to the 21 day and VIP versions of this program, I’m creating a membership version, so people can have constant support, tools, and motivation to keep moving consistently (coming soon!). This way I can make reusable video content which allows me to help people while taking care of my time and health as well.

Alex Broderick-Forster, Facebook Advertising Specialist at

alexECourse Title
Facebook Retargeting Pro (on Udemy)

Why did you create your course?

Passive Income.

Is this course for your current clients or someone different?

My course has become something I give away for free to clients who are working with me to learn how to do Facebook advertising. It’s a side project that still brings in consistent income through organic Udemy traffic with no further effort on my part. Honestly, I plan on revisiting the topic and building a new, more comprehensive course that features all my new learnings from the past year.

How does this course support your business and long-term goals?

The dream of passive income is alive on Udemy. It’s been paying my rent since I created the course in October of 2014– can’t complain about that!

Farideh Ceaser Farideh Ceaser is a musician turned launch strategist. After 15 years on the road touring as a musician, Farideh switched gears and now helps entrepreneurs launch their big ideas and online courses. She regularly delivers her wisdom in the form of a ukelele and a song on She also has two online courses: FB Ads for Launching and The Fun & Simple Launch

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Nia

    Great post! I’ve been really thinking about creating a couple of sources of passive income. As a writer, I feel depending solely on 1:1 income can get old fast. I’m considering an ebook and a course down the line.

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