When my mom grew up as a little girl in rural Northern Arkansas in the 1950’s, her father was a farmer. Farmers, as you know, reap what they sow during harvest.
It takes a long time to get to that point.
In the meantime, the family had to buy groceries and pay the light bill.
How do they do that?
My mom called it the “milk check.”
It came every two weeks.
The milk check was the check the family received for the milk the cows produced. The “milk check” helped them pay the light bill and buy groceries.
As self-employees, we need to create different ways to make revenue. WordPress freelancers will often have gaps between projects. As a result, there is a need to create additional revenue streams.
Additional Revenue Stream
1. WordPress Training
Examples: BobWP; Sridhar Katakam
One of the first places I will send someone who is new to WordPress is the EasyWPGuide. After that, I tell them about BobWP. If you are new your customer is new to WordPress, Bob can lead them to the promised land of WordPress updates.
He has everything from roundups and reviews, plugin lists, droves of tutorials, a podcast, and other featured resources.
Bob is a veteran in the WordPress space and he has tons of credibility as a WordPress trainer, educator, and teacher.
Another developer who is an expert teacher, for more advanced WordPress users and developers, is Sridhar Katakam. Sridhar is known in the WordPress community for his tutorials. He has a paid membership where you can get all of his tutorials, including Genesis Theme specific, for one monthly fee.
Sridhar also has a paid Support Membership complete with a forum where you can ask specific questions.
Your local community may need a WordPress specialist who can teach and train those with websites. You may do this for your client or other local organizations. Your chamber or a local university may also need your expertise.
2. WordPress Website Maintenance
Example: WP Curve
Some people excel at helping solve immediate WordPress issues. For companies like WP Curve, they use that to create a maintenance base support team. A monthly payment gets you access to a certain number of support requests with options to purchase more if needed.
This has become the business model for WP Curve, but a developer or freelancer can offer clients this kind of package. Most clients will gladly pay a monthly fee to have you available to fix small requests. It just makes it easier for them as they are busy running their business.
3. Premium Plugin development
If you love to solve problems and have the development chops, you might consider creating plugins. SumoMe has developed a suite of plugins that help with email optin and other conversion techniques.
The suite of plugins is designed to help grow your website’s traffic. According to their website:
“We’ve spent over 4 years building these tools internally to grow our AppSumo Newsletter. They helped us grow to over a million subscribers.”
We’ve noticed many struggle to collect emails at all because the tools just aren’t available or are far too expensive. So we thought why not make them available so you can do the same?
That’s our goal, plain and simple, to help you grow your website traffic.”
The plugin has a freemium model. You install and activate for free and get access to some of the basic apps. However, to take full advantage, there is a monthly payment. The apps include some of the best solutions for building your email list, evaluating where users are looking on your website, analytics, share your content and images. SumoMe is almost an all-in-one plugin for online marketing.
Gravity Forms is another premium plugin that is widely use. It is used by so many that developers have created plugins to help extend its functionality to integrate with other tools.
There is a cost that comes with premium plugins. You have to be able to handle the support as well as test and improve. However, it can lead to additional income and, in some cases, a brand new model for your business.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Example: Carrie Dils
On most Thursday afternoons, I hop online to listen to the Office Hours podcast hosted by Carrie Dils. She has a certain southern charm that comes from living in Fort Worth, TX. You might even find a picture of her floating around on the internet riding a mechanical bull.
The podcast, the tons of content and tutorials she has produced and the projects she has worked on for numerous clients have set her as an authority in the WordPress community. Further, she is even one of the organizers for the WordCamp DFW.
Carrie has a way of drawing readers to her content pieces and, thus, she has carved out a nice slice of her business using affiliate marketing.
Carrie even spends some time talking about what she uses for affiliates and why.
Affiliate marketing has its own strategy, but if you can attract a crowd, build an email newsletter and even run a podcast, it may be something you can use effectively.
5. Content Strategy
Example: Dan Norris
By now it should be clear that any business wishing to draw in traffic on their website needs to have content. Dan has become some sort of online marketing guru.
Norris started WP Curve and grew it to $80K in revenue, complete with over 40 employees in 7 different countries. The engine that powered WP Curve was content.
Now, Norris is has two books to his credit and an online course that teaches entrepreneurs to launch their own business.
The content has powered his business.
Businesses need a quality content strategy. Most don’t know that yet. There are numerous pieces that go into a content strategy.
Many of the best content blogs such as Probloggers, Copybloggers, Content Marketing Institute, and Buffer all run their blogs on WordPress. WordPress freelancers have an advantage in helping their clients put together a content strategy.
You can help your customers integrate their marketing pieces into their content hub, their WordPress website.
If you are able to make a content strategy work for your business, you can help others.
6. Online Marketing Strategy
Example: Viktor Nagornyy
Online marketing and Content Marketing are closely related. Online marketing is more comprehensive. With online marketing, you are using email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization and more to help generate traffic and conversion for your website.
Viktor Nagornyy has carved out a business with the approach of helping small businesses use online marketing. He goes beyond just building and setting up a WordPress website.
He helps small businesses piece together the different tools to create their own process.
WordPress freelancers have the expertise and can offer something similar.
7. Niche specific WordPress Products
Examples: Restaurant Engine, Placester
If you are a WordPress developer with significant experience in a different industry, you may be able to help solve unique problems.
Brian Casel developed Restaurant Engine to help small restaurants have a solid, easy-to-update website without having to worry about all of the technical aspects.
He customized the WordPress dashboard for each of the websites on Restaurant Engine to be user-friendly for restaurant owners.
As the website says, “Restaurant Engine is a turnkey website solution designed to help restaurants, cafes, food trucks and bars attract more customers and thrive on the web.”
Casel has since sold the business, but it is still helping restaurant owners.
Another company who has a similar business model is Placester. They build, host and maintain websites for the real estate industry. They have various solutions and include very valuable content for their users.
Those who have significant insight into an industry understand the problems better and, often, help provide solutions. WordPress can be a vehicle for providing these solutions.
Wrapping it up
As someone who is self-employed, we often hack together a living. We may have multiple ways to bring in revenue.
There are many different ways a WordPress developer or freelancer can serve the business community. The list above is just a few of those ways.
What different ways do you use to generate additional revenue?
With MainWP, you, as a freelancer, can easily offer the additional service of maintenance for your customers keeping their WordPress website plugins updated and the website backed up.