As a freelancer, you probably spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about your income. You might wonder how long your current client base will stick around, crave a higher overall revenue stream, or worry that you aren’t making enough money to retire.
One of the best ways to address these concerns is to diversify your income stream and supplement your income with other sources. How can you accomplish it?
How Supplementation Helps
Diversifying your income has multiple benefits and is a useful strategy for all earners, but especially freelancers:
- Total income increases. Simple math will tell you that two income streams are better than one; typically, adding more sources means a total increase in your revenue generation.
- Volatility protection. Getting income from multiple sources helps to stabilize your total revenue in the event that client demand declines from one of those sources.
- Job loss protection. Let’s say you’ve lost your main source of income; for example, your biggest client left or you’re no longer physically able to work like you used to. Having other revenue streams can keep you going during this period.
- Skill diversification. Adopting new income streams also forces you to diversify your skillset, which is never a bad thing.
- Prospects and contacts. Getting involved in more areas allows you to meet new prospects and contacts, who might serve as clients in the future or offer you new career opportunities.
Supplement freelance income by…
At this point, you’re probably wondering how it’s possible to supplement your primary freelance income. You might be working full-time hours on your main freelance gigs, so you don’t have much time or may not have another set of skills you feel could be applied to making money elsewhere.
However, it’s possible to supplement your income with any or all of these opportunities:
- Sell your old assets. First, you could work on selling some of the old assets you have around the house. For example, you could junk your car for cash, sell your old clothes, or get rid of some of your old electronics. No matter what you choose, you could easily wrangle up a few hundred to a few thousand dollars—and declutter your house while you’re at it.
- Invest in dividend-paying stocks and funds. Dividend stocks are shares of companies that pay regular profits to their shareholders. In other words, you’ll earn a percentage of your investment back in cash at regular intervals throughout the year. Choose to invest in stocks of companies you believe in, or in diversified funds that invest in many stocks on your behalf. Either way, you’ll make somewhere around 2 to 5 percent of your investment back every year.
- Buy a rental property. Investing in real estate is a good way to earn money through appreciation, but it’s even more effective if you find property where you can attract and retain tenants. If you choose the right property, you could easily start collecting rent in excess of your mortgage payments each month. Just be prepared – it may take hours of work per week in regular upkeep.
- Create a blog for ad revenue or affiliate link income. If you want to put your writing skills to work in another way, you could create your own blog and start earning money from ad revenue and/or affiliate link income. As long as you have a few thousand recurring visitors, the income here can be substantial.
- Consult or teach. You have skills and expertise already, so why not share that expertise with others? Part-time consulting or teaching could help you earn hundreds to thousands of dollars a month on the side.
These aren’t the only ways to diversify your income, but they are some of the most common — and some of the friendliest to the typical freelancer’s lifestyle. Get creative with your side gigs and income opportunities. Eventually, you’ll find something that fits perfectly with your mainstream revenue generation and makes you decent money on the side.