Having more than one source of income is a smart strategy for each of us, regardless of age, gender or geographic location. This could mean two or more jobs, investments, rental property, etc.
If our business is building websites, we are pretty much always on the lookout for new clients so we can continuously be building new websites in order to earn an income. Finding clients isn’t always easy, and their timelines aren’t always the same as yours, which means your income may be erratic.
If your business is designing websites, you can also have multiple opportunities for revenue streams. This is helpful in many ways:
- It allows you to know what your income will be and budget accordingly.
- If one source is slow, it doesn’t mean zero income for you.
- Less stress.
Revenue stream ideas for your web design business:
- Hosting. I don’t say this lightly. If you go into hosting, you better know about hosting, that’s a whole lesson for another day, BUT one you could learn for sure. Obviously, there is tons of information out there, we talk about hosting right here. and it’s a great place to start learning.
- Maintenance Packages. Each month you log in to the website, make any needed updates to the themes, plugins, and WordPress. Take backups, make sure nothing has broken, look at webmaster tools to make sure links are all working properly, etc.
- SEO. Search engine optimization is very important and you can easily learn enough to get you going with the most basic of services. I would begin with Andrew’s course, Getting Your Website Search Engine Ready which has recently been modified into a plugin so you can learn from right within the dashboard.
- Eblasts and newsletters. I have a few local clients that want sales & specials emailed to their list each month. One is my dry cleaner and he does my laundry in trade. It won’t pay the electric bill, but it works for me.
- Content Creation (blogging). I hear you saying you don’t like to write. There is so much more beyond writing that you can create: podcasts, videos, info graphics, use Q&A’s between the business and client, and more. I actually was a speaker about this at WordCamp Boston, the notes are below, and you can read the full transcript here.
- Coaching. Teach WordPress, MailChimp, MailerLIte, SEO, how to run a web design business, Productivity, pick what you know and love and teach others.
- Design. Clients don’t just need websites, they need logos, stationery, business cards, and other branded material. Or design for other web designers. Some web designers are excellent at the tech and color blind, design for their clients.
- Affiliate Programs. In order to generate serious steady income as an affiliate, you need a large, devoted audience or some very popular posts with evergreen content. If you have that, the income potential is huge. If not, that’s okay because this is just one of your revenue streams. If you have a host that you recommend often, sign up for their affiliate program and put all of your clients on their hosting plans. Do this for a few products and you could have a nice little income source.
- Create an eBook. Take what you know and turn it into a book. Sell that book to your audience or write and sell the book for your client’s websites. I have one client that has made well into the six figures with her three digital products.
Don’t want to (or have the skill set) do all of this work? Align with others to make a boutique agency or outsource. Find writers, designers, affiliate managers to set these up for your clients.
How to “upsell” your product offerings:
- Add a service page to your website. Or better make each service it’s own page on your website and optimize around those keywords.
- In your web design proposals, add on the extra services.
- In your post-launch, email to clients send them a Phase B action plan, which includes the other services you can offer them (seo, blogging, service plans).
I want to remind you that the time you spend reading blogs, building websites, solving problems, surfing the Facebook Group, is an investment in yourself. Each little nugget of information makes you more valuable to current and future clients. You can use that knowledge and your skills in a variety of ways.
I am not the first to say this, but do what you love – it won’t feel like work, it will be less stressful and chances are you are better at it than the other services you could offer; hence earning you more money (and opportunities). Don’t dismiss the things that come easily to you as not worthy or charging for – they may be of HUGE value to someone else. Think super basic, you could wash your own car, or you could roll through the car wash. You could cut your dogs hair, but you probably send him to a groomer. Your client could update all of their own plugins and restore a site if it goes down. . . . but maybe their time is better spent on their clients. Get it?
What are your revenue streams? Which do you love, and which do you outsource?