How 17 Internet Experts are Really Making Money Online

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This article is Part I in a 5-part series on earning more through freelancing.

I want you to earn more money. Seriously, I do.

But there is one problem.

Most people ignore the quickest way to earn more

Greg RollettEveryone thinks the Internet drives overnight success, but what they don’t see is the work that went in for years that made it look overnight. — Greg Rollett

You have been blasted with emails, peppered with advertisements, and overwhelmed with articles, videos, and images showcasing how Guru X or Expert Y made six figures online last year with Product Z. (And if we’re being truthful, a select few actually do make money that way.)

Unfortunately, you hear about this minority all the time.

What you never hear is that the large majority of Internet experts don’t make a living online with passive income products. They make a living by working with people.

The professionals go by many different names: consultants, coaches, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, virtual assistants, writers. Regardless of the name, one thing remains the same. They sell the value of their skills to make money and create freedom.

To keep things clean, I am going to refer to everyone as a freelancer even though their actual titles often differ.

Why should I start freelancing?

The simple answer? Because it’s the quickest way to earn more.

But let’s go a step further.

Why do the experts below even bother with freelancing? Every one of the people in this series has at least 1,000 followers on their blog or on Twitter or on some other network. Why wouldn’t they just offer a product to the masses and make money while they sleep?

For starters, trading your services for money might not have the drawbacks that you think it does.

Freelancing offers you freedom.

Maren KateI work for myself because I haven’t found a better way to do what I want with my life and make money from it. — Maren Kate

Annabel CandyI can work from anywhere, so I’m not tied to living in the city. I live by the beach in a rural area which is the kind of lifestyle that makes me happy. — Annabel Candy

Amy HarrisonI love feeling like I’m creating my own adventure in life. When I was working for other people, even though I loved what I did, it was part of their vision and their adventure and to some extent there was a predictability to it. I could advance and I could try new things but within the structure they had. Now my life and my work are based on my own structure. I can choose which way to direct things, I can choose which clients I want to work for and life feels more like living rather than existing. — Amy Harrison

Megan MorrisTo be honest, what I do has evolved into something that feels a lot more complex than freelancing — but I know, in retrospect, why I would start again the same way I originally did: eking out a living doing materials design. I would freelance, from the beginning, because that’s the best way to learn to take care of myself, instead of being dependent on someone else — a boss, a company, an institution — for my well-being. The more self-reliant and responsible each of us can be, the better lives we can all have, whether that means freelancing or something else. — Megan Morris

Freelancing provides a sense of value.

Colin WrightIf I work for a paycheck, I’m being paid for my time, not my effort. When I work for myself, I see a direct correlation between the value I provide and the compensation I receive. — Colin Wright

Mars DorianI believe that working for yourself will make the biggest impact on this world. Only when you work for yourself will you be completely free to express your knowledge and ideas. — Mars Dorian

Marissa BrackeI am free to craft a business that emphasizes my strengths and fascinations. I’ve never fit particularly well into any one box, which always made having a traditional job challenging. Now all of my unique qualities that used to make fitting into a corporate mold so challenging are my biggest assets. — Marissa Bracke

Freelancing fits any life situation.

James ChartrandI fell into freelancing by accident, and it wasn’t a conscious decision on my part.

I’d just left a job that had grown dangerous and had been facing a long, cold winter on welfare. That wasn’t a situation I wanted for myself, but alternatives were lean, since I live in a low-economy region with few jobs to spare. It wasn’t looking good.

So it was sink or swim — and I’m a real good swimmer. I found work on the internet and never looked back. — James Chartrand

Thursday BramWhen I first graduated from college, I went out and started looking for a ‘real job’. I’d already been freelancing at that point and I kept it up to have some money. I did land a job — and I hated every minute of it. The commute, the coworkers, the office politics, everything just combined to not be my cup of tea. I didn’t quite last two weeks, and I really didn’t want to keep looking for another job. So, I committed to working for myself so I’d never have to deal with that sort of thing again. (Side note: the next year, I made almost as much as I would have in that job, and didn’t have expenses like a commute, so I actually came out ahead.) — Thursday Bram

Heather AllardI freelance primarily so I can stay home with my 3 children. Since my first child was born 10 years ago, I’ve been working as a freelancer in some capacity for that very reason. — Heather Allard

Dawn Martinello3 years ago, I was a new momma, and I charted my own path because of the flexibility it provided.  Now, the creative freedom and self-awareness that has come from dumping my corporate gig for something much more “me” is monumental.  I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that I love the money too. — Dawn Martinello

Srinivas RaoI have a day job, but it’s part time. As far as why I freelance, it’s simple. It allows me to schedule my life around surf conditions. It’s common knowledge among my blogging friends that I’m an avid surfer and it’s the thing that keeps me going. If the surf’s up I’ll likely cancel our appointment and ask you to reschedule. — Srinivas Rao

It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out. It doesn’t matter if you have a day job. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student or a seasoned professional. It doesn’t matter if you have a new born, three kids, a dog, and a white picket fence.

Anyone can use freelancing to earn more. You don’t need to drop everything you’re doing to start a company. You don’t need to find a better job. You don’t need to work so much that you can’t sleep. You just need to spend a few hours per week focused on earning more.

Overcome your fear and earn more

Don’t think you can do it? Don’t think you provide enough value? Not sure that you’re good enough? Wondering why anyone would pay you?

  1. It’s in your head. Get over it.
  2. I’ll prove it to you. Take a look at what the experts think about themselves. (Remember, these are successful people who are actually making their living this way.)

Tammy StrobelI’m a recovering people pleaser and I’m always afraid that clients won’t like my work. I want to do the best work possible for my clients, but I also have a hard time saying no. And that can be a problem, especially if I’m constantly saying yes to things we didn’t initially agree on. — Tammy Strobel

Jade CravenI’m terrified that I’m not good enough. I refused to freelance for sometime because I didn’t see my work as a skill. Marketing and connecting is so natural to me that I refused to acknowledge that it was an asset. I used to be so scared that I was a fraud an would let the client down. — Jade Craven

BUT… look where action can take you. This is how Jade feels now:

Jade CravenThis fear was bullshit. It helped that I had understanding clients that would remind me how much value I was bringing to their business. I just needed, and still do need, others to tell me that I’m awesome. — Jade Craven

Matt CheuvrontThere’s always the fear of, “What happens when the clients stop coming in?” I think that’s natural for any entrepreneur — it’s what makes running your own business so terrifying for so many, because nothing is guaranteed — you only make what YOU make. — Matt Cheuvront

Anyone who takes a stand on their own — entreprenuer, freelancer, consultant, coach, leader — will face fear.

Being afraid to start is a poor excuse for not starting.

James ChartrandI don’t cater much to fear. It’s not useful to harbor it or hold yourself back because of it. — James Chartrand

Don’t hold yourself back from earning more.

Don’t worry about what the world thinks

Dawn MartinelloMy frustration stems from the stigma that working from home has to equal a scam.  Or that I’m sitting around eating bon bons instead of actually making the magic happen. — Dawn Martinello

Lisa MoroskyMy biggest frustration would be that some folks still don’t see freelancing as a long-term business model (at least in the circles I run in). It seems that freelancing is seen as a stepping stone type of career choice, something you choose to do when you’ve been laid off, or to get your foot in the door, or something. — Lisa Morosky

Your family might not get it. Your co–workers might tell you it will never work out. If you go full–time, your friends will probably ask when you’re planning to apply for a real job.

Don’t take it personally. What they really mean is that it’s not right for them, that they are too afraid to be that bold, or that they would rather wish for freedom than do something about it.

You can do this.

There is nothing unreasonable, unrealistic, or even unusual about doing business online. It’s still people working with people.

If you’re serious about earning more, then sign up for Passive Panda’s Freelancing 101 Course. It’s included for free when you join Passive Panda’s Free Newsletter on Earning More.

The course and newsletter are totally free, but I am still willing to say that you will earn $500 in 5 weeks if you put the tactics to use right away. In fact, I personally used the exact strategies in the course to earn $655 from just 6 hours of work on my first try.

This article is Part I in a 5-part series about earning more through freelancing.

Part II: More clients | Part III: Higher rates | Part IV: Solving problems | Part V: Scaling the business

3 Responses to How 17 Internet Experts are Really Making Money Online

  1. Dan says:

    There’s always good money being made online, but you won’t achieve this until you establish trust and gain influence from both search engines and users. When search engines trust you, they’ll reward you with higher ranking than competitor websites. And when people trust you, they’ll buy from you.

  2. Arild says:

    So what am I doing wrong? I developed a presence on the internet, I have my own website, word of mouth recommendations always worked before. I tried advertising. People read my ads but after the global economy crash my niche market evaporated when people found their money had disappeared.

  3. Chris says:


    Love your website and the awesome advice. We are working on starting-up a company for mobile shopping. We are creating a game app where you are rewarded for saving money and sharing your savings with friends. We would love any support from you and fans. We would love to hear feeb-back on our product. We truly value and appreciate any advice!

    Thank you,

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