Recurring revenue can be a powerful way to change your freelance business. It can provide a baseline that gives you stability and peace of mind.
But how do you create recurring revenue in the first place? In this post, we’ll look at recurring revenue services and help you think through what you might be able to offer in your WordPress freelance development business.
3 Recurring Revenue Services Questions
First, it helps to think through three questions:
- What do my customers need?
- What services can I create to meet those needs?
- What resources do I need to perform those services?
Those three questions will help you come up with the recurring revenue services your clients want.
3 Services to Offer That Provide Recurring Revenue
For most freelance WordPress developers, there are three recurring revenue services that it makes a lot of sense to offer: hosting, updates, and backups. Let’s start by looking at these common offerings.
1. WordPress Hosting
Website hosting is one of those no-brainer things you can offer to your clients. Here’s why:
- Easier for your client: You can be all things web for your client. If there’s a problem, they only have one person to call. You are the web professional for your client, their single point of contact.
- Easier for you: If you’re in charge of their website hosting, you control the environment. There are no surprises with whatever cut-rate host your client picked. That can often mean weird setups and unexpected snags. But with your own environment you know what to expect and can be more productive.
- Money on the table: Every website needs hosting. If you’re building trust with a client, why should someone else earn that recurring revenue? It should be yours.
How to Make Website Hosting Work
2. WordPress UpdatesKeeping WordPress core, themes, and plugins updated should be a part of regular WordPress maintenance. If it’s not, it’s only a matter of time before a site is hacked or broken (or both).
Your clients should pay for WordPress maintenance services—don’t do it for free. Maintenance is a lot more than pushing a button. You need to be continually checking for new version updates (probably weekly) and be aware of potential threats that may require more frequent updates.
Your update service can also include fixing anything that breaks from an update. This is what can set you apart for clients who think they can push that update button themselves.
How to Make Updates Work
3. WordPress Backups
Everybody understands the importance of having a WordPress backup, right? You might, but make sure your clients do, too. Backups are not something that can be done once; they need to be done regularly and with every site update to the site (content, code, design, etc.).
Here’s how to make sure you’re offering a solid backup solution:
- Control: You should control your website backups, not your host. Many hosts offer backup services, but it’s not quite as convenient and flexible as you’d like. It also doesn’t protect you if the host has an issue.
- Offsite: Backups should be stored offsite in cloud storage. It’s also a good idea to have backups stored in multiple offsite locations. It’s unlikely an offsite storage site would have an issue, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Restore: Having a backup isn’t good enough. You need to be able to easily restore the website from the backup files.
How to Make Backup Work
Other Recurring Revenue Services
While WordPress hosting, updates and backups are the standard offering for WordPress maintenance, your recurring revenue services shouldn’t be limited to those options. There’s a lot more you can offer.
Don’t Limit Yourself to Website Maintenance
Here are a few ideas of additional services you could offer that still have you firmly in the WordPress development camp:
- Monitoring: Offer proactive monitoring for WordPress security issues, hacking attempts, and uptime.
- Reporting: Gather analytics and relevant statistics into a regular report. Consider using a tool to automate your WordPress maintenance reports.
- Content updates: WordPress is easy to use, but some clients still don’t want to bother. Clients provide the content and you update the site for them.
- Site changes: Make updates and additions to the site. You could sell hourly blocks of time for occasional updates or offer a monthly service that includes so many hours for frequent updates.
Don’t Limit Yourself to Coding
There are a lot of other recurring revenue services you could offer that start to stray from the typical coding/development/WordPress world. Nobody says you can only offer techie services.
- Content creation: Some clients can’t even bother with creating site content, so you can do it for them.
- Social media: Create regular social media content for clients.
- Email newsletters: A lot clients struggle to maintain consistent email newsletters. You could take over that burden for them.
That’s just scratching the surface. There are a lot of other recurring revenue services you could offer. The trick is to think through what your clients need done, what difficulties they face in doing those things, and what solutions you could offer.
The Recurring Revenue Summit with Nathan Ingram includes templates and examples that can help you generate ideas for new services and plan how to offer them.
Another helpful resource for coming up with ideas is the book Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry. You can watch our webinar with author John Warrillow for more insights.
What’s Your Recurring Revenue Strategy?
To launch a successful recurring revenue service you should think of ideas that can run without you. These might require you at the beginning but, ideally, once they’re up and running you can hand them off to someone else. When you create something that someone else can run, that’s how you build a business.
Learn more with the Recurring Revenue Summit, a three-hour, on-demand webinar with expert Nathan Ingram. He talks through how to create recurring revenue services, including specific tips and suggestions for selling and executing these services.