* Please note, this blog contains affiliate links *
Passive income — buzzword or legit way to make money?
If you’ve hung out around my biz for any length of time, you know I’m a big fan of passive income, specifically digital products. And I can tell you – yes, it does work. I have the receipts to prove it.
I just sold my first 7-figure business at the end of 2022, and its entire product catalog was digital products (contract templates, to be precise). Now, I have another successful business running on teaching people how to create digital products and find other ways to make that money without doing 1:1 work.
Would there be that much hype if ‘passive income’ didn’t work? I don’t think so.
If you’re trying to see if passive income can fit into your biz, keep reading, because I’ve got six different ways you can do that, no matter what you do for a living!
I’m not talking about network marketing or MLM-style stuff. I’m talking about selling products you already know, like, and trust. If you aren’t sure what exactly an affiliate is, they basically spread the word about someone else’s product or service and get a cut of the check if someone buys.
And where a lot of people think you need to be an affiliate for tons of different products, I’d actually recommend a few. I mean, you can only have so many “absolute” favorites, right?
Okay, maybe not, BUT if you’re doing too much, it can get overwhelming or confusing. It’s much better to stick with a few programs that have really good terms.
And even my old shop, The Contract Shop®, which I sold last year, has really good affiliate commissions. I don’t own that store anymore, but I’m actually an affiliate for it and I promote their products because these terms are so good.
If you’re a new business owner, being an affiliate can also teach you a lot about how to market and sell to the kinds of people that are in your audience. You can learn a lot from doing it!
Have a creative side? Already working as a creative entrepreneur? Perrrrrrf. Because turning your work into prints or graphics to sell as stock imagery or art can make you some extra money!
You could sign up for websites like iStock and sell your images through there. Or even on Creative Market. I found some really great images on there that I’ve used on my blog and for my social media across the years.
And same thing for designers — you could sell graphic templates in an online marketplace (just don’t sell on Etsy…too many fees!).
This is one of the harder things to do because it takes some time to build this up. The first few years of my YouTube channel were kind of flat, and now it’s only recently started to gain some traction.
And of course, every single month that I put out videos, I’m paying for an editing team and my content team. So it’s an expensive proposition potentially, but it has the ROI of building a better connection with your audience.
You have the opportunity to reach even more people through the other product ideas that I mentioned above (affiliates, prints, etc).
And my favorite thing about YouTube videos is that because YouTube is owned by Google, my videos are always showing up in searches. Plus the videos are easy to create via batching, so I don’t always have to be “on” like I do for TikTok.
Time for a curve ball — investing in real estate through syndication deals. I know it’s not what you think of when you think of “business” but it can have a great return.
Syndication deals are just a fancy word for crowdsourcing deals — and it’s probably the most passive thing on this list. All you have to do is come up with the money to put it into a deal, to find the right deal. Someone else will bring it to you, or you could even invest in real estate investment trust REITs.
You’re basically getting paid to invest. They grow and produce the dividends for you. It can be boring or slow at times, but it’s worth it!
All of this gibberish to you? That’s OK. Follow me on YouTube, because I talk more about this stuff in depth (in a way that’s easier to absorb).
Residual income is where you have to set it, forget it for a little while, and then come back to it. It’s something that takes some work and time, but only when you’re available for it.
For you as a business owner, this could look like batch services, group coaching, or VIP days if you’re service-based. It’s a nice way to batch your work and has more time to turn around and invest in your business and watch it grow.
If you know me, you know I’m a big D-Commerce™ gal. Do I think online courses are good? Yes! Do I think they’re great? Ehhh…that depends.
If you have the time and energy to fully flesh out an online course, great. Go for it! But for a lot of business owners, whether they’re new and busy trying to get things started, or established a frankly just too busy with work, digital products can be a better option.
You can easily turn bite-sized bits of info from some of your other offers and turn it into a $30 product!
Need ideas? I’ve got plenty here. Just check out the video below to find something that works for you, no matter the industry you find yourself in!