What is Passive Income + 5 Ways to Create Passive Income Online in your Spare Time!
Let me just start by saying hey girl! I'm so happy you're on this blog post and just as interested in learning more about creating your own passive income streams as I am :)
For the last two years i've been working on ways to use the few hours of spare time I have each week to help create a safer more profitable financial future for me and my family.
When I started out I was totally under the delusion that the only way of making money was to get up each morning, traipse into a job I hated and hand over my free time in exchange for minimum wage and a 30 minute paid lunch break...
That was until I discovered passive income and I started experimenting with ways to mold my working life into something I controlled. Not my boss, not a huge company and not fate.
After work I jumped online and began to learn more about how I could make extra income without having to dedicate the next 30 years to even more boring work shifts and an uptight boss and what I discovered and want to share with you on my blog is exactly how I went from trading my time to earn money via the 'normal method of income' to creating income streams that pay me a full time wage each month with me spending no more than 2-5 hours per week on them.
Now don't get me wrong I want to be brutally honest with you from the start. Passive income can be super fun to create, so exciting to watch grow and overwhelmingly rewarding but in truth it's not always easy to build. The big question I always like to ask people when they ask me why they should bother giving up even more of their free time now to work on building passive income streams for their future?
"If a big time CEO walked up to you today and offered to pay you £15,000 a month for the next ten years completely passively (no work required from you) if you just worked for her for one year for free would you do it?"
Think of how life changing that could be to have a whole extra full time source of income filter into your bank each month whilst you were still free to pursue your life, travel the world, start a family, continue to grow your income streams heck even take a well deserved break and enjoy the beautiful lifestyle you've built.
Well that's why I want you to consider giving up a few hours a week or even a day to start building your passive income streams right now. Don't worry I will be here to guide you every step of the way starting with the most important question you might want to ask me first...
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and decide to buy I will get a tiny bit of compensation for your doing so. I want to stress that in no way does me including affiliate links affect my opinion of a product good or bad and I would never bother linking to an item I didn't deem worthy of being purchased by me or my readers. I never want anyone to waste good money they've worked hard to earn!
So what exactly is passive income?
"Passive income is income that a person receives on a regular basis that requires minimal to no effort to maintain by them."
Unlike active income which requires you to constantly give over your time and skill to earn money, passive income (particularly online) usually requires a level of upfront work and organization in order to create the income stream but after a period of time the level of your involvement drastically tapers off leaving you more free time to pursue other goals.
I've had the amazing privilege of experiencing this first hand and I can tell you guys its a hell of a crazy buzz when you finally start receiving payments into your bank account knowing you've done nothing that month to warrant them!
Now like I said above the work that I've done upfront to create these income streams means that by no means do I feel I don't deserve the income i've earned. I'm so grateful to my past self that she had the drive and inspiration to sit down each evening and dedicate a few hours to my passive income journey and to be honest i've become a little addicted to the buzz of working on new ideas to create even more.
I know that you can visit a hundred thousand blogs and websites online all showing you different ways to start creating this form of online income, in particular the blogging trend has skyrocketed to fame since the world started realizing you can potentially make hundreds of thousands of pounds each year from them.
But for my personal blog I don't want to pigeon hole or trap my readers into only learning how to create one kind of online passive income. I want you to have the opportunity to explore and play with them all.
I want you to have the knowledge of diversity, to choose from all the different methods there are available. Over the years I've dabbled and succeeded in creating income streams through selling ebooks, digital products, drop shipping, affiliate marketing and creating a blog and I want to share all my experiences and advice with you to help make your passive income journey not only profitable but fun too.
If you're anything like me then the thought of dedicating yourself to just 'one method' of making passive income for the next ten years not only sounds too boring but also kinda unstable. What happens if my website crashes and I can't get it back up? (thats happened to me before), What happens if it's not the right time of year for people to purchase the types of products I like to sell in my shop e.g. art prints? (will my drop-shipping business income plumet and I earn nothing that month???).
Well along my journey I quickly learned that for me I like to diversify my income streams a little and trust me its actually not as hard as you think to build more than one at once. That's why I want to show you a number of different methods to grow your income starting right here with the very basics of what you can create and how.
In a few months you could be earning enough passive income to make a huge dent in your bank account, you could be experimenting and exploring with some or all the options i've listed below to build passive income that you love and most importantly you'll be building a hugely diversified portfolio that will help your earnings weather the ebbs and flows of the natural online storms and droughts.
So below as promised i've listed the top 5 online methods to make relatively easy passive income.
Nothing as wild as creating a full blown computer software program or writing a 800 page novel to rival Harry Potter. Just someplaces to start and perhaps some ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
1. Create Digital Download Products that you can easily sell on online marketplace platforms!
This one along with method 2 and 3 are where I make most of my passive income. I started creating digital downloads and selling them on Etsy within a month of me deciding I wanted to start earning money online. Creating digital products is truly not as hard as you might think and they're are a number of online websites and programs out there designed to help graphic design newbies create beautiful sellable products such as Canva, Picmonkey and Adobe.
In a later post I will show you how I make a number of my digital download products but for now I just want to enlighten you to some of the amazing products you can create yourself and sell online.
Digital download art prints, planners, calenders, blog templates, resume templates, computer wallpapers, graphic design packs, stock photos, downloadable greeting cards, audiobooks, apps (for the advanced), workbooks, ecourses (for the advanced) and so much more. I actually have a post coming up on over 20+ different digital download products you can create and sell. I love this form of creating passive income simply because I think its one of the quickest and creative methods to sink your teeth into.
When I started selling digital products on marketplace platforms I barely had any experience with graphic design (trust me I was clueless) but within a month I was able to create beautiful art prints using various graphic websites such as Canva and Picmonkey that I could easily sell on online marketplaces such as Etsy and Creative Market. It took a little research and a dash of trial and error but now two years down the line my art prints earn me a full time income alone and they're super low maintence to maintain (probably 2-3 hours per week).
Have you already got a killer Passive Income Product Idea in mind??
Then grab a FREE DOWNLOAD of my workbook "The 12 ESSENTIAL questions you should ALWAYS ask yourself BEFORE you create your passive income product!" to see if your idea is definately worth pursuing!
2. Write short story ebooks and sell them on Ebook platforms like Amazon KPD and Smashwords!
I have never in all my days been able to sit down and churn out a full length novel completely edited and ready to sell on an ebook platform and unless you're one hell of a writer or just deeply passionate about one story you really wana tell then I'm not recommending you do that either.
In horrible truth even if you had the gumption to spend endless hours and months crafting the next best seller (in your eyes) and carefully editing it there is no guarantee that you'll be making any more money than someone writing 10-15 short story ebooks in the same time it's taken you to create it.
This is a sad fact that when it comes to ebooks its not always the more work you put into it the more money you'll make and I truly caution you to remember that it's a growing trend particularly in the horror and romance genre that shorter snappy stories tend to do well over giant novels that don't carry a famous authors name.
Now I'm not telling you that you shouldn't take the time to research and write absolutely beautiful content. In fact when it comes to short stories this is an absolute must.
Some advice I will give you from the trial and errors i've experienced writing ebooks that sell themselves is that possibly one of the most important factors to creating low maintenance income especially when selling ebooks is to make sure your readers like your stories enough to go back and buy the rest. This is truly what saves you hours and hours a week promoting and pushing your books to new readers because you just can't seem to convince the old ones to buy again.
When I started out I experimented with carefully crafting beautiful stories i'de taken days to work on and hours to edit against ones i'de had lying around from way back that I just threw up when I first started and I can tell you the difference is otherworldy when it comes to their manitnenace levels. In particular I wrote a short story horror series featuring 5 small books. I carefully crafted each book over the course of a few days. I even went so far as to upload them on a few free reading platforms so I could get some feedback on whether readers enjoyed what they read.
After I made a few tweaks to them thanks to the readers comments and I began to only receive rave reviews I uploaded them on to Amazon, Smashwords, Nook and Kobo and since then i've watched the sales role in. I know that if I spent more time pushing and promoting these books they would quadruple in earnings but right now they make me a great few hundred a month and all I need to do is check my platform dashboards every now and again and check when my earnings will be sent to my bank.
I want to talk way more with you guys in a future post on how to write a killer short story that sells and how to make beautiful book covers that convert like crazy but for now I'm just throwing this option out there for you to take in.
Whether its fiction or non-fiction ebooks you want to create I recommend doing your homework around your target audience and sticking to shorter, well written books rather than long laborious novels as they're faster to write and easier to sell (unless long stories are what you really wana create then by all means have at it!).
3. Design Physical Products using a drop-shipping company and sell them online!
I really like this way of creating passive income. Drop-shipping can be a great method to design products and have them manufactured and shipped to your customers without you doing the work yourself.
To make a very detailed and long story short drop-shipping is a fullfilment method in which you can create an online store on a website platform like Shopify, Squarespace or Wordpress and use a drop shipping company to manufacture and ship your products to your customers. Usually the company provides a wealth of plain products that you can choose from and all you need to do is upload your graphic designs to decorate your chosen items.
Above is an example of using the fulfillment & drop shipping company Printful to print and ship the art print designs you could create and sell.
You can also create mugs, apparel, bags, pillows, phone cases and so much more. You may need a level of graphic design knowledge to handle creating the designs for your products but most fullfilment companies make it really easy and clear on how to go about creating products on their platforms.
As mentioned above in order to sell your products you will most likely need a good strong platform such as an online marketplace like Amazon or Etsy (be sure to read marketplace guidelines before hand) or your own website. I also recommend taking your time to create and sample different companies and products before adding them to your online store as there are a good number of elements that can fall out of sync or go wrong when you first start drop-shipping if you don't take it seriously from the get-go.
To give you way more information than I can offer on this small post, I've linked a whole ultimate guide on drop-shipping from the website shopify "The Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping" if you think it could be something you'd be interested in trying. I think the important thing to remember with fullfilment and drop-shipping is that simply learning how to upload your designs onto a companies products is by no means enough to start earning passive income.
It's just one method you could use to create low maintenance products to sell online. The real work with this method and indeed most of the passive income methods on this list is to create a website, brand and marketing funnel that drives the right kind of audience to your products and converts into sales.
Don't forget to grab your FREE copy of the "FIND YOUR PERFECT PASSIVE INCOME PRODUCT" Workbook!
4. Build a blog and monetize it!
I think right now if there was one method of passive income that's rising to stardom quick time it would be creating a blog!
It truly seems that everybody and their granny is recommending that you jump on your computer, upload a bunch of amazing articles and start watching the advertising money roll in without really explaining to you the long hard slog it can take to start seeing income from this method.
That is by no means to say that it isn't an outstanding way to make extra income. If done right it really can be a powerful tool to add extra earnings to your bank account each month but the truth is that this method really does take a huge amount of upfront work.
Trust me i'm in the trenches right now researching, implementing and building my own blog and compared to the other passive income streams I've created it's proven to be alot more time consuming and technical than many of the others. That's not to say that I won't continue building the small space i've created. I have to admit that just like many of the other methods blogging is quite addictive once you really get into it.
To be honest blogging is by far my newest adventure having only started a few months ago and still not 100% knowing what i'm doing but the interesting thing I tend to find with any passive income stream is that once you've got to grips with the basic rules behind making this type of money you begin to understand the underlying elements to all of these methods are all the same which I find saves you so much time on the next venture.
Super duper simply put - Do your research on your chosen method and target audience, craft passive income products perfect for your customers, create a shop or website to present your brand and your products + use a well formulated marketing funnel to drive in your ideal customers. Note: it can vary which of these step you do in what order.
Now as I said that's super simply put and the actual process of creating passive income for both a blog and a shop is alot more complicated but hopefully you start to get the idea.
Making passive income through blogging comes in a number of forms. Of course you can display advertisements on your pages but the truth is that form of income is minute, deterring to your audience and quite inconvenient.
Instead options like affiliate marketing in which you introduce your audience to already existing products you love and find useful or interesting is a great way to turn a simple blog post into a sellable product on your website.
Now when your audience discovers your hugely helpful article they have the choice to signup or purchase the item/s your recommending through your affiliate links. If they decided they love it enough to purchase that product then *BAM* you've just made a sale (well a percentage of someone elses sale).
I like to think of my affiliate posts as the place to highlight the very best products and programs I personally use and love. Exactly like my own products if I don't think they're good enough to represent in my shop they're is no way in hell i'm including them. For me personally I treat affiliate marketing on my blog super seriously.
I would never throw an ugly clashing art printable into the carefully crafted art print collection in my online shop simply because someone offered to pay me a couple of pounds everytime it sold.
It would ruin everything i'de been working for, it would confuse and concern my audience and frankly it would make it harder to make any profit at all once my customers started having doubts about the quality of my prints and I think when it comes to affiliate marketing on your blog you should think of it exactly the same.
Simply put if you think starting a blog might be something you would be interested in then affiliate marketing is definitely one way to start monetizing your website but be extremely careful to treat it just as you would if you were creating the products yourself.
Only recommend things that you've tried and used yourself, remain completely truthful about the pro's and cons you've experienced so just like with your own products you're customers know all the details before they purchase and always be transparent that the product your recommending is an affiliate just as you would want to let your audience know when you created something yourself.
Another great way to make money blogging is to offer your own products on your blog aswell.
The great thing about creating products specifically for your own website and not a marketplace platform is that you have complete control on the look and feel of your branding, shop layout and the products you can offer. Products such as Ecourses, Workbooks and Ebooks can do great on education based blogs whereas drop-shipped merchandise such as mugs, tote bags, baby products and apparel can often help boost the income of more lifestyle, home decor, beauty or fashion focused blogs.
Creating a blog can be a truly fullfilling, fun and inspiring way to spend those few precious free hours you have each day or week and if you stay focused, persistant and patient it can make a huge improvement to the size of your bank balance after a number of months. The rub to blogging however is that there is very often at least a low level of maintenance needed to keep your website relevant and ranking higher on search engines such as google however I know a number of bloggers who all put the work in upfront and now see a steady flow of passive income wash into their bank account each month whilst they're focused on crafting there next passive income stream.
If you're really interested in blogging as a way to build passive income then I really recommend taking sometime to do your homework before setting up your blog. Decide on your exact niche, target audience, website hosting platform, branding, affiliate programs you want to recommend and the products you want to create before starting the process of crafting your content and driving an audience to your website.
Trust me i've been the person to throw everything together all at once and then have to go back and completely start again from scratch in almost all my passive income journeys and one thing that's becoming abundantly clear to me is always do your homework BEFORE you jump into building your online shop, platform or blog.
5. Invest in companies and businesses already doing the hardwork!
Now this method of generating passive income is probably the least time consuming upfront but is also one of the most risky ways to earn money online.
I'm not saying that like everything else there isn't a risk of failing with all the other methods above, there is and you have to be very clear on that from the start. You could put the time and effort into any of these methods and not get the outcome you want.
I've made a few costly mistakes over the years that have cost me money and most importantly time but unlike all the other methods above which offer you far more control of your income and often mirror "the more effort you put in the more income you get out" (in the beginning anyway). Investing in someone else's business no matter how big or small is often the most risky way to make money online.
Now don't get me wrong I enjoy investing in stocks and shares and slowly (very slowly) i'm learning more about what to look for in a company and the economy to help me reach my long term investment goals but in truth I don't recommend blindly investing in someone elses business in hopes that you'll bypass doing any of the initial work and riding their coat tails to financial freedom.
Whether it's investing in the stock market or Peer-2-Peer lending, I 100% advise doing your homework and I mean hardcore homework before handing your money to someone else. The huge drawback to investing (alongside the high risk level) is the fact that you usually need a large sum of capital ready to go before you can start earning money from this method.
Investing can be a great way to earn interest on the capital you can afford to put into other peoples projects and companies but as you can't really also invest your time to help push the businesses forward and you have little to no say on what the company does with your money then you are usually at that company or persons complete mercy when it comes to the direction and focus they want to take in their business goals.
I recommend investing if you're the type of girl to take that form of income very seriously. You need to commit time, focus and energy into researching and arming yourself with the knowledge and initial capital it takes to see a good rate of return on your investments. Whether it's a long term loan investment or buying equity in exchange for dividends, creating a full time passive income on investments alone not only requires large volumes of capital but is also extremely risky.
Now go ahead and grab the FREE WORKBOOK and start researching and testing all the amazing passive product ideas you can come up to see which ones you think could work!
So there you go!
Above i've listed exactly what passive income means and 5 ways you could hop on your computer today and start making it (well almost).
Like I said at the very beginning passive income in the long run can be hugely rewarding but it can take quite a bit of time and initial persistance to create it. If you've got a few extra hours in the day and you want to start doing something worthwhile with them then I couldn't recommend more strongly starting on your passive income journey.
Your future self will fall at your knees in gratitude for the work you put in today and I know that if you're like me you'll never look back once you finally get out the 9-5 rat race and start enjoying all the free time passive income can offer you!
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