Helleeeuuuu moneymaker friends!
Passive income ideas.
Let’s get into it.
Actually, before we get into it, let’s set some expectations:
Passive income is KINDA a myth. Yes, it exists – we’re not getting up to any folksy fables and legend shit in here – but true passive income takes an investment of either money, or time.
I like to use Facebook as a comparison. Facebook is free to use. You get to lurk your ex, tag your friends, and accept event invitations you plan on never showing up to, without having to trade coin. However. HOWEVER. You are giving something to Facebook in exchange for using their site: your personal information.
It’s basically tradesies. The old-timey version would be bartering this for that. I give you my name, birthday, and a list of people IRL, and you let me use the biggest social network in the world for free.
Passive income is similar. You’ll get your money, but to set up the ball and start it rolling, you’ll spend either your dollar, or your day.
All of the passive income strategies I’ve outlined below will cost you $0. Some will give you an instant payoff, while others will take some finer tuned cultivation. Think of the long-term strategies like seeds. Plant a few today – just get started – and you’ll harvest your coin in a season or two.
I’ve listed a caveat for each passive income idea below, so you can get an idea of the “worst case scenario” before starting. Each strategy has also been personally tested – and deemed worthy of moneymaking – by me.
I’ll include as many screenshots, and personal experience anecdotes, as I can.
Passive Income Idea #1: Affiliate Sales and Share-A-Sale
Caveat: You need traffic to click and buy from your affiliate links.
Yes, affiliate sale marketing. The big ugly. This one is on every passive income ideas list I’ve ever read, so I figured we’d get it out of the way first.
Traffic is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of affiliate marketing. You don’t need a million pageviews a day. In fact, passive affiliate sales work better when you have a highly engaged, dedicated community of readers.
Once you have an audience to present your affiliate links to, referrals add up quick.
Ways you can include passive affiliate links in your content, whether written or video: recommendation lists, reviews, round-ups, personal experiences with the product, guides, holiday shopping ideas, walkthroughs, and tutorials.
The post I make the majority of my affiliate income from is The Secret to My Pinterest Success:
I created this blog post in April of 2016, but it didn’t start going viral until February 2017. It currently has almost 3k repins on Pinterest – where 90% of my traffic comes from – and nets me anywhere from 1 to 10 affiliate leads a day, resulting in 1 to 3 sales per day.
The affiliate product that I recommend in the post is Tailwind, a product that I absolutely swear by when it comes to Pinterest marketing. Here’s what a typical period of affiliate sales looks like for me:
And here’s what that looks like in (realistic) dollar amounts:
I’m not going to get to singing the gospel of Tailwind in this post, but if you’re looking to boost your Pinterest numbers, Tailwind is my man.
That actually leads me to another important piece of passive affiliate sales: recommending what you USE and KNOW. I joined the affiliate networks of all my favorite products: Tailwind, ConvertKit, Divi, and BarkBox, because I know and trust the products. I’m confident that I am not going to mislead my readers.
To get started with passive affiliate sales: Pick one or two products you’ve already used in the past, and sign up for their affiliate program. Once you’re in, put together a piece of content that uses their affiliate link: a blog post, a Medium post, a tweet, an Instagram. Promote your piece of content, and email a link to the marketing department of the product you’re writing about.
Passive Income Idea #2: Launch a YouTube Channel
Caveat: You need big views to earn big ad bucks.
Yes, the “big name” YouTubers are complaining about their views dropping. YouTube is catering more to advertisers now than ever. There’s a million bad things happening, and YouTube’s platform changes are one of them.
THAT BEING SAID. It’s actually never been a better time for brand new YouTubers to get a piece of the pie. In 2017, the YouTube algorithm is changing to favor smaller channels with strong followings.
YouTube hasn’t been my number one priority when it comes to the platforms I publish my content on, but it’s up there for 2018.
In the meantime, here’s an embarrassing snapshot of what kind of ad coin I’m bringing in:
WHO WANTS SOMETHING NICE?
To get started with YouTube: If you haven’t already, see what YouTube is about. Check out some vlogs, or a video by your favorite entrepreneur. When you’re ready to get started, create a channel, and start recording. Use either iMovie or Windows Movie Maker to edit your video together – it doesn’t need to be fancy.
Passive Income Idea #3: Rev
Caveat: If you’re a slow typer, you won’t make enough an hour for it to be worth it.
I’ve kept Rev in my back pocket for those weeks where I need just a little more than what’s currently in my pocket. Rev is a content transcription mill – which sounds bad – and it works by Rev customers submitting their audio files. You can choose the files you want to transcribe, and do so by using Rev’s free, browser-based transcription program.
As you graduate through the three ranks, you’ll earn more money per job, and better jobs will become available to you. Generally jobs pay 0.45/minute, up to 0.90/minute. The average seems to be around 0.50/0.60/minute. They also have a captioning program if you’re into video.
The best part about Rev is that it pays out weekly. Reliable passive income via PayPal is what dreams are made of.
Technically I suppose Rev is more of a side income than a passive income, but the opportunity for $ is just too great to not include here. I’m also chronically ill, and the flazeda nature of Rev works for me: take jobs when you want, and when you don’t, don’t.
For reference, I generally type 100-120wpm from my own nog, though on Rev it seems to be closer to 85wpm.
My earnings on Rev:
My received Rev earnings on PayPal:
To get started with Rev: Check out the Rev website, and see if it’s something you can see yourself doing. Once you’re ready to go through the transcriptionist assessment, you can apply through this page. It took about a day for me to get through the whole process, and start on the projects that were making real $.
Passive Income Idea #4: VarageSale
Caveat: You have to have physical stuff to flip in order to turn a profit.
Four times a year, I lose my mind and try to give, sell, or throw away a majority of my belongings. When I discovered VarageSale – a non creepy, generally women populated version of Used and Craigslist – I heard the angels sing.
Now, I sell items on VarageSale weekly.
I don’t sell high ticket items on Varage, but each sale adds up.
To combat the potential time suck of meeting and completing a transaction with each buyer in person, I leave a gigantic Rubbermaid outside my front door. Inside the Rubbermaid goes a jar for payments, and each item to be picked up, labelled and in a separate bag.
When I sell an item, the buyer gets this formulaic response:
Hi NAME, sounds great! I’ll be in and out all day, so I’ll leave THIS ITEM out in a Rubbermaid container, and you can stop by whenever works best for you to pick it up. I’m located at MY ADDRESS, here’s A HINT so you can find my front door easier. If you decide to buy, just drop your cash in the jar inside the bin. Thanks! 🙂
Each night, I load in the pick-ups for the next day. Easy.
To get started with VarageSale: Download the app to your phone. There’s a web version, but I find the app easier to use. Find and join your local community group, and then list your first item.
Passive Income Idea #5: Affiliate Sales via Pinterest
Caveat: You’ll need to have a large following on Pinterest.
This is the only passive income idea I don’t have data to share with you on. I’m just getting into the wild west of affiliate marketing on Pinterest, but I will show you what I’ve done to get started.
First, I combed through the merchants on Share-a-Sale, and chose a few that I knew would work with my brand. Keep in mind you can also use one-product affiliate programs, like ConvertKit, BarkBox, and SiteGround.
A little aside: The majority of affiliate programs will offer you a monetary reward for any referrals you send their way. However, some programs only offer an increasing discount on the product itself, or free use of the product to you, in exchange for affiliate referrals. If you’re looking to make cash, aim for the affiliate programs that will net you the highest commission per click or sign-up.
Once I figured out which products I wanted to share with my crew, the rest was easy. I just created images for each product I was interested in, or used the photo provided by the merchant via Share-a-Sale, and then shared it to the appropriate Pinterest board with my affiliate link:
If you need to grow your Pinterest audience, check this post out.
To get started with affiliate marketing on Pinterest: Sign up with an affiliate program, if you haven’t already. My fav is Share-a-Sale, but I’ve had success with the ConvertKit program, too. Choose five products to share, and pin them to your related Pinterest board with your affiliate link.
Well, that’s it. My no-bullshit passive income list for 2018, each item of which requires absolutely $0 to get started.
If you’re hurting for cash today, I recommend getting started with VarageSale and Rev to get some immediate coin in your pocket. VarageSale will net you cash today, and Rev pays out via PayPal every Monday.
For passive income through blogging, like affiliate sales on Pinterest, and YouTube ad views, the sooner you can get started, the better. You don’t need money to start. Pinterest and YouTube are free. Use Medium, or even Instagram, to get started blogging.
Your priority should be connecting with people. Create an audience that trusts you, and likes you, and wants to use the products you recommend.
Once you have THAT, the passive income ceiling ultimately doesn’t exist. With an audience, you can sell eBooks, eCourses, and other electronic learning products. In turn, you’ll get more YouTube views and Pinterest clicks.
Just get the ball rolling. Once you have momentum, there is no stopping you.
If you liked this post, please consider sharing it with your readers!
My major business goal for 2018 is to cut down on the number of opt-ins and email buy-ins I’m offering. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted and entirely OVER having to “sell” my email address just for one spreadsheet or .pdf file.
Want to read more passive income related content from me? AWESOME. I can help you with that! Add your name and email to the list below, and I’ll send you a quick note when I have something new, and passive income-y to share with you.