Passive income is money you earn that doesn’t require a lot of “active” work to continue making it, but considerably more so when you first start off. It goes without saying: passive income is great, but how do you go about building it?

Learning how to earn passive income as a creative can be a fantastic way to think and grow rich. It’s also a great way to insulate yourself from financial insecurity. Passive income requires you to work hard upfront and then generate income over time. Think of it as meal prep – you prepare everything in advance, and then when you’re hungry, it’s ready to eat. But, if generating passive income was easy, everyone would be doing it. It’s essential to recognize that your active income will still matter, and the benefits of passive income are initially supportive but become more significant over time. With that said, let’s consider some of the most common ways to earn passive income!

What is passive income versus active income?

When we talk about the different types of income, passive income and active income come to mind. Active income refers to the income derived directly from ongoing work. If you work a part-time or full-time job, that’s active income. As a creative, active income would be any work, you do on commission. That includes design work, video editing, artwork, etc. Anything where if you stopped doing it, you would no longer be paid.

How to make passive income

On the other hand, passive income requires upfront work, after which you reap the rewards for months or years to come. You will only need to perform, at most, minor tasks to maintain some level of passive income generation. Passive income is colloquially called ‘earning money while you sleep.’

How can you make passive income as a creative?

Earning passive income as a creative requires some out-of-the-box thinking. You need to devise ways to turn what you currently do into something that remains evergreen and in demand for the foreseeable future. Start by recognizing what kind of creative work you do and how it could benefit others. Here are just a few ideas of ways to earn passive income as a creative.


Get access to all things storytelling – right in your inbox.

Email

By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy policy & General Terms and Conditions.


An affiliate link is a particular type of hyperlink that, when clicked, takes a user to a page where they can purchase something. Affiliate links are a great way to earn a passive income because they generate clickthroughs as long as the content is in demand and the affiliate program is open. One of the best examples is Amazon, which offers a small percentage on every item someone buys after clicking your link. Many affiliate links leave ‘cookies,’ meaning after they click it once, even if they don’t buy today – you’ll get a commission if they buy at a later date. Affiliate links can be shared on a blog, in Tweets, videos, or anywhere else you can embed a link! They tend to be a core element of any passive income strategy.

YouTube content

YouTube is a great way to help generate passive income. While the work upfront is significantly more active, the long-term benefits can be huge. YouTube’s main driver of passive income comes in the form of advertising splits. Every time an ad is viewed on your channel, you get a cut of the revenue.

To create passive income on YouTube, you need to do a few things. First, you need to qualify for their monetization program. That means 1000 channel subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time over 12 months. During that hunt for monetization, that’s when the content you make matters! Create evergreen content that remains relevant and valuable today and years into the future. That could mean tutorials, tips, or other educational content that people will always want to know. While you’ll experience diminishing returns as time goes on, you’ll likely continue to generate passive income years into the future.

Passive income 2021

Start a blog or website

Like YouTube, starting a blog or other type of content-based website is a valuable tool to earn a passive income as a creative. A website or blog can be a central hub for a bunch of your passive income strategies. Inherently, and from day 1, your blog can generate a passive income thanks to Adsense. Adsense allows Google to place ads alongside your content. While the amount you make will rely on your traffic, you can potentially earn from the get-go. To get traffic, you will need to create a bunch of quality evergreen content. Once you start developing content, it’s essential to continue doing so regularly in the future. Google search results benefit from sites that have a regular stream of fresh content. But, that additional work can be a massive boon for your other passive income strategies. As previously mentioned, your blog can include affiliate links, embed your YouTube videos, sell merch, and more! It is one of the most crucial elements for a successful income strategy.

Sell merchandise

Selling merch, including clothing, prints, and other potential valuables, can be great for passive income. If you create desirable items that people may be interested in without needing to know you, that’s even better! There are so many ways to create and sell merch these days. That’s both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it’s easier to find places to make unique merch, but on the other, there’s a lot of competition. Merch can be a part of a more comprehensive strategy tied in with your YouTube channel or a blog and help create an ecosystem for passive income. Make sure you do your research into various platforms and solutions before deciding which one is best for you.

Etsy store

While the perception about Etsy is that it’s mainly about selling physical products, in reality, there’s a vast section of digital items. That’s where you, as a creative, can potentially create passive income. Some of the best implementations of it have been digital products that make people’s lives easier. Examples include documents, report sheets, flow charts, and other streamlined workbooks. As a creative, think of processes and actions you follow a standard flow on, and then offer that experience to others in the form of a digital product.

Develop an educational course

Expertise always has value for those not at your level. As a creative, one of the best ways to generate a passive income is to sell your experience as education. This can mean a written course or a mix of written and video. Your educational product doesn’t need to be super polished and sleek looking – as long as the content is valuable. There are many different platforms, some of which cater to a specific niche, while others offer more generalized educational programs. Things you know as common sense today may be brand new bits of information to someone just learning!

If you want to learn how to earn passive income as a creative, the time to start is now! The effort that goes into creating platforms and paths to long-term revenue is front-loaded. While the above suggestions are an excellent place to get started, they certainly are not all of them! Once you start learning some of the opportunities out there – you’re sure to stumble upon others!


Want to use royalty-free music
in your next video?

→ Sign up for a free trial


Related posts: