Passive income is money you earn that doesn’t need much 'active' work to continue making. However, it requires a lot of hours to get things moving. So, how do you start? This article will explain how to make passive income as a creative.
What does passive income mean?
Learning how to make passive income is a great way to protect yourself from financial insecurity while doing what you love. Passive income requires you to work hard upfront, then generate money 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 it were that easy to make passive income online, 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 passive income ideas for you creatives!
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 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, and so on. Basically, active income is anything where if you stopped doing it, you'd no longer be paid.
On the other hand, passive income requires upfront work, after which you reap the rewards for months or years to come. At most, you'll only need to perform minor tasks to maintain some level of passive income. People like to call passive income ‘earning money while you sleep.’
How can you make passive income online as a creative?
It 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 six passive income ideas you can kickstart today.
Affiliate marketing provides a particular type of hyperlink that, when clicked, takes a user to a page where they can buy something. Affiliate links are a great way to make passive income online because they generate click-throughs, as long as the content is relevant and the affiliate marketing program is open.
One of the best examples is Amazon, which offers a small percentage for every item someone buys after clicking your link. Many affiliate links leave ‘cookies,’ meaning after they click it once, and even if they don’t buy today, you’ll get a commission if they buy it later. 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 is a great way to help make passive income online. While the work upfront is much 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 receive a revenue cut.
To make money on YouTube with passive income, you need to do a few things. First, you need to qualify for their monetization program. That means 1,000 channel subscribers and 4,000 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 in 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 make passive income.
Start a blog or website
Like YouTube, starting a blog or other content-based website is a valuable tool to make passive income as a creative. A website or blog can be a central hub for a bunch of your passive income ideas.
From day 1, your blog can generate passive income online 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 high-quality, evergreen content.
Once you start developing content, it’s essential to continue doing so regularly – Google search results benefit from sites with a regular stream of fresh content. As previously mentioned, your blog can also include affiliate links, embedded YouTube videos, merch links, and more! It's one of the most crucial elements of a successful passive income strategy.
Selling merch, including clothing, prints, and other potential valuables, can be great for passive income. If you create desirable items that people might be interested in without needing to know you or your personal brand, that’s even better!
There are so many ways to create and sell merch these days, which is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it’s easier to find places to make unique merch; but on the other, there’s a lot of competition. Merch can become part of a more comprehensive strategy tied into your YouTube channel or blog, helping to create an ecosystem for passive income. Make sure you research various platforms and solutions before deciding which one is best for your merch!
While the perception of Etsy is that it’s mainly for selling physical products, in reality, there’s a vast section of digital items. That’s where you, as a creative, can make your passive income ideas come to life!
Some of the best examples have been digital products that make people’s lives easier. That can be anything from documents to report sheets, flow charts, and other streamlined workbooks. As a creative, think of processes and actions you follow, and then offer that experience to others in the form of a digital product.
Develop an educational course
Expertise always has value! As a creative, one of the best ways to make passive income online 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 it's valuable. Things you take as common sense might be brand new bits of information to someone just starting their journey!
If you want to learn how to make 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, and while the above suggestions are an excellent place to begin, there are definitely more avenues!
Once you start understanding the opportunities out there, you’re sure to find the right one for you. Make sure music copyright claims don't get in the way of creating content, and start your royalty-free trial with Epidemic Sound below.