This Week: We are exploring the odd/cool ways you can make passive income.
Today, we’ll chat about how to do a variety of things to bring in over $100k a year in passive income. On Friday, I’ll give your inbox a rest this week :)
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You Need to Make Passive Income
After I got laid-off from my full-time job in 2015, I realized that In order to be my own boss, and pay my own bills, I needed multiple streams of income.
I decided that I’d not only continue to develop and scale my Bridesmaid for Hire business, but I’d start to grow different sources of passive income.
So what the heck is passive income?
Passive income is income that requires minimal labor to earn and maintain. It is called progressive passive income when the earner expends little effort to grow the income. Examples of passive income include rental income and any business activities in which the earner does not materially participate.
There are so many ways to make passive income (here’s a list of 101 ways).
But here’s a list of what I’ve tried, what has worked, and how you can start.
Put Cash in a High-Yield Savings Account
A big change I made to my finances, three years ago, that I’m proud of is moving all of my money out of a savings account that only offered 0.01% interest to a savings account that offered over 1.8% interest.
Having your money in a high-yield savings account, that compounds monthly, allows you to make hundreds, or even thousands, a year just by keeping your money in a savings account.
Over time, passive income streams have helped me feel more secure as my own boss, and have helped me during this uncertain moment. This year in particular, when some of my longstanding clients and jobs were paused because of the pandemic, these passive income strategies have continued to bring in income month after month.
Take a Skill & Make it a Course
When I got laid-off, I decided to start digging deep into skills I had, and ways I could teach others how to master the knowledge and experience I gained over the years. Rather than teaching one-off workshops, in person or live virtually, I decided it would be a better use of my time and resources to create digital courses with a longer shelf life.
The first course idea I had was one that would teach people how to start a wedding business similar to the side hustle turned full-time gig I launched in 2014. I set it up on a website where people could purchase the course and access the material whenever they wanted. It took me a few months to develop the digital course, but it’s provided me with passive income every month since it went live.
Sometimes I wake up in the morning, check my email, and notice I made a couple of sales while I was asleep. Most of my courses range from $47 to $249 and I host them on a platform called Thinkific, which makes the entire process easy and seamless.It’s been a model that I’ve been able to repeat with a lot of success.
During the pandemic, I created six new courses that have helped make up for the significant amount of income I lost this year from other projects and clients.
Write a Book & Sell it Online
Another way to make monthly income, without doing repetitive work, is to put out downloadable eBooks. I’ve written five of these, on the same topics as my long-form classes, as well as nonfiction books, and I sell them on my website.
While it can take anywhere from a few months to a year to write these downloadable books, it can bring in income for you for years to come, without you having to rewrite or provide any additional content. I usually charge anywhere between $5 and $25 for these eBooks.
I use free programs like Reedsy and Canva to format the books so that they look professional and provide the buyer with a good user experience.
Invest in Other People’s Businesses
As a small business owner myself, I wanted to find a way to invest in other entrepreneurs and make passive income as their businesses begin to take off and see profit. I decided to invest a small percent of my income every month in businesses that agree to share a percent of their future revenues until this investment is paid off.
While my monthly passive income from this route will pick up over time, it's allowed me to become an investor in businesses for the very first time. If you're interested in doing this, you can start with a small amount ($100 even) and do it through a platform like MainVest.
Own Rental Properties
This isn’t something I’ve done yet but looked into. Here’s how to get going:
1. Fundrise - These guys only require $500 to get started.
2. Roofstock - This is a great way to get started owning your own rental property.
3. FarmTogether - FarmTogether is a platform that allows you to invest in US Farmland.
Another way I decided to diversify my investment portfolio and make passive income was through peer-to-peer lending. This is when you loan money to borrowers who might not qualify for traditional loans.
Since I'm just getting started doing this, I'm using a website called PeerStreet, which lets you lend capital to people who are real estate borrowers. They then pay monthly interest on these loans and I receive a share of those payments.
I decided to create a product for my business that would generate passive income and not require much of my time. I did this by selling print-on-demand merchandise.
After I designed hats and T-shirts and listed those items on my website, whenever a person went to buy an item, the print-on-demand store would print it and ship it to them. I don't have to think about making the product, putting it in the mail, or even handling refunds.
If you have a current business or brand, you can set this up by designing the item for free using Canva, and then hosting it on a website like Amazon Merch or Printful, where they take care of the details after the purchase is made.
An easy way I've been making passive income lately is through cash-back credit cards and websites.
I decided to get a cash-back credit card to use for my everyday purchases. I get unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, my streaming subscriptions, and at grocery stores. I usually find myself getting around $30 to $50 a month in cash back from using this card.
I also use cash-back websites, like Rakuten and TopCashBack, for online shopping. All you do is shop through their portals, and when you buy an item from a store, you can get anywhere from 1% to 30% cash back.
Do Affiliate Links
One way I’ve been able to monetize my blog, which I’ve had since 2011, and the content I provide on social media and my email lists is through affiliate links. I primarily use Amazon’s affiliate program and I’m able to link to products I mention in my content — whether it’s books I’m reading or products I bought and loved — and make a percentage of any sales I bring in.
There are other programs I have considered using, such as ShareASale and Rakuten, which gives you access to more brands and products that offer affiliate links. Many influencers and bloggers use sites like that when posting about outfits or decor. This year I plan to expand my affiliate offerings, around products that I endorse and also software that I use as a digital creator.
Back next week with more unusual // odd ways for you to make MONEY!
Until then, can you share this newsletter with a pal or two? Will you?
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Jen Glantz is a whimsical entrepreneur, 3x author, podcast host, and all-around pizza-obsessed goofball.
Peer Street looks interesting. At present, they are only accepting accredited investors (net worth > $1 million excluding personal residence).