Want to make money while you sleep? Does that sound too good to be true? It’s possible through passive income for content creators! While passive income may seem like an elusive goal unattainable for mere mortals, it is possible, and we’ll show you how!
Typically, we get paid for the time we work. As an employee or a contractor, we get paid by the hour or by the week. But it’s impossible to truly scale our time this way—we’ll always be limited by the 24 hours in a day.
Passive income sources, in contrast, only require upfront work that you can reap monetary benefits from for many months or even years with little additional effort. It’s the most efficient way to monetize and scale yourself and your time. Who doesn’t want to make money while they sleep?!
Here’s how you can generate passive income!
Selling your content
As a content creator, it’s probably great to know that some of the biggest passive income sources lie in content creation! Here’s how you can make passive income by selling your content.
Taking the time to teach people individually can be a lot of work. But you can scale yourself through teaching group courses. You can offer unlimited sign ups to your class and teach many people at all once through weekly or biweekly lessons supplemented by additional materials.
Make and sell an eBook! Have some topic you know a lot about? Not sure if you have the time or effort to teach a complete course? No problem - you can still share your knowledge through an eBook that fans and other interested people would gladly purchase. You write the book once and can sell infinite copies with minimal additional effort (beyond store set up and marketing).
eBooks aren’t the only things that you can monetize. If you’re not up for writing an eBook, you can also make and sell digital assets such as guides, interactive worksheets, and templates (such as these budgeting templates that creator @MisoMelon links on her Beacons page). Many of these things you may have already created in some form for your own work. You can polish them and sell them online! You only have to make them once and can sell unlimited copies.
Have an existing email newsletter or want to start one? You can sell a subscription to your newsletter. You can write and charge at the frequency that makes the most sense to you (monthly and annual are most common). You write each newsletter issue once and can monetize through many subscribers. You can easily start your newsletter through Beacons with our Email Marketing tool!
Newsletters aren’t the only things your fans can subscribe to. Your fans likely want more exclusive content from you in all forms. If writing isn’t for you, consider monetizing through memberships. Your fans pay you a certain amount each month to get access to additional content from you. One way to set up a membership program is through Patreon.
Some creators have spun up job boards for their audience that companies can advertise on. Pallet helps creators create and market job boards to their fans that companies can pay to post on (here’s an example from creator Gabrielle Judge).
There are almost certainly many job seekers in your fan base, and companies hiring would love to reach them. Beyond putting together the job board and vetting companies, not much additional work is required while you get revenue per the company and job.
Digital products are the cheapest and easiest to sell (with digital, you don’t need to worry about fulfillment or shipping!) You can make passive income through launching an online store.
Not sure what to sell? Check out our guide with ideas on the best digital products for your brand: What Digital Products Should I Sell?
You can even monetize your time (without a product) through the Beacons Store.
You can design a line of merch to sell to your fans. You only have to design once and can sell to numerous fans. You can automate much of the production and fulfillment process as well. Merch doesn’t have to just be clothing but can also be anything from mugs to notebooks to bags to phone cases and more. You can easily sell your products through Beacons store!
Art and music
If you’re an artist or musician, consider selling access to your work. You can sell items featuring your art, song lyrics, or song clips as well. You produce these once and can sell them many times over!
We all have tons of clutter in our house. Why not sell these? List anything you no longer want on your online store front and start making money! Some platforms to sell on are Depop, Poshmark, and Mercari.
Ads based passive income for content creators
Companies want to reach your fans through you. Beyond brand deals, companies can run ads through your platform and your content, and you’ll be compensated for it without additional work. Here’s how it works:
Affiliate marketing is a great source of passive income. With affiliate marketing, you essentially get a unique link from a brand, share that link with your followers, and get a cut of the sales generated - very little work and great upside potential!
Selling ads on your blog
Do you run a blog? With enough traffic, engagement, and the right audience, you can sell ad space on your blog. Companies would love to reach your audience in a place they already frequent. This requires little work from your end, and companies will pay you for as long as you feature the ads.
By setting up a YouTube AdSense account, you can get paid for each video you create. YouTube features ad breaks in your videos and you get paid for it - it’s as easy as that!
When you’re choosing one of these passive income sources for content creators, consider what sort of content or work you’re already doing. If you’re already creating content or products that your fans love, you likely only need to make a few tweaks before you’re ready to make money while you sleep!