“Passive income is an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it.”
In my podcast interview with actor Kathleen Antonia, we talked a bit about income and particularly passive income. I really hope that section piqued your interest! Your participation in passive earnings can, on a small scale, save you in a fix (as it did for me) and, on a big scale, make you rich.
Maybe you’ve heard about the guy that got wealthy in the stocks game or in the real estate game. Both are classic forms of passive income. I imagine you may have also heard some finance guru preach: Don’t work for your money, make your money work for you. How trite. But also, how true!
The basic idea that a lot of millionaires are hip to that most working class folks don’t know is: You can multiply funds while kickin’ it on your couch. Just as a general example, some landlords might make about 80% passive income from the rent checks they receive (The 20% or so might go towards management, admin, and the occasional repair). In other words, they’re not earning “on the clock” the way most of us do. They’re not trading a fixed amount of time for fixed dollar amount, e.g. $20 per hour or $40k per year.
So why aren’t more people then in this passive income biz if it’s so great? First, most people don’t even know about it because we’ve been trained to think about money in terms of wages or salary. Second, it’s not that easy. Do you have surplus funds to purchase rental properties? Me neither. Or to think more positively, not yet.
However, entry level strategies for passive income are getting more and more accessible these days. When I was fresh out of employment last year because my teaching gigs dissolved, I continued to make several thousand dollars, thanks to residual checks from just one commercial and another television appearance that I booked as an actor. Trust me, that money helped lots and just when I needed it too. Any actor that has the opportunity to score screen work and squanders it to preserve starving artist street cred is either already quite wealthy or a straight-up fool.
What if you’re not an actor? What else is there in the realm of passive income? Lots! Just look around. There are peer-to-peer rental services like AirBnB or Relay Rides that allow you to make money from your apartment or car, respectively. Music artists don’t have to man the store for customers to buy their songs on iTunes, CDBaby or ReverbNation. Any artist selling on CafePress or photographer licensing their work to stock image sites can make money while they sleep. These are all forms of passive income. All perfectly honest methods of making a little scratch on the side.
There is also affiliate marketing which I employ – sparingly and with tact (very important) – throughout parts of this site. Affiliate marketing is when a seller says thanks for a referral by cutting you a small check. A lot of both professional and amateur review sites are affiliates, earning income for products they feature. Again, all totally legitimate. Basically, you earn money from talking about what you like talking about regardless. For instance, I may recommend a book that has positively impacted my experience. When you add that book to your own shelf using the link I provide, I can make a few cents – literally.
Some people have actually built entire careers as Internet affiliate marketers. I’ve been able to earn a few hundred dollars myself. But before you jump into the mix, mind these simple but very important tips:
Lastly, you need to have a website. Without a site, you’re missing out on the opportunity to promote your talents! And you are especially missing out on additional earning strategies like these. If you’d like, you can create your own site using BlueHost which is a service that I use. And yes, since we’re on the topic, this too is an affiliate link. Naturally, you don’t have to use this link but if you did, I’d be super grateful!
So there you have it, your introduction to a very powerful earning concept and some basic methodologies! Emphasis on “introduction”. There is a lot to learn. I hope this post serves as a proper start and encourages you to think more strategically about your art, your work, and your options for making money. I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have ideas or opinions to add, please use the comment field below. And share this post with friends you think would benefit. Thank you!
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