Hello, freelance hustlers! I’m Tiff from Tiff(dot)com. I’m currently a side hustlin’ web designer + developer who dreams of the day where I don’t have to drive 1 hour to an office to do work I could do anywhere!
As I work on my side hustle, I’ve come to realize that client work is great, and makes great money, but products are even better, because I put the work in up front, the products become passive income, and then I make money even while I’m at my 9-5 (or taking an afternoon off).
This idea of products and passive income all revolves around taking content you already have, sprucing it up, re-formatting it, and selling it as products. So, to clarify – this isn’t 100% passive. But honestly, anything of value shouldn’t be completely passive. If you want to build up a good reputation as someone who’s worth investing in, it means investing in the products that you sell. Simple math!
BUT once you’ve got the ball rolling on products and everything is automated, you’ll be set to have an extra income stream that doesn’t require as much time and hands-on work.
So to get to it: 5 ways to create passive income
This can be a really built out, $100+ product, or a smaller product that you sell for $15. With an email course, you take your content and turn it into a course that people work through via email. They sign up, and then your content is set up to automatically send to them as often as you’d like (daily, weekly, etc).
This idea is great for getting people on your mailing list, showing up in their inbox every day, making them familiar with your personality and expertise, and introducing ways they can continue to work with you (i.e. purchase your services).
Examples of email courses: how to get rid of your debt in 6 months, writing prompts for better blogging, how to set up social media ads, meditations for the stressful entrepreneur.
Library of content
This is a a really fun idea that I first saw on Elle & Co., and I’ve been obsessed with making it happen for my site ever since. Say you’ve got great content all over your site for free. But there are real golden nuggets saved up, or you have your BEST and MOST FUN ideas tucked away in your head.
A library is a fabulous way to provide VIP access to these exclusive ideas for a price. You’ve already got the expertise and the know-how. Now you’re just putting it up as a collection that people pay to access. You can do monthly subscriptions or an annual fee. The key here is to provide true value and keep it updated. So while this may not be the most “passive” of income, this can be the fun product where you have a community of paying members who devour the new content you provide. This content is created once, and sold to many, so the work is not as gruesome as one-on-one client work.
Library ideas: graphic design (desktop wallpapers, printable journaling sheets, fun characters or comic books), recipes, business coaching advice, social media advice, plugin reviews or tutorials for developers.
DIY your services (for lower budget, self-paced users) – online course
You already have all of the materials that you use with clients – now what if you took those materials and allowed people to work through it all on their own? This is great for clients who love your work but may not be able to afford your services. And it’s great for you to still get your services out without taking up more of your time (especially if you’re still at your 9-5). People who buy this product are still getting your insights, but they’re doing it at their own pace, and guiding themselves through the process.
This format can mean a lot of things based on your industry. But the idea is to take things you use in your everyday life as a ____ (fill in your job title), and sell that as a resource for other people either in your industry or who would typically utilize your services.
Examples: Erin E Flynn sells an e-book of designer scripts that designers can use to customize and send to clients in difficult situations. Many developers sell WordPress themes they coded so that people purchase, and set up all on their own. If you’re a graphic designer who uses actions in Photoshop, you can create a bundle of your favorite actions, and sell those.
E-book created from your blog archives
If you’ve got a blog going for your business, chances are that your blog archives are not working as hard as they should be for you and your biz. Compile your archives based on category and sell them as e-books – golden! You’ve already put the sweat, wine, and thesaurus-ing into the content – now you just need to shine it up, combine it, and sell it as one easy-to-consume e-book package. People will pay for the convenience of having your expertise in one e-book format, rather than having to comb through your archives.
There you have it folks! 5 ways you can take work you already do and create passive income products. The idea is to get creative and think of ways you can provide help to many people all at once.
Tiffany Breyne is the web designer + developer for Tiff(dot)com. She lives in Chicago with her dog, Lady. Tiff provides a free 8-day Hobby to Money Email Course for those who are ready to sell an e-book for passive income. Sign up to get started.