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How to Get Started with Passive Income

Passive income: the holy grail of the freelance world.

No matter where you are in your freelance journey, the idea of money coming in while you’re sleeping sounds amazing.

But it’s not easy, and it’s not completely passive.

Here are a few tips on how to get the passive income ball rolling with that holy grail.

Figure out what your audience wants

A lot of entrepreneurs dive into creating courses and books without first making sure that their audience actually WANTS to buy the product. Consequently, sales flop, and the entrepreneur gets discouraged and gives up on her passive income dream.

Don’t let that happen to you!

The best way to figure out if your audience will buy the product you’re planning? Ask them.

You can pick your audience’s brains via Facebook groups, email, or what I consider the best option: Skype. Offer free 15 minute consultations in exchange for 15 minutes of picking your audience members’ brains. Ask questions related to the topic you’re planning, and get feedback. You may learn no one is interest, or that everyone is interested, or that they would be interested but only if your product includes X, Y, and Z. But you’ll never know unless you ask.

Figure out the best format for your product

Again, asking what your audience likes can be huge! If your audience hates reading, an ebook is not the way to go. Instead, you could do audio recordings.

Also consider what you need to show your audience in the product. If you’re showing someone how to use WordPress, would it be better to have written text and screenshots, or a screencast video? The audio option, even if loved by your audience, would be a bad choice in this case. Think about the best format for delivery and what your audience responds best to.

Make the product

Only after researching what your audience wants (and is willing to buy), and figuring out the best format to deliver the product, should you sit down and actually make it.

This can be time-consuming, frustrating, and hard to motivate yourself to do. Without the promise of actual payout, it can be easy to put off development. But you need to do it!

Schedule time into your calendar to work on your product. Non-negotiable.

Beta test

Before launching your product into the world, you should beta-test it. This means letting a few people in (either for free or at a discount) in exchange for their feedback.

A great way to do this, is to start a private Facebook group for beta participants where they can ask questions and provide feedback. Then at the end, conduct an anonymous survey to get those last few honest (harsh) opinions.


Ugh, I know! You just want to get the darn thing out there. But after beta testing your product, you’ll have at least a few things to tweak or add. Don’t worry! This will make your final product that much stronger!

After the revisions, you may choose to run another round of testing, or dive straight into launching!


Launching is a multi-step process. While I’m not a launch pro, here are a few things everyone should do before launching their new product!

Blog about it

Write 3-4 blog posts relating to the topic of your new product BEFORE you launch. This will get people excited when your product comes out!

Create a mailing list

Let potential customers join a mailing list specifically for your new product. You can link to the mailing list in the blog posts to really help get people excited!

Shout it from the rooftops!

When launch day comes, let everyone know! You can pre-schedule social media posts, a blog post, and newsletter announcements. Trust me, it’s a huge mistake to quietly launch–people can’t and won’t buy if they don’t know you’re selling!

Keep the momentum rolling

After the initial launch, sales will likely die down. Unfortunately, while you’ve made an amazing product that can be sold over and over again with little to no work on your part, the continual marketing isn’t passive. Be sure to plan and schedule more blog posts and newsletters that funnel customers back to your product.

Remember: new people find you all the time. They haven’t had a chance to buy yet, so let them know what you’ve got to sell!

Also remember: not everyone was ready to buy during your launch. But they may be ready later. It’s okay to keep reminding people of your products and services as long as you aren’t pushy about it.

Get to work!

With proper research, planning, and testing, you’ll be well on your way to creating a product your audience will love. But you can’t bring in the moolah unless you get started!

Tell me in the comments what passive income product you’re planning–or have already launched!

Erin Flynn Erin E Flynn has been making websites since the dark ages of the internet (1999), and running her own web development business since 2012. A huge fan of streamlining and communication, Erin now helps coach new designers in simplifying their businesses and making more money. When she’s not glued to her computer screen, you can find Erin hiking, camping, or binge-watching Netflix. Find her online at, or join her Unstoppable Crew to take control of your design business!

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Great tips Erin, looking to launch my first passive income ebook before the end of the year and then my e-course in the New Year. I love teaching people and I’m looking forward to the challenge of putting everything I know into an ebook and then a course and figuring out ways on how I’m going to deliver it. The process of researching has taught me a lot which hopefully I can one day pass onto my clients. Who knows the research could lead to even more courses or ebooks?

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