Passive income ideas, thoughts and results

In such a down global economy I’m sure that more people are looking to earn a little bit extra. Passive income is defined by Wikipedia as “an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it.” Well, I’m here to tell you that that is a total load of bull. It takes a lot of effort to maintain it. There’s no timeclock, which means working a lot harder and more hours than punching in for a few hours to flip burgers.

Graphic for passive income ideas and results
Graphic for passive income ideas and results

Let’s rewind a bit to 2012, I’d just left my full-time job as a pile of dung to follow my passions and move into a position as Graphic Designer at The Richfield Reaper. Obviously, monetarily this was a terrible move. So I started looking around for ways to make a little extra.

One of the ideas that I found was illustrating and submitting it to microstock, as I’ve always made silly little graphics and had enjoyed drawing (more like scribbling) my whole life and as a Graphic Designer, sometimes you just have to be an artist. I’ve realized a few things about Microstock in the 2 years I’ve been uploading. Some companies will absolutely try to rob you. One recent move resulted in a boycott (which ended my two year partnership with the company.) Some of the ones that I enjoy submitting to are Dreamstime, Pond5 and Bigstock.



Around September 2013 I stumbled upon the promising idea of self hosting my images and with the help of Leo Blanchett launched

flower sketch that I still need to ink, color and upload
flower sketch that I still need to ink, color and upload

One idea I thought was pretty neat was designing products on for sale. While I haven’t put much, if any effort into this, I also haven’t seen any results but, I love the idea and it’s super easy to choose a product, upload your image (they even accept .ai files which is super nice) and put it up for sale.

My most recent and probably most promising (as far as time involved) was deciding to accept advertisements on With an RPM (that’s estimated earnings per 1,000 visitors) of roughly $0.89 and having a few days this summer with over 200 visits, it’s been a good investment overall (even if they are a bit of an eyesore.)

Anyhow, that’s a summary of my efforts and results. You’re only going to get what you put in, and always remember that it is going to be long term. Your 8 hours working on something today isn’t going to hand you a paycheck tomorrow but, with some effort over a period of time, you’ll start seeing a stream of nickels, dimes, and quarters. Not to mention those days when dollars roll in, those are exciting. Every little bit adds up, and if it’s time that your just going to be watching tv, playing a video game or something stupid. You might as well go for it. I’ll leave you with a few personal dos and don’ts (things I fail at.)

Passive Income Dos

  • Do Give it time
  • Do Give it effort
  • Do Value your work (this is going to be contradicted in a minute)
  • Do Find your niche, it will be infinitely easier to compete if you are one of the very few people that creates content the way that you do. Do some research.
  • If you’re writing content, please spell check and at least attempt to use proper grammar, nothing is worse than trying to read an article you’re interested in that’s written too terribly to understand.

Passive Income Don’ts

  • Don’t expect that since it’s “Passive Income” that you don’t have to do anything. There have been weeks that I’ve put in more time creating content than I have at my real job. Some of those weeks still haven’t monetized and they flat out might not.
  • Don’t overvalue your work. Yes, I said to value your work, you should love it, share it and be proud but, you’re not going to be a millionaire by writing a few articles or drawing a few pictures. You aren’t going to start a blog today, and rake in a days wages tomorrow. With a bit of time, you will see some start to trickle in but, it’s going to take a while.
  • Don’t be a spammy jerk. In fact, your friends will remove you from their feeds. Personally, I try to not go over a couple shares in a day on Facebook. G+ and twitter are different monsters but, I’d say maybe less than five times per day making sure to hit the peak traffic times on weekday mornings.
  • Don’t steal other people’s work. If you borrow someones article give them proper credit, pay for images or create your own. You’re literally taking food right out of other families’ mouths.