There are really two types of passive income – there’s pseudo passive income, and truly passive income. This is where most people get hung up on passive income – they think that you can “set and forget it” without any maintenance ever. That’s just not true. With literally any business, at some point you’ll have to do updates and provide support and change as the market for your product changes. Anyone who is worth their salt will tell you that passive income isn’t ever just passive – it takes updating, changing, sometimes promoting and on occasion a complete overhaul.

Examples of clients’ and students’ passive income

I want to walk you through some real-life examples of passive income that I’ve used for clients, and what kind of maintenance they really take, to give you a realistic idea of what it means to have a passive income product.

Digitizing physical products for passive income

I used to help clients in the homeschooling industry modernize their products. One client we’ll call Jenny, had a small business we were working on digitizing, to help support her and her husband. They were living off next to nothing, and I wanted to see their busienss income more stable – living off social security is no way to live! We took her physical book and turned it into a passive income product – a kindle version to sell on Amazon, and a PDf version. Her income went from selling less than 5 proucts on an average month through her website, to having 5-10 sales a week almost immediately, with no sales funnels or any real marketing besides making new graphics I shared on Pinterest. Over time it increased somewhat as we began to market her products, instead of just listing them for sale, but that was a huge boost to her! Now, here’s where the not-entirely passive part comes in. We decided that once a year, she would need to update the book to keep the content fresh, and occasionally the office staff would need to provide support and answer questions and issues related to support for the product (ie, a customer being unable to open their PDF, etc). The product more than paid for the support-related costs, and a new stabilizing stream of income was born. It did take upkeep, but not much!

How two approaches to the same business can be pseudo or truly passive income

I am going to breakdown two passive income methods and thow you why they can be passive, or pseudo-passive, depending on the approach! I teach women how to do affiliate marketings without a website, which is where you share affiliate links on Pinterest, or whatever social media you happen to love using. This is great for people who have no interest in side hustles like blogging.  

Method #1 – Pseudo Passive income on Pinterest

This is the most common way my students manage their Pinterest affiliate marketing businesses, by far. Here’s what their daily routine might look like:

  • Pin popular content on Pinterest
  • Share affiliate Pins on Pinterest

Obviously, that’s doing something every day, so it isn’t very passive. They could also have a monthly routine that looks like this:

  • Add popular content to Tailwind queue for the month
  • Create affiliate Pins for the month and add them to Tailwind queue

Now, assuming that they spread those tasks over two days like I do, that’s 2 days of work for an entire month of profits. That’s a lot more passive, and can make just as much money.

Method #2 – Truly Passive Income

Once a student has been sharing their affiliate links on Pinterest, they can turn their business on autopilot using tools like Boardbooster to automatically Repin the Pins from their boards. They can also do what I’ve done, which is hire an assistant out of the profits of the business to be adding new Pins to Tailwind. This requires several hours of work to train the assistant, occasional “spot checks” to make sure everything is going well, and your assistant and automated system can run the business while you do whatever you want to be doing. The beauty of that is that you’re making money literally doing nothing, aside from checking in to see how much money you’re making and then very minimal maintenance. It’s kind of like investing your money – once the money is invested your work is done, all you have to do after that is watch the performance to make sure it’s growing like it’s supposed to.

Is passive income a scam?

People hear the words “passive income” and most people have one of two reactions: they don’t know what it is, or they think of the get rich quick crap that’s everywhere these days. I hate that stuff, because any legitimate business takes time, work and energy to build! If it sounds like it’s too good to be true, then, well, you don’t need me to say the rest right? You already know. So, is passive income a scam? No. But are there a lot of people who throw that term around who are scammers? YES!  When you’re looking at any opportunity, ask yourself these questions to test the waters:

  • Is the person teaching it offering me any real information, or are they just trying to get me to give them money? Do they offer opportunities to meet their real students (like in a Facebook group) or do they just have generic testimonials on their page that could be stock photos and made up junk?
  • Can I do this on my own, or are they promising me “secrets” only a select few know? Tip: “Secret” marketing is often linked to scams, and people who pretend they know everything and have all the answers don’t. Real, helpful and legit entrepreneurs don’t need to puff themselves up like that.
  • Do they guarantee results? Anyone who guarantees results is full of crap, and that definitly puts them in the scammer category. As an online course instructor, I know that there are students who have taken my programs, and not applied the lessons and half-assed it, so they’ve gotten crappy results. I can’t guarantee that my courses will work for any student because I don’t know their skill set, level of tech savvy, their skills, or their
  • Does it feel too good to be true? I have found that most people know when something is too good to be true, they just want to believe that there’s an “magic feather” for business online, when in reality, the only magic feather is hard work!

Join the Facebook group!

One of the things we love about our comunity is we can discuss business wins an struggles openly and enjoy each other’s company. I would love to have you join, don’t forget to answer the questions when you apply so we know you aren’t a spammer! 😉