How to Add Passive Income to Your Business

Passive income has been the buzzword on the internet for as long as I can remember now.

The headlines are VERY enticing:
Set it and forget it!
Make money while you sleep!

The reality isn’t QUITE that easy but it’s most certainly worth your time, attention and action.

So in this blog post I wanted to do a few things:
1. Talk to you about some TYPES of online income you could generate and what you might want to choose.
2. Teach you how to incorporate this income INTO your business so that you can take more time off without starting a whole new business model.
3. Give you additional resources to take immediate action that gives you more time-freedom and let’s you focus on LIFE.

The bottom line here is I want you to get paid much more for your time than you do now.

Why It Matters to Me That You Know This:

Look… I can teach you stuff but without knowing WHY I’ve chosen it to bring to you then it might not seem all that important to you!

When I quit my job in 2007 I was working an entirely ACTIVE business model (see below for details). During the first six months of working from home full-time and having my first PROFITABLE business I encountered one of the biggest issues I’ve EVER encountered in business.

I was THRILLED to have quit my factory job and be working from home and replacing the income I had but what I was doing was working myself sick and breaking my body at the same time. I’d spend almost ALL DAY at the computer. My son basically saw the back of my head non-stop while I clicked away on the keyboard. I was NOT moving my body. I was NOT taking time for self-care (what the F was that?).

My son Hayden and I on “Business in Your Bathrobe Day”,
shortly after quitting my job in 2007.

One day my parents dragged me off my computer and for a walk and I commented that it HURT to walk. My mom (in a pretty not-happy-with-where-your-life-is-headed voice) said “your muscles are in atrophy”, “you need to move”. She wasn’t wrong. I was working myself night and day and I was doing TERRIBLE work, too, because I was exhausted AND I was ruining my body. I knew something had to change. I quickly realized that ALL active income and no boundaries and working for too little pay was a REALLY BAD PLAN. So I set out to change it.

I needed to get really CLEAR on the types of income I wanted to generate for my business and really, my life. Below you’ll get the details YOU can use to make this clarity happen for yourself, too. Don’t fall into the trap I did – PLEASE. Keep those muscles a’moving!

Types of Online Income to Use or Leverage Your Time

Active Income

Active Income is any kind of income where you need to be actively present for the income to arrive.

A typical example of this kind of income is any service where you get paid hourly. That can be coaching, teaching a class, writing for pay, providing freelancing services, etc.

This type of income of course takes up the most time. When you work one on one it pulls even more of your time. Sometimes I recommend freelancers who want to create more free time move from the one to one model and into the one to many model. This is still “active” income but it generally allows you to earn a lot more per hour then you would working with one client at a time.

I think active income has a place in many businesses. When I was teaching a group coaching program on WordPress I was also working one on one with WordPress website design clients at the same time. It gave me the experience and kept me up on the fast-changing industry.

I also have a lot of people I work with who will do coaching alongside of creating digital products and selling programs as an affiliate. This allows them to really get a good understanding of the people they are serving.

Passive Income

Passive income is not MAGIC INCOME. Let’s get that right from the start. You can’t just expect to come online with your business, set up this one-time blast of business stuff, leave it and forever collect your money while sipping margaritas. You know this, right? I know you do because you’re here and you’re smart and you know nothing really comes for free.

The beauty in passive income is that it CAN keep coming in AFTER you’ve done the work. I’ll add that it usually needs maintenance and almost never lasts forever.

Good ways to earn passive income online include:

  • Your Own Products. Products you’ve created that sell because of systems you’ve put in place (automation, traffic flowing to an offer from blog posts, etc).
  • Affiliate marketing. Where you sell someone else’s recurring income product OR you get credited for an initial sale and THEN repeat sales from the same customer. My affiliate program, Coach Glue, Kelly McCausey, Nicole Dean & Cindy Bidar all do this in our affiliate programs – send us ONE sale and you’ll get commissions on MORE sales… they could pop in at anytime passively!
  • Combine Active Income and Passive Income. If you are selling products that tend to lean towards the active income side then you have a good opportunity to build in passive income by recommending very relevant and useful offers to your existing customers. Do this WELL, don’t add useless info or crap, and your customers will thank you for it while you collect more passive income. Your clients and customers WANT to know what you recommend because they’re often unsure what to use and they trust your opinion so guide them well and you’ll be doing them a SERVICE by offering them products, services or software you can earn a commission on. The key here is that you would recommend them with or WITHOUT an affiliate commission.

Who doesn’t want passive income!? It’s a beautiful thing. Just remember this DOES take work.

Additional Income to Pay Attention to: Recurring Income

I built my membership site, the Laptop Lifestyle YOUniversity, because I wanted Recurring Income. I wanted the money to come in without my customers to have to make that buying decision month after month and without my always having to be selling. I wanted a “base income” to build on. I also wanted to “future-proof” my income. As you know life happens and it happens when you LEAST expect it so having build-in income that does not require you to always be present is ESSENTIAL.

And that’s what recurring income can be for you. A base which you build upon and a safety net. So don’t discount considering this in your deciding on where to spend your time in your business and choose wisely. This is the beauty in business, too. If you’ve been choosing something that isn’t getting you those results right now you have all the power you need to make the change, starting now. 🙂

Recurring Income can be either active OR passive.

My membership is an Active Recurring Income. I have to show up weekly for the meetings, create new content regularly and show up in my community forums on a daily basis. That is not something that I mind doing because I’ve made it my business model.

On the flip-side, the affiliate commissions I earn monthly from Aweber, my email marketing software, are Passive Recurring Income. I sold the customer into the software ONE TIME and then I get paid recurring commissions each month or year, etc without doing anything further.

Deciding Which Income to Work On:

Have you calculated what you make per hour recently? I don’t mean just the hourly RATE you charge, I mean the rate you earn from the work you are doing in your business day after day. If you don’t know how to calculate this here’s a really simple method:

Do something that earns you money and then divide it by the time it took you to earn that money. I like to do this for my email marketing. I might take 60 minutes to write an email. If that one email makes me $200 then my hourly rate for the whole thing is $200/hour. I also like to calculate mine down to the minute so that would be $200/60 = $3.33/minute. Not bad!

When you add PASSIVE income into this, then it gets REALLY beneficial. So let’s say I didn’t sell a workshop and instead I sold software that paid me $10/month commissions and members regularly stay 2 years or more. Let’s say I sold 10 of those software programs from one email . In this case I’ve got $100/month for two years from a 60 minute email. That’s $100 x 24 months – $2400. That means I’ve $2400/hr and $40/minute.

Clearly I’ve really multiplied my efforts for the same amount of time by adding in a passive income affiliate offer!

Now of course we always want to work on the higher earning incomes but it’s not QUITE that easy.

While the imaginary email I sent out was a great success and earned me $40 per minute, that’s not always the reality of your passive income efforts. They can take a lot more time to see results than your active income efforts and then can add up to a lot less than if you were charging hourly.

It’s a balance!

Sometimes you need to work on your “now income”, your Active Income.
Sometimes you need to work on your “later income”, your Passive Income.
Sometimes you get to work on your “now AND later income” at the same time! Your Active AND Passive.
Sometimes you hit the jackpot and get to work on your “now, later AND recurring income” at the same time! WOOHOO!

Being fully aware that they exist and making conscious choices on how to use them is how you start weilding time to your advantage and creating income that generates you more per minute than you did before!

Additional Training & Resources

I mentioned up above a number of websites that offer affiliate commissions on additional sales after the first sale. You’ll want to check those and go sign up to their affiliate programs! You can join my affiliate program here.

To learn MORE about affiliate marketing and passive income there’s a course from a fellow “Beachie Sister” named Karon Thackston. The Beach House is this magical business retreat I attended almost two years ago now and the ladies I know from that house hold a special place in my heart as the kind of people I WANT the world to know about. Karon in recent years turned focus from higher end client work into creating more passive income and she’s been VERY successful at it. I recommend her as a go-to person to find out more about how to convert your own income into more passive and build more freedom into your lifestyle.

Let me officially introduce you to Karon Thackston with her bio:

Karon is an online business pro with over 20 years of experience. She built her biz, Marketing Words, in 1999, and knows firsthand how entrepreneurs can begin to resent their businesses when there’s a stress overload.

After unexpected growth — and working 18 hours a day to keep up — Karon discovered a (then) new concept called passive income. Now she is laser focused on this revenue stream (especially affiliate marketing) because it brings large sums of money to her every single month.

I’m so excited to learn from Karon myself. Especially because her jumpstart program is created to guide you to one of the easiest ways to earn passive income – through affiliate marketing.

You won’t need to create your products.
You won’t need to do customer service.
You won’t need to worry about customer retention (buying more products).
You won’t need to worry about graphics, design elements, branding.
You won’t get stuck in product procrastination or worries about imposter syndrome – the product is DONE, you just need to tell people about it!

In Karon’s Passive Income Jumpstart: How to Find Profitable Affiliate Products, she’ll teach you:

  • How to choose the best affiliate products to promote that your audience will love.
  • Whether various affiliate products are actually worth your while or a great big time suck.
  • The warning signs to be aware of. (Better to reject these offers!)
  • How to make affiliate revenue a priority and consistently build your passive income month after month.
  • Numerous free ways to share affiliate products even if you don’t have an email list.

Here’s what a couple of Karon’s students have to say after taking her Passive Income Jumpstart course:

“The Passive Income Jumpstart helped me steadily increase my income by finding and promoting the right mix of offers to my coaching and consulting community. That’s a win-win-win!” — Kat Sturtz


“I can use the worksheets and spreadsheet to make sure each affiliate offer has everything I need: a good fit with my audience, great customer service, the right commission, quick payout, etc.” — Stacey Myers

If you’re looking for a proven way to start (or revive) your affiliate marketing efforts, this is it.

Get Passive Income Jumpstart here

What We Learned Today

Let’s summarize this for you because if this is a new concept it could feel like a lot or if it’s a refresher we can always use a clear recap:

  1. The three types of income that help you keep a healthy business and generate more time-freedom are: Active, Passive and Recurring Income.
  2. Add passive income INTO what you’re already doing, especially your products and services that you ALREADY SELL, by talking about what you use and love to earn affiliate commissions. Add automation and easy ways for people to buy your products when you are not there (scheduled emails, blog posts and more).
  3. For more learning and resources on this topic learn from a master passive income earner who’ve I’ve met in person and am very impressed by – Karon Thackston. Her program is Passive Income Jumpstart.

Did you like this post? Want to future posts and lots of marketing tips, insights, motivation and guidance via email? I email every single day to be right by your side as you build your Laptop Lifestyle! I’d love you to join my community of almost 4,000 people who are creating total lifestyle freedom so they can work anywhere, with anyone, work on anything they want and choose WHEN to do it. Total freedom so you can create a LIFE first and then build your work around what you want and love to do in life… novel idea but it’s absolutely possible! Get on the email list to learn all about it:

Angela Wills
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