• Han Talbot

Passive incomes: which worked and which didn't

For me anyway. In all honesty, while passive income is essentially meant to tick over on its own, you still get as much from it as you put in at the end of the day. Whether that's scheduling posts on social media or adding banners on your long form content to direct people to your product. So while I'm listing a couple of things I've tried, it doesn't mean it won't necessarily work for you - it came down to the effort I was willing to put in.

What is passive income?

It is money that can be made without as much effort put into marketing or creating hype. Some examples include affiliate links and ads on long form content such as YouTube ads or selling products and/or courses. It's money that you can make as a secondary result of someone clicking on your content.

What didn't work:

Skillshare - it's not that this flopped but more likely needed a little more effort put into promoting it. If you have an idea for lessons, I can highly recommend following the teacher community session to get yourself up and running. Plus, if you post within the month, you will also gain a year of Skillshare for free.

My issue with Skillshare is that I just about made the money within a year to cover the Skillshare fee for the next year. Which, considering how little I actually used the programme in the end, did not feel worth the renewal. Looking back on it, my class could also now do with a massive update...

Stickers - so a couple of years ago, I decided I was going to start a shop. So I started by designing and creating some stickers. Long story short though, while I got a great click through rate to the Shop page, I only sold one - to my lovely mum.

This was likely down to the fact I didn't really promote or showcase the stickers properly and it didn't really represent me as a person. Some feedback I had later on was that there might have been more interested if the design was a little more fine-tuned and as though people could have a small part of my brand.

Living in Central London (costly rent and lifestyle) and not feeling like I had much time meant that I never really bothered trying to develop this further.

Brand ambassadorship & affiliate links:

Since about 2017, I have tried a handful of ambassadorship and affiliate links, but to no real success other than the likes on my Instagram photos. As with the stickers, I would say it came down to making sure the brand fit my audience and also making a better effort to promote the products. It certainly helps your case when the products you're promoting are in line with your brand message ie if you're an adventure travel YouTuber, it makes sense to promote a GoPro.

What worked:

eBay - while technically not a passive income, it was a secondary source that didn't require too much effort - and worked well for the extra £20 here and £10 there. As per the Girl Boss way, all it took was to showcase the item as it was on my Instagram - whether an old handbag or camera.

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) - I completed the TEFL Academy certificate while working full time and while I've yet to put it to use, it's definitely a reassuring thing to have up your sleeve.

Overall, what it comes down to is how well the product fits with your brand and strategy. But it also helps to have a long term plan to market it and a belief that it will sell. So before you start putting loads of effort in, just take a moment to think about whether it will definitely work. Without scaring off though, it is very satisfying when you start to see a little extra cash come in.

Go for it!

Han x

Photo credit: Ian Schneider


©2019 by Han Talbot.