The 8 best passive income ideas for digital marketers

Key Points

  • As a digital marketer, you have unique skills that are perfect for generating passive income. And with recent price increases, there’s never been a better time to diversify your income streams.
  • Traditional passive income includes property and investing. But online opportunities for digital marketers include selling digital products, running online courses, and becoming an affiliate marketer.
  • To make passive income, you need to make an initial investment. This could be monetary, but more often than not, it’s a time investment
passive income for digital marketers

Inflation is going nuts. Energy prices are shooting through the roof. But wages can’t keep up. You love working in marketing, but your salary doesn’t go as far as it did a year ago. And it’s unlikely things are going to get cheaper. Your money is worth less now, but your skills and knowledge are as valuable as ever. 

But what if I told you there’s a way you could use your digital marketing skills to earn extra income? Extra income, by the way, that doesn’t take consistent hard work and effort.

I’m talking about passive income. Passive income is a great way to supplement your earnings from work (your active income). There are a bunch of things out there for getting some extra money. From traditional investing to creating digital products. When it comes to options for passive income, digital marketers have lots of ways to use their skills to generate income. 

In this article, you’ll find out how to use your skills as knowledge in digital marketing to earn passive income. 

What is passive income?

Passive income is money you earn without continuous effort — you make the initial investment, and then the product continues to make money for you . Spend any time online and you’ll see people talking about “making money while you sleep.” They’re talking about passive income. Traditional examples of passive income are rental properties and investment assets. But there are also tons of ways to generate passive income online — especially if you have a background in digital marketing.

How to earn passive income 8 different ways

Digital marketers are lucky — they have more options for passive income streams than just stocks, index funds, and rental properties (although these are all great ways to supplement your main income). Here are some things digital marketers can do to earn money with little continuous effort.

1. Sell templates and resources

Digital products are one of the best ways to make passive income. The initial investment needed is time — the time it takes to make the product. You’d be surprised by what kind of things you could sell. For example, maybe you made a template in Google Sheets that tracks your site’s analytics. As long as it solves a problem and saves some time, people will be willing to hand over their cash to get it. The same goes for dashboards or reports you’ve made in Google Data Studio. If you provide value with your templates, there are buyers out there. Ben Issen made $16,000 in 2 months selling Notion templates for freelancers because they save time and effort.

To give you some more inspiration, here are some ideas for profitable digital resources.

Google Looker Studio templates

Digital marketers love Google Looker Studio. That’s because it’s a powerful free tool for analyzing data. It’s also super easy to collaborate with team members — even if you’re a remote team. Although Looker Studio isn’t too difficult to figure out, it takes time to build a dashboard. This means people are happy to pay for templates because of the time savings. 

AI prompts

Generative AI is all the rage at the moment. Digital marketers have embraced OpenAI’s new tools and they’re becoming an essential part of many workflows. But there’s a specific technique for writing effective AI prompts. This means there’s a huge market full of people who want the benefits of generative AI but don’t have the time to master prompts.

Google Sheets templates

Google Sheets is a favorite tool of digital marketers. You can use it anywhere through your browser or app on your mobile device. It’s free. And collaboration is a piece of cake. Spreadsheets have gone through a transformation over the last 10 years. They used to be all about numbers and finances. Now you can use a spreadsheet as a healthy meal planner, habit tracker, or Twitter content swipe file. This versatility means there are hundreds of ways to use your knowledge to make profitable Google Sheets templates.

After making your template, you need to find a place to sell it. Of course, you could try and sell it on your own site, social media, or newsletter. But it might be easier to sell it on an established platform like byMarketers.  After signing up and becoming a vendor, you can sell everything from design templates to spreadsheets to presentation slides.

2. Create a course

Another passive income favorite is creating an online course. They’re a great way to share your expertise. Of course, they require a big initial time investment when making the resources, videos, and exercises included in the course. Some topics could be copywriting, social media, SEO, Google Ads, or email marketing. Common places people sell courses are your own website, Gumroad, Udemy or online learning platforms. Online courses have huge earning potential — with some people claiming top creators are earning up to $50,000 per month

3. Become an affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular passive income streams. And luckily for digital marketers, it should come easy to them. Affiliate marketers promote other people’s products or services. If someone buys from a link you share, you get a percentage of the sale. For example, Amazon’s affiliate marketing scheme — Amazon Associates — offers a commission of 1-10% for sales. Or TripAdvisor offers a minimum of 50% per booking.

You can promote products on your blog, social media, or in your newsletter. Whatever niche you write about, there’ll be companies offering affiliate marketing programs. Affiliate marketers can make up to $74,000 per year so it’s definitely worth giving it a shot.

4. Build and monetize a niche website

A niche website is a great — but not easy — way to get some passive income. Niche websites focus on specific topics written for a specific group of people. For example, a broad topic is “how to make passive income” but a niche topic is “how to make passive income when on parental leave.” Because they’re so specific, these sites will generally be small. But even though they’re small, they can be a great source of income. There’s potential to make $1,000 per month within twelve months with a niche site. 

But it must be noted that building a successful niche website isn’t easy — you need to create a lot of quality content to drive traffic. 

Let’s say you’ve found a profitable niche, and you’ve built the website, and you’re getting visitors. Now it’s time to monetize the site. Affiliate marketing is one way. Another way is to add display advertising to your site — for example, with Google Ads. If you have a lot of visitors, sponsored posts are another possibility.

5. Write an ebook

Writing an ebook is another way to share your expertise and generate passive income. Find a trending topic you know about and get writing. Again, there’s a big investment of time at the start — writing an ebook isn’t easy. But remember you’re not writing Crime and Punishment — your ebook doesn’t need to be long or deep. It just needs to have some insights people can learn from. And if you’re really worried about your writing skill, there are plenty of freelance ghostwriters out there who can help you get your ideas on the page. When it’s done you can start promoting it on social media and selling it on Amazon or Gumroad — over 1,000 self-published authors made $100,000 on Amazon in 2021 and the market is still growing.

6. Make an audiobook

You’ve done the hard work of writing your ebook — to get an extra passive income stream, you can turn it into an audiobook. Hire some recording equipment and a voice artist and upload it to Amazon. Every time someone buys your audiobook, you get some royalties. Sounds simple, but like most things on this list, the initial investment is time rather than money. It’s going to take you a while to promote your new audiobook.

7. Build a job board

Setting up a job board for digital marketing openings is straightforward — you can even buy job board templates. Growing traffic to your job board is the tough part, though. By promoting on social media and sourcing the best positions, you can get visitors. And when that happens, you can start earning passive income.

There are a couple of ways to do this. First, you can charge employers to post on your board. Second, you can offer featured posts and other premium features to employers. Building a job board is a long-term play like building a niche site. You don’t need a lot of money upfront. But the time investment you need to get visitors to your site is significant.

8. Use no-code tools to create apps

As a digital marketer, understanding pain points is a big part of your skill set. When you come across a need, you can start planning an app to solve the problem. No-code tools have made it easy for non-programmers to build apps. Don’t let a lack of technical knowledge get in your way. Identify a need, decide whether a web or mobile app is best, and get working. In-app purchases, subscriptions, and ads are ways to monetize apps. 

This is another passive income stream that’s going to take a while. Not only do you need to identify a pain you can solve and build an app, but you also have to test and refine it. If that goes well, you can try getting users. To get to the point of monetization, you’ll need to be patient. It won’t happen o

If you’re ready to start generating passive income, become a byMarketers vendorand start selling your marketing templates and reports. Below are some examples of our most popular selling templates from our creator community:

Common FAQs about Passive Income

Can anyone make passive income?

Absolutely. As long as you have the right idea or expertise, you can create something people will buy. Earning passive income takes an initial investment — like setting up a niche site or writing a course — but after that, you don’t need continuous effort.

Can I sell my own templates on byMarketers?

Yes! First you need to sign up. After you’ve done that, we automatically create a seller account for you. Your dashboard will show an “add a product” option. Select this option and follow the instructions. It’s quick and easy so you’ll be selling your products in no time. Please visit our vendor page for more info.  You can check out our guide on uploading templates for more information.

How much passive income can I earn?

That depends. Some passive income streams can generate 5 figures per month but some will generate 3 figures per month. This comes down to the niche, your knowledge/skills, and the quality of your product. But if you choose the right niche and have a great idea, there’s a lot of money to be made.

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