When it comes to making money, many of us usually think of only one method: having a job. This is not surprising – after all, most of us are taught and conditioned to believe that we can only earn good money by having a decent and stable job.
But with the boom and continued rise of the Internet, there are many more ways to earn money than ever. In fact, the rise of the Internet contributed to the growth of freelancing and work-from-home (and with our situation with COVID-19, they become more and more of a necessity). The beauty of online jobs and freelancing is clear – you are more flexible compared to “regular jobs”. And yes, the earning potential is also way higher compared to a job!
However, both of them share one thing: they require your time and energy to make money, which is limiting.
You only have a limited hour in a day and you certainly have a limited amount of energy in a day, and that limits your earning potential. They actually have a phrase for that in case you haven’t read about that yet: “trading up your time for money”. As long as you trade your time (and energy) for money, you will only get so far.
In other words, if you want to earn more money (maybe become rich?) or even just add more financial security for you and your family, it will be wise if you consider adding passive income to your income sources.
What is Passive Income?
By now, you probably already know or have an idea what passive income is.
Passive income is simply money that you earn even though you don’t actively work for it. This means that you are potentially earning money ‘round the clock, 24/7. You are earning money while you sleep, while you are having breakfast or even while you are working at your current job or freelance project!
Passive income is even more important because of our present situation with COVID-19. In fact, the pandemic even made freelance projects hard to find. It only make sense you have an automated earning machine by your side in case things go down for a bit.
So, how can you create your passive income stream? Here are 6 ways you can do that – and the best part, you can almost start doing them today, and most typically cost only a few dollars to start!
1) Teach UI Design
As a UI designer, most likely, you have considerable amount of experience and skills in UI design. Instead of just using it to work for someone, why not teach it to others and make money from it by creating your own courses?
However, making courses is not easy – and selling them is not certainly easier, too. It will take time to create your own course, and it will take time in marketing and selling your courses as well.
But if you love teaching, this method can work best for you. Also, how hands-on are you with your students will depend upon you: you can either be very active or just collecting income from your courses.
Either way, teaching UI design is fulfilling – not only you earn passive income, but you also help others learn the ropes of UI design.
2) Start a YouTube Channel
You can also start a YouTube channel and teach UI design or share UI tips through the platform. If you are planning to sell courses, you can even use YouTube as your platform for marketing your courses.
But even with YouTube alone, you can earn money, thanks to their AdSense platform. Just create videos, then if you get a lot of viewers, so is your potential income. You can also get income through paid sponsorship.
Just be sure to be aware of YouTube’s policy to avoid getting demonetized or be totally banned on the platform.
3) Sell Your Design
There are a lot of design products that you can sell and earn passive income from. Vectors, illustrations, logos, mockups and wireframe kits are just some of them.
If you can create themes such as WordPress themes, then you can earn passive income by selling your themes. But what if you cannot make your own theme?
If you cannot make your own theme, but can create a really good design, then you can partner with a theme developer and split the income between yourselves.
4) Affiliate Marketing
If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, this is how it works: you promote a product to your website or platform you use, then if someone buys through your promotion, you will get a portion of income from the sale you’ve help to make (but not at an added cost to your “customer”, as some mistakenly believe so).
You don’t need to promote every product around, and ethically, you shouldn’t. Just promote products that you truly believe in; many companies offer their own affiliate marketing programs, so do not limit yourself to affiliate programs only such as Amazon’s affiliate program.
If you have a product you really like, go to your website and see if they have an affiliate program. If not, message and ask them if they offer an affiliate program. If not, but you really like to sell their product, you may suggest opening up their own affiliate program – after all, they have at least one affiliate ready!
There are many plenty of resources of affiliate marketing opportunities. In fact, you do not need to limit yourself to UI products – for example, if you happen to discuss a book on your blog, then you can set an affiliate link for that particular book.
Speaking of blog…
5) Start Your Own Blog or Website
By starting your own blog or website, you’ll have a platform to do the things that are mentioned above – it is for this reason that this is listed as (second to) last on the list.
For example, you can promote your courses through your blog or website (even if you primarily sell it, say, through another website like Udemy). If you have a YouTube channel, you can talk about it in your blog (and vice-versa). If you are planning to make your own affiliate marketing system, blogging is usually the way to do it.
Regardless, you can do a lot by owning your own blog or website. Best of all, you can get started with just a few dollars – yes, owning your own website is not expensive, unless you happen to create a very big website.
6) Start Your Own Design Agency
Now, this is a big project and not many would think of doing this. But if starting your own design agency is your thing, then this is how it usually goes: simply start your own design agency and hire designers and other relevant employees for your team.
Usually, design agency grows from freelancing – once the freelance designer have many clients for him or her to handle on his own, that’s the time when starting own your design agency is ideal.
Starting your design agency when you barely know any clients is not good as it clearly have a big overhead at your plate when you’re starting out.
Wrapping Things Up: Two Things to Consider
This is not a “get rich quick” scheme – many people try to build their own passive income streams in the hopes of buying a yacht after a month or two. No, passive income stream is not a “get rich quick” scheme (but if you work hard on it and you succeed, it can definitely make you rich!)
This is a long-term strategy – while passive income is indeed passive, building it is not passive. It will take time to grow your business and audience, so you really have to be patient if you want to succeed on this route.
But if you are really determined to create your passive income streams, the best time to start is now – plant now, harvest the rewards later!