Building Your Passive Income Streams

Passive income refers to revenue that you earn on an ongoing basis, with little effort required to maintain it. It is mostly “hands-off” income. While you won’t make your entire living from Passive Income (at least to begin with), it does provide for additional financial freedom, can be a vital part of your immediate income, and because it doesn’t require further time on your part, it leaves additional time for you to focus on your Active Income Streams (or meditation / laughing with friends / enjoying organic cocktails).

Here are some great ideas to get you started:

Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing rewards you for referring online sales or visits, often by paying a flat or percentage-based commission. You’re probably already recommending a number of your favourite products or services– you may as well sign up to make a commission when you refer sale or a new customer. We’re all for recommending good businesses and brands to one another – just make sure you follow these rules for staying generous and transparent.


If you have knowledge and passion for a particular subject, why not sell an eBook? You can self-publish anything from a short recipe book, to a long essay on your research and opinions. Once your eBook is published, you can won’t need to put in additional work any time someone purchases it online (plus, it can be used as a great tool for building your email marketing list, if you would like to trade an email address for a free download). We like using CreateSpace where users can print your book on demand, and Woo Commerce if you’re selling downloads straight from your own website. If you want to learn more about how to execute an effective book release, read our tips here.

Online products

If you have a skill or knowledge base that others want to learn more about, consider developing an online course, series, manual, or tool for others to purchase. Be sure to make it your own, and invest in making something of quality that you truly believe in. Your course could include a series of instructional emails, online modules, videos, or webinars. Once it is created and online, your only work will be to continue to promote it.

Build an App

Or – if you lack the tech skills like us—have someone else build one for you (we like Upwork for finding freelancers). You don’t need to create anything revolutionary. Consider building something simple, information based, and easy-to-use. Once it is built and available in the App Store, you will earn a share of every sale without everyday involvement.

Consider renting your space

Perhaps you have space and equipment that is left unused for part of the week that you could rent out to others for a flat fee or a percentage of what they make. Big open spaces are perfect for private yoga and dance instruction, dining halls are perfect for privately catered events, and new entrepreneurs might be interested in testing products with your equipment. If you fully trust those that you are renting to, you won’t even have to be there.

Design some swag

Shirts, hats, and gear can be additional revenue that is consistent with your brand and other products.

Repackage old content

If you have content that is already created from past years, find ways to repackage it into something valuable that you can sell. For example, create a calendar with your best photography (if you’re a photographer, of course), or a short eBook or online course using your most popular and informative blog posts.

The more passive income streams you are able to create for yourself, the more revenue you will be bringing in without your active involvement. Don’t be afraid to package and sell your knowledge and expertise, provide value to others, and enjoy the fruits of your labour. You’ve earned it.

This post is a resource from The Borden Workbook, our comprehensive guide to help entrepreneurs organize and grow their small businesses. The Borden Workbook is used in conjunction with consultation with Borden Communications, or as an organized guide you can used on your own to launch, develop, and nurture your small business (starting now!). We take pride in creating a clear and humble approach to good business tactics that everyone can understand and execute.