As an influencer, there are many ideas you can try out to make passive income from your audience. Many influencers have large audiences but never thought about how they would actually monetize them. Your choice of how to monetize your audience passively may depend on what interests you and your audience most. Better yet, you can choose to combine two or more ideas, and earn even more income passively.
How can I earn passive income as an influencer? As an influencer, you can earn passive income in a variety of ways including endorsing products or services, blogging, eCommerce, print on demand, podcasting, affiliate marketing etc. Each idea offers varying levels of passiveness but the main success factors are your audience, engagement, content quality and the level of influence.
The more qualified traffic you can pull towards your idea, the more passive income you can make. With many ideas to choose from, identifying the idea that best suits you as an influencer can be challenging – and that’s what this article is all about. In this article, we uncover 8 effective and lucrative ideas that you can engage in as an influencer to earn passive income. The best part? Most of these ideas are extremely easy to do and require only a couple of hours off your busy schedule to run successfully. For more details on each idea, you can learn more from each specific guide on our blog by clicking on the orange button or the adjacent image. Let’s get started.
You probably heard this before, but don’t skip this idea! We’re not talking about blogging about your day or vlogging. Blogging as we mean it has to do with answering people specific questions in Google. When you answer specific questions people are actually searching for with quality content, you can broaden your audience and monetize the traffic you attract. There are proven ways to bring qualified traffic to your blog, and Rick and Jim, two highly experienced passive income bloggers, cover how to do it in detail in Project 24. In their course, Rick and Jim explain how to find things people are searching for, and exactly how to rank #1 in Google on those terms. Their course takes you through 60 steps to build a blog that can provide over $7,000 of passive income in 24 months.
Content is still King. In fact, Bill Gates announced this a couple decades ago (source). You can create a lucrative passive income blog as long as you have quality content like articles, photos and videos to captivate your traffic. As an influencer, you can use your monetized blog to review, market, and answer questions about the product/service you are offering. You can monetize your content in many ways like eCommerce (selling physical or digital products), display ads, print on demand, and affiliate marketing, offering webinars, coaching, becoming a brand ambassador, and through sponsored blog posts. You could also transform your blog into a membership site to boost your income.
How passive is blogging for an influencer? Blogging is very time demanding at first, but can become an extremely passive way of earning income as an influencer if setup correctly. Initially, you have to put in quite a bit of time and commitment until your blog has high traffic, is monetized, and runs with minimal supervision. Blogging is an excellent way to expand your current audience and monetize it.
Note A blog can be the central hub for most of the ideas below so do not neglect the opportunity this idea has to offer.
eCommerce is an excellent way for influencers to monetize their audience, and it encompasses so many ways to do it. eCommerce is also one of the most lucrative income streams considering many influencers owe a chunk of their income to eCommerce, may that be selling merch, consulting, or digital goods like eBooks or courses. But, you have to know how to make ecommerce passive and lucrative or it’ll become a full-time demanding job. Watch the video below to better understand what we mean.
As an influencer, you either sell your own products, or other people’s products. Selling other people’s products is an easy way of getting started. You eliminate logistical processes required when selling your own products like shipping, handling, delivery, and returns. Other passive ways of earning from eCommerce is selling digital products like eBooks, courses, games, code, music etc. It is more passive and easy to start compared to selling physical products because the product is automatically sent to the customer upon purchase. For more information, check out our full guides on selling digital products like eBooks, podcasts, and stock photos and videos.
Whatever eCommerce idea you choose as an influencer, your traffic and quality of your product or content are key. You sell your physical products directly on your Facebook and Instagram business page with Ecwid eCommerce. Make sure you sell products that you love and use or content that relates to your niche.
How passive is eCommerce for influencer? It depends with the idea you choose. Selling digital products like eBooks is easier and more passive than selling physical products. Selling physical products yourself is more time demanding than having them drop shipped. So choose an idea that best fits your audience and your own needs.
3. Print on Demand
You can earn passive income as an influencer by offering merch through Print on Demand. No need to buy expensive printers or every size and colour of t-shirts. With print on demand, you can sell your designs on merchandise (like t-shirts, mugs, hats, sweatshirts etc) and once a purchase is made, a fulfillment company prints and ships the order to the customer. As long as you have an audience, print on demand is an easy and passive way of making money as an influencer. For detailed information, we’ve created a full guide you can read here.
You don’t have to be a designer to start earning passive income from Print on Demand. Even easy designs like text-based phrases sell. Better yet, there are tons of designs available online and apps that can help you create your own designs for free like Canva. You can even have a design created for you for $5 on Fiverr. The best part about Print on Demand is that these services handle printing, shipping and returns on your behalf. So you don’t have to worry about dealing with the most complex part of fulfilling merch orders.
Photos and videos are excellent ways of promoting your work. Purchase samples and showcase them to your audience in promotional videos and photos. Some people even just where their merch while creating their usual video content, piquing the interest of their audience, who then can purchase it in their online store. Ensure your videos and photos are high quality so your audience sees detailed views. Print on Demand can help you earn up to $500/month in passive income for those with the right designs and an interested audience. To boost sales, promote your work on social sites like Facebook and Instagram. We love using Ecwid e-commerce with Printful for print-on-demand because it integrates Facebook and Instagram so you can sell on your business pages on these platforms.
How passive is Print on Demand for influencers? Print on Demand is quite passive. You only need a design and the rest (printing and shipping) is done for you by the print on demand service you are using. Creating your own designs may require more time than having them created for you so the passiveness varies. You make passive income by earning a percentage on each sale. It’s important to provide quality designs to keep your audiences growing and buying more. Overall, print on demand is a passive and easy idea you can consider as an influencer.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is an ideal passive income idea for influencers. All you need is a product/service you love or use, sign up on an affiliate marketing service, promote your product to an audience, and receive a commission on every sale made. Affiliate marketing can be done both online and offline (in-person) but online affiliate marketing is easier and more passive.
The goal is to promote products that you already use. This will allow you to provide better advice based on personal experience. You can also use sites like Google Trends to view trends of the product (s) you intend to sell. Choose a product that is supported by an affiliate program company. You can sign up to affiliate programs like Amazon Associates, Rakuten Linkshare, and Commissions Junction that allow you to promote products and receive a commission on sales.
How passive is Affiliate Marketing for influencers? Affiliate marketing is another way influencers can make passive income and monetize their audience. You sell other people’s products and earn a commission on sales. It’s important to create a niche and sell products that you actually use and love. That way, you give value to your followers and make more sales. How passive it is all depends on the method you choose. Online affiliate marketing is easier and more passive than in person. However, affiliate marketing is generally time demanding at the beginning if you do not yet have an audience, but does become more passive over time depending on your audience engagement.
As an influencer, you can make money from Chatbots but you have to monetize them. Creating a Chatbot may be easy but making money from it takes thought, a bit of time and effort. With a monetized Chatbot you can make good money depending on how you use it.
You can make money by selling a chatbot of course, but to make more passive income, you can use it for affiliate marketing, landing page funnels, advertising, lead generation and eCommerce. All you need to do is decide how it will interact with your audience by creating a diagram of your chatbot conversations. Do not forget your goals – how will it make you money. Make sure that aspect is included in the conversations it will have. Lead your traffic down your funnel so your bot can start earning you passive income.
You don’t need to have programming knowledge to create a bot. You only require a few skills to get started and a monetization goal to estimate how much you’ll earn. To create the right bot, consider your bot’s goal (answer questions, collect leads, collect survey answers etc), the tone it will have (formal or informal), the audience it is serving (age, gender) etc. How much income it will make will depend on the quality and quantity of traffic you generate to it, the interaction people have with it, and how well the monetization goals are aligned with the traffic’s needs. For example, if the traffic is looking for a low cost fitness eBook and that’s what your bot serves them, the chances they will buy are higher.
Learn More About Chatbots in Our Guide
How passive are Chatbots for influencers? Chatbots are passive sources of income because computers handle the conversation with your clients on your behalf. The bulk of the work is setting the bot up, but once it’s rolling, it can better serve your traffic and provide you more income 24/7.
Podcasting is a popular way of earning passive income for many online businesses and individuals (including influencers). Starting a podcast is easy, but the key to earning income is monetizing and driving traffic to it. A monetized and well-advertised podcast can help you make up to $1,700/episode and with one episode per week, you can rake in $6,800/month as passive income.
To create a successful podcast, your content and audience are key. To grow and maintain your audience, choose a popular topic that you are passionate about. This can help you find more content, topics, and sub-topics to make enough episodes. You will need the right equipment and podcasting skills to create quality content. Ensure your content is audible, well edited, and rich with information to enhance quality.
Of course, you do need to monetize your podcasts to make passive income. Otherwise, you’ll be doing all the hard work for free. You can monetize your podcast using ads, affiliate marketing, interviews, donations, sponsorships, memberships, or even selling your own products. If you already have a YouTube channel, think about turning some of your videos into Podcast episodes, and vice versa. This can help you make more money from your podcast by uploading it to a monetized YouTube channel. You can learn more in our podcasting guide here.
To drive traffic to your podcast, you can use your current audiences. Promote your work through social sites like Facebook and Instagram. Consistency is also very important so publishing one podcast every week is a good start and only requires a few hours per week to make. For a detailed course on podcasting, we highly recommend Rick and Jim’s Project 24.
How passive is podcasting for influencers? Podcasting is fairly passive if you monetize your episodes correctly. If the podcast is not monetized, it will not make you any money. Once you set your podcasting business, posting one podcast per week only requires a few hours, which is pretty passive.
7. Stock Photography
You can earn passive income by selling stock photos and videos. You can sell your content on one or various sites to make passive income. To start earning passive income as an influencer, all you need are high quality photos and videos, basic editing skills, and to join the right stock platform(s).
Your content is key so it’s important to learn how to take high quality photos and videos. In fact, most of the platforms where you showcase your content will not allow you to post low-quality content. Use a quality DSLR or phone camera to ensure the quality of your content is top notch. With basic editing and photography tricks, you can boost your skills to pro levels. Learn more in Project 24 that not only contains a blogging and podcasting course, it also contains a full course on photography!
There are many places online where you can sell your content. Some popular sites include Shutterstock, Alamy, Evanto Market, and Photodune. All you need is to create an account and post your photos. Once someone is interested, they can purchase it from the platform. Some sites allow you to resell your photos, which will help you make more passive income.
Learn More About Stock Photography in Our Guide
How passive is stock photography for influencers? Selling stock photography is very passive. However, you may need a large quantity of photos and videos to actually make money as you cannot always be sure which ones will sell. It will also take a couple of hours to post them. You can save time and sell your old photos on various platforms. But once they are online the process is very passive.
8. 3D Printing
3D printing is a fairly new but lucrative way of earning passive income, even as an influencer. As an influencer, you can earn passive income from 3D printing by selling objects related to your niche like (like jewellery and fashion accessories, motion picture props etc.). You don’t need to be a designer or own a 3D printer (which are pretty expensive) to print 3D designs. There are tons of sites that can help you create and print 3D designs like Shapeways, i.Materialise, Sculpteo, and Cubify.
If you can afford your own printer, you can learn how to create and print 3D models and make more money. 3D printing is still a new concept to many so you can lease your equipment or offer basic 3D printing skills and make passive income. To boost your income, focus on printing niche products. You can use Google Trends to identify popular ideas.
Learn More About 3D Printing in Our Guide
How passive is 3D printing for influencers? 3D printing is moderately passive but the passiveness depends on the type of product or service you offer. Outsourcing the work is more passive than doing it all yourself. Find an idea that fits with your audience and see how you can get it started and then outsource the work to make it more passive.
Which is the best passive income idea for an influencer? There is no ‘best idea’ for an influencer. It all depends on what you are passionate about and what your audience needs. However, we do have a preference for blogging as it can be the central portal to many passive income avenues an influencer can explore. A blog can be the central stage for managing print-on-demand, eCommerce, memberships, affiliate marketing, advertising, podcasting and a chatbot.
How can I make money with blogging? You can make money blogging in a variety of ways including advertising, eCommerce including selling digital and physical goods, dropshipping and print on demand, affiliate marketing, lead generation, memberships, sponsorships and more. A blog is an excellent place to build brand credibility and start making passive income.
How can I earn passive income as an influencer? There are many ways of earning passive income as an influencer. You can start your run a monetized blog, podcast, or Chatbot, sell stock photos & videos, eCommerce, Affiliate marketing etc. It all depends on what your skill, monetization goals, and the needs of your audience.