Building Passive Income Streams (Part 2)

Written by: David Scott

Table of Contents

    In the previous article (Part 1) we discussed generating passive income from selling digital products and online courses. In this article, we discuss some other methods to generate passive income, namely affiliate marketing and licensing your ideas.

    Affiliate Marketing

    Blog or Website

    Essentially with this, you’re building a brand and an audience that trusts you enough to want to learn more from you. When someone is searching for something related to a niche topic on Google, your site comes up. And, if you do this properly, your site will come up for specific questions that they are typing in. Once they are on your website and they can get an answer for what they’re searching for. Then, in that post that you’re answering their question, you can put in links to affiliate products. Something that’s relevant to the question. If they are asking about something that you’ve tried you actually trust and you recommend, you can put an affiliate link through that article. When people think that that product is a perfect fit for them, they will click on the provided link and go over to Amazon (or wherever site that contains the product pr service) through an affiliate network and purchase it. The website they bought it from gives you a commission for sending that traffic and getting that sale. If you’re just getting started with affiliate marketing, check out Shopstyle Collective or the Amazon Associates Program, both of which make it easy to monetize links on your website or blog.

    YouTube Videos

    You can make some videos on YouTube to make moeny For example, you can review different Udemy courses that you have taken. You can also make a video about starting a side hustle using Fiverr; many people are palnning to start their side hustle on Fiverr but do not know how to do it. So, you can do a review of products or courses and then put affiliate links to for example a Udemy course or Fiverr in the description. After seeing your review, if people are interested in it, they will click the link and go right to the course. It doesn’t cost them anything, but you can get a dollar or two. People are typing the same questions on YouTube that they would be typing in on Google and finding answers in video format. Some of the results on YouTube will be shown on Google as well. You can monetize your videos not only through ads and affiliate links but also through selling your own books and courses. You can even make money playing video games by streaming and later uploading it to your YouTube channel. 

    Once you have enough followers, you can join the YouTube Partner Program and make money through Google AdSense. You’ll need 1,000 subscribers and at least 4,000 watch hours over the past year in order to be reviewed for the program. It approximately takes 6 months and 52-90 videos to get your first 1,000 subscribers. In terms of effort actually getting that first thousand subscribers is a lot harder than keeping them and growing your channel afterwards. For at least two years, you can’t expect anything in return. Now, let’s say you’ve hit your thousand subscribers and your 4,000 hours of watch time, how hard is it to actually make $100 a month? Well, on average, the revenue per thousand views on YouTube is around about $2. Therefore, if you want to make $100 a month, you need 50,000 views on YouTube. Let’s say you make one video per week, and let’s assume you’re not getting any traffic on your older videos. That means every video you make needs to get around about 12,500 views and very roughly, the average YouTube channel can expect around about 20% of their subscribers to equal, the average view count for each video. So, on YouTube, if you had 62,000 subscribers, you could expect (roughly) 20% of them (i.e., 12,500 views on each video and assuming you have no evergreen content for the long term), you would need to run about 60,000 subscribers to be making $100 a month. In reality, you make $100 a month, a lot before, 60,000 subscribers. You will get traffic on the older videos as well, and most importantly with some experience, you can make a lot more than one video per week.

    Social Media

    We all are marketers. When you post a cute little outfit on your Instagram, even if you have just 200 followers mainly consisting of your closer friends and family, someone is going to ask, “Where did you buy that top from?”. You can post a nice “outfit of the day (ootd)” while getting paid too! You can copy the affiliate link from your favorite product and put it on your Instagram Story. If you have already had more than 10,000 followers, you can even get paid for marketing the product while getting the product itself for free! Many people even use “exposure” as a currency (going for a free trip while promoting the hotels, etc).


    This is generally easier than starting a YouTube channel, although growing a podcast is a lot harder than growing, a YouTube channel because podcasts themselves don’t really have an algorithm, that’s helping them grow. In fact, a lot of podcasts grow by having a YouTube channel. You can use a website called But, how hard it is to make $100 a month in passive income from a podcast? Well, again, this is not quite passive income because the way podcasters make money is by having brand deals. There is no YouTube AdSense for podcasts so you need sponsorship or a brand deal to make any money from your podcast. You can expect to make around $18 for a 30-second ad in a podcast and $25 per thousand views or thousand listeners for a 60-second ad. So, if you want to make $100 a month assuming you have a stream of sponsorships that are giving you that level of sponsorship deal based on your download numbers, you will need around 1,000 downloads per episode if you have a weekly podcast. So, you would have 4,000 downloads a month. On the side note, it’s a lot harder to get a thousand podcast downloads per month than it is to get a thousand YouTube views per month.

    Ad Space on Your Car

    If you drive frequently, you can get paid for displaying a company’s advertisement on your car. It’s easy to get a wrap on your car and start earning money just from making your regular trips. The wrap won’t damage your car, and you can earn up to $450 in passive income every month. This option could be especially lucrative for rideshare drivers. Get started by using one of the following services: Carvertise and Wrapify.

    Licensing Your Ideas

    If you have an idea that might improve a product or service, you can be compensated to license it. On Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary often buys a big share in a firm and then enters into a license arrangement with the entrepreneur. The bar for O’Leary is high though since the entrepreneur can sit back and get royalties on every unit sold. Groovebook, a photo-printing app/subscription business established by Brian and Julie Whiteman, is a huge Shark Tank victory in O’Leary’s portfolio. O’Leary and Mark Cuban spent a total of $150,000 in the Tank for 80 percent of the licensing rights. Shutterfly eventually purchased the firm for $14.5 million. According to O’Leary, the transaction was just 18 months old at the time of the sale. “The co-founders made a million dollars.” That’s a fantastic result.”

    Final Thoughts

    To make money in this field, you need to provide value, especially in the information overload era. Be conscientious when becoming an affiliate marketer, make sure the products/services that you are marketing are legal and trustworthy, so that they won’t jeopardize your reputation and you are not wasting the time and effort you are putting into making high-quality content. You might be a young college student or out of college and you are just starting on your journey to create wealth. It doesn’t matter, as long as you have something to share, it will do, it will work! There are two ways to create a channel: you are either an expert or become a learner. If you are the expert, you are helping other people to do something. But, if you’re not an expert in anything yet, don’t pretend that you are, it can backfire! For example, you could start a “learning guitar channel” and you could talk about what you learned yesterday, what channels you watched, and what core pattern you found, you could stream your learning process and other people could join and learn with you. You can learn in public with your audience and develop a great relationship with people by admitting that you are still learning. If affiliate marketing and licensing your ideas are not for you, you should definitely check out the Part 1 and Part 3 in this article. 

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