“You can watch the money roll in without lifting a finger.” “Kick back on the beach as your profits soar.” “Wouldn’t you like to make a living while on vacation?” You’ve likely heard all of these pitches before. If you’re involved in the online business world at all, odds are good you have.

These pitches are the main marketing points of passive income sites. You know, the tried and true Internet marketing campaigns that promise the world without any work? Yeah, those. So many people swear by the passive income business model. And hey, if it’s working for you, great. A success story is a success story.

But I have a bit of a bone to pick with the whole idea of “passive income.” Because in reality, I don’t think there’s anything passive about them at all.

I know that’s a pretty bold claim, especially since the concept of generating passive income online is so prevalent. But I want you to stick with me for a bit while I discuss why I believe this to be the case and how you can embrace these decidedly impassive sites to build revenue using WordPress.


What Is a Passive Income Site?

According to Investopedia, passive income can be defined as any earnings someone brings in “…from a rental property, limited partnership or other enterprise in which he or she is not actively involved.” Sounds simple enough, right? And in fairness, the concept is pretty simple. Passive income is money you make while not doing anything.

As far as how this applies to the online world, there’s very little difference in the definition. I like how it’s defined at Real Passive Income Ideas, actually:

“…passive income streams simply come from assets, and assets are either bought with money (eg rental property) or […] bought through sweat (eg ebook).” — Richard, Real Passive Income Ideas

Whatever your asset, be it a home or an autoresponder course, the idea is to put it out there then let it do the work for you. And then you can lounge on your deck, kick up your feet, and watch as the moolah rolls in.

Passive income sites act as a central hub for your online moneymaking activities. Like a portfolio or a resume site, a passive income site works to promote something on your behalf. However, unlike these other kinds of sites, you don’t actually have to do any work to make a sale.

So far I’ve been talking about all of this in pretty abstract terms. It’s time to change that and get down to the specifics.

Some Ways People Make “Passive” Income Online

In all reality, any business that involves selling a product is passive in some way. I mean, once the product is developed and created, you’re not actively creating it anymore; rather, you stand back and watch as people buy it and your bank account grows. But when you hear people talk about online passive income, they’re referring to a specific kind of business and specific kinds of products.

A Blog Site with Affiliate Links

One of the most popular ways to earn income passively online is by starting a blog and populating it with affiliate links.

So, the idea here is you’d create a site about a topic you enjoy or have some knowledge of already. You’d add new content regularly as you should with any blog.

Then you can sign up for affiliate programs for products or services related to your blog’s topic and include links to these things in your posts.

You can also include links or banner ads in your site’s sidebar for the affiliate programs.

A blog site is about as low-cost as you can get in terms of starting up and it can be quite low maintenance. Once you get your initial content up on the site, you can outsource new posts and so long as those affiliate links are included, you can—in theory—watch your bank account grow while you sit back and relax.

An Online Store That Uses Dropshipping

Creating a product to sell is decidedly active, not passive. And selling other people’s products is active too when you have to build your own store and maintain inventory. However, if you use dropshipping, all you have to do is set up a store and drive was web traffic to it. Everything else is handled by another company and you walk away with a share of the profits.


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