Diversifying your sources of income is an important step on the path to financial independence. On average, millionaires have at least seven streams of income. In part 2 of our series on passive income (click here for part 1), Eric shares the lessons learned and mistakes made as he created passive income streams for his architecture practice. In 2020, 90% of his small business revenues came from passive sources, bringing him closer to reaching financial independence. Join us as we explore these topics and more in this second episode in our series about passive income.
For more details on all the sources Eric is employing today to achieve this 90/10 split between passive and active services income, the best source is his website: 30×40 Design Workshop. There you’ll find examples of his current offerings, including courses, digital assets, books, videos and even a few of the physical products he’s experimented with.
Eric’s Current Passive Income Streams:
- Advertising revenue (YouTube)
- Affiliate commissions (Amazon, B&H, Kit.co)
- Book sales (Amazon, iBooks, Audible)
- Digital Course Sales (Teachable)
- Digital Template Sales (Teachable + Gumroad)
- House Plan set sales (Teachable)
- Merch sales (Teespring, Redbubble)
- Stock footage sales (via Blackbox)
- Product sales (kiXstand, TRACE sketchbook, BLANK sketchbook)
Video content is at the heart of this passive income strategy. For an introduction to Eric’s YouTube content – made not just for architects – his studio + desk tour is a great choice:
To set the passive income flywheel in motion Eric relies on YouTube’s native function as a search engine and positions the video at the center of a hub-and-spoke approach popular with content marketers. The YouTube video captures search traffic, provides information and builds community. As viewers consume the content, the passive income earning assets are positioned contextually to support the information. In this way, a video can show a process and link out to all the tools necessary to recreate the results shown in the video. Some of the assets are products Eric has created, others are more integrated into the ecosystem, like ads. Each video will earn advertising revenue as it’s watched over and again and will also natively link out to content he’s created on his own site, see his blog for an example. The blog post contains even more helpful details and information as well as embedded affiliate links which earn commissions, and links to products he has on offer. They also crosslink to related video content which, in turn, sets the process in motion once again.
Passive Income-Earning Products:
For those unfamiliar, affiliate marketing is where vendors offer content creators a small commission – generally a small percentage of cart sales – for product referrals. Amazon Associates is one of the largest affiliate programs online and, once the content is created, is one of the most passive forms of income you can create. Joining is easy and direct and they offer commissions of up to 4% of total cart value, making the holidays a particularly lucrative time (see below). The Learn section of 30X40 provides a good introduction to how Eric approaches this key opportunity – one appropriate for all interest areas and content types.
Each piece of content he creates aims first-and-foremost to be helpful and points to resources created to complement the information he’s sharing. From short form video lectures, to digital templates, courses, podcasts, products and everything in-between; he converts the by-products of the active design work he’s doing each day into assets which produce income even when he’s away from the studio. This income is then directed toward hyper-saving for his FI goals.
You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site. To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.