What is a creative passive income business

If you’ve been interested in running a digital business you may have heard the concept of passive income already. But just in case you haven’t or you still don’t know what it really refers to, this guide is for you.

Have you ever purchased a lightroom preset for your pictures? Well, that was a passive income product. The person who created that preset did it once, and has been able to sell it more than once. People get the purchased preset as a download right away after the transaction, on which the seller was probably not even present, not physically nor mentally. They only realize that they made a sale when they receive an email from the platform where they are selling the preset, and then they see there’s more money on their bank account.

That is passive income: selling a course, a digital tool, a download, etc. online without having to create one product each time someone purchases.

What are some passive income products you can create?

  • A printable planner or notebook in a topic you know about (check the Passive Income Planner Girl course here!).
  • An excel file to help people get organized in their finances or home chores.
  • An online course on something you know a lot about or that you actually apply in your daily life.
  • An ebook with your tips to do something that others find difficult to execute.
  • A set of checklists.
  • A digital monthly planner.
  • A printable calendar with workout routines.
  • A set of printable or digital stickers.
  • An illustration that people can print and put on their walls as decoration.

Now you know what passive income is and the different products you can sell online. But when does this activity become a passive income business?

I think that depends on the person, but at least to me and many other entrepreneurs, if you’re earning money with it in a constant way (even if that means once in a month), you have a business. Now, if you ONLY create passive income products, then you have a 100% passive income business.

In the case of memberships, you are constantly creating more content for the members inside. When I ran the Polyglot Girls Collective membership, I was creating monthly printables and masterclasses for the people in. So is this totally passive income? Probably not entirely, but a little bit though.

You still create the content inside once and then it doesn’t matter if only two people will download or one hundred. You still don’t have to do extra work for each new person joining.

So please take this with a grain of salt and feel free to have a membership if that feels like passive income to you (I know that for me it still feels that way).

In the case of online services, like web design, commissions and coaching 1-1 or even group coaching, your service (aka your ‘product’) is not passive. Each time you get a new client, you need to create something new. If you do a coaching call, that means you’ll have to trade your time for money. You cannot re-sell your private coaching calls with clients to other people. And in the case of web design, you cannot sell the same website and logo to other clients.

This is totally not in the passive income range, but the active income instead. Again, you trade your time for the money you will earn. That time cannot be given to another person because someone is already paying you, which most times translates into more money, but that is for another post.

When I decided to run my first business, I was sure of a couple of things and one of them was that I wanted to have a creative job. For me it’s not the same having a business than having a ‘creative’ business.

I think when you have a creative business it feels everywhere: from your social media accounts to your website, from your posts to your emails. Every part of your biz feels creative, and it’s not only you who perceives that, but also your audience and customers.

It shows somehow, even if your skills are not very prolific yet or even if you try to sound professional in your copywriting.

The creativity in a business appears in the beautiful graphics that are different from the rest yet still look cohesive. The poetic sentences and fun analogies when explaining a concept that has been taught by many others before. The interesting and cool products or courses that the owner creates, that you haven’t seen anywhere else or at least not in the way they are shown.

This is a quick example (not related to passive income) I created to make things more graphic to you:

Business 1: This is a brand about skin care for women suffering from acne. They upload weekly reels showing their products and their qualities.

Business 2: This is also a brand about skin care for women suffering from acne. They create a quiz on their website that people can take to guess which one is the cause of their skin inflammations. Each week they upload a reel sharing a different skin care routine using the products they sell. 

So out of the two, which one do you think is a creative business?

Now, what about a passive income product example? I made up this one:

Product A: This is a workbook to learn about coding. It was written in Microsoft Word with Arial font in black color. There are no titles in bigger size, every sentence was written in the same style. The file doesn’t include any image or icon.

Product B: This is also a workbook to learn about coding. It’s a Pdf made in Canva. There are highlighted sentences in pink color. The pdf includes some images to explain coding terms through fun analogies. It also includes links that take the reader to Youtube videos made by the brand. The palette color is bright and the design was carefully crafted too.

Which coding workbook would you buy? 

Some businesses exude creativity and it is very easy to see that just by reading their content, taking their quizzes, watching their videos and listening to their podcast episodes. Just thinking about this reminds me of all the creative businesses I support and will probably always support because of their creativity. 

This is totally biased, I know, but at the same time I can totally agree with the idea of your business being creative if YOU feel creative when making your products. If that’s you, then you have a creative passive income business!

Here’s a checklist for you so that you can analyze and see if having a creative business is for you. Again, it doesn’t mean that your decision will be written in stone, but that you’ll be expanding your creativity whenever making something new. Sometimes it may look like there are a lot of ideas in your head, while other times you’ll feel your creative juices more constrained.

Check off the points below (no exactly on this page but mentally) and then keep reading to know your results!

  • I am more emotional than rational when making decisions.
  • I like to think on abstract concepts and metaphors rather than given structures.
  • I enjoy painting, drawing, writing or practicing another creative hobby.
  • I don’t like repeating the same things other people have done.
  • I prefer being original when creating something, even if it feels scarier.
  • I feel excited when I have an idea I haven’t seen executed before.
  • I prefer different colors and creative elements in a picture rather than just black and white or monochrome images.
  • I get bored of the usual fonts, color palettes and designs. I feel they are too repetitive.
  • I tend to feel more inclined to purchase a course or product from an artistic person.
  • Colors and design are everything to me. Even slides need to be creative for me to enjoy a presentation.
  • If I have to present something, I spend more time designing the slides than writing down the content.

So how did it go? If you could check off most or just half of the statements, I think you might be considering having a creative business. But let me tell you something, even if you just checked a couple of the boxes above, you may still have some creative sparks in you, which means that having a normal business won’t feel expansive to you.

The pros of having a creative passive income business are many, but the one I always recall is that it allows me to create things in a flexible way. I can just play with colors, elements, clipart, printables, ebooks, my website, my newsletter and everything I create.

So I’ve been explaining to you everything about passive income, having a passive income business and adding creativity to this. But how does this look on the inside? Well, it means that you have a business where you create and sell digital products to help others in your area of expertise (it can totally be a mixture of your favourite areas), in a creative way.

Some examples:

  • Business about knitting for young adults with no time. You provide your audience with one new post every week about the benefits of knitting to relax. You post time lapse videos of you knitting in your free time with relaxing music or your voice in off doing ASMR. You create easy-to-follow printable knitting patterns and tutorials that your audience can buy on Etsy. 
  • Business about detox smoothies. You upload two monthly vlogs of your morning routine sharing the benefits you feel when drinking your smoothies. You create and sell an Ebook on Amazon Kindle with 25 recipes you created of detox smoothies. You promote your ebook on Pinterest by designing illustrated graphics of some of your recipes. You re-use the same graphics for Instagram, where you also do weekly lives of one hour to talk about having a healthy lifestyle.

If you are nodding with your head and coming up with more creative ideas that you can start soon, then this may be your kind of business.

I hope this post was useful for you and that it made your mind clearer in relation to having a passive income business that is creative.

Have a wonderful day ahead! If you want to keep learning and getting inspired I invite you to read more entries in the blog or listen to the latest episodes of my podcast.

Sofía xx