Get Savvy and Make Money While You Sleep

Monday, June 24, 2019


I haven’t been the smartest writer I could be. But the way I see it, it’s never too late to learn a few tricks! These days, it’s not enough just to be a writer. You could get stuck in an endless rut of writing and revising and searching for an agent or places to submit your work and not see one cent in return.

I didn’t really have any clarity on this topic until I spent some time listening to some motivational podcasts that all focus on chasing your dreams . . . practically. Little by little, I learned that there are things I should be doing with my writing that could earn me passive income with my business, and I smacked myself in the forehead when I realized I haven’t been taking advantage of it. Yes, I’m a writer, but I also need to make money where I can.

For example, I have a website. But up until recently, I didn’t even have a “subscribe” button activated on it—I was mostly using it to house my blog and a portfolio of my work. But when I started brainstorming my own podcast idea, I realized I would have to use my website to promote the podcast, but how could I do that without a subscribe button?

I’ve also developed a reputation for writing about true crime—why not use my expertise to share products, books, TV shows, films etc. in this area and use affiliate links to earn passive income? For example, one author I follow sends out a weekly e-mail. One week she’ll share something like a simple list of her top five business books she recommends. If any of her subscribers click on those links and purchase, she earns a small commission. This is passive income for her, but with a following of more than a million people, it adds up. Even if an author had a few hundred followers that could be worthwhile. Another influencer/educator has created her own line of courses on different topics for business owners, as well as templates people can purchase through a Shopify store. She does the work up front to create the modules for the educational programs and templates/checklists and literally earns money in her sleep.

I’m determined to work smarter, not harder in the next year by slowly adding in my own passive-income opportunities. The trick is to alternate offering free education and information to your followers and then offer them an opportunity to purchase something. I’m excited to get started.

Have you created your own passive income tied into your writing business? If you haven’t, I’d love to hear your ideas about how you could implement this yourself.

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who is also working on developing her own true crime podcast. Visit her website at


Sioux Roslawski said...

Renee--No, of course not. No, I've done nothing business-y like that. I don't know if I'm capable of it. ;)

I'm excited about your podcast. I fell in love with "S-Town" over the weekend. I can't wait until I can get hooked on yours.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Renee ~ I'm all about passive income! I love using affiliate programs, but they aren't completely passive because you either need to tweet about it or write a post etc, but it's all about finding the right ones for your audience. Ad services like Adsense are completely passive and if you have traffic can generate a lot of income just for putting a code on your page. Information products like ebooks or templates can be good passive income after the initial investment of writing or creating it--either via straight download from your website or store (like Shopify) and you charge more as an information product ebook on your site (like $20+ per ebook), or through regular ebook distribution channels like Amazon, but you'd have to sell them for like $4.99 or lower to be competitive. You could offer info products related to your true crime podcast or compile a transcript book of your episodes. You could also set up an e-class on a platform like Udemy where you create it once and then earn passive income off that. The site serves up the classes for you and takes care of everything, and you get paid when someone purchases. You could create promo products like coffee mugs and t-shirts with your podcast logo or slogans, etc. without putting up any money through stores like Zazzle, Spreadshirt, CafePress, or Custom Ink. You could open a dropship store and sell products without having to touch or ship anything and connect it to your website. (I used to do that for a living by selling lingerie. WOW used to have a store that sold everything from coffee tables to books! We actually sold a queen bed and comforter set the first month we opened. Lol. I think we closed it in '09 because the company we partnered with closed down, but it was like having a department store on the website!) You could set up a Patreon account and people who want to support what you do subscribe to it and you get paid every month. There are so many things you can do. Now that you've made me think about this, I realize I need to do more of these things! I've slacked off over the years when I should've been keeping up with it more. It is more work than it sounds, like everything, and really depends on the size of your list and how many followers you have on social media, but if you just keep at it, it will increase over time.

I'm excited about your podcast, too! And I love your dress and your butterfly winged backdrop! :)

Tracey said...

Hi Renee,

I wanted to visit your website and learn more about the work you’re doing, but I’m being blocked out and I thought you’d like to know.

The message I get is “Access Denied - GoDaddy Firewall”. The block reason is: “Access from your Country was disabled by the administrator.” I’m in Canada, and we’re a pretty friendly bunch so I’m sure you don’t want to keep out us Canadians. 😊

I hope this helps you!


Renee Roberson said...

Hi Tracey,
Thanks for letting me know! I had to get serious about security on my website several months ago when it was hacked, so my firewall can be finicky about what browsers are used to access my site. I have my techie daughter checking out the settings and it looks like 14 well-meaning Canadians such as yourself were blocked! If you use Chrome or Firefox you should be okay but I’ll see if anything else needa to be fixed! - Renee

Tracey said...

Hi Renee,

Sorry to report that I'm unable to access your site via Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

I'll be happy to test it from Canada for you when your daughter tweaks it, so just let me know.

(Why do hackers waste their technical talents wreaking havoc?! Imagine what they could do for good!)

Mary Horner said...

I love passive income much more than passive voice! I need to use these same techniques, so I hope you post more about this in the future!

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