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The 3 Myths of Passive Income You Should Avoid

Wandering Aimfully Through Starting A Business

The 3 Myths of Passive Income You Should Avoid

Let's have some real-talk when it comes to generating passive income with digital products.
Jason ZookJason Zook Jason ZookJason Zook

Written by

Jason Zook

Have you felt overworked and wishing you could generate that elusive thing called passive income?

Well, friend, you’re not alone. We’ve spent the better part of a decade trying to master generating revenue while we sleep and we’re here to tell you it’s not as simple as some folks may lead you to believe (#spoileralert #realtalk).

With our disclaimer out of the way, we do want to let you know that it is absolutely possible to make some extra side income so you can feel a bit more financially stable. 

We’re going to talk specifically about three myths when it comes to creating passive income with digital products. Ready to rock? Let’s do this!

(Ps. You can watch this post in video form here:)

Passive Income Worksheet

We know it’s unconventional, but we’re happy to give away some of our resources without making you give us your email address first. That said, if you DO find this article and this worksheet helpful, sign up for our newsletter where we share worksheets like this every Monday.


Passive Income Myth #1

You can create a passive income business without building an audience

Other people make it sound easy right? Build a digital product, spin up a sales page, go to sleep and wake up every morning with more money in your bank account. The issue is that most of us have tried this and it hasn’t worked.

Passive income only works when you have a steady stream of qualified traffic finding out about your product.

In today’s crowded digital landscape, potential customers need to hear from you multiple times and learn to trust your expertise over time. This means you’ll need to capture their attention and communicate with them on an ongoing basis if you want to sell to them, and that means building an audience.

By the way, when we say build an audience, we don’t just mean on social media. Social channels are where most people consume passively — they scroll or read for a moment and then it’s on to the next thing. It’s a great place for awareness or reminders, but not necessarily sales.

Instead, you want an engaged email list providing consistent, helpful content tailored to your target audience.

Attract them by delivering value, and continue to deliver that value to build trust, or else your “passive” product will remain the best-kept secret on the internet, and secrets don’t add up to revenue.

RELATED GUIDE: The Ethical Guide To Building An Email List Without Sleazy Tactics


Passive Income Myth #2:

Passive income is ‘set it and forget it’…and it will last forever.

Most people assume that if they can just get the right funnel with the right price point and the right strategy that sales will roll in and never dry up.

The truth is, things are always changing in online business. Ad prices, media habits, competitors…it’s always shifting.

That’s why you need a clear plan for tracking your product performance and evaluating your marketing efforts on a regular basis.

You can set it and forget it for a WHILE, but eventually, something will change and you’ll have to tweak things and test them in order to respond.

The biggest thing to realize here is that passive income isn’t the savior of your business—the thing you set up one time and spend the rest of your time counting your money. You have to continuously test, tweak and evolve if you want to keep those sales coming.


Passive Income Myth #3:

You can create passive income products about anything, even something you don’t have direct experience in.

In the “passive income” world, we often see people trying to jump on a trend or topic that there’s demand for. They’ll try to teach you how to be more effective on Instagram, for example, without themselves having figured out how to be effective on Instagram.

This is something our friend Paul Jarvis calls teaching “second-hand knowledge” and it could work, but customers aren’t as easily fooled as marketers want to believe.

We believe the best digital product ideas are the ones that stem from your authentic experience.

Make sure your product is on a topic you know intimately, with processes and information you’ve picked up and practiced over time, and add your own unique personal spin to it.


If you’re looking for a step-by-step program to help you launch digital products and potentially create passive income products, you might want to check out our program, Build Without Burnout Academy.

This is a six-month guided program teaching client-based business owners how to transition to digital products, without losing your sanity in the process. Get weekly course videos, monthly calls for accountability and support, plus get access to the rest of our courses and Slack community inside our Wandering Aimfully Membership.


How To Actually Create Passive Income:

Let’s recap what it really takes to build up a passive income source

#1 Make sure you have a good email list to create passive income

Your email list needs to deliver consistent, helpful information about your product topic. Don’t send out a bunch of fluff email content. Don’t list of a bunch of links unrelated to what you are trying to sell. Be direct. Be helpful. Be consistent.

#2 Re-evaluate your passive income funnel every 3 months

Use an experimenter’s mindset to figure out what works and what doesn’t to build up passive income. Remember: There is no set it and forget it. You need to set things, check on them, tweak them, and not forget about them.

RELATED ARTICLE: Challenge All of the Assumptions, Especially Your Self-Limiting Ones

#3 Create a passive income digital product you have direct experience with

Create a product around something you have hands-on knowledge of and can speak confidently about. You want to make sure to teach in your own unique way and with your own twists. Don’t try to sell secondhand knowledge.

Last but not least when it comes to passive income…

You can’t just create a product and put up a sales page expecting it to bring in real revenue for you overnight. Like anything else in your business, it takes time and effort and passive income is not the silver bullet everyone wants it to be.

The sooner you let go of the desire for it to solve all your financial difficulties, the sooner you can get to work making REAL product income that can positively impact your life.

The 3 Myths of Passive Income You Should Avoid

(Big Fat Takeaway)

You can’t just create a product and put up a sales page expecting it to bring in real revenue for you overnight. Like anything else in your business, it takes time and effort and passive income is not the silver bullet everyone wants it to be.


This article written by

Jason Zook

I'm all about that Cinnamon Roll life (that just seemed like a "cool" way to say I love baking and eating cinnamon rolls). Also, I co-run this WAIM thing as well as Teachery. Currently, 75ish% completion of Tears of the Kingdom 🧝‍♀️⚔️.

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