How to Build a Steady, Passive Income

If I had to choose the most common fear of freelancers, it would be the fear of not having a steady income.

We know there are plenty of projects … and there are more than enough paying clients to go around … but we still worry.

This week, we’ll look at how to erase that fear and build a solid freelance career with a predictable income plan. And, I’ll give you an action step each day to help you move closer to your own predictable income plan.

Before we get started, let’s talk about predictable income — or money that comes in month after month …

Sometimes predictable income can be passive — which means it comes in whether you’re working or not.

You can also have steady predictable income each month when you have recurring work from the same client through a “retainer” deal.

I’ll go more in-depth during this week and give you examples of each …

But, first —

Adding passive income isn’t a huge shift — you won’t have to restructure your entire business plan, change your niche, or start over from scratch.

Most of what I’ll recommend this week can easily be added to your current plan, which if you're still working a 9-to-5 job, will make the transition from employee to freelancer easier.

I speak from experience. It took me a while to set up consistent income streams. I spent the first several years of my writing career trying to get enough paying work to leave my full-time job, but not so much that I would be overwhelmed. Often the projects I did were single, one-time projects, and I was always looking for my next paycheck.

But if I had started predictable income streams early on, I would have had a lot more security when making the leap.

That’s where today’s action item — and your first step toward passive income — comes in:

Spend some time considering what you want from your passive or predictable income stream and make a list. Here are some things to consider:

  • How much do you want to be involved day-to-day?
  • Do you want to work for clients on a regular basis or yourself so you can set your own schedule?
  • What is your biggest concern about passive income? (Mine was money coming in whether I was working or not, but yours might be finding a topic you absolutely love.)

Write down your answers (or share them here).

Tomorrow I’ll reveal my favorite passive income stream — and how you can quickly create your own …

In the meantime, check out my article about making the leap less risky.

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Published: September 16, 2013

10 Responses to “How to Build a Steady, Passive Income”

  1. I would be satisfied to get a steady, predictable $200 per month, without working for it, totally passive. I've been looking into online advertising with AdWords on my blogs, but so far, nada. The rest of my income should come from my own efforts: Since I love to write, completing tasks is not a problem. The "passive" angle is simply a badge of "having arrived."

    Guest (Yael Eylat-Tanaka)

  2. My biggest fear of course is a steady stream of income. My passion is to be a travel writer. I have purchased the "Ultimate Travel Writers Program" and have read about half way through it so far. Travel writing seems to be a hard niche to get into... So I would like to do other types of copy writing to supplement.

    Guest (K Fehrmann)

  3. Hi Christina, Ideally I would like to work part time at being a copywriter. I would like to commit to 5 hours/day (and be prepared to do more from time to time)with a steady clientele. My concern would be to find what I would love to write about. I have narrowed down areas of interest but not determined a niche at this point.

    Guest (Nancy Tossell)

  4. Well, first of all, what I want from a passive income stream is--the INCOME!

    But, in my daily life, I want it to:

    1. fit into daytime hours while my kids are at school.

    2. be managable at recurring intervals (i.e. 4-5 hours work every other week.)

    3. relate to a topic of interest to me.

    My biggest concern is that it won't pay well enough to sustain me.


  5. Passive income is largely a myth. Very few income generating methods are truly passive. Typically a decent chunk of cash is needed via investment to truly get passive income happening OR creating a business, like a paid newsletter. But it's far from easy to do successfully.

    Guest (Ken Hoffman)

  6. Hi Christina,

    I got really hung up on trying to choose a topic for my MMW but I finally launched my site.

    I'm in the same boat as you - I want steady income whether I'm working or not.

    So I'm really looking forward to this TWL series!

    Check it out sometime - it's directed at men who never know what gifts to buy for women, homepage is

    findbestgiftsforwomen dot com

    (to read the landing page, add "/joinu").

    It's a start!

    Chase Canyon

  7. I'd like to have minimal involvement, maybe a few hours per week on a topic I'm interested in, as I'm not a big fan of writing. Working with clients on a recurring basis will make it easier to write.

    Guest (Guest)

  8. Hi Cristina,

    I am just begining this business and my biggest fear is having a passive income in the amount I have today in my 9-t0-5 job. Moreover, I dont want to be overwhelmed. What I really want is working on a 4-5 hours basis daily, and have time to enjoy life the rest of the day, with my family, friends and practicing Tai Chi Chuan, one of my greatest passions.

    Guest (Elton )

  9. I love passive income. It’s definitely something that we should all be striving for.

    Guest (TWade)

  10. We have passive income from books & E Guides we have written that are selling from Amazon & our website. We need to increase the numbers we are selling. We have passive income from an apt bdlg we own.I want get up to $10k a mo. in passive income. Aim high not low.

    Guest (DC resident)

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