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If you’ve spent any amount of time online, you’ve likely seen someone talking about how to earn passive income. Passive income is essentially what we all strive for – to make money without having to trade our time.

There are several ways to create passive income in your life – from real estate to receiving dividends from investments. In the online space, you also hear about affiliate marketing and selling digital courses. You’ve probably also heard about how to use funnels to generate passive income. For the sake of this article, we’re going to focus on passive income online.

In the past 18 months or so, I’ve focused on creating more passive income in my life and business. I’m happy to say that I’ve succeeded in many ways. Just last week I randomly logged into PayPal account to look for something and had money waiting for me. The payments came from selling digital courses as an upsell after a freebie. I’ve also increased my affiliate marketing income in the year.

However, even though I’ve encountered success, I’d be lying if I said it was easy. I’d also be lying if I said I don’t have to work for it. Here are X myths about passive income that you need to know.

There is upfront work involved.

Regardless of whether you’re selling a course or a book, there is a ton of upfront work involved when creating passive income online. And when I say a ton, I really do mean a ton.

My book may make me money every month, but it didn’t write and launch itself. The same goes for my digital courses. I had to actually create and launch those in order to have something to sell.

The same is true for affiliate marketing. You have to create the content that will generate sales. Often times, this is done before you’ve seen any money at all.

You have to work to maintain the products.

Products get outdated, which means it’s your job as the business owner to update them. For example, I’ve had to make updates to my class about freelance writing this year because some information no longer applied.

The reality is this happens pretty often. That means even though you technically made the money in your sleep, you still have to work to keep making that money.

Additionally, you have to fix things whenever there’s a connectivity issue. For example, one of my digital products didn’t get delivered the way it was supposed to so I had to go fix it.

You have to market the products consistently.

Perhaps the biggest amount of work that goes into maintaining passive income is the marketing. Truth be told, products don’t really sell themselves. At the end of the day, you have to continue marketing them in order to make money.

This looks like writing content, promoting on social media, email marketing, creating ads and sales. For me, personally, I focus on Facebook ads and email marketing because that’s where I get the most ROI.

Final Thoughts

While creating passive income actually involves more work than people lead you to believe, it’s still worth it. Waking up to money in my PayPal account for a product feels much better than the money I had to trade my time for.