One of the simplest and easiest ways to generate passive income is to sell a product online. This is a remarkably simple business model: you simply create a website or a sales page, select a product, sell that product form your sales page and then direct traffic there. This could be an eBook, a pair of jeans or even a range of different products.

The more traffic you can send to your site, the more you will sell. That means you can then start to invest more and more money, to increase and scale your business – or you can repeat the model with multiple different products.

But Wait… How is Selling a Product Passive?

You may be wondering at this point how exactly selling a product can be passive. Most of us are used to selling a product being a rather big upheaval. Normally, selling a product means first designing said product, then marketing it, ensuring it is being manufactured to a high enough standard, promoting the brand perhaps through a website and then sending out units to all your customers (fulfilment).

It means an endless process of ordering stock, promoting that stock, packaging, and delivering. Or at least that is the traditional way of selling products. The good news is that these days, it is much easier to sell a product than it ever has been before, and you do not even need to make your own product to do so.

In the conventional model, selling a product meant one of two things:

Creating and manufacturing your own item

Buying items in bulk and then selling them off at a lower price point (reselling)

But the options we are looking at are:

Affiliate marketing

Selling your own digital product

Drop shipping


Setting up automatically fulfilment and storage

Let us look at each of these ideas in turn…

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is an incredibly simple process and one that most people reading this are going to be familiar with. The idea here is that you are selling products that someone else has created and you are getting commission as a result. This is just like being a door-to-door salesman selling subscriptions to cable TV, except that you don’t have to go door-to-door because you can reach the entire world from the comfort of your chair thanks to the internet!

The other thing that sets affiliate marketing apart from regular commission, is the amount of money you will normally take home. When you are an affiliate marketer, you can expect to make anything from 50% to 90% commission. Often, this is going to mean selling a digital product like an eBook or a course. This means that the creator has no overhead and thus they can offer extremely high rates to their marketers.

They are happy to do this because the more marketers they can attract, the more they can scale their business – and they are not losing out on the sales they make themselves. Selling a digital product like an eBook is a good strategy and especially if you choose the right niche/industry – preferably one that has a great ‘value proposition’ and a universal appeal. Try to sell books that promise to make people’s lives better – whether that means making them fitter or helping them to make more money.

You can then paint a picture of a life where your audience are richer, happier, sexier, and healthier than ever before!

The other great thing about selling products as an affiliate is that of course you can usually see how well those items are selling before you choose which one you want to sell yourself. That means you can select something with a pre-established track record and thereby guarantee that you are likely to make a decent profit from it.

You can find these sorts of products from sites like JVZoo, ClickBank or Commission Junction. They will provide you with an affiliate link and any sales you refer through that link will be credited to your account and earn you money. It is that simple! The problem with digital products though is that they do not have as broad an appeal as physical products. You will be able to sell clothes to anyone, whereas only an extremely specific type of person reads eBooks.

Thus, you might prefer to sell physical products, in which case you can use Amazon’s affiliate scheme or Share Sale. Suddenly, you will be able to sell everything from CDs, to clothes, to Transformer toys. The downside is that physical products tend to offer a much lower commission at around 4-6% of the RRP. You’ll likely sell much more and you’ll have the advantage of selling through stores that people are familiar with (especially in the case of Amazon) but you’ll also have to sell a lot more in order to make the same kind of profit you may be used to.

Whatever the case, selling an affiliate product will always be a way to make money passively as all you need to do is set up an account and then pass on the link!

Digital Products

Of course, you can always make your own digital product, which will require no up-front investment and no need for any delivery or storage. Once you have made one eBook, you can sell it an infinite number of times and through an automated process with no need to handle anything personally.

This also gives you complete freedom over what you sell specifically and how you want to market and price it. Just keep in mind that of course you are going to have to create the product yourself and that means you will need to invest a little extra time up-front. Or hire someone to create it for you.


Another way to sell digital products where you get complete control and all the profit is by using PLR packages.

PLR stands for ‘Private Label Rights’. This is essentially a product that you buy with the sole intention of selling on but the good news is that all the work will already have been done for you here, which includes not only the creation of the product but also the creation of numerous marketing materials such as sales copy, freebies that you can use to attract attention and more.

Some of these will essentially be an entire ready-made sales funnel and this means that all you literally must do is to copy and paste an existing business model to make money.