Print on Demand and Passive Income

The algorithm strikes again, this time deciding that my penchant for Print on Demand advice content means I’m broke and looking for more hobbies. I can’t make it 5 minutes scrolling through social media without seeing another video about how “you too can become financially independent through passive income!” Perhaps in an effort to purge this demon, I’ve decided to talk about passive income, especially as it relates to Print on Demand and other digital side hustles. So here goes.

Passive income happens when you repeatedly make money off an existing piece of work. It isn’t get-rich-quick, and it isn’t something-for-nothing. It requires seed work and upkeep, and ironically gives you the best return not when you treat it passively, but rather when you actively engage it.

In other words passive income takes work, both at the beginning and along the way; don’t let a clickbait video try and tell you otherwise.

With Print on Demand, the initial work looks like several things:

  • Creating and uploading designs
  • Doing market research
  • Establishing your selling platform(s)
  • Making social media accounts
  • Publicizing your store

Upkeep looks like:

  • Creating and uploading more designs
  • Doing more market research
  • Updating listings to optimize SEO
  • Maintaining social media presence

And, depending on your business model, it can also involve

  • Processing orders
  • Answering customer questions
  • Handling returns
  • Making and shipping products

As you can see, Passive Income by way of Print on Demand maybe isn’t as passive as those videos would lead you to believe. While its true different business models require different amounts of initial and subsequent work, they all take something.

In fact, no legitimate side hustle will make you money with no work at all. As the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

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