This is How Much Passive Income I Earn while doing NOTHING!

I haven’t worked on my side hustles for the past months… so what happened to my income?

Everyone is always talking about passive income, how you REALLY need it if you don’t want to spend your whole life working your ass off, right?

But do you ever wonder how “passive” your passive income truly is?

Well, I’ve tested it and I’ll tell you.


In the beginning of the year, I got a new opportunity at my day job.

Yes, I still have a day job — I’m in cyber security.

And even though it might not sound familiar or exciting to many of you, I absolutely love it. The feeling of “improvement”, and “helping others improve” is something that gives me energy.

This is the same in cyber security, as it is for this blog. Helping. Improving. Becoming better.

It’s actually one of the reasons I started this blog. It’s not to earn money because, well, it’s not like it’s making me particularly rich. I think, if you want to become rich with writing, you need to post at least 1 article a day, include offers, ads, affiliate links and much more.

Anyway, because of this new opportunity I got, I had to study A LOT. But really, a lot. Almost all my free time has been going to studying in the past few months.

Because I made these things my priority, I let my passive income work & blogging “dwell a little bit to the background”.

What are my passive income streams?

Let’s list my main ones:

1. Print on Demand (POD)

I’ve been doing POD since 2017. I started creating designs and uploading them on Displate, which later expanded to TeepublicRedbubbleEtsyAmazon and more.

For the past 7 years (!), I was creating and uploading designs sometimes daily, but definitely every week.

I have in total created and uploaded around 5000 designs to various platforms, spread over tens of thousands of products.

2. YouTube Automation

I started with YouTube Automation in early 2022. I immediately hit the jackpot and made 20k after just 4 months.

If you’ve been following me and reading my posts, you’ll know that this was exceptional and hasn’t happened again since. I’m thinking about quitting YouTube Automation fully actually, but that’s a topic for another blog post.

3. Airbnb & Rental income

I’ve written extensive articles (see here) about how I’ve transformed 1 small bedroom in my apartment into a cash-cow Airbnb paradise.

And yes, anyone can do it. Just sign up for, take some pictures of the space you want to rent out and done. You can even rent out storage spaces, garages, whatever. Although I’m not sure this is possible via Airbnb.

4. Crypto staking

Okay I have to admit — Crypto staking is in my opinion not really “passive income”, because as long as you don’t CASH OUT, you don’t have any profit.

Your number of coins grow, but at some point you have to sell. I’m planning to sell soon though, as I expect most coins to go to their All Time High (ATH) again (well, I HOPE they will 😉 .. ).

5. & blogging income

There was a time where I earned $500 IN ONE MONTH via Medium. Can you imagine?

Spoiler alert — it all went downhill from there. But that’s okay, my main reason for blogging is not to make money, but because it has so much more benefits.

Writing can clear your mind, increase your vocabulary, knowledge and in general: it significantly helps with your self-development.

6. Affiliate Marketing

Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve now and then added some affiliate links to my articles.

Can’t say that I’ve earned tons of money with it, but money is money, and it’s definitely worth mentioning in my opinion.

Okay so now, let’s see how much I used to earn with these income streams vs how much I earn now, after +/- 5 months of doing barely anything for them.

Monthly Earnings THEN vs NOW

As you may know, I am tracking all my income, expenses, investments,… via a Spreadsheet.

It looks like this:

Screenshot of my financials tracker spreadsheet

If you want you can get a copy of it here.

Anyway, let’s quickly go over the numbers:

Let’s see how each category compares from “January” to May”, after not doing anything between these months (due to lack of time and other priorities).

1. Print on Demand

I haven’t uploaded any new designs to my POD websites in the past months. This is the result:

  • January 2024 income: $752
  • May 2024 income: $213

That’s a big decrease, isn’t it?

2. YouTube Automation

Well, YouTube Automation doesn’t really count, since this one is 100% passive because I’m hiring a team of editors & creators to do all the work for me.

  • January 2024 income: $172
  • May 2024 income: $182

Quite stable. But as I said, this is expected.

3. Rental income & Airbnb

This one also kept quite even, because I don’t have to put ANY effort in this.

My rental payments keep coming in every month, and for Airbnb… all you need to do is take pretty pictures and put your place on the platform. Easy peasy.

  • January 2024 income: $711
  • May 2024 income: $835

This difference is just because I had 1 more guest in May, than I did in January. Plus, I raise my prices a bit in Spring & Summer.

4. Crypto staking

Yeah… I really shouldn’t add this.

My number of coins is growing, but it’s not really relevant to this article.

5. & blogging income

This is the big one.

Ever wondered what would happen if you’d just STOP writing on Medium?

Well, here you have your answer:

  • January 2024 income: $119
  • May 2024 income: $41

So, there you have it. No new articles = no growth. But makes sense, right?

Hopefully soon I’ll have more time to write again… I really miss it and I notice it’s impacting my life negatively. As I’ve told you countless of times — you don’t need to write for others, but mainly for yourself.

See it as some sort of therapy, perhaps even a diary. Write down your thoughts, feelings,… and seriously — even just writing this helps me to clear my mind!

6. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great business model, where you get a bit of commission for guiding others and helping them make a decision on whether or not to go with some type of product.

  • January 2024 income: $75
  • May 2024 income: $22

And yes… even this went down.

Why? Because many commissions are just a “one time” commission. Unless your reader buys a subscription to something, then it’s a different story.

But yeah, in my case people didn’t buy those, so hence the lower revenue.

Conclusion & Totals

All by all, it’s not that bad.

I mean, for not (or barely doing anything) of 5 months, I still have a nice amount of passive income.

But, most of it comes from real estate.

So, to answer the questions:

  • No, Print on Demand is NOT long-term passive income. It’s hard work and it’s important to keep grinding.
  • No, Blogging is NOT long-term passive income. But it’s still a nice thing to do.
  • No, Affiliate marketing is NOT a long-term passive income.

But well, it’s still better than receiving nothing, right?

I mean, just from POD, Blogging and Affiliate Marketing, I still earn nearly $300 per month in total.

True, that number is decreasing… but it decreases slowly. And I’m sure it can increase quickly again if I put the effort in again.

We’ll see 🙂




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Michiel Schuer


Enthusiastic about learning new things, side-hustles, and translating my personal experiences into motivational stories.

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