Passive Income – Something for Nothing?

Home Forums Writer’s Digest Forum Conversation question Passive Income – Something for Nothing?

This topic contains 12 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 3 months, 1 week ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #346951

    sherryherrod263
    Participant

    The phrase, “passive income” has been around for decades, perhaps longer. Not the idea, but the phrase, and it is now something most of us accept as gospel, thanks to the internet.

    Example: many “how-to make money as a writer” booklets explain to readers that bundling three or more short books already published and reselling as a bundle is a wise method to earn “passive income” for years to come without doing any additional writing – in essence being paid for the same writing twice.

    The Question(s): Passive income is a mainstay of modern economics in many fields, but is it the right way to approach a project? Do you think it stifles creativity? Or, based on Robert Heinlein’s famous addage, TANSTAAFL (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) truly apply and the phrase, “passive income” is nothing more than a, somehow anti-socially-conscious yet catchy, way to attract more customers?

  • #655935

    Anonymous

    I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Simply because one is packaging their hard work differently doesn’t mean they didn’t do the hard work to begin with, so no, it’s not a free lunch – the author already paid for it. And nothing stifles creativity other than the author. If they choose not to write new stuff, it’s not because of the passive income – it’s because they choose not to write new stuff.

  • #655936

    sherryherrod263
    Participant

    I’m not knocking the concept, just questioning it (and getting ready to throw my space baracross the room!). The first time I recall hearing it was at one of those pyramid business meetings where the speaker drew his circles and described how I could have nearly unlimited income by sucking someone else into the “business”.

    Everybody participates in it to some extent. Well, probably most people. Savings accounts, stocks and bonds, etc. Investing one’s wages to increase the bottom line without performing additional work. Most of the people I know are firm believers in the adage, “A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work”, which leads to the just-as-firm belief that a worker paid for her/his work yesterday should not be paid for it again, today. Or, should they?

  • #655937

    Anonymous

    MikePhillip wrote:
    > I’m not knocking the concept, just questioning it (and getting ready to
    > throw my space baracross the room!). The first time I recall hearing it
    > was at one of those pyramid business meetings where the speaker drew his
    > circles and described how I could have nearly unlimited income by sucking
    > someone else into the “business”.
    >
    > Everybody participates in it to some extent. Well, probably most people.
    > Savings accounts, stocks and bonds, etc. Investing one’s wages to increase
    > the bottom line without performing additional work. Most of the people I
    > know are firm believers in the adage, “A fair day’s wage for a fair
    > day’s work”, which leads to the just-as-firm belief that a worker paid
    > for her/his work yesterday should not be paid for it again, today. Or,
    > should they?

    Well, first, I’m not sure how “passive income” has a correlation to pyramid schemes. But as far as being “paid for it again today” – well, that’s how all writers get paid. They do the work (for weeks or months), and then their work is put out for the public – who pay for it today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. As long as people keep buying the book, the author gets paid for it. And again, simply repackaging it doesn’t change the fact that the work of writing it has been done, so why shouldn’t the author get paid when someone buys it, with new (or old) packaging?

  • #655938

    dlathrop824R
    Participant

    Pyramid schemes are, just that, schemes/scam. Passive income is a smart way to do business, and if you can pull it off you totally should. If you write one article and get paid for it, that’s great. If you write one article that multiple people want to keep paying you for, that’s even better. People who post instructional videos on sites like Udemy are getting passive income for putting in a lot of hard work on one project. Very far from a scam. Of course, if someone is promising you that you’ll make passive income if you just pay them, that’s different and probably a scam.

  • #655939

    margery65w
    Participant

    ostarella wrote:
    > MikePhillip wrote:
    > > I’m not knocking the concept, just questioning it (and getting ready to
    > > throw my space baracross the room!). The first time I recall hearing it
    > > was at one of those pyramid business meetings where the speaker drew his
    > > circles and described how I could have nearly unlimited income by sucking
    > > someone else into the “business”.
    > >
    > > Everybody participates in it to some extent. Well, probably most people.
    > > Savings accounts, stocks and bonds, etc. Investing one’s wages to increase
    > > the bottom line without performing additional work. Most of the people I
    > > know are firm believers in the adage, “A fair day’s wage for a fair
    > > day’s work”, which leads to the just-as-firm belief that a worker paid
    > > for her/his work yesterday should not be paid for it again, today. Or,
    > > should they?
    >
    > Well, first, I’m not sure how “passive income” has a correlation to pyramid
    > schemes. But as far as being “paid for it again today” – well, that’s how
    > all writers get paid. They do the work (for weeks or months), and then their work is
    > put out for the public – who pay for it today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next
    > year. As long as people keep buying the book, the author gets paid for it. And again,
    > simply repackaging it doesn’t change the fact that the work of writing it has been
    > done, so why shouldn’t the author get paid when someone buys it, with new (or old)
    > packaging?

    The schemes I saw had you buy all rights from some writers cheaply and then sell the content to create passive income.
    Sort of sounds like publishers:)
    Some of them also sold the IP rights to sell that collection to others to sell which would then be a pyramid scheme.

  • #655940

    Anonymous

    noobienieuw wrote:
    >
    > The schemes I saw had you buy all rights from some writers cheaply and then sell the
    > content to create passive income.
    > Sort of sounds like publishers:)

    Publishers are investing in your work – ie, they’re also putting their money into getting your book out there and you share in the profits.

    > Some of them also sold the IP rights to sell that collection to others to sell which
    > would then be a pyramid scheme.

    Um, that’s not exactly a pyramid scheme. That’s a product being bought and re-sold. A pyramid scheme, very basically, involves recruiting investors in order to pay off earlier investors, and repeating the process to keep paying off the previous ‘batch’ of investors.

    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/pyramidscheme.asp

  • #655941

    margery65w
    Participant

    ostarella wrote:
    > noobienieuw wrote:
    > >
    > > The schemes I saw had you buy all rights from some writers cheaply and then sell
    > the
    > > content to create passive income.
    > > Sort of sounds like publishers:)
    >
    > Publishers are investing in your work – ie, they’re also putting their money into
    > getting your book out there and you share in the profits.
    >
    > > Some of them also sold the IP rights to sell that collection to others to sell
    > which
    > > would then be a pyramid scheme.
    >
    > Um, that’s not exactly a pyramid scheme. That’s a product being bought and re-sold. A
    > pyramid scheme, very basically, involves recruiting investors in order to pay off
    > earlier investors, and repeating the process to keep paying off the previous ‘batch’
    > of investors.
    >
    > https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/pyramidscheme.asp

    Technically you are right.
    This is more like the Amway model.
    They each sell something to others so they can sell it to other others while assuming the content can be sold at all to anybody for real,
    which is not the real money generator but rather the hope that they can sell the items in the collection to others to make a net profit.

    Not sure how publishers are different. They buy rights to sell IP and spend their money to try to sell the book and make a profit.
    In the case I noted the publisher hires people to write content. The scam part comes later in the way they sell it.

  • #655942

    Anonymous

    noobienieuw wrote:
    >
    > Not sure how publishers are different. They buy rights to sell IP and spend their
    > money to try to sell the book and make a profit.
    > In the case I noted the publisher hires people to write content. The scam part
    > comes later in the way they sell it.

    Obviously there are scam artists in every walk of life. In publishing, most of the scam artists go after self-publishers. If you actually think most trade publishers are scam artists, you need to do more [objective] research.

  • #655943

    margery65w
    Participant

    ostarella wrote:
    > noobienieuw wrote:
    > >
    > > Not sure how publishers are different. They buy rights to sell IP and spend
    > their
    > > money to try to sell the book and make a profit.
    > > In the case I noted the publisher hires people to write content. The scam part
    > > comes later in the way they sell it.
    >
    > Obviously there are scam artists in every walk of life. In publishing, most of the
    > scam artists go after self-publishers. If you actually think most trade publishers
    > are scam artists, you need to do more [objective] research.

    I did not say that trade publishers were scam artists although a few of them are now by pushing their own vanity press operations as a sideline.

    What I said was both buy content. Both hope to sell that content.
    The difference is in the way that they sell it.

  • #655944

    Anonymous

    I guess I got confused with the whole “buy something to resell it is bad” tone in the comments – and how that arose from passive income.

  • #655945

    margery65w
    Participant

    ostarella wrote:
    > I guess I got confused with the whole “buy something to resell it is
    > bad” tone in the comments – and how that arose from passive income.

    Maybe I could have been clearer. The passive part was other people do the work and they resell it to people who are reselling it to keep generating income.
    Often they buy the content dirt cheap on some work site and take low bidder. Quality is not the top priority.

    As I noted more similar to the Amway model.

    And as you noted not strictly a Ponzi scheme even if many people use that name carelessly.

  • #655946

    Anonymous

    Well, that kinda exemplifies two tenets of business: “Buy low, sell high” and caveat emptor.

    I guess my feeling is that if there aren’t actual fraudulent claims about a product/service being presented, both buyer and seller are making the decisions as far as what they’re willing to settle for, both in quality and in price. JMO, but frankly, people tend to get scammed when their own greed leads them in.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.