Sadie Smiley’s Passive Income Pathways Review: 7 Featured Courses That Make It Beginner-Friendly

March 25, 2024

Passive Income Pathways is an inclusive membership program created by Sadie Smiley to provide members with various tools to create passive income streams by blogging, using AI, and creating digital products. Passive Income Pathways, or PIPS, is for women who want to build a profitable online business and achieve financial success involving content creation. 

Blogging is one of the popular ways of making money online, with well-established bloggers earning a 6- or 7-figure income. Social Media Today says 77% of internet users read blogs. One advantage of blogging is that blogs are easy to create with various free templates and platforms you can choose from. You can create blog posts to sell your services or your products. You can be an affiliate marketer or display ads, sponsored posts, and paid ads on your blog.

However, while joining online courses and coaching programs offers passive income ideas, you compete with hundreds of millions of bloggers. Tough competition makes earning from blogging difficult, especially if you are not an expert. In fact, as per data from TechJury, 33% of bloggers do not earn money. 

In this Passive Income Pathways review, I will discuss the two levels of Passive Income Pathways membership plans, including the PIPS Lite and the PIPS VIP, and 7 of its courses, which are helpful for beginners. Besides the program's pros and cons, you will also learn about Sadie Smiley's claims and 5 common side hustles to help you decide which business model is right for you.

Passive Income Pathways Review: Pros and Cons


Affordable membership plans and a lot of free materials.

Supportive coaches and regular calls.

Self-paced, easy-to-follow, and interactive tasks.

Exclusive group of like-minded content creators.


You can find most of the courses on the internet for free.

The pricing of some courses is not updated.

Not many customer reviews are available as of this writing.

There is high competition and market saturation in blogging.


The price of Passive Income Pathways courses varies from $10 to $127. They also have two levels of membership, the Pips Lite Membership, which is $7 monthly, and the Pips VIP Membership, which costs $97 monthly.


The Passive Income Pathways refund includes a 7-day money-back guarantee at the bottom of their products’ page. However, just be aware that they also have another landing page which states “30 Day Money-Back, but there are some requirements.” The requirements include implementing all the strategies taught and showing a documented proof that these strategies didn’t work. 


The Passive Income Pathways started in November 2021.


Sadie Smiley’s personal blog on Facebook has 4.1K followers, while the private Facebook page has 18.6K members.

What Do You Get With Passive Income Pathways?

You get courses, templates, eBooks, and a community with Passive Income Pathways. They have the essentials to help you make passive income, such as tools to build your content marketing skills and a supportive and exclusive group. Passive Income Pathways also made their courses affordable and accessible from two levels of membership:

1. PIP's Lite - The PIP’s Lite Membership provides step-by-step and easy-to-understand courses to build your skills in content marketing and building profitable blogs. PIPS Lite Membership costs $7 monthly and is excellent for beginners starting from scratch. It has theme installs and SEO optimization, among others. It includes monthly co-working, coaching, lightning-fast track calls, and a book club. Here are the other products under PIPs Lite membership:

  • 5-Day Writing Challenge ($10)
  • Active Income Brainstorming ($10)
  • Affiliate Marketing the PIPs way! ($127)
  • Biz Idea Chat ($10)
  • Blogging 101: The Basics (Free)
  • Blogging 102- The Foundation ($7)
  • Happy Stove Training (Free)
  • Lightning Fast Content Creation ($77)
  • PIPS Book Club (Free)

2. PIP's VIP - The PIP’s VIP is the more advanced Passive Income Pathways membership level designed for those seriously looking to upgrade their blogging skills and get exclusive access to more resources and tools. PIP’s VIP membership costs $97 monthly. It can be a good course if you want personalized guidance from Sadie Smiley. The community at PIP’s VIP are also individuals looking towards building a successful online business and steady cash flow. While the membership is flexible to fit your schedule, the VIP membership has accountability actions that can drive you to work harder. Aside from all the inclusions in Lite Membership, you will also get the following in the VIP program:

  • VIP Only Amazing FB Group
  • Weekly coaching calls
  • PIPs coaches follow-up
  • VIP exclusive coupons
  • Homework tailored to your business
  • $1k in 10 Days Challenge ($10)
  • Blogging With AI [Workshop] ($10)
  • Blog Post Guide (Ebook) ($10)
  • Build Your Digital Etsy Empire ($127)
  • Digital Products Creators Summit ($47)
  • Fountain of Ideas [Workshop] ($10)
  • Join PIPs Affiliate Program (Free)
  • Lightning Fast Template Bundle ($7)
  • Millionaire Mindset Meditation Bundle ($10)
  • Open your own PLR Shop ($10)

Passive Income Pathways 7 Featured Courses

Blogging 101

Blogging 101 is a free online course with 20 lessons that discuss the essential steps to blog. According to Sadie Smiley, blogging is the first step towards building a passive income, the PIPS way. This course includes lessons on how to set up your domain and hosting and connect to WordPress. Blogging 101 is included in Passive Income Pathways Lite and VIP membership levels.

Blogging 102

Blogging 102 is the online course after Blogging 101, where Sadies Smiley teaches the basics of SEO, setting up blog pages, plug-ins, blog post basics, blog links, and monetization basics. Blogging 102 is for those who have already set up their blogs and are eager to learn the succeeding steps towards blogging and monetization. Blogging 102 is $7, but it’s included in both membership levels. 

Lightning Fast Content Creation

The Lightning Fast Content Creation is for bloggers or those who want to be freelance writers but need support tackling writer’s block. The course covers 14 lessons on planning, writing, and editing posts. Besides lessons on content marketing through creating blog outlines, it will also teach you about PLR, how to turn PLR into a product, and how to rewrite and edit PLR. The course did not mention whether it will discuss how to maximize social media, but it includes learning the Alphabet Soup Method, batching, and time audit. After taking the course, Sadie said she would give a bonus to help you make money online. The class costs $77, but it’s included in the VIP and Lite membership levels. 

Affiliate Marketing The Sadie Way

If you want to be an affiliate marketer, Affiliate Marketing The Sadie Way, also known as Affiliate Marketing The PIPs Way and Affiliate Marketing The Smiley Way, has 59 lessons on affiliate marketing. The course costs $127, but when you sign up for the PIPS Lite Membership or VIP Membership, you’ll get it for free. In Affiliate Marketing The Sadie Way, Sadie Smiley teaches where to find affiliates, what affiliate links are, how to write affiliate blog posts, and affiliate tips, including how to maximize social media presence. The course also includes prepping your blog to be FTC-compliant and setting up a privacy policy and contact page.

Build Your Digital Etsy Empire

Build Your Digital Etsy Empire will teach you how to build your Etsy shop and start selling digital products. It includes interactive video lessons on designing digital products with Canva and Planify, listing digital products on Etsy, getting traffic to your Etsy shop, using templates, and downloading free clip art. The course is $127, and it covers 24 lessons. Sadie will also teach you how to create bookmarks, planners, calendars, wall art, word searches, and mood trackers to sell on Etsy. The Build Your Digital Etsy Empire is included in the VIP Membership level but not in the Lite Membership. Take a look at the contents of this course below:

  • Welcome
  • Getting Started
  • Project #1 Bookmarks
  • Project #2 Mockups
  • Etsy Setup
  • Project #3 Wall Art
  • Project #4 Word Search
  • Project #5 Calendars
  • Project #6 Mood Tracker
  • Etsy SEO / Improving Your Listings
  • How to Get Repeat Customers and What's Next
  • Diversification: How to Protect Your Business

Happy Stove Training

Happy Stove Training is a free course aimed at helping you improve how to create a plan. The course could be for anyone needing help crafting a doable systematic plan. You can get Happy Stove Training in both membership levels. The contents include a 13-minute video, a downloadable Plan Your Year in A Day PDF material, and a Plan Your Year in a Day Canva template.

Open a PLR Store

Open a PLR Store is a 6-module course that teaches you about PLR, PLR product creation, and how to open your PLR store. PLR or Private Label Rights products cover various contents, including eBooks, PDFs, videos, blog posts, and audio material made by another creator from whom you get or purchase rights to use the material. Depending on your licensing agreement, you could also add your unique modification to the product and sell it. The Open a PLR Store by Sadie Smiley costs $10 and is included in the VIP Membership level but not in the Lite Membership. Here are the contents of the Open a PLR Store course:

  • Module 1: Welcome: Start Here
  • Module 2: Getting to Know PLR
  • Module 3: Tech Setup
  • Module 4: PLR Product Creation
  • Module 5: Setting Up Affiliates
  • Module 6: Extra Credit: Provide Course Feedback

Who Is Passive Income Pathways For?

Passive Income Pathways is for those interested in achieving financial independence through blogging, content marketing, and digital product creation. PIP Lite Membership and VIP Membership cater to beginners and serious bloggers aiming to build a solid online business for a passive income stream. Blogging is an excellent way to achieve financial goals and earn extra cash, but you must develop skills and authority to succeed. The Passive Income Pathways course can be an option for you.

Are Passive Income Pathways Students Getting Results?

Yes, Passive Income Pathways students are getting results based on the success stories shared on their website. They commend Sadie Smiley as an effective teacher and coach who helps them accomplish things. Most members also run blogs like Lisa Lauter Thompson of and Pam Allen, from San Francisco, California, a coach in Passive Income Pathways. Here are some screenshots of their reviews and pages:

Dee Pawar, the blogger behind, also learned how to do affiliate marketing from Sadie Smiley’s Affiliate Marketing, The PIPs Way. Dee said that after signing up for 3 affiliates, she got 3 membership sign-ups in two weeks.

However, as of this writing, besides the self-serving reviews posted on the website, there are no other reviews on Quora or Reddit. Passive Income Pathways is a relatively new course (less than 2 years), but those who find Sadie Smiley’s story and advocacy relatable might find their community in PIPs.

Is Passive Income Pathways Worth It?

Yes, Passive Income Pathways is worth it, especially for women who are still beginners in blogging and earning income online. Sadie Smiley’s courses are simple and easy to follow. However, what she’s teaching is available online for free if you research independently. If your goal is to learn as much as you can while saving money, many online learning platforms offer various free courses on blogging and affiliate marketing. There is also a beginner's guide to financial freedom online.

Who is the Founder of Passive Income Pathways?

Sadie Smiley, a former virtual assistant, social media consultant, and content developer, is the founder of Passive Income Pathways. Sadie also co-founded the Facebook group called The Women of AI (formerly Women of ChatGPT + Midjourney) with Sharon Kinnier (Tools for Coaching). Sadie is also a Jasper-certified expert. 

In 2022, Sadie Smiley earned a 6-figure income based on the income report she posted online. These 2022 income reports showed she earned $17,521 in February (her first income report made public), $16,717.21 in March, and $23,228.44 in April. However, Sadie showed no other income reports after April 2022.

Sadie Smiley also shared that she has ADHD and is on the autism spectrum. Besides her previous jobs, there isn’t much information about her educational background. But, in an interview with Tom Antion of Screw The Commute podcast last year, Sadie shared that she graduated valedictorian in high school and got good grades in college. She said she has been blogging for 15 years and coaching for 3 years. Sadie now stays with her husband, Kevin Smiley, in Baja California, Mexico. 

Sadie Smiley also has a blog where she shares her other hobbies, her recovery (she got thyroid cancer), and other articles on various topics. Sadie also contributes blog posts to Newsbreak Original.

One of the notable things about Sadie Smiley is her advocacy for the community. Her family helps feed over 70 other families every week in Mexico. She also encourages generosity and inclusivity among her members.

Passive Income Pathways Coaches

Aside from Sadie Smiley, the other coaches of Passive Income Pathways are: 

Pam Allen has over 10 years of blogging and virtual assistant experience. She created the Canva Clubhouse membership and the Canva Creations With Pam FB group.

Kimberley Houston is the founder and lead coach at EmpowerED Entrepreneur Academy and the former host of The Visionary Catalyst Podcast. She is a former Le Cordon bleu-trained pastry chef, culinary instructor, author, and transformational coach pursuing a doctoral degree in Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University in Pasadena, California.

Sharon Kinnier is the formulator, educator, and coach behind the Tools for Coaching blog. Sharon was the former CEO of a computer networking company called Enterprise Engineering, Inc. She is also a formulator of natural skin and body care products.

Sadie Smiley’s Claims

Sadie Smiley claims that members can earn an extra $2,000 with passive income in one year. She also claims that many members make five figures a month from their blogs and digital products. The earnings include the commissions that members can earn when buyers purchase through their affiliate links. However, can you make this much after a year of blogging and affiliate marketing?

Sadie Smiley’s Claims DEBUNKED

While some people earn $2,000 a month in one year through blogging and affiliate marketing, achieving this income requires consistency, skills, strategy, and dedication. You must continuously generate traffic from a steady stream of web visitors. But without quality content, traffic generation is tough to achieve. 

The question: “How can I make $1000 from blogging?” is still popular on Quora, and here are some answers from Quora users:

Shams Sumon from Dhaka, Bangladesh, shared that it is almost impossible for beginners to earn $1,000 monthly after launching a blog. He said if you are not a blogger, you need to hire a writer to help you develop high-quality content that will attract traffic to your site, which means an additional expense.

Another blogger named Paratha Candy said earning $1,000 a month from blogging requires posting daily on your blog for up to 18 months. 

Sadie Smiley has been blogging for at least 15 years. However, her available income reports are limited to what she earned in February, March, and April 2022. The income reports do not prove that she consistently earns a 5- or 6-figure salary from blogging or other side hustles. In addition, without reviews from her students, it’s difficult to believe that many of their members are making five figures a month for their blogs and digital products.

5 Common Passive Income Side Hustles

  • Local lead generation - Local lead generation involves building and ranking local sites. Like finding a profitable niche in blogging, you need to target the correct niche in a geographical area. This targeting also helps you reduce the level of your competition. You’ll need time to overcome the learning curve of this business model, but once your site is up and ranking, you can build as many sites as you want and earn $500-$2,000 a month per site without having to churn out quality articles and constantly driving traffic to your sites.
  • Investment income - Investment income comes from various financial assets, such as bonds, dividend paying stocks, or securities. You earn money from your investment. It can be capital gains, dividend income, or interest income. You can choose dividend-paying stocks or bonds providing interest payments if you prefer passive investing. However, if you expect a significant monthly income from these investments, you must also allot more substantial investments. The amount of money you can earn from financial assets depends on many factors, such as the product, your preference, the amount you invest, and the market supply and demand. For instance, in 2022, the annual S&P average stock market return was 18.1%, but in 2021, it was 28.7%.
  • Rental property - Rental property business is a type of real estate investing that involves the infusion of capital to real estate properties and renting it out to generate rental income. You can choose different properties for your rental business, such as single-family homes, multifamily units, vacation homes, condominiums, or townhomes. However, real estate takes commitment and patience. Many factors could affect the stability of your income from renting out properties, including market volatility, property management issues, and tenant turnover. If you prefer to invest in real properties but have no time to manage it yourself, you can check out real estate investment trust (REIT) companies, which pool capital from various investors who earn from dividends.
  • Affiliate marketing - Similar to sponsored posts, becoming affiliate marketers is also a typical side hustle for influencers. It is one of the popular ways to monetize content, where you earn commission from merchants when buyers purchase through your affiliate link. However, making money from affiliate marketing or qualifying for an affiliate program would be difficult without a high-traffic website. 
  • Dropshipping - Picking the right product is critical in a successful dropshipping business. You must select a niche and conduct product research. Dropshippers earn an average monthly income of $1,000 to $3,000 in the first year, and successful dropshippers get $50 to $5,000 daily. However, you must work harder to outperform the competition in this very saturated market. 

Are Passive Income Side Hustles Profitable?

Yes, passive income side hustles are profitable. More people are now seeking the best way to early retirement and build wealth through various investment opportunities. A New York Times article written by Lisa Rabasca Roepe quoted John Boyd, the founder of financial planning firm MDRN Wealth in Scottsdale, Arizona, saying: “We live in a passive-income obsessed culture.” 

Data from the United States Census Bureau highlights that 20% of American households earn $4,200 annually in various passive income such as dividends, investing in rental properties, and interest rates. 

There are tons of options to earn passive income today, from using your credit card to getting a high-yield savings accounts to dividend investing and maximizing capital appreciation. Each business model’s profitability varies widely and is affected by different factors, including risk preference, resources, and the time and effort you will put in. Other aspects influencing the profitability of passive income business models include market demand, scalability, diversification, and monetization strategy. 

Many prominent personalities found success in venturing into passive income business models. Here are three of them:

Graham Cochrane - 40-year-old Graham Cochrane earns $160,000 from passive income monthly, working 5 hours weekly. In an article on CNBC, Graham shared how he started from relying on food stamps to earning while working on his business. Graham Cochrane is now a business coach and the author of “How to Get Paid for What You Know.” 

Matt Diggity, the brain behind Affiliate Lab, has also grown and manages various online businesses. Matt is a successful affiliate marketer and has an estimated net worth of $3 million.

Adam Enfroy of Blog Growth Engine has also built a substantial following, being a successful blogger. His blog made $1 million in less than two years with zero ad spending. Adam shared that he treated his blog like a business and worked hundreds of hours scaling its processes while attending to his day job.

3 Passive Income Pathways Alternatives

Legendary Marketer by David Sharpe is an online learning platform. It offers comprehensive training courses and digital products to build your online business. They also have an affiliate marketing program to boost your passive income earnings. 

Price: The Legendary Marketer courses costs as low as $7 to $2,500. The Legendary Marketer Mastermind and Legendary Entrepreneur Mastermind live events cost $8,000 and $12,000, respectively.

More Info: Legendary Marketer Review

passive income geek review

Passive Income Geek by Morten Storgaard teaches you how to create passive income websites. This affiliate marketing course focuses on making content for your sites, using SEO to rank them on Google, and generating organic leads. 

Price: Passive Income Geek costs $399 for the first year and $199 per additional year.

More Info: Passive Income Geek Review

Passive Income Unlocked or Passive Income Unlocked Protocol by Jeff Bridenstine and Ben Esman is an online course for beginners and experienced website builders. It focuses on building a data-driven niche and establishing a recurring passive income stream. The course creators will show you the exact framework they used for their business model. 

Price: Passive Income Unlocked lifetime membership costs $350 and $150 for an annual subscription. They also have a 6-month subscription plan for $90.

More Info: Passive Income Unlocked Review

Local Lead Generation is Still the Best Source of Passive Income

Sadie Smiley’s Passive Income Pathways can teach you different ways to make money online. If you are leaning towards creating content and products, this course can introduce you to many tools you could use in building your page. It also offers affiliate marketing courses, a popular way to earn commission. 

With so many resources available, blogging and building e-commerce sites are easier to do these days. There are free and paid research and affiliate marketing tools to help your business. But is earning from it also easy? 

According to the Web Tribunal, WordPress hosts over 60 million blogs, and Tumblr has over 518 million. This number proves that the blogging market is oversaturated, and for beginners, this requires consistent hard work to create excellent content or offer unique products. Similarly, market saturation, high-quality content creation, and website traffic optimization make affiliate marketing hard.

Local lead generation

These are just some reasons local lead generation is still the best source of passive income. In local lead generation, you rank sites in Google and generate free traffic. Instead of competing for global or national keywords, you can quickly reduce your competition by targeting local cities. You will also create digital properties, but these properties are things that are of value to the community - services that people need and seek. In local lead generation, the customer looks for you, and you can earn $2,000 to $2,500 from one website, even without having to work hard to produce top-quality content regularly.

Of all the business models I have tried, I can vouch 100% that local lead generation is still the best source of passive income. Over 7,000 students have signed up for our local lead generation course. Make sure you’re not missing out on this opportunity!

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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