Everyday more people decide to start their dream of writing online. Most do it as a personal goal, just for fun, or the personal satisfaction of being read, but there is also a side to it, which is writing for money.
There are several articles that explain how you can build a passive income stream on sites like Infobarrel, etc., and there are several other sites that give access to generating active income. So, which is the best option for you? Well, as most questions in life, the answer is "it depends".
Passive income is great if you write for any other reason but money, specially because it takes time to build your stream of revenue. Most of the times you have to spend a significant amount of time writing articles to increase your inventory/library, so it works far better on these cases.
The good thing about passive income is that you will keep on benefit on your articles even after time passes, and even if you stop putting effort in promoting them (probably at a lower rate). This is specially good if you write about topics that would not change or become obsolete in the future.
Active income may work better in terms of seeing faster results. You get paid per article written, so there is much more control on your side. It may be easier to reach fastest results (i.e. higher paychecks), but of course that is directly related with time and effort spent in writing.
The flip side to active income is that you will need to keep on spending time in writing articles to continue producing revenues, as most of them will be a one-shot deal.
Writing for both type of income you would benefit over time in making a name for yourself, of course depending on the quality of your work. You will need to hit the right markets though as there seem to be far more websites design for publishing and paying passive income, most of which you can link profiles from one another.
So depending on your goal for writing, and the amount of time and effort you want and can put into it, you may decide for one of the two options. Or you can make a combination of them two, which is probably a smart idea.