If you have specialized knowledge in a certain topic, you can put together an online course to teach others. For example, if you have experience in real estate investing, you can create an online course “Real Estate Investing 101”. The benefit of an online course is that once you create the course material, you can sell it to as many people as you want.


Blogging is a fantastic residual income stream (don't mistake "residual" for "passive" -- in most cases you'll continue to work as your blog, and its income, grows). I won't go so far as to say it's the best residual income stream for freelance writers (informational products like e-books are fantastic for earning more in shorter periods of time for example), but they are one of the more consistent options once you build some stable traffic. And stability is a good thing. You don't always get a lot of it when you work as a freelance writer.

Use affiliate links every time you can and not just for the obvious stuff but for everything you mention that can be found on Amazon. Have a recipe that uses salt? Link to that (see this example). You can link to the actual name of the product or use type: “I like to use this salt” so people actually click on the link to see what it is. I wouldn’t use this method on all links but I do use it especially when I’m listing several items.


#2. Offer discounts: Approach bloggers in your niche and send them a copy of your book. Most Instagrammers love to receive anything that’s going to make it easy for them to create fresh content. Be sure to send them a good quality image of your book cover. Offer discounts on your ebook. Writing about business or marketing? Using case studies, or other entrepreneurs as examples in your work give you the chance to reach out to those people.
It takes a special kind of person to wear that many hats, and in my opinion, the current positioning in the information marketing industry of “anyone can do this” is just nonsense. Everyone I know who has been successful creating information products is a driven, uber smart entrepreneur. If you’re one of those people, you might consider it. If not, I would look elsewhere.
However, this comes back to the old discussion of pain versus pleasure. We will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. When our backs are against the wall, we act. When they're not, we relax. The truth is that the pain-versus-pleasure paradigm only operates in the short term. We'll only avoid pain in the here and now. Often not in the long term.

Shane and Jocelyn Sams, who were teachers before. Shane listened to my podcast, and he was like, check out this guy Pat, and his wife was like, No, that sounds kind of scammy to me. But then they decided to give creating digital products a try, so Jocelyn created a website called Elementary Librarian where she was selling packages and worksheets to librarians to help them and that site is doing really well. And Shane is a football coach, so he created coachxo.com to sell defensive plays to coaches. Both of those are doing well over six figures a month now, and they’re doing it through pdf files, worksheets and tools that their audience can use to help them in a more convenient way.
Making legitimate passive income isn’t as difficult as you might think. Some of the best passive income ideas might take a little time to set up but can start cash flowing within a couple of months and will provide a consistent monthly income for years or more. The most important point is just to get started. You make exactly $0 on the passive income sources you never start.
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Another way to generate passive income is to invest and be a silent partner in a business. This is very risky, but with risk comes the potential for high returns. For example, several years ago both Lyft and Uber were looking for private investors to invest in their companies. Today, they are worth billions - but you as an investor would only reap that benefit if they go public via an IPO, or get acquired. So, it's risky.
​If you pay your bills with a credit card make sure it offers cash back rewards. You can let your rewards accrue for a while and possibly put the easy money you earned toward another passive income venture! (Be sure that the card you select doesn’t have an annual fee or you might be cancelling out your rewards). Check out this list of the best Cashback Rewards Cards.
Ranking a website isn’t easy, and it takes at least 3-4 months, but it is rewarding as it brings in passive income every month. With decent traffic to your website, you can earn at least $100 – $200 per month. Those numbers can go much higher as you get more traffic and have keywords with a lot of revenue-per-click. You can also earn some money by selling affiliate products on your website, which is the next idea on this list.
Get your basic blog set up. This involves choosing a niche (use the Adwords keyword tool to find out if people are really searching for information in the niche first), registering a domain name, getting a hosting account, setting up your basic blog installation (I recommend WordPress.org), and choosing a theme (design). Rather than go through these steps in detail here, you can follow my instructions on getting WordPress set up over in our 30 day marketing bootcamp series for freelance writers over at QueryFreeFreelancer.com.
Ebooks are one of my favorite sources of passive income. Now, you can do this the simple way and just publish it on Amazon's KDP. Or, you can go all out and build yourself a book funnel. Book funnels are powerful, but they won't be fully passive. For example, if you do a free-plus-shipping offer for your ebook (converting it into a physical book), you'll need to create some one-time offers (i.e. extra training) and up-sells (i.e. an audiobook). But, a book funnel can be very powerful.

Wow, great ideas! I never thought to link to a candle! My blog is about diabetes so I’ve never thought to link to common things I use daily but that’s genius! I love how she added the candle at the end as a side note almost. I guess I’ve never thought to look on Amazon for candles because I go to Bath and Body Works for those. I’m updating my best posts today! Plus I’m going to do some Pinterest posts for my affiliate number for your book which is a GREAT book!
Blogging is a fantastic residual income stream (don't mistake "residual" for "passive" -- in most cases you'll continue to work as your blog, and its income, grows). I won't go so far as to say it's the best residual income stream for freelance writers (informational products like e-books are fantastic for earning more in shorter periods of time for example), but they are one of the more consistent options once you build some stable traffic. And stability is a good thing. You don't always get a lot of it when you work as a freelance writer.
For some reason, many writers I talk to are afraid of starting their own niche blog. They're afraid it will take up too much of their time. They're afraid they won't see a decent return on the effort put in. They're afraid no one will want to read what they have to say. And sometimes they're just afraid to start something new because they're not sure where to start. To those writers, I have one thing to say -- Get over it.

​If you pay your bills with a credit card make sure it offers cash back rewards. You can let your rewards accrue for a while and possibly put the easy money you earned toward another passive income venture! (Be sure that the card you select doesn’t have an annual fee or you might be cancelling out your rewards). Check out this list of the best Cashback Rewards Cards.
Free Email Courses – Wait a minute. Free? I thought we were getting paid. We are. We are! As an example, I have a free 7-days to Finding Work from Home series that people joining one of my newsletters can receive. Every day for a week they receive a new email telling them about a specific work-at-home opportunity. Sprinkled throughout that series are affiliate links to some of my favorite work-from-home resources. It took me just a couple days to put that series together and it goes out like clockwork to hundreds of new subscribers each day. And I earn a commission if a few of those people decide to click through and purchase my recommendations.
There is a specific tax definition of passive income, known as “passive activity” to the Internal Revenue Service. Passive income is any income you make without actively working or are materially involved. The IRS defines it as any rental activity or any business in which the taxpayer does not “materially participate.” Nonpassive activities, or active activities, are businesses in which the taxpayer works on a regular, continuous, and substantial basis.

All the hard work that I put in over the past 10 years online, and over the past 5 years on this blog in particular, is all worth it in hindsight. My blog can now easily earn a full-time income on its own without any further help from me except for monitoring the technical side of things (for which I have a tech person anyway). Of course, I don’t like leaving it alone and love setting new income goals for myself, but this is a really nice thing to have in case anything major happens in my life that takes me away from work.
I know, not another piece of carefully written marketing jargon and I won’t give you some killer sales line. But truth is, I worked this out the hard way too. I started building my own online businesses to earn passive and you are not wrong it is bloody hard work! More than even I as a full time hustler never thought would be so hard, but alas it is.
This is the basic mistake they've made: they've fallen prey to the belief that money and meaning are two totally separate things. They've chosen to make their money from something that feels completely meaningless to them (some business they care so little about, they just can't wait to get away from it and minimize their involvement as much as possible), which they hope will buy them the freedom to do something they actually care about.
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