Today I'll be talking about how to earn passive income with your blog.  In my previous post, I covered the most popular types of income you can make from blogging.  Now I’d like to get a little more in depth and talk specifically about producing passive income and why setting up your blog to earn passive income is a great way to massively multiply earning potential from your blog.
The term “residual income” refers to the income that someone makes after their work has already been completed. An example of residual income is the earnings an author continues to make on a book after it has been published, when fans continue to purchase copies years later. Residual income is ideal because it is money that is being earned while doing nothing in the present moment to earn that money.
Fundrise – With a minimum investment of just $500, investors of all types can make crowd-funded real estate investments through Fundrise. This means you get the benefits of being a landlord without actually having to deal with owning or managing the properties yourself. Even though we own 2 rental properties, we recently began investing in Fundrise ourselves. We love it because there is no “accredited investor” requirement, making it far more accessible for the average person than the other two options below. Follow the link above to learn more, or read our full review here.
Basic marketing ability -- You will not earn a decent income from most blogs if you don't market that blog in some way. That doesn't mean you have to market aggressively or feel like you're whoring yourself out with a constant sales pitch (more on that myth later). The most important thing you'll do marketing-wise is actually completely on the back-end -- evaluating your stats, testing ad placements, and just overall optimizing the site.
Great post and comments. All your points in the article are spot on. My vote is Definitely NOT passive income. Launched my blog about 1 year ago without a lot of clear direction. After working with a productivity coach, we narrowed the focus (somewhat) and got rolling with more regular posts in March/April 2017. Small budget outsourcing on Graphics and SEO moved the needle a bit further. Google Adwords campaign a bit further. I just spent about 5 hours re-working a guest blog post for a food site, after already putting in at least 5 hours on the original version. Especially in the early years, there is NOTHING passive about sweat equity. Reducing the learning curve really does add real skills though, so you can hit the ground running and efficiently manage your time. Was interesting to see the vote tallies, thanks for the post.

Setting up a Google AdSense website is a simple and effective way to earn a passive income stream. The way it works is that you first have to find low competition keywords in a niche. Use Long Tail Pro to find keywords with low competition that get at least 1,000 – 2,000 searches per month. Then, write long, useful, and SEO-optimized articles around those keywords. Lastly, promote your website on social media and build backlinks to it.

Within my first few months working I was able to bring in a good monthly income, which was great because shortly after starting my business, my eighteen-month-old son was diagnosed with autism. Obviously, my business took a back seat. I did not work regular hours for months as we were going through evaluations, lining up therapists, and emotionally dealing with what we just learned. I spent more hours doing therapy and research than working my business. Yet I still got paid. That is the benefit of residual income. I still got a check each month for work I had done my first few months in the business even though I was not working.


You know the fantasy: write some ebook (or better yet, hire freelancers in Mumbai to research and write it for you at $.20/word!) on some niche topic, set up AdWords and Facebook campaigns targeted to the right keywords (you can hire those Mumbai guys to do your keyword research too), put up a cheap landing page (with copy written by... guess who!), press "Go!" on the PPC campaign, and voilà. . . just wait for the money to roll in while you sleep!
Thinking of going the online course route? Then you might want to check out CoursePress. This plugin is easy to set up and allows you to create a full online course that site visitors can sign up for, complete assignments, take quizzes, and more. You have the option to create text, audio, or video-based courses, integrate discussion boards, and even offer video previews to entice potential students.

This sort of falls between creating a blog and an online course. The information can be presented on your site for free with affiliate links or through a subscription. How you earn income here will vary, of course, but the idea is the same as the other methods described above: Create something once and continue to collect income for months or years to come.
This can be a little easier said than done, but if you have a large social media following, you can definitely earn money promoting a product or advertising for a company. You can even combine this with different marketing campaigns if you are an influencer and have your own blog (advertisement + affiliate income). This is how many bloggers make money! Again, it is not 100% passive but once set up correctly and then scaled, can be surprisingly lucrative.
Similar to selling advertising, the goal is usually to rank for competitive search terms, but instead of selling advertising, you endorse different products your audience might be interested in, and whenever someone you refer buys, you get a commission. It’s kind of like the next generation of Amway, except instead of referring your friends and family to buy the products, you refer strangers who visit your website.
Domain names cannot be replicated. If one is taken, the only recourse would be to approach the owner to discuss a sale. While there are other variations you could choose, sometimes owning a certain domain (especially if it is attached to your business) can be worth the premium. Often, people will scout out domain names that are still available, buy them, and then sit on them in order to sell them down the road. Depending on who may want the domain down the road, you could sell it for a large markup.

​I’ve been into home décor lately and I had to turn to Etsy to find exactly what I wanted. I ended up purchasing digital files of the artwork I wanted printed out! The seller had made a bunch of wall art, digitized, and listed it on Etsy for instant download. There are other popular digital files on Etsy as well such as monthly planners. If you’re into graphic design this could be an amazing passive income idea for you.
Clickbank is particularly noteworthy because in many cases you can even earn 50% to 75% of the product revenue. However, most affiliate programs will offer commissions between 5% and 10%. In order to maximize your income, promote products that have are expensive. For example, a $1,000 product with a 5% commission will earn you a decent $50 commission.
Once again, though, it’s like starting any company. While you might not necessarily need to know how to code, you do need an entrepreneurial mindset, work ethic, and personality type, and you’ll probably struggle for years, going through a string of failures before you finally get it right. If you’re successful, though, the passive income potential is enormous.
Finally, a straight forward, honest blog post about earning a “passive income” online. Your time frame is dead-on, Jon, as I have been working online for about 7 to 8 years and just now feel like I am getting a handle on most of the skills required. The real truth is that most online bloggers or marketers have to master many, many skills before he or she can claim true success. Of course, that all depends upon how to you rank your success. If you’re a person who enjoys tackling new challenges, learning new skills, and has a knack for writing, then the online world is definitely the place for you. Just remember it takes a personality who is willing to persevere and who isn’t discouraged easily. That being said, it’s a heck of a lot of fun!

Then I learned about how people earn money without leaving their house, and even working from another country, and without having to spend too much time on it. This is where passive income comes into play. To be honest this hit me pretty hard the moment when I realized it - there are ways to earn money every month by doing almost nothing, and it’s not renting a house or apartment you inherited? First thing I thought when I heard this was “What can I do to make this happen, ASAP!?!”


Many people talk about passive income and create the impression that you never have to do anything to keep that income going. The truth is that you will normally have to keep your eye on things if you want it to run smoothly. For example Richard Branson doesn’t run any of the 400+ companies he started but he goes over the numbers each day to make sure they’re performing well and calls the CEO if there are any problems.

Another way to add a course to your WordPress site is LearnDash. This full-fledged learning management system (LMS) offers tons of features for setting up any kind of online class you can imagine. Create certificates of completion for your students or run your class based on a point system. Offer multi-tier courses complete with topics, quizzes, and more. Leave comments on and approve submitted assignments. too.
I say almost because in truth you still need to do something in order to keep sales coming through. That something is usually write new content to keep the blog active. Without activity, eventually the flow of traffic will cease. It might take a long long time, especially for blogs in a high authority position with firm rankings in the search engines, but eventually, a blog with no new content stream will die…at least I think it will (I often wonder whether a blog like Steve Pavlina’s would ever die given the eternal nature of his blog posts – I think the search engines and all those incoming links might continue to send him traffic for a long, long time).
Another drawback of residual income is that future income payments are often not guaranteed. If you spend a month building a website to generate residual advertisement income, the actual amount of income you make can fluctuate over time and it may fall if the traffic to your site declines over time. Similarly, companies can slash their dividends and tenants can move out of rental units, which can decrease passive income. With earned income, you get a certain amount for your services up front so you don't have to worry about future earnings.
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.
Not exactly, even though that’s what passive income pushers would have you believe. No, once your site goes live, you need to perform various marketing tasks like promoting your posts and interacting with people on social media, commenting on other blogs, and seeking out new promotional opportunities. Oh and any good blog out there isn’t just preloaded with content and left to stagnate. No, you actually have to write new posts, too. And even if you hire someone to write the post for you, it’s you who has to edit them, schedule them, and oversea the whole operation. All of these things are not passive at all.

Some of these lists are available via the official Product Advertising API, but many of them are not. Being able to use any of the features listed above (and some more) to find and review a product that precisely matches the focus of your particular niche site, seems like a surefire way to build an interesting review site and to grow your following. That’s why it seems natural, that a true curation plugin should work on an item-by-item basis.
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.
#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.
Dozens of times, especially in the beginning before I started making money with my book. I doubted whether people were going to buy it or not. I kept saying, What am I doing wasting my time here? The hard thing about building a business online and passive income is that you have to put the work in upfront, and while you’re putting in that work, you’re not getting paid for it. It’s not like traditional work where you put in X hours and you get paid for X hours. You might put in days, month, even years of work before you start to get paid. It does not happen overnight, and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Even after the book was sold, I had doubts.
Residual disability policies pay benefits according to the amount of income you have lost because of your disability. These policies pay benefits even if you can work part-time and are not totally disabled. The benefit is based on the percentage of income you earn working part-time in relation to what you used to earn when working full-time. Most companies require a loss of income of at least 20 percent compared to your pre-disability income in order to qualify for residual disability benefits.
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.
There are a couple of problems with direct investment in real estate though. It’s expensive to buy even a single property, a minimum of tens of thousands of dollars, and there’s no way most investors can build a portfolio of different property types and in different regions to protect from those risks when you have all your money in just one or two investments.
Passive income is the Holy Grail for online marketers. It's automatic. Effortless. But, not at first. In the beginning, it's grueling. I liken this to doing the most amount of work for the least initial return. However, over time, as your passive income begins to increase, your reliance on an active income plummets. That's when the real magic starts to happen.
Residual disability policies pay benefits according to the amount of income you have lost because of your disability. These policies pay benefits even if you can work part-time and are not totally disabled. The benefit is based on the percentage of income you earn working part-time in relation to what you used to earn when working full-time. Most companies require a loss of income of at least 20 percent compared to your pre-disability income in order to qualify for residual disability benefits.
I wouldn't think of a high yield savings account as a source of passive income but your savings should be getting something (less like Seinfeld syndication residuals and more like a commercial jingle residuals!). It won't make you rich but it's nice if your baseline, risk-free rate of return on cash is 1% or more. The best high yield savings accounts (or money market accounts) offer higher interest rate and there is absolutely no risk. CIT Bank currently leads the pack with the highest interest rate.
Start an affiliate marketing website: This passive income model works for individuals who already own a bog or website. Here, your business goal is to contact companies and offer to tout their products and services, usually for a fee or a commission, based on the number of page views you get. Studies show that more people spend time online and less watching TV or reading the newspaper. Take advantage of that leverage and earn income from the tens of thousands of companies who want to reach an audience - maybe your audience. Either reach out to companies directly or go through a site like ClickBank, which offers affiliate marketing opportunities.
While I don’t have any direct experience with it, I know it can be quite profitable, especially in niches where you have high profit margins and low shipping costs. Vitamins and cosmetics, for example, are two popular drop shipping industries. Anyone can theoretically start a “store” and have dozens or even hundreds of products to offer within a matter of days.
eBooks – My 7-day series could easily have been offered as a eBook for sale as opposed to subscriber bait, but my main objective at that point was getting people into my community long-term where maybe I can offer them a more extensive eBook on just one of those work-at-home opportunities a few weeks or months down the road. At that point they have seen a little of what I have to offer and are hopefully liking what they have seen enough to take the next step of becoming a customer.

After some long chats, I learned I need a schedule. So now I know when to work, and everyone else knows when it’s my time to work: It’s after the kids go to bed. Things will change everyone once in a while — if I have a big project coming up, for example, like during the recent launch of my podcast player, I was asking my wife, can you watch the kids longer?
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.

I say that, because I remember really taking the lessons on research and how-to writing style to heart.  Implementing them saved me 100s of hours of wasted time…you know the kind of time where you spend 10 hours aimlessly searching the net for some nuggets of gold to inspire your writing on a certain topic and then 5 hours trying to write the first 2 paragraphs!
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