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Needless to say, you have to find a way to differentiate yourself from everyone else, but if you can, the income can be relatively passive. Chances are, you’ll still have to deal with some questions and complaints from customers about other people’s products, which I’m guessing can be quite a headache, but you don’t have to deal with manufacturing, warehousing, shipping, or any of the other headaches of creating the product yourself.
Usually when someone needs additional income, they get the stereotypical suggestion to “get a part-time job.” Let’s say you don’t have time and energy to work on that. With passive income, you would keep getting paid whether or not you do any meaningful work. You may do a lot of work up front during the initial days, but eventually you reach a point where the passive income stream gets activated.
Thus, the residual income approach is better than the return on investment approach, since it accepts any investment proposal that exceeds the minimum required return on investment. Conversely, the return on investment approach tends to result in the rejection of any project whose projected return is less than the average rate of return of the profit center, even if the projected return is greater than the minimum required rate of return.
And speaking of not selling to everyone, don’t try to create products that are trying to speak to everyone. Don’t be afraid to get specific. For example, I’m no longer buying “how to make money blogging” courses that are meant to include beginners. Why? Because I can count on 75% of the content, if not more, to be about things I’ve already done – buying a domain, setting up hosting, setting up this, that and the other thing. I’m spending money on things specifically created for people at my stage of the game. And guess what? That creates a lot of opportunity for you in creating additional courses! You can create one for the beginner, intermediate and advanced user. That's a lot of income potential.

Even with Smart Passive Income as successful as it is now, the first six months were really tough because I didn’t have an audience. There were a few people reading and a few people leaving comments and the same people leaving comments. There was no growth. Because I just enjoyed writing so much, I kept doing it and then a year and a half later, it got to the point where it exploded.


PS Joel also throws up the whole coaching idea in this book, and whilst it’s not at all passive I just wanted to mention it, because this is one of the ways to create a six-figure business for yourself if you are a true expert in an arena.  ie you can use passive income info products (that generate say $30,000 a year) to pull in the customers for your 1-1 or mastermind style coaching service (that brings in say $100,000+ a year).
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.
Jon, you always keep it real and I LOVE that about you and your writing! You are so right! There’s always an amount of work that goes into creating “passive income” or becoming a blogger who monetizing with services and courses. Thanks for being honest about how long it can take to truly master the required skills. Frankly, I’ve done my 4+ years of undergrad and grad school and what I’ve been learning in the last 2-3 years as I’ve dug deeper into improving my copywriting and blogging skills by taking classes with yourself and other trustworthy mentors is giving me the best foundation to help me build my freelancing business and ultimately step away from my 9-5. For me, it’s all about who I work for, under what conditions, when, and for how much, rather than a “no-work-at-all” lifestyle. That’s totally unrealistic. And I appreciate you, as a well respected “Guru” yourself, for saying so!
On the blog aspect, you need to keep posting regularly, otherwise ultimately your traffic will tank (and so will your revenue). That can also be outsourced to some extent: you can pay people to write for you. But your audience are not morons: if you’re open about it they might be ok with it once in a while. If you’re not open about it: they’ll notice.
In a world in which most of the population of countries in which selling photos is a real thing, almost everyone has a smartphone with a decent enough camera. A little learning of the principles of photography, some knowledge of how light works and how shadows are made, a couple good landscapes and you will be set to become a semi-pro photographer.
Once again, that extra income was amazing because we were then hit with another blow. At six months pregnant, we were told that our second son would come out with health problems. I took the time to research and prepare and after he was born, our life completely changed for about two months. He was very sick, in the NICU, and almost lost his life twice. A blood transfusion was what finally saved him. During those months I did nothing in the way of working my business. Yet I still got paid. I was able to take the time to be with my son in the NICU, care for my then toddler with special needs, and still make a monthly income that could help with groceries and bills.
Using the residual income writing sites to develop your blogging niche is also great for those who aren’t quite sure on the niche that they initially want to develop. They can try a couple of niches, maybe on one site with different accounts or across different sites. It gives them a chance to share their experiences, their views, their opinions, and their interests quickly and easily.
To create residual income, you need to create something that people will continue to buy on a regular basis long after you’ve created it. A house is a prime example of this as people will continue to pay rent for the right to live in the house. A business needs to have products that are sold over and over again rather than trading the business owner’s time for money.
I would like to add, that one of the main reasons why you cannot leave your web properties unattended, is Google. Even for popular content, with time Google sends fewer and fewer visitors your way, if you stop pruning and updating it. There hardly is such a thing as “evergreen content” any more. If you do not update your existing content, you have to keep adding some new content, preferably — every day. That’s where the content-creation plugins with some automatic pre-scheduling capability come in very handy.
Accretion/dilution analysis Adjusted present value Associate company Business valuation Conglomerate discount Cost of capital Weighted average Discounted cash flow Economic value added Enterprise value Fairness opinion Financial modeling Free cash flow Free cash flow to equity Market value added Minority interest Modigliani–Miller theorem Net present value Pure play Real options Residual income Stock valuation Sum-of-the-parts analysis Tax shield Terminal value Valuation using multiples
One of the most popular affiliate programs is Amazon affiliates. It is very easy to sign up and you can start using it on your site right away. I set up my Amazon affiliate account around the same time I launched my blog. I didn’t make money the first year, but as my posts starting gaining views and better spots on google results, my affiliate income started increasing.
Another variation of this model is to pay for advertising and then earn affiliate commissions from people who click on the ads. Years ago, when advertising on Google and Facebook was cheap, lots of people made a lot of money this way. Nowadays, it’s still possible, but it’s much more difficult, and you have to be much more sophisticated. Nevertheless, I thought I would mention it, because it’s still a viable approach, especially in certain niches.
Interesting post thanks. I have had similar thoughts about the passive income model – it’s not “passive income” at all, it’s just a different business model where you do the same amount of work to build a product/service and support clients in a slightly less direct way than standard freelance/project work. There are also greater risks with the passive income model – if you are simply selling your time as a freelancer or WordPress agency, you are guaranteed to be paid for your time. Whereas you can spend months or years developing a product, service or blog in the hopes of attaining “passive income”, only to find that it doesn’t take off and you never get paid for this time. In theory the gains of a passive income business are greater as it is scalable and the amount of work doesn’t necessarily increase as you get more sales, but the risks are greater too.
As always, I’m here to answer questions (within my ability) and I can always help you find that YouTube tutorial you need. When you are REALLY ready to start taking your blog seriously, I have many resources available on my learning site, Adventures in Blogging. The Income & Traffic Bundle is a great place to start if you’re dying to learn everything you can about traffic & income.

Hi Logan, thanks for perfect article on passive income theme! I am a newbie in this passive income thing but everything I read here seems obvious to me. Why not create a passive income, right? So I started googling about making passive income via internet because I like things connected to the web and I think that this will be a huge thing (it already is) and I found this article which seems that is probably very new but in the ebook there are great informations about passive income, at least in my POV (newbie POV). Is this a legit website or can it actually work? I want to expand on that because my 9 – 5 s*cks… Here is the URL: https://cashwithoutjob.online
FYI – If you’re already a blogger and want some solid ways to increase income from posts and products you already have, I highly recommend snagging a copy of Income Boost. It’s a quick read and will boil down some of my favorite income producing methods into exactly what you need to implement like right now for instant cash. You can use the coupon code “GET5” during checkout to receive $5 off the purchase price.
PPS oh you thought I was done did you?!  The other parts of the book, although not truly passive income generation focused, are amazing too.  I know things like the low information diet and killing interruptions have made a huge difference to my success – and if I can try and get a little more consistency in my adherence to them, then happy freaking days!
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