If you are a photographer looking to diversify your income stream, putting together styled stock photo packages can be lucrative. For example, a package of 15 wedding-themed stock photos for $10. You can then market this to any bloggers or businesses who are in the wedding business for their use (photos of different engagement rings styles are super popular). Through this method, it’s possible to make a continuous stream of income off of photos you’ve taken once (similar to a licensing deal).
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.
All this time I’ve felt discouraged that if been studying online marketing and blogging for over five years, but don’t have a blog or a business to show for it yet. But I’ve definitely learned a lot since I discovered Copyblogger and learned the word “copywriting” in 2011. I fell in love with marketing that day and haven’t stopped reading about it since. But this is probably the first time I’ve heard any blogger say to study for years first. Wow, that makes me feel less like loser staring from the sidelines. And I look back at all the businesses ideas I had throughout the years that I would’ve wasted time on, and all of my goofy ideas for marketing as I was still finding my way to the best teachers. Well now I definitely feel like a have a degree in online marketing and blogging, and I’m putting it into action, but not without investing time to learn about my target audience and testing what will interest them.
This might be a weird one, but signing up for Uber (if it is available in your country) can be an amazing way to generate income by doing what you already do on a daily basis. If you drive a car and you have one you use every day, then picking up people that are along your way that give you cash for dropping them off somewhere nearby is, well, unheard of.

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.

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.
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.
This is a VERY good point. Too often I see people touting the benefits of blogging as passive income. But um, y’all, blogging is a lot of work. If you’re in it just for the money, you probably won’t perform super-well. Some of the income is passive through ads, but you still have to write new content, interact with readers, talk to bloggers, etc. There are certainly things you can put on autopilot but it’s not like investing where you sit back and watch money ebb and flow. 😛
​Network marketing, or multi-level marketing, seems to be on the rise. Companies such as Young Living Oils, Avon, Pampered Chef, and AdvoCare are all multi-level marketing companies. You can earn passive income through network marketing by building a team underneath you (often referred to as a down line.) Once you have a large team you can earn commissions off of their sales without having to do much.

In all reality, any business that involves selling a product is passive in some way. I mean, once the product is developed and created, you’re not actively creating it anymore; rather, you stand back and watch as people buy it and your bank account grows. But when you hear people talk about online passive income, they’re referring to a specific kind of business and specific kinds of products.

However, residual income typically has an expiration date, especially if it is being earned through a business. Effort must be continuously put into the business in order for someone to continue to receive residual income. Businesses must continue to market themselves in order to remain relevant. The best way to look at residual income in this sense is that it is a part-time job that earns full-time income.


Eventually, I’ll have to stop blogging altogether. Don’t worry, it won’t be anytime soon. I still enjoy blogging, but I just don’t see myself blogging when I’m 70. That’s 27 years away so we have plenty of time left. I really don’t know what will happen to our traffic if I stop blogging completely and just repost old articles. I suspect the traffic will slowly drop and stabilize at some point. If you have firsthand experience, I’d love to hear about it. My optimistic guess is that traffic will eventually drop to 50% of the current level.
I launched that in October of 2008, and that very first month I sold that book for $19.99. I sold it in a way where people could come to the site, purchase it and, immediately after, the book, which was simply a pdf file I had written, was directly digitally delivered through an email to them. And as a result of that payment, it was just money into my Paypal account. That first month, I made $7,008.55. That was just life-changing for me.

When you are working you have a fixed amount of time that you can possibly work. You can only work so many hours in a day, so many days a week and for only so many years. It is during that time that people have to pay for their most expensive things in life; homes, children and then save for retirement. Add in a debt load that cannot be paid down with the current income being generated and no additional time to work, it becomes a cycle that has no end.
Residual income is different from a salary, or linear income, which is paid out strictly based on the number of hours a person works. Someone who works on a salary is often said to work “paycheck to paycheck.” This is because he pays all of his bills with his first paycheck and then must wait until he gets paid again to have more money. Ideally, someone will work hard building up a business so that he can enjoy the residual income once his goals have been met. Then he can work on additional projects while still earning money from his business.
New post sponsorship -- Companies appreciated the blunt honesty on the blog, so they'd hire me to review their products or even their websites. They knew up front they wouldn't get glowing reviews, but instead critical and balanced looks at what they were doing well and where they could improve. Sponsors had absolutely no editorial control or impact whatsoever (the only ethical way to incorporate sponsored posts in my opinion).

Also, I know from my personal experience that when you only do something because you think it’s a money-spinner you end up nearly killing yourself to get the idea over the line.  I remember creating a careers advice site that bored me to tears.  Every word I wrote, hurt a little.  All 200,000+ words!  Do not put yourself through this pain.  I know I won’t ever again.

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