One specific moment came when I was approached by the United States Green Building Council, the company that administers the exam that I was writing the guide for. I got a cease and desist letter saying, “Stop what you’re doing!” and I freaked out. I was like, This business thing — I can’t do it. I’m in way over my head. And then I went to a lawyer, and they were like, you just can’t use their trademark in your domain name. Everything else you’re doing is fine. But there was a good week or two where I didn’t know what was going on and I was truly ready to give it all up.

Buy side Control premium Demerger Divestment Drag-along right Management due diligence Managerial entrenchment Minority discount Pitch book Pre-emption right Proxy fight Post-merger integration Sell side Shareholder rights plan Special-purpose entity Special situation Squeeze-out Staggered board of directors Stock swap Super-majority amendment Tag-along right Takeover Reverse Tender offer


Investing in coins and collectibles: Buffalo nickels and Spiderman comic books are good examples of coins and collectibles that can rise in value, and thus offer opportunity for passive income investors. You'll need to get up to speed on the value of any coin or collectible under consideration, but once you do so, you're on the way to price appreciation on a commodity you'll be paying a lower price to buy, and will garner a higher price when you sell.
I made guest posts on other blogs/college admission websites on topics like what makes a great application or how to write a great essay. I linked to my book, and get maybe 1 sale a month that I can attribute to these blogs. It’s not great for sales, but it did help my book get ranked higher on Google searches and I met and helped out some cool people, which is nice.

Investing in coins and collectibles: Buffalo nickels and Spiderman comic books are good examples of coins and collectibles that can rise in value, and thus offer opportunity for passive income investors. You'll need to get up to speed on the value of any coin or collectible under consideration, but once you do so, you're on the way to price appreciation on a commodity you'll be paying a lower price to buy, and will garner a higher price when you sell.
As we know, Amazon has invested (and still is investing) heavily in the navigation / recommendation functionality of their shopping platform: there is not only Advanced search and faceted filtering, but also features like “Frequently bought together”, “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”, “What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?”, categories/tags, new releases, best sellers, various public wishlists, registries…
This startup work is something that anyone involved in establishing passive income will admit requires some serious elbow grease. It’s the great exception to the whole notion of “passive” income in that it’s decidedly not passive. And for the most part, this is acceptable. People seem to get on board with this idea. “Hey, if I just buckle down and do a bunch of work right now, I’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor later.” It’s a simple enough concept.
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).

It's a little awkward, so we'll get straight to the point: This Thursday we humbly ask you to stick up for Wikipedia's independence. We depend on donations averaging about $16.36, but 99% of our readers don't give. If everyone reading this gave $2.75, we could keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come. The price of your Thursday coffee is all we need. When we made Wikipedia a non-profit, people warned us we'd regret it. But if Wikipedia became commercial, it would be a great loss to the world. Wikipedia is a place to learn, not a place for advertising. It unites all of us who love knowledge: contributors, readers and the donors who keep us thriving. The heart and soul of Wikipedia is a community of people working to bring you unlimited access to reliable, neutral information. Please take a minute to help us keep Wikipedia growing. Thank you.
I have a system in place to make sure it doesn’t happen. I have my wife who is helping us stay grounded and making sure my head doesn’t grow too big. But I also say to my audience, Hey, If you see me becoming somebody different from who you know I am or who I’m supposed to be, then catch me before I get off track. I’m not about buying a huge mansion, or really fancy cars. I’m more about the family and making it comfortable at home and going on family trips and creating memories.
I tried this myself and so have many people – I get emails all the time about this and what happens is most people spend hours and hours trying to make a free theme look nice and end up buying a paid theme just like I said. It’s funny actually! Cause they’re always like “I should have listened to you because I just wasted three days of my life.” LOL

This was by far my biggest return on investment. It took about two weeks to figure out how to format my book for paperback and get setup for Createspace, but this is nearly 70% of my revenue. It’s ironic because my e-book is $4.99 and my paperback is $14.99. I priced the paperback higher because I wanted to drive readers to the ebook, where I could update it more easily. What I learned, however, is that many of the people buying my book are parents, not students, and they are more familiar with paperbacks. There is also an incorrect perception that you need a Kindle to read Kindle ebooks.
Greg Johnson is a personal finance and frugal travel expert who leveraged his online business to quit his 9-5 job, spend more time with his family, and travel the world. With his wife Holly, Greg co-owns two websites – Club Thrifty and Travel Blue Book. The couple has also co-authored a book, Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You'll Love. Find him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @ClubThrifty.

Self-hosting -- If your goal is to earn money through your blog, this is non-negotiable. Host it yourself (and yes, that means paying for a domain registration and hosting account). Personally I recommend GoDaddy for domains and HostGator for hosting. They're the combination I use for the majority of my blogs. Why is this important? Because if you want to effectively monetize your blog, you need complete control over monetization options and access to thorough site statistics. The easiest way to guarantee access to both is to host your blog yourself.
It's a little awkward, so we'll get straight to the point: This Thursday we humbly ask you to stick up for Wikipedia's independence. We depend on donations averaging about $16.36, but 99% of our readers don't give. If everyone reading this gave $2.75, we could keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come. The price of your Thursday coffee is all we need. When we made Wikipedia a non-profit, people warned us we'd regret it. But if Wikipedia became commercial, it would be a great loss to the world. Wikipedia is a place to learn, not a place for advertising. It unites all of us who love knowledge: contributors, readers and the donors who keep us thriving. The heart and soul of Wikipedia is a community of people working to bring you unlimited access to reliable, neutral information. Please take a minute to help us keep Wikipedia growing. Thank you.
But what he’s most well-known for is being the mastermind behind the SmartPassiveIncome blog and podcast, the latter of which just reached its 10 millionth download yesterday. Last month he shared his tips on how to make passive income. Below, he tells us about his personal journey. (He also says you can say hi to him on Twitter and he’ll say hi back.)
Stock dividends: Some stocks, especially stocks from big corporate standouts, pay dividends to shareholders based on the number of shares they own, and the percentage of the stock price on the dividend date. For example, if a company pays out 3% on a stock that's trading at $100 per share, you'll earn $3 for every share of that stock you own. Add it up and that can be good take-home pay as a passive investment.
That’s why I have invested to create a WP plugin, which gives a dead-simple way to create detailed Amazon product reviews for my blog RIGHT from Amazon product page: I find a product I like, I click a button, and … voilà — a draft post with a new product review is scheduled for publishing on my site. I can jump in to the administrative side to add some personal note, or I can move to the next product which piques my interest. Its akin to Facebook “like”, but instead of posting to my FB wall, I effortlesly get new content for my blog. Neat, huh?
Managing your own blog isn't as difficult as some people initially think. There's this misconception that you can't earn much money with your own blog, so you'd be better off going with content mills instead. Wrong! It's not difficult at all if you're willing to work for it. The only real excuse for choosing content mills over writing for yourself is that you don't want to be bothered with the work -- you just want to write. And frankly, that's lazy (and you know how I feel about lazy freelancers). If you're a hobby writer and you just want to write to get paid a few bucks, fine. Good for you. But don't call yourself a true freelance writer if you're not willing to work on the business end of your freelance career.
As I was writing the lesson I realized just how complex the structure of the system I use to make money with my blog is, yet also how effective it can be once it is set up. I won’t explain everything here – it took me more than four thousand words to explain all the parts to my students in Blog Mastermind – but thanks to writing it out in detail I came to a realization. If done right, affiliate marketing on a blog can almost be passive income.
Investing in a business: Another good way to generate passive income is to invest in a business --even a small one -- in return for a percentage of the profits - just like Shark Tank, only smaller. Lending $10,000 to a local business that, for example, is working on a mobile app for Apple phones could lead to a passive income-generated share of the profits when that mobile app starts selling like hot cakes.
3. You’ve got to be available to your readership once you’ve created it; there’s truly no such thing as the completely “passive” income that Jon says most people are hoping for. My wife and I each do 20-25 hours per week of “free” technical support to our clients; it’s included in the information packages they purchase from us (which are the best in the biz because we spent 9 years developing and refining them). Nobody else in the biz does what we do BECAUSE IT’S TOO MUCH WORK!

One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. If you sign up and link up an investment account with $1,000+ within 40 days, you get a $20 Amazon gift card. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.
There is also an idea that we should work to build a passive income asset and then sit on the beach relaxing for the rest of our lives. The truth is that most people would get extremely bored with this scenario and will be eager to find something to do. That’s why the world’s billionaires continue to work… they love what they do and it stopped being about the money a long time ago.
As I was writing the lesson I realized just how complex the structure of the system I use to make money with my blog is, yet also how effective it can be once it is set up. I won’t explain everything here – it took me more than four thousand words to explain all the parts to my students in Blog Mastermind – but thanks to writing it out in detail I came to a realization. If done right, affiliate marketing on a blog can almost be passive income.
The Automatic Millionaire – I randomly found it in a used bookstore years ago and decided to check it out. Little did I know that it was a #1 bestseller and still well read today. I found it was an easy read and gained some valuable ideas from it. The first is that you need to “Pay Yourself First” meaning don’t invest what you have at the end of the month after all your expenses are taken out. Set aside what you’re going to invest first, then the rest of your budget should adjust to that. And then like the title suggests, automate your savings and debt payments and that will put you on the right path to being wealthy.
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.
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.
Truebill is an app that helps you save money by identifying recurring subscriptions and other bills and helping you cut costs by negotiating better rates and fees. One of their partnerships is with Acradia Power, which has the potential to save you up to 30% on your electric bill. It searches for better power rates in areas where competition is allowed, and it locks in the better prices for you.

#4. Offer free download: Before you even sell, ask yourself, “What is the purpose of my book?”. If you are using your book as a way to establish authority in your niche then giving away your book as a free download. If you don’t want to give away your whole eBook for free, then give a few chapters to them  Again, make sure you are collecting those email addresses in exchange, so that you can follow up with a friendly email to close the sale.


You can publish a book in two forms: paperback and e-book. E-books are much easier to get published, and they’re wildly popular these days. They’re also convenient for the reader. After writing an e-book, all you have to do is set up an account on a seller, like Amazon or Nookpress, and start promoting your book! Here is a simple guide on getting your e-book published. As I mentioned before, if you already have an audience, such as on a website, that’s the best place to promote your e-book. This article will also explain how to set up a website.

Build a list in a particular niche and tell them stories. Create a bond. Build a relationship with them. It's important. Then, when you've created a bit of culture, start marketing affiliate products or services to them that you think they might like. Just be sure that you personally vet out whatever it is that you're selling to avoid complaints if the product or service falls short.
Draft your first five posts. I like to have a few posts ready at launch time for a new blog. Do not write a generic "welcome to my blog" post to kick it off. Blah. What does that really offer? Nothing. Put up a temporary post if the site is up pre-launch if you want to build some anticipation, but if you're ready for launch now then get right down to business.
Investment properties: An investment property is one purchased with the sole purpose of earning revenue. It could be a commercial space you’ll lease out or a residential rental unit. Not only will this type of investment provide potential appreciation and tax benefits over the long term, but it can also provide residual income in the form of monthly rent (after expenses).
In the past, most people wouldn’t have considered selling software to be a source of passive income, but I believe that’s changing. Thanks to tools like Bubble, creating simple web or mobile apps is easier than ever before. You can do a lot without knowing how to code or hiring a developer, and in the future, I think that’s only going to become more and more true.
Frequent updates -- Sometimes you just won't feel like blogging, and that's okay. Don't stress yourself out feeling like you have to stick to rigid posting schedules or that you have to post every day. Are frequent updates nice? Sure they are. But they're not always required. I mentioned my two highest-earning blogs (small business and PR) before. Both of them can go for months at a time without an update. In fact, I took an announced 6 month hiatus from NakedPR.com previously. During that break traffic nearly doubled, and income followed suit. Even here, where I try to post more frequently (even twice a day a lot of days), I see subscribers and traffic increase when I go a few days without posting. It's become pretty predictable. So go ahead. Feel free to take a break every now and then. It gives your readers a chance to catch up or dig into your archives (where some of your best content might be hidden away). Don't decide on a solid schedule up front. Play with it and see what works best for your niche and your readers.
On August 4, 2003, Brad and Karen Murray’s marriage ended. They continued arguing over their assets for another four years. Brad worked as an independent broker for Ameriplan – a marketing company specializing in providing discounted rates on services related to healthcare. As part of his job, Brad sold monthly memberships to Ameriplan’s discounted health plans. He also recruited other brokers to do the same.
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.
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.
I thought I was done, but my sales went up actually, because I think people saw there were guides there and looked to see what else was there, and I was able to price lower because I’m just Pat and they’re a company with overhead. So my guide, which was $29.99 at that time, was outselling their other guide because their guide was in the $100 range, and I think people resonated with me and my story: Hey, I’m Pat, I’m just like you. I created the guide that I wished was available when I took the exam.

Residual income is when you continue to get paid after the work is done. This includes royalties from books, movies, or songs and also income that comes from real estate or business investments where you don’t actually have to be present to earn it. For example, Bill Gates is still making a residual income from Microsoft even though he isn’t working there anymore.
But, you don't need to go further than that. You can simply write it and publish it and collect the income. That's all. Send out a couple emails to your list (if you have one) or post it on social media, and there you have it. Passive income. Now, the amount of income you receive depends on the quality of the book you've written. How well did you craft the message? How targeted was the information to your audience? It counts.
Passive income is hard to generate for one reason – the world is dynamic. Human beings, some who work with you, some who you compete against, are dynamic, and because of that, if you are to do business, you must be dynamic. The only way to respond to dynamism and succeed, is to be dynamic yourself, and therein lies the work – and the end of any chance for passive income.

Residual benefits are typically calculated as a percentage of both the policyholder’s loss of earnings and the benefit that the policyholder would receive if he or she was unable to work. For example, say a worker who has a disability policy sustains an injury that prevents him from working full-time. The worker is physically able to be on the job part-time, and is able to earn 60% of the amount that he used to earn. The disability policy pays out $1,500 a month as normal benefits. The residual benefit is calculated by taking the amount of income loss (which is 40%) and multiplying it by the normal disability benefit of $1.500. The resulting residual benefit comes to $600 a month (40% x $1500).
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.

As a person that reads blogs I love it when people add affiliate links of the products they’re talking about because I don’t have to search for them. For example, when I’m deciding which crafts I’ll make with my kids it saves me a lot of time to click on the affiliate links of the products so you’re helping out your reader as well as making side income. See here how I link to products in crafts.
Monthly residuals are a wonderful method of increasing your income, getting paid for things you did in the past that continue to generate money for you. Those who qualify receive a check or electronic payment every month based on work completed in the past. Many sales and marketing people earn monthly residuals by selling a product or service that generates income months or years after the original sale. For example, you might sell a life insurance policy with a 10-year term. The insured pays his monthly premium religiously. The insurance company then pays the selling agent monthly residuals — a percentage of the monthly premium — for up to 10 years.
Getting rich is almost every man’s dream, and with this guide and the valuable information you now possess, you can now actually start working on it. So next time you check your checking account, try to refrain from crying out loudly and come back here to read this article again and give passive income businesses another good brainstorming session. You heard it here first - passive income businesses can be the best solution for a home business and working on your own!

Investing in coins and collectibles: Buffalo nickels and Spiderman comic books are good examples of coins and collectibles that can rise in value, and thus offer opportunity for passive income investors. You'll need to get up to speed on the value of any coin or collectible under consideration, but once you do so, you're on the way to price appreciation on a commodity you'll be paying a lower price to buy, and will garner a higher price when you sell.
“[T]he stream of continuing payments that are earned by Brad and/or Karen from the commissions (current and future) earned by the brokers within a book of business. Residual income arises from all sources of income relating to or derived from an identified book of business, including commissions earned by the brokers within that identified book of business from any source whatsoever.”
Speaking of audience, there’s a lot more I can do here. I can create an email list for buyers to join, and I can also publish other books and attempt to cross sell. I decided not to because I don’t want to do more in the college admissions business. The best resources are free and I’ve routinely turned down offers for college consulting or essay review because I don’t think I’ll be adding much value there.
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.
I’m not saying it’s a bad life. If you can make it through the learning phase (which I’ll talk about at length later), it’s still a hell of a lot better than having a regular day job, but I don’t know anyone getting paid tons of money to do absolutely nothing. While it’s theoretically possible, I don’t think it’s a realistic objective for most people.
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.

As we know, Amazon has invested (and still is investing) heavily in the navigation / recommendation functionality of their shopping platform: there is not only Advanced search and faceted filtering, but also features like “Frequently bought together”, “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”, “What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?”, categories/tags, new releases, best sellers, various public wishlists, registries…

Also: be prepared to work hard. Initially, you’ll have to work persistently on your business or website and not see any returns. Once you’ve built up your business or product to a complete level, and established connections, then you can expect to start earning money from it. (Note that not all of these ideas are businesses; some of them can be done without needing to open up a business).
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.
Great article, Joe! I’ve thought about this a lot…whether blogging is passive or not. By definition, it probably isn’t (since the income goes away if you stop), but it FEELS passive. “feels”. Ew. Feelings. Blegh. Anyhoo…even if it isn’t passive, I can’t stop doing it because I love it so much. So if you like writing and interaction with readers, it seems passive, but to anyone else, they’ll have to put in a lot of work for very little gain, so it seems VERY active.
So below is a list of my favorite books with a small description of each. I hope to have full-length reviews of each of these on my site soon. I also added a little section – a “to-read” list of books that have been highly recommended by others and I plan to read in the next few months. Feel free to add some suggestions down in the comments as well.
×