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.
But I will temper that opinion, by saying getting your name in print can be great for achieving expert status for use in later ebooks/membership site promotions (your really money spinner), and for gaining new fans that your own distribution efforts can’t get. For example, Ferriss pulled this off pretty well, using a book to drastically grow his online following / blog readership.
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.
It’s not about not working. It’s all about automation. I’m still working. I’m just spending the majority of my time on the things I do best and I enjoy most. I’m out there blogging and networking and bringing people to my site and getting them into my subscriber base where I can encourage them little by little to buy through my affiliate links and purchase the products I have to sell. I’m scaling my business by creating more products and more authoritative posts that contain affiliate links to great resources. My income isn’t limited by time.
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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.
I love being a blogger. One of the main reasons is that I have been able to stop exchanging time for money with the passive income from my blogs. There are only so many hours in the day. There is only so much you can earn per week in most traditional jobs. Not a fan. I want to maximize my efforts. I want to make money passively even when I'm on vacation or taking a little break.
Thank you for sharing your advice on Amazon and affiliate marketing. I just recently joined Amazon and have been updating my blogs using your techniques. Hopefully it works for me like it has worked for you, granted I know now based on your experience that I probably won’t see any big income from it for awhile but it is really nice to know I am on the right track to some success in the future.
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Another popular online passive income strategy is to write an ebook. Then you just need to build a website for it and watch as the money rolls in with each purchase. You only have to do the work upfront and then you just sit back and enjoy notifications from PayPal as more moolah hits your account. This is often touted as one of the best ways to earn a passive income online.
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.
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).