You can also resell digital products created by others. This is a good option if you don’t have the time to create an ebook or something but still want to earn passive money. Basically, you sign up for an affiliate account with someone who’s created a digital product (ebook, guide, online course, WordPress theme or plugin, etc) and build a site to promote that product. You can either sell it directly on your site or sell it via affiliate links to the primary seller’s site. If you make a sale, you’ll earn a commission.
4. We do our own IT, website design and implementation, write all our own materials, do ongoing research to keep it fresh and develop new products and technologies, market, mail like madmen (our emailing subscriptions alone cost us $1,100 per month, but we’ve got a list of 15,000 after four years in the biz), and somehow manage to keep the dishes clean, food in the fridge, and love our 4 kids as much as we can.
Before you start working towards a passive income, you should have enough money saved up, that you can use for investments and costs. You’ll also need some money to fall back on. Residual income ideas sometimes don’t work, so you should keep spare money in case an idea doesn’t work out. You can eventually earn a passive income if you keep working hard at one or more ideas.
The paperback’s formatting could also be improved. I basically just messed around in LibreOffice on Mac to get formatting to work, but I wish I would’ve started with a tool like Jutoh, which is fantastic for formatting and publishing. My workflow was Google Drive exports to LibreOffice, and Google Drive just wasn’t good for editing once you cross 40–50 pages. In the future I’d like to format a better sized paperback.
This book is a definite must read, and in the top 5 out of this list.  My favorite use for this book is to help people decide what business model to pursue – for a start anyway.  ie info product v membership site v affiliate marketing.  Since Joel compares them all and shows you the major challenges for each (along with how-to guides), the task becomes a lot easier.
Here, you set up an online store, but instead of selling your own products, you sell products from other companies, you submit the order to them, and then they deliver the product to the customer. It’s called “drop shipping,” and it’s more common than most people realize. You’ve probably purchased items delivered via drop shipping and didn’t even know it.
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Blogging has a very steep learning curve, but if you jump in head first and take it one step at a time (I recommend tackling only one confusing thing per day) and do one new thing each day to work on your blog, you will eventually get to a place where none of it seems confusing! (If you try to tackle too many new things at once, you WILL get discouraged! I urge you not to do this.)
There are many people who get paid vast amounts of money to become the CEO of a company, play professional sports, or star in a movie. Earning a high active income is often a lot of hard work and requires a dedication beyond most of us. It’s also limited because no matter how much money you get paid you still need to show up to work to earn your money.
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.
I have also to note one other aspect of site-building, which is a big bore: generally you have to spend inordinate amounts of time staring at the Dashboard (the administrative side of your site), filling-in countless forms, ticking all the right checkboxes, etc. At least for me, this stifles my creative drive more than anything. As a curator of a magazine-style review site, you want to spend more time finding awesome stuff to share with your readers, not grinding through the endless data-entry panels.
Michael Ellsberg is the author of The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think, and It’s Not Too Late, which is launching from Penguin/Portfolio in September. It’s a bootstrapper’s guide to investing in your own human capital at any age. Michael sends manifestos, recommendations, tips, and other exclusive content to his private email list, which you can join at www.ellsberg.com. Connect with him on Twitter @MichaelEllsberg and on Facebook.
If you don’t have a mailing list, then build your list pre-launch. Create a way to capture email addresses on your site and social media accounts and promise that anyone signed up to the mailing list gets first dibs on the book or perhaps a special deal. It’s also important to collect email addresses, so that you can promote future books to existing readers.
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.
Thank you! This is really helpful. I have Amazon Affiliates, but I want to get more intentional with how I use it. The only negative thing I have about the program is that since I live outside of US the only way I can get paid is by amazon gift card, or expensive checks mailed to me. I mean, I can use the money I earn now on Amazon on things I actually need, but I don’t know if it’s worth putting a lot of effort into earning more when I can only use the money on Amazon 😛
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).
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