I was so excited I wanted to share how it all happened and what I had learned, so I created SmartPassiveIncome.com that same month. Then, as sales grew on the LEED stuff, I had more and more to talk about and I kept sharing how much I was earning and what I was leaning — things that went right, and stuff that didn’t go right. A year and a half later, I started to accumulate a large following and be known as a transparent leader in the space of online business education. I then started a YouTube Channel and my podcast. Then I wanted to experiment. I created new businesses outside of anything I was already doing, and sharing that along the way — that’s how SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, CreateaClickableMap.com, FoodTruckr.com and other sites came about. Recently, I started getting involved with public speaking. All the sites have kept growing and people have shared their success stories based off of my own experiments with me, and here I am today.
Not passive. I suppose blogs have a “long tail” like any copyrighted work of art (book or song or whatever), but I don’t think it’s as easy to keep it monetized. That would be an argument for condensing and reformatting your blog posts to an updated, organized print or e-book. I think your traffic estimate is too generous, if you stopped producing current content.
The Millionaire Fastlane – The author challenges the notion that the ideal life is to get a job, save slowly, retire old, and then have enough money to last the rest of your lifetime. He states that true wealth is having freedom, friends and family, and good health. His teaching has obviously rubbed off on me quite a bit. He challenges you to no longer be a consumer, but to think like a producer. Create and produce, become an entrepreneur, and that will put you on the fast lane to true wealth.
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).

You not only have to create a fantastic little e-book with a kick ass cover or a DVD, etc. But, simultaneously, you have to be thinking of ways of marketing it and reaching your target market. In this case - just because you built it - doesn't mean that they will come! For example, Paul is able to talk about the Rocket Mass Heater DVD through these forums. He has an active audience already that he can market to. Do you currently have an active audience that you can market to or do you have to develop one for your information product? And what are some ways to develop one?
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.
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.
​Udemy is an online platform that lets its user take video courses on a wide array of subjects. Instead of being a consumer on Udemy you can instead be a producer, create your own video course, and allow users to purchase it. This is a fantastic option if you are highly knowledgeable in a specific subject matter. This can also be a great way to turn traditional tutoring into a passive income stream!
Disability insurance provides benefits to policyholders, who are injured or unable to work because of health issues. Policies provide a base benefit, which is the monthly amount of income that the policyholder will receive if he or she is unable to work. In order to receive the benefit, the policyholder has to demonstrate that he or she cannot work at all. The benefit may prove ineffectual if the policyholder goes back to work. A residual benefit allows the policyholder to receive some of the disability benefit, once they get back into the workforce – even if only part-time.
You can add products to an existing page or post or create new ones for each product. This is a good solution if you maintain a blog on a regular basis and want to earn a little extra money from the endeavor. A product can appear at the beginning of a post, at the end of a post, or even within the post content. Utilize the included shortcode for faster insertion. You will also need an Amazon Product Advertising API to make this plugin work.
Java Metals is expecting an ROE of 15% over each of the next five years. Its current book value is $5.00 per share, it pays no dividends, and all earnings are reinvested. The required return on equity is 10%. Forecasted earnings in years 1 through 5 are equal to ROE times beginning book value. Calculate the intrinsic value of the company using a residual income model, assuming that after five years, continuing residual income falls to zero.
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.
Now that I have this money coming in, I’m able to explore new options with investing and buying a house a bit sooner in my career. I’m also very happy to be in a place now where I can give back, so I’ve been doing a lot of donating and helping other people get their start. I’m going to be building some schools in poor areas of the world through a company called Pencils of Promise. It’s a personal thing, but I’m also interested in having people come along with me as I document those experiences. My goal is to show people that it isn’t just about the material stuff but about giving: I try to build more to make more money to give more and be an example to other people in the world but also to my kids. When they’re 30 and talking about how their parents raised them, I want them to think we’ve set a good example. I want them to know that there’s joy in giving.
Airbnb is a concept that has only been around for a few years, but it has exploded around the globe. Airbnb allows people to travel all around the world and to stay in accommodations that are a lot less expensive than traditional hotels. They do this by staying with participating Airbnb members who rent out part of their homes to travelers. By participating in Airbnb, you can use your residence to accommodate guests and earn extra money just for renting out space in your home.
At some point, you have problems with scale: you need to dive into advanced sysadmin skills to maintain your server up and running, or pay to have it done. Wordpress updates, OS updates, all of this is work, sometimes heavy works when your plugins start to misbehave. Let alone the occasional drill when your site is under a DDoS attack, or just stops responding for no effing reason.
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.
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.

​Self Publishing is mainstream today. When you purchase an eBook off of Amazon there’s a pretty good chance you’re buying a self-published book. Self-publishing is also ridiculously easy. I tried this a few years ago and couldn’t believe how simple the process was. To self-publish a book you’ll first need to write and edit it, create a cover, and then upload to a program such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Don’t expect instant success though. There will need to be a lot of upfront marketing before you can turn this into a passive income stream.


You can control how many links appear in each post or page, how they look using CSS, and you can even custom select what products get linked to. The premium version adds on even more features like click reports, a bulk keyword editor, site wide keyword selection, link redirection customization, and more. The premium version ranges in price from $27 to $97.

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.

“[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.”


Get your basic blog set up. This involves choosing a niche (use the Adwords keyword tool to find out if people are really searching for information in the niche first), registering a domain name, getting a hosting account, setting up your basic blog installation (I recommend WordPress.org), and choosing a theme (design). Rather than go through these steps in detail here, you can follow my instructions on getting WordPress set up over in our 30 day marketing bootcamp series for freelance writers over at QueryFreeFreelancer.com.
The job of a successful business is simple: it helps its customer solve a problem. Your customer has a need—their problem—and with your business, you’re offering them the solution. Sometimes the solution is a tool, a product they can buy; other times it’s a methodology you teach, a service you provide. Either way, your goal is clear: you need to help your customer solve their problem.
Another benefit of investing in rental properties is the loan pay down. If you obtain a loan to buy the property, each month your tenants are paying off part of the loan. Once the mortgage on the property has been paid off, your cash flow will increase dramatically, allowing your mediocre investment to skyrocket into a full-fledged retirement program.
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I highly recommend the following Passive Income book. This book uncovers most of the latest, important and useful techniques that a professional earner uses in his projects. It is a good reference because it shows you the techniques exactly. It's not the book with full of theories rather an instructive tutorial which involves you with the real thing.


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!
Think and Grow Rich – This classic was first published in 1937 but is still regarded as one of the best business books of all time. Why? The author, Napoleon Hill interviewed 40 millionaires to understand what made them successful. He tries to take all the wisdom from these interviews and organize it for his readers in the form of 13 principles that he believes can help anyone become successful. It’s still relevant for everyone today.
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.
I would factor it in as a bridge gap. If you plan to keep doing it for 5 years, count it at 100% for those years. Then look at what the compound growth of your investments would be in 5 years, and calculate based on that number. I’m doing a beta version of a new course about mini-retirements right now with 25 people. And a lot of people are in your same boat, close to FI but not quite. So we work on different ways to organize the buckets of income to fill the gap for either a gap year, or semi-retirement. And create an array of backup options. 🙂
You can start a blog with a free theme technically…you do this through WordPress after you install it with one click on Bluehost. This is an important distinction…..the free themes aren’t available through Bluehost, but rather WordPress itself. So you will sign up for webhosting with Bluehost, install WordPress, then search within WordPress for free themes.
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!

Residual income is the best model for money generation. Once you master and build up one avenue, you can devote your time and money into another avenue. Eventually you start reaping the benefits of multiple residual income avenues. Enabling you to have complete financial and time freedom. I recommend to all people to build these types of asset models as they can greatly improve their life.
If you have a spare bedroom, you can find a roommate or list the space on AirBnB for travelers. Having a roommate is the more passive of the two, as being an Airbnb host will require more work in the form of turning over the room between stays. This is a super painless way to earn $500 to $1,000 a month without much effort – you may even be able to cover your mortgage payment with this extra income!
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.

If you read everything I said here and your response is, “Okay, that’s fair. I can give it four years,” then you’re already way ahead of most people. On the other hand, you might also say, “Jon, this is interesting, but I really don’t have that kind of time, so I’m going to bow out now.” In that case, congratulations, you just saved yourself a lot of wasted time.

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.
Similar to what Chris Guthrie did with his Amazon niche sites back in 2008-09, you should take every dollar you earn and reinvest it into your passive income business…pay for more content to be created, for better (and quality) backlinks to be built, to buy new niche sites etc.  At least for the first few years.  Chris did this, and it allowed him to go from $0 to $100,000 in just over 12 months.
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