As soon as you build a significant community of followers, you need to keep interacting with them on a regular basis, through comments, social media, or your site’s forum if you own one. Ultimately if that part is not interesting for you anymore, you need to hire people to do it, or find moderators, etc… to do it for free. If they do it for free, expect them to leave regularly, so you have a constant job of “hiring” ongoing.
I love how real this article is. I’m so exhausted at seeing headlines and articles that lead people to believe blogging is somehow passive income and that passive means your not working. It’s heartbreaking, but I’ve seen several friends dump their entire life savings (and lose it) to try and live off of a blog based on the reportedly easy and formula-like ways to earn six-figures overnight. One of my friends just lost his wife, child, and home because he tried to jump right into blogging for a living and didn’t front load the learning because so many misleading articles told him it would be easy. He worked off of infopreneur blogger to-do lists like “get a URL, “write lot’s of content,” and “promote on social media” to win millions of visitors in just three months. Thanks for keeping it real.
I generate all of my online income through advertising and that’s passive. As long as the traffic is stable, the blog should continue to generate income. The real test will come in a few years when we take a year off from retirement to travel around the world. (It’s going to be hard work to “road school” our kid.) I plan to post twice per week, one post about travel and one refresh/rework of an older article. One year is a long time and I’m not sure how traffic will be affected by this change. I guess we’ll see what happens.
I wonder what the avg number of hours/week (over a year) would be for something to be considered “passive income”. To me, it’d be under an hour a week. If I was able to earn money from something with that time investment, the hour a week would be mostly a time investment in checking on things that it’s still working and setting the course back on track.
Understanding the DTI ratio and residual income balance can be difficult. That’s why it’s so very important to work with a mortgage lender who is experienced in dealing with VA loans. One of our Home Loan Experts would be happy to explain the details that reflect your unique financial situation, and help you make any necessary adjustments in your budget so that you may qualify for a VA loan.
Most of the stuff I see sold on the report is not stuff I’ve recommended. What this has taught me is that you want people to click on an Amazon link because you have a high chance that they will buy something within the next 24 hours that will get credited to you. So your goal is for people to click on your links and not necessarily to buy what you’re recommending.
Fundrise – With a minimum investment of just $500, investors of all types can make crowd-funded real estate investments through Fundrise. This means you get the benefits of being a landlord without actually having to deal with owning or managing the properties yourself. Even though we own 2 rental properties, we recently began investing in Fundrise ourselves. We love it because there is no “accredited investor” requirement, making it far more accessible for the average person than the other two options below. Follow the link above to learn more, or read our full review here.
Obviously, these are much higher than you’re going to get with most other investments. What’s more is that you can choose a plan that matches your investment strategy, whether your goal is Supplemental Income, Balanced Investing, or Long-term Growth. You can also look at different real estate projects and choose for yourself which ones to invest in.
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I no longer count traditional publishing as passive income because after you’ve spent half a dozen years pitching agents, arguing with publishers, and having your heart broken repeatedly only to make about a dollar per book, it’s not really passive income. More like overdue income. The responsibility that traditionally published authors shoulder is much too high and the cut far too little to make this even a profitable, let alone passive, income option for most writers.
Real estate is the obvious choice if you are going to make money on your money. I personally am not at the point where I can do any of this in a meaningful way BUT my parents are and they now own a couple homes outright and are collecting income from them to power their retirement income. It makes a lot more sense for anyone that has a chunk of cash sitting in the bank and are planning on slowly drawing from it because you technically still have all that money in a property (or multiple properties) and can sell them if you really need the lump sum of cash but you’ll earn great interest payments until you do that.
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Fulfilled-by-Amazon (FBA) - you set up the listing of your product, but Amazon store and ship your products on your behalf. Your products get to be part of Amazon Prime (which is a major bonus). Additionally, Amazon handles your customer services: dealing with refunds or problems on your behalf. Sound good? That’s why it’s the most popular option for total beginners.

However, when you lack the money, you need time. You'll need to invest the upfront time now in order to reap the benefits of automatic income later. It just doesn't happen overnight. So don't expect it to. However, you can do this without quitting your day job. All it takes is some sincere effort over a consistent period, and voila! But, to get there, you'll need to consistently burn the midnight oil or get up at the crack of dawn. Your choice.

Blogging income is no more passive income than a writer who writes books for a living. You might get money rolling in during times that you’re not working, from income generated from the work that you already did… but you have to work to make the money. Nobody pays you during the 20-30 hours per week spent writing/researching. The money comes after the work is published. It’s definitely not passive.
My advice for beginners – especially beginner bloggers with new sites – focus on your site content and traffic for a while, then add your Amazon links once you have a little traffic. So many beginners focus on making money from their links and sacrifice their content building in the process. Without good content and traffic you won’t make much anyways.
Again, no leader worth her salt will be attracted to such an opportunity. And anyone you do hire to lead the value creation, if they have two brain cells, will see that she's the one adding all the value. Sooner or later she will simply find a way to cut you out of the value chain, either by requiring more and more compensation, or by going off and competing against you (and actively at that.) Why does she need you? You're not adding any value anyway!
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.
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 spent about $45 on Facebook Ads targeting clicks to my book on Amazon. I paid around $0.30 CPC, and 155 clicks in total, but I couldn’t track how many sales were from Facebook, and I didn’t see ROI because I estimated 3–5 ad-driven book sales, which is at best $9 per additional sale. The other issue is that Amazon doesn’t tell you anything about who’s viewing your page or referral sources, so it’s hard to close the loop.
Now, anyone in the business of convincing you to start a passive online company will tell you that getting started does take actual work. Often, quite a bit of work. You’ll need to write a piece of intellectual property from scratch like an eBook, guide, or several blog posts. You’ll need to set up an online store. And though you’re not creating the products yourself, you will still need to invest considerable time in setting up the site and customizing it.
The VA generally recommends a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of no greater than 41% with your mortgage payment included. It’s not a line in the sand, for reasons we’ll get into below, but it’s important to keep an eye on it. DTI is a comparison of your monthly debt payments to your monthly income. It includes any monthly credit card payments, car payments, student loans, personal loans and mortgage.
FYI – If you’re already a blogger and want some solid ways to increase income from posts and products you already have, I highly recommend snagging a copy of Income Boost. It’s a quick read and will boil down some of my favorite income producing methods into exactly what you need to implement like right now for instant cash. You can use the coupon code “GET5” during checkout to receive $5 off the purchase price.
The downside is the content may not be on your niche. If you’re lucky like I was with the history niche, there will be others who write on similar, complimentary topics. There was one history writer who covered mostly the Wars of the Roses, while I covered the Tudors and the Stuarts. We worked together quite well to help grow each other’s audiences.
Basic marketing ability -- You will not earn a decent income from most blogs if you don't market that blog in some way. That doesn't mean you have to market aggressively or feel like you're whoring yourself out with a constant sales pitch (more on that myth later). The most important thing you'll do marketing-wise is actually completely on the back-end -- evaluating your stats, testing ad placements, and just overall optimizing the site.

I generate all of my online income through advertising and that’s passive. As long as the traffic is stable, the blog should continue to generate income. The real test will come in a few years when we take a year off from retirement to travel around the world. (It’s going to be hard work to “road school” our kid.) I plan to post twice per week, one post about travel and one refresh/rework of an older article. One year is a long time and I’m not sure how traffic will be affected by this change. I guess we’ll see what happens.
If Uber was a thing in my country I would do this every day as you can earn enormous amounts of money just by driving other people to work and back home, while doing the same thing for yourself. This can turn out to be a fun experiment as it will bring you money, and you will have people in your car keeping you accompanied on your way to work and back home. It’s like a school bus, but better!

Depending on your policy, you may fall within the definition of both "total" and "residual" disability. If so, be wary of your insurer claiming you are residually disabled when you may actually be totally disabled. Fortunately, in most states, ambiguous insurance contract language is read in favor of the insured. Confused? You're not alone. Have an experienced disability attorney help you decide which steps to take.


Similarly, you can also become a sponsor for a company. This is a lot more difficult to do. If you have a popular blog/website, then you can directly contact companies that sell products relevant to your niche. You can set up a sponsorship deal, where you promote their products on your website. In return, you receive either a flat-fee or a commission-based fee like with affiliate marketing.
In the blogging world it’s common to hear other bloggers talking about ways to make income. One of those ways is by using affiliate links. An affiliate link is a link with a tracking code; when a person clicks on that link and buys the product you get a commission on that purchase. Affiliate links are a great way to make passive income (see how much I make with affiliate income per month.)
I spent about $45 on Facebook Ads targeting clicks to my book on Amazon. I paid around $0.30 CPC, and 155 clicks in total, but I couldn’t track how many sales were from Facebook, and I didn’t see ROI because I estimated 3–5 ad-driven book sales, which is at best $9 per additional sale. The other issue is that Amazon doesn’t tell you anything about who’s viewing your page or referral sources, so it’s hard to close the loop.
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.
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