As you can see, I linked the word PDF with a tool that could help readers if they had the same problems, thus giving them a way for them to solve the same problem if they had it, while earning money from their downloads and in-app purchases. I haven’t actually placed my referral link as this is an educational article, but the principle is the same. That link doesn’t have to be an app, it can also be a page on Amazon, or a link towards some other online store that offers commission for affiliated sales.
Investing in real estate: Investing in real estate offers more passive income cash potential - but more risk - than investing in stocks or bonds. You'll need substantial amounts of cash to invest in buying a home -- it usually takes 20% down to land a good home mortgage loan. But history shows that home prices usually rise over time, so buying home a for $200,000 and selling it for $250,000 over a five-year time period, for example, is a reasonable expectation when investing in real estate.
Now that we've found how to compute residual income, we must now use this information to formulate a true value estimate for a firm. Like other absolute valuation approaches, the concept of discounting future earnings is put to use in residual income modeling as well. The intrinsic, or fair value, of a company's stock using the residual income approach, can be broken down into its book value and the present values of its expected future residual incomes, as illustrated in the formula below.
Already have something you are ridiculously good at and you actually know how to transfer your knowledge and teach the topic? You, my friend, are halfway there to becoming a course writer for some very popular websites. Online courses have become a real hit and have taken off in sense of popularity lately, as people are starting to understand more and more that it’s not always about diplomas and which school you went to.
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.
This is a VERY good point. Too often I see people touting the benefits of blogging as passive income. But um, y’all, blogging is a lot of work. If you’re in it just for the money, you probably won’t perform super-well. Some of the income is passive through ads, but you still have to write new content, interact with readers, talk to bloggers, etc. There are certainly things you can put on autopilot but it’s not like investing where you sit back and watch money ebb and flow. 😛
Given the growth in the sharing economy, your junk can start to pay for itself. For example, if you have some awesome vintage furniture inherited from your grandmother sitting in a storage unit, you can rent this out to photographers for their “styled shoots” which are becoming all the rage. If your furniture is more modern but you still can’t bear to get rid of it – perhaps a home stager will be interested.

Finally, a straight forward, honest blog post about earning a “passive income” online. Your time frame is dead-on, Jon, as I have been working online for about 7 to 8 years and just now feel like I am getting a handle on most of the skills required. The real truth is that most online bloggers or marketers have to master many, many skills before he or she can claim true success. Of course, that all depends upon how to you rank your success. If you’re a person who enjoys tackling new challenges, learning new skills, and has a knack for writing, then the online world is definitely the place for you. Just remember it takes a personality who is willing to persevere and who isn’t discouraged easily. That being said, it’s a heck of a lot of fun!
For example, say you watch the interview they did with The Minimalists a while back, you straight away start getting all these thoughts about whether minimalism is a good subject to create an info product around, or whether it could work as an affiliate site that links out to all the products on minimalism (and trust me there are literally 100+ minimalism ebooks out there that you could affiliate sell, oh the irony).
With that though, if we work smarter and not hard we can reap the benefits of someone else’s hard work and buy an already built online business that is earning passive income. Which is what I started to do and it worked for me. Sure I had to research and learn how to buy an online business and there is a slight bit of maintenance needed for each site but it too can be outsourced. Meaning if you really want to you can earn passive income and sit back on the beach. Actually right now as I type I am in Mexico, by the beach and surfing everyday. I don’t tell you this to brag, I tell you all this because you are right. Building a business, any business is hard! Buying one isn’t super easy either, but you can do it and you can earn passive income with very little work, you just need to work smarter and not hard.
Financing -- Sure, it's great if you have money to invest in a custom blog theme, advertising, or to hire other bloggers to help out in the beginning, but it's certainly not necessary. In fact, my highest-earning blogs were all started without spending a dime over the domain name and hosting (and since several are hosted together, that saved on the startup costs after the first). You can afford $10 or so per year. If you can't, you probably need to re-think your entire freelance career before you start planning new residual income streams.
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Blogging is still going to take work starting out. That path to $5,000 a month didn’t happen overnight but just like real estate development, it build up an asset that now creates constant cash flow whether I work or not. I get over 30,000 visitors a month from Google search rankings, rankings that will continue to send traffic even if I take a little time off.
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 don’t make all my blogging income through them. In fact, the residual income sites make up approximately 10% of my whole writing income but that doesn’t mean they’re not worthwhile. I don’t promote a lot of my content and I don’t use the sites as much as I used to do. I also have my private writing clients who make up a good 60% of my writing and blogging income.

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.
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.
One of the primary benefits of residual income is that it takes little continued effort to maintain. Passive income includes things like royalties received for creating an intellectual property such as a book, advertisement payments received for Internet traffic on websites or content you create, dividends paid on stocks you hold and rent payments. Creating residual income often takes a considerable amount of initial effort, such as writing a book or article, creating a website, buying a building and renting it out or researching and purchasing dividend-paying stocks, but after the initial effort, you receive income over time with little or no additional effort. This can allow you to pursue other opportunities while continuing to earn income based on past efforts.
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.
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.

While it sounds like an ideal income stream, there are more specific benefits of residual income. For instance, unlike a salary, someone does not need to remain tied to the same location in order to earn income. He can move halfway around the world and still make the same residual income as he would if he stayed in the same location as his business.
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).
I’ve been writing about this since around 2006 or 2007 and I have a monthly article about “alternative income”, which is what I consider blogging. You could say it’s another term for “50% passive.” No one would confuse it with collecting dividends from a dividend ETF, but at the same time, you can take a week off and still earn a certain percentage or baseline of what you may earn if you wrote actively.
Thinking of going the online course route? Then you might want to check out CoursePress. This plugin is easy to set up and allows you to create a full online course that site visitors can sign up for, complete assignments, take quizzes, and more. You have the option to create text, audio, or video-based courses, integrate discussion boards, and even offer video previews to entice potential students.
On a more technical note — reviews do not get duplicated — when a review for a current product already exists, it gets opened for editing (i.e. the bookmarklet informs you of that situation). Then you can proceed to remotely edit the title for that post, you can change its status from Draft to Published, and you can Trash the post (only if it is not published yet). So, shooting yourself in the foot is actively prevented. But you can try all this yourself — the plugin is free and readily available on the official WordPress Plugin Directory. I invite you to continue this talk in the Support forum. Any and all feedback would be highly appreciated. ;)
On a more technical note — reviews do not get duplicated — when a review for a current product already exists, it gets opened for editing (i.e. the bookmarklet informs you of that situation). Then you can proceed to remotely edit the title for that post, you can change its status from Draft to Published, and you can Trash the post (only if it is not published yet). So, shooting yourself in the foot is actively prevented. But you can try all this yourself — the plugin is free and readily available on the official WordPress Plugin Directory. I invite you to continue this talk in the Support forum. Any and all feedback would be highly appreciated. ;)

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.
If you’re interested in putting some of your content behind a paywall, our very own Protected Content is where it’s at. This plugin makes it easy to create a membership site that sells access to just about anything. You can protect your content in a number of ways based on certain posts, pages, categories, links, keywords, files, and more. This is a quick way to earn some income from your site.
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.

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.
So imagine this scenario: You get a brilliant idea for a mobile app you would like to make. You either need to know how to make it, or pay a programmer to do it instead. If you don’t have the cash, well good thing that you have a blog which earns you money through affiliate marketing commission, product reviews, as well as a the YouTube videos slowly piling up money from advertisement, and don't forget about the money from the online course and eBooks you sell.

Free Email Courses – Wait a minute. Free? I thought we were getting paid. We are. We are! As an example, I have a free 7-days to Finding Work from Home series that people joining one of my newsletters can receive. Every day for a week they receive a new email telling them about a specific work-at-home opportunity. Sprinkled throughout that series are affiliate links to some of my favorite work-from-home resources. It took me just a couple days to put that series together and it goes out like clockwork to hundreds of new subscribers each day. And I earn a commission if a few of those people decide to click through and purchase my recommendations.
I know some people assume monetizing a blog is just easier for me. After all, I can use the "juice" of my existing sites to bring a new blog attention in the beginning. Others assume it's easier because I come from a marketing / PR background (although that's no excuse, since I teach you all about that here if you take the time to look). Still, I've decided it's project-time yet again (when is it not with me?).
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.

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.

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.

Investing in the stock market is a classic form of passive income. As you might know, with stock markets, there is some risk involved. But then again, virtually all residual income methods involve a level of risk, and you won’t find any idea that’s risk-free. In fact, stock marketing can be one of the least risky ways to earn money, if you invest smartly. The basic rules apply: Create a diverse portfolio, start with around $1,000, learn about the stock market, and create a back-up fund.
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.
On a more technical note — reviews do not get duplicated — when a review for a current product already exists, it gets opened for editing (i.e. the bookmarklet informs you of that situation). Then you can proceed to remotely edit the title for that post, you can change its status from Draft to Published, and you can Trash the post (only if it is not published yet). So, shooting yourself in the foot is actively prevented. But you can try all this yourself — the plugin is free and readily available on the official WordPress Plugin Directory. I invite you to continue this talk in the Support forum. Any and all feedback would be highly appreciated. ;)
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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