Affiliate marketing spins around having readers click on the links in your articles and then subsequently purchasing the products you were writing about. Once they click the link in your article and then buy the product, you get a piece of the pie through commission. Commission varies among companies, but usually it is anywhere between 2% up to 10%.
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.
Then, at the end of three months from the date of the domain registration, I'll let you know how much the blog is currently earning. I'll share traffic stats (you'd be surprised how little traffic you really need in order to earn a decent start-up income). I'll share specific revenue stats (as much as I'll be allowed to based on the ad networks' policies). I'll tell you exactly what I did to get there. My goal is to show you that you can at least hit a three figure income in three months. Obviously I'm not aiming for $100 to just call it a day. I will do the best I can using as little as I can in a model that anyone can follow. Some general updates will be posted here just to let you know the project is still under way. I hope that teaching by example will help to alleviate some of the fears some freelance writers have about blogging for residual income. Will you be along for the ride?
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.
Residual income will continue beyond a specified earnings horizon depending on the fortunes of the industry, as well as on the sustainability of a specific firm's competitive prospects over the longer term. The projected rate at which residual income is expected to fade over the life cycle of the firm is captured by a persistence factor, w, which is between zero and one.
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!
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.
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.
P2P lending is the practice of loaning money to borrowers who typically don’t qualify for traditional loans. As the lender you have the ability to choose the borrowers and are able to spread your investment amount out to mitigate your risk. The most popular peer to peer lending platform is Lending Club. You can read our full lending club review here: Lending Club Review.
Another way to add a course to your WordPress site is LearnDash. This full-fledged learning management system (LMS) offers tons of features for setting up any kind of online class you can imagine. Create certificates of completion for your students or run your class based on a point system. Offer multi-tier courses complete with topics, quizzes, and more. Leave comments on and approve submitted assignments. too.
Usually when someone needs additional income, they get the stereotypical suggestion to “get a part-time job.” Let’s say you don’t have time and energy to work on that. With passive income, you would keep getting paid whether or not you do any meaningful work. You may do a lot of work up front during the initial days, but eventually you reach a point where the passive income stream gets activated.
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.
Yet none of these people I've talked to who have this temporarily successful lifestyle seem very happy. They actually seem kind of restless and lost. I've had conversations with several of them to help them determine "what the purpose of their life is" now that they have some amount of money coming in from some little passive venture they don't even care about that much. It all feels empty to them.
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.
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. 🙂
This is a venture that is growing rapidly. You can create videos in just about any area that you like — music, tutorials, opinions, comedy, movie reviews — anything you want . . . then put them on YouTube. You can then attach Google AdSense to the videos, which will overlay your videos with automatic ads. When viewers click on those ads, you will earn money from AdSense.
Tied into this point, I like how Scott discourages big dreaming from the point of view that when you try to solve too big a problem, you’ll normally fail since you don’t have the resources to tackle it – eg don’t reinvent say ecommerce platforms with complex software, instead create an online video-driven course on how to build online stores using WordPress (as an example!).