In all reality, any business that involves selling a product is passive in some way. I mean, once the product is developed and created, you’re not actively creating it anymore; rather, you stand back and watch as people buy it and your bank account grows. But when you hear people talk about online passive income, they’re referring to a specific kind of business and specific kinds of products.
“[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.”
It might all seem pedantic but I think the words we use to describe things are important. And calling a business passive when it really isn’t can set people up for disappointment and even failure. It’s not a fair description of the work involved. Sure, you might be able to lounge on a beach as money rolls in but only after you’ve put in many hours of work first and only with the knowledge that you’ll have to sit back down at the computer again at some point to invest further in your business.
Being a successful blogger is a lot harder than it looks. Being able to consistently generate enough quality content to earn a loyal and enthusiastic audience separates the men from the boys and Jitendra is clearly one of the up and coming young men in the global blogosphere. He has the passion and tireless drive it takes to cover all of the bases and continually deliver fresh, valuable information that helps his readers make money and keep coming back for more
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 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.
The last plugin I’m going to talk about here today is Sensei from WooThemes. This plugin offers another way to create courses, take on new students, and offer assessments within the WordPress dashboard. Though you can use it as a full LMS, it’s also useful for setting up a course and then walking away. Automatic assessments make it totally possible to accomplish this.
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?
The Book on Rental Property Investing – Brandon Turner helps to run one of my favorite real estate investing sites, Biggerpockets. His book is written in the same easy style and with the same intent as the blog – to help everyone have an understanding of real estate investing. It contains lots of practical advice and it is completely honest in saying that real estate investing is not a get-rich-quick scheme… but anyone can do it.
The second big takeaway for me, was to pick a niche you know, you find interesting AND where there is demand for your product – ie willingness to buy/pay. A lot of people only remember the first part of this 2-part formula, and end up creating a blog on knitwear for kittens. But it’s the overlap of passion and profit that Ferriss stressed so much.