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.
The holy grail indeed. The best idea I know of to recieve an as close to as possible passive income (on the net anyway) is to train affiliate marketers. Several affiliate programs have two tier payment systems so in thoery if you can train 20-30 successful affiliate marketers who sign up under your name you can get a passive income off thier hard work. But you still may need to educate and motivate them to continue to work hard. – Adam
I say almost because in truth you still need to do something in order to keep sales coming through. That something is usually write new content to keep the blog active. Without activity, eventually the flow of traffic will cease. It might take a long long time, especially for blogs in a high authority position with firm rankings in the search engines, but eventually, a blog with no new content stream will die…at least I think it will (I often wonder whether a blog like Steve Pavlina’s would ever die given the eternal nature of his blog posts – I think the search engines and all those incoming links might continue to send him traffic for a long, long time).
The holy grail indeed. The best idea I know of to recieve an as close to as possible passive income (on the net anyway) is to train affiliate marketers. Several affiliate programs have two tier payment systems so in thoery if you can train 20-30 successful affiliate marketers who sign up under your name you can get a passive income off thier hard work. But you still may need to educate and motivate them to continue to work hard. – Adam
Insurance agents, authors, credit card processing professionals, multilevel marketing participants and actors are good examples of people who often receive monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual residual income. For example, your job is to sell credit card processing services to retail merchants. A merchant signs a card-processing contract with your company. First, you will receive active income for making the sale. Every month thereafter, as long as the merchant stays with your company, you receive monthly residual payments based on the merchant's credit card sales volume. The more merchants you have, the higher your monthly residual income.
However, this comes back to the old discussion of pain versus pleasure. We will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. When our backs are against the wall, we act. When they're not, we relax. The truth is that the pain-versus-pleasure paradigm only operates in the short term. We'll only avoid pain in the here and now. Often not in the long term.
Managing your own blog isn't as difficult as some people initially think. There's this misconception that you can't earn much money with your own blog, so you'd be better off going with content mills instead. Wrong! It's not difficult at all if you're willing to work for it. The only real excuse for choosing content mills over writing for yourself is that you don't want to be bothered with the work -- you just want to write. And frankly, that's lazy (and you know how I feel about lazy freelancers). If you're a hobby writer and you just want to write to get paid a few bucks, fine. Good for you. But don't call yourself a true freelance writer if you're not willing to work on the business end of your freelance career.
This is another way to earn passive money from a website: sell affiliate products. Affiliate marketing is convenient and effective, because you don’t have to create or retail any products; you just need to get people to buy a product through your link, and you automatically earn a (small) share of the revenue. The most popular affiliate programs are Amazon Associates and Clickbank.

Monthly residuals are a wonderful method of increasing your income, getting paid for things you did in the past that continue to generate money for you. Those who qualify receive a check or electronic payment every month based on work completed in the past. Many sales and marketing people earn monthly residuals by selling a product or service that generates income months or years after the original sale. For example, you might sell a life insurance policy with a 10-year term. The insured pays his monthly premium religiously. The insurance company then pays the selling agent monthly residuals — a percentage of the monthly premium — for up to 10 years.
There are so many great resources today at our fingertips to learn about the world of investing, business, and finance such as blogs, podcasts, and online courses. However, I feel the most tried and true method is still by reading good ol’ fashioned books. I’ve collectively spent a few hundred dollars to purchase these books, but I can tell you that they have resulted in countless dollars in savings and millions in current and future earnings. There really is no better return on investment.
Insurance agents, authors, credit card processing professionals, multilevel marketing participants and actors are good examples of people who often receive monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual residual income. For example, your job is to sell credit card processing services to retail merchants. A merchant signs a card-processing contract with your company. First, you will receive active income for making the sale. Every month thereafter, as long as the merchant stays with your company, you receive monthly residual payments based on the merchant's credit card sales volume. The more merchants you have, the higher your monthly residual income.

However, this comes back to the old discussion of pain versus pleasure. We will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. When our backs are against the wall, we act. When they're not, we relax. The truth is that the pain-versus-pleasure paradigm only operates in the short term. We'll only avoid pain in the here and now. Often not in the long term.
eCourses – If I have a step-by-step process to share, I’m likely going to offer it as an eCourse. That’s something I’m working on right now. As it’s more intensive and structured than an eBook typically is I am able to put a larger price tag on this project. My funnel is getting a little smaller at this level, but there’s a high probability that many of those that purchased the eBooks are going to be interested in the eCourse.

This was by far my biggest return on investment. It took about two weeks to figure out how to format my book for paperback and get setup for Createspace, but this is nearly 70% of my revenue. It’s ironic because my e-book is $4.99 and my paperback is $14.99. I priced the paperback higher because I wanted to drive readers to the ebook, where I could update it more easily. What I learned, however, is that many of the people buying my book are parents, not students, and they are more familiar with paperbacks. There is also an incorrect perception that you need a Kindle to read Kindle ebooks.
This lesson of repackaging, proved transformational for my second information product all those years ago.  I took a treasure trove of writing and turned it into several multimedia forms, including audio and video.  I was then able to sell the course as a multimedia driven training program.  It allowed me to charge 4 times the price (of an already expensive ebook), and dramatically boost conversions.
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