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.
The term “residual income” refers to the income that someone makes after their work has already been completed. An example of residual income is the earnings an author continues to make on a book after it has been published, when fans continue to purchase copies years later. Residual income is ideal because it is money that is being earned while doing nothing in the present moment to earn that money.
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.
Thank you for sharing your advice on Amazon and affiliate marketing. I just recently joined Amazon and have been updating my blogs using your techniques. Hopefully it works for me like it has worked for you, granted I know now based on your experience that I probably won’t see any big income from it for awhile but it is really nice to know I am on the right track to some success in the future.
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.
Try to write one good post about an expensive product or a list of expensive products that you recommend and actually use. Make sure it has good SEO and wait about 6 months for it to start making money. This is what started making me money at first. My Non-toxic play mats posts got on the first page of Google results and it started making me affiliate income.
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.
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!).
Our favorite platform for this is RealtyMogul because you get the flexibility to invest as little as $1,000, but can also participate in REITs and private placements – typically not offered to the public. Investors can fund real estate loans to gain passive income or buy an equity share in a property for potential appreciation. Their platform is open to both accredited and non-accredited investors.
Needless to say, you have to find a way to differentiate yourself from everyone else, but if you can, the income can be relatively passive. Chances are, you’ll still have to deal with some questions and complaints from customers about other people’s products, which I’m guessing can be quite a headache, but you don’t have to deal with manufacturing, warehousing, shipping, or any of the other headaches of creating the product yourself.
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During the trial, Karen offered proof that she and Brad had built the business together, and that the downline was the result of their joint efforts – not just Brad’s. Karen argued that the residual income from the downline should therefore be split at a 60/40 rate on a monthly basis. Brad, on the other hand, asked the trial court to value the business. Upon valuation, the court could either allow him to buy out Karen’s share or direct that the business be sold, with the proceeds being split 60/40 between the two parties.
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.
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.
#4. Offer free download: Before you even sell, ask yourself, “What is the purpose of my book?”. If you are using your book as a way to establish authority in your niche then giving away your book as a free download. If you don’t want to give away your whole eBook for free, then give a few chapters to them Again, make sure you are collecting those email addresses in exchange, so that you can follow up with a friendly email to close the sale.
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.
There are other ways to earn from your blog. For example, you could sell banner advertising. You could survey-based cost per action -- CPA -- ads (you're paid when users fill out a survey or complete some other action). You could sell video ads. Yo and I are launching FreelanceTheater.com soon, and we might eventually sell jingle ads or other audio ads in the audio plays there. Get creative and brainstorm some possible income streams for your blog that would work with your niche. There's a reason you won't see a lot of banner ads or even contextual ads here at AFW. Years of testing told me that they weren't the best ways to monetize a site targeting freelance writers. That testing also demonstrated that far better options were to incorporate job lead based income streams and promoting my own products for sale here. Don't simply assume the easiest option will be the right one for you.
One word of advice, and something I intend to do once I have the money saved up, is to build or buy out property that can support apartments or townhomes. One tough mistake some people make is buying a pair of homes to rent out and they get a nice $2,000-$3,000 a month but that’s it. Buying a house is expensive and the rental prices keep lower income families from potentially coming to you with their money to rent. If you have an acre to work with (more or less is OK too) you should be talking to a contractor to build apartments or townhomes. You will make a little less per unit BUT your audience grows significantly because now you can have college students, single parents, older folks, etc. all able to afford your rental units AND instead of capturing one $1,000-$1,500 a month payments, you can probably charge $700 a month per unit (or more, depending on the market) and build maybe 3, 4, 5, 10 units for the price of a home or two and now you’re making something like $2,100-$10,000 a month. It all depends on what you have to invest but if you’ve got $250,000+ I’d highly suggest you talk to a bank/investor that can get you in touch with a good contractor to build on a property and get permits and take out a matching $250,000 loan (I’ve read that $500,000 is plenty to build a good amount of apartments to start) and you can fill up your apartments and make a killing every month. You’ll have more tenants to deal with but if you’re competitive with your pricing you won’t have a hard time keeping tenants or replacing them.
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.
You are a perfect example of what education can co-create Jon; and you wouldn’t be the person you are or the writer you are if you hadn’t paid attention and learned from great thinkers, writers, poets, and rhetoricians. They have shaped your soul, and it shines through your writing. Lots of people manage business and income — active and passive — but few do it with your educated brilliance.
PPS oh you thought I was done did you?! The other parts of the book, although not truly passive income generation focused, are amazing too. I know things like the low information diet and killing interruptions have made a huge difference to my success – and if I can try and get a little more consistency in my adherence to them, then happy freaking days!