I no longer count traditional publishing as passive income because after you’ve spent half a dozen years pitching agents, arguing with publishers, and having your heart broken repeatedly only to make about a dollar per book, it’s not really passive income. More like overdue income. The responsibility that traditionally published authors shoulder is much too high and the cut far too little to make this even a profitable, let alone passive, income option for most writers.
About Blog The College Investor helps millennials get out of student loan debt to start investing, building passive income, and wealth for the future. Today, it's the go to resource for millennials looking for information about how to get out of student loan debt and start investing in their future. Follow this blog to get tips on Millennial Personal Finance and Investing.
 If you’re starting out, select “Sell as an Individual” to avoid paying an extra $1 per sale. "Professional" costs (at time of writing) $39.99 a month, but you don’t pay the $1 fee for each item. If you’re unlikely to list more than 40 units a month, go for Individual. If you’re selling more than 40, it pays to use the Professional Plan. You can change your choice at a later date if you need to.
Self-hosting -- If your goal is to earn money through your blog, this is non-negotiable. Host it yourself (and yes, that means paying for a domain registration and hosting account). Personally I recommend GoDaddy for domains and HostGator for hosting. They're the combination I use for the majority of my blogs. Why is this important? Because if you want to effectively monetize your blog, you need complete control over monetization options and access to thorough site statistics. The easiest way to guarantee access to both is to host your blog yourself.
There are a couple of problems with direct investment in real estate though. It’s expensive to buy even a single property, a minimum of tens of thousands of dollars, and there’s no way most investors can build a portfolio of different property types and in different regions to protect from those risks when you have all your money in just one or two investments.
A very thoughtful list here. Another relevant book published this year is “Retirement Planning for Young Physicians” by Dr. Ralph Crew. It covers many of the topics discussed here from the perspective of a physician who has successfully saved and retired. The book adds a lot to these discussions with a focus on the importance of lifestyle choices, as well as a realistic (though sobering) view of likely future physician income trends and how to plan accordingly for retirement.

The VA generally recommends a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of no greater than 41% with your mortgage payment included. It’s not a line in the sand, for reasons we’ll get into below, but it’s important to keep an eye on it. DTI is a comparison of your monthly debt payments to your monthly income. It includes any monthly credit card payments, car payments, student loans, personal loans and mortgage.


Accretion/dilution analysis Adjusted present value Associate company Business valuation Conglomerate discount Cost of capital Weighted average Discounted cash flow Economic value added Enterprise value Fairness opinion Financial modeling Free cash flow Free cash flow to equity Market value added Minority interest Modigliani–Miller theorem Net present value Pure play Real options Residual income Stock valuation Sum-of-the-parts analysis Tax shield Terminal value Valuation using multiples
So below is a list of my favorite books with a small description of each. I hope to have full-length reviews of each of these on my site soon. I also added a little section – a “to-read” list of books that have been highly recommended by others and I plan to read in the next few months. Feel free to add some suggestions down in the comments as well.
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.
I have posts that are heavily linked to Amazon and some that aren’t to keep things balanced out. My heavily linked posts are product guides or stuff I was searching for my kids. Some examples are: Non-toxic high chair, 20 non-toxic teething toys, and Gift for 2-3 year olds. My blog is “green” so a lot of my posts are about non-toxic products since this is what I personally look for.
However, you should pick a niche and blog about that. If you're launching a money related blog, maybe it'll be about how to make money in real estate or simply how to make money online. Pick the niche and stick to it. If it's a diet and fitness related blog, maybe the niche is the Ketogenic diet, the Atkins diet or some other form of diet or fitness.
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.
Jon, you always keep it real and I LOVE that about you and your writing! You are so right! There’s always an amount of work that goes into creating “passive income” or becoming a blogger who monetizing with services and courses. Thanks for being honest about how long it can take to truly master the required skills. Frankly, I’ve done my 4+ years of undergrad and grad school and what I’ve been learning in the last 2-3 years as I’ve dug deeper into improving my copywriting and blogging skills by taking classes with yourself and other trustworthy mentors is giving me the best foundation to help me build my freelancing business and ultimately step away from my 9-5. For me, it’s all about who I work for, under what conditions, when, and for how much, rather than a “no-work-at-all” lifestyle. That’s totally unrealistic. And I appreciate you, as a well respected “Guru” yourself, for saying so!
That’s why I have invested to create a WP plugin, which gives a dead-simple way to create detailed Amazon product reviews for my blog RIGHT from Amazon product page: I find a product I like, I click a button, and … voilà — a draft post with a new product review is scheduled for publishing on my site. I can jump in to the administrative side to add some personal note, or I can move to the next product which piques my interest. Its akin to Facebook “like”, but instead of posting to my FB wall, I effortlesly get new content for my blog. Neat, huh?
All that being said, the residual income valuation approach is a viable and increasingly popular method of valuation and can be implemented rather easily by even novice investors. When used alongside the other popular valuation approaches, residual income valuation can give you a clearer estimate of what the true intrinsic value of a firm may be. (Don't be overwhelmed by the many valuation techniques out there - knowing a few characteristics about a company will help you pick the best one. See How To Choose The Best Stock Valuation Method.)
What you should know, though, is that book sales on Amazon are still massively fruitful. Founded in 1999, Amazon was the original online book retailer, but they've expanded exponentially into a store that sells just about anything. Amazingly, Amazon sales currently account for 43% of all online purchases. 25% of all US adults are Amazon Prime customers, and they ship 1.6 million packages every day.
After some long chats, I learned I need a schedule. So now I know when to work, and everyone else knows when it’s my time to work: It’s after the kids go to bed. Things will change everyone once in a while — if I have a big project coming up, for example, like during the recent launch of my podcast player, I was asking my wife, can you watch the kids longer?
In addition to the obvious — increasing your monthly income — many people develop specific investment plans for their monthly residuals. Popular strategies include allocating monthly residuals to a retirement account, a down payment on a home, education expenses and an emergency fund. Your strategy should include establishing a reserve for income taxes if you receive residuals in full, without withheld taxes. This prevents unwelcome surprises at tax time.
As for Mr. Tako’s idea of hiring writers above, it’s not bad. However, in my experience it isn’t great either. Managing writers can be as much work as managing the other aspects of the blog. They come and go and I found myself spending more of my time on tasks that I didn’t enjoy (hiring and interviewing). I also felt like I didn’t have the same connection with my readers.
Making legitimate passive income isn’t as difficult as you might think. Some of the best passive income ideas might take a little time to set up but can start cash flowing within a couple of months and will provide a consistent monthly income for years or more. The most important point is just to get started. You make exactly $0 on the passive income sources you never start.
If you are a photographer looking to diversify your income stream, putting together styled stock photo packages can be lucrative. For example, a package of 15 wedding-themed stock photos for $10. You can then market this to any bloggers or businesses who are in the wedding business for their use (photos of different engagement rings styles are super popular). Through this method, it’s possible to make a continuous stream of income off of photos you’ve taken once (similar to a licensing deal).
Shane and Jocelyn Sams, who were teachers before. Shane listened to my podcast, and he was like, check out this guy Pat, and his wife was like, No, that sounds kind of scammy to me. But then they decided to give creating digital products a try, so Jocelyn created a website called Elementary Librarian where she was selling packages and worksheets to librarians to help them and that site is doing really well. And Shane is a football coach, so he created coachxo.com to sell defensive plays to coaches. Both of those are doing well over six figures a month now, and they’re doing it through pdf files, worksheets and tools that their audience can use to help them in a more convenient way.
(Of course, you can also always get passive income by buying-and-holding US Treasuries, which are paying out around 4.2%. The BLS just reported inflation at 3.6%. No one's going to get rich with that level of passive income net of inflation. And according to Shadow Government Statistics, the real rate of inflation you and I are actually experiencing---including at the grocery store checkout line, at the gas pump, and at the doctor's office---not the massaged statistics the government puts out, is actually much higher, perhaps up to 11%. So government bonds could actually be not passive income---however meager---but passive losses.)

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?


One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. If you sign up and link up an investment account with $1,000+ within 40 days, you get a $20 Amazon gift card. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.
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.
Rich Dad Poor Dad – This is the book that launched thousands of real estate investing careers and is still one of the most famous real estate investing books of all time. There is lots of debate whether it’s a true story, but nevertheless, the concepts in it blew my mind when I first read it. It really speaks to the importance and value of not trading time for money. Here’s my full review.
Even with Smart Passive Income as successful as it is now, the first six months were really tough because I didn’t have an audience. There were a few people reading and a few people leaving comments and the same people leaving comments. There was no growth. Because I just enjoyed writing so much, I kept doing it and then a year and a half later, it got to the point where it exploded.
I wonder what the avg number of hours/week (over a year) would be for something to be considered “passive income”. To me, it’d be under an hour a week. If I was able to earn money from something with that time investment, the hour a week would be mostly a time investment in checking on things that it’s still working and setting the course back on track.
Setting up a Google AdSense website is a simple and effective way to earn a passive income stream. The way it works is that you first have to find low competition keywords in a niche. Use Long Tail Pro to find keywords with low competition that get at least 1,000 – 2,000 searches per month. Then, write long, useful, and SEO-optimized articles around those keywords. Lastly, promote your website on social media and build backlinks to it.
It takes a special kind of person to wear that many hats, and in my opinion, the current positioning in the information marketing industry of “anyone can do this” is just nonsense. Everyone I know who has been successful creating information products is a driven, uber smart entrepreneur. If you’re one of those people, you might consider it. If not, I would look elsewhere.

That’s why I think the whole concept of passive income sites are based on a fallacy that they are different somehow from any other business and any other money-making scheme. For one, you still have to put in a ton of work to make anything worthwhile. People argue that it winds up being worth it because you’ll continue to make money long after you’ve finished creating that online course or ebook or what have you, but I think that’s a faulty assumption as well.
This startup work is something that anyone involved in establishing passive income will admit requires some serious elbow grease. It’s the great exception to the whole notion of “passive” income in that it’s decidedly not passive. And for the most part, this is acceptable. People seem to get on board with this idea. “Hey, if I just buckle down and do a bunch of work right now, I’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor later.” It’s a simple enough concept.

I read from the publishing blogs that having a great cover and a great book summary on Amazon was critical. So I worked with Matt Chase, who is an amazingly talented artist/designer, to have the cover designed. People love the cover and I think it’s a huge differentiator for my book. You can reach out to him at http://chasematt.com/ if you’re interested in working with him.
Jitendra's talent, skill, and style make him one of the most qualified digital marketing gurus in India, and in my opinion, shortly in the world. I know Jitendra from DomainX event , he was very active there and I was really impressed by networking & business skills he have. I decided to work with him and he delivers his best at his work. I really like his style of working.

Shane and Jocelyn Sams, who were teachers before. Shane listened to my podcast, and he was like, check out this guy Pat, and his wife was like, No, that sounds kind of scammy to me. But then they decided to give creating digital products a try, so Jocelyn created a website called Elementary Librarian where she was selling packages and worksheets to librarians to help them and that site is doing really well. And Shane is a football coach, so he created coachxo.com to sell defensive plays to coaches. Both of those are doing well over six figures a month now, and they’re doing it through pdf files, worksheets and tools that their audience can use to help them in a more convenient way.
Investing in bonds: Similarly, bonds are an attractive way to engage in passive income. Over a recent 45-year period, bonds funds, as measured by Vanguard Funds, returned 7.1%. Of course, there's no guarantee that investments in stocks or bonds will always work out well, investing in them is by far the surest way to generate money through passive income.
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!
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