There is a specific tax definition of passive income, known as “passive activity” to the Internal Revenue Service. Passive income is any income you make without actively working or are materially involved. The IRS defines it as any rental activity or any business in which the taxpayer does not “materially participate.” Nonpassive activities, or active activities, are businesses in which the taxpayer works on a regular, continuous, and substantial basis.
Those who can reap the benefits of residual income have typically put in an immense amount of effort and time in the beginning to be able to enjoy the rewards later on. Residual income, therefore, does not result in instant gratification. Those interested in earning residual income must have a lot of patience and determination to work as hard as necessary to achieve their ultimate goals of a long-standing income stream.
This might be a weird one, but signing up for Uber (if it is available in your country) can be an amazing way to generate income by doing what you already do on a daily basis. If you drive a car and you have one you use every day, then picking up people that are along your way that give you cash for dropping them off somewhere nearby is, well, unheard of.
I love being a blogger. One of the main reasons is that I have been able to stop exchanging time for money with the passive income from my blogs. There are only so many hours in the day. There is only so much you can earn per week in most traditional jobs. Not a fan. I want to maximize my efforts. I want to make money passively even when I'm on vacation or taking a little break.
As a person that reads blogs I love it when people add affiliate links of the products they’re talking about because I don’t have to search for them. For example, when I’m deciding which crafts I’ll make with my kids it saves me a lot of time to click on the affiliate links of the products so you’re helping out your reader as well as making side income. See here how I link to products in crafts.
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?

I do most of my work at night after they go to bed. Sometimes I can work during the day and I get a few hours to answer emails or do non-heavy brain activity, but it’s harder to do creative stuff like writing where I need large blocks of time, so I do that after they go to bed, from 8pm till about midnight or 1am. I do all my work when I can completely focus on work, and then I can completely focus on family when I need to focus on family.
Similar to selling advertising, the goal is usually to rank for competitive search terms, but instead of selling advertising, you endorse different products your audience might be interested in, and whenever someone you refer buys, you get a commission. It’s kind of like the next generation of Amway, except instead of referring your friends and family to buy the products, you refer strangers who visit your website.
Residual benefits are typically calculated as a percentage of both the policyholder’s loss of earnings and the benefit that the policyholder would receive if he or she was unable to work. For example, say a worker who has a disability policy sustains an injury that prevents him from working full-time. The worker is physically able to be on the job part-time, and is able to earn 60% of the amount that he used to earn. The disability policy pays out $1,500 a month as normal benefits. The residual benefit is calculated by taking the amount of income loss (which is 40%) and multiplying it by the normal disability benefit of $1.500. The resulting residual benefit comes to $600 a month (40% x $1500).
Easy Plugin for AdSense is a convenient way to add and manage AdSense on your WordPress site with minimal fuss. It follows all the official Google AdSense rules too, which is important if you’re serious about earning revenue from this method for the long haul. It comes with several sidebar widgets, numerous options, control over positioning of the AdSense blocks, and an easy-to-use interface.
This is a VERY good point. Too often I see people touting the benefits of blogging as passive income. But um, y’all, blogging is a lot of work. If you’re in it just for the money, you probably won’t perform super-well. Some of the income is passive through ads, but you still have to write new content, interact with readers, talk to bloggers, etc. There are certainly things you can put on autopilot but it’s not like investing where you sit back and watch money ebb and flow. 😛
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
Jitendra Vaswani is a passionate blogger, entrepreneur & digital marketer from India. He is founder of BloggersIdeas, WordPress Plugin SchemaNinja, & Digital Marketing Agency Digiexe. Do Check out his latest portfolio Jitendra.co to hire him. He had worked with top brands like Firstcry, Zopper, Railyatri & various others international brands. At BloggersIdeas he mostly writes about How to blog tips, SEO news, products reviews etc.

Great article, Joe! I’ve thought about this a lot…whether blogging is passive or not. By definition, it probably isn’t (since the income goes away if you stop), but it FEELS passive. “feels”. Ew. Feelings. Blegh. Anyhoo…even if it isn’t passive, I can’t stop doing it because I love it so much. So if you like writing and interaction with readers, it seems passive, but to anyone else, they’ll have to put in a lot of work for very little gain, so it seems VERY active.
Finally, a straight forward, honest blog post about earning a “passive income” online. Your time frame is dead-on, Jon, as I have been working online for about 7 to 8 years and just now feel like I am getting a handle on most of the skills required. The real truth is that most online bloggers or marketers have to master many, many skills before he or she can claim true success. Of course, that all depends upon how to you rank your success. If you’re a person who enjoys tackling new challenges, learning new skills, and has a knack for writing, then the online world is definitely the place for you. Just remember it takes a personality who is willing to persevere and who isn’t discouraged easily. That being said, it’s a heck of a lot of fun!

PS Joel also throws up the whole coaching idea in this book, and whilst it’s not at all passive I just wanted to mention it, because this is one of the ways to create a six-figure business for yourself if you are a true expert in an arena.  ie you can use passive income info products (that generate say $30,000 a year) to pull in the customers for your 1-1 or mastermind style coaching service (that brings in say $100,000+ a year).
×