You know the fantasy: write some ebook (or better yet, hire freelancers in Mumbai to research and write it for you at $.20/word!) on some niche topic, set up AdWords and Facebook campaigns targeted to the right keywords (you can hire those Mumbai guys to do your keyword research too), put up a cheap landing page (with copy written by... guess who!), press "Go!" on the PPC campaign, and voilà. . . just wait for the money to roll in while you sleep!
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 have posted a few times about the idea of passive income. Real estate investing is a much applauded form of ‘passive income’ in the modern sense. If you own properties, and rent them out, you will get rent checks coming in month after month, right? Right, but you still have to go out and locate the tenants, take care of utility issues and upgrades, etc. The idea of passive income is not that you have to completely do NO work, but the idea that when you set up a certain system, most of the day-to-day tasks are on auto-pilot. If you post everyday for 3 years straight, you will still get traffic in from the search engines, Yaro. As long as the ads are still on your site you will receive the passive income. This is your ‘system’. The idea of passive income is that so which you have the freedom to do something when you want to do it and you don’t have to give up working hours to go do that thing AND the money will still keep coming in. This can only happen if you set up your system.
The only way to increase your income substantially, then, is to reach more people. The difference, put simply, is between writing an article and a book. If you write an article and sell it to the New York Times for $1 a word, you’ll never see more money from that piece again. On the other hand, if you were to create a collection of articles and sell it in a book, you may (depending on various factors, which we’ll get to) see money from this book over and over again until you keep it in circulation.
My advice for beginners – especially beginner bloggers with new sites – focus on your site content and traffic for a while, then add your Amazon links once you have a little traffic. So many beginners focus on making money from their links and sacrifice their content building in the process. Without good content and traffic you won’t make much anyways.
In my case, I tried leaving the site in “automatic” mode a few times, when I did not have the motivation to post anything new. I found that my traffic, then my revenue, quickly tanked to half of what it should be. So far this has been motivation enough for me to keep writing, when nothing else would keep me motivated. But I have no reason to believe the “passive” part of the revenue would last more than one year. I can imagine revenue progressively going down, until it does not even pay for the server costs anymore.
This sort of falls between creating a blog and an online course. The information can be presented on your site for free with affiliate links or through a subscription. How you earn income here will vary, of course, but the idea is the same as the other methods described above: Create something once and continue to collect income for months or years to come.
In the past, most people wouldn’t have considered selling software to be a source of passive income, but I believe that’s changing. Thanks to tools like Bubble, creating simple web or mobile apps is easier than ever before. You can do a lot without knowing how to code or hiring a developer, and in the future, I think that’s only going to become more and more true.
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.
What if the manager of the Idaho investment center wants to invest $100,000 in new equipment that will generate a return of $16,000 per year? This would provide residual income of $4,000, which is the amount by which it exceeds the minimum 12% rate of return threshold. This would be acceptable to management, since the focus is on generating an incremental amount of cash.
“Let me remind you again that when you put a book out there, you are a published author in a space where you are an expert. Your book becomes the ultimate business card, not to mention a source of ongoing revenue. Did someone say “ongoing revenue?”. Who does not need to make some extra money on a regular basis? Realize that this book will take some work to complete once, but thereafter it exists forever – working to bring you royalty checks five, ten, twenty years from now. Money will be consistently flowing into your bank account. If you write a good book that provides real value, then you realistically have a revenue stream which will bring income for decades to come.”