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.
Obviously, if you’re starting from scratch and you haven’t written your book quite yet, you should think about subjects that are of interest to you. If you write about topics that you lack a passion for, you’re embedding your own boredom into your poorly-prostituted words, and no-one’s gonna go for that; regardless of how punchy you make your title.
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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.
Then, at the end of three months from the date of the domain registration, I'll let you know how much the blog is currently earning. I'll share traffic stats (you'd be surprised how little traffic you really need in order to earn a decent start-up income). I'll share specific revenue stats (as much as I'll be allowed to based on the ad networks' policies). I'll tell you exactly what I did to get there. My goal is to show you that you can at least hit a three figure income in three months. Obviously I'm not aiming for $100 to just call it a day. I will do the best I can using as little as I can in a model that anyone can follow. Some general updates will be posted here just to let you know the project is still under way. I hope that teaching by example will help to alleviate some of the fears some freelance writers have about blogging for residual income. Will you be along for the ride?
Now, anyone in the business of convincing you to start a passive online company will tell you that getting started does take actual work. Often, quite a bit of work. You’ll need to write a piece of intellectual property from scratch like an eBook, guide, or several blog posts. You’ll need to set up an online store. And though you’re not creating the products yourself, you will still need to invest considerable time in setting up the site and customizing it.
Ebooks are one of my favorite sources of passive income. Now, you can do this the simple way and just publish it on Amazon's KDP. Or, you can go all out and build yourself a book funnel. Book funnels are powerful, but they won't be fully passive. For example, if you do a free-plus-shipping offer for your ebook (converting it into a physical book), you'll need to create some one-time offers (i.e. extra training) and up-sells (i.e. an audiobook). But, a book funnel can be very powerful.
Build a list in a particular niche and tell them stories. Create a bond. Build a relationship with them. It's important. Then, when you've created a bit of culture, start marketing affiliate products or services to them that you think they might like. Just be sure that you personally vet out whatever it is that you're selling to avoid complaints if the product or service falls short.
Given the growth in the sharing economy, your junk can start to pay for itself. For example, if you have some awesome vintage furniture inherited from your grandmother sitting in a storage unit, you can rent this out to photographers for their “styled shoots” which are becoming all the rage. If your furniture is more modern but you still can’t bear to get rid of it – perhaps a home stager will be interested.
All the hard work that I put in over the past 10 years online, and over the past 5 years on this blog in particular, is all worth it in hindsight. My blog can now easily earn a full-time income on its own without any further help from me except for monitoring the technical side of things (for which I have a tech person anyway). Of course, I don’t like leaving it alone and love setting new income goals for myself, but this is a really nice thing to have in case anything major happens in my life that takes me away from work.
Under throughput analysis, the only factor that matters is the impact of a proposed investment on the ability of a business to increase its total throughput (revenue minus totally variable costs). Under this concept, the main focus is on either enhancing throughput through the bottleneck operation or in reducing operating expenses. This analysis requires a consideration of bottleneck usage by the likely mix of products to be manufactured, and their margins. This is a much more detailed analysis than is contemplated under the more simplistic residual income approach.
You can add products to an existing page or post or create new ones for each product. This is a good solution if you maintain a blog on a regular basis and want to earn a little extra money from the endeavor. A product can appear at the beginning of a post, at the end of a post, or even within the post content. Utilize the included shortcode for faster insertion. You will also need an Amazon Product Advertising API to make this plugin work.
For example, say you watch the interview they did with The Minimalists a while back, you straight away start getting all these thoughts about whether minimalism is a good subject to create an info product around, or whether it could work as an affiliate site that links out to all the products on minimalism (and trust me there are literally 100+ minimalism ebooks out there that you could affiliate sell, oh the irony).
Yet none of these people I've talked to who have this temporarily successful lifestyle seem very happy. They actually seem kind of restless and lost. I've had conversations with several of them to help them determine "what the purpose of their life is" now that they have some amount of money coming in from some little passive venture they don't even care about that much. It all feels empty to them.
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.
But, you don't need to go further than that. You can simply write it and publish it and collect the income. That's all. Send out a couple emails to your list (if you have one) or post it on social media, and there you have it. Passive income. Now, the amount of income you receive depends on the quality of the book you've written. How well did you craft the message? How targeted was the information to your audience? It counts.
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.
Most credit card companies offer sign-up bonuses to entice you to open a credit account with them. As long as you don’t spend money just to hit the minimum balance and always pay your balance on time, this can have a minimal impact on your credit score while earning you hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars a year. Some of the best travel credit cards offer 100,000 points to new accounts when you meet reasonable spending requirements.
Blogging is not passive. For various reasons, we have not kept up with our site. Traffic has dropped way more than 50%. It can be very lucrative as you know, but it does need a certain minimum level of effort to remain so, probably in the 20-hour/wk range. Now, all things considered, that probably isn’t that bad of a trade-off, but a trade-off nonetheless.
Investing in a business: Another good way to generate passive income is to invest in a business --even a small one -- in return for a percentage of the profits - just like Shark Tank, only smaller. Lending $10,000 to a local business that, for example, is working on a mobile app for Apple phones could lead to a passive income-generated share of the profits when that mobile app starts selling like hot cakes.
For example, if you were a trusted private wealth advisor or stockbroker, then I’d even argue this is the best way to earn passive income from your knowledge, since it’s recurring revenue and suits your target market, who want constantly up-to-date information. PS I admit this is becoming a lot less passive given the ongoing report writing you would be doing.