Frequent updates -- Sometimes you just won't feel like blogging, and that's okay. Don't stress yourself out feeling like you have to stick to rigid posting schedules or that you have to post every day. Are frequent updates nice? Sure they are. But they're not always required. I mentioned my two highest-earning blogs (small business and PR) before. Both of them can go for months at a time without an update. In fact, I took an announced 6 month hiatus from NakedPR.com previously. During that break traffic nearly doubled, and income followed suit. Even here, where I try to post more frequently (even twice a day a lot of days), I see subscribers and traffic increase when I go a few days without posting. It's become pretty predictable. So go ahead. Feel free to take a break every now and then. It gives your readers a chance to catch up or dig into your archives (where some of your best content might be hidden away). Don't decide on a solid schedule up front. Play with it and see what works best for your niche and your readers.
“[T]he stream of continuing payments that are earned by Brad and/or Karen from the commissions (current and future) earned by the brokers within a book of business. Residual income arises from all sources of income relating to or derived from an identified book of business, including commissions earned by the brokers within that identified book of business from any source whatsoever.”
Blogging is a fantastic residual income stream (don't mistake "residual" for "passive" -- in most cases you'll continue to work as your blog, and its income, grows). I won't go so far as to say it's the best residual income stream for freelance writers (informational products like e-books are fantastic for earning more in shorter periods of time for example), but they are one of the more consistent options once you build some stable traffic. And stability is a good thing. You don't always get a lot of it when you work as a freelance writer.
Blogging is still going to take work starting out. That path to $5,000 a month didn’t happen overnight but just like real estate development, it build up an asset that now creates constant cash flow whether I work or not. I get over 30,000 visitors a month from Google search rankings, rankings that will continue to send traffic even if I take a little time off.
Once people find success, what commonly happens is they don’t believe that they deserve it or they believe it was accidental, and that’s crept into my head a few times. It’s a very debilitating thing. You start to doubt and you stop working and you stop believing in yourself and you stop putting as much effort in. But I also have a great group of friends who help me with those feelings, and just realizing how many people’s lives I’ve touched and all the notes I get help. That’s why I have that large 5’x5’ space on my wall with notes on it saying “Thanks, Pat,” “Thanks, Pat.” I have a folder in my inbox just for testimonials of what I’ve done — it helps me remember that I’m actually making a difference, and it’s not accidental, this success.
Another benefit of residual income is that, if the income stream is large enough, one does not need the main focus of his life to be on making enough money to survive. Having a comfortable and continuous level of residual income opens up more opportunities to travel, look into other business opportunities, and even take the time to indulge in his hobbies.
I would consider it 50% passive because the portion that generates money from ads occurs at any time. I guess you could also view it as an upfront time investment, but now that you have a following, I’d imagine a lot of the passive portion of the earnings would still come through viewers even if you decided to take some time off blogging! Reading some of the comments here though (traffic dropoff), I guess it is less passive than 50%.
However, residual income typically has an expiration date, especially if it is being earned through a business. Effort must be continuously put into the business in order for someone to continue to receive residual income. Businesses must continue to market themselves in order to remain relevant. The best way to look at residual income in this sense is that it is a part-time job that earns full-time income.
Now you have some of the basic dos and "do it if you feel like its." But how can you actually earn money from your blog? First and foremost, if your blog is in your specialty area, you should absolutely use it to promote your freelance writing services (even if just linking to your professional site). It can be a highly effective way of increasing business in general. But let's forget about that and think about more direct income from your blogs. Here are the tools and strategies I used to take my small business blog from nothing to a four figure income in just a few months:
eCourses – If I have a step-by-step process to share, I’m likely going to offer it as an eCourse. That’s something I’m working on right now. As it’s more intensive and structured than an eBook typically is I am able to put a larger price tag on this project. My funnel is getting a little smaller at this level, but there’s a high probability that many of those that purchased the eBooks are going to be interested in the eCourse.
The members and brokers that Brad recruited, as well as the members and brokers that those people recruited, were considered Brad’s “downline.” At the time of the divorce, Brad’s downline consisted of thousands of members and brokers, earning Brad a residual income of about $27,000 per month. The trial court was tasked with determining just how to divide the residual income, generated by Brad’s downline, between the two parties.
For some reason, many writers I talk to are afraid of starting their own niche blog. They're afraid it will take up too much of their time. They're afraid they won't see a decent return on the effort put in. They're afraid no one will want to read what they have to say. And sometimes they're just afraid to start something new because they're not sure where to start. To those writers, I have one thing to say -- Get over it.
Link-building campaigns -- My SEO-centric pals might want to hit me for this, but frankly I've found that most traditional link-building is a royal waste of time. Don't submit your site to every free directory you can find. Don't waste time submitting news releases to all of the free press release distribution sites you can. Don't post short, garbage comments on other people's blogs just to get the link back. Don't engage in link exchanges. Don't get me wrong. There are ways you can increase links early on that I do recommend, but I suggest them far more for the exposure value. Those things would include linking to other blogs from your posts (the bloggers often know who's linking to them, and they might come to check out your post -- it's a good way to start networking with others in your niche). You could also comment on other blogs and include your link, but only do this if you have something substantive to add. Otherwise you just look like a schmuck. The absolute best way to build links to your blog however is to simply create great content that people deem worth linking to. Remember, it's not just about linkback quantity. It's about getting quality, relevant links back from sites who cater to your audience (who not only provide link juice, but direct traffic).
But that’s more like a fairytale. You’ll have to put in some effort to continue receiving residual income on the business you started. Talking to your managers and representatives will help them be more productive and run your business better. Marketing your online sales through social media and your network will help earn you more money. But you just won’t have to work at it as your full time job. Think of it as a part time job that can potentially bring in full time pay.
But I will temper that opinion, by saying getting your name in print can be great for achieving expert status for use in later ebooks/membership site promotions (your really money spinner), and for gaining new fans that your own distribution efforts can’t get. For example, Ferriss pulled this off pretty well, using a book to drastically grow his online following / blog readership.