All this time I’ve felt discouraged that if been studying online marketing and blogging for over five years, but don’t have a blog or a business to show for it yet. But I’ve definitely learned a lot since I discovered Copyblogger and learned the word “copywriting” in 2011. I fell in love with marketing that day and haven’t stopped reading about it since. But this is probably the first time I’ve heard any blogger say to study for years first. Wow, that makes me feel less like loser staring from the sidelines. And I look back at all the businesses ideas I had throughout the years that I would’ve wasted time on, and all of my goofy ideas for marketing as I was still finding my way to the best teachers. Well now I definitely feel like a have a degree in online marketing and blogging, and I’m putting it into action, but not without investing time to learn about my target audience and testing what will interest them.
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.
There are many people who get paid vast amounts of money to become the CEO of a company, play professional sports, or star in a movie. Earning a high active income is often a lot of hard work and requires a dedication beyond most of us. It’s also limited because no matter how much money you get paid you still need to show up to work to earn your money.
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.
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.
I wouldn't think of a high yield savings account as a source of passive income but your savings should be getting something (less like Seinfeld syndication residuals and more like a commercial jingle residuals!). It won't make you rich but it's nice if your baseline, risk-free rate of return on cash is 1% or more. The best high yield savings accounts (or money market accounts) offer higher interest rate and there is absolutely no risk. CIT Bank currently leads the pack with the highest interest rate.

One specific moment came when I was approached by the United States Green Building Council, the company that administers the exam that I was writing the guide for. I got a cease and desist letter saying, “Stop what you’re doing!” and I freaked out. I was like, This business thing — I can’t do it. I’m in way over my head. And then I went to a lawyer, and they were like, you just can’t use their trademark in your domain name. Everything else you’re doing is fine. But there was a good week or two where I didn’t know what was going on and I was truly ready to give it all up.


Another variation of this model is to pay for advertising and then earn affiliate commissions from people who click on the ads. Years ago, when advertising on Google and Facebook was cheap, lots of people made a lot of money this way. Nowadays, it’s still possible, but it’s much more difficult, and you have to be much more sophisticated. Nevertheless, I thought I would mention it, because it’s still a viable approach, especially in certain niches.

It’s not about not working. It’s all about automation. I’m still working. I’m just spending the majority of my time on the things I do best and I enjoy most. I’m out there blogging and networking and bringing people to my site and getting them into my subscriber base where I can encourage them little by little to buy through my affiliate links and purchase the products I have to sell. I’m scaling my business by creating more products and more authoritative posts that contain affiliate links to great resources. My income isn’t limited by time.


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.
As always, I’m here to answer questions (within my ability) and I can always help you find that YouTube tutorial you need. When you are REALLY ready to start taking your blog seriously, I have many resources available on my learning site, Adventures in Blogging. The Income & Traffic Bundle is a great place to start if you’re dying to learn everything you can about traffic & income.
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No two blogs are really the same. There are no rules about what you have to post. There are no rules about when you have to post. There are no rules about how often you have to post. But there are a few things that will give you a better shot at earning some real income in no more than a few months' time. Here are some of the keys to successfully earning through your own blog:
However, the RI-based approach is most appropriate when a firm is not paying dividends or exhibits an unpredictable dividend pattern, and / or when it has negative free cash flow many years out, but is expected to generate positive cash flow at some point in the future. Further, value is recognized earlier under the RI approach, since a large part of the stock's intrinsic value is recognized immediately – current book value per share – and residual income valuations are thus less sensitive to terminal value.[5]

I would not have read this post now if I could’ve slept. I’m glad I read it though because I have heard how easy and fast you can make “passive” income and not have to work many times. I am not one to spend on a lot of programs but I am finally realizing how much work is involved in getting to a point where you only work a few hours a week and make a good living.


If you’ve got a book you’re itching to write, you can still go with the traditional publishing route. (We published our first book using a traditional publisher.) Whether your book is fiction or non-fiction, a publisher can help get your book into print and onto shelves in both online and traditional book stores. This is still a good route, although it may take more work and be more expensive than some other options.
It comes with a cart system, promotional code support, multiple payment gateway support, a user purchase history, product bundles, variable pricing, customizable receipts, earnings charts, and more. There are a lot of features here so it’s definitely not passive but once your site is all set up, Easy Digital Downloads offers a convenient way to sell your digital products without much hassle or upkeep.
I was so excited I wanted to share how it all happened and what I had learned, so I created SmartPassiveIncome.com that same month. Then, as sales grew on the LEED stuff, I had more and more to talk about and I kept sharing how much I was earning and what I was leaning — things that went right, and stuff that didn’t go right. A year and a half later, I started to accumulate a large following and be known as a transparent leader in the space of online business education. I then started a YouTube Channel and my podcast. Then I wanted to experiment. I created new businesses outside of anything I was already doing, and sharing that along the way — that’s how SecurityGuardTrainingHQ.com, CreateaClickableMap.com, FoodTruckr.com and other sites came about. Recently, I started getting involved with public speaking. All the sites have kept growing and people have shared their success stories based off of my own experiments with me, and here I am today.
Residual income is money that is earned on a recurring basis, typically as the result of a single original action. Rather than earning an hourly wage, residual income is typically generated through an initial investment of time or money with the goal of earning continuous payments. Once the initial investment, product, or service is made, the ongoing income that is earned is generally passive in nature.

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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