Eventually, I’ll have to stop blogging altogether. Don’t worry, it won’t be anytime soon. I still enjoy blogging, but I just don’t see myself blogging when I’m 70. That’s 27 years away so we have plenty of time left. I really don’t know what will happen to our traffic if I stop blogging completely and just repost old articles. I suspect the traffic will slowly drop and stabilize at some point. If you have firsthand experience, I’d love to hear about it. My optimistic guess is that traffic will eventually drop to 50% of the current level.
And speaking of not selling to everyone, don’t try to create products that are trying to speak to everyone. Don’t be afraid to get specific. For example, I’m no longer buying “how to make money blogging” courses that are meant to include beginners. Why? Because I can count on 75% of the content, if not more, to be about things I’ve already done – buying a domain, setting up hosting, setting up this, that and the other thing. I’m spending money on things specifically created for people at my stage of the game. And guess what? That creates a lot of opportunity for you in creating additional courses! You can create one for the beginner, intermediate and advanced user. That's a lot of income potential.
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:
Blogging income is no more passive income than a writer who writes books for a living. You might get money rolling in during times that you’re not working, from income generated from the work that you already did… but you have to work to make the money. Nobody pays you during the 20-30 hours per week spent writing/researching. The money comes after the work is published. It’s definitely not passive.
The Passive Income Portfolio takes you on an across-the-board journey, spanning multiple industries, toward generating and sustaining passive income. This cogently written piece of work takes you to the heart of creating Passive Income and does it brilliantly with its tiered approach that builds-up the process of generating residual income streams in a structured lucid style. The author dexterously juggles targeted income generating strategies with acute business and financial insights and real life illustrations in a compelling and easy to read format. The subject is covered with ample breadth and compelling profundity using a step-by-step approach. As you roll through the pages and bask in the insights, you will not only witness a change in your mindset but also come across direct go-to resources that you can use to begin implementing the theories mentioned herein. A complete reference book, this is a must read for all the passive income aficionados who want to bite into real substance. http://www.thepassiveincomeportfolio.com/
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.
Michael Ellsberg is the author of The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think, and It’s Not Too Late, which is launching from Penguin/Portfolio in September. It’s a bootstrapper’s guide to investing in your own human capital at any age. Michael sends manifestos, recommendations, tips, and other exclusive content to his private email list, which you can join at www.ellsberg.com. Connect with him on Twitter @MichaelEllsberg and on Facebook.
If you have specialized knowledge in a certain topic, you can put together an online course to teach others. For example, if you have experience in real estate investing, you can create an online course “Real Estate Investing 101”. The benefit of an online course is that once you create the course material, you can sell it to as many people as you want.
Keep in mind that most passive income business ideas usually become largely profitable after a certain amount of time, depending on the time and money you put in. It is important to know that some, also, never make it and fail - just like any other business in the world. However, some passive income businesses are more vulnerable and others are less risky and more prone to giving a good payout at the end of the month.
Passive income is hard to generate for one reason – the world is dynamic. Human beings, some who work with you, some who you compete against, are dynamic, and because of that, if you are to do business, you must be dynamic. The only way to respond to dynamism and succeed, is to be dynamic yourself, and therein lies the work – and the end of any chance for passive income.
Making legitimate passive income isn’t as difficult as you might think. Some of the best passive income ideas might take a little time to set up but can start cash flowing within a couple of months and will provide a consistent monthly income for years or more. The most important point is just to get started. You make exactly $0 on the passive income sources you never start.
If you become disabled for an extended period of time, disability insurance can provide financial protection. Disability policies pay benefits in the event you're unable to work at all ("total disability") or can work only some of the time ("residual" or "partial disability"). It's important to consider the different types of policies and their costs, so that you'll be able to select the coverage that's right for you.
Residual disability policies pay benefits according to the amount of income you have lost because of your disability. These policies pay benefits even if you can work part-time and are not totally disabled. The benefit is based on the percentage of income you earn working part-time in relation to what you used to earn when working full-time. Most companies require a loss of income of at least 20 percent compared to your pre-disability income in order to qualify for residual disability benefits.
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According to Uncle Sam, you need to be "materially involved" in an enterprise to earn active income. With passive income, it's just the opposite, as the IRS deems you to be earning passive income if you're not materially involved with a profit-making enterprise. By and large, expect income to be taxable if you are engaged in a passive income enterprise. You will need to report earnings to the IRS.
Some other parts of the book echo advice found in other bestsellers, with the section on how to create a lean startup being reminiscent of Eric Ries’ advice in Lean Startup – this by the way is one of the biggest lessons I think people new to the world of passive income need to realize…you can get started this week, with just $50, and still be on a level playing field with people who have a ton of money behind them (well, almost).