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I’m not saying it’s a bad life. If you can make it through the learning phase (which I’ll talk about at length later), it’s still a hell of a lot better than having a regular day job, but I don’t know anyone getting paid tons of money to do absolutely nothing. While it’s theoretically possible, I don’t think it’s a realistic objective for most people.
Great post and comments. All your points in the article are spot on. My vote is Definitely NOT passive income. Launched my blog about 1 year ago without a lot of clear direction. After working with a productivity coach, we narrowed the focus (somewhat) and got rolling with more regular posts in March/April 2017. Small budget outsourcing on Graphics and SEO moved the needle a bit further. Google Adwords campaign a bit further. I just spent about 5 hours re-working a guest blog post for a food site, after already putting in at least 5 hours on the original version. Especially in the early years, there is NOTHING passive about sweat equity. Reducing the learning curve really does add real skills though, so you can hit the ground running and efficiently manage your time. Was interesting to see the vote tallies, thanks for the post.
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.
That’s why I think the whole concept of passive income sites are based on a fallacy that they are different somehow from any other business and any other money-making scheme. For one, you still have to put in a ton of work to make anything worthwhile. People argue that it winds up being worth it because you’ll continue to make money long after you’ve finished creating that online course or ebook or what have you, but I think that’s a faulty assumption as well.
This is another way to earn passive money from a website: sell affiliate products. Affiliate marketing is convenient and effective, because you don’t have to create or retail any products; you just need to get people to buy a product through your link, and you automatically earn a (small) share of the revenue. The most popular affiliate programs are Amazon Associates and Clickbank.

Residual income is the amount of net income generated in excess of the minimum rate of return. Residual income concepts have been used in a number of contexts, including as a measurement of internal corporate performance whereby a company's management team evaluates the return generated relative to the company's minimum required return. Alternatively, in personal finance, residual income is the level of income that an individual has after the deduction of all personal debts and expenses have been paid.
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PS Joel also throws up the whole coaching idea in this book, and whilst it’s not at all passive I just wanted to mention it, because this is one of the ways to create a six-figure business for yourself if you are a true expert in an arena.  ie you can use passive income info products (that generate say $30,000 a year) to pull in the customers for your 1-1 or mastermind style coaching service (that brings in say $100,000+ a year).
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