The idea of passive income opportunities is a hot debate among marketers and online publishers. The most popular argument against it is the notion that “there’s no such thing” as residual income. Some people say that it’s impossible to work on something once and then never touch it again while you make money on your sleep.
While I am inclined to agree on that last sentence, these people lack a more accurate understanding of passive income.
The term “Passive” doesn’t necessarily mean, “set it and forget it.” In this instance, it simply means that the money comes gradually over a period of time as opposed to being received instantly in one burst.
In most cases, you will have to maintain the business at irregular intervals (say, a few hours per month or a few weeks per year). Needless to say, the fruits of your labor would still come in passively. Lastly, the actual amount of money doesn’t dictate whether something is passive or not.
That said, let’s look at some great passive income opportunities you can start today and later enjoy gradual amounts coming into your bank account at random.
Publish a Series of Ebooks
Ebook publishing has proven to be a reliable passive income idea for many writers, bloggers, and marketers. For example, I still earn money from works that I initially published back in 2011 on Amazon Kindle, Nook Press, and Smashwords. I occasionally revise and revamp many of these titles once a year, which takes me a few days at most.
Your passive income success greatly depends on several factors, of course (genre, topic, content, book cover, etc) which means jumping into the e-publishing bandwagon does not guarantee success. Once you find the “perfect” formula, however, the sky truly is the limit.
This topic alone would require an entire article or extensive guide, so perhaps I will get into more elaborate details in another post.
Create a Membership Site
Just like everything else on this list, a membership site may or may not be viable depending on how you approach it. When you make it work, though, it is by far one of the best passive income opportunities available online.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that you start a paid website that teaches everything about a popular iPhone game. You would ideally share about 80% of the content for free in the form of a blog, while saving 20% only to paying members. The remainder would include video-based tips, tricks that are hard to find anywhere else, and even monetary freebies to random members (such as credit to purchase in-game items).
The above passive income idea will probably have you working a lot, especially toward the beginning, but the money would eventually roll in as more members sign up for a recurring monthly fee.
In other words, the income would come in passively for work that you had already performed and have saved for newer members to absorb (with the occasional revision over time).
Review Websites and Networks as an Affiliate
Reviewing sources typically requires a bit of SEO knowledge, having a newsletter following, or both. While it’s common for marketers to review products and guides, we sometimes overlook the chance to review actual websites that offer affiliate opportunities.
For example, there are countless CPM networks out there with relatively low competition (these networks are usually dubbed “AdSense alternatives” and pay based on impressions rather than clicks). Getting someone to sign up can make you anywhere from $5 to even $30, depending on the website in question.
This is where good SEO and low competition shines. This ad network directory gives you a full list of CPM, CPC and CPA networks to get started with many of these potential passive income opportunities.
Launch a Job Board
Nobody said passive income is an easy endeavor, and having your own job board will require a lot of effort to get it off the ground.
From personal experience, I can tell you that getting “freelancer traffic” is the relatively easy part. The tougher part is getting employers to come and post their job.
Your job board should not only be popular, but it needs to be authentic and trustworthy. This is where guest blogging and connecting with fellow bloggers becomes essential; the more people review and link to your board, the more trust and popularity you help establish.
There are several prominent job board plugins for WordPress, but the one I always recommend is WP Job Manager.
What if writers initially come in to an empty board? Well, WP Job Manager offer extensions to display gigs from sources like Indeed, thus filling your board with lucrative opportunities while you work on establishing it over time.
Build an App
The average blogger and marketer is not an app developer, and that’s just fine thanks to the countless available programmers you can hire. You should consider this option as an investment; it could consist of high risk, but also high rewards.
I have personally seen many developers on Fiverr willing to build an Android or iPhone app for less than $200 (depending on the nature of the work). For starters, you should brainstorm simple app ideas that won’t require much updating in the future. This could be something as simple as a collection of free stock photos, a fun artificial intelligence (AI) program for kids, or a set of trivia questions.
See where I’m going with these? There is no need to reinvent the wheel, at least not at first. Whether you make money from advertisements or charge .99 cents is up to you.
There are still many more passive income opportunities to cover, so I might explore this subject again in the near future. The above, for now, are some of the easiest ones to tap into even if you are relatively inexperienced – mostly thanks to outsourcing options, or a wide range of plugins and sources to get you started.
Do you make passive income? Please share your thoughts below.