Passive income has long been the holy grail for entrepreneurs looking to free up their time, untethering the cord of daily duties and responsibilities from the potential to generate healthy monthly revenues. While the importance of passive income isn’t often doubted, the monumental hurdle often required to achieve a respectable amount of cash flow from automatically-recurring revenue streams is often too great for most to bear.
Clearly, it’s hard to generate passive income. It requires the upfront investment of a significant amount of our time, usually with little to no returns for extended periods. We can go months and even years without a single dollar produced from passive income activities, making even the most astute entrepreneur shake their head in sheer and utter frustration.
The truth of the matter is that time is far more valuable than money. While money can be spent and earned, time can only be spent once, then it’s gone forever. As we age and grow older, we understand the importance of time and being able to freely choose what we do with those precious moments that we do have in life.
What is passive income?
Before covering some of the best passive income ideas that you can use to automate your revenue, it’s important to understand specifically what the concept means and what it doesn’t. You’ll likely find countless posts on the web covering dozens of passive income ideas, whether online or in the real world.
When an income stream is passive, it means it requires little to no maintenance to keep the money flowing. Now, that doesn’t mean it can simply be completely ignored or forgotten about. No. Quite the contrary. It’s important to track every passive income stream and watch it like a hawk, no matter how automated it might be.
1. Start a blog.
The most important method for generating passive income is to start a blog. Blogs can generate a tremendous amount of income, but not quickly. If you plan to start a blog, understand that it’s going to take a vast amount of work and time to succeed.
Regardless of your niche, as long as you have a clear understanding of things like searching engine optimization, social media marketing and the ability to write high-value content, then you will succeed with a blog. Once your blog becomes popular, it provides you with the platform and audience to generate multiple streams of revenue by marketing relevant products and services to your visitors.
2. Write and publish an ebook.
Another great method for generating a respectable amount of passive income is to write and publish an ebook. Non-fiction ebooks that help to educate your audience on topics such as online marketing, business or other self-development areas, are going to sell far better than fiction books at the outset.
Clearly, fiction can make tremendous amounts of money, but it’s also highly competitive if you’re not an already-established writer with an existing following. Utilize the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform and publish ebooks that will fill an existing need in popular niches where you have some level of expertise.
3. Create an online course.
Have a technical skill? Want to convey that skill to others out there while generating a healthy passive income stream? Creating an online course on Udemy is a great way to automate some of your cash flow. However, like any other income stream that’s passive, it takes a significant amount of effort on the front end.
There are so many things that can be taught through an online course. I opt to teach technical skills in my courses such as how you can become a web developer or learn search engine optimization, but you can also opt to teach other skills such as playing an instrument, learning a new language, becoming a photographer and so on and so forth.
4. Produce an audiobook.
I’ve been in the audiobook business for some time now and it’s an incredible stream of passive income if you do things the right way. Leverage Audible’s ACX platform to push out your audiobooks to the world’s most robust platforms such as Audible and iTunes.
If you have specialized knowledge or advanced skill sets in some area, you could opt to teach them through audiobooks. However, you have to focus on delivering an enormous amount of value and ensure that you have a high-quality production. Don’t try to slap things together and expect to earn any money online.
5. Become an affiliate marketer.
Affiliate marketing is likely one of the most powerful ways that you can produce multiple passive income streams. However, this isn’t easy by any measure. To succeed at affiliate marketing, you need a large following of users. In other words, you need a big platform and audience.
When you don’t have a platform or audience, you need to run ads, which can get costly. If you know what you’re doing and you’re a seasoned internet marketer (IM), you’ll succeed. But it takes time to learn the ropes. Still, this is a great way to sell products and services that you don’t own, effectively becoming like a broker while earning a healthy passive income stream.
6. Build a sales funnel.
Anyone in the marketing business understands the concept of sales funnels. Sales funnels conceptualize the process of take prospective customers from browsers to buyers. However, building the proper sales funnel is no easy task. It requires a serious amount of upfront investment of your time, and it also requires lots of browsers to drop into the top of the funnel.
In order to build your sales funnel, you need to offer something in exchange for an email address, effectively creating a free offer. Sign up to a system like Aweber or Mail Chimp and work on building out your sales funnel. Create a free offer and build an automated email series that will move your leads up the value ladder of products that you’re selling.
7. Make YouTube video tutorials.
YouTube is a great resource for earning a large stream of passive income. While it’s not easy, and it will effectively take millions upon millions of views to earn some semblance of a real income from this stream, YouTube does offer a very cost-effective avenue to market.
Research what the most popular YouTubers are doing. For example, Blippi, which is a kid’s series created by creative entrepreneur, Stevin John, helps to teach children about all types of subjects and has become one of the most popular YouTube series in its niche with over 500 million views in the past couple of years alone. Seek out successful people and try to replicate their formulas while being unique.