What is Passive Income And How Can I Start Earning It?

What is passive income - can money grow from trees? This piucture depicts small plants growing out of pots with money

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Since the internet began, more and more people are getting financially savvy and starting online businesses which drive passive income, helping them to achieve better work-life balance.

But for many, this may be a new concept and you may be wondering ‘what is passive income and how can it apply to my business?’ I’m here today to tell you exactly what passive income is and how YOU can start implementing passive income strategies into your online business or blog and start reaping the benefits!

pile of money that you could make passively with affiliate marketing

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is today.

Chinese proverb

So what is passive income anyway?

There are, broadly speaking, 3 types of income. Active income, passive income and portfolio income.

Active income refers to income you earn for actively offering your services which requires an active role on your part. For example, on a blog about SEO, you may offer your services to conduct an SEO audit. That involves your time so you have to charge accordingly.

Portfolio income refers to stocks and shares and investments which accumulates additional income. I would argue this is another form of passive income because it involves little or no effort on your part. However, it carries more risk than other forms of passive income.

Passive income is the income which requires little or no ONGOING effort on your part. I say ongoing because no one gets something for nothing. You have to put in the work initially but going forward, your effort will be rewarded on an ongoing basis. You may continue to reap the financial rewards for many years after the initial outlay.

picture of a piggy bank full of money savings

What are the benefits of Passive income?

Passive income is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

If you are relying on active income only, there is a cap on how much you earn. Sure, you can raise your rates over time but you cannot be in more than one place at a time. Whereas passive income has no limit. You are not required to be there offering your services, instead, you are earning your money whilst you sleep.

It may require some hard work initially but once you have created a passive income source, you can relax, kick back and enjoy a well-earnt rest. OR, you can work on creating the next passive income source and increase the potential of your business even more!

Passive income is also a potential nest egg for the future. Maybe you’ll break a leg or have an operation and be unable to work for a while? Maybe you will want to take some maternity or paternity leave when you start a family? Or maybe you are close to retirement and not sure the state pension will support your style of living?

This is one of the many reasons why I chose to focus on generating passive income myself. One day, I know I want a family. As someone who is self-employed, I will not get a maternity package. State maternity pay wouldn’t even cover my mortgage let alone living costs. But now that my travel website The Globetrotter GP is earning good, consistent, passive income, I know I will be able to afford to take maternity leave when the time comes.

This is why I want to help you do the same!

cartoon depicting a man under a pile of money enjoying his passive income

Ways to earn passive income

There are so many different ways to earn passive income but sometimes it involves thinking outside the box.

Firstly, you do not need a blog to earn passive income. But as many of you do, we’ll be covering ways that bloggers can make passive income in just a minute. First though, here are a few other ways people make passive income;

  • Invest in real estate and become a landlord or landlady.
  • Rent a room in your house or rent your property out on Airbnb when you are away.
  • Invest money in another business and become a silent partner. Obviously this carries significant risks so do your homework.
  • Write a book.
  • Sell products on Amazon
  • Start a successful channel on Youtube and be paid per view
  • Start your own business but employ someone to run it for you.
  • Sell ad space. This may be on a website or it may be physical ad space on a billboard, in a print magazine or newspaper or even on the back of your car or van!

What are the best ways for bloggers to earn passive income?

Having a blog or an online business is a super-easy way to start earning passive income with very little risk or monetary investment.

Bloggers can earn passive income in a variety of ways. Here are some popular ones;

Make passive income with affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is my personal favourite way to make passive income. I rave about products I truly love on my blog. Someone decides to buy that product too as I show them how much value it can give them too.

Through a unique tracking code, that business I have referred that person to will reward me by paying me a commission. I have full and complete control over what products and businesses I promote and it is easy to sell a product when you truly love it and believe in it.

Make money with advertisements.

You can either sell advertisement space directly or use an Ads company like Mediavine, Ezoic or Adthrive. The better ad companies which don’t slow your website and pay better, usually have a traffic threshold that you need to meet before you can apply. Currently, Ezoic asks for 10K sessions/month, Mediavine requires 50K sessions/month and AdThrive 100K sessions/month. Google Adsense will work with smaller blogs but do not pay well.

What is passive income - can money grow from trees? This piucture depicts small plants growing out of pots with money

Create an e-book or digital product to earn income passively

This is one of the easiest ways to earn passive income as once you have created the product and included links to it across your website and social media, this will continue to make sales. You are not reliant on any company or affiliate programme. Any money you make goes to you directly.

Think of topics you know in detail and can provide great value about. Then make an e-book or a digital product which can be sent to someone’s email. Then create a blog post or article demonstrating how you can provide value helping to build your authority on the subject. Then offer your product or an e-book as an optional paid upgrade.

Here are a few examples you could try;

  • Know a lot about wildlife photography? Create an e-book about it and then write an article about the best equipment for wildlife photographers.
  • Do you know a city inside and out? Create an article about the top 10 things to do there but offer a paid upgrade such as a complete city guide e-book, a list of all the best restaurants or a more detailed list of things to do for example 100 things to do in X…
  • Do you excel in organisational skills? Write a post about the way you organise your workload and create digital products to help others organise themselves such as a planner or a diary.
  • Are you a food blogger? Write an article about the 10 best slow cooker recipes then create an e-book with 100 recipes.
  • Are you a pro landscape photographer? Create pre-sets that people can use on their own photos to make them look instagram-ready!

The options are endless…

Create an E-Course

This is one of the most lucrative ways to make money online as you can probably sell it for a lot more than you could an e-book. However, to create a course, you must first become an expert in something. Ask yourself, are you excelling in something that other people want to excel in? Can you provide enough value to make someone want to part with hard-earnt cash? If yes, then you should do it.

The principle is the same as for creating an e-book but you may want to use an online course platform as a framework for creating the course.

And yes, there will eventually be a Passive Income Superstars Course. So if you want to start learning about how to make passive income through your blog, make sure to start following the facebook page so you can stay updated!

Create physical products but use a third party to sell them.

If you like the idea of creating physical products but you’re not sure you want the hassle of physically building, packaging and posting them yourself, you can use a 3rd party to do this for you.

Say you write a blog reviewing science fiction films, you could create t-shirts with slogans or memes about your favourite films or actors.

Are you a lifestyle blogger who loves to inspire people with quotes? How about creating a range of mugs with these quotes on to inspire them over their morning coffee?

passive income graphic

Email Marketing

You can also use affiliate links (and links to your own products) in your emails. I like to automate as many of these sales emails as possible so that all I have to do is get eyes on my lead magnets and the funnels I have created do the rest of the work!

I recommend Convertkit which helps you set up automations to make you money on autopilot.

Learn more about starting an email list for bloggers here.

How much can you make through Passive income?

The answer is an unlimited amount!

The beauty of most passive income streams is that they may continue to build and grow with very little input from yourself.

The article where you promote your product may slowly work it’s way up the google rankings. Someone might share it on social media and it goes viral. Someone might link to it from their website sending you more traffic. People might love your product and recommend it to their friends.

So in theory, your passive income stream should grow in time as long as you remember to water it like a tree! By that, I mean tending to it occasionally. Updating the article once in a while, making sure it has fresh new backlinks, creating new pins on Pinterest to advertise it and keeping an eye on the competition.

The chances are, if your blog is tiny with very few page views, your passive income stream will start small. But as your blog grows, so will your page views and your authority on the subject. It would make sense that your passive income will grow too. Who knows where you could be in a few years time?!

That said, not everyone will manage to make passive income successfully. Throwing a few affiliate links in without thinking about your audiences user intent or creating an e-course which does not create enough value for people to want to share and promote it, will not reap the rewards we talk about.

To make a passive income successfully you must do the following;

  • Create or promote something very valuable to your audience.
  • Promote it to the RIGHT audience.
  • Develop trust from your audience.
  • Know how to promote the article so it reaches enough of the right people
  • Implement strategies to help grow awareness about your product or article.

Do all of this and the sky is the limit!

I started my first blog just 2 years ago. For the first 6 months, I didn’t really know what I was doing. But then I started reading every article I could get my hands on about SEO and affiliate marketing. Over the past 12 months, my page views have increased by 400% and I now make a steady passive income.

Last month through affiliate marketing alone and with a medium-sized blog with 40K page views on my travel blog, I earned $5329. Find out how here

I started generating small amounts of income quickly after starting to implement affiliate strategies when my blog had 5000 page views a month. I remember that feeling waking up to find out I had made my first affiliate sale while I was sleeping.

Having sold a tour in the Galapagos, my bank balance had increased by a healthy $180 overnight. That feeling, right at that moment, is what has fuelled my passion for affiliate marketing and generating a passive income ever since.

So how do I learn more about making passive income on my blog?

This is my very first article on this new blog but stick with me and I will do my very best to show you how YOU can start having similar passive income success on your own websites! There will eventually be E-books and a course but in the meantime, make the most of my free articles and feel free to ask lots of questions along the way!

Make sure you follow my Facebook page to be kept in the loop!

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