What are the best passive income opportunities available to anyone? Of course passive income is there for those who have been proactive and ‘lucky’ enough to be in a career which offers passive income for work previously done. These could be such jobs as actor, writer, director etc. However, here I am going to discuss only the options available to the vast majority of people who are looking to set themselves free of their daily grind by creating sources of income which don’t rely on selling their time.
The internet has made passive income a much more viable opportunity for the masses and over the last two decades many online entrepreneurs have taken advantage of this to set up passive income streams from their laptops and home computers. There are many ways to do this from your laptop and I have listed a few below which I believe to be the fastest and best ways to generate a passive income from the internet.
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What is a passive income?
A passive income is independent of your activities – it is an income which keeps coming in whether you turn up for work or not – the ‘holy grail’ of wealth creation and a flexible lifestyle. You could argue that a pension was a passive income since it comes in constantly, without working until you die! Since no-one here is looking to wait that long, or maybe you want to add to your pension fund, you will need to find another way to create one!
How easy is it to create a passive income?
Artists, musicians and actors will tell you there is a lot of work which has been done before they saw a jot of passive income. The success of bands like The Beatles is not going to happen for every musician either! The same is true with an internet business. The difference is that most people can learn and implement the skills needed to build a passive income from the internet – whereas becoming a successful musician is a much harder path. Here are my top passive income strategies from the internet which you can start straight away:
Using Google Adsense and ranking articles online
My first passive income experience from the internet came from using Google Adsense. The Adsense program allows you to place code on your website which creates an advert relating to the content of your blog. When people click on it you earn a small amount of money. When I first saw this working it was quite a great moment even though the amounts were so small I could hardly say retirement was imminent. However, it was just a glimpse into what was possible from the internet.
How this is done
There are two trains of thought on getting people to your website – paid traffic and free traffic. Paid advertising sends people directly to your website and is like turning a tap on – you get instant traffic. Free traffic comes from ranking on the search engines and getting found from your blog titles, SEO (search engine optimisation) and back-linking efforts. Free traffic takes time and effort but is necessary if you are to monitise your website with Google’s Adsense program. Since you only make a few pence with your adverts for each click, paying for traffic is difficult. To really make a ‘passive income’ from your website you should aim to rank it on Google for a number of keywords and earn money from placing Adsense adverts in your content.
Selling things from your website
This method can be used in conjunction with the previous one and can allow you to make a profit even with paid advertising. This is because you can sell products which will offset the cost of advertising. You don’t need your own products because you can sell pretty much anything you can get on the internet through an affiliate program. Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make a passive income from the internet.
Is this really passive?
Sending someone to a website (via paid traffic) and selling them a product might not be as passive as earning money from a website which you no longer need to ‘tend to’. However, the idea that you can throw up a site and earn from it without any work is fast becoming extinct. It used to be much more common than it is now when the internet was less competitive. Google now spends a fortune on its algorithms which determine which websites rank highly in the searches. To get a passive income from a site ranked highly on Google takes a lot of work – but can be done. Using paid advertising is a quicker method but requires testing (more on this below).
Sell membership programs with a built in ‘upsell’ and sales team
To sum up I have mentioned two of my best ways to earn a passive income from the internet at the start. You should also choose products to sell with an automated ‘upsell’ and a sales team in place so you don’t have to do any of the selling personally. (I personally do this and you can access it through my sign up form on the right). By also promoting membership sales, rather than ‘one off’ product sales, you can build in a passive income after the initial sales.
Create content which brings visitors to your website
You can do this by writing useful articles and blogging but also by creating videos for YouTube. (Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more on this – see top of website). Again, over time you will have a steady stream of visitors to your website or landing page. By creating daily videos which are of interest to people in your business niche, you can, over time build a huge audience to your website and sell more products/get more clicks of your Adsense adverts.
Paid advertising vs. free traffic generation
By using the free methods of generating traffic to your website you can, over time build a slow progressive following and build on your sales. This is done through content creation, link building, guest blogging and various other methods. It takes time and you won’t see fast results.
By paying for traffic to your website or landing page you can get instant traffic. You will need to offset your expenditure through your sales so unless you get your advertising, landing pages and sales pitch right, and to the right audience, it can be costly. By testing various strategies with a small daily expenditure, once a successful strategy is found, the advertising can be ‘geared up’ or scaled. This means once you have an advert which costs £1 for every £2 earned, you can simply increase your budget and therefore profit. By constantly testing and ‘tweeking’ your adverts, landing page, target audience and even products you can find a tactic which works and scale to the tens of thousands and upwards eventually. This again takes time and money but can be scaled to a large size in much less time than by only using the free methods of advertising.
List building and traffic
One of the reasons why an internet based business is one of the best passive income opportunities around today is because of the possibility to sell instantly to thousands of people at once. This is done very well with successful online businesses through the process of list building. List building can be done through a website like this one with a simple email opt-in form. (enter your details on the right to see how it works – opt out at any time).
Why is list building so important?
List building is so important to building a passive income online because traffic is so important. Without traffic to your website or landing page you have no sales and no income. Only by getting people to your website and to your products can you earn an income from your internet business. You can get people to your site through the various methods but once they leave they are potentially gone forever. By building a list you can stay in touch with your visitors, offer useful content and promote your goods, services and affiliate products. A good sized list can also sell thousands of products through a simple link promoting an online product.
Best passive income opportunities
Although there are many passive income opportunities online, I have chosen what I consider to be the best options for anyone starting out online. Here are a few other options if building an internet business isn’t your bag:
1. Create your own e-book and list it on Amazon – a lot of people are doing this now and it’s a good way to get your message out there about your blog if you have one. You can also get other people to promote your book on Clickbank or JVZoo.
2. Sell your own membership site online – This is only a good idea if you have something of value to offer. Otherwise it is better to use someone else’s program and simply promote theirs. Here’s one you can promote.
3. Create a review/comparison site and list product reviews linking to the products with your affiliate link. This is a good idea for a startup if you’re new to affiliate marketing. Reviews are often the last step an online consumer will take before a purchase. If they purchase through your affiliate link you make a commission.
4. Build an opp for the Iphone or Android phones – You can learn how to do this and create your own app which can make a nice passive income through either the sale of the app or, (if you give it away for free), advertising through the app.
More Passive Income Opportunities
5. Get your YouTube channel running – by creating a following of over a certain amount YouTube will contact you directly and offer you a monthly income for regular video creation. You need to offer some value in your videos and have enough to start a high level of views before this can happen. If you join the Adsense program you can make a trickle income from this while you are building up content.
6. Buy an online business which is already making a passive income – you can find these on e-bay. Just search for websites for sale. Although I have never done this personally you can purchase a website which makes money from adsense or affiliate marketing. You can also build up your own websites and sell them here or on flippa.com
Although I have tried numerous ways to build a passive income from the internet, over the years I have settled on a plan which covers both paid and free advertising/traffic methods. If you would like to learn more about starting your own internet business from scratch check out this presentation from Stuart Ross. Thanks for visiting please leave a comment below if you have anything further to improve on this article.