In this blog post I’m going to share with you the five ways in which I make passive income online. The five ways are the following:
- I make money from old blog posts by selling eBooks tailored to the subject of each blog post.
- I make money from old blog posts through Amazon Associates.
- Squidoo sends me money each month for my high-ranking Squidoo lenses.
- I make affiliate income from one of my Squidoo lenses.
- My Squidoo lenses drive traffic to my eBooks’ sales pages, and I generate sales from that traffic.
Each of these is explained below.
Ebooks Tailored to the Subject-Matter of Old Blog Posts
I make money from the blog that you’re reading right now. How do I make money from this blog? By selling eBooks that I write. The four main eBooks that I sell from this blog are the following:
- How to Be More Creative – A Handbook For Alchemists
- How to Live Your Best Life – The Essential Guide For Creating and Achieving Your Life List
- The One-Hour-A Day Formula: How to Achieve Your Dreams In Just One Hour A Day
- Make It Happen! A Workbook For Overcoming Procrastination and Getting Things Done
However, blogging income is generally not considered to be passive income, because a blog needs to be constantly updated. If you write quality posts–and I like to think that I do–creating new blog posts each week takes a lot of time and effort. Most of the sales of the four eBooks that I mention above come from readers drawn to my blog when I publish a new blog post.
At the same time, there is an aspect of blogging that I would argue is passive. I’m referring to making money from old blog posts. I identified a few blog posts which I wrote a while ago, that get a lot of traffic. Then I asked myself, “How can I make money from these blog posts?” The idea that I came up with was the following:
- Write a short eBook on the subject matter of each of these blog posts.
- Create a sales page for each of these eBooks.
- Link to the sales page of each of these eBooks from the corresponding blog post.
Here’s an example:
- In May of 2009 I wrote the following blog post: 54 Tips For Writers From Writers
- That blog post gets a lot of traffic.
- In order to stand in front of all that traffic and sell them something, I wrote this eBook: “350 Tips For Writers, From Writers”. I link to this eBook’s sales page from the aforementioned post.
There are four more examples like that. I wrote the blog posts and the eBooks, I forgot about them, and I make money from them each month.
Making Money From Old Blog Posts Through Amazon Associates
Amazon-the giant online book seller–has an affiliate program. If you join Amazon’s Associates Program you can link to them every time you mention a book on your blog–as well as other products that are available on Amazon–and earn a commission anytime someone buys from Amazon after entering their site through your link.
I haven’t been linking to Amazon very much lately–because I prefer to direct traffic to my own sales pages–but I linked to them in many of my old blog posts. Once again, since I’m making money from Amazon based on blog posts that I wrote and forgot about, I consider it to be passive income.
Here’s an example:
- In May of 2009 (apparently I was particularly brilliant on that month) I wrote the following blog post: Harvard University’s Most Popular Course: Positive Psychology.
- In that blog post I linked to Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar’s book, “Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment” , using my Amazon Associates link.
- Every month since then, when I check my income report for Amazon Associates, I notice that some people have bought “Happier” through my affiliate link.
There’s a few more examples like that.
High Ranking Squidoo Lenses
Squidoo is a Web 2.0 site founded by marketing guru Seth Godin which allows anyone to set up a single page—called a lens—on any topic, for free. Advertising revenue is shared with these content creators. Lenses can be about anything, such as:
- Creative thinking techniques;
- People–Mother Theresa, Prince Charles, Brad Pitt, or even your grandmother–;
- Places–your home town, a place you traveled to, and so on;
- Pet care; and so on.
The amount of money that you get from Squidoo depends on the rank of your lenses. I have a few high ranking Squidoo lenses, so I get money deposited in my Paypal account from Squidoo each month. The process that I follow with Squidoo is the following:
- Create a lens and publish it.
- Create some links back to the lens so that it ranks well on Google.
- I hit “edit”, “save”, and “publish” on each top ranking lens about once a week (to keep them “fresh”).
Since the effort that I make to maintain the lenses is minimal, I consider the money that I get from Squidoo to be passive income.
Make Affiliate Income From Your Squidoo Lenses
Some time ago I decided that I was going to write a new eBook, and I started a Squidoo lens on the topic in order to collect the research that I was doing for said eBook. I published the lens, but I got sidetracked by other projects and I haven’t gotten around to writing the eBook.
However, since the lens was getting some traffic, I decided to look for a way to monetize it. I knew that a blogger whom I admire had written an eBook on the lens’ topic, so I became an affiliate for her eBook and I started advertising it on my lens. Every month I sell a few of her eBooks, and every month I get an affiliate check from her.
I created the lens and basically forgot about it, and I make affiliate income earned through that lens every month.
Squidoo Drives Traffic to My Sales Pages
As I mentioned at the very top of this blog post, there are four main eBooks from which I make money online. One way in which I market these eBooks is by creating Squidoo lenses to drive traffic to my sales pages. Again, since I do very little work in order to maintain my Squidoo lenses, if I sell an eBook from traffic that landed on one of my sales pages from Squidoo, I consider that to be passive income.
To recap, the bulk of my online income comes from eBook sales which are generated each time I publish a blog post, and that’s not passive income. But I would argue that the five methods which I describe in this article are passive income.
I’m not going to reveal the specifics of how much passive income I make, but it’s a decent amount. And best of all, it’s p-a-s-s-i-v-e. That is, it’s practically the equivalent of opening the door to my apartment each month and finding money lying on the ground.
And that’s a good thing.
How do you generate passive income online? Please share in the comments section below.