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Forward Passive Income Streams is a beginner’s guide to leaving the nine to five rat race and building a financial future for yourself using multiple streams of passive income developed from the ground up and integrated together. Because many of us who have started out in passive income only had very limited resources, we will focus heavily on keeping the costs to a minimum while also discussing the options of outsourcing certain tasks to help maximize time and energy on what’s truly important. In this book, we begin by helping you learn the basics of conducting invaluable market research prior to setting off on your path to a passive income. This step ensures that valuable time is spent on viable niches and products. From there, we will discuss five of the most common passive income streams for beginners. This includes: Publishing eBooks on Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple iBooks, Barnes and Nobles Nook, and Kobo. Also discussed is going to print via CreateSpace, which sells your print book Creating a blog that targets your niche and allows for monetization through affiliate programs, advertising, and promoting your other services and products. Developing YouTube content for ad revenue and promoting your other platforms. Creating online courses and building up the audience prior to release day. And creating online stores through affiliate programs and/or drop shipping to create an eCommerce setup without the need to ever ship your own products. With hard work and perseverance, the steps within this guide will set you off on the right path to finally lead yourself to success in the world of earning money while you’re asleep, on vacation, or working on a completely different project. Gone are the days of hustling to work in the morning; cheers to wearing pajamas all day, waking up whenever you like, and having financial security!
Contents Introduction Market Research Income Stream #1: Publishing eBooks Income Stream #2: Blogging Income Stream #3: YouTube Income Stream #4: Create an Online Course Income Stream #5: Online Store Layering Your Income Streams
Introduction Passive Income The concept of passive income can be explained in fairly simple terms: earn money while you sleep. While passive income doesn’t mean you won’t be working hard, it does mean that the amount of money, time, and energy put into a project is not paid back in a direct manner. Instead of being paid by the hour, you will be creating a valuable service or product and you earn your compensation down the road for hard work already completed. Hopefully, this continues to produce for an extended period of time even as work has winded down on the projects. The most obvious example of passive income is authoring a book. An author spends weeks, months, maybe years putting together a great novel, a great resource guide, or some other publication that will have intrinsic value to a market. They work with a publisher or even self-publish the book, put marketing efforts into place, and after all this time of working without any payment, they hope to reap the benefits in the form of royalties paid over an extended period of time based on sales. This is a classic passive income stream that can be repeated as many times as the author and/or publishers are willing to go through the process. The reality of passive income is that it’s not as simple or luxurious as it sounds at first glance. However, most intelligent people should have no problem creating passive income streams. It requires the ability to self-motivate and be able to keep yourself afloat until your income streams allow you to leave your nine to five life, but in return, a successful passive income will pay hand over fist compared to the time invested. There is no foolproof guarantee that the work will become financially viable down the road, but there are ways to help ensure that a product is at least marketable. Some risks are smaller than others, and that makes all the difference. In this book, we’ll discuss several beginner-friendly methods of creating passive income streams that can be expanded upon and scaled quite easily. This includes publishing eBooks (perfect for beginners), blogging, YouTube, online courses, and opening an online shop.
What You’ll Need Hard Work The great thing about passive income in the 21st century is that it is no longer limited to those with a healthy bankroll at their disposal. Hard work is the main ingredient. If you’re willing to put in the time, you can start with almost no money whatsoever. Of course, it would be beneficial to have some funds available, as having money to spend can simplify the process and often improve your results.
Motivation This may be one of the most difficult things for those just starting their passive income journey. It is a common fallacy that passive income will instantly change someone’s life. It is important to remember that passive income is a long game; it is not a get-rich quick scheme. As such, a huge part of the struggle for beginners, especially those whose finances aren’t ideal, is motivating yourself to do the
hard work without the guarantee of pay or pay directly related to your hourly input. You must stay the course. Your continued hard work will eventually pay off as long as you’re able to keep yourself motivated.
Time to Work Starting out, you may need more time than you’d ever have expected. Once you’ve created a system that works for you and have found methods to scale and repeat and begin earning for all your hard work, you should see your time begin to free up, either to work on more projects or to do the things that are really worthwhile to you. In the beginning, you’re likely going to be working your day job and forcing yourself to work even more hours. You will need to find the time to make this work.
Computer and Internet It is imperative that you have the internet and a reliable computer. The methods we’ll lay out will all require the use of a computer, internet, and basic typing and competency with a computer. You don’t have to be a computer science major at all, though.
A Plan This is often overlooked, and sometimes that doesn’t mean you won’t earn a decent living. However, it is wise to begin drafting a plan of action before doing anything. Setting concrete goals, doing your research, and having a plan will help to keep you on track, motivated, and realistic about your progress. As you learn what works for you and what doesn’t, your plan of action can change.
Ideas There are two types of ideas you need. First, you need ideas about the types of passive income that you wish to work on. Second, you need ideas within that realm to create a valuable and sought after product or service. This book will help you with the ideas of what income streams you can work on, and it will give you some basic research skills to find which ideas might be viable.
What You Stand to Gain Freedom. Quite simply, the best thing about passive income is that your time is spent wisely. You work less hours and earn more money. You work on the projects you want to work on compared to working on what somebody else hands you. Deadlines are self-imposed only. Income comes in whether you work this week or spend it at the beach. Financial freedom is what you stand to gain. There are risks, and not every project you put in motion is going to be wildly successful. But if you’re willing to work for it, you’ll be able to create the passive income streams required to free you from the 9 to 5 grind. We aim to help you do just that.
Market Research You can write create a product because it sounds like a good idea, but someone producing a passive income stream may want to take the time to do a bit of research first before investing a lot of time and energy into a project. The prime example is publishing, which we’ll cover in more detail in the next chapter, but this market research stage applies to all passive income streams and should not be ignored. One of the hugest mistakes you can make is not taking time for some market research.
Method #1: See what is already selling. Take the time to look at Amazon and other major retailers online. You’ll be able to see what some of the best sellers are in each category, whether that’s books or kitchen appliances. If you have a particular skill or interest that you believe would be a good starting point, find the category with the most popular books or products in that specific niche. (A “niche” is a focused area or topic.) Seeing what is currently trending is an easy way to get a taste for what people are buying right now. More of the same actually can and does often sell, but if you can put a new perspective on the topic or a new encouragement on what a product should be bought, then that’s even better.
Method #2: Keyword research. With Google’s Keyword Planner, you are able to punch in keywords related to the book topic you’re considering. With this, you’ll be given data regarding similar keywords, how often this keyword and related keywords are searched for, and how much money is being spent to advertise on search results for these keywords. This data is potently valuable for a number of reasons. While this data may not be a direct reflection of sales on Amazon or other retailers, it does show trends of online shoppers and information seekers. The similar keywords provided can help you to find popular keywords or keyphrases that may not be quite as heavily saturated through online markets and websites. The competition figures will give you an idea of if you’ll be able to afford the costs involved. The more competition a keyword has, the more people utilizing it within their content, and thus the more difficult it is to place well in search engines or pay for advertising should you go down that route.
Method #3: Ask the market. You can always take the time to ask your potential market questions and gather data from actual people to make the best decisions possible. Using a service like Google Forms to create a survey, you can source responses from websites like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, MTurk.com, to handle it yourself. Through MTurk, you can offer to pay respondents a nominal fee for their time, ten cents is typically fine for a survey that only takes a couple minutes. Alternatively, you can find survey services willing to help you find responses. For those on a budget, there are a few providers on Fiverr.com that can get you 100 responses for only $5 to $25, depending
on the length of your survey and how long you are willing to wait for responses. This method is highly suggested for those that don’t want to learn MTurk or don’t expect to run a whole lot of surveys. This type of direct market research can become helpful during many stages of passive income development. Sometimes another set of eyes is the difference a product needs. You can have people vote and comment on book covers, title names, and other details. You can ask for their opinion on certain topics to help build you get ideas for new blog posts. This type of survey work can give you answers to questions that are otherwise difficult to find. Having a peak at a selection of your potential customers is a great way to wrap your head around the tasks ahead.
Putting It Together Now that you’ve taken the time to do some market research, you should have an idea of what topics you might want to write about, what topics are likely to be profitable, which keywords are likely to help your products (your income streams) get discovered. This research stage works wonders for all passive income streams. Don’t skip it. If you cannot viably prove to yourself that a specific niche is profitable, then don’t bother with it and expect a large return on investment. Find one that is profitable or underserviced. Now that we’ve got that part out of the way, let’s begin to focus on what income streams are available to you. Moving forward, I will provide you with some actionable steps and first-hand advice concerning passive income streams that can be handled at home, with limited budgets, and with little to no experience.
Income Stream #1: Publishing eBooks In the traditional publishing world, a book publisher would be taking a huge risk. They have to pay editors, book designers, cover designers, etc. to help put together an author’s book. Then to make the books cheap enough to sell, they have to print off at least a thousand copies, often more, just to keep the cost per unit down and the potential profit worthwhile. Then they have to spend the money to advertise and distribute the book. If the books don’t sell, the bookstores ship them back, and the publishing company takes a loss. All of that has changed, though. With the rise of eBooks and print-on-demand technology, we are now able to keep the cost per unit at a reasonable amount (as low as nothing). There’s almost no need for huge publishing companies at all. Practically anybody can publish an eBook now with little to no cost. You don’t even have to be that great of a writer to earn money with publishing, so imagine what you can do if you are a great writer. There are many ways to go about publishing for the sake of a passive income stream. The most common for small publishers and self-publishers is eBooks being sold through popular retailers like Amazon’s Kindle store, Apple’s iBookstore, and Barnes and Noble’s Nook store.
eBooks EBooks are often going to be the bread and butter of a beginner’s passive income stream. EBooks are cheap to produce and release, and it’s possible to release large quantities in a relatively short amount of time if you’re willing to put in the work. For those that have done their market research, you probably have an idea of what types of books are currently selling, which keywords are frequently searched for, and which of those keywords bring up results that you might earn a top product listing in. Let’s discuss what your options are.
Kindle Direct Publishing The most important place to have an eBook published is Amazon’s Kindle store. This service is free of charge, and if you keep your book simple, it really doesn’t require outside help. You can literally publish a book for free if you have good writing and editing skills. Amazon claims an estimated 65% of all eBook sales. This is your first priority as an eBook publisher.
Smashwords Because the rest of the eBook market is so small in relation to Amazon, my advice is to use an aggregation service like Smashwords rather than publishing to each of the additional retailers individually. Not only is this cheaper because it only requires one ISBN (essentially a barcode) instead of several, but Smashwords also provides a free ISBN. Smashwords will publish and
distribute your eBook through Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Txtr, Diesel, and many other smaller eBook retailers. Take a look at http://smashwords.com to learn more.
Direct eBook Sales For those with a platform available for direct eBook sales, it is encouraged to take advantage of this as well. This includes a newsletter, a large YouTube channel or Facebook page, a website or blog with frequent visitors, etc. We will discuss more monetization of blogs in a forthcoming chapter.
The Process Now that you have an idea of what services you can use to publish your books for free, let’s discuss the process from start to finish.
Step 1. Market Research To reiterate what we’ve already discussed, it’s a good idea to handle some of your market research prior to beginning the actual process of writing. Having evidence that there is a market for your book is going to save you from wasting time on unviable projects. While this doesn’t mean that every book is going to be wildly successful, it does mean that none should be complete and utter flops.
Step 2. Create Content The next step can often be the most daunting for newcomers to passive income, but creating the content is paramount. Once you get the hang of it, this part isn’t so horrible. If you’re entirely unsure of what you might want to start publishing, non-fiction how-to guides, romance stories, and other genre fiction tend to be easy places to start. Remember, this will be one of many books and while it’s generally nice to stick to a niche with several passive income streams, it’s completely fine to branch off a bit when it comes to publishing, especially while you’re learning. Most importantly, don’t try to write a bestseller on your first try if that means you don’t write anything at all. Also, there’s no reason an eBook has to be hundreds of pages. If it provides value or entertainment, a 5,000-10,000 word eBook can easily be sold for $2.99 per copy. For those with strong writing skills, this part should be relatively easy. You may want to pay a proofreader or editor, but the bulk of the work can be handled in-house. You’ve read plenty of books, and you have a good idea of what they usually look like. For those that don’t have strong feelings about their writing skills, there are two really obvious options. First, you write the book anyway and pay someone to rewrite it and clean it up and finish it. Second option, you pay someone to write the book for you instead, giving them the information they need to know to create the book you’ve conceived but don’t want to write. The cost of a decent writer varies greatly, but you can use websites like Upwork.com to find great freelancers.
Step 3. Format Content This step can be done during Step 2 or separately. Either way, I always suggest taking a couple more
looks through the finished product when that time comes. To format your content in a method ready for publication to Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords, the best advice I can offer is to keep it as simple as possible. This is not the time to get fancy, beginners. Use Microsoft Word’s Styles to keep everything neatly organized. New chapters should get a “Heading 1” and a page break before it. Headings in the chapter should get a Heading 2 style. Text should be generally left as it normally appears in Word. You should either place spaces between paragraphs or you can use the standard first-line indents for fictional works. More complicated formatting is not for those that lack technical prowess. It is always possible to hire someone to format the book for you, but with Kindle Direct Publishing at least, if your simple book looks decent in Word, it usually translates pretty well to the Kindle. This isn’t always true, but it is generally true. The most important step, and perhaps one of the hardest for newcomers to publishing, is to create a linked table of contents. For Kindle books, this can be done simply by going to the “References” tab in Microsoft Word and inserting a table of contents. If you’ve used Heading 1 styles to define chapters, it will do the rest of the work for you. For Smashwords, you will have to insert bookmarks for each section and create hyperlinks on the table of content items instead. This is all outlined in the Smashwords style guide, which I strongly suggest you read, as following it is perfect for highly compatible Kindle books as well.
Step 4. Create a Book C over Once your content is written and edited, you need a book cover. If you’re savvy with image editing software, this is probably a breeze for you. Still, you have a few other options if that isn’t the case. Kindle Direct Publishing includes a free cover creator online. These covers are simple, but you can upload your own image for the background and use their templates to make quick, clean covers. These aren’t the best solution, but in a money pinch, they will get the job done most of the time. You can also purchase premade covers from Etsy, Selfpubbookcovers.com, Fiverr, and a number of other resources. While the prices will vary greatly from seller to seller, there are a load of highquality covers, and most sellers will not resell the same cover more than once. With a service like Selfpubbookcovers.com, you can customize the cover on site with little effort required on your part. Lastly, you can pay someone to produce an original cover for you. Depending on your budget, a budget option like Fiverr may produce an adequate enough cover. If you need a highly professional design, expect to pay $100 or more, unless you can find a great contractor on Upwork.com that’s still building a name for themselves.
Step 5. Publish the Book Now that your book is in order, you can publish it through Kindle Direct Publishing. The entire process is guided and quite simple. Sign up is free, and a new publication is usually for sale within 1-
2 days. With Kindle Direct, you also have the choice of using the Kindle Select program. With the Kindle Select program, you agree to only sell your eBook through Amazon for a three-month period. In exchange, you are given a few promotional tools and often better visibility thanks to them. After this three-month period, you may choose to opt-in again or expand your distribution by going to other retailers like Apple, Nook, and Kobo. As suggested before, Smashwords is a good solution for all of the other eBook retailers. You will have to make sure your book file follows their rigorous formatting guide, but if you can master this formatting guide, you’ll be able to produce great quality Kindle eBooks as well. See that here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52
Step 6. Marketing Marketing is one of the hardest parts of putting out a book. Depending on your method of earning a passive income, you can market only with the use KDP Select, or you can spend large amounts of money per book to have a campaign, or you can pick and choose how to market through targeted ads on Adwords and Facebook, for example. For some, marketing can be skipped because the heavy use of market research almost guarantees that people will be finding it thanks to the proper use of keywords and creating a valuable and attractive product. Many blogs will also promote books, and if you have any established platforms (social media, blogs, newsletters, YouTube, etc), these are also extremely helpful in marketing. Any chance to cross promote should be taken. The true key to great marketing is to monitor your campaigns. Figure out which methods are working and which are just wasting time and money, and learn from that to build even better marketing strategies.
Step 7. Repeat the Process Now that a book is published, it’s time to work on another one. There are a few ways to approach publishing for profit. One is to put out a large amount of content, sometimes even as much as several small books per day, and collect on the spread out sales between them. These books can be short as long as they’re still packed with useful information. The great thing about this method is that one flop is usually going to be made up for by another success fairly quickly. This method is unlikely to garner any bestsellers, but it can be profitable. The other is to put out extremely valuable and detailed works, spend a lot of money on covers and design, and spend a lot of money on marketing. For those with a product this involved, it can be a great passive income, but it can also cost more than it’s worth down the road. There are inherently more risks involved, but the payout per project is likely to be much higher if you’ve done your homework.
Step 7. Getting Paid Now that you have books published, payment from Kindle Direct Publishing always takes around 60 days following the end of the month sales. So the sales made in January are paid out in March, the
sales made in February are paid out at the end of April, and so on. So don’t expect any checks for the first couple months. Again, passive income is a long game. With Smashwords, payments are handled on a quarterly basis. You can monitor your account and the payments coming in from other retailers, but funds will be sent the 20-30 days after the quarter has ended, usually around the 20th.
Tips and Advice Build a Reputation of Quality When working within a specific niche, use the same author name or pseudonym and provide quality, valuable information. Building a reputation and a backlog of books is one of the keys to making your old books continue to sell as new books are released.
Can’t Write? Find a Writer. If you can’t find yourself writing your books, you can always spend some money and find a dedicated writer, or two or three, through sites like Upwork. Just keep in mind that the more you spend, the more you have to recover before you start to profit. There’s no shame in needing a good writer or editor to create quality content that sells. As profits increase, even great writers often outsource this part of the job.
Move to Print If you write larger books, it may be a good idea to move into print medium as well. Using CreateSpace.com, your book can be released in print online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. This print-on-demand provider, an Amazon company, allows for practically free publishing of print books, and books are only printed when someone orders them. This means that you see no upfront printing costs involved whatsoever. Formatting for print can be a lot trickier than a basic eBook, and you may have to seek a freelancer to help with this. It is highly recommended that you outsource this unless you’re confident with InDesign or formatting for print in Microsoft Word. The learning curve is not as simple as it is with eBooks.
Cross Promote As the old saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you have a related blog, related Facebook group or page, then take the time to connect your base with your books. Likewise, encourage readers of the book to read your blog, see your videos, etc.
Keep On Publishing Again, not every book is going to be a best seller. Most likely, your first book won’t make you a heap of cash on its own. Keep at it anyway. Give it at least a solid six months if not a year. You will find that niche and your place within it that works for you. You’ve got this! Just stay dedicated to the passive income you’re going to be receiving one day!
Income Stream #2: Blogging I’m sure some of you are groaning about this. Everyone has a blog these days, and most of them are boring. However, during your market research, you should have learned some information that will allow you to be proactive about creating a niche-oriented blog filled with informative posts that take advantage of keywords, trends, and the fact that you’ll be having other passive income streams that could be related.
Getting Started Step 1. Create a Blog There are a lot of ways you can create a blog. WordPress blogs are probably the most popular choice, whether you use their hosting or you only use their software on another host. There are also blog sites such as Blogger, or you can simply start a website with website solution providers like GoDaddy, Wix, or Weebly. The great thing is that pretty much all of these are extremely user friendly and don’t require a lot of technical know-how.
Step 3. Keep On Posting. This is probably the most difficult part of running a blog. You need to start writing, and you need to start writing at least one new blog post per week, although two or three would be better. It is usually best to set a schedule. Keeping your blog on topic 95% of the time is going to help you create a resource for your niche. What you write can be anything from how-to advice, product reviews, editorial pieces, and much, much more. As long as your content is relevant, well-edited, and takes advantage of the use of keywords, you should start to see traffic. Promoting your blog can be done by offering to write guest posts for other blogs, promotion through your related Facebook page and other platforms, and using marketing services. However, the use of SEO (search engine optimization) is going to be pivotal in getting those Google results that lead to better traffic from people specifically looking for the type of content you are offering. Search engine optimization in regards to articles means utilizing keywords in a natural manner (once per one hundred words or less is a common rule of thumb), not using content that can be flagged as duplicate content on the internet (i.e. original content, no plagiarism!), and maintaining the website in a professional way. There are SEO specialists that can give you more aggressive plans of action if you’re willing to spend the money. Likewise, you can always hire someone to write blog posts for you if the writing time is just too demanding. Starting out, it’s generally my advice to do this yourself to save money and create a “voice” for the blog, but if you have the funds, it’s worth the time you can save to pay someone else.
Step 4. Monetization
This step is probably the most important to you, but make sure you have quality content. There are a lot of ways to monetize a blog. These include, affiliate and referral programs for products and books, advertising, and the integration of your other passive income streams. Let’s discuss a few of these methods.
Affiliate Programs Affiliate programs are a great way to earn money on a blog. Unlike advertisements where the person paying for the ad decides on the content meant to encourage sales or click through, you have full control over how you frame an affiliate product. The most common example is probably becoming an Amazon Affiliate. With Amazon, you will gain a relatively low amount of profit from your initial sales referrals, but as your referral sales increase so does the rate of commission you make. Better than this, perhaps, is that Amazon will pay you for referral sales even if it’s not the product you featured on your blog. This means if someone clicks an affiliate link for a $2 item on your page, but they buy $200 worth of qualifying items, you’ll be earning a commission on $200 even though none of those items were promoted on your site! There are a few common ways to incorporate Amazon affiliate links throughout your blog. Often, a single product review that goes in depth about the product and why it’s worth buying is going to draw those already looking for this type of item. A review of several products as a comparison is also a popular format; not only does it include many affiliate links, but it provides potential buyers with knowledge of several comparable items and helps them make an informed decision. One last example, though there are endless ways of including affiliate links, is some links simply placed throughout your content whenever appropriate. (Think about linking the word “mixer” during a blog post with a recipe in it!)
Advertisements This method is pretty self-explanatory. Most blogging platforms have widgets and easy directions for how to add the option of advertisements to monetize your blog. The type of ads you have on your page should be directed at your demographic specifically if you want better click through rates. Types of advertisements include banner ads, text link ads throughout your content, and even sometimes sponsored posts if your blog is large enough to demand that type of exposure.
Incorporating Other Income Streams This honestly may be one of the best ways to monetize a blog. In this situation, the blog is often one of the launching points for your other products. It is your platform. You provide high quality information or content on your blog for free and tempt readers with especially high quality information or content through your books, YouTube channel, and potentially even your online courses. By having a growing or booming blog, all of your other outlets can get a huge boost of attention too. Watch the profits roll in by integrating several streams of income to help one another be their best.
Be Prepared For When You Want To Quit Again, a huge part of successful blogs is that they produce content on a regular basis, and that content
is high in quality and useful or entertaining to the intended audience. If you are the type of person to burn out on scheduled tasks, then consider taking the time to write AHEAD. Have a backlog of 5-10 articles ready to be posted to keep your blog schedule alive while you work on other projects or enjoy your free time. When things start to slip up, readership will start to fall. That said, when a post becomes a common resource for a product comparison, or even just for any given keyword, a single post can become a profitable beast all to itself. Much like writing eBooks, not every post is going to be the one that makes you hundreds of dollars, but some of them will if you’re diligent and provide the great content you know you can!
Income Stream #3: YouTube This income stream may be one of the more daunting ones. The creation of high quality video content is not always easy, but when you’re providing something along the lines of how-to or DIY topics, even a lower quality video can become successful enough to bring in something of a profit.
Getting Started Getting started on YouTube might be one of the easiest things possible. You likely already have a Google account, which means you already have a YouTube account and can open a channel using this. When creating channels, it is often smart to dedicate the channel to a single niche, especially if you’ll be using YouTube as a means to improve the monetization of your other outlets. Even if you aren’t using other outlets, YouTube can work much like a blog would.
Product Demonstrations and Reviews Once signed up, you will need to be creating videos. A simple way to start is to make videos that demonstrate products related to your blog posts. These are a little less intense than creating entertainment content because users just want something honest and straightforward. This is perfect if your blog focuses on affiliate marketing through product reviews and comparisons. Now the short ads and pop-up ads on your YouTube videos will also skim a small amount of profit per view. You will want to have these embedded in your relevant blog posts.
Informative Content If your niche includes the opportunity to help others learn a skillset or teach them about travel, cooking, or other things, then there is plenty of opportunity to create visuals that will captivate and educate your audience. How-to videos that are clear and poignant can help bring visitors to your other streams of income as well, such as your eBooks and blog and possibly online courses.
Entertainment It is possible to create entertainment channels and profit from them. While this path is often considered harder (or a pipe dream by naysayers), someone that loves to perform may find themselves much happier doing the things they love. Find angles that work for you. Much like we’ve discussed throughout, not every video is going to be the one that makes a bunch of money, but with this path, at least doing something you love will lead to some profiting as well. It is my opinion that entertainment channels shouldn’t utilize ads until AFTER they begin to get some notoriety.
Promote Your Other Products I cannot stress this tactic enough. When setting up a YouTube channel for monetization, a quick link in the description and a quick mention of your related products, services, or income streams that would
appropriately fit the video is a great way to cross pollenate. You can even do a series of videos specifically meant as a promotion of a book or product.
Don’t Stop Posting Videos As with other forms of passive income, having new content on a semi-regular basis is a big encouragement for viewers to return, to subscribe, and to ultimately seek out your other offerings. Much like writing blog posts, if you want to avoid the hustle of always creating a new video, take time to get ahead of the game and have a few on hand for when you’re not willing to put in the work or need to work on other projects for awhile.
Income Stream #4: Online Courses This income stream is closely related to YouTube in the sense that it involves video, but video is not the full extent of online courses. Using sites like Udemy.com to post an online course that teaches the skillsets related to your niche is a great way to draw in additional passive income. These courses typically involve video lectures, demonstration, transcripts of video, sometimes extra text and image materials, and much more.
Getting Started Putting together a full online course is not easy. It is a lot of work if you want to create a course that can demand an amount of money worthy of passive income. The best place to get started is to take the time to view a few online courses. Since you will want to see what type of competition you’ll have, you may as well look at courses in your niche to get an idea of what people are paying for and what type of quality they expect. You will want a transcript. Write out what you are going to say in your videos. This will not only make it easier to create clear and crisp audio during the videos, but it will also make it simple for you to provide a written transcript to your online students. Make sure videos are crisp, audio is crisp, and everything is as professional as possible. A poorly made online course is unlikely to garner great reviews. And be prepared to answer questions. Though this isn’t quite passive, having the willingness to interact with students that post questions will encourage positive reviews and helpful feedback on what you can do to improve your course. Be an authority. Avoid “I think” and “I believe” language. People want to learn a skill; they do not want to learn what you think about a skill.
Have a Source of Traffic With an online course, it is important to have an audience and have a marketing plan. For this reason, having a platform in place, such as a blog, newsletter, social media presence, is going to be a great advantage. Using your blog, social media, newsletter, etc., start talking about your course when you begin the process of building it. This will allow you to build anticipation while simultaneously gaining feedback and insight into what the target audience would want from this type of course. Throughout the process, you can give small peaks into what they may gain from the course, collecting email addresses to notify them via an email list once it’s ready, and continue to demonstrate that you’re going to provide a valuable service with this online course. When you launch your course, you should already have an audience together. If that initial audience is pleased, future students are sure to follow.
Create Short Videos Creating shorter videos of five or six minutes each for each lesson within your course makes your information easier to digest. Within the first thirty seconds of a video, explain what the lesson covers, and then cover the lesson concisely and with as many visual learning aids as possible. To end the videos, reiterate what you’ve taught them in a quick way. Make sure the beginning and end of the videos use some form of uniform branding with your company name, logo, etc.
Create Free Mini-Courses In the Meantime One way to help increase the sale of larger courses is to create free mini-courses that introduce and provide some sense of value while also providing a preview of the more in-depth details, techniques, and skills you will provide in the full-sized courses. These are also great to use as a free gift in exchange for having people join your mailing list and build anticipation for future courses.
Build Another Course! After your first course, it’s time to start building another course, ideally in a related field or an advanced course! Now that you have an audience started with the first course, you can build upon this audience throughout the process again. As you continue to build courses, interacting with potential pupils and past pupils along the way, the back log of courses stand a strong chance of attracting additional customers. As your reputation as an online course teacher improves, that passive income stream will as well.
Pricing Make sure to price your Udemy courses a bit on the high end. Because Udemy is always offering discounts and allows you to create coupons, you can help create the illusion of a higher value while making a reasonable amount per student. Coupons also work to promote the course, so it’s a win-win situation.
Start By Taking Some Courses! We’ve already said this, but start out by spending time familiarizing yourself with popular courses on Udemy. Taking the time to understand what other people are doing that works will give you a huge advantage before you spend a ton of time working on a course blindly.
Income Stream #5: Online Store It may seem like every other website is some type of online store, but create a niche-specific store, branding it effectively, and marketing it well still makes it a viable source of passive income. I know what you’re probably thinking: how passive can it be if I have to ship items? The thing is: you don’t! You have two options to open an online store and create a relatively passive income stream.
Option #1: Affiliate Store An affiliate store works much like we’ve discussed with blog posts that take advantage of product reviews and other opportunities to link people to Amazon or other affiliate programs. When someone buys, you earn a portion of the profit. Again, with Amazon at least, it doesn’t actually matter if the products you promote in your “store” are sold at all. As long as the customer is brought to Amazon through your affiliate link, you will be compensated for any qualifying products they buy.
Option #2: Drop Shipping: The way drop shipping works is you find a product that is typically difficult for people to purchase within their local stores that are expensive enough to justify taking only a portion of the profit but priced fair enough that people will like them. Once you setup your product listings and sell the items, you initiate the distributor to ship the item. You are then responsible for customer service and ensuring everything goes smoothly. This form of passive income is not always as passive as it may sound. While you don’t actually ship the item, it is up to you to find reliable providers, source products that are cheap enough to make a profit but difficult for customers to find elsewhere at lower prices, and ultimately deal with the customer. While there is some serious money involved in drop shipping, it is not as passive as other passive income streams until you put in the work to put together a great shopping experience, have found reliable partners to distribute your items, and potentially outsourced customer service if there’s a need to save yourself the time down the road. When working with drop shipping, the challenge is always going to be in finding great products that aren’t likely to change, lose interest, or become absurdly too cheap down the road. It can be a bit hit or miss starting out, and it’s definitely not a quick money maker, but once you are successful, it has huge potential to create a steady stream of income.
Setting Up an Online Shop An affiliate store can be setup almost as simply as a blog since there’s no need for added security, customer service, or any of the myriad of things that come with a true online shop. With a shop relying on drop shipping, or actually shipping items yourself, there are plenty of methods to set up a safe and secure webstore. The most popular options include websites like Shopify,
Ecrater, and Storenvy. Shopify is often credited as being the best online shop solution because of the vast array of customer service, add-ons, and very few problems with their system. The great thing about Shopify is it really requires no technical knowledge to run a site, set it up on your own domain name, or anything. It’s a full-service online store. The downside is that it isn’t free. Their fees break down as such: Basic Plan costs $29 per month plus 2.9% and 0.30 cents per transaction. Professional Plan costs $79 per month plus 2.6% and 0.30 cents per transaction. Advanced Plan costs $299 per month plus 2.2% and 0.30 cents per transaction. Each of these plans offer a bit more than the other, and once you have a large number of products you will need at least the Professional Plan. The Professional Plan is generally suggested for online shops that are able to move a decent amount of product because it provides a Shopping Cart Recovery tool, and it’s proven that 55% of shoppers are likely to spend more when they’re reminded of products they almost bought before! The Basic Plan is more than enough to get you started, though. If you cannot afford to spend on your shopping platform, Ecrater or Storenvy are good starting points.
Integrate Your Passive Income Streams If you’re going to use a blog in connection to your online shop, eBooks, and other forms of passive income, then integrating all of your niche specific sites to promote one another is a great way to skim as much profit from your efforts as possible. Online shops may not be the best place to start, but it is going to provide a large income if done well.
Layering Your Income Streams By now, you’ve realized that a common thread throughout this book is to take the time to develop multiple streams of passive income and wherever possible, use each to promote the others. Not only does this help to produce multiple streams of income, so if one isn’t producing well another one is, but it exponentially improves your chances of succeeding at each one. Passive income is not a lazy businessman’s game. It takes a lot of hard work, but when that work is done well, when you persevere and continue to produce great content, offer great products, offer value in your online courses and videos, you’re certain to start seeing a passive income coming from multiple streams and leading to one large pool of profit. As you continue down your path to financial freedom, you’ll find that a nine to five just isn’t necessary for the person with the right drive and patience. You’ve already taken your first steps. You’ve begun the perpetual education a great entrepreneur requires to be successful. You’ve got the basics, now take them and create something great for yourself! Thank you again for downloading this book! Finally, if you enjoyed this book, then I’d like to ask you for a favor, would you be kind enough to leave a review for this book? It’d be greatly appreciated! Thank you and good luck!