Our Favorite Passive Income Blogs And How To Get Some of That
Our Favorite Passive Income Blogs
- Authority Website Income: This was one of my favorite websites to read when I was just getting started. Jon has become a friend of mine and his analytical approach and testing methods are top notch. He’s an engineer, so no BS on his website. It’s all real, genuine, and super valuable information. He had a day job as an Engineer and he worked a side gig that eventually allowed him to quit his job to do his online pursuits full time. Truly inspirational to anyone who has the same goals. His website is focused on building websites and it’s a really good one to follow.
- Niche Pursuits: Another one of my favorite blogs to follow when I first got started was Spencer Haws from Niche Pursuits. He not only talks about making money with a blog, but gives great tips. And very often he’ll run a live website build from scratch showing how he starts a blog from scratch and grows it into an income producing site. It’s practical advice without all the fluff.
- Making Sense of Cents: I don’t know Michelle, but her blog caught my attention after I was doing this a while and I’ve been super impressed with what she’s built. Starting with a yearning to get out of her day job, she more than accomplished that (check out her income reports). WOW! She is super impressive, although she’s so busy growing her massive income, I don’t think she’s ever turned any of her pursuits into passive income yet. There’s nothing wrong with that! But as I mention below, if tomorrow she decided to stop working and turn things passive, I have full confidence that would easily be accomplished.
- WPCrafter: This is a slightly different kind of site for bloggers. Instead of convincing you that blogging is a genuine way to quit your day job and make a full-time income, Adam instead focuses on the next step. Now that you’ve decided to get serious, how do you go about creating a blog? What’s WordPress? What’s a plugin? Where do I get a domain name? He’s super sharp and for those that prefer to watch video’s, most of his content is done via YouTube video’s. He’s top notch in my book for anyone wanting to know how to build a blog the right way. He doesn’t sell out and pitch crappy products because they pay him well. He pitches products that are the best and many of which he personally uses. I totally trust his advice.
- Technomadia: This is a digital nomad kind of site. Where your pursuit is an independent location type of job (they’re both software developers which is their day job) that allows you to explore the world. I have an RV and found them thru this angle with dreams of the roving nomad lifestyle. They have a great website and it’s fun to see how they’ve gone thru their journey. Why follow this blog? You can see a couple, living the dream, and check out their blog and see what they do and how they do it to understand what a good blog looks like. From this site, they expanded and now have a focused income producing website (membership site, not a blog really) called rvmobileinternet. That’s another example how a blog with visitors can grow into other areas of income production. But it all started with a blog .
- Go Curry Cracker: Here’s another example of a well run, passive income producing blog. It’s a passion of theirs that they write about and make money from, to live their global wanderer lifestyle with a kid. They focus on early retirement but I think it’s really turned into financial independence (living life on their terms and getting to enjoy it now rather than wait for retirement). If you’re not a Trust Fund Kid or have rich parents, this couple proves you can make your independence dreams a reality on any kind of budget.
What is Passive Income?
There are primarily three kinds of income: Active, Passive, and Portfolio.
Active income is money earned from a regular job, such as a salary from working 40 hours a week.
Portfolio income is money received from investments such as from stock, bonds, CD’s.
Passive Income used to be associated with housing rental income, but with online businesses, now includes things such as blogging.
In a nutshell, smart passive income are a few things to me:
- It does not require a set schedule
- It does not require a minimum number of hours to be worked to receive that income
- It can be worked from anywhere (it’s location independent)
- The amount of income received is not tied to the number of hours worked. In other words, if I work on it 3 hours this week I might passively earn $1200. If I work on it 20 hours this week, I’ll probably earn $1200 again. It has to produce income from its own merit, which is usually not tied to the amount of work invested every week. Singers receive royalty’s, actor’s too, this kind of income one might call passive income. Yes, initially there was a lot of work done, but once that hard work was finished, income kept flowing in. That’s a beautiful thing.
What Passive Income Is Not
I thought it might also be helpful to understand what passive income is not. I define it as a couple of things:
- Quick money
- Easy money
- No work required
- No skill required
I bring this up because many people hear that blogging is easy. Requires no work or 2hrs / month and make $10k per month in your pajamas. Spend $2k on a course and you’ll be a master and start rolling in the dough.
Unless you get super lucky, money will come in slowly. It won’t be that easy in the beginning, but it will get alot easier. Lots of work will be required in the beginning, mainly because you won’t really know what you’re doing yet, until you build up your skills.
But once you get proficient, you’ll be in passive mode and nirvana.
How Easy Is It To Make Smart Passive Income From Nothing?
I’m a realist and have discovered first hand that when blogging was new, maybe it was easy to build a blog that made $10k/mo in six months. Nowadays, in 2019, things have gotten much harder. Not so hard that it’s not worth trying. It’s just harder. It will take:
- Education. There’s a lot to learn in the beginning. If you’re not tech savvy, that’s OK, but you will have to learn some tech skills. I’m not saying college education kind of courses, but more along the lines of online learning, most of which you can find for free. Thinking you can completely pay someone else to do all the techy stuff might work, but it will cost you your hard earned dollars. It’s best to get a little tech savvy and save your money on the really hard technical stuff for someone else. And there’s plenty of things to learn such as writing great content (I’m still learning that by the way!), creating cool graphics, promoting thru Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, and a whole bunch of other stuff!
- Work. Yes, I know, this is called Passive Income, but you have to start from somewhere. If you inherit a blog that’s making $10k, you probably just need to maintain it and have enough money to outsource alot of the work. That could be made truly passive in nature from day one. But if you’re the “average person”, you won’t have that advantage. You’re probably working a 9-to-5 job you hate and are dying to get a side gig that would allow you to quit that day job. You probably know how to use your smart phone and a laptop, but have no real tech skills. And you’re reading this thinking, “can I really do this blogging thing and be successful?”. Yes you can, just realize that in the beginning, it’s going to take a lot of work.
- Luck. I know no one wants to hear this, but luck is a small piece of the equation. I don’t think any of the “make money online” websites will admit this, but I think it needs to be said. Imagine a buddy saying, “hey, I hear Enron is about to skyrocket, I just invested $10k in it”. Six months later they say, “did you buy Enron? I just sold it and turned my $10k into $100k in only 6 months!!!”. So you decide to invest some money in this sure thing. You invest $10k in it, and a week later they go bankrupt. You have to admit, there was some luck here for your buddy. For a new blogger, the luck comes in mainly with the niche you pursue. Let’s say you consider yourself a foodie, so you create a food blog. You pour hours and hours into it over 6 months only to find hardly anyone is visiting your blog. Turns out, the food niche is a super crowded and competitive niche. But let’s say instead you focused on truffles. You love truffles and write up a ton of stuff about truffles. Turns out that truffles in the food niche is not crowded or competitive and you end up getting a nice amount of traffic to your site. This is just one of many examples of things that will take a little bit of luck on your side to be successful in 2019 and beyond.
How To Make Passive Income: Passive Income Ideas 2019
Making smart passive income online can be done in several well proven ways. The most common are:
- Blogging (Michelle from Making Sense of Cents started her empire with a blog)
- Building a digital products business (ie iphone app, online software app, etc)
- Writing e-Books
- Selling online courses (WPCrafter has a bunch of online courses)
- Building a membership site (like Technomadia did with rvmobileinternet)
I know I’m probably missing 20 other passive income ideas but I think you get the point. The internet has enabled the masses to share their experience in various ways online in a way that can easily generate income.
My favorite is blogging. For a beginner I always recommend starting here. You don’t need to have any deep experience in any topic to create a blog. If you do, then you have more options open to you, but you’ll still need experience building a website and figuring out how to get visitors to it. You can learn all that thru a simple blog with very little investment to build a real business. And those skills will be required to pursue any other type of online pursuits.
A great example is Darren Rowse, who started a blog called Digital Photography School. He started this blog with the premise that he doesn’t know anything about photography! Let’s learn together and I’ll write about my journey in this blog. And that’s how someone without much experience in a particular topic, was able to build a successful blog from nothing.
BUILDING A PASSIVE INCOME BLOG
So this topic can and should be an entire series of blog posts! It also brings up a thousand things we need to discuss, from picking a niche to hosting, and keyword research.
But for this blog post, let’s just keep it simple. So… how to go about building a passive income blog?
I’d say one should consider three primary things:
- How much money are you willing to invest? The beauty of a blog is it can take very little money to get started. Hosting can be as cheap as $6/mo for a decent host. $10/yr for a domain name. WordPress is free with all reputable hosting companies. You’ll need tools to do: Keyword Research, Graphic Design, and a couple of plugins for WordPress. There’s probably a couple of other small expenses here and there, but as you can see, the investment is small and it’s every month rather than big up-front payments.
- What niche? I’d always recommend, for your first site, to pick a low competition niche and one that you have interest in. Take the food example above, food or recipes is super competitive. But if you’re able to find something within that niche you love, you could build a successful first blog. As an example, you may think of coffee as a smaller niche to focus on but discover it’s also competitive. Dig deeper, you may find something such as roasting coffee beans at home is a niche that is low competition! There’s a lot of topics out there, people can always find one. It just takes work to find them.
- How much passive income do you need to quit your day job? What’s your end goal? Some might way it needs to match my salary. But if you really think about it, maybe less would do? For example, you won’t be stuffing away money into a 401k, your dry cleaning bill would be cut to zero, you’d spend less on gas, or you might be able to cut other expenses in your life such as a car, big house, or other major expenses. If you considered what your expenses would be like without a day job you have to commute to, you might be surprised how much less you really need to live on. With this information, you now have a goal for your blog and when you can turn it passive.
HOW TO EARN PASSIVE INCOME WITH YOUR BLOG
Once you have traffic to your blog, there are several ways you can earn money from those visitors. Some are super passive such as allowing ads to be placed on your blog posts. Another method is affiliate revenue where you recommend products and get paid for sending your visitors to an online retailer such as Amazon. Those are probably the two easiest monetization methods and ones that I’d highly encourage beginners to pursue.
Then there are more challenging and lucrative ones such as influencer, sponsored ads, brand marketing, etc. These are for more experienced bloggers and in my opinion, they are less passive than ads and affiliate marketing. But they do pay well!
MAKE YOUR PASSIVE INCOME BLOG EVEN MORE PASSIVE
Really, are there levels of passive when it comes to blogging???? Yes, I’ve found this to be true.
There are all kinds of ways to earn money with a blog, but as a blogger, you have to think about your goals. Answer this question,
“If I build a successful blog that will replace my income from my day job, I’ll be able to ….”.
For some, the answer is they’d be able to spend more time with the kids. For others it’s having the ability to travel the world. And there are plenty of other answers to this question, but you get the gist.
If this is a “lifestyle business”, one where you want to travel the world and not be bothered with meetings, rules, and deadlines, then doing brand marketing may not be right for your goals. Your #1 goal is to setup the blog to be as passive as possible and be allowed to work on it when you want and be able to ignore it for weeks on end if you want. Perhaps the only real work is to create content that brings a lot of quality visitors to your blog should be the focus and earn an income by displaying ads on your blog.
The two monetization methods I can think of that will make being a blogger as passive as possible with the least amount of expenses is to place advertising on every blog post. Then things get real simple, your entire goal for the blog is to get traffic. That’s it. It’s a great way to generate passive income!
The second passive monetization method I like is affiliate marketing. It will require buying and reviewing products, but if you have a passion in this area, it’s actually an excuse to buy the stuff you want anyways!
If you’re looking for a lifestyle business, then make sure not to create a blog that makes work for you to do on a schedule you don’t control.
THE FINAL WORD ON PASSIVE INCOME BLOGS
There are many passive income ideas to explore such as investing in real estate, stocks and bonds, and even peer-to-peer lending thru platforms such as Lending Club and Prosper. But if you don’t have the luxury of a nest egg to work with, or prefer not to put your money in an investment you have zero control over, a blog, in my opinion, is one of the best passive income ideas out there that can build an incredible online business.
One more thing to consider is building a business to sell. There are many people that have gotten real good at building an audience thru their blogs. So they make building blogs their business with the goal of selling them 2 to 3 years later for $100k or more. Not only could you be a blogger and earn passive income, you could also have streams of income, one being selling your blog for a huge payday. Then doing it all over again.
There’s real value in building something that generates passive income. Wouldn’t you rather buy it than have to build it? I know I would. But that takes cold hard cash to buy a worthwhile blog. Everyone has to start somewhere, and being a builder is a great way to learn with little risk and expense.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is blogging passive income?
We’ve been asked before if we consider blogging passive income. As I mentioned above, in the beginning of a new blog, there is nothing passive about it! Long hours and hard work will be involved. If you decide to invest more in outsourcing work to others, it could be alot less work, but there will still be work involved. So I’d have to say no, in the beginning, blogging won’t be passive income.
Once you have a decent amount of traffic, say a year into it, you may be earning passive income of $2k/mo and say that’s good enough. You can then slow or completely stop your activities such as create content, building of digital products, pause your blog post creation, and decide your passive income level is enough to turn the blog purely passive.
The story here is, you can control when you want your blog to be passive. If you want to grow your passive income, then you’ll have to put more work into it to grow an audience, get more viewers, and the effect is the blog is no longer passive. But once you reach that new goal, say $3k/mo, then you can once again turn it into passive income and pause or slow down any work creation. Also, perhaps you have enough profit that you can outsource some of the work, which would allow you to continue to grow the passive income without you actually having to do the work!
Hopefully this was helpful in your passive income journey. To summarize, there are a lot of great blogs on the Internet. I’ve listed several of our favorite ones above. I haven’t mentioned another super famous guy named Pat Flynn, who has built a massive online business thru his blog called SmartPassiveIncome. I didn’t list him here since every other article you read on this topic will mention him, so I figured he didn’t need to be mentioned again. But I decided I should mention Pat Flynn in the conclusion since he’s the original smart passive income guy!
Earning passive income is no longer a secret. The rich have done it for years thru their real estate empires and other financial instruments. The Internet has opened passive income to the masses in a way we’ve never seen before!
Overall, I hope that you have a better idea of what it takes to build a blog, or for more ambitious readers, blogs, and how they can make money online thru building blog posts.