Most of us spend most of our waking hours each day working hard to make other people rich. It’s tough to get ahead when every time you get a paycheck, the previous paycheck is already spent!
The answer is passive income. You only have so much time in life, and trading most of that time for a little bit of money isn’t a very good deal for you. That’s why every wealthy person I’ve ever met does this one thing to change the equation. That one thing is to earn a passive income. So we’ve put together a list of 5 ways we earn passive income.
Every idea on this list is something you can do in about 1 month’s time to earn a passive income for years to come. I encourage you to spend some of your available time (when you’re not working hard to make someone else rich) on one or more of these projects to completely change your life and your future.
Write an E-Book
One of the most often overlooked sources of passive income is e-books.
E-books might not seem as exciting or even profitable as some other sources of online income, but in my experience, they can be a great source of long-term passive income. Especially if you’re looking for something you can create this month to generate passive income for years.
Here are a few things I love about e-books.
- You can literally start now and be done in a month’s time. There’s no real ongoing work or updating required to earn income from it unless you use some other channel to market it. Really, if you want, you can write it, list it, and be done.
- You can earn income for years! Some other sources of passive income fizzle out really fast if you don’t keep updating them or adding new content. But in my experience, e-books will keep earning you a paycheck for several years.
Lots of people are afraid to write an e-book. They don’t think they know enough or they think they’re not a very good writer. You don’t have to be an expert or an amazing writer to earn an income from an e-book. Just pick a topic you know something about, or that you’re passionate about. Write what you know and don’t pretend to be an expert if you’re not.
Books from the perspective of a beginner or someone who’s learning have a lot of value. They make you really relateable to the reader.
So here’s what you do. Write your book in a word processor like Microsoft Word. Most e-books are about 50,000 words. If you can get above about 30,000 then you’ll probably be fine. Once you’re done, have a friend or someone read through it and help you fix any typos or things that don’t make sense to them.
Next, go to smashwords.com. They’ll take your Word document and put it in the format it needs to be in and distribute it out to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all the other major e-book sites.
Then you’re done!
If you have a website or YouTube channel to market your e-book, that’s great. But if not then you can check the box. You’re now an author. And then get back to normal life and wait for those checks to roll in!
Time to Earn Your First Dollar: 1 month
How Long You’ll Keep Getting Paid: 10 years
Earning Potential for 30 Days Work: $100 to $1,000 per month—really depends how you market it
Ongoing Work Required: Almost none
Build a Passive Income Website
This is actually what we do full-time and what we teach to hundreds of people at any given time. Building your own informational website is a great way to earn a large, passive income for a long time
Here’s the basic idea. Take the same type of content you would put in an e-book and put it on your own website website. If you target the right keywords then with about 30 posts you can get enough traffic to earn a great income.
And how do you earn this income? There are 3 ways we use all the time.
- Affiliate products—you link to products that other people are selling (on Amazon or various other sites) and you earn a commission for every sale.
- Advertising—Once you start to get some traffic, you can place ads from premium ad networks on your sites. This is getting to be a more and more exciting way to earn income every day.
- Information products—Take some of your content and organize it into a premium content package. It can be in the format of a written guide, audio guide, or video course. However you want it to be. You start selling this on your site to those who want the premium information and suddenly your site income gets really interesting!
This is actually a lot simpler than most people would think. PontoonGuide.com was build almost entirely in 30 days (about 1-2 hours per day) and within 2 years it was earning over $4,000 per month just for affiliate products.
The biggest mistake people make is that they quit too soon. They write their 30 articles and when they don’t earn an money in 3 months they quit and delete their site! This is a HUGE mistake. It’s normal for a new site to take 3-6 months for its content to start to bring in any substantial amount of traffic.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed even thinking about building a website. But we’ve got you covered. We’ve taught hundreds of people how to do it with our program called Project 24.
In Project 24 we help you build up your online income so that it can replace your full-time income in about 24 months. You can learn more about it here.
Time to Earn Your First Dollar: 3 months
How Long You’ll Keep Getting Paid: 2 to 15 years depending on the topic
Earning Potential for 30 Days Work: $500 to $5,000 per month
Ongoing Work Required: Check in every couple months
Start a YouTube Channel
YouTube is a huge opportunity right now. In fact, we recommend to everyone in Project 24 that they also make a YouTube channel for their website. But even without a website, a YouTube channel can be a great source of passive income.
This works just like the website. Pick a topic you can share information about and then start recording videos. Keep them simple. Use a cell phone camera and YouTube’s video editor.
Once you start to get views on your YouTube channel, you can start making money with ads. But that’s not even the exciting part. You can also start making money just like we talked about on your website. You can recommend affiliate products and even sell your own info products. So if you’re not up for writing a bunch this month, just start making some videos.
Let me give you a little example.
Our YouTube channel for CamperReport.com has only 8 videos on it that were filmed on an iPhone. Now, about a year later, that channel has had over a million total views. It’s crazy awesome!
So here’s my recommendation. Spend this month making 30 videos. Upload them to YouTube and schedule them to post once a week for 30 weeks. If it starts to pick up, you’ll probably decide you want to make more videos because the income will be just too exciting!
Time to Earn Your First Dollar: 5 months
How Long You’ll Keep Getting Paid: 1 to 5 years
Earning Potential for 30 Days Work: $400 per month
Ongoing Work Required: Adding more video content on a regular basis will dramatically grow your earnings—but if you don’t add more content, then no ongoing work is required
Record a Podcast
There are reasons that podcasting isn’t our number 1 recommendation. We actually talk about them in this YouTube video. But it’s still a viable business.
A podcast is going to work just like the YouTube channel, just through a different medium.
My recommendation is that you record a season of a podcast. Like a TV show. That way you’re not committing to an ongoing, weekly episode. Spend the next month recording 30 episodes on any topic you want and schedule them to go out once a week. I would pick something informational or entertaining.
Time to Earn Your First Dollar: 1 month
How Long You’ll Keep Getting Paid: Less than 2 years
Earning Potential for 30 Days Work: $50 to $500
Ongoing Work Required: Like a YouTube channel, to continue to earn on an ongoing basis and take your earnings to the next level, you’ll need to keep adding content
The most important source of passive income over the course of your life is investments. If you’re not putting money away into some kind of investment from a young age, you’re missing out on more money than if you miss just about any other opportunity.
The difference in how much wealth you will accumulate if you start investing at 25 vs 45 is astounding. And it’s the #1 way that most wealthy people generate passive income.
Here’s what I recommend. Just look online for a good investment broker. If you’re in the United States, TD Ameritrade or Fidelity are two great brokerages that will let you open an account without having to work with a slick financial adviser who just wants to make a commission on your investments.
Set aside a little bit of money. Most investment accounts require a minimum of either $500 or $1,000 to open a new account. So get that much set aside. Then, open an account and make a deposit. If you don’t know anything at all about investing, just put it in an S&P500 index fund. It’s not the top investment out there, but it’s a good mix of a bunch of stocks so it’s about as safe as an investment in the stock market can be.
From there, I recommend you keep investing every month. But if you don’t, at least put some money in whenever you can. I also recommend you learn as much as you can about mutual funds and investing. The more you know, the better you can invest.
I just want to reiterate one point. I make really good money using the methods I’ve talked about in this article. But I have made and will definitely make a lot more money from this one than all four of the others combined. And that’s saying something because internet marketing is my full-time job.
Time to Earn Your First Dollar: Immediate
How Long You’ll Keep Getting Paid: Forever
Earning Potential for 30 Days Work: Infinite
Ongoing Work Required: Check in occasionally, invest more!
Pro Tip—Start Tracking Your Net Worth Now
Net worth tracking is one of the best things I’ve ever done when it comes to making sure I have a solid financial future. On this page we have a video explaining why that is as well as a way you can get our free net worth calculator and tracker.