Do you like the sounds of making money without having to work?
That’s pretty much a rhetorical question. I am pretty sure that the answer is going to be ‘yes’ for the vast majority of people. Why wouldn’t you want to earn money without having to work?
Of course for most of us, this isn’t likely to become a reality any time soon and there’s always going to be effort involved in making a good living.
But while you might not be able to get ‘something for nothing’, there is a good chance that you can bring in profit that is vastly disproportionate to the work you do. And what’s more, is that you can stop ‘swapping your time for money’.
And in fact, you can do all that quite easily.
What I’m talking about here is ‘passive income’. This isn’t ‘getting money for nothing’ but rather it means setting up a business model that can eventually sustain itself with little-to-no input from you.
That’s right: you create an automated system of selling or of publishing adverts, or of recommending products and from there, you can continuously earn money… indefinitely!
So you have put work in but once you’ve done that. You can simply kick back and relax and let the cash come rolling in.
You aren’t trading time for money anymore. That means that you’ll go to bed and wake up the next day a little richer. And it means that you’ll be able to go on holiday and continue to earn. And it means that if a friend invites you out for the day, you can just drop whatever you’re doing and go – no need to tell employers or clients.
Better yet, because passive income is automated and requires no further input from you, that means that you can continue to repeat the same business model over and over again and thereby increase your earnings over and over again too! This is called ‘scaling’ and eventually, you can be earning massive money by having multiple ‘income streams’ all working at once.
It’s kind of amazing…
But Let’s Get Real: Is Passive Income Really That Easy?
Can Anyone Do It?
But you’ve probably heard promises like this before right? Normally on ‘make money’ websites that promise expensive schemes that involve illicit activities, usually involving ‘tricking’ Google in some way or another and often involving a lot of complicated jargon.
You buy the ebook, you read through it… and then you just give up, frustrated.
Is passive income really possible for everyone? Or is it just a pipe dream?
The answer is that it is very possible – but you just need to think about it in the right way.
For starters, you need to recognize that passive income does not equate to a get-rich-quick scheme. There is a lot of work involved and you’re not going to start seeing massive money overnight. If you go into this expecting to get rich with minimal effort, then in all likelihood you’re going to come away very disappointed.
Instead, you should get into this looking for a way to supplement your current income and lifestyle and to earn extra cash without having to work hard for it constantly. Best of all, this is a way you can earn while doing something that you love.
Creating a blog or selling a product can help you to generate additional income without having to continuously put in long hours. That means you can do it on top of your regular business or regular job. And even if you only earn $50 a week – that’s $200 a month. That in turn is enough to go on a few extra holidays a year, to put aside some serious savings, or to treat yourself to some exciting gadgets.
And it’s all from writing about something you love and from creating a business model that you can really be proud of.
And once you start seeing that cash flow and you stop trying to ‘get rich’, you’ll find that it’s surprisingly easy to keep it growing and to keep that money coming in.
And you can even repeat the strategy you just employed in order to multiply the income several times over.
The other thing to recognize, is that you need to be smart about the way you approach these business models. The key is very much to work smart rather than hard. You need to be able to understand the thought process of your audience and you need to know how to create something that will work without wasting lots of time and effort on small details that really don’t matter.
But I’m not just going to tell you what not to do. I’m also going to help you actually get started with one of these smart business models so that you can begin seeing that passive income pour in right away.
In this guide, you’re going to learn three simple ways to start making money while you sleep. And all of them will be simple, effective and easy to implement…
Selling a Digital Product Online
One of the easiest ways to start making passive income is to sell a digital product online. This is what Tim Ferriss calls a ‘muse’ – a very simple sales process that will bring in cash to fund the things that you care more about.
So where do you start?
First, you need to acquire said digital product. A digital product is anything that you can sell that doesn’t have a tangible aspect. A good example here is an ebook but video courses also work well, as do email courses.
Whatever the case, a digital product has the benefit of being completely free to produce (no overheads) and not requiring any delivery or storage. This means you can create it once and then sell it indefinitely. And you can also use a digital delivery system to take payments and then send the product.
To make this product, you can either spend some time doing it yourself (an ebook is just a PDF in most cases, which you can make with MS Word) or you can hire someone to do it for you. Writers and writing agencies are easy to find online and won’t normally cost you that much (a few hundred dollars often for an entire ebook).
You’re then going to create a sales page. This is going to be a single page designed to sell your product using persuasive writing and a smart layout.
It’s very important that this page be well designed because you need to gain the confidence of your audience and look like a ‘real business’. There must be no concern in their mind that their payment might get lost in transit, or that you’re going to take their money and then never deliver the actual product.
It’s also very important that you make it as quick and easy as possible for people to checkout. That means they should be able to click ‘buy’ without having to worry about entering their payment information or sign up. Most sales are made on an impulsive basis and in order to take full advantage of that, you need to ensure your site allows for those impulsive purchases!
Finally, you’re going to use Facebook Ads in order to target your advert to the right people in a way that means you’re only paying when someone actually clicks one of the ads. You get to set how much you’re willing to pay for each of those clicks, which means that you’re going to be able to ensure that you’re earning more money overall than you’re spending.
In short, the right people get sent to your sales page, they get tempted by your sales pitch and they quickly and easily check out.
Making it Actually Work
But none of this is actually anything new. No doubt you’ve heard of selling digital products before and it’s not exactly rocket science working out the basics!
The key is to making a business model that will actually work and understanding what it is that makes some products sell very successfully while others never do.
The first key element is the niche and the demographic. You need to pick a product that has a very broad appeal and that offers a lot of value to the buyer but also one that won’t be going up against too much competition and that won’t struggle to get noticed.
If you make a book on ‘fitness’, then you’re going to be going up against thousands of other eBooks, some of which will have much bigger budgets than you. That means you’ll have to pay a lot more in terms of advertising in order to get noticed.
But if you can hone in on something more specific: maybe making an ebook on fitness aimed at the over-50, or an ebook on fitness aimed at martial artists, or students, then suddenly you can choose much more specific keywords and demographics and thereby spend a lot less money on your adverts.
This is a good start because it means you can quickly get seen by a lot of people.
Another tip is to think about the niches that you already have influence in. As well as advertising, you can also sell by using a ‘route to market’, which is any direct access to a big audience that is likely to buy from you.
Right now, you probably have a few routes to market that will make it very simple and very easy for you to make those sales. For example, you might just so happen to be friends with the editor of ‘Gardening Magazine’. If that’s the case, then take advantage of that audience by creating a gardening ebook. Create the product, find the right audience and match the two. That’s all it takes – so think about your existing opportunities rather than trying to invent new ones from scratch.
Another tip is to think about the ‘value proposition’ of your product. That means asking what it is that your product can actually do for people. In many cases, this will mean asking how it can change their life.
For example, if you’re trying to sell a fitness ebook, then don’t think about the ebook itself: think about how it feels to have amazing abs, to have tons of energy every day, and to be more attractive and confident. That is the ‘value proposition’ that you’re selling and that’s what your sales pitch should focus on. This is what can generate enough emotion to get someone to click buy.
Now use Facebook’s advertising system in order to target the precise right person with your ads. You can do this by using filters to only target men, only target students, only target certain areas etc. If you’re selling a book on planning the perfect wedding, then you can create an advert to target women who are currently engaged.
With the right pitch, the right audience and the right checkout, you’ll find the money comes rolling in!
Creating and Selling an App
Now it’s time for something that might initially sound a little more complex than selling an ebook but which is actually easier than it at first appears: creating and selling a mobile app.
The good news for starters, is that Google makes it incredibly easy to create apps and put them on the Play Store for Android devices. There is only one fee and it’s about $30. You’ll pay once and never again.
Better yet, is that the approval process is automated (unlike the iTunes App Store) and only takes an hour or two. That means you can easily put something together and get it on the store, setting any price you like for it!
I can hear your protestation though: ‘but I don’t know how to make an app!’.
The good news here is that you don’t need to know how! All you need to do is either hire someone who does know how (you’ll find them on UpWork or Elance and it won’t cost you that much) or use an app building tool that will greatly simplify the process and save you a ton of time and effort.
Some of these tools involve little more than building a website and while the functionality may be limited, there are ways you can be creative and work around that.
The best part though, is that now you’re going to be selling a digital product through a ‘distribution platform’. That means that people will be able to find your app by searching on the Play Store (which works just like Google’s own search engine). That becomes your route to market and that means you need to do a lot less in terms of advertising or marketing. As long as you pick a subject or a niche that people are going to be interested in and searching for, then an audience will find your app with very little work on your part!
The key to success here is once again to be smart with the way you approach the creation of your app. And specifically, you need to forget trying to reinvent the wheel. As an app developer myself, I will often get approached by people who tell me about their big idea and want my advice.
Their ideas normally involve creating some sort of app that they hope is going to change the world. Maybe they’re making an incredible social tool. Maybe they’re making something that will simplify a big business process. Maybe they’re creating some new way of listening to music.
When I hear this, I always roll my eyes. These people have never made an app before and yet they want to build something that ambitious for their first project? And they wonder why they’re not successful? Normally, they spend years making the app only to give up before they even release it!
One of the most important concepts I want you to understand for earning money online passively then, is the ‘fail fast’ concept. What this means, is that you are going to create businesses that are designed to either work or fail very quickly. Build a product that is an MVP (minimum viable product), release it and see if there is an audience. If so, then you can start investing more time and money into its development.
You don’t even need to be original. Find a product that’s already selling, mimic it, and then sell it to a slightly different audience!
Oh and selling to a professional niche often works very well. Are you in stage lighting? Then try making an app providing information about stage lighting! Simple is always better.
Making Money From YouTube
Our last option for this guide is going to be making money from YouTube.
This is something that a lot of people never think of as being ‘passive income’ but actually it can be if you approach it the right way. If you can create an evergreen video (meaning it will never become dated) and get it to the top of the search results for a popular search term, then you can generate a lot of traffic to that video on a daily basis without having to do any maintenance.
Potentially, a video in a popular niche can make you $20 a day – and if you have several of these then you’ve immediately made a living!
This is a great option because you are at once getting to create your own channel – as you would do running a blog – and benefit from a distribution platform in the form of YouTube.
To make money on YouTube successfully, the key is to deliver value, to have great quality production values and to choose smart niches that people will search for.
This means investing a little money in your studio set-up first. Having a soft box that you can use to create some good lighting and a reasonable camera will make all the difference. And don’t forget audio quality – use a cheap lapel mic and you’ll make a massive difference for your viewers.
But the real tip is to make your videos shorter. YouTube actually says that it prefers shorter videos (because these tend to get watched all the way through) and making short videos will of course take you a lot less time!
If you can create some short YouTube videos, then you can massively increase the number of videos you have on YouTube and massive increase your consistency. Now even if none of your videos are very successful, the sheer number of them will mean that you keep raking in a lot of money.
You can then stop and leave your channel to keep earning money while you’re sleeping for years to come.
And the best part? Making money from YouTube is a lot of fun. This way, you’re going to have your own audience of fans that you can build a relationship with and you’re going to be making something you’re proud of, speaking in front of a camera on a topic you love.
Heck, being a YouTuber can mean making money from making music online, or acting. This is a way to fulfil your dream of being a rock star or an actor… professionally!
But the point is that once you have this up and running, you’ll be able to kick back and let the cash roll in. The point is that you’re not tied to your nine-to-five or to your desk. Passive income makes you free and we’ve seen, it really is very possible when you know how.
For many more tips and MUCH more guidance on how to set up your own passive income business, make sure to check out the full eBook. Otherwise, why not get started on creating that muse and see if you can start letting the cash roll in even while you’re sleeping or on holiday?
Get active now so that you can enjoy being passive later!
Jason W Steward