“Are you an entrepreneur looking for a way to earn a passive income?” Having a passive income (sometimes called residual income) allows you to earn money from work you’ve done, over a long period of time.
This is often a desirable way to make money instead of being paid for time worked. Passive income online allows you to create content once, and earn income from it for years and years.
If you have ideas and passion about one or more topics, you can convert that into extra income using a blog or website.
If you’re not tech-savvy, don’t be put off by how much work or difficulty there is in setting up a blog or website. Blog and website development is faster, cheaper and easier now than it has ever been in the past.
This article gives a step by step guide to making money online, and also provides links to plenty of useful articles, resources and free eBooks that can help you to start generating income immediately.
Recommended for YouWebcast: Zero to Millions: The Secrets Behind Building a Business and Growing a Digital Audience
5 steps to earning a passive income online
Does the thought of generating long term residual income from a blog or website while you are at work, sleeping, on holiday, or doing housework, appeal to you?
Anyone can earn a passive income online, provided you are prepared to put in a bit of time and effort into learning the right way to do things. The extra cash you earn may be the difference between struggling to make ends meet at the end of each month, and having enough cash to take the family on a yearly vacation.
Here’s how to do it…
1. Pick a topic
Making money online is about being able to create content that inspires other people. It doesn’t hurt to think of cool ways to present that information.
Make it unique, fun, exciting, or different.
In order to write blog posts, make YouTube videos, create eBooks, or any other type of content of sufficient quality to blow people’s minds, pick a topic that you are interested in.
Don’t pick a topic because you think there is more money to be made in that industry!
Your passion for the content you create will help engage readers and help create buzz.
The more people talk about your content, the higher Google ranks it in organic search results. The higher your content is ranked in Google search, the more organic search traffic you get. The more organic search traffic flowing through your site, the more people read and share your content, driving even more traffic.
The following articles will give some advice on what niche markets and ideas you can use to start a blog or other online income earner:
- Top 10 best home based business ideas to make money online in 2012
- 3 best ideas to make extra money online in 2012
- How to make money blogging
- 5 great “work from home” business ideas to make money online in 2012
- A picture guide to what’s important for startups
Once you have a topic, it’s time to…
It’s important to understand how big your chosen market is. How many people search for the type of information you intend to provide? Where do they come from? Are they wealthy, young, old, English speaking, etc?
Knowing what communities already exist, where your target market hangs out online, and what their preferences are help you to decide on how to create, share and market content in the best way.
The following articles show how to research the market using freely available tools:
- How to come up with ideas for a home based business startup
- How to research SEO keywords: Five SEO tips from top SEO experts
- How to make money online using Google AdSense and the AdWords Keyword Tool
3. Set up a blog or website
Setting up a blog, website or even an online store is a cinch – even for seriously non-tech savvy types.
It’s important to remember that modern website builders and CMS platforms like Drupal can get you 80% of the way to having a site just like you want it, with little effort required on your part.
That final 20% doesn’t have to happen over night either. Provided your blog or website is easy to use, easy to browse, and contains great content, you can add special touches as you build experience.
The following articles and resources show everything you need to know about setting up an online platform:
- 5 things every home based business startup needs
- Dashboard: The best free blogging, marketing & SEO tool for startups, entrepreneurs, and small business
- The best small business web hosting services, 2012
- Five reasons why Drupal is great for business
- Choosing the best shopping cart solution: 5 “must-have” SEO features for eCommerce websites
Good news! Making money from a blog or website is also easy to do.
Affiliate and advertising networks make it a cinch to add income generating links and banners to a site using copy and paste.
Be careful not to overload webpages with ads and affiliate links because Google will not rank pages it suspects have little value – one of the indicators of a low value webpage is that it has a high ad or affiliate link to content ratio.
Limit advertising and affiliate links to only the most effective places, and where it is relevant to do so. Think about webpages you enjoy and find useful – look at where they have placed their advertising.
The following links and resources will give guidance on setting up advertising and affiliate links:
- Affiliate marketing how-to for entrepreneurs
- Affiliate marketing practical: CTR, EPM & EPC
- Is it profitable to use Google ads to make money from a blog?
- How to make money blogging with Google Adsense and affiliate marketing
- How to make money blogging
5. Market, analyze & refine
During the early stages of any blog or website, it is unlikely that there will be sufficient traffic to generate a decent income. The passive part of passive income only comes when a blog or site is established and driving traffic without requiring regular effort.
Until then it is important to market and promote content via social media, forums, communities and anywhere else.
Don’t resort to spam or self promotion!
It can be frustrating at first, but be consistent and persistent in your efforts to provide high quality content.
Share that content only where appropriate, and build up a following using social media.
Once you have a following of engaged readers, they become a powerful marketing team by sharing your content with their own social groups.
In this way, a single blog post may be shared thousands of times, generating thousands of hits from social media sites and, ultimately, ranking higher in Google search.
Use analytics to monitor which content works and which doesn’t. Use analytical data to refine your marketing, promotions and content creation skills. The better you are at creating the right content for the right people, the less you have to work to make more money.
The following articles and resources show you everything you need to know about analytics, marketing, and SEO:
- Free eBook: How to make money online using SEO, marketing, blogging & social media
- The 3 most important small business search engine optimization tips, 2012
- How to double your search traffic using SEO, Webmaster tools and Google analytics
- The latest Internet marketing techniques & SEO tips using Google analytics’ Real-Time
- 3 best blog marketing tips for 2012
Do you earn an income from a blog or website? Are you earning enough to quit your day job? Has blogging failed to bring in cash? Share your tips, thoughts and experiences on earning passive incomes online in the comments, or join me on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ to continue the conversation.