Warning: This is not a get rich quick article!
What is “the dream?” Well, for most people it involves never having to worry about money again. It also involves not having to work like a donkey all the time to enrich other people. The good news is that those are perfectly achievable goals. I have done it, so I definitely know what I am talking about here! Hi, my name is Francisco, and I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a digital marketing agency. My company specializes in Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Remarketing. Through my business, I have created a passive income machine that will sustain me for as long as I am alive. Today, I am going to give you tips on how you too can do it. This article is divided into the following sections;
The Truth About Passive Income
If you landed here thinking I am going to show you how to instantly start earning money while sitting on your bottom, then you need to think again! In most instances, that’s not how passive income works! You will probably have better joy trying the lottery.
You need to work hard to create a passive income machine
I thought I would get this right out of the way here. I was reading another article about building passive income, and the writer was lambasted in the comments section? Why? Well, because he didn’t properly mention that you need to do a lot of hard work in order to build a passive income machine.
Yes, you got that right! Passive income can be a lot of hard work! I mentioned earlier that I earn enough passively to sustain me for the rest of my life. I didn’t just wake up in that position. It took years of hard work to get there.
In fact, I was working way harder than I had ever done in my life. I was toiling harder than I was doing when I was formally employed. So, that’s passive income for you! It can take years for you to build your passive income machine and start living the dream.
Today, I have several gigs that earn me thousands of dollars every month. I no longer need to do any work. Yet I still work like a slave. So, why do I do it? Well, there is something that’s REALLY rewarding in knowing that I am working for MYSELF and not to enrich some cooperation out there.
I still work, but now I do it while traveling and enjoying all the finer things of life. I am no longer tied down by the demands of a 5 to 9. I don’t have to worry about a boss always hovering over my shoulder and telling me what to do.
Yet, and let me emphasize this point; I can be even more brutal to myself than any boss could ever be. If those labor rights folks were to monitor me, I would get in trouble for sometimes working myself like a slave. I hope you get the point.
Passive income does not equal sitting on your behind all the time. You have to work hard to build your machine. Once that's done, you can choose to either go on working hard or to relax knowing that you will be covered at the end of the day. But what really is passive income?
What is passive income?
Passive incomes are regular earnings that you get without having to put in regular work.
The key here is not having to put in regular work. This definition tallies with what I have just been talking about above. You mostly need to do a lot of work to build your passive income streams. But once those are in place, you can start earning income without having to put in regular work.
What passive income is not
I just thought I should repeat here that passive income is not sitting on your bottom all day long while earning money from nothing. The opposite is usually true. You need to work really hard at the onset to build your passive income machine.
Why bother building a passive income machine?
Building passive income is a dream for many people around the world. But why is that the case? Well, I have already outlined some of the reasons in the first part of this article.
Passive income is liberating. It means you no longer need to worry about money. Recently, I was watching a program called “How winning the lottery changed my life.” Passive income is a lot like that. It can definitely change your life for the better.
Did you know that over 53% of Americans are unhappy with their current jobs. But why is that the case? Well, there is something that drains the human spirit about living a formal existence. You wake up at a set time and you need to be in the office at a set time.
If you arrive late, your boss treats you as if you are a child. You are constantly having to come up with excuses for why you are late to work or late fulfilling your schedule.
We have become assembly line humans
It reminds me of one of those Charlie Chaplin films. Was it the one called “Modern Times?” You know, the one where Charlie has to work the assembly line? His task involves simply screwing in a particular nut. He does this all day long.
But at the end of the day, the motion of screwing in the nut has become so ingrained in him that he does it even while walking home from work. It’s a sad kind of existence.
Modern times create assembly line human beings. We are programmed to behave and think in particular ways. These ways are designed to maximize production and profit for the benefit of the BOSS. Yet they run counter to human nature.
This is where passive income becomes your salvation. Believe me, I was formally employed years back and had to go through what I am talking about here. I hated my job, just like the majority of Americans. At one point, I simply decided that I had had enough.
I could either go on being an assembly line human, or I could start my own thing. It took time, but today I have gotten there. You too can liberate yourself using passive income. Millions of Americans have already done it, so I am not just waffling here.
Passive income is freedom
Passive income is freedom. Freedom to work when you feel like it, freedom to travel around the world knowing that the money will keep rolling in even as you sit on some secluded beach somewhere. All sorts of freedom…!
How to Create a Passive Income Machine
Now that we have clarity on what passive income is and what it is not, it’s time for us to explore some of the ways through which you can create a passive income machine to start living the dream. Note that this section borrows heavily on my own experiences. So you know it’s based on the real world. The following are some of the best passive income ideas that you can use to liberate yourself from the drudgery of a formal existence;
1. Create a blog/website
Most modern passive income ideas begin with the building of a blog or website. You need to have a platform to act as a canvas for your creativity. There are a lot of things that you can do with your site. My own passive income is based on this site; planetmarketing.com.
Everything that I earn comes from it. Of course, you can follow other angles. You will see what I am talking about below. The point is to have your own canvas as already noted. Most of the other tips that I give on how to build a passive income machine flow from there. So, you can think of your own site as the engine driving everything.
How to create a blog/website
Creating a blog is simple enough. If you don’t know how to do it, you can get in touch and I will be glad to do it for you, for a reasonable fee, or course. Did I mention that I still earn active income? Web development is part of that. So, I can create a beautiful, ready to go site for you. You can take over from there. The following is how to create a blog;
- Choose a web host: Here are the best web hosts for small to medium sized businesses.
- You will need to decide on a domain name: What are you going to call your site? Don’t get too hung up here. Content matters more than anything else and your site will still do great even if you call it whatever22.com.
- Once you have paid your web hosting fees, you can begin creating your site. I advise you to use WordPress. It’s the most popular CMS and it’s easy to use. Choose a theme and you will have a site up and running in no time.
- Start creating content: This is where your journey as a blogger really begins. Earlier, you will have decided on the thrust of your site. There are many topics out there, some of which pay better than others. My own focus is on Digital Marketing. You can make it as narrow and as wide as is possible. But there is a danger to being too wide; it can be difficult to get a following. As an example, if you talk about every topic under the sun, who is going to want to subscribe to your site? But if you talk exclusively about Facebook Ads, Soccer or Politics, people who are into that will want to subscribe to get your latest articles. So, you can build an audience that way. And that audience can is good for targeted marketing.
- Start promoting your site: Just because you have created a site doesn’t mean it’s instantly going to be successful. You can have the best written content out there and you will still get no readers. To get there, you need to do a lot of promoting of your site. First, you need to do SEO. Search Engine Optimization gives your site visibility to Google and other Search Engines. It takes time, but it’s free traffic at the end of the day. You can also promote your site on Social Media and using paid ads.
- Monetize your site: This comes once your site has built a meaningful enough audience. There are many ways of monetizing your site, some of which we explore below. Point is, a website or blog can be a great passive income machine to earn you enough to start living the dream.
2. Build up a presence on social media (Become and influencer)
I have placed this tip here because it’s closely related to what I have just been talking about. Instead of focusing on a blog, some people prefer to build up their social media presence. In that regard, social media becomes the canvas on which to express yourself. It becomes the engine to build you passive income.
Which social media platforms?
The following are some of the most popular social networking platforms on which to create a passive income machine;
How does it work?
As is the case with blogging, you need to have a meaningful audience to turn social media into a passive income machine. You are not going to be able to do it if you only have ten or a hundred followers. To get there, you need to become an influencer; somebody that is well regarded in one area or the other. Celebrities are natural influencers, but how can an ordinary person get there? The following tips should help you;
- Become an expert in a particular area. Examples would be fitness or cooking.
- Build up an audience. It can take time. Years maybe. But you will get there by regularly producing useful content. People will start following you. They will share your content and you will get even more followers.
- Start monetizing your followers by endorsing products or doing affiliate marketing (see below).
How long does it take to become an influencer?
It can take years of hard work for you to turn social media into a passive income machine to help you start living the dream. It’s definitely not going to happen overnight.
How many followers do you need?
To really start earning meaningfully, you need to have tens of thousands of followers. The higher the number of followers, the better your earnings are going to be. So, somebody with a million followers on Instagram will be able to command higher endorsement fees than somebody who has only ten thousand followers.
3. Invest in Real Estate
Investing in real estate is another great idea for building a passive income machine. However, it only works if you have enough for the initial outlay. The idea is to have properties that you can rent out to tenants. Generally speaking, real estate is not great as a business. That’s because you need a lot of money to get started, yet the returns drip in at a slow pace.
But if you have a properly whose mortgage is already paid up, you can turn it into a rental property. Perhaps you can turn it into a B&B. There are many angles that you could take from there. With a little creativity, you will be able to earn enough to live comfortably for the rest of your life.
4. Do affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing always features prominently on the list of tips on how to create a passive income machine to start living the dream. Affiliate marketing is closely linked to the first two tips that I gave in this article. It works best if you have a blog or if you have a vibrant social media presence.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a business model under which brands engage the services of people around the world (affiliates) to sell products for a commission.
The major players in affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing has 3 major players;
- The brand: Responsible for coming up with the product.
- The affiliate: Responsible for selling the product.
- The affiliate network: An optional player that acts as the meeting point between the brand and the affiliate.
How does it work?
- The brand comes up with a product.
- It engages the services of affiliates to do the selling. Affiliates are either engaged directly or via the affiliate network.
- The affiliate uses their channels (blogs, social media, mailing lists) to sell the product.
- The affiliate earns a commission per sale.
You can earn recurring income via affiliate marketing
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you can use it to earn recurring income. Did I mention that I earn most of my passive income via Affiliate Marketing? Well, I am an affiliate for hundreds of companies in various fields. These companies are related to the thrust of my blog; Digital Marketing.
As an example, I am an affiliate of a company called Shopper Approved that does online reviews. You can get seller ratings on your Google Ads through this company, which is important for boosting your CTR. Now, I have, over the years, referred over 300 companies to Shopper Approved.
The company runs a recurring income affiliate marketing program. It means I will continue to earn a monthly income for as long as the people I referred to the company remain active Shopper Approved customers.
Every month, I earn thousands of dollars from Shopper Approved! And I will continue earning for as long as I am alive. My income with the company continues to grow because I am still referring a lot of people.
Other companies operate on a once off payment basis. But recurring earnings are the best from the point of view of the affiliate.
5. Build your mailing list
Whatever you do; be it social media or blogging, part of your thrust needs to be on building a mailing list. You can do this by getting people to sign up for a newsletter as an example. Or you can offer them some incentive for signing up for your mailing list.
The great thing is that once you have thousands of people on your mailing list, you can monetize them in various ways.
You can try to sell them your own products. Or you can sell them affiliate products. The trick lies in having a relevant mailing list. That way, you will be able to sell relevant goods to the most relevant of audiences. This increases your chances of success.
6. Sell your own products on your site
Once you have build up a vibrant blog, you can use it to sell your own products. These can be books or digital products. If you go through this site, you will notice that I have various digital products that I sell, including my DIY Facebook Ads marketing course.
The income that’s earned here is passive because once your product has been created, it needs minimal work from you. Once you have written your book, you can start earning from it without having to do any further work. The same applies for software and online courses.
Those are some of the ideas for building a passive income machine to start living the dream. The tips that I gave in this particular article are based on my own experiences. As mentioned earlier, I earn enough passive income to sustain me through several lifetimes.
I am truly living the dream. But passive income does not mean sitting on your bottom while doing no work. In fact, you usually need to work extra hard at the beginning to build your machine. Afterwards, you can start earning the rewards. What do you think? Please leave a comment below if you have something to say. Or reach out to me for help building your own website.
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