Earning money consistently without showing up to a 9 to 5 job sounds like a dream. However, as e-commerce grows in popularity, creating a steady income online is actually well within your grasp.
What is passive income?
Passive income is exactly what it sounds like: rather than actively swapping your time for remuneration, your revenue stream is no longer in proportion to a fixed period of active work, such as a shift at the office. Instead, you can set up a blog or invest in shares and sit back while it earns money on its own. Where do I sign, right? Well, before you do anything, identifying which passive income model works for you is vital.
What passive income ideas are right for you?
There’s an incredible range of options available to anyone looking to make a start on their passive income generation, but it is important to consider what skills you yourself bring to the table. Are you skilled with a camera or have a good eye for design? You could generate a fair income from selling stock photos or graphic templates. How about crafty? Perhaps opening your own shop on a creative platform like Etsy could be right for you.
One of the most popular and most accessible routes to take is blogging. By harnessing a niche interest, you can produce content around a topic you love to talk about anyway and make money. With a simple, budget-friendly set-up process available through blog platforms like WordPress, it is easier than ever to establish an online presence. Furthermore, WordPress-hosted blogs have over 400 million visitors per month, so the formula is well-proven.
What are the advantages of blogging?
So why choose blogging over the other passive income avenues? As mentioned, it is incredibly easy to get involved but this means that the marketplace for bloggers has become quite crowded. Still, there are a few clear benefits to creating your own blog and these include:
- Earn money around the clock: 50% of marketers say that their main issue is a lack of time. If you manage to find yourself with a global audience with a variety of timezones, you could make money literally while you sleep. What is more passive than that? If you plan your SEO strategy well and work with services like Google Ads, you can let search engines do the work for you and build your audience with minimal effort.
- Build trust with your audience: by offering a consistent, informative source of content, you have the chance to connect with your readers. Unless poorly structured, blogs are not usually overtly commercial. In fact, the reason concepts like affiliate marketing work is because there is a certain level of trust between an audience and a blogger. If they care about their reputation, a blogger isn’t going to endorse just any old service or product. Because of this, readers are more likely to click links and take your recommendations seriously.
- Cement your digital identity: if you are looking to use blogging as a springboard for other income, then producing engaging and high-quality content is paramount. With a potentially unlimited audience growth and an online presence you’re completely in control of, your blog is a great way to network and become popular enough that you can reap financial benefits. Although it is a well-trod field, beauty blogger Kristina Bazan was able to stand out enough that her online presence converted into a lucrative real-life collaboration with L’Oreal.
These are just three of the many benefits of blogging. As e-commerce grows and the popularity of blogs increases, there are sure to be more and more reasons everyday to opt for blogging as a passive income. The next thing to consider is how you want to monetise your blog and what steps you need to take to begin earning.
How to make money from blogging and where you can start
While brainstorming for your blog, it’s important to find a topic you genuinely are interested in, as you will be creating a lot of content around this topic. If you are writing about computer games and you haven’t played one since you were a teenager, writing and creating around this topic will feel like a chore and you might even lose steam completely. Here is the good news: the more specific your interest is, the better. There are plenty of blogs online so coming up with a focused topic will help set yourself apart from the crowd.
Once you have established a following, you can monetize not only your creative content but also with integrated advertisements like banners and pop-ups. This is generally known as affiliate marketing and essentially means that you direct your readers to specific products, after which you receive a certain amount as commission. This amount can vary and may depend on successful sales too. Additionally, having a loyal fanbase can translate into a successful mailing list. By communicating regularly with subscribers, you can build a rapport through which you can offer recommendations for particular products and services.
5 Ways to Make Money Blogging
- Affiliate marketing: as discussed earlier, affiliate marketing is a great way to transform your content and online presence into an income. By joining up with an affiliate program, it is quite easy to get started on identifying which products make sense for you to promote and how you can best highlight them in your work. For example, Amazon Affiliates offers a few ways in which bloggers can direct their audience to a product page, even offering embed codes so you can easily just copy and paste an ad into your layout. There is also the option of setting up your own “Site Stripe” with Amazon, so you can log in, choose a product you would like to recommend and easily create a link for your own blog.
- Products or services: rather than work with an established platform like Etsy or iStock, your own personal blog can serve as a digital store itself. This is not only made easy by intuitive WordPress plug-ins like WooCommerce, but also means you do not need to pay a commission to a third party host. Additionally, you have greater agency over how you market your goods – right down to descriptive texts and images.
- eBooks or instructional content: if you consider yourself an expert on your topic, it might be worth sharing your knowledge with your audience via a paid service. By creating an eBook, you have the chance to sell it through Amazon’s Kindle service and potentially reach an even bigger audience than your existing one. The same goes for instructional content like an eCourse. By creating regular, informative content, you can become a trusted resource for your audience, who will be more likely to not only invest in your paid content but also click through on any affiliated links.
- Consulting services: once you have established yourself as a reliable source of advice on your blog’s subject, it is even possible to offer your services as a consultant. Companies regularly outsource for fresh ideas and bloggers are a popular option these days. You don’t even need a specialised degree, your own blog’s success is qualification enough to prove you know what you’re talking about and that you can offer valuable advice on a specific subject.
- Start a newsletter: this is especially useful to bloggers, who are writing on current or changing topics. For example, technology or finance bloggers would be well-suited to starting a subscription-based newsletter, through which they can send out weekly updates to not only inform their audience on news, but also highlight products and services relevant to these changes. Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich recommends keeping the creative content at about 80% and the commercial content limited to 20%, just so your audience don’t start to feel spammed and remain engaged.
Choosing the way (or ways) in which you can earn a passive income from your blog really can depend on your topic. Some will just naturally lend themselves more to options like affiliate marketing. For example, a blogger focusing on beauty products will find linking products via an affiliate program like Amazon Associates easy to incorporate into their content. Whichever path you take, remember to keep a balance as you want to be a blogger, not a salesperson.
So where should you start? The easiest way to begin earning a passive income is by setting up a blog with WordPress. As a cost-effective and user-friendly platform, WordPress is ideal for testing how a blog works for you without any hefty financial commitments. After you have identified a topic for yourself and started producing content, the next step is to decide which monetised content model is right for you. Whether affiliate marketing with an established partner like Amazon Affiliates or starting smaller with integrated advertisements, you’re now on your way to earning a passive income.