One of the best things about blogging is the ability to earn around the clock. We all long for the day when we can stop trading our time for money. This is truly when the glass ceiling is broken. If you are exchanging hours for income, you are eventually going to run out of hours. When you start generating residual income, you can still earn money even when you aren’t actively working.
What is Residual Income?
Coming from traditional employee positions, we are most familiar with linear income. If you work 40 hours per week, you get paid for 40 hours per week. And if you aren’t working, you aren’t getting paid. With residual income, you may put in a lot of unpaid hours upfront but then reap the rewards for months or years down the road. When done correctly, residual income can generate far more money than what it would if you were exchanging your time for an hourly wage.
One of the reasons starting a blog is such a draw for people these days is the ability to generate “hands off” money. We are all longing to get out of the rat race. We want to travel, volunteer at our kids’ school, have time to do the activities we truly love instead of sitting in traffic on the way to and from work. And blogging can help make that happen.
Residual Income Ideas for Bloggers
As a blogger, you have several residual income ideas to choose from:
1. In-post reviews and recommendations: This is often the first passive income opportunity that comes to mind. You write a review about a product or service you love and hope your readers decide they need that too. You probably have the opportunity to recommend at least one relevant product within most of your posts. For example, when you are sharing your favorite pressure cooker dinner recipe you can also include an affiliate link to the pressure cooker you use.
2. eBooks: As bloggers, we solve problems. Think about some of your most popular posts or the questions your readers are always asking you about. Could you expand on those posts to create a short eBook you could make available for sale? Could you do the same with answers to those FAQs? eBooks are inexpensive offerings and a great way to dip your toes into the world of product creation. You can not only offer them for sale on your own site, but also on Amazon Kindle.
3. Email autoresponders: If you are already collecting email addresses of your visitors, you are possibly just one step away from some great residual income. An autoresponder is simply a series of emails sent to new subscribers over a period of time. It could be a couple of follow-up emails over the course of a week providing further information related to the freebie they signed up for or it could be a series that drips out over months linking back to some of your best posts, tips and recommendations. Within all of these emails you have the opportunity to link to products and services – your own or affiliate – to boost your income.
4. eCourses: A step up from an eBook is an eCourse. These are a more thorough training that you can offer in a text format and typically include supplemental formats like video, worksheets, audio and more. This opportunity involves more work and likely an investment into a platform for delivery like Teachable, but you can also ask a lot more money. If you have been around the blogging world for any period of time you know it’s not unusual to see eCourses being sold for several hundred dollars if not more.
5. Resource pages: Regardless of your niche, your readers are likely interested in the products and services you use to do whatever it is you are trying to teach them to do. Let’s say you share amateur photography tips. Your readers probably want to know what kind of camera and lenses you use, your preferred editing software, where you learn new skills, products you have created, and more.
6. Thank you pages: When you sign up for most blogging newsletters these days you may have noticed you are often immediately directed to a thank you page that tells you to check your inbox for a confirmation link. This person has already committed to you and considers you somewhat trustworthy, so it is a great time to offer them something special to take things to the next step – a sale. Maybe you can offer a special discount on one of your paid products or secure a special discount from your favorite affiliate product related to whatever it was they just opted in for. This is often called a “tripwire.” For it to work, the offer should be inexpensive and painless. Whatever you are offering here it should be value-driven instead of a hard sell. You don’t want to run people off before you even get started. With the right tripwire, you can easily justify and offset advertising as well should you choose to run ads to your opt-in freebie at some point.
Is Residual Income Really Hands Off?
Yes and no. As mentioned previously, you will need to put in the work upfront. In the examples mentioned above, this means writing those pages, posts or emails. Next, you need to make sure they are being promoted long-term. They won’t generate income if no one is seeing them.
While you may initially be able to get them shared on social media and pick up a few shares along the way, the real hands-off income is going to come from two places – SEO and email.
Optimizing your monetized pages and posts for search will allow you to continuously bring in a stream of interested visitors for years to come. When optimized correctly, search traffic can be highly targeted and ready to convert. That’s just what you are looking for when creating passive income.
If you have been blogging for a while, you may have heard the phrase “email funnel.” This is where it’s at. When you can turn visitors into subscribers, you have the ability to build trust and market to them over and over again.
An email funnel often looks something like this:
Someone lands on your blog. You offer them a special gift for subscribing to your email list. When they sign up, you immediately show them a “thank you” page that details the next steps and show them a special offer or recommended product. You then start building trust and recommending more products via email.
Most six-figure bloggers will tell you over 80% of their income comes from their email list. This process is that important! Through this means of communication, you can set up an autoresponder series that builds trust and promotes products – your own or affiliate – hands off. You can not only promote your latest blog posts, but also your most popular, most comprehensive and best monetized posts regardless of their age.
Residual income is a reality though there will be upfront work and some maintenance to ensure information is up-to-date, links are still working, etc. Regardless, it’s definitely worth implementing.