Brian, from a personal viewpoint I would love to see more on turning an idea for generating passive income into reality. I have dabbled with a few small things and had no success. -David
I sympathize with your comment, and I believe many people have the same frustration. Unfortunately there are a ton of people out there marketing the IDEA of financial freedom, without being able to deliver on the results.
The way I evaluate any claim behind a method of building wealth or generating passive income is this: how many people can I find who have used this method to accomplish what I’m trying to do?
Let’s take a look at some common areas that promise the dream of passive income, and I can give you some thoughts on each. Most if not all of these I have dabbled in myself just as you have, with mixed results.
First a quick note: to ”break free” you don’t necessarily need to generate passive income. Breaking Free is first about finding work that you really enjoy (which for many people means having the freedom of owning your own business). However, achieving what I call “financial freedom” (your passive income exceeds your expenses and you no longer need to work unless you want to) is another step beyond that which is more challenging and often more rewarding.
I like the idea of blogging, I’m a blogger myself, and I think it is doing brilliant things for social media around the world. But let’s not mince words: blogging does not generate passive income.
Blogging is work. Granted it’s very enjoyable to some people and doesn’t feel like work, but it certainly can take up a significant amount of your time.
People love to cite Steve Pavlina as a case study in successful blogging, primarily because he earns over $1000/day. That is a lot of money, but Steve still “works” on the site making regular posts and has stated that “I happen to agree with those who say that 99% of people who try to generate serious income from their blogs will fail.”
The numbers tend to agree with him, and don’t look good by my evaluation standard I mentioned at the beginning. There aren’t very many bloggers earning even six figures (perhaps fewer than 20 in the world) and you could probably count the number of blogging millionaires on one hand. Moreover, the bloggers who are most successful seem to spend a huge amount of time (which by definition is not passive) reading, posting, and marketing just as I did when I first marketed this website.
There are exceptions. Yaro Starak is one person in particular who I’ve seen try to making blogging more passive with a site he purchased called SmallBusinessBranding.com. All of the posts are by guest authors, meaning he doesn’t write them himself. The site is growing and I don’t have any idea how much of his time it takes, or how much money it makes him (probably $500/month if I had to guess) but it’s an interesting experiment in making blogging more passive.
As of yet I remain unconvinced on blogging as a passive income tool. Should you start a blog though? Absolutely, I think everyone should because it has a number of benefits. Just don’t plan on having it pay your bills without putting some serious work into it on an ongoing basis!
Stay tuned for part 2, 3, 4, and 5 as I explore other methods of generating passive income (eBooks & Info Products, Virtual Real Estate, MLM & Network Marketing, Options, and Physical Real Estate).