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How To Make Passive Income – 7 Proven Ways, No Upfront Cost

How To Make Passive Income - 7 Proven Ways No Upfront Cost

For years now, I have been putting spare time and effort into a variety of passive income revenue streams that have grown to be a substantial part of my income.

In my 5 Step Guide To Building Passive Income Revenue Streams article, I talked about why I decided to stop trading my time for money. If you are reading this article, you have probably already made this decision.

It’s easy to get caught up in active income methods because they typically pay out faster. The problem is that active income only pays you as long as you are working. Passive income work continues to pay you even long after you have completed the work. If you continue to feed your passive income revenue streams, the growth continues. It compounds like the interest you earn on income you invest.

There are a lot of Passive Income Revenue models that require an upfront investment of money. I don’t believe in selling opportunity that isn’t proven. I would rather you start something with no investment at all other than your time. As you grow, you can find a way to invest in it in other ways.

I have a lot of resources I link to throughout this post so make sure to read it and click on the links that will provide value to you.

I am also going to skip the Passive Income methods that assume you already have a huge following. I will discuss each method and how to grow it into a revenue stream from Day One! Let’s jump into it!

#1 Blogging

It has never been easier to start a professional looking blog. Back in 2005 when I went full time into designing websites for clients, I felt that within 10 years, website design would be fully automated. That means I believed I would be replaced by software. While that is not completely the case, it is very easy to create a website and start blogging without spending any money at all.

Go to WordPress.Com and set up a free blog. There are free themes to choose from so you can give it a professional style that is appealing to you and premium themes that are pretty cheap as well. You can buy a domain name website address for your blog but I don’t believe you need to start with a domain. You can always purchase that later.

Start blogging on a specific topic. Starting a niche blog is the best way to get going because the search engines have a hard time determining what to rank a lower traffic website for. Until your website is receiving a lot of organic traffic from the search engines, it will be hard for you to be more generalized in your content approach.

You can start blogging about a hobby or an area of expertise you have. Your experience and unique approach will help others learn about the topics you are sharing. I shared a great example of this in my previous article and plan to share more, so make sure you subscribe to my blog for updates.

Don’t get caught up on making your blog fancy. Focus on the content. If you need content ideas, use sites such as Quora to look for questions being asked that are related to your blog’s topics.

My wife wrote a blog in 2012 titled “How To Make A Wood Sign With Stickers” which has received over 1 Million views since she wrote it. It ended up getting Pinned multiple times on Pinterest early on when Pinterest was first gaining popularity. She wasn’t even trying to write a viral piece of content, but it happened. Just focus on creating something useful and the views will come.

#2 Online Courses

We carry a high quality digital video recorder in our pocket. You can use it to film an online course to sell to the world. If you have an area of expertise, you can teach others about it. That doesn’t mean you have to be the world’s leading professional on the topic. You just have to know enough about the subject to teach others.

I am a professional photographer, but I am not the leading professional photographer out there. I created a course because I was continually getting asked how I get such amazing photos out of a camera anyone could buy off of the shelf. What is that one thing people keep asking you about? Have you considered turning that into a course?

You can upload and sell your course on sites like Udemy.Com for free. It’s a great place to start because they already have a large user base that is looking for online courses. Use their platform until you have grown your audience to the point where you can host your course on your own website using a platform like Teachable.

#3 EBooks & Information Products

You can easily create an ebook using something as small as your smartphone. There are so many powerful tools available to us these days. You can design and create a nice looking downloadable book using an app like Pages that comes with your iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer.

Ebooks and downloadable information products such as PDFs can be simple or very graphical. I recommend that you focus more on your informational product containing great information and only add flare where it makes sense. Don’t take away from the content, you simply don’t need to.

There are many tutorials on YouTube that can teach you how to make an Ebook in Pages. If you are not on a Mac or an iOS device, there are alternatives for Windows and Android, just do a Google search for Pages Alternatives for Android or Pages for Mac Alternatives for Windows.

#4 YouTube

Some of the most subscribed to YouTube channels started out filming videos on a smartphone or a cheap video camera. The popular YouTuber Casey Neistat often refers back to the cameras he was using when he first got started. You don’t need high-end video equipment to make YouTube videos. The quality of your content is more important.

There are YouTube channels focused on just about everything. I really get into watching “build” videos where someone creates something out of wood or metal. I really enjoy wood and metal working but don’t have the time or the space to do it myself, so I enjoy watching others create which keeps me inspired to create something on my own one day.

You can make videos showcasing a hobby such as many people in the craft space do. Rather than focusing on creating craft products to sell you can teach others how to create items of their own. If you are still learning make that part of the process as well. I shared about the YouTube channel “Seth’s Bike Hacks” in my previous article and how he has grown as a mountainbiker since he first launched his channel

#5 Affiliate Marketing

Companies need exposure for their products. One of the methods used to get exposure are affiliate programs. A company starts an affiliate program to incentivize others to promote their products in exchange for a flat fee or a commission on the sale.

Depending on the month, around 40% of my passive income revenue comes from affiliate marketing I have done for various brands. Currently, the most comes from Amazon.Com. In videos I publish to YouTube, I discuss the use of specific products as part of my videos. I link to those products in the description of the video and people click on those links to view the products. When they purchase a product, I get a small commission. One sale won’t result in much, but 100’s of sales do. Look to see what products you use and how you can incorporate them into your content.

Making passive income from affiliate marketing requires building up a lot of content over time. It will start out small but overtime it will grow into something you can count on each month as part of your overall income.

You can look for affiliate marketing opportunities on popular Affiliate Marketing Networks such as ShareaSale, Clickbank, and Rakuten Marketing. Sometimes companies have their own affiliate program and usually provide a link to it in the footer of their website.

#6 Automated Services

Just about everything can be automated in one way or another. I used to manually manage the business listing information of my clients online. That was a tedious process until I found a company that helps automate that process. Now I simply make sure the information is correct and let the tool I pay for continually check to make sure the information stays current. I log in once or twice a month to check on my clients business information and submit an update if needed.

You can easily find a service that most people do manually and automate it. We live in a world where automation has never been easier. Whether it be finding a tool that automates a process like I did or hiring people on a website like Fiverr to do the work for you, the time invested on your behalf will be significantly less which means you can more easily scale it into a passive income revenue stream.

It is often that automation services start out as something you offer manually. In order to invest in a tool that automates the process, you must first have customers willing to pay you for that service.

You can even use Fiverr to get examples of services you want to offer automation for. Chances are if it is being offered there, people are willing to pay to keep from having to do it themselves.

#7 Stock Photography

There are a lot of websites selling stock photography, so how can you create stock photography that will sell? Simple, create a specific type of stock photography and offer it to people in that industry. Let me give you an example:

An auto repair facility might want to use social media to reach new customers. They probably are not social media savvy so they need photography they can use in their posts and will pay for a collection of images they can use. You can package your photos together with a calendar of social media posts they can publish throughout the month. Heck, you could even automate the process for them using a social media scheduling tool and be their social media manager.

Find a niche that seems to be underserved with interesting photos on stock photography websites and create photos for that niche. The photos don’t have to be professional quality, they just have to be interesting and easy to look at. Keep your images simple and clear of distraction.

To get opportunities to shoot photos of these underserved niche markets, go into a local business that specializes in that niche and trade photos for them allowing you to photograph their facility. They need good photos as well. Just make sure you get permission from them to sell the photos online and have anybody that is in the photos to sign a photo release.

Start Making Passive Income

As you can see, it is pretty easy to start making passive income online. It doesn’t mean you get to avoid work as building passive income revenue streams means doing the upfront work. You are simply choosing to do work that continues to pay you rather than trading dollars for time.

If you want more articles from me on passive income and lifestyle design, subscribe to my blog here. Let me know down in the comments section below if you have any questions or if there is any way I can help encourage you to get started today!

Blog

Slowly losing my love for Canon

After my lengthy rant about almost switching to Sony, I took my Canon 70D out with my kids to take pictures of them driving their gokarts. My goal was to capture a few photos and short videos that I could share to my phone and post on Instagram and Facebook.

Upon returning home, I connected my phone to my camera through the wifi connection and opened the EOS Utility app. I transferred a couple of photos to my phone, which took forever. Then I tried to transfer video clips to my phone and was told by the app that, video was not supported. This frustrated me. I attempted another route by connecting my camera directly to my Nexus 9 tablet and attempted to use the Nexus Transfer app that allows you to copy files off of a USB connected device to your tablet. None of the video files would play. I copied the files over to the tablet, they still wouldn’t play. I downloaded the latest update of VLC player for Android which plays just about anything, they wouldn’t play.

As a last resort, I copied the video files to my laptop and put them in a Dropbox folder. Once they uploaded to Dropbox I tried to access them from my phone, they would play but once I tried to download them, they wouldn’t play. At this point, I thought that maybe it had something to do with Android, so I grabbed my iPad and had the same issue.

The sad thing for me is that when I had the Sony A7S, right out of the box it was doing these things. I was able to transfer photo and video extremely easily to my phone or tablet. It was almost to easy. This is not the case with Canon. This may just be another nail in the coffin.

Blog

Ditch Auto is 35,000 Students Strong

Screenshot 2014-07-07 22.29.09

Ditch Auto: Start Shooting in Manual is a photography course that I put together and published online in January of 2013. I created the course because I often got asked what I did to make my photos look so good directly out of the camera. Most people shoot in auto mode on their cameras or in a mode that has the camera doing most of the work when it comes to exposing a photo properly. The problem with letting the camera do the work is that the photo turns out exposed right in terms of whatever kind of math the camera was doing to decide what was exposed and what was not. I prefer my eye because my eye is what is looking through the viewfinder. I don’t want the camera to do anything that I didn’t tell it to do and that is where the idea for this course came about.

The course took off from the start but I never imagined it would have reached 35,000+ students. When it broke 5,000 I was beside myself. I have big plans for Ditch Auto Part 2 and hope to start filming it shortly. I just have to get some client projects taken care of first.

It’s a free course and it’s free to sign up. If you know someone who has been wanting to learn more about their camera, send them a link to the course.

Screenshot 2014-07-07 22.29.09

Check out the course here: https://www.udemy.com/ditch-auto-start-shooting-in-manual

Blog

PetaPixel Featured my Ditch Auto Photography course!

The Best Free Online Photography Courses and Tutorials

PetaPixel is a popular photography blog that showcases news, products, tips, tricks and all sorts of other photography related information. I have been a follower of the site for a number of years. A couple of days ago, they included my course, “Ditch Auto: Start Shooting in Manual,” in a post titled “The Best Free Online Photography Courses and Tutorials.” I would have discovered this sooner but I had fallen behind in my blog reading and had not been paying attention to my Google Alerts I had set. This is a huge accomplishment to me because PetaPixel is viewed by a lot of people. It is one of the most popular Photography Blogs on the web. PetaPixel had also featured my April Fools joke I played earlier this year on Facebook (link). Ditch Auto: Start Shooting in Manual now has over 35,000 students. Pretty amazing.

The Best Free Online Photography Courses and Tutorials

Visit the article: http://petapixel.com/2014/07/03/best-free-online-photography-courses-tutorials/

Visit PetaPixel: http://petapixel.com

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What do people want from me?

I have been blogging for years. I started blogging in 2005 and have written about a large variety of unrelated topics over the years. My blog started with updates about my life and my opinion on things that I was experiencing at the time. Though I have not always been a consistent blogger, this blog has over 1,100 posts. I am a very resourceful person. If I need to do something, I will figure it out on my own or I will find someone who has written about it online and follow their instructions. This is how I taught myself how to be a website designer and a professional wedding photographer. Whenever I can not find an answer online and figure it out on my own, I post about it. I feel that it is my way of giving back to the internet which has given so much to me. The only problem is that each article I write on a problem that I solved is unrelated to the other articles. Articles I have written have ranged from resolving problems with my Mac, video editing, photography, Photoshop, fitness, traveling and the list goes on. Some of those items could be categorized together but if I was to organize it, the list of categories would be so long they would run off the page. I have always envied niche bloggers who solve related problems all day long on their blog. Many of them do it so well that I don’t want to enter the space and be just another person writing about the same situations.

I have considered writing about Photography many times. Through tutorials and workshops, I taught myself how to be a professional photographer by trying things I read online refining them until the end result was appealing to me. The problem is that there are many websites that teach photography and even more websites that curate great photography related content. There are a lot of voices online regarding photography. Though I have been producing some online photography courses, I have not felt lead to produce a blog and attempt to write original content all week. I have also considered writing about Website Design. Designing and building for the web is a lot harder to teach than photography. I feel that there are also a lot of great sites out there that teach website design and curate fantastic content on being a better website designer.

I think that my problem is that I don’t consider myself as much of a professional as I am in my chosen crafts. Those of us who are professionals in a certain job or function have professionals that we look up to. There are photographers who are much more knowledgable than I am and there are website designers who could code into a corner. It’s not a matter of self-confidence. I am confident in my abilities to produce quality work even though I practice two professions. I get bored easy, so I have to keep myself learning different things to keep my attention.

I envy those who find one craft and are all about it. Our world has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Many will completely change careers more than once in their lifetime doing something completely different than what they were equipped to do after the completed their schooling. People like me, who did not have the attention span for school left on their own path and may even see more career changes over the course of their lives. So how do you decide what to focus on when you are focusing on so many things?

What it comes down to is that I want to add value to the world in a similar way that it has added value to my own life. If I was born in the 50’s it would have been much harder to do what I am doing today because the information was more difficult to come by. Back then you had your local library, today we have the internet and Youtube. There is no excuse for not knowing how to do something anymore.

What I have found that is unique to me and very few others is the understanding that when you set out to do something, you need to own it. When you commit to something, you have to be the best you can be. When I say that I will do something I do and when I want to do something I figure out how. I am one of the most resourceful people I know and I can say this because all I hear from more than 90% of people I come in contact with is words confirming their inability to do something. Most people are convinced that they are dealt certain cards. They know that they have more ability than some but less ability than most. People accept only a small amount of responsibility for things these days. Job descriptions are very specific and if it falls outside of what is on paper then that person most likely won’t do it. We live in a world where people take very little responsibility for anything anymore. Two weeks ago a guy side swiped my wife while driving down the road and he denied responsibility. Every day people complain about being given tasks stating that it is not their job. We all sound like kids who was just asked to clean the dishes when our only chore was to take out the trash. On top of that, we all feel that we are entitled to so much but will take responsibility for so little. No wonder our Grandparents shake their heads at us.

Now I don’t want this post to turn into a tangent on what the world should be but I do find that I take responsibility for what I say I will do and I own every task. Sometimes I may take longer than anticipated but I always get things done. I encourage my clients to think big because I want them to go big and achieve goals now that they thought were a couple of years away. We live in a world where you can go big now and achieve great things in a fraction of the time it used to take even ten years ago. I had a thriving wedding photography business in less than six months after shooting my first paid event. I started an app discovery website for the iPhone that took off a few months after starting the site and has been a constant income source since then.

I often buy into the glamorized appearance that are most publicized  Sometimes I think that my businesses are to small to talk about but in reality they are big enough to support a relatively comfortable lifestyle for my family and I have two full time employees on payroll. The only consistant goal I have had for myself other than to try to stay in shape is to be able to have a family and support them and so far I am doing that. Honestly, I don’t know where life will take me as far as that goes, I hope that I don’t cause any struggle or hardship for my family but I believe that I am a hard enough worker and resourceful enough person to not have to worry about that very often.

Perhaps what I should be blogging about is personal responsibility. The idea of taking ownership for your actions and promises is dying. People blame any easy target for their situations and it is why our nation is having so many issues. What I don’t want is to be some soap box guy touting my thoughts as if they are some sort of religion. I don’t want to sound like I am preaching to people and I definitely do not want people to feel judged by me. Earlier today I posted a photo on Facebook of a giant “We accept EBT” sign on a Papa Murphy’s Pizza simply making the joke that I would love an EBT card so I could get free pizza. Many people took my post as a jab at the less fortunate and the comments under the post turned into two sides: One side recognized that the welfare and assistance programs in the US were flawed and agreed when I stated that if you are needing assistance that you should choose a more humble way of feeding your self and family. I mentioned that things like buying prepared pizza is a luxury item that should be seen as a treat. The other people attacked me with unemployment details and disability situations that were obviously one of a kind situations. Don’t get me wrong here, I am all for a system of assistance that is well moderated. As long as there is accountability in place, the system should operate fine. The problem is that it is too easy to take advantage of the system so people are doing it. The result is ever increasing taxes and burdens on those who do chose to work. I am all for helping those who are unable. As a child, we had to accept assistance for a short stent due to extenuating circumstances. It just happens, but you do what you need to do to get off of it as soon as possible. It was hotdogs and chili for months but we survived…

With that said, there are many things that I am passionate about and some I even get emotional over. Some of you know me pretty well and many of you do not know me at all aside from what I post on this blog. Most people enter this blog from a Google search that resulted in a link to a post or article on this website. Not nearly as many people enter this website because they anticipate what I have to say next. This is what I want to change. I love the open-ness of the internet. I am a very transparent person and do not mind sharing aspects of my life to either help someone who is going through something I did or inspire someone to do something they did not know how to do. I am not perfect, to be honest, I am just as flawed if not more flawed than the average person. The only difference is the decisions I make and the responsibility I take for my actions. I have drastically change my life from the course that it was headed in my late teens and early 20’s. I am personally responsible because of people who have either shared their lives with me either personally or online. The only thing I have to get over is the fact that I often think that I don’t have something unique to offer. Each of us have something unique to offer, it’s just hard to find a comfortable way to display that publicly and honestly.

If you made it this far, what do you think? Should I pick a topic I am considered a professional in and chronicle my experiences and lessons learned into educating articles, posts and videos? Should I try to bring back personal responsibility by showing the world that if you take ownership in what you do you will already be 3 steps ahead of the rest? Or should I just post cute pics of my kids and make jokes like I do on my personal Facebook profile? Most probably don’t want anything from me at all, and I am ok with that, but I know that there are some people that I would connect well with out there. Those are the people I want to create for.

Blog

365 Day Photo-Video Project

I know, I know. Another photographer doing a photo-a-day project. Any of you who have known me for any amount of time know that I love to use my camera, but don’t get to often as I would like. My camera often sits in my bag waiting for the next client on my schedule. This makes it hard for me to grow and explore as a photographer. I didn’t want it to be like all other projects and I also need it to be a challenge. That is why I will not be using my iPhone or a point and shoot camera to take my daily photos, they will be thought out and with my pro gear. I will also be shooting one video per week of something. The first week was me trying to explain what I wanted to do with this project.

Before I started in Photography I was big into Video. I used to love shooting and editing video until I started doing it for other people. That killed my joy of spending time editing. I can edit photos all day because I love working on photos I have taken of people, video is a different story, not really sure why to be honest. Doing these weekly video projects will be fun. One month I may even turn them into camera tutorial videos, who knows. That is where the excitement will be for me. Every time I do something I want to do it bigger and better the next time. My hope is that by the end of the year I will have shot some pretty awesome photos and some gnarly video.

I really have no idea where this will go. Right now I am just hoping I can keep it up. I would like to get other people involved. I have some ideas in my head that I am going to try and flesh out.

For now, go visit the website. It’s http://day.jeradhill.com

Photos will be updated there daily, hopefully at 9am every day and the videos weekly. I would appreciate your retweets or Facebook “likes” to help get the word out. I am hoping that this will grow with the help of my friends and their suggestions.

Thanks!!