Which means that I find ‘passive’ income increasingly attractive.
You put in the work once and then get paid over and over again for months and even years into the future.
What’s not to like?
However, despite its obvious attractions, I had never consciously gone out there to generate passive income.
But I have still managed to ‘accidentally’ acquire a fair chunk of it.
My ‘oldest’ passive income stream comes from a program I promoted around 5 years ago.
This was targeted at aspiring internet marketers and one of the key things aspiring internet marketers need is an autoresponder.
So, almost in passing, I recommended Aweber, the autoresponder I was using at the time.
Aweber paid me a monthly commission for everyone who acted on my recommendation.
5 years later, the program I was promoting is long since dead, but I still get a cheque from Aweber for around $150 a month for those people who are still using the autoresponder.
$150 a month is not a lot of money.
But it is truly passive income.
Literally all I have to do is bank the cheque every month.
Around 4 years ago, I embarked into my only serious venture into SEO; getting a website ranking on the first page of the Google search results.
I did not use any ‘tricks’ or ‘hacks’.
I used brute force.
I consistently added fresh content to the website on a regular basis until Google literally couldn’t ignore me.
The website reviews an evergreen piece of software that I really liked and believed in, so I felt like I was on a mission to tell the world about it.
That website brings me maybe 4 or 5 affiliate sales a week.
And that is almost entirely passive.
All I have done for the last 3 years or so is add some simple content to the website around once a fortnight to keep it ‘fresh’.
I have a similar situation with a YouTube channel I setup around 4 years ago.
This was a product review I did for a one-off product launch.
However, the product happens to be evergreen and – for reasons I don’t completely understand – my video appears high in the YouTube search results for a number of relevant keywords.
I get about a sale a week from that channel, completely passively.
Another source of passive income is a course I created around 3 years ago, which I put up on ClickBank.
I wrote this for a product launch and I assumed that would be the end of it.
However, without any form of promotion, I have got one – sometimes two – sales a week for the last 3 years.
People are presumably finding it on ClickBank for themselves.
This is 98% passive, since I do have to field the occasional – maybe one a month – support query.
There are a few other sources, but my point is this…
None of these income streams is going to set the world on fire by itself.
But, combined, they make up a fairly hefty chunk of change.
And it set me thinking…
So I am now on a constant lookout for simple ways to create passive income… or as close to ‘passive’ as I can get.
The emphasis is on easy and fast to implement, either free or ultra low cost and (importantly) evergreen.
As regular readers will know, the first stage of my Master Plan was getting into what must be about the simplest form of ecommerce out there…
Creating mainly text-based mug designs and listing them on sites like Amazon, Etsy and eBay.
Now, this is not completely passive.
I now have integrations setup so that orders and dispatches are handled automatically with my dropshipping company.
And I do spend a couple of hours here and there to add new designs so I can grow the income.
However, in return for this very modest time investment, I am currently making around $1,500 a month in profit without having to do any form of promotion.
And that’s in a very quiet period for mug sales.
Around 75% of all sales come in the run-up to Christmas.
(After the mayhem of last Christmas, I have put procedures in place to maintain my sanity this coming year!)
And so to Stage 2 in my cunning Master Plan…
This has many similarities with selling mugs.
You create and list the product and then allow Amazon to do the selling for you.
However, it’s even easier because there is no physical product to deliver.
The customer buys your book and then instantly downloads it from Amazon.
Amazon literally takes care of everything for you.
In other words, unlike mugs, it is truly passive.
Your books will sit there effectively forever and, when someone buys, you get paid without lifting a finger.
The ‘downside’ for me has always been that creating a book seems far more difficult and involved than slapping a couple of lines of text on a mug.
And, of course, it is.
However, a new course has just launched that provides an incredibly simple way to produce highly desirable Kindle books in record time and without any writing or design skills.
It provided me with one of those very rare ‘slap your head’ moments when you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
The course is called ‘Easy Illustrated Books’ and comes from Robert Corrigan and Steve King.
As its title suggests, this is all about creating books that are 90% illustrations and 10% or less text.
And here’s the kicker…
You can source all of the illustrations from the ‘public domain’, meaning that they are no-cost and have no copyright restrictions, making them completely free for you to use as you see fit.
There are literally millions of images, across limitless niches and topics, in the public domain.
All you have to know is where to look.
Robert and Steve know and they share their sources in the course.
I have to admit that I initially questioned whether this is a little too good to be true.
However, Robert and Steve share numerous examples – many of them their own – of actual books that have been put together in this way and are selling well on Amazon.
Here are just a few applications…
- ‘ABC’ books for children (e.g. ‘A is for Aardvark’, etc)
- Vintage poster books (e.g. vintage World War II posters)
- ‘List’ books (e.g. ‘101 English Pub Signs’)
- Astronomy books (e.g. ‘Planets of Our Solar System’)
- Inspirational quotes books (each with an uplifting image)
- Collected memes books (you can’t move online for these)
- Quiz books (who or what is this?)
The possibilities really are almost limitless.
So the concept is a good one…
- It makes sense (check)
- It’s easy and fast to do (check)
- It’s proven i.e. other people are making money from it (check)
But what about the quality of the training?
This is something I will be doing, so I actually bought the course and spent around 3 hours going through it yesterday.
I am impressed.
I like the course structure because it takes you through each step in the process and assumes you have no prior knowledge or experience.
The core training is split into 6 modules…
(1) Introduction to Kindle
(2) Book creation
(3) Cover creation
(4) Listing on Kindle
(5) More Creation Ideas
(6) Promoting Your Book
Each module contains between 3 and 5 video tutorials, each lasting from 3 to 15 minutes.
The method is a simple one and this is reflected in the short and snappy tutorials.
Except for one not very useful tour through Robert’s computer hard drive, the training is to the point and free of irritating filler (or video intro music!).
If you have never listed on Amazon or even downloaded a Kindle book, you will find this step-by-step training easy to follow.
Everything in the course can be implemented without cost, although Robert does recommend a completely optional piece of software for around $30 which can significantly increase the speed with which you can put these books together.
The ‘Promoting Your Book’ module contains some (very) simple – and free – techniques for giving your books an initial push to get sales going.
One thing I particularly like is the inclusion of some ready-made book templates you can simply add illustrations and text too so you don’t have to worry about formatting (which can be a bit of a pain on Kindle).
You can use these templates with Word or, if you don’t have that, the free Open Office alternative.
Are there any negatives?
In my view, the course is a little light on how to structure your Amazon listings so they have the best chance of being found in search results.
I know this can make a big difference from my experience with mugs.
However, Robert provides numerous examples of successful books, so you can simply model your listings after these.
It provides comprehensive step-by-step training on a simple concept that has already been proven to work.
And it does it at a more than reasonable price.
This is an excellent way of creating simple and growing passive income and it is one I will be using myself.
In fact, I have already finished my first illustrated book.
It’s based on an idea Robert gives in the course and took me around 90 minutes from start to finish.
My aim will be to get at least one book up every week for the next 3 months and then see how the land lies.
(I always devote 3 months to implementing and properly testing new ideas.)
And that’s why I like this idea.
As with the mugs thing, if you can find a couple of hours a week, you can make good progress with this business model.
It’s simple, very easy to do, free to implement and has no ‘nasty surprises’ like so many other opportunities.
If you are looking for a genuinely easy way to create a growing stream of passive income, this is worth your serious consideration, especially at the very low introductory price.
You can get all of the details here…
The course covers numerous ways to find public domain images you can use in your books.
However, you can never have too many!
So I am including a copy of my ebook called ‘The Free Image Directory’.
This contains links to literally millions of free and public domain images, almost all of which are not mentioned in the course.
The book will be available for download from the JVZoo customer portal after you have completed your purchase.
A quick word about upsells.
It’s a special offer on two other courses from Robert and Steve.
The first is ‘Ebook Domination’.
This is a much more in-depth training course on creating and marketing ebooks.
It includes other ways to quickly create different types of ebooks (apart from public domain images), other software tools you can use and multiple ways to promote ebooks, including some paid methods.
The second is ‘eBay Ebook Empire’.
As its name suggests, it is all about creating and marketing ebooks on eBay.
I have been through both of these courses and they are of a similar high quality as Easy Illustrated Books.
If you want to get into ebooks in a serious way, then I do recommend them.
Note that, if you reject the upsell, you will be offered ‘eBay Ebook Empire’ on its own at a reduced price.
This is worth considering because eBay can provide a relatively simple additional selling opportunity for the books you create in the main course.
However, if you are completely new to ebooks and you want to keep everything ultra simple, stick with the basic course.
I’m pretty excited about the potential of this.
No big claims, no ‘secret loopholes’… just a simple business model that is proven to generate truly passive income.
Get the full story here…
Now I’m off to start work on Book 2…