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What Is Passive Income? And How Do You Earn It?

Ossiana Tepfenhart

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What Is Passive Income? And How Do You Earn It?
danielsampaioneto / Pixabay

If you’ve ever worked a regular job, you already know a truth that probably isn’t very comfortable to admit: a simple salary is almost never enough to make you truly wealthy. For a while, people generally assumed that getting rich meant you would need to get a second or even third job. That’s just not true. To get rich, you need passive income. 

What Is Passive Income?

There are two types of income: active and passive. Active income is the money you earn when you work for it, like an hourly wage. Passive income is income that you don’t actually need to work to earn, such as earning money on the stock market.

Why Do You Need Passive Income?

If you want to get rich, or just want to have a safety net of your own, you need a passive income. We can’t be working all the time. Things sometimes happen that require us to take a break from our work. If we have a break time or get fired from our regular J-O-B, we have to have something to fall back on. 

In times like these, you cannot rely on social welfare programs to keep yourself and your family afloat. Passive income can be a safety net that can make a major difference when stimulus checks and unemployment run out. 

Can You Live Off Passive Income Alone?

Absolutely, and most of the wealthiest people do so. There’s nothing that tells you that you need to have a job to survive. In fact, if you work very hard at creating lots of passive income, it’s possible to have your passive income exceed anything that you would be able to earn at a typical job. 

How Do You Earn Passive Income?

There are many, many ways to earn passive income available to you, but the bottom line is that you have to either have work that keeps working after your done or to have your money do the work for you. These are some of the most popular ways to get passive income started:

  • Invest. If you invest money in the stock market, have a 401(k), or have a Roth IRA, you already have a source of passive income. Stocks make you income by making your money work for you. When you buy a stock and the value of the stock increases, you can earn dividends or just build equity. 
  • Sell Media On Major Platforms. Once you record a song or write a book, that’s it. You’re done working. Every time someone buys your work, you get money—even though you might not have actively had to sell it to them. 
  • Be A Content Creator. Content creation, like what you see on YouTube or via online games, can be a great way to earn passive income. Much like with direct media sales, what you need to work on here is making the content and having a brand people love to watch. 
  • Dropshipping Sites. This is kind of a passive income, but not really. You do have to put in work in order to get your site ready to accept orders and gain enough attention for it. However, after a certain amount of work, the site will become less demanding and more entertaining to run…and you’ll make a ton of cash.
  • Affiliate Marketing. I like to consider affiliate marketing the sister of dropshipping. This type of market involves encouraging people to buy products off sites like Amazon. You earn money every time a referral you make is used to make a purchase. Affiliate marketing can be very lucrative, but now that many programs are starting to trim affiliate benefits, it’s not what it once was.
  • Landlording. Renting a room to a person in need, whether it’s via an app like AirBnB or via a more traditional method, is considered to be a way to gain passive income. You still will have to do maintenance and put up ads to get those renters, though!

Wait! Some Of These Passive Income Methods Still Include Work!

That’s true—and to a point, that’s why it’s a misnomer. This is why I feel kind of dodgy calling it passive income at times. The thing is, nothing in this world involves “free money.” Someone has got to work for it, and that has to be either you or the people whose company you invest in. 

All forms of passive income will have a certain amount of risk associated with them. If you leave others to do all that work for you, you can’t really control what they do, how they do it, nor can you always control the results you get. 

The reason why it’s better to put work into your own ventures is because you will be able to get more control over the risks and know for certain that something is being done to further your income. Personally, I find that to be great reassurance. 

Is Passive Income Instant?

Here’s why a lot of people get annoyed with passive income. It takes time and effort to accumulate. If you were hoping to get an overnight income, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. It can take weeks, months, or even years before your passive income can support you. 
There’s never going to be a legit “get rich quick” scheme you can rely on. That’s why you need to start working on your passive income before you actually need it. Otherwise, you’re going to be stuck in the same place as you are now, later on in life…and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it earlier.

Special Feature

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DISCLAIMER: Concessionist.com is an independent affiliate operating on a sales' commission basis of the above referenced service providers. They do not own or operate this website and are not responsible for its contents. 

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10 Signs You Shouldn’t Work For An Affiliate

Ossiana Tepfenhart

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Leave this bad affiliate behind
Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

Let’s just be honest here. I’ve harped and waxed poetic when it came to just about every aspect of choosing an affiliate. It’s literally the biggest issue that you will face as a marketer. Bad affiliate, bad time, no money. I mean it. 

The thing is, there are so many different affiliate sites out there and so many products that you can choose to sell. We all know about the big ones like Amazon or ClickBank, but others still pop up that are new every single day. Sometimes, it can be hard to get an idea of whether or not an affiliate is worth it. These signs below indicate something might be up…

  1. You can’t find any reviews or information about them online. Every affiliate worth their salt will have at least one or two reviews from affiliate marketers who’ve worked with them backing them. If you can’t find a single ounce of information on them, you might not be dealing with a legitimate company. 
  2. Any information you DO find seems to warn people against the company. If you end up finding nothing but bad reviews online, it’s better to trust the warnings others give you. It may save you from getting badly burnt. 
  3. The promises are way too good to be true. Though affiliate marketing is fairly lucrative, it’s not going to be an overnight success. It takes months or even years to get a site that’s totally geared towards affiliate marketing to work. If you’re seeing ads telling you that you’ll earn millions, back away. 
  4. People mention that it’s hard to actually get money from the affiliate in reviews. A very high minimum payout, having to jump through hoops to get your money, or being asked to pay a high fee for access to your account are all signs that you’re going to get grifted. 
  5. The products are terrible. I can’t emphasize this enough, and it’s something I’ve spoken about at length when it comes to my other articles. If the product is crap, no amount of selling, hawking, and talking up will suffice. Bad products will only wear you and your business down. Skip bad products!
  6. Everyone in the affiliate market is selling the same product from the same affiliate. Back in the day, this was the issue that happened to some large affiliate networks. Their products became absolutely terrible in quality, and that meant that they had to trim down their wares. The problem is that this led to all of their thousands of marketers hawking the same product. The market was flooded and no one made any money. 
  7. Their links and tracking system are glitchy. A company that has a reputation for glitchy or nonfunctional tracking is a company which will cost you more money than they’re worth. Unless you enjoy spending your time haranguing customer service or heading to court, you’ll avoid working for them. 
  8. Something about the program just doesn’t make sense. If the program or product doesn’t make sense, seems too rough around the edges, or just doesn’t feel right, listen to your gut. It’s better to go with a program you feel comfortable with than to go with one you don’t fully trust.
  9. The company asks you to buy a service in order to sell their goods. This is never a good sign, and in many cases, the company in question is actually making most of their profits from people buying the right to sell their goods. Companies that are worth a damn won’t ever ask you to pay money upfront just to sell their goods.
  10. You’ve heard the company’s name mentioned as an MLM. Affiliate marketing is not the same as multi-level marketing nor should you ever mistake the two. One will make you rich, and the other will alienate you from others while draining your bank account. If you start hearing about it as an MLM scheme, run and don’t look back.
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Business

What Can You Do If Your Affiliate Isn’t Paying You?

Ossiana Tepfenhart

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Affiliate not paying
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Let’s say that you decided to get the scoop on a new affiliate program, and the payouts are massive. The product is promising, and you’ve started up a massive campaign to get some of that sweet, sweet affiliate money. After two months, you have still to get a paycheck. 

You take a look at your sales. You double-check to make sure that you’re actually getting traffic and that you have reason to believe that you’ve gotten at least a handful of sales. Unfortunately, your affiliate is not paying up. What can you do?

Having been in this situation, there are a couple of things you can do depending on the level of damage the affiliate has caused. Here’s what I would suggest.

1. First things first, reach out to them via email.

In most cases, the lack of payment is just a misunderstanding. Reach out to your affiliate via email to see if they have a reason for the lack of payout. You might just need to wait a little longer, or it could be a matter of using the wrong link.

Don’t accuse or get angry right off the bat. Simply show the proof you have that you converted X numbers of sales, and then ask what’s going on. In many cases, you’ll get a reply and you will be able to work it out with the customer service rep.

2. Have a follow-up email if they don’t reach out to you. 

Sometimes, they might not actually follow up with you immediately. If you don’t get a reply in 10 days, give a follow up email as a nudge to get them to reply. In the meantime, take down all your affiliate links so that you don’t give a company that might not pay you additional money.

3. Contact them through other means.

Still no answer? Yikes, but you can still contact them through other means. Give their customer service support line a call, or find an online chat service that they use to talk to their clients. From there, you can either work things out with them, or you can proceed to the next step.

If you aren’t sure where to find more contact information, check the bottom of your affiliate’s page. They usually keep contact information there. If those already didn’t work, attempting to reach out through their customer service line might be the next best thing. 

Protip:

Some people have also gotten success by searching the company up and seeing where others were able to make a connection. Sometimes, you might even stumble upon forum posts about the same issue that you’ve had with them. 

If you’re lucky enough to uncover forum conversations dealing with others who felt jilted by being unpaid, you might be in luck. These conversations often tell you how they solved the same issue you have, or what their result may be. 

In some rare cases, it may be worth reaching out to others who were cheated out of their money for a class-action suit. However, this should be done exclusively as a last resort.

4. Ask yourself if it’s worth getting angry over.

If you only made $30, or have a site that’s got plenty of affiliates to choose from, you’re better off giving a bad review about them and calling it a day. You can clean up from that gaffe and replace the links pretty easily. 

The same can also be said if you’re still getting payouts for the majority of your traffic. If you’re getting paid well, you might want to avoid bringing it up because some affiliates will just drop problematic marketers. 

On the other hand, if you created an entire niche site that cost thousands to make, then you might have reason to “get out of bed.” If you decide it’s time to take action…

5. Contact any other parties that may have been involved in your transaction.

Did you get this affiliate through a toolbar’s use? Sometimes, the reason you’re not getting paid could be an issue that deals with a glitch on a third party toolbar. Talking to them could fix this, or could at least alert them of the problem that you’re having with one of their vendors.

Most of these platforms will have at least some clout, which means that they could pressure their vendors to pay up. 

6. Warn others and leave reviews on major affiliate sales sites.

If you’re in this position, you probably wish that someone warned you about this issue ahead of time. You might’ve saved someone some serious time and effort. Moreover, it’s worth pointing out that some companies will fix things if and only if news about their behavior becomes public knowledge.

At the very least, you will give others a heads up about their bad practices and potentially help curb damage from hitting others. It’s the right thing to do.

7. Contact a lawyer to find out if you have a right to sue. 

If things still don’t sort themselves out, the final line of defense you have is to talk to a lawyer to sue for unpaid fees. Lawsuits are expensive and time-consuming, especially if you are suing for more than $10,000. So, if you need to hire a lawyer, do so if you only believe it’s truly worth it.

If you aren’t owed more than $10,000, you have another option called small claims court. You don’t need a lawyer in small claims. All you need to do is file a lawsuit against the company and show the court the evidence that you have in your possession. 

Should you choose to go to court, make sure to compile evidence. Make your case very clear, show any receipts that prove your issue, and with hope, the judge will rule in your favor. If he or she doesn’t, you can still appeal the decision in some cases.

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5 Easy Ways To Start Getting Passive Income Without Paying A Single Cent

Ossiana Tepfenhart

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Passive Income: 5 Easy Ways
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In the last few months, the world witnessed a serious plague destroy large swaths of the economy. COVID-19 basically shut down entire countries as it ripped through the world. It was then that many people realized how little they have in terms of an income safety net. 

I, personally, knew a bunch of people who found themselves in serious jeopardy because they didn’t have a way to make ends meet. That’s why I’m a huge fan of passive income. Unlike active income, where you have to work around the clock to make a dime, passive income can be made while you sleep. 

So, how do you earn money without having to work long term? It’s simple. You have to invest in or create assets that will make money for you. As someone who’s had to struggle with getting passive income started, I know how hard it is when you have no money to your name. So let’s talk about some ways that you make it happen!

Before I Begin: A Note About Passive Income

One thing I’ve noticed about passive income is that the main goal is to collect assets and help them work for you. This requires time (work), money, or both. If you don’t spend any money, then you’re going to have to work twice as hard to make sure that the assets you get are going to actually make you some cash. 

What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t let the name fool you. Passive doesn’t mean “sit on your butt and do nothing.” It means that, if cared for, it will help earn you money when your job takes a nosedive.

1. Write blog posts and monetize them. 

Blogger success
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

I am a huge fan of writing. In fact, it’s what I do as a living. Writing is a great way to add passive income—especially if you’re a fan of affiliate marketing. Having your own blog and writing posts about your favorite products can help you get some serious income without having to grind after you write it. 

If you’re not a fan of affiliate revenue, don’t worry. There are other ways to monetize you blog posts. Some sites, such as Medium, let readers tip you. If you have a serious following, getting a Patreon to help your followers support your work is a great way to make your fundraising even easier.

2. Do YouTube videos on subjects you’re good with.

Some people might say that the YouTube monetization route is dead, but I’m not so sure. It’s still very possible to earn a good income on this platform, and once again, if you want to add nitro to your income, having a Patreon helps.

YouTube passive income
Photo by CineDirektor FILMS from Pexels

The important thing to remember with YouTube is that you need to advertise, promote, and also optimize the content you want to turn into passive income. No views means no money. The more views and followers you have, the more money you can make. This route might not involve you spending money, but it still will involve a lot of work.

3. Write and sell books online.

Still feeling creative? Not a problem. Another good way to make an asset that will make money for you is to write and sell books online. Amazon’s book marketplace remains one of the most popular parts of its platform and publishing on it is actually fairly easy to do. 

Books online
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You can literally write a book on anything and get it published. Much like with YouTube and any other form of content creation, you’re going to need to market it and help your fanbase grow. 

Once you start getting fans, you’re going to start seeing more money pour in…and eventually you won’t have to work as hard to promote your stuff. 

4. Create and sell an app online.

Though I am personally a “creative type” (read: I have the computer skills of a boot.) I do know that the app and software markets are massive. A single app can make you a lot of money, and while some might argue that the market’s flooded, I beg to differ. 

Create an App
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Every single day, I have read yet another story of an indie app maker or game designer who managed to create something that went viral. I mean, remember Flappy Bird? Though it was a free game, it still spread around the net like wildfire. 

If you have the coding skills and the graphics skills to do so, create an app and sell it on the market. You’d be shocked at how much money it can earn you, especially if you make a point of marketing it on your own. 

5. Store other peoples’ stuff in your home.  

Not feeling the whole “create something and sell it” vibe? I don’t blame you. It’s not for everyone and it can take a lot of work to actually kick off. Thankfully, there are other routes you can take to get your paws on that sweet, sweet passive income. 

You might already have considered renting a spare room as an Airbnb. That is, in fact, a way to get passive income. However, I’m not going to lie. Airbnb isn’t for everyone. I, personally, wouldn’t do it because I don’t trust random people in my place. But, there are other options.

Box storage
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

One of the newest ways to make it happen is by using an app called Neighbor. Neighbor is basically the “Airbnb” of storage. The way it works is simple: people pay you to store items for them via the app. You use your spare space to store the stuff. When the person’s ready to claim it, you bring it outside. 

Unlike with Airbnb, you don’t have to make their bed. You just have to let their stuff sit there. It couldn’t be easier if you tried.

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