Ideas to generate passive income with content

Running a business — one in which you provide services to your clients — sometimes ties you to the clock: You can only perform so many services in a day and that puts a cap on your income. As a copywriter, this is a frustration I face.

Yes, you can become more efficient, yes you can raise your prices, yes you can work longer hours, yes you can outsource some of your work. I do those things and I know other people who do those things too. But if you’re THE person who delivers value as a service, you will face the simple reality that there are only 24 hours in a day and at some point you have to stop working so you can eat a carrot or watch an episode of House of Cards.

Don’t get me wrong, I love service businesses and I think if you want to start a business, you should start by offering a service. But there comes a point when you want to grow your business but you can’t squeeze more productivity into your day.

Expanding your business to create income that isn’t chained to the clock is a great way to help you make more money without having to invent a time machine. This is sometimes called passive income.

One way to create passive income is to create content that you monetize. Here are the 3 steps to do that…

1. IDENTIFY THE BURNING NEED

You’ll only attract eyeballs to your content if you give people a reason to view it. And the best reason to get someone to view your content is if you solve a pressing problem or alleviate a burning need.

I’m not going to go into more detail about that here. It will be different for everyone and if you’re not sure what your audience’s biggest problems (that you solve) are then that should be your homework.

So, I’ll assume that you know what the problem (it’s got to be a BIG problem) and how you solve it.

Okay? Let’s continue…

2. FIGURE OUT HOW YOU’LL COMMUNICATE YOUR SOLUTION

There are many ways to deliver content that earns passive income.

Here is a non-exhaustive list:

  • Print book
  • Ebook
  • Report
  • Ecourse
  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Video
  • Social media post
  • Email
  • Toolkit
  • Swipe file
  • Webinars
  • Seminars
  • Podcasts

I’ve mixed offline and online content deployment channels together, and as you read this you can probably identify a handful of options I didn’t include.

3. DECIDE HOW YOU WILL MONETIZE

There aren’t that many ways, actually. Only two. Here they are at a high level:

  1. You can sell the content (actually, you’re just renting access to the information because you continue to own the information). It might include permanent access or temporary access. Examples: selling a book or ebook, selling tickets to a seminar.
  2. You can run ads or affiliate offers on or near the content so that you earn money as people view or click. Examples: An ad enabled video or an email with an affiliate link it.

You can also combine these together. I frequently write for clients who offer sold content that also has affiliate links inside of it.

For more info on monetizing your content, check out this blog post: 5 levels of content monetization.

There are many ways to put these pieces together and have them offered regularly through your sales funnel. So if you want to grow your business and start earning a bit more passive income to help bump up your income without working longer hours, start creating and deploying monetized content.

(Hey, want to see a case study of this very thing in action? Check out this passive income case study).

Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and he's a real estate investor and a copywriter for real estate investors.

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