3 ways to earn passive income through content-creation

A few days ago, I posted 2 blog posts about moving your business toward a passive model — one in which you maximize your return while you minimize your effort. In those posts, I outlined the key business functions which CAN demand a lot of time and attention, but which entrepreneurs should try to make passive. Those business functions are Administration, Marketing, and Deliverables. You can read the 2 blog posts here: How to be a lazy entrepreneur (part 1) and How to be a lazy entrepreneur (part 2).

If you are building a sales funnel for a new business or optimizing a sales funnel for an existing business, you are probably thinking about ways that you can generate income by converting prospects into customers. Your choices are active deliverables and passive ones.

  • Active deliverables require you to put in some time to fulfill the order — an active product might require that you manufacture it, package it, and ship it; an active service might require that you do research, perform the service, and send it to the customer.
  • Passive deliverables are ideal because they allow you to earn an income without doing a lot of active work for each sale. Passive deliverables can be more profitable because it allows you to spend more time filling your sales funnel and nurturing contacts through your sales funnel, and less time on the deliverable component.

If you are thinking about the ways to earn passive income, there are three that you can mix and match for your business: Ads, Affiliates, and Assets.

Ads: This is where you create content and embed ads into your content. This earns you income (usually per-click, although there other payment models). Google AdSense is an easy way to get started.

Affiliates: This is where you create content and link to products or services via an affiliate link. When someone clicks through your link and then buys that product or service, you will earn money (often a flat fee or percentage). Amazon is a nice starting point but there are many options here.

Assets: This is where you create content and then sell that content for money through various methods, such as ebooks, podcasts, subscriptions, books, magazines, etc. Clickbank or Lulu are great ways to get started selling assets.

The key to success in all three is creating highly-targeted, compelling content that correctly identifies the problems, needs, and interests of your target market and then positions the deliverable (the ad, affiliate, or asset) as the solution the problem.

Aaron’s answers: How do I market my business online?

The Question:

AaronHoos_BusinessWriterandStrategist_Guru588207I was asked a great question through the private message boards on Guru.com. After briefly outlining his 3 new businesses, an entrepreneur asked: “I have never done much online but am interested in the effectiveness of blogging, press releases, etc.. If i am just beginning each of these businesses, what would you recommend for my ‘plan” to success?”

Aaron’s Answer:
At a very basic level, you’ll want a 3 step approach for each of your businesses; and you’ll find that it’s not that different than a really simple sales process:

1. Get the attention of cold contacts. You can do this through search engine optimization, articles, Twitter, and elsewhere (depending on the specifics of your target market). You might consider investing a little in Google AdWords or some other form of marketing, but that depends on your budget. The point of this step is to draw them into your “sphere” and turn them into warm contacts…

2. Build a relationship with warm contacts. Now that you have all these people listening to you, you need to give them something valuable. Again, it depends on the specifics of your target niche, but typically I’ll create some combination of the following for clients: blogs, whitepapers/reports, and ezines. The goal is to ultimately turn these warm contacts into customers…

3. Sell to your customers. There are a number things you can do — some of which I can help you with. This might include presentation material, “inner” website content (that doesn’t appear in search engines), and more. You might even consider broadening your offerings to include ebooks, webinars, and other products that you can either sell or you can use as positioning material to help you sell your services.

It’s hard for me to give you much more specifics than that with the little bit of information I have. I would say that the specifics depend on:
* Your target market
* Your business area (i.e., where do you do business?)
* Your budget
* … and a few other things.

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