Passive Income Now

How to Set Up an Online Store

One of the ways to become an online entrepreneur is to set up your own online store. An online store has many benefits over a physical store front, including 24 hours of operation, automated customer service, easy to showcase your products, and simple to maintain. Whether you’re creating your own products or acting as a reseller, an online store front can be a great way to generate passive income now. It’s relatively easy to set up your online store: Decide what you want to sell: You should choose your products before setting up shop, just like with a brick and mortar store.

What will your inventory consist of? Will you be making these products or selling from another manufacturer? It’s your store so it’s your decision. Choose your target demographic wisely and carry products that they are interested in. Decide on prices: Do some market research. What are these items going for elsewhere? How much is your competitor selling the products for? Will you be able to make a profit? Deciding on your prices before setting up your online store is crucial, as you may find it’s going to cost you more than you’ll earn. Buy a domain, find hosting and choose a web software: First, you’ll need a website. The website should be the same name as your store. Look and see if the website name is available and purchase it.

You can buy domains from several websites, but the most popular is GoDaddy. You can’t have a website if you have no place to host it. There’s plenty of hosting companies to choose from. I host all of my websites with JustHost which is affordable and the customer service is awesome. I’ve been with them for over a year and have experienced no problems with them. Then, you’ll find a web software to set up your store. There are also many softwares to choose, but one you can’t go wrong with is WordPress. Choose a design: If you’re not a web designer, obviously this will be the most difficult part. You can either hire a web designer to make a completely custom online store, or choose a professional looking template and customize it. You can find very nice WordPress e-commerce templates around the web.

Don’t forget to have a custom logo designed; branding is everything. Take great pictures: A picture is truly worth a thousand words, and a product that photographs well sells well. You can do this yourself by finding a blank background, take the photos with your digital camera under decent lighting, and uploading the photos to your site. Or, you can find a photographer to take the pictures for you. These pictures will showcase your products on your online store. Prepare the back end: You’ll want your online store to be smooth and functional. Make sure your shopping cart/bag works, test the checkout experience, and set up some automated e-mails to notify you when someone makes a sale, when their items have been shipped, and a thank you e-mail. Make sure all these things are up and running before your site goes live. Market and advertise: Notify top bloggers in your store’s niche that your online store is live. Set up social media profiles and do marketing and advertising everywhere. Your store can be wonderful but if no one knows about it, you won’t get any sales.

How to Make Money as a Blogger

One of the questions I’m often asked, as well as many other bloggers is how to make a career out of it. It’s hard to think that someone can really make money without leaving their home, or even in their pajamas. But it’s very possible and can be very lucrative. Being a blogger can be your primary source of income or it can be a secondary source. I wouldn’t call it completely passive, but eventually you won’t have to put as much work into it in the long run. So how do you begin making money as a blogger?

Have a self-hosted blog: People take your blog a lot more seriously when you have your own domain name. A site that is something isn’t going to cut it. Not to mention when you set up a free blog, at least on WordPress, you’re not allowed to host advertising, which will be a nice chunk of your revenue for your blog. I have a bias towards WordPress, which is free, and buying a domain name is relatively inexpensive. You can get yourpersonalblog. You have to invest money in order to earn money.

Provide compelling content: Your blog isn’t going to earn you money if you have boring content, copied content, or no content at all. You’re going to need a unique spin on topics, interesting information, and something to keep readers coming back. You may have heard that content is king, and it’s true! You’re going to need to invest time in writing for your blog. I suggest writing at least 3 times a week, posts of at least 400 words. Keep this momentum up for at least 6 months. It’s going to be difficult, but blogging isn’t as easy as everyone things.

Gain some authority: You’re not just writing for your readers, but in the beginning, you’re also writing for search engines and ranking systems. Since advertising can be a huge chunk of a blogger’s revenue, this is important. Advertisers want to know where you rank amongst other sites on the web. Things like your PageRank (calculated by Google), your mozRank (from SEO Moz), and possibly your rankings for certain keywords are going to come into play. If you’re not aware of what the heck SEO is or how to do it, SEO Moz has a great beginner’s guide you can read up on.

Weigh your options: There’s many different ways you can earn money as a blogger. As we mentioned, advertising is one of them, but there’s multiple types of advertising. You can do display ads like the AdSense units you may have seen before. You can sell text links and banner ads to private companies. You can write posts advocating companies, or have them write the post for you. There’s also affiliate marketing (selling products and services on your site through a special link and getting a commission), selling products (like eBooks, courses, apps, etc.), freelance writing, and speaking at events. Since there’s so many options, you should consider which you would be best at, try them out, and identify which is proving profitable.

Bloggers who make money are more than just a person behind a computer screen. They’re marketable, whether the individual or the blog itself. However, everything should be taken in stride, and should be handled one step at a time. Start with these steps and continue until you reach your goals!

eBook Self Publishing Resources

Last week we talked about how to publish an eBook, a method of passive income. Now that you know what it takes to create an eBook, now you need to figure out how to publish it. If you’re choosing the digital version exclusively and not a paperback or hardcover book, you’d probably do best publishing the book yourself. It’s the most cost efficient way to get your work out to the public, earning you more money for sales as well. Keep these websites in mind for your self publishing needs:

is an all-inclusive resource for aspiring authors. It gives you the ability to not only publish eBooks but also physical books as well. You can produce your book with different binding options, edit your novel, create a stunning cover, publish, and market your story. For your eBook, all you have to do is upload your file, create a cover, describe your book, pick a price, and promote it. It’s that simple! You also have the option of getting an ISBN to track the sales of your books. As for revenues, Lulu lemon boasts that the author keeps 80% of their profits, and they have an awesome deal that you can keep 90% of the profits through January 31, 2012. You can publish your eBook for iBookstore and Barnes & Noble’s Nook platforms.

gives you a great do it yourself option for publishing your eBook for the masses, making it available for some of the hottest eReaders out, including Kobo, Nook, Sony eReader and Apple products. You can either earn 65% of your revenue from the major eBook storefronts or earn 85% if you sell your book on the Smashwords platform. Doted as the world’s largest eBook distributor, making your eBook is free on Smashwords, and gives you lots of support including a style guide and unlimited updates.

Kindle Direct Publishing is Amazon’s answer to self publishing for their Kindle platform. Most likely the world’s largest eBook storefront, offering an array of titles to be read on the Kindle device or on free Kindle software for your computer or smartphone. With their 70% royalty program and the ability to publish in multiple languages and price in multiple currencies, Amazon has a great and free service for authors. If you already are selling a hard copy of your book, you can link your Kindle version to it. Readers also have the chance of “borrowing” your book through Amazon Kindle’s lending program, where they can rent your book for 14 days.

PubIt! is for those looking to publish for the Barnes & Noble Nook. Publishing with the world’s #1 bookseller is not a bad idea at all, and it’s just as easy as some of the other options. You upload your content, you format it, you price it, you sell it. The Nook is quickly becoming an awesome eReader competitor, offering a color version and a great price.

You can also choose to offer your eBook as a PDF, which is a supported format for many eReaders. This would be a much more do it yourself way, as you would format the book on your own in your word processer, include your cover, you’d have to purchase your own ISBN if you want one, consolidate everything in Adobe Acrobat, and do all of the marketing yourself, having people come to your website or push for affiliates to help you sell your book.

Have you written your book yet? Where would you like to see your eBook offered as far as eBook storefronts?

Do Experts Share Their Best Tips?

Do you feel that the best advice out there is hidden by those that hold it? Do experts share their best tips? Do you think that successful people are holding back their best advice?

I’ve been thinking about this lately. The whole idea of following in the path of successful people is very interesting. Why can’t we just emulate their actions? Why are some people successful and others are failures? We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Generally speaking, we all also have the same resources available to us. Some of us might start off with more money. Others have more energy. Few have more drive.

Today I wanted to look at three perceived experts on the internet and the tips that they share. Let’s look at three dudes that I follow on the internet:

Pat Flynn.

Pat shares everything on his blog Smart Passive Income, from strategies that have worked for him to his full monthly income report. His goal is to be completely transparent with everything and I believe that he does a phenomenal job with this. Pat even wrote about the conversion of this affiliate links the other day.

Pat shares everything with his readers. I’ve been following his blog ever since the beginning since we started around the same time. I’ve emailed him a few times to ask him some super-rookie questions and he was kind enough to respond with detailed responses. He also helped me out big time because my first eBook project that I released was a case study that I conducted with him. So YES I do believe that Pat shares his best tips with his readers and those that are interested.

Corbett Barr.

Corbett runs Think Traffic and the self-titled blog Corbett Barr. Corbett has many premium courses. He also offers a plethora of super-helpful stuff for free on his two blogs. He offers as much valuable content as possible on his blogs for his free readers. When you want to pick up a little more exclusive content, he promotes Traffic School and The Hustle Project.

I personally believe in paying for value. The premium courses will cost you a little bit more money. As a result of this price, you’re likely to take the content more seriously when you do pay for it. When you do consume the free and the premium material, you’re bound to receive the best advice that Corbett has to offer.

Ramit Sethi.

Ramit’s building an empire. Ramit started off by launching his ultra-popular blog I Will Teach You To Be Rich many years ago. He has done everything from release a best-selling book to public speaking to selling courses on how to make more money. Between his premium stuff and his free articles, I think that Ramit has shared a great deal of information with his readers.

I must admit that I consume as much of Ramit’s information as possible. I took his Earn1K course, bought his book, signed up for the newsletter, and check his blog frequently. Not only does he offer his best advice, he goes even further to speak with his friends and topic-experts on areas that he’s not too familiar with. You never know when his free content will blow your mind next. You also can’t go wrong with picking up his book or signing up for one of his courses.

Now that we looked at three specific examples, let’s dip deeper into the idea of experts sharing information and ideas with us.

Why do experts bother sharing such valuable tips for free?

To attract new readers and to keep older readers around. The winning formula seems to be to offer as much helpful free content as possible and to charge when material is viewed as being of higher value. I also feel that topic-experts share their tips with us for free to gain trust. Once we see results from free content, we can only imagine how helpful the paid stuff will be.

Why do some charge for content?

The obvious reason is to generate income. When you generate income from something you’re able to devote more time to it. Unless you live in a world of utopia, where everything is perfect, the reality is that you need to make money. I think it’s very ethical to make money by devoting yourself to products and material that you think will be super helpful to those consuming it. This is why experts need to charge for content sometimes.

Why don’t we use these tips?

It’s all about taking action. There really is enough information out on the internet to do anything that we could imagine.

You don’t believe me? Search for ways to pick up girls, how to build muscle, make more money, or save money. There’s a plethora of free resources on the internet. Some of it is really scammy. Some of it is highly valuable. The point is that there’s more that enough killer free content out there. We just need to filter out the BS and use what’s relevant to us.

At the end of the day, there are plenty of experts giving out free advice on the internet. The fundamental issue here is action. If you don’t take action, then it doesn’t matter how much information you have access to. It’s all about taking action on the right information.

Are We Running Away From The Recession?

As I’m traveling through Europe I’ve met some interesting characters. The beauty of a hostel is that you get to meet people from around the whole world. In other words you get wasted with new people and discuss completely random topics.

I got into a conversation with an American fellow who has been traveling for a few years now. He told me that he lost his job during the economic crash of late-2008 and that he was unable to find another job. This fellow decided to take advantage of his unemployment benefits to travel around the world. He figure that since there was no work available in his home town that he would take advantage of his time by doing some traveling.

Do you think that this dude is running away from the recession or simply taking advantage of an opportunity that came his way?
It’s an interesting time for 20-somethings right now. With the rise of lifestyle design and unique options, many of us are not in the workforce. The obvious question is: is it by choice or were many of us simple kicked out of the workforce? I would love to see what you guys think.

5 Methods of Online Income You Should’ve Started Yesterday

So many people have heard great things about earning income online, but just don’t know where to begin. You’ve signed up for the newsletters and did the e-courses and you’re still either clueless or lazy. I’m not going to say they’re going to make you rich, because in some cases they won’t. However, any additional income is better than no additional income, especially if you have a savings goal or a goal to pay off your debt. So if you’re looking for a few extra bucks, here are 5 methods of online income you should’ve started yesterday:

Freelance services: We covered the reasons why I freelance already, and if you read it and you’re not doing it yet, I’m convinced that you’re being lazy. There are way too many benefits, one of them being the additional income. Even if you have a day job, you can offer freelance services on the side. You can freelance write like I do, lend a hand in social media management, be a virtual assistant, answer e-mails for someone else, etc. Make sure you fill out a 1099 if you’re making more than $600 from your freelance gigs.
Run ads on your blog: It’s a taboo subject but one that happens regardless of what people say. How do you think most of these bloggers are making income off their readers? If there’s a product or service you recommend, find out if they have an affiliate program and run their ad. People who click or sign up can get you additional income. There’s also one of the most passive ad systems around: Google AdSense.
Tweet your heart out: Sandy over at Yes, I Am Cheap wrote a blog post about how she’s getting paid upwards of $20 per tweet, and we were all so fascinated! If you’re a Twitter nerd and have some major Klout, this can be a nice way to earn passive income. You don’t have to be on Twitter all day either. Find a program to schedule your tweets like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or CoTweet.
Sell your stuff: You’re probably familiar with websites like eBay and Amazon for buying things for great prices, so why aren’t you selling your stuff there? Just when you think no one else wants those dreaded gifts you got from your aunt for Christmas, you find that you have a small fortune in your room collecting dust. Get rid of those Pokemon cards you have nice and neat in laminated sheets in your 3 inch binder. Purge your books you bought throughout your years in school. Put that money in your emergency fund.
Make an app: We are so obsessed with apps that there are several app stores with millions of applications in them. Whether for a smartphone or for the computer, people are constantly looking for entertaining and useful applications. If you have some technical background, you can create an app, submit it to the app store, and make some money that way. Come up with a cool calculator. Make the next Angry Birds. Maybe you have an idea that no one has thought of before. Even if you only charge $1 for your app, you can still make good money.
So now what’s your excuse? Maybe before you didn’t know what you could do but here’s 5 ideas right in front of you. Stop complaining that you need more money when you now have 5 opportunities to do so. What are you going to freelance? Know about sponsored tweets? Done some cleaning and have things to sell?

How Did 23 Bloggers Make Their First Buck Online?

Sold baseball cards on eBay, if that counts. Really though, it was greenexamacademy, just adding adsense to a site that already had a lot of traffic, thanks to all the content I had previously published on it. 2 dollars and 60 cents the first day, never looked back.

Jeremy of Gen X Finance: I think I made my first dollar online back in 1997 or ’98 or so selling a few CDs on eBay. Not a very exciting story.
Mike of Oblivious Investor: I sold my first book in September 2007. $30.46 of income that month.

Flexo of Consumerism Commentary: My first time making money online was through consulting to my professors in college in 1995 who wanted “home pages.”

How did some of my blogging peers make their first buck online?
I reached out to my fellow bloggers to see how they first earned a buck online. These are all bloggers that are either already earning an amazing income off the internet or in the process of doing so. Let’s see where they started:

Kristoph of Smashing Entrepreneur: As a startup consultant, I started a blog community and started interacting with my readers. I browsed a reader’s website and noticed she had a great business concept, but certain elements of her website/marketing was driving customers away and I told her that. She came back and asked for my rate, assuming I did consulting services. That was the first way I started generating money online with that site. Don’t underestimate the power of connecting with individuals.

Ron of The Wisdom Journal: I made my first dollar online by selling a text link ad on my blog (something I no longer do) … unless you count selling junk on eBay!

Kyle of Amateur Asset Allocator: I put up the Spanish site back in 2005 (I think). I only monetized with adsense at first. I think I probably made $2 the entire first 6 months. Then I forgot about it for another two years and when I looked again I magically had search traffic and was earning close to $100 every month.

Peter of Bible Money Matters: my first online income had to be from selling things on ebay. For a while there i had a booming business selling things for family and friends via my ebay account, taking a cut of the earnings.. That had to be back around 1998-1999 or so?
Patrick of Cash Money Life: Selling items on Ebay. Can’t remember what it was, but it must have been around 2003.

Niel of Wealth Pilgrim: January 15,2010 – $1.03 — first click on Adsense.
Echo of Boomer and Echo: August 12th, 2010: $1.03 first click on AdSense.

Pat of Compounding Returns: First money I made was from staff writing. After that, on my own site I started getting offers for a few paid reviews here and there. Hoping for my first Adsense check here this month.

No Debt MBA: The first money i made online was through a paid survey site. After two months I got a check in the mail for $10. As a high school kid I didn’t have a checking account so my parents were pretty puzzled when I asked them to cash it for me.
FSFYA: The first cash money I made online came from suggesting a free online stock trading account. I was very excited when I got my check for $25! I have more money waiting for me but I have to hit the threshold to have it paid out, waiting on Adsense.

Jackie of Money Crush: I made my first money on line by referring someone to ING. I was so excited to have “free money” just appear in my account.A few extras. I got a few more entries past the original 23:
KNS Financial: The first time I made money online was through someone advertising on my site. This happened twice during the first 8 months. Then I became a staff writer – which was my first steady income.

Buy Like Buffet: Staff writing was the way for me as well. I wrote for other sites for income until my site became a money maker.
Kay Lynn of Bucksome Boomer: The first money I made online was by selling something on Ebay. The first money i made from my blog was from the BlogHer ad network. I was so thrilled with the fact I could actually make money from my blog that I didn’t cash it for a few weeks.

How did I make my first buck online?

I really can’t remember my first buck to be honest. I actually started a few sites back in 1999 when I was in grade 8.

I’ve always been a huge wrestling fan. I started my own wrestling site in the summer of 1999, titled, “Millenium Wrestling.” Yes I did eventually find out that I spelled the name wrong. The site picked up traffic over time and slowly got more popular. I used to love checking the hit counter at the bottom of the page. I never knew anything about making money off a site or putting up advertising. I eventually hit high school and totally forgot about my online projects.

The first time I made a buck online I believe was through AllAdvantage. This was one of those sites where you got paid to surf the web. The problem was that I never received this money. I forget what the holdup was. I believe I got some excuse about how they didn’t send checks to Canada.

I made my triumphant return to running a site in November of 2008 when I started Studenomics. I finally made my first buck online in late-2008 when an advertiser contacted me and offered me $20 for a text link. I got the money in my Paypal account and was eager to transfer it over to my bank account. Unfortunately, I spent the money on eBay before I could ever see it.

What are some great resources for making money online?

Now that we know how many different amazing people earned their first buck online, let’s look at some great resources for making money online (the legit way– you can always make a sex tape with a celebrity on your own

 

Why You Should Start With Freelancing Right Now

Most people that are new to making money online want to get into productizing. That is selling their own unique products to their readers. This is an excellent strategy for monetizing a blog. It’s just not the best way to start off. At least from what I’ve discovered through my own personal experiences and from others.

As a new blogger you might not have the extensive reader base needed to move enough eBooks to sustain a full-time living. You also may have delusions of making fortunes off some eBook that will instantly sell thousands of copies. My solution to your online money making woes is to start freelancing first. Why do I think you should start freelancing right now? Below are my reasons…
Immediate income.

Starting a blog and productizing can be a very long and exhaustive process. Through freelancing (writing, design work, back-end work) you can start to earn money right off the bat. This is an immediate source of income coming your way. You won’t have to wait until months down the line. You can start earning money right away. This is money that you can later invest into your online ventures.

Save up money.
Your freelancing income will allow you to save up more money. You can start a separate savings account for when you decide to be an entrepreneur or you can beef up your emergency fund. The first little while where you start freelancing you’ll be able to save up money as opposed to spending money (as is the case in almost every new business).

Quick win.
The quick win of making money from freelancing can be enough to motivate you to pursue bigger and better things. It’s really easy to get discouraged and give up when your new blog hasn’t made the Adsense payout in the first 6 months. Through freelance work you give yourself a quick win and a psychological boost to keep on going.

Proof of possibilities.
Whenever someone tries to earn an income through an unconventional method (blogging, selling products) they will encounter many nay-sayers. You can get rid of most of these voices. However, you’re going to be accountable to those close to you. Your freelance income will show your spouse, parents, or friends that you’re getting into a venture that you’re serious about. Many possibilities will come your way and you’ll be shocked by what your new potential will become.

These are just my reasons for why I think you should start freelancing first. I’m sure that once you get started you’ll be able to think of your own.

Should You Buy or Rent a Home in Your 20s?

Are you ready to move out? Are you thinking about buying a home? Are you debating between buying and renting?
Real Estate Decision eBook

Why should you invest your money into this real estate guide? What’s in it for you?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it relates to the home ownership decision. I respect your individuality.
You’ll save at least thousands of dollars over the next few years by making the right decision. You’ll make decisions that your friends are afraid of making.
You’ll have a much easier time making the most important decision in your 20s.

You’ll save hours of time by having all of this information in a quick pdf file.
You’ll make a decision based on YOUR own unique situation. Not what “experts” blindly tell you to do with your money. Your situation is going to change so often that at times you won’t know what it is. You will go from needing quick payday loans to having extra cash to invest.
This is a quick, straight to the point read. I kept it short on purpose. I want you guys to be able to read this. I want you to print this guide out and keep it close to you. Share it with your friends. Email it to your whole mailing list. I want to help as many people as possible.

What’s in this real estate decision manual?
A look at how your income situation affects your real estate decision.
The importance of your current and future salary.
What to consider before you buy your first property.
Why you should sometimes rent instead of owning a home.
Thoughts to guide you in the right direction.

Who should buy this guide?
Any young professional that’s looking to make a real estate decision in the near future.Those that are stuck between owning and renting for the time being.Young couples ready to make some big decisions.
Anyone frustrated with mainstream coverage of real estate. There’s no BS in here.

Who should not buy this?
Those that are not ready to move out yet.
If you’re not planning on making the owning/renting in the near future.
College students with massive amounts of debt.

Paying The Bills As a Blogger

Bloggers need to make money. Everyone needs to make money. Its just the reality of life. We all need a certain amount of money to survive.

I find it funny how readers of a blog will enjoy free content for years. This content will help them greatly in life. The blog will provide them with a frequent source of information. Then when the blogger tries to make some money everyone is quick to judge. Why?

There are different monetization strategies out there for your typical blog. A few of the common ones include:

Google Adsense.
Affiliates (any product that you promote).
Text links.
Sponsored posts.
Premium products.

I find that readers have become adjusted to Adsense just because it has been around for so long. The text links also go unnoticed most of the time.

Affiliates can go either way depending on what you try to promote. Bloggers walk a fine line when it comes to promoting a product/trying to push it on their readers. Some readers will appreciate you bringing a new product to their attention. Others will (myself included) will become frustrated if all you ever do is promote stuff to us.

Premium (paid) products and sponsored posts usually receive many complaints. The sponsored posts detract from the usual style of the blog. I understand why readers would not appreciate these. However, they allow the blogger to earn some extra revenue.

When it comes to premium products I just don’t understand the hate. These products usually take a lot of time to put together and can stretch you to the limit. If you don’t want to buy the item then simply don’t buy it. Don’t resent the blogger for trying to produce a quality product.

One thing that I want to mention is that I really hope you guys understand that bloggers need to make money. The more money a blogger earns from their blog, the more time and effort they can put back into the blog. This is just the reality of it. It’s tough to spend all of your time on something that doesn’t make you any money when you have bills to pay.