Passive income is a bit of a misnomer, right?
Is anything truly passive? It’s an ongoing debate but here’s what I take passive to mean:
“Requires maintenance from time to time but no daily/weekly ‘work required’ to service the income, and it’s income which can continue to return on a monthly basis.”
With this in mind, I’ll talk to you about my current and projected passive income streams and what my rationale and plan with them is to grow them.
The first one is Skillshare – which took me a little by surprise.
For the last several months I’ve been earning $10-45 per month from people watching the premium minutes of my courses.
That means they are paid Skillshare members – and Skillshare gives me a revenue share from the number of minutes their students spent watching my content.
I’ve earnt around $1k on the platform in total in around 34 months which would give me an MRR of $29 a month.
Not much I know.
But what I like about this income stream is that I’ve not actually logged into Skillshare for about 6 months (although I just did now as my payments have dipped – several courses were closed and I’m now trying to get them reopened).
But I’m hoping to 4x that over the next year by doing stuff I would do anyway (i.e take it to circa $120+ a month) and maybe even get it to $500 a month.
Let me talk you through my plan as to how I’m going to this (which may totally fail):
- I produce video content (for free) fairly regularly
- The goal of this content is to provide tons of value and to grow my name in the marketing/entrepreneurship space (pretty sure this is the wrong way to do it lol)
- If I’d known, it’s easier for people to know, like and trust me
- If they do know, like and trust me, they’re much more likely to do business with me or buy a higher-ticket product
- This can be agency services, an app I own or consuming paid content
And since I’m producing this free content anyway – why not upload it to multiple Udemy/ Skillshare-esque platforms and get paid for it?
Of course, the downside of it – is that you can get 3.4-star reviews which aren’t amazing and is surprising because I thought that course was good. But these are the associated risks.
There are probably more than a dozen other platforms…(and this is perhaps where I can get the monthly income to low 4-figures passively and build further brand trust)
So why not list absolutely all of them?
So course marketplaces present an interesting passive income opportunity if I keep producing 1-2 hour short courses which take a couple of days at a time
The next ‘passive’ income source I have ongoing right now is via my Adsense website 7upsports.
This is a business I bought for £300 (there’ll be an email coming on buying businesses at some point and how I managed to buy a business so insanely cheap)
So the site currently has around 1200 blog posts (I kid you not) and last month it made £75 – which is rubbish.
However, if it goes to plan (as the site currently gets around 25k page views a month without any SEO work) – we should raise this number to £500+.
One simple switch we’re doing is moving from Adsense to Ezoic which apparently has a lot better payouts than Adsense (I’ve since edited this post and Ezoic is giving us hassle so we’ll keep looking)
Furthermore, we’re experimenting with various popups, placing Amazon affiliate links, offering sponsorship and various other tactics to ideally get the site up to £1,000 a month within 12 months.
So arguably these processes aren’t passive – but certainly, I’m not involved in 85% of the site’s work:
- Salahuddin my business partner manages the content production
- Semil heads up the SEO team of 8 and they deliver this part
- For all of the fiddly bits in between (Amazon affiliate link insertion, signing up to various sites for affiliate links etc) I have Lydia (my internal marketing director)
- I bring ideas to the table and then use the resources above to execute
So the final other consideration which is definitely running at a loss right now is my YouTube channel Pearl Lemon Reviews.
It’s a channel dedicated to reviewing software. At the moment it’s sitting upon 115k views and it’s growing pretty steadily every month.
I spend £150 per month on SEO (to rank #1 on YouTube and often on Google + review)
And £300 for getting 60 videos recorded (I pay £5 per video)
So it has a running cost of around £450 a month plus some miscellaneous costs which take it up to £550 so £6,660 per year.
The YouTube channel has so far:
- Helped me add value to a £5k per month campaign (an SEO client we did videos for)
- Get multiple lifetime deals on various pieces of software
- Get featured as case studies on multiple websites (to then bring more leads in)
So from this perspective, the money spent pays for itself and its value will only grow as we produce more videos (I only started getting 60 videos done a month six weeks ago and the traffic has since been growing fast)
This will, in turn, open up more lifetime deals and partnership/collaboration opportunities
In time, I hope to monetize the channel from ads (I think we’re about three months away from this) as well as build a decent affiliate income from all the reviews we do as well as maybe do some paid reviews.
(This channel has since been monetized and is currently making $4 per day in its first week which I hope will rise to $8 per day within 3 months which would write off the SEO cost at least)
So to summarise, I’ve mentioned:
- Skillshare and related platforms (try to keep making 1-2 free courses per month)
- 7upsports my ‘ads website’ (building a similar thing on another site, Dr Hidden)
- Pearl Lemon Reviews (leverage the channel provides as well as later ad income)
- I’ll mention #4 just now
My hypothesis at any given time is to see if I have the resources to support an idea that could ‘come good’ in a relatively short amount of time (and time = <6 months)
Of all of these #1 and #3 are definitely approaches that I wish I had done differently but they were projects I started years back without really being sure where they would end up.
Arguably you can still say it’s the same right now.
In five to ten years I’ll discover whether my approach was the correct one or not – but my general ethos is simply to say ‘yes’ to ideas that either come up in my head (they mostly happen here) or to say yes to someone else’s idea – but this tends to happen less.
Apparently, the average millionaire has something ridiculous like 12 different forms of income. I’m trying to do the same thing and set up things that will help me now and in the future.
I’ll keep (where and when I can) looking for passive income opportunities that fit neatly within what I’m already doing.
Another example I’ve been toying with recently is partnering with an old client (Brandi) on an eCommerce payment solution that saves stores pennies per transaction for stores using Paypal/Stripe with our cheaper alternative.
We, of course, take a tiny % and the store saves money also so it’s a win-win for everyone. She has a friend doing 7-figures from this business model currently – as once you sign up a client – it then turns into passive income – the challenge is the initial series of clients.
So there you have it. My passive income ideas covered and my general approach.
I have no doubt that over time I’ll probably spend maybe £50,000 on ideas that come to nothing – I definitely take high-frequency tests.
But the idea is – is that one of these things will pay off big time.
And I’m taking too many bets for that not to work.
Furthermore, by running this many experiments I open up the chance of serendipity:
the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
“a fortunate stroke of serendipity”
And this isn’t luck really – it’s the consequence of taking many ‘risks’ at the same time.
So I hope that gives some insights into how I’m growing my passive income outside of Pearl Lemon.
If you have any questions, just email me back and I’ll try to answer them.
Meanwhile – catch you in the next email where I’ll be talking about my 430am starts and how it’s changing my life.