They say minimal labor – read this before you decide
All you hear about is work from home, get into passive income, and you will have to put in minimal effort. Wouldn’t it be amazing to put in a minimal effort to reduce your financial stress? “Passive income” is the new sales pitch. “You won’t have to work hard,” “do the work you love,” “free up your time and make money,” etc. Having a couple of great headlines is all you need and bam you have a great income. However, the reality is it isn’t all that easy.
Define passive income
The term passive income suggests little work that regularly generates income without much effort. It is implied that you can immediately replace that 9 to 5 job with your new “side hustle.”
Passive income is money earned in exchange for a service like investments, Airbnb hosting, rental properties, teaching courses, etc.
My journey started pre-pandemic
FYI, before the pandemic started, I had gone back to university to get my master’s and become a consultant. The contracts were flowing in, and I loved the work. However, the pandemic happened. The businesses I had worked for had to cut contracts.
I waited a while, we decided to move to another state and downsize. Our kids were grown, and we could choose to live in a state we always loved – Colorado. Moving took up most of my time, so we put my career on the back burner, and I focused my time cleaning out the house we lived in for 15 years. In fact, It is amazing how much crap you collect and think you will need at some point.
I donated like 50 boxes of books, clothes, knickknacks, VCR tapes, etc. We also hired a crew to haul off a huge truck and trailer of junk. Once we moved and settled the pandemic was in full force and I didn’t have a job yet.
It sounded pretty easy, get a domain and a platform, and bang, I could spend a few hours a week posting and make money from advertisers. However, I had to learn how to run a website: there are keywords to know that people research.
You want followers, so you post keywords that people typically use. However, finding them costs money.
You have to find affiliate programs which are businesses that will pay you if you advertise their business. You get paid by clicks and purchases. However, your content has to draw more people back to the drawing board with content on your website. You need enough content to draw more people.
Content is the focus. Advertisers want you to have “quality” content that draws people to your website. That content has to meet googles recommendations. Now you need SEO. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) builds and improves content to bring traffic from search engines.
SEOs cost money, and it takes time to figure out what they are, where to get them, and pay for them. Once I got one, it was worth the investment. My SEO indicates all the problems that needed attention in my website:
- paragraph length
- sentence length
- passive voice needs to be below 10% of article
- transition words should be at 30%
- no more than 2 consecutive sentences can start with the same word
- subhead distribution
- Flesch reading ease (the score which indicates how easy article is to read
The SEO I use gives you scores that meet content recommendations. I had to rewrite all my content and when I go those high scores I was exhilarated.
Advertisers and Affiliates
Having advertisers is where the money comes from unless you sell a product. It sounded easy to get income in this manner. In fact, how often have you gone to a website to see it covered in advertisements? Seems easy but don’t be fooled!
Advertisers want to sell their products, so your website has to meet standards they set. Learning to set up and often create ads yourself is a whole other learning curve – sucks. Furthermore, you have to find affiliate programs that fit your website content and who are willing to advertise on your site. Here’s another problem affiliate programs have varying lengths of time they will pay you to be on your website.
For example, some are 30 days and will pay you if someone clicks on your ad or, better yet, buys it. If they buy it, you can get as little as 2% or possibly 20%. However, after 30 days, you make nothing regardless of clicks or purchases. It’s tough to keep up with who will pay you for how long. Meanwhile, you have to keep up the content on your website.
I know it sounds like I am complaining a lot. However, there are pros to having a website. Beyond the costs of money and time, there is flexibility. You can decide how much time to commit to this side hustle. As you may have noticed, I have advertisers now, but I still need to find more followers. That is where social media comes in handy. Social media is free; you have to learn how to get people to follow you. Be patient and don’t give up.
I have been building my website for a few months and foresee this becoming one of my passive income steams. I know someone who built a website on sharing content with her family and eventually sold her website for quite a lot of money. Passive income doesn’t guarantee wealth to everyone. However, over time, steady and gainful passive income can mean a few thousand dollars a month—worth a shot.