Nothing is a bigger motivator to work on your side hustle, than waking up and seeing that you made over $100 in a single day from passive sources.
Now, this post is not a regular blog income report. I will not be sharing my total income here. Much as I love being transparent, I find generic income reports repetitive in nature.
So this post is rather a “passive-income” report.
And before you go all, “but nothing is really passive“.
I hear ya, and I will tell you exactly how much I had to work to make this last month.
1 hour per day. On Pinterest.
I spent zero hours creating new content as I’ve been busy working on launching my new online company (aka the website you’re on).
The only time I actively spent was on my favorite traffic generating platform, Pinterest.
The reason I club it under passive income is that it didn’t depend on my time per se.
I didn’t have to book certain hours or perform services to actually make this amount. I didn’t have to spend time on sales or sprucing up anything at all.
I simply used my “existing content” to work for me.
This was made on auto-pilot using advertisements that make money on my website, even when I’m not online.
Disclaimer: Before you think it is “easy” to do this. Let me tell you that I’ve been learning and working in the online media/marketing since 2017. So I’m not a newcomer, but I’m also not an exception. I started exactly where you did. With zero knowledge of digital marketing.
Okay, so now let’s talk the good stuff, eh?
HOW DOES THIS INCOME SYSTEM WORK?
I know that this is the first question you have.
Especially if you are new to the field of online marketing or businesses in general.
Since I am a visual person, I believe explaining this through a diagram is better than me talking endlessly about how it works.
So here it goes:
This is a very simplified diagram but it does a good job of explaining to you how this passive income system works.
Now you can replace or add other methods such as: Affiliate Marketing, Products and more, but I believe it takes a lot more upfront work to make those 2 additional streams of revenue.
Hence, I wouldn’t club them under passive.
Affiliate marketing requires optimization around “buyer keywords” and focusing a lot on organic traffic to make sure it converts. Creating and selling products is a full-time job and there is a lot of work that goes into producing a consistent stream of income from products alone.
Using ads for monetizing a website is one of the oldest methods of generating income, yet it is the easiest (relatively) method to start with.
The way it works is that you sign up with an advertising network that then bids for your ad inventory and shares the revenue with you.
THE FACTORS THAT GO INTO AD INCOME
Now, obviously it is not as simple as slapping ads on your website and waiting for the money to roll in.
If it were that easy, we would all have digital empires. 😉
In my humble opinion, these factors are critical to the level and amount of revenue you can generate on ads:
#1 Your niche
This one should be obvious but often isn’t. The amount of money you make on ads will ALWAYS in one way or another dependant on your website niche.
Certain niches will always be “hot” niches and advertisers will throw more money at it, which makes you (the publisher) consequently more money.
There is no way to generalize which niche will make more, but the basic rules of demand and supply apply here as well.
Industries such as banking, finance, health, and relationships will always outperform small niches such as pet food or knitting.
#2 Your Traffic
I know there’s a lot of debate on whether traffic matters. The answer is “it depends”.
If you use ads as a monetization model, you NEED traffic.
The more traffic you have the higher your ad income will be, period.
Here’s the Traffic To Income Formula:
NUMBER OF PAGE VIEWS/1000 X REVENUE PER THOUSAND IMPRESSIONS(RPM) = AD INCOME
Alright, so what does this mean in layman terms?
The industry average for RPM hovers around $10. This means for every 1000 impressions you will earn an average of $10.
[RPM’s can go up to $50 depending on your niche and season, but I’ve taken it as $10 to keep the math easy]
Let’s say you grow your traffic to 10,000 monthly page views, you make..
10,000/1000 X 10 = $100 in ad income per month
Let’s say you grow your traffic to 100,000 monthly page views, you make..
100,000/1000 X 10 = $1000 in ad income per month
Now, if you grow your traffic to 500,000 monthly page views, you make..
500,000/1000 X 10 = $5000 in ad income per month
You can see how exciting this is right?
Because the more you grow your traffic, the more you grow your income! If your RPM is higher, you don’t need the same numbers as I listed above. You can make more on less traffic.
The traffic you receive will again depend on a large number of factors such as the type of content you create, the method you use to drive income and even where you audience is located.
The more a country spends on ad revenue, and the bigger your audience from that country is, the more money you will make.
#3 Your Ad Network
There is a lot of debate around this topic and it again depends on your niche and audience.
If you have a US-based audience, Mediavine and AdThrive should be the ones you should try to qualify for. [yes, I said to qualify. You need a minimum amount of sessions to be eligible for these premium networks].
If you have a global or mixed audience, then Google Adsense is always a good place to start. Other networks such as Ezoic, Monumetric and more have also picked up speed in the latter years.
This is something you will have to assess based on where you are and what your niche is. In general, I wouldn’t think of using an ad network until you have at least 5000 page views. Simply because it won’t make a big dent in your bank account.
It would be way better to learn how to create content and generate traffic before you actually head into monetisation mode.
HOW I DID IT
Three years back, when I started my first blog in early 2017 (which failed), if someone told me I would be able to make minimum wage (in Germany) only using one passive revenue stream, I would have laughed.
I have come a long way since then. I’ve not only spent the last two years learning everything I can but also applied those learnings in two different niches to reap results in, namely travel and marketing.
What works for one niche doesn’t necessarily work for another and we all have a unique path to hitting our goals.
One thing though has remained constant.
Being able to figure out and master a traffic generation system which then converts the free content I share into money.
And this system for me has been Pinterest.
Not only because I am an impatient woman and want things fast, but also because I cannot wait for 3-5 years before Google actually shows my site in search results.
I like finding solutions that are quick and work instantly.
Now this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work on Google traffic, you definitely should. But you should also find an alternative that works NOW and not three years later.
Who has three years to wait anyway?
You probably want to see how much traffic I had to generate this number.
Here’s a deeper look:
And here’s what I made on the same traffic:
As I said, these results will vary based on your niche, your audience, your traffic, and your ad network.
In my upcoming course launch, Pinterest Traffic Explosion, I break down my Pinterest Traffic Formula into 31 steps.
The course is a monster course that takes you from absolute beginner to a traffic generation expert.
These 31 steps, when done right with consistency can generate thousands of page views for your website, in return generating thousands of dollars in passive income.
And the beautiful thing about having traffic is that it doesn’t stop at one revenue model.
I have used the same website to build an audience of 2000 email subscribers, a number of small digital products and make more than my full-time job in under 15 months.
So when you ask me what is possible? I say, the sky is the limit.
But you need to be willing to invest in your learning and apply those learnings actively.
When I started to invest in tools, books, courses and a coach, my results grew like wildfire.
That’s because even though I spent more money, I reached the same results an amateur would need 5-10 years to reach. And in the process, I made back even more money than I invested.
I now blog and run a company (based on online marketing) full time. And this would never have been possible if I hadn’t figured out a solid traffic generation system.
So my advice to you is to start learning and failing FAST.
Don’t rely only on free information that is often outdated and old to tell you what you should be doing.
If free information was great, we would never pay for a college degree, right?