Step out of stocks and bonds for truly passive investing
I love investing but when it comes to growing your wealth, nothing beats creating passive income sources. These streams of income can grow and will make you money even when you sleep.
I’ve found three passive income investments almost nobody is using and we’re not talking traditional investments.
I’m revealing three business investments you can make that will cash flow immediately. In fact, I flipped a $500 investment into a $5,000 payoff on one of these in less than a year.
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Why I Love Passive Income
We’re in the middle of our three-part series on passive income and I’m excited for this one. What we’re talking about today is special because we don’t normally cover this kind of investing but there is a huge opportunity here to build passive income and almost nobody is using these strategies.
We’re talking about investing in a passive income business so you can hit the ground running and start making money immediately.
We ranked those 18 passive income ideas in our last video and you see that blogging is one of my favorites. I started my blogs in late 2014 and started making over ten grand a month last year. But it wasn’t immediate. It took me a year before I was making two thousand a month and you can see in this chart based on a survey of bloggers that 50% make less than $1,500 a month.
There are two problems here for most bloggers and this is true for a lot of the passive income streams we see in that list. First is that new bloggers just haven’t spent the time to understand blogging as a business, how to run a website and how it makes money. Second though is they just haven’t given it enough time.
The average blog takes about a year to really start churning out that cash flow but 95% of bloggers quit updating their blog within that year according to a survey by Tecnorati. That’s 95 out of 100 new bloggers that quit on their dreams just before they start making money. It’s like they’re dropping the ball at the 10-yard line.
Another part of that survey I did showed the average blog traffic by age and you can see that dropping your blog in that first year leaves so much traffic and opportunity on the table. The average blog is getting about 10,000 visitors by the end of that first year. Stick with it though and it doubles that second year and just keeps climbing.
So what I’m going to show you is how to buy blogs and other passive income businesses, how to pick up the ball and run it in for a quick touchdown.
I did this with a dating site I bought in 2015 from another blogger. It was a legit blog but making less than $100 a month. It was a solid site, a couple years old and some good Google search value, the blogger just didn’t have time for it. I bought the site for $500 and started boosting traffic and updating the content and was able to boost income to $350 a month inside of three months.
Now this was more of a flipping strategy because I sold it nine months later for five thousand but it would have made for a great long-term passive income as well. I could have gotten monthly income up to a couple of grand within a year and all on a $500 investment.
That’s the power of this business investing idea. I could have started that blog from scratch but it might have been a year before I was making money. This way, I was able to save all that time with an investment in an established business and was able to start making money immediately.
I’m going to show you three passive income businesses, how to find people willing to sell and how to invest in these ideas. Because we’re going to be looking for businesses that are just a year or two old, you know the owner isn’t going to be making much money yet, they’re going to be looking to sell and you can snap these up at a bargain.
How to Invest in a Blog
The first business investment we’ll look at is that idea of buying established blogs. A blog can be a great building block to a lot of other passive income streams so I recommend starting here. Not only will you make money on the blog through ads, affiliates and sponsorships but you’ll be able to use it as a marketing source for the other two income streams we’ll talk about.
We’ve got a free five-part series on starting and growing a blog here on the channel as well as a checklist for everything you’ll need to know.
As far as buying an established blog, there are sites like Flippa.com that connect buyers and sellers but I prefer to go directly to sellers. This way, you’ve got a better shot at finding legit blogs for a better price.
First you’ll do a Google search for lists of blogs in your niche. We talked about finding your niche or blog topic in that build-a-blog series. Find a couple of these lists and work your way up from the bottom, contacting the bloggers to see if they’d be interested in selling.
You’ll get some positive responses and you can ask them what they think is a fair price based on their monthly sales and traffic. Some will come back asking what your budget is but tell them you really don’t have a budget and will pay according to existing sales. It’s all a negotiating trick. You’re trying to get them to propose a number first to give you an idea of what they’ll accept.
If they come back with a number or even if they don’t, ask to see screenshots of their monthly revenue sources for proof of income. You’ll also need reader access to their Google Analytics to look at their traffic. What you’re looking for here is how much traffic they get from Google search, that’s really the most important and most monetizable.
Next you can look to a link-checker site like Ahrefs which will show you the links coming in to the blog as well as keyword rankings. This helps to confirm that it’s a legit site with good links, links are like currency for Google search, it’s what helps you rank.
The question you want to be asking here is, “Can I improve the blog through SEO, content and make more money?”
Most of the time, this is an obvious yes. Most bloggers, especially new ones, just don’t spend the time to learn blogging as a business. They miss out on the easy ways to increase traffic, get better Google rankings and make money. That means a lot of opportunity for someone willing to take over under-appreciated blogs and make them work.
If all of this looks good. If the blog looks legit, has the beginnings of some search rankings but just hasn’t been developed, I would start by offering 12 times the average monthly income to buy it. This is usually well under what the blogger wants but it gives you a place to negotiate from.
The standard price for a blog is between 18 to 24 times its average monthly income so I’d usually only go as high as 18 times. Just like in real estate investing we’ve talked about on the channel. Expect to walk away from a lot of deals because of the price. If the seller won’t give you a good deal, there will always be another so do not get pressured into paying too much.
Buying the blog is fairly straight-forward. You’ll want to write up a contract for all the files, transfer the domain and hosting. You’ll want to transfer all the social media accounts, email lists, lists of any sponsored posts and contacts. You can start an escrow on escrow.com to hold the money while all this is being done so it’s only released when you are both satisfied.
Once you’ve got the blog, it’s time to go to work. For that, just check out that build-a-blog video series and you’ll see everything you need to grow a profitable blog.
Buying Passive Income Investment Assets
Now let’s look at buying finished online courses as a passive income investment. I really like this one because absolutely nobody is doing it but it can be a natural fit for bloggers or anyone else with an online business. As a blogger, you’ll get emails from people asking to buy your blog but nobody reaches out to buy the rights to finished online courses.
There is a rude awakening that awaits most people after creating an online course. Making money has nothing to do with the course, it’s all in the marketing. That’s where nine out of ten course creators get frustrated. They’ve spent all this time to develop a video course…then it’s nothing but crickets. The average course available on Udemy makes less than $150 a month.
But these are solid courses. I’ve taken five video courses on Udemy and have been happy with each one. Their usually a few hours of video instruction with handouts and other materials, real value.
And that’s a real opportunity for someone that can take a course, put a marketing plan behind it and make more money.
So first you’re going to find courses in your niche, preferably ones that compliment a blog or other online business. You can look for these on Udemy and I guarantee there will be hundreds of courses in any topic. And you want to look for courses with less than a few hundred reviews and maybe six months old or older. These are the courses that have been uploaded but never really promoted.
Next you’ll reach out by email to the course creator to see if they’d be interested in selling the rights. If they are, you ask for a coupon to review the course before making an offer.
If it looks like a quality course, I’d again start by asking them how much they think is fair like we talked about in buying a blog. The same negotiating goes on here, maybe start by offering 10-times monthly sales but only go as high as 16 or 18-times. Ask for a screenshot of their Udemy payouts to verify the sales.
If you agree to a price, the buying process is the same. You can write up a contract and start an escrow account. You’ll want all the video files plus transfer the course ownership on Udemy. Transferring the course is better because you keep those prior reviews and don’t have to start over.
I would recommend uploading the course to Teachable and maybe even taking it off Udemy. Udemy is a good site for taking courses and learning but they offer discounts so often that nobody wants to pay more than $15 for a course. On Teachable, you can charge as much as you want and half the courses on the platform sell for $100 or more. In fact, Teachable surveyed course creators and found over 42% made more than $50,000 a year.
To market your course, you can start by putting a couple of ads on your blog and linking to it from your most popular posts. This is why it’s a natural fit for bloggers because you’ve already got that immediate marketing channel set up.
You can also use the easy marketing funnel we talked about in our build-a-course videos. Make sure you check that out because it’s a great system that will help you make more sales on your courses.
This is a really unique strategy with nobody using it. You can even buy multiple courses to create an entire school around your topic. Each will build off each other and you can make a lot of money here.
Investing in Published Books
Our third income investment is going to be buying the rights to self-published books from the authors. This is going to be similar to that strategy of buying a course and integrating it with your blog. There are a lot of self-published books on Amazon that sell less than 10 copies a month, that’s less than $30 each month. Now the ten books I’ve self-published aren’t on the New York Times Best-Seller list, but I still average $200 a month from each, that’s almost two grand each and every month.
So imagine being able to buy the rights to a book for around $400 and then making over $2000 a year, every single year.
Here you can search Amazon to find books related to your blog topic or even a specific post on your blog. This is such an excellent strategy because if you can drive just a dozen or so sales a month then your book will stay ranked on Amazon and you’ll sell dozens of copies from people searching on the world’s largest ecommerce site. Sell just 70 copies a month and you’re at that $200 monthly income on a $3.99 kindle book.
When you’re looking for books, look to the details towards the bottom of the book page and you’re looking for ones ranked lower than 500,000 on Kindle, so you’re looking for higher numbers than five hundred grand. That means they’re probably selling less than 20 books a month or around $50 bucks or less.
For the books that look good, contact the author to see if they’d be willing to sell the rights and ask for a free copy to review it and tell them you’ll leave a review on Amazon even if you don’t end up buying the rights. You don’t want to be buying every book you want to review.
If it looks like a good book, make sure they own the rights with a search on ISBNsearch.org and ask them to send you screenshots of their Amazon sales. Same negotiating strategy here. Ask them to name a price first or start with about 10-times the average month sales. I’d only go as high as 15 months’ for a book and remember that authors only make 70% of their sales on Amazon so base your numbers on that rather than the copies sold times the cover price.
Same buying process here with a contract and escrow. You’ll want all the files for the book including kindle and paperback formatting. You’ll need them to transfer the rights to the ISBN number as well. Now Amazon doesn’t have a process for transferring the rights to a book so they’ll have to unpublish it from the site so you can republish under your name.
Once you’ve got the book published, integrate it in with your blog just like you would a course. You’ll have a launch week priced at $0.99 on Amazon to get reviews from friends and family. You’ll also want to create a paperback and audiobook version if there wasn’t one.
I make about a third of my book sales through audiobooks so it’s a great way to boost your income. You can also set up some ads in Amazon Marketing Services to boost your sales ranking for the books. I spend just $20 a book each month in ads and they stay ranked. I don’t have to do anything else and I can expect that check from Amazon every single month.
Don’t forget to check out that first video in the passive income series where we rank each passive income stream and talk through each. We’ve also got a video coming up on starting some of these income ideas with no money so click through and join the community on Let's Talk Money!