The Marketer’s Guide to Making Not-so-Passive Income Online

  • Published on : Oct 3 2012

If you read this blog, you’re probably familiar with the idea of passive income; that’s basically what Zac teaches and he’s a living example of the possibility of passive income.

If you want tips on creating passive income by turning your blog or website into an affiliate cash generation machine, tips on building a successful blog that can be sold for five or six figures in a few years or tips on how to build a successful online business, Zac’s got you covered.

In fact, if you’re looking for practical ways to make money blogging, mostly in passive ways, Zac’s recent Kindlebook, Blogging Tips: Confessions of a Six Figure Blogger, is a must read. Make sure you check it out!

In this post, however, I’ll be giving you some practical tips on how to make money in a not-so-passive way. I’ve used these tips myself, and they’ve worked!

The thing about creating a successful passive income business online is that it takes time; depending on what you know and how committed you are to the process involved, it can take years.

By focusing on not-so-passive ways, however, you can start getting results in a matter of months.

4 Reasons Why Not-so-passive Ways of Making Money Online are Profitable

Here are 4 reasons why you should consider trying not-so-passive ways of making money online:

1. They are Uncompetitive: Majority of those looking to make money online want to do so in a passive way, thus making it increasingly difficult to make passive income online due to the competition.

Building an authority blog that can serve as a pillar for your passive income system takes time. Creating profitable niche sites that get ranked on Google and bring in income takes time. Of course, these aren’t impossible but they just take a lot of time.

Most people even want to make money online while they sleep, but very few people are ready to put in the effort to make money online by doing real jobs.

2. They are Profitable: With the right system and approach, the sky is the limits.

By focusing on not-so-passive ways to make money online, you won’t be broke either. Some people make thousands of dollars online monthly via not-so-passive ways, and I’ve personally had 5-figure months.

Not only is this possible. If done right, it’s profitable!

3. They are quick: Like I said earlier in this article, it’ll probably take a year or more to build a solid passive income stream that can last you for a long time.

It’s easy to start an online business that makes money via not-so-passive ways in just months, and you can scale it to an extent where you’re able to rely on it full-time in a year.

Of course, as with every other business there are no guarantees, but due to the fact that not-so-passive income streams are more like a job it’s easier and quicker to get results via these methods.

4. If done right, you’re in Control: Who says only passive income has to be attractive?

Most people picture not-so-passive income models as a kind of job where you slave ten hours a day trying to make things work.

Far from it! I make money online using not-so-passive systems and I’ve done as much as taken a week or more of vacation; and that’s the one I admit to.

You can also live the “lifestyle” while making money online in not-so-passive ways.

Of course, that’s not to say that making money online using this model is all unicorns and rainbows. That’s not to say you just have to sleep and expect the money to come. Far from it!

It takes hard work to get to a stage where you can really be in control, but it’s possible; you’ll also make enough of money (not enough to get rich, though) on your journey to becoming really in control.

How to Create a Not-so-Passive Online Business that Puts Money in Your Pockets

Once you’ve decided that you’re game, here are some to help you get started.

Step #1: Determine Which Skills You Have that Can Help, and Specialize

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from or what you know, you have something to offer.

If you find yourself very addicted to Photoshop or similar software, you’re probably good at designing. If you spend more time catching grammar and structure errors in articles than reading it, you’re probably good at editing.

There’s something you can do, that excel your other abilities; look for this one skill and make sure it is viable and marketable.

Once it is, build up yourself on this skill and specialize.

It’s easier to notice that you have more than one skill but people are more likely to deal with experts than a jack of all trades; of course, you can easily evolve your business to offer more on the long run but make sure you start with just one skill.

Once you’ve found this skill; refine it, package it and start letting people know you can do it.

  • If you’re good at writing, start advertising yourself as a freelance writer.
  • If you’re good at designing, start advertising yourself as a freelance designer.
  • If you’re good at coding, start calling yourself a freelance programmer.
  • If you’re good at editing, start calling yourself a freelance editor.

Seeing your skills as more than just skills and associating yourself with professionals that have the same skills will go a long way to position you for the business!

Step #2: Offer Your Services as a Freelancer and Make it Clear

Now that you’ve identified your skills and have determined what you want to call yourself as instructed above, the next step is to start offering your services as a freelancer.

Don’t just offer your services as a freelancer, make it clear.

If you spend a lot of time talking about good design and letting people know that you’re very good at design, that doesn’t automatically mean they’ll hire you.

Make yourself known as a freelancer. Openly advocate it; if you’re a freelance writer, editor, programmer or designer, repeatedly call yourself that when you have the opportunity.

Put it up on your website, on your blog, on your social media profiles and in your email signature.

Step #3: Develop a Marketing System for Your Services

While making it clear that you’re a freelancer will let people know that you offer your service as a freelancer; that alone won’t convince people that you’re the person they should hire.

By effectively marketing yourself, however, you’ll be able to demonstrate your expertise to people as well as get them to hire you.

While all the above tips are important, it’s very important to realize that marketing is a very crucial part of the process. Doing all the above won’t deliver results unless marketing is added.

Here are a few ways you can create effective marketing for your freelance service:

1. Blogging: The most powerful tool you can leverage to market your services as a freelance professional is a blog.

Recent data from Hubspot has shown that blogging has more ROI than even Superbowl ads.

An advantage to using your blog as a marketing medium is that it almost instantly demonstrates your expertise while helping you build an audience base that will hire you. This happens gradually and if you market your blog well you can start getting clients in a matter of months.

I’ve embedded a slide I recently created that demonstrates how powerful blogging can be for freelancers:

There are several ways to leverage your blog to help you get clients and here are a few ideas:

Be Consistent: It’s easier to write a blog post every two months and stop there, believing it isn’t worth it since there’s no direct result, but being consistent with your blog will yield far more results.

By publishing more blog posts and being consistent on your blog, you benefit from the following:

You prove you’re a real expert who has more than enough to say and as a result get people’s business

The more articles you write the more social shares, links, traffic and potential clients you get.

Do Case Studies: While it’s good to update your blog regularly, make sure a huge part of what you publish consist of case studies.

Case studies are more powerful than a typical blog post, because they not only give tips but actually walk your reader through the whole process of getting results; moreover, they see the results you get and want to hire you to help them do the same.

If you’re a designer, publish case studies on how design tweaks you made led to more social shares, traffic or revenues. If you’re a copywriter, publish case studies on how your copy led to more sales. No matter your skill/niche, you can still leverage the power of case studies.

Market Your Blog: Don’t just set it up and forget it. It’s not going to work that way!

Write guest posts on other blogs, comment on other blogs, be active on forums related to the subject of your blog and get interviewed on other related blogs and websites.

2. Email Marketing: Another approach you can take is to create a free report or whitepaper, or even a special case study with the aim of getting people to subscribe to your newsletter.

Once they’ve subscribed to your newsletter, you can then start following up with them on a regular basis to get them to use your services.

Email marketing can be complicated, but with the right approach you shouldn’t have problems. If you want to learn more about email marketing, especially for growing your business, you should check out Ben Settle; you can learn a lot from his free emails and he has premium products if you want more advanced training.

3. Sending Pitches: This is the most common way to get freelancing jobs today and it can be very effective if done right.

To get freelancing clients by sending pitches here are a few steps you can follow:

  • Compile a list of potential clients that need and can afford your services
  • Review their business model to see where you can fit in, and how this will help their business grow
  • Develop a short proposal highlighting how you can help their business grow and what the cost will be to them
  • Know the decision maker; before pitching your ideas to any company, make sure you first know who will be making the decisions
  • Send your pitch to the decision maker

This approach won’t be as effective as the first two, but it has been reported to work. You’ll probably have to send dozens of pitch before you get your first client, but it definitely works if you can put in the effort.

Bamidele Onibalusi is a young blogger, freelance writer and the founder of YoungPrePro.com; a blog where he teaches people to write for traffic and money. He recently launched a cartoon series on his blog called Writers’ Fantasies – you should check it out by the way!

Zac Johnson
My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.
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