Here at Odd Noodle, we think there are a lot of ways to do things so we rarely say this is the best way to do anything. So when we say that this is the best way for Creators to make passive income we really mean it.
What is it?
Don’t worry, we will do a better job of explaining why this is and we’ll even go over some of the other passive income business models that people love to talk about and why we still think creating and selling digital products is better than them.
Before we dive in I guess it’s important that we talk about passive income itself and what it is exactly.
What Is Passive Income and Is It Really Passive?
We aren’t big fans of the term passive income because it ignores all of the work required to get it. Instead, we like to call it absent income because it’s income that you can make without being around.
Calling it passive makes it seem like you don’t need to do anything and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Is it possible to get to a place where you don’t have to do any work at all and still make money?
Yes, but it requires work to get there.
So what would be an example of passive income? Well, we can take this blog post as a good example.
You go through the blog post and you like the information that it contains and because of this, you decide that you want more information from us so you can continue on your journey. You sign up for our Bootcamp on Business Engines and get automated emails teaching you how to build a business that incorporates the 3 engines.
You like that information and you want to dive even deeper so you buy our course, Full Stack Engines, to help you build that 6-figure online business that eventually gets to the point where passive income rolls in.
Once we created the blog post, wrote the emails, and produced the course, there wasn’t anything else that we had to do with those things. Yes, it requires that we find a way to drive traffic to the blog post but beyond that, we are done.
That’s how passive income looks for many online businesses. It happens in different iterations, but that’s the gist of it.
The Second Best Passive Income Business Models
It’s important to start with the passive income business models that everyone talks about because if we are going to call one the best over the others then it’s important to understand why.
In this case, the two major ones are Ads and Affiliate Marketing.
Both of these are the big revenue streams that bloggers and YouTubers talk about because these are the ones that anyone can do.
So why do we consider them second best?
They require a pretty sizable audience if you want to generate the income that can lead to freedom. With the exception of high-ticket affiliate marketing, most affiliate marketing happens in chunks of $0.50 to $10. That means you need to push a lot of products to have an impact on anything.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should avoid these business models. In fact, if you can incorporate these two along with the one that we’re going to talk about below, then that’s 3 revenue streams that you’ve added to your business.
That’s a smart move.
The Best Passive Income Business Model: Digital Products
As mentioned before, the best passive income business model we believe is digital products. Now, you might be asking what makes them so different from affiliate marketing where you might also be promoting products.
And the answer is simple but is best explained through an example.
Let’s say that you want to learn how to make your first $10,000 online. So you head to Google and you search to see how you can make money blogging. You see our blog post in the results and you click on it.
Within that post, you see a link to our book on blogging and because the information in the post is so good, you decide to buy it.
Okay, let’s stop right here. When you buy the book that means we get most of the money. The only money we don’t get goes to credit card processing fees (usually around 2.6% + $0.30). That means with a $29 ebook we get $27.86.
That’s a nice chunk of change.
Okay, let’s continue.
You go through the book and implement what’s in it. You start to see results and you’re happy, but you aren’t done with your journey. You want to make money with digital products (we are getting meta) so then you decide to purchase our course Full Stack Engines.
You spend $997 but you know it will be worth it and we get the majority of that money.
In a matter of months, you’ve spent $29 + $297 + $2,500 ($2,826) and we’ve kept the majority of it and the reason why is because we kept you within our ecosystem.
This is the power of digital products. If someone goes off and buys from one of your affiliate links then you have no idea if they did it or not but the other company does and now that person is in their ecosystem.
This was an extreme example but what if you had a suite of products that ranged from $19 to $499? How many different products would your audience buy from you over their lifetime?
Building Your Passive Income Business
I’ve hinted at it, but how do you build a passive income business similar to the one I outlined above?
First, you need to understand The Pocket Business Framework. This framework sets the tone for everything that you’re going to do with your business.
Consider it your North Star.
- Get them to notice you
- Get them to pay attention to you
- Get them to trust you
- Convert that trust into money
Every single business in the world follows this framework and it’s the key to understanding how to build a passive income business.
Because if you want to work less then you need to figure out what you must do to get people to notice you, pay attention to you, and trust you, without having to live on the computer.
This blog post is a perfect example. Then the emails that are scheduled to go out to you if you sign up for the mailing list. Then the offers that are readily available when you’re ready to purchase them.
But you might want a more focused plan so let me show you what we do for our own businesses along with our clients.
Step 1: Choose Your Outcome
You can put this one under choosing your niche, but instead of a niche, we like to choose the outcome. That gives us a lot more flexibility in how we approach things.
It means that if we say that we help people with the outcome of making more money, we have a lot more flexibility in how we do that.
But what about niching down? That doesn’t mean we can’t choose a specific topic to start off with.
Step 2: Start With Long-Form Content
This is the part that many people will shy away from because they don’t want to create long-form content and that’s fine. Probably.
The reason why I like to start with long-form content is because it helps to establish how I look at things within the topic and it begins to build a resource for my audience.
This site you’re on now has over 500 blog posts. It’s hard to say that whenever I talk about a subject I don’t know what I’m talking about when there is enough evidence that I do.
It not only provides a resource for my audience to go through but also allows for multiple ways my audience can find me.
This is about playing the long game. I don’t create this content expecting any of it to blow up but a single blog post can trigger the ideas for social media content and emails.
Create a BVA
I don’t always start with blog posts. Sometimes I will start by creating a Big Value Asset. That gives me something that I can link to immediately that will be beneficial for the audience.
The Pocket Course is a great example of a BVA.
Step 3: Create an Offer
It can be challenging to create passive income without having something people will sell. Now, is doing this as step 3 always easy?
Is it always possible?
Yes, but not always obvious so if you have to skip this step for now that’s okay.
But because a lot of the brands that I create revolve around the passions and interests that I have, creating some type of digital product isn’t the most difficult thing in the world.
Usually, these digital products take the form of books. Creating an ebook is a natural thing for me to do after creating the long-form content because it acts as a natural extension.
If I can write 5 blog posts that are over 2,000 words each then those 10,000 total works equal a small ebook.
Step 4: Write the Emails
The goal is to have people sign up for a mailing list so that I can continue to email them.
But email is outdated!
Sure, you can keep on believing that while I’ll continue to make money sending out those emails. The key with email is that it’s not controlled by an algorithm.
Take a look at the stats for this particular email.
If I had 2,200 followers on a social network, I’d be lucky if the algorithm allowed for 10% of them to see my content.
That doesn’t happen with email.
And with email, I get a chance to speak to my audience one-on-one without a million other things on the screen trying their best to distract them.
By creating a series of emails, I can continue to talk to my audience without feeling like I always need to be around.
This leads to the final step.
Step 5: Social Media
Which social media platform you choose doesn’t matter. Okay it matters, but it’s more dependent on what you want to do and how you want to communicate.
It doesn’t make sense for someone who is talking about home decor to hop on LinkedIn, but that doesn’t mean LinkedIn isn’t a great social media platform for some people.
The point is that you want to create the type of content that will get people to stop scrolling and read. This leads them to view your profile which should push them to your site.
Sometimes the bio link in my social media will link them to an offer and other times it will send them to a lead magnet.
The point is that now I’ve created a content flywheel that continues to move even when I walk away from it for some time. How?
The Passive Income Flywheel
Let’s break the business down into a simple formula.
Audience x Offer = $$$$$$
So that means to build a passive income business, you need a way to constantly grow your audience and show them your offer(s).
Think about everything that I talked about above with the different steps.
- The long-form content (blog posts in this example) helps to generate organic (Search Engine) traffic that will bring people to the site over time.
- The emails that I’ve created continue to deepen the relationship with the audience and push them back to the site.
- The social media content acts as a gateway for many to my brand and leads them to my site.
Those 3 steps are building the audience while also helping to sell the offers. Sometimes it’s a hard sell (this offer is going to end) but most of the time it is a soft sell (hey, I have something you might like).
Initially, it can be a lot of work upfront, but after a couple of months there is enough content where I can take longer breaks and still make solid money.
This is the system that I teach in my flagship course, Full Stack Engines. So if you’re interested in learning how to build a business that allows you not only financial freedom but time freedom then check it out.