Welcome to the free-to-all, take-any-time, 10-day passive income challenge. I’ll be working toward significantly increasing my passive income over the next few months, so I wrote a to-do list/action plan that I decided to publish as a challenge. Feel free to join in. If you want to ask any questions or publicly share any successes, feel free to use the comment section, or post about it over on the Facebook page.
What is the 10-day passive income challenge?
Simple. We block off one to two hours a day for 10 days, and each day we do something to increase passive income long-term. What, exactly? I’ll lay that out below. You can do it in ten days straight, ideally, or each Saturday for 10 weeks, if you’re a 9-to-5er with no time during the week. You could even take a MAD (massive action day) and do it all at once. Your call.
Who’s it for?
This one is aimed at those who already have some type of online audience, as we won’t be starting from scratch and teaching you how to set up a blog or start an email list (if that’s the stage you’re at you may like this post and this one). If you already have a blog, even if it’s fairly new (or even long-abandoned) and/or some kind of online audience, you can join in.
What will you need?
A note book or a blank document (Word, Google or whatever works for you). You’re going to be taking action each day, but because I’m assuming most of you will only have one to two hours a day, you’ll often be brainstorming or listing ideas for the future. Keep all these notes and lists together. The 10-day challenge will set you up with what you need to do, but ideally you’ll keep taking action on these tasks regularly for a few months. Then you’ll start to see the truly passive income coming in. That’s the plan anyway.
Day 1 – Find affiliate products
One of the easiest forms of passive income for anyone with a suitable online platform is making affiliate sales. There’s a whole 6-part series here at the blog if you’re relatively new to affiliate marketing. There’s also a post that focuses on how to find the perfect affiliate product to promote. You’re basically looking for products and services in your niche, that your audience might like, that offer a good commission. Then you’re going to offer them to your audience, via your affiliate links, and earn yourself some commissions.
Don’t forget to assess what you’ve already got, too. That is, look at all the affiliate programs you’re already signed up with, whether you’ve previously made money with them or not. You may want to look through your PayPal or Stripe account to see what you’ve made money with previously. These are obviously offers that resonate with your audience, so it’s worth promoting them again. If you’re signed up for programs that you’ve never made much money with, assess why. Maybe they’re not right for your audience, but maybe you’ve just never really promoted them.
So your task for today is to research new affiliate opportunities, apply for any that make sense for you, and make a list of these new or pending affiliate partners. Then make a list of every program and product that you’re already an affiliate for, along with notes about how well they’ve worked for you in the past. Keep these lists to hand as you move on to tomorrow’s task.
Day 2 – Brainstorm content
Specifically, brainstorm content that promotes the above products. Often, the best way to sell an affiliate product is to write a blog post that addresses the problem the product solves, pre-sell the solution it offers, then provide a link. You can also highlight a problem you had and tell people about how the product solved that problem. This anecdote-style content works best in an email or on social media. In a blog post you’ll want to at least partially solve the problem you’re addressing (your blog content should always provide stand-alone value). But you can also point out that a particular product will help solve the problem quicker, better, or cheaper.
Again, assess what you’ve already got, too. That is, look at all the content on your blog and see if it can be better monetised by adding more or different affiliate links, updated, then re-published or re-promoted. This is also a good time to look at any PLR content you have and see how it can be tweaked and monetised, and published for future passive income.
Remember at this point you’re just brainstorming. Your goal at the end of today is a list of content ideas, not the finished product. There’s only so much you can do in ten days, but a list of content ideas that can be easily monetised is an inspiration for future content that you can dip into for months to come.
Day 3 – Consider Medium
If you’re not familiar with the platform you can check out more details here. Medium is useful for building an audience, driving traffic, and growing an email list. But it’s also a source of residual (passive) income all on its own. You can re-publish content from your blog to Medium, with a link back to the original post which can help with direct traffic and SEO. If you prefer to keep your blog content 100% exclusive, you can write related content on Medium and link back to your blog. Every post on Medium can earn money and be a source of passive income. My best post on Medium has made well over $2000. Others like this and this have made several hundred. Building a body of work on Medium can lead to passive income over time, even when you aren’t publishing there regularly.
Today’s task is to research Medium (if you’re not already using it) and decide if it could be a part of your passive income generation. If you already have an account but you’re not active there, it’s time to re-visit it and see if it can be revived and used to generate passive income. Active Medium member? Your task today is to assess how well you’re doing and brainstorm ideas as to how you can up your game there (perhaps by promoting old content, optimising it for the search engines, or by publishing new content over there that will earn residual income for months to come).
Day 4 – Focus on Freebies (from your affiliate partners)
One way to boost your passive income via affiliate sales without annoying your following is by creating leads for your partners, rather than directly selling their products to your audience. Not every affiliate program offers this possibility, but many do. They allow you to give away freebies, using your affiliate link. When people click through your link and sign up, they are added to your partner’s list and sales funnel, and registered as your leads. If they buy anything in the future (even way into the future) you earn a commission.
Three partners I work with in this way are CoachGlue (who offer freebies like this new client kit and this Instagram guide) VA networking (who offer a ton of free resources) and It’s All You Boo who offer this great Slay Your Goals guide and this Habit Tracker. It’s important to pick high value freebies that will resonate with your audience, and a company that has good funnels in place to convert subscribers to buyers as and when they’re ready to buy.
Your task for today is to check out the affiliate programs you work with, find any freebies they offer in this way, and create some content (social posts, emails, or blog posts) that promote them. If you’re going for whole blog posts, it’s fine to just create ideas or outlines today.
Day 5 – Focus on freebies (promoting your affiliate partners)
Most bloggers spend some time creating freebies, opt-in gifts and content upgrades. It’s fine to put relevant affiliate links in these, to either free or paid resources that your affiliate partners offer. This is another way to keep putting content out there that promotes your affiliate partners, puts your leads into their funnels, and earns you money over time. You can include affiliate links in new freebies you create or go back to older ones that still get regular downloads and add them to those. While you’re doing this you may also want to add links to your own digital products (see Day 6).
Your task for today is to add relevant affiliate links to existing freebies and content upgrades, or plan some new freebies and content upgrades, that you can naturally incorporate affiliate links into. Want a super simple idea for a content upgrade? Create a list of free resources on a specific topic and include a couple of freebies from affiliate partners, who offer a high-quality freebie and have a good funnel set up.
Day 6 – Brainstorm new products
We’ve mainly focused on affiliate products so far, but you may also have your own digital products, or want to create them. Once created, digital products can create regular passive income, as you get paid every time a customer buys a product, without having to create something new. My digital products include my bestselling 99 cent ebook, my low cost digital journal and planner, and my more expensive but still affordable success kits for freelance writers, busy bloggers and affiliate marketers. Other common digital products include online courses and trainings, reports and printable workbooks and checklists. You can create digital products using PLR or done-for-you content, repurposing content you’ve previously created or creating something from scratch.
Your task for today is to brainstorm ideas for new products, check your PLR folders for things that can be adapted to make digital products, and check that any existing digital products of yours are on your promotions schedule so you’re constantly reminding your online audience, social following and subscribers about them.
Day 7 – Turn reading into revenue
If you love to read, you can make (a little) passive income from it. Book reviews, summaries and notes are popular with readers, especially books in your niche if you’re a blogger, broadcaster, or influencer. You don’t have to write full reviews of everything you read. You can do round-up posts of similar books (like this one or this), or create a section on your blog where you post notes on books you’ve read. Notes can be as simple as a one sentence summary, who you’d recommend the book to, and/or a couple of key takeaways. Then link to the book online, with an affiliate link of course.
Your task for today is to pick a book your audience would love and start reading it, making a few notes as you go (if you read on Kindle there’s a notes and highlights function to make is super easy).
Day 8 – Plan your emails
So far we haven’t even mentioned your email list. That’s actually where most affiliate sales (and sales of your own products) come from. So start building or growing it. Now you have some great freebies and some great free (but monetised) content to share with your subscribers, you can start sending out links to them. Sharing free content is very important if you’ve not been emailing regularly recently. You don’t want to go back into their inbox selling hard. For true passive income, you’ll want to set up an autoresponder so every time a new subscriber signs up they’ll be led towards all your most valuable (and well-monetised) content, as well as being made aware of paid products they might like.
Your task for today is to re-visit your autoresponder sequence, if you have one, and make sure it’s generating passive income for you every time someone signs up to your list. If you don’t have a revenue-generating autoresponder sequence set up yet, plan one out today. It can be as simple as sending your new subscribers towards your best, well-monetised ‘pillar content’ or sharing revenue-generating freebies.
Day 9 – Tidy up your blog (and online presence)
Ideally, when someone lands on your blog, website, or even your social profiles, there is passive income just sitting there ready to be made. When people land on your blog (or related social profiles) you want it to be a no-brainer to sign up for your email list (and therefore be added to your passive income generating autoresponder). You want them to ‘fall down rabbit holes’ on your blog or YouTube channel that lead them to possible product purchases or sales funnels. You want them to explore your Pinterest boards and start clicking through to sales pages or monetised content.
Your task for today is to spend some time on your blog, making sure you have clear calls to action that will lead to passive income long-term. It would also be great to schedule in a day to do the same with each of your social profiles or other online platforms you use, especially things like YouTube and Pinterest which act as search engines (meaning well-targeted traffic can easily land on a correctly optimised video or Pin) and are easy to monetise.
Day 10 – Focus on Traffic
None of this is any good without a steady flow of traffic. It takes time to drive traffic to your content and promoting your blog posts and other content should be part of your daily activities, but there are strategies that can result in passive traffic too. The most obvious is SEO. There’s no space to go into SEO in detail right here but this is an excellent book on it. There are other great resources for SEO enthusiasts like The Moz Blog and The Yoast SEO Blog.
Your task for today is to think about how to drive passive or semi-passive traffic to your best content. List some activities that you can do to lead you in that direction, from learning more about SEO, to adding links to your Medium articles, or maybe using a social scheduler once a month to passively post links to your social profiles throughout the month. I like RecurPost, and the free version is sufficient for a lot of bloggers and broadcasters.
Congrats! You’ve done the 10-day challenge, or at least read about what it involves. If you just skimmed through, consider blocking out an hour or two each day for the next ten days and getting stuck into it. Feel free to share successes or ask questions, either here in the comment section or on the Facebook page.
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