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Passive Income Quick Overview

Updated on May 15, 2015

My Ultra-Quick Overview of Passive Income

As an owner of two small businesses, I know what it's like not to have a ton of money coming in with any sort of regularity. I'd like to document the overarching concept of passive income as I understand it so far, and introduce three main methods by which you can get started today (or down the road). Along the way, please be sure to answer the quick poll question and comment on the article, if you have time. I appreciate it!

Source:  Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Method #1: Online Income from Articles

You're probably already familiar with the concept of writing articles online in order to generate some revenue, but here are a handful of the ones I use (and keep in mind, please, that this is a very new experiment for me):

  • Infobarrel
  • Hubpages (voila!)
  • Bubblews

Each of these have their own merits. Infobarrel is good for longer content, but tough to make media-rich, and they are extremely particular about any external links, even to other Infobarrel pages. This can be irritating, because one of the main tools you can use when writing articles is to link to your other articles, seeing as how you have your auidience right there. Hubpages is great for longer, media-rich articles, but generating income takes a while, because you have to set up an Adsense account (but the community is extremely helpful). Bubblews is essentially a blend of social networking (think: Facebook) and an article site, just about splitting the difference between the two concepts; it's easy to start generating a little income right away.

The important takeaway from writing articles online is that you aren't going to make a ton of money overnight doing this. It takes time to build up, and (at least at first) it is far from passive.

Passive income poll

What passive income do you currently engage in?

See results
Credit:  Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Method #2: Real Estate Investment

This is one of the oldest forms of investment known to man. Nowadays, there are two primary strategies for investing in real estate: being a landlord and flipping properties. Being a home flipper has extremely negative personal connotations, so I'd like to focus a bit more on the landlord-tenant option. As long as you're a decent landlord who takes care of the tenants and the property, this could be a very reliable way to make a few bucks on the regs. Of course, if you're the property manager as well, your income will be far less passive. You can hire a property manager for 10% of the rent, depending on your area, and this may be well worth it in order to free up more time (just make sure to pick someone or a company you trust to do a great job; nobody hates anything more than I've hated some of my previous slumlords!).

Image courtesy Flickr
Image courtesy Flickr

Method #3: Banking (and Related Investments)

This third option is really simple, at its core: it takes money to make money, so just invest in a savings account. This can earn you anywhere from a few pennies per month in rough economic times to a few bucks here and there, depending on how much money you have to invest. You can also consider IRAs, CDs, or money market accounts, along with straight stock investment, among many other options. You'll want to see a reputable banker or investor before going any further with this one, although there are fun stock investment emulators and calculators out there available for free (just Google 'em!). Bottom line: it's not too early to start thinking ahead to when you might have some funds to invest.

Other sources?

I'm very much still a student of the passive income game- and I really do look at it like a game. I am currently in the process of paying off my one house I live in, so the real estate thing is the most far-off right now for me. I presently don't have too much in the way of investments, although I had a significant amount of money in PayPal back when their money market account was paying upwards of 5%, and I do have a few savings accounts (which earn very, very low returns right now, thanks to the rough sate the economy is in post-real estate bubble bursting). I've been writing articles online for the better part of a decade (and perhaps even longer), but I've only started playing with the various profit-sharing sites recently. I've had some success with all of the above, including working to pay off the mortgage on my house (my first real step to real estate investing). I view all of these as a bit of a game for now. Maybe one day they'll grow into something more, and I would certainly be grateful for any passive income I might one day earn.

Do you have other options for earning revenue you're currently using, or have you heard of other ideas where you might want to try earning? Let me know in the comments below! I'd love to hear your thoughts, as this is a subject of much interest to me right now, and I enjoy learning (and writing) about things about which I'm passionate. I bet you do, too!

Last piece of advice: don't do this

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