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5 Ways To Earn Passive Income Online Without Adsense

Updated on March 17, 2012

Think Outside the Adsense Box

The Google Adsense program can be a great way to earn passive income, but having all of your online earnings come only from Adsense is risky. Most of these risks are within your control, but some are not.

The Google updates and algorithm changes are a perfect example. Building Adsense niche sites, or using revenue-sharing programs that tap into Adsense can prove to be profitable, but when Google changes their algorithm again, traffic and monthly income could vanish overnight. Adsense could also close or change their policies at any given time.

There are alternative methods for making passive income online that aren't dependent on getting ad clicks and Google traffic.

Microstock Photography

This is something I'm becoming more interested in doing because I love photography. Microstock photo sites like Shutterstock and Dreamstime make it possible to upload photos and earn passive income whenever a client makes a purchase.

These sites already get tons of daily traffic so you aren't faced with the annoying task of having to write a million articles for back links and Google traffic. The traffic is already there on the major photo sites. All you have to do is submit quality photos that are in demand and you can earn money over and over again from those same images.

Microstock photo sites pay between $.20 to $1 each time your photo is purchased. Uploading thousands of photos over time could potentially produce hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars per month in passive income. There are photographers earning a lot of money this way, but in the long-term of course, not overnight.

E-Mail List Building

If you already have a site with traffic, build an e-mail list and make money. Sign up with AWeber and install a newsletter opt-in box on your site and then offer your visitors a free eBook, or report, to get them to sign up. With services like Aweber, you can use an auto-responder to send out pre-written email messages on auto-pilot to the people on your list. In the messages, you can advertise affiliate offers and promote your latest blog post.

One huge advantage of list building is that you own the list and your profits from the list are never impacted by Google traffic or algorithm updates. Another reason it's good is because, without a list, new visitors may never return again, but once you have them on your list, they'll be reading your email and returning to your site for the lastest news.

Making money from list building isn't easy at first. It does take time to write the email messages for your auto-responder and grow your list, but over time, an email list can earn passive income over and over again.

Pay Per Impression Sites

If you love writing and revenue-sharing, try writing articles for sites that pay based on page views instead of ad clicks. Pay-per-click programs like Adsense can pay very well, but earnings can be very volatile. One day you could be earning $10 per day and then suddenly next to nothing for several days.

Although earnings per page view, or impression, are usually less than what you would earn for Adsense ad clicks, the earings are more stable because you get paid whether someone clicks on the ad or not.

Making money this way does still rely on getting Google search engine traffic, however, it does not have anything to do with Adsense. I used to dislike sites that paid only for page views, but now I'm starting to use more of them. Personally, I believe Hubpages is probably one of the best places to make money in this manner. Then there are also sites like Bukisa, which I have never used, so I can't say much about it.

What I have noticed with Hubpages is that you don't have to rely so much on Google traffic to make money because Hubpages already has a massive traffic base.

Referral Programs With Recurring Commissions

The best referral programs to get involved with are the ones that pay over and over on a monthly recurring basis. Cost per action (CPA) offers are nice because earnings are not dependent on a product purchase, but still, CPA offers usually only pay one time for the sign up and nothing more in the future.

Popular niches like domain names, dating, Internet, TV and any other type of in-demand service that's billed on a monthly basis on the Internet is a good opportunity to earn passive income from recurring commissions every month. Dating is probably the best, because people often renew their subscriptions for months, or even years.

The dating niche is highly competitve, but the referral programs for big sites like and eHarmony can be very lucrative. There are hundreds of referral programs for dating sites and online dating is always in demand, year round. Tapping into competitive niches like dating isn't easy, but if you can find a sub-niche, or create a unique site, it can be very profitable. There are many different types of niches that have referrals programs with recurring commissions.

Royalty Free Music

If creating music is your passion, you can make money online from it. Selling royalty free music is sort of similar to selling stock photos online. Sites like make it possible to buy or sell royalty free music and earn passive income when people purchase the uploaded track.

When you sell the music on these sites, you are selling the rights as well. The person buying the track pays for it only one time and they're free to make copies for resale if they wish to do so. It is possible to earn a nice stream of monthly passive from a large collection of uploaded music tracks.

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    • Rhonda_M profile image

      Rhonda Malomet 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Good suggestions. Do you know of other sites that pay per impression?

    • Matt G. profile image

      Matt G. 5 years ago

      These sites pay for page views: Experts Column, Helium, Associated Content, Wikinut, Triond and Suite101. Some of them also allow you to integrate Adsense if you want. In my experience, Suite101 was good for a while, but the earnings there dropped big time. Triond was a total waste of time and I haven't tried the other sites I mentioned here. There are many sites that pay per page view.

    • raniwrites profile image

      raniwrites 5 years ago

      Very useful ideas - thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      mikeydcarroll67 5 years ago

      Useful ideas!

    • Matt G. profile image

      Matt G. 5 years ago

      Thank you.

    • Amazinghomes4u profile image

      Amazinghomes4u 5 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      I may look into Microstock Photography. That sounds pretty interesting. Thanks for sharing these great ideas.

    • Matt G. profile image

      Matt G. 5 years ago

      Thanks. I find it interesting as well. Shutterstock looks like a good place to upload photos.

    • darrensurrey profile image

      darrensurrey 5 years ago from Surrey, England

      Great article. With regard to if buyers have the rights to sell/copy your tunes, surely, it's better to just buy popular songs and sell them for 50% of the producer's asking price? Or is there something that stops a buyer taking away my business as a producer?

    • profile image

      Deepunetfish 5 years ago

      Great article I will look for Microstock, thanks for sharing the idea, voted up and sharing in social media

    • Matt G. profile image

      Matt G. 5 years ago

      Thank you for the comment.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Great alternatives to know. Earning by page impressions is definitely a better option as you don't have to depend on ad clicks.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Voted up & useful and SHARED.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Very useful information... Thanks for the share Rajan Sir!

      and a great informative hub!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for a look at these ways to earn a passive income without Adsense.

    • Talullah profile image

      Talullah 5 years ago from SW France

      Some great suggestions there!

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 5 years ago from The Shire

      Thanks for the interesting suggestions!

    • Matt G. profile image

      Matt G. 5 years ago

      Thank you for the comments.

    • shin_rocka04 profile image

      shin_rocka04 5 years ago from Maryland

      Good hub. I'm on my way to building a better list for my blogs so I can do joint ventures and put up products of my own.

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