Many first time marketers start building websites because they have heard of this wonderful idea that is passive income. I know when I started nothing would arouse my interest as much as the idea of being able to earn money consistently over time without any additional work. Passive income was the hook that caught me and I guess many others like me.
But does it really exist and can you continually build sites that will over time earn a passive and consistent income.
First of all, no, I don’t think passive income really exists. Not in the meaning of “earning money without actually doing any effort”. What is often meant by “passive income” is actually not passive at all. On the contrary, you put in alot of effort, before you start actually earning on it. And t is only because of that effort, and persistence, that your earnings start coming in. But sometimes, once the ball starts rolling, it can be so that you could go on a holiday, or live on the other side of the world, and earn your income with a minimal of effort. That once you created a well-working website, it runs on auto pilot, only requiring a minimal maintenance effort once in a while.
Before you can ever contemplate running any site on auto pilot you will first need to build a consistant level of traffic. This in itself takes months of marketing, link building and networking. Also key is the content you add to this site. Many marketers use the term “ever green” content and if you want to be able to generate any sort of residual income then producing content that will stand the test of time should be the corner stone of your strategy:
How to write ever green content.
Avoid writing on current topics; something that is in the news now probably won’t be in a months’ time. Look for topics that don’t change regularly, If you have a site about dogs, then writing an article on how you can stop your dog barking is a great example of content that will be as useful in 6 months as it is now. It is also important to at least occasionally revisit these articles to make sure they still sound fresh and up to date, if a new product has been released or if you have a found a complimentary piece on another site that you believe would add to the readers experience then update the post with it.
Maybe the most important aspect of creating long lasting content is that you know your niche inside out, you know what people are looking for and you have the knowledge and expertise to provide them with the answers to their questions.
Quality content needs to do more than just answer a question, it needs to start out above all the other sites that try to answer that question.
What else do you need to consider?
While you were working on your content and marketing strategy, did you begin to build a loyal readership that was interested in what you had to say? How will they feel if you suddenly stop producing the content that they have come to your site to read?
Do you believe that you have achieved all you can in that niche, can you continue to build and grow the site further and are there additional rewards in doing this?
How will your site be effected once it is switched to autopilot, traffic will inevitably drop but how much do you expect it to drop by and will there still be enough traffic to allow it to continue to generate an income. What percentage of your readers are repeat visitors? Once you stop updating your content you will most likely lose these, can you afford to?
Have you begun your next project or will you be starting the whole process from scratch?
Even though residual income is a wonderful idea but making this strategy work for you and knowing what circumstances are needed to make it work are important. Each website will react differently once you stop working on it, being able to anticipate what will happen will come with experience. If you decide to stop working on a site you must be aware that if traffic does drop significantly you must be prepared to revisit this site and get it back to previous levels otherwise all of your hard work and effort will have been wasted on a site that did have potential but lack of focus was its downfall