Recently, I have been experimenting with passive income. I have a few friends who have succeeded in creative substantial streams of passive income. I’m a bit hesitant to call these streams of passive income as “steady”, as the amount of money can be different from month to month. But I guess after laying down a good foundation, you pretty much have “steady income”. After some point, you can predict the minimum amount of income that you will make per month, even if it varies from month to month.
The first time I experimented with passive income, I tried Google Adsense. I originally got the idea from following Steve’s blog. Although he no longer uses Google Adsense, I decided to try it myself. I also implemented a donation button on my main blog (which you will probably see on the sidebar if you scroll down the page). A friend of mine did end up donating $5.00 after I put it up, much to my surprise. I didn’t even tell her about it, but just merely had a link to my blog on my social accounts. Needless to say, I didn’t make much from either Google Adsense or PayPal’s donation button. I made a few bucks here and there, but nothing significant.
I didn’t really know how to increase the amounts of money that I was making through these avenues. So although I still use Adsense and PayPal donations, I don’t actively try to make money out of it. I guess that would defeat the purpose since they’re supposedly passive, huh? 😉
I actually started YouTube about five years ago when I created a response video to Rebecca Black’s Friday, feeling sorry for all the cyber-bullying she was receiving for a terribly-produced song. (Hehe, have you seen her reaction video to her own video?) Well it must have been easy to get views back then because the next day, my video got OVER 1000 VIEWS. Whaaaat? I was so in shock that despite getting positive reactions, I took down the video immediately… which kind of sucks because if I continued making YT videos from that point, I probably would have gained a lot more subscribers and views by now, and I would have found a great way to monetize those views. But at the time, I wasn’t ready for that kind of lifestyle.
Fast forward to today, and I decided to give YouTube another go. In fact, I created two channels. So through YT, I added in my third source of residual income through Google Adsense. It’s still the same program, but through a different means (getting views through videos). Again, I haven’t really accumulated much with this. I’m still growing my subscriber base and learning how to monetize views through affiliate links and such. But, I laid down the foundation at the very least.
Recently, I had some texting interaction with a dear friend of mine who is involved with Kindle publishing. He pretty much focused his attention on his and stayed persistent with it for about a year. And afterwards, he was able to live from the passive income he was making through publishing eBooks. I always wanted to get involved with publishing eBooks and audiobooks, but I thought the process was much more complicated than it really was. Needless to say, through a little bit of his guidance, I created and published my first eBook in just two days. I made my first sale overnight. That was without any promotions or marketing on my part. Wow! That was pretty exciting, considering I just started getting into it. But of course if I want to actually reap bigger amounts, I will have to publish more and then get into the marketing side of it.
So recently, I added in my fifth way of obtaining residual income. That is through Amazon affiliate linking. Let me tell you, that process was not quite as fun. Apparently if you want to sell to people living in other regions, you have to use a tracking ID and redirect them to their local Amazon page. Otherwise, you don’t receive any commission. Pretty lame, right?
Anyway, I had another website that I started working on related to Korean language, culture, entertainment, news, etc. I didn’t think it’d be appropriate to start spamming my main website with Korean-related topics. I mean once in a while, it’s fine. But, I didn’t want to mix personal growth and business with the latest episode of Weekly Idol. 😛 That’d be a pretty interesting mix for sure, but I wanted to separate these topics. It’s nice though because I’m experimenting with ads on that website. It’s a work-in-progress as I will be updating the layout and format over time. For now, I’m just experimenting with the content and ads to see what kind of response it gets. I figured that if I consume Korean entertainment, I might as well get some monetary benefit out of it (or experiment with it at least). 😛
So there we have it, the five ways that I’ve been experimenting with passive income. Have any of these methods become significant? Not quite yet. I’ve just been enjoying the process so far. Creating is something I enjoy in general. I think for now, I will just follow the principles that many wise entrepreneurs have shared or have followed before. That is, create more value than you receive. Then surely, you will receive money in return.
Will I pursue other passive income streams?
For sure, I will. A few other ways that I haven’t tried yet include:
– Creating a business
– Real estate
– Royalties through self-produced music
At the moment, I am just focusing on creating videos, eBooks, and my side blog. I work on music too and have actually produced full demos. However, I don’t want to sell my music quite yet. I want to improve the quality of the production first before I attempt selling my first album. So for now, I will stick with these methods and see which ones will yield me the best results by the end of this year.
I will switch from teaching part-time to studying Korean full-time in Seoul in December. One of the nice things is that I won’t feel as burnt out, as I will be something that I already enjoy doing every day! Second, I could use what I learned to add content to my Korean-related blog. Third, Seoul is a great locating for filming videos and adding more content to my blog. Fourth, it’s a great location for me to collab with other YouTubers / bloggers. Basically, location is what matters most! And lastly, I will have time of course to pursue other sources of passive income as well. So overall, it’s great for me. The plan is for now, to just keep working on increasing my content, my exposure, and my views. That way, I (hopefully) won’t have to return to working part-time while studying. I mean if it’s entertainment-related, it’s cool with me. But if it’s teaching English, I feel like that will conflict with my Korean studies. I want to be fully immersed while studying. I think this is the big motivator behind wanting to pursue passive income in the first place.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the year goes. As my Kindle publishing friend said, persistence is key! It’s not about the results, but about the effort. And thankfully, inspired action has been on my side. (: