Interwebs archive

Anything and everything vaguely internet related. Blogging, industry, social media: if you can find it online, I've talked about it in here.

Earning ‘passive’ income

I talk about passive income every now and again on my blog, so I thought I’d talk about what it means to me.

What is passive income?

Passive income is money I ‘earn’ without the need to specifically do anything to get it. That is, income that just drops straight into my bank or PayPal account without having to intervene or work or any other unpleasant and/or boring activity.

Why do you need passive income?

As I’m now (mostly) self-employed again, I don’t have the stability of a guaranteed monthly salary to depend on. Passive income is important to me because it allows me to build an emergency pot — while I’m busy doing actual, billable work — to fall back on should I be unable to work for any reason, e.g. kids, health (physical or mental); it also means that if an unexpected bill or the like comes in I have something to draw from. Eventually when this ‘pot’ is big enough it will be used to pay a lump sum off my mortgage as part of my goal to be mortgage free in five years. At the moment, all passive income goes straight into this ‘pot’ (it’s an ISA, not a literal pot).

How do you earn passive income?

I have two sources of passive income at the moment:

  1. Income from my premium mail form sales
  2. Income from adsense advertising

(I earn dribs and drabs from affiliate marketing which many see as passive income too, but more often than not the effort required to get to this point far outweighs the pennies I get back.)

Of these two sources, advertising is obviously the easiest. I dropped the provided code from Google into my blog sidebar, mail form site, WAHMweb etc and watch the pennies trickle in. Making money from my mail form is rather different; although I generally don’t do anything month to month to drive those sales, obviously I had to write the form in the first place. I also occasionally have to drum up sales, which I’m not particularly great at (because of laziness, not necessarily lack of skill). The required initial effort and occasional shameless plug are not “passive” but in terms of overall work I don’t do a significant amount month on month.

How much do you get?

It’s taken me a year to earn £60.10 through adsense so it’s hardly lucrative, but £60 is better than nothing.

adsense-payout

The mail form makes the most money out of the two (although still not making me rich): I’ve had 12 completed sales since it launched in February, totalling £228. After subtracting fees (£11.63) and ‘software’ costs (£107.32) there’s a total ‘profit’ of £109.05.

Clearly I’m not going to be retiring off the back of this passive income any time soon, but it’s income I otherwise wouldn’t get.

Are you going to do more?

My grand plan is to open up a member’s only section on my mail form site, which will give users more customisation options and the ability to generate custom forms and add more/better functionality. This requires effort and energy and at the minute I’m struggling to drum up either, because I’m about as low as the time I cried into my wine.

I also have a couple of other content-focused sites which I may or may not choose to work on over the course of the next year which should bring up my income from advertising.

In an ideal world, by the end of 2015 I’d like to be making at least £100 per month in passive income so that I can increase my mortgage overpayment by that amount. I have a lot of work to do to get there…

Rachael Hill: Britain’s Best Allotment

After blogging at the beginning of the month about my belief in autonomous parenting and independent play, a big part of which involves chucking the kids in the garden and letting them get on with it… The kids are taking it in turns to "rescue" each other off the climbing frame. Taking bets on who… read full entry »

How I got 20,000 hits a day (and lost them all again)

Once upon a time, in a period best described as responsibility-free and with plenty of disposable income (AKA before I had children), I had a “reasonably” popular blog. Yes, this one. As crazy as it sounds to those of you who’re new readers (i.e. started reading within the past few years), it’s true, and you… read full entry »

“Septemblog”: Day 1 (Attempt 1)

I recently mentioned that I needed to hurry up if I was going to squeeze in the “blog every day” challenge, just in case I mess up and need to start afresh. As it’s now September, this is one of only four months I have left to try this, so here I am. Project Septemblog:… read full entry »

On blogging, and how I’m probably doing it wrong

As we rapidly approach the 13th anniversary of me owning jemjabella.co.uk and my 15th year of blogging, I can’t help but think about how blogging (both my own, and on a wider scale) has changed over the years. 15 years ago it wasn’t uncommon for people to write blog posts thousands of words long. Blogs… read full entry »

Mail Form Updates

I officially released the premium version of my PHP mail form last night. Partly because it’s been on the cards for a while, and partly because I wanted to get started on my plan to be mortgage free in five years. I can’t hang about if I need to be paying in £1,633.09 per month…. read full entry »

HostPapa? More like HostCrapper*

* sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Yesterday I opened my work inbox first thing to a panicked email from a client (Sutton Community Farm) labelled “URGENT” – their website had gone down (again) with a Resource Limit Reached error. I quickly shot off a reply to let them know that this was usually caused by… read full entry »

My Internet History

I’ve been trawling the Way Back Machine lately for links & images for my recently re-added geek t-shirts collection page (work in progress), and happened upon a link to a page I used to have: “My Internet History”. I don’t have this page any more, it was one of the things I dropped when I… read full entry »

NaBloPoMo

Of course it’s a brilliant idea to decide to revive your neglected blog by taking part in National Blog Posting Month despite having absolutely craploads of work to do, 2 personal projects to launch, your portfolio site to do-over and countless other things including cleaning the manky house and getting the garden prepped for winter… read full entry »

Does the Taxman know about your Blog?

The rise of the professional blogger and those who monetise their personal blogs has crept up slowly and now, everyone’s doing it. For some people it’s a genuine source of income, for some it’s their business and others simply do it for a bit of extra cash. In every instance you earn tangible money from… read full entry »

Thoughts on #revolutionconf

I went to my first ever web conference today. I know, working on/with the web for over 10 years and it’s taking me this long to get out and meet people! I met some fantastic, funny and smart people, not to mention some friends who I’ve been talking to online for as long as I… read full entry »

5 ways to profit from blogging without advertising

I actually wanted to name this post “5 ways to profit from blogging without sticking great big flashy advertising banners all over it or pretending you love krill oil” but I decided that was probably a little too long. However, I do have some genuine tips on how to make a little bit of money… read full entry »