Daring Adventures with Passive Income #1

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First things first. I want to thank you all for providing really awesome feedback to my last article where I declared the beginning of my long journey to passive income. In case you don’t want to read the last article as a whole: I tried to create my first mini-products in order to achieve my first passive income, set some targets and wrote about my initial strategy. If you’re interested in my first project, it was a heatmap.js wordpress plugin.
It’s been a while since my last article, yep, I’ve actually been really busy creating some projects and lots of other things happened.

Observed Failures

What I’ve learned from the failures

I wouldn’t classify writing software as a completely passive income opportunity anymore. Software always needs to be maintained and good customer support – customer support takes a lot of time (especially in software development). In my opinion there is only one case where I could think of passive income when writing software: that’s when you provide a package with the bare minimum but value generating, complete functionality. And you have to keep it really simple to avoid long maintenance sessions.

Minimum viable does not mean incomplete

Although the products I’ve released were my first products it is not an excuse for bad quality. Next time I better think twice before I add “just another feature” to my projects, a product just needs to be high quality work to make customers happy. No dirty hacks (except when it doesn’t affect the products quality) and a testing period of at least 3 days, letting some of my friends test everything, before a product sees the light of day.
I will definitely give the “build a product around your open source projects” approach another try, but next time I will do it right (and that’s why it is going to take some more time. Apologies to the expectant guys from cc, but as soon as I get it done right I will message you all to get the new product for free.)

So much for the failures in the beginning of my journey.

Hell, you really got me thinking

As mentioned above, you provided some really awesome feedback to my last article. And well, I take feedback seriously and think about it.

Create reusable Components

In order to create profitable products you simply have to create reusable components. Why? Because each time you’re using an existing, working component in a product it saves you time (Yep, you don’t have to invent the wheel again everytime ;) ). Make use of the “develop once, use anywhere” principle. Creating reusable components also connects to the point about product quality, if you’re planning to create a reusable component you have to put more thought into the development process, which in most cases improves the component quality and overall the product quality.

“The money lies in the forest”

Themeforest actually seems to be more profitable than codecanyon (both are existing online markets from envato). E.g. items on codecanyon are barely priced over 30$ (which means 15$ per sale for the author if you’re new) but on themeforest the price range is bigger going up to 70$ per sale. Although those templates involve more initial work to create a good compilation and toolset for a production website I think it pays off because as soon as you have one perfectly good, working template (+a list of good plugins you can use) you can adapt it in order to create some spin offs.

Earned money so far

Codecanyon: 440$ ( +380$ )
Flattr: 0.12$

Well this is not a lot, but it is something. I also did some freelance contract work as someone contracted me to extend heatmap.js and fix some bugs this month. But hey, that’s not passive income! ;)

My next steps

50 percent income cut, seriously?

Since this 50 percent income cut from codecanyon really started to annoy me I’m going to try to abandon codecanyon in the next few months. I already have a strategy for this move, it is not going to be easy, but if I put enough effort in it I think it is possible. You will hear about the results of the strategy in my next article, but for now it’s time to get some more passive income channels:

Investments and new opportunities

I will invest 120$ of my earned money in mobile application developer licenses so I can try another income stream: Mobile Application Development. More specifically I’m going to give mobile advertising a try.
Since I’m a lazy developer and I know a lot about the Sencha Touch Framework I created applications with Sencha Touch 2 and Phonegap (instead of writing code native). At some time (if people like my apps) I will try some advertising strategies with leadbolt. So with the lessons from above in mind I finally came up with my first application:

101 Marriage Proposal Ideas App

101 Marriage Proposal Ideas:
It is simple, it generates value for a specific target group and the application’s components are reusable – e.g. a spin off would only take new content and some style customizations.


Please let me know what you think about it!

Remember:
As simple and controllable as possible.
Generate value for the user.
Create reusable components if possible.

Conclusion

Although the beginning of my journey was not a perfect one I’m proud of my first few dollars passive income. The first two months passed and already I have reached 44% of my first (small) target: 1000$ of passive income within a period of one year. I am really looking forward to seeing how everything turns out the next few months.
I hope you enjoyed the article. If you have some feedback for me, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or write me a message.

I already wrote a new blog post about Expanding my passive income experiment, check it out :)

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