Let the adventurous journey begin: Passive Income

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I decided to give passive income a shot and I’m going to write about my experiences (yep, like almost everybody these days). This will be a long term experiment and I’m really curious whether it will work out as planned :) I’m new to this area, so any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

Motivation

A lot of people I know dreamed about it. Earning money for some time with a minimum amount of work. This is a big leap and many are not willing to commit themselves for the initial work to get it running. Why? Because it’s hard? I think it’s all about the right strategy and trying really hard. And if you just stick to it long enough, you’ll be able to achive reasonable successful results.

Who am I to say that?

Well, my name is Patrick. I’ve been a web developer for quite some time now, yep I do the website stuff. I have a passion for creating things, no matter whether it’s a website, art or just a random small puzzle. I enjoy creating stuff, but for example I’m not really good at writing (yep, I admit that!). Due to my long time as a web developer I somehow limited my skills unknowingly – that’s okay, if you wanna get good at something it sometimes means you have to do a little extra work and don’t do too much of other stuff that could distract you, and I did exactly that with web development. My point is I’ll have to narrow the long list of passive income opportunities down to a small list that fits good to me and then experiment around with it.

My first target
Of course I need targets, otherwise I would not be able to measure my progress! :)
Assuming passive income is something that increases slowly over time (if you’re lucky) my first target will be the following: I want to earn at least 1000$ over a period of 1 year with passive income.
Sure, this probably is not a very hard to reach target, but I think it’s essential to have some small moments of success on this journey and if I reach a goal too fast, I still can set another one :)

My definition of passive income

Since there are lots of definitions for passive income on other websites I thought it would be good to clarify what I think passive income is for me: Passive income is periodic income resulting from work that you’ve done once in the past where you don’t have to put much effort in maintaining it afterwards.

Passive Income Opportunities for webworkers Part 1

I will not describe them in detail, but here is a partial list of passive income opportunities I thought about and will give them a try:

Flattr

Flattr lets you put up a button on your website for collecting donations, if people click on that button you get a small amount at the end of the month. I really like this concept but it’s very hard to get reasonable amounts of money with donations/micro-payments (unless you have very donatable projects, heatmap.js doesn’t seem to be a project where lots of people like to donate)

The Blogging Business

Times have changed. There was a time where you were able to just start a web log and reach lots of users, this got really hard. These times almost everybody has a weblog or is somehow sharing information. It’s really hard for readers to find good web ressources they’re interested in because there are so many of them. It got a lot harder to identify the good blogs, sure there are lots of them and if you provide really good content you sooner or later will get more visitors. But the probability that someone recognizes that your content is worth it to share is pretty small if you haven’t already positioned yourself.

Advertising

If you are not internet famous and reach your 100k+ visitors a month, let’s be honestly here – advertising on web pages sucks. You get paid either for impressions, clicks or finished sales, the amount you get for impressions isn’t big and only pays off with high traffic.

Codecanyon

Since I love to write Open Source Software I’m really not a fan of this opportunity. Codecanyon is a plattform where you can sell useful code packages. You write a plugin or an extension for web framework xy which probably makes the lives of lots of developers easier and they are willing to pay you for it. Drawbacks: The plattform takes 50% of your income (at first, if you’re successfull and sell a lot they only cut 30% off) as long as you’re selling exclusively, which means you’re not allowed to sell the uploaded items on any other plattform. Not so cool, but worth a try.

I will add some other opportunities in my next article (sure, I have a long list of opportunities, and yes there will be another article, if I posted them here this article would be waaay too big :P ), but for now I will give the listed options a try.
Now as we know some passive income opportunities, we can go straight to the strategic part

Strategy

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about me. In my opinion that’s the first thing you have to do before you can start with such a project. You need to know what you’re good at, and especially what you can do without much effort that brings value to other people.

Spin Offs based on my projects

As mentioned, I love to create OSS and I have a few projects in stock. Those projects will keep their licenses and remain free of any charge. I wouldn’t dare to charge for these projects, in fact I couldn’t ;) But I will focus on creating stuff based on my projects; useful spin-offs that bring new value to persons using them.

Displaying ads on unimportant projects

I’ve never done this before, I explored the world of advertisements. It is pretty interesting how mean the tricks of advertisers are, I gave the CPM option a try. This means every 1k visitors I earned a specific amount of money depending what ads were shown. Typical rates were from 0.01$ – 1.1$ per 1k visitors. Doesn’t sound a lot but since I’ve never tried it before I gave it a shot, and if some people can earn A LOT of money with it, why shouldn’t I can do that too ;)

What did I earn or learn with my actions so far?

I just started this experiment 14 days ago and I created two small spin offs of my OSS stuff, one was a QR encoder and the other was a Visitor Heatmap Plugin for WordPress. The QR thing didn’t get a lot of attention yet, but I didn’t do any marketing or sharing activities so far. Anyways, some guys bought it though :) Just 5 sells, and about 32$, but that’s better than nothing and in my opinion a good start for this long journey! The heatmap plugin for wordpress got a little more attention. It got approved on codecanyon a little earlier today and already made 4 sells. The people seem to be interested in it, what makes me very happy. I recognized that investing some extra time in good/appealing graphics for the market entry really makes a difference whether people will even have a look at it or not (pretty obvious, duh. But as a programmer you sometimes forget about that stuff). Nevertheless, we’ll see how it will perform the upcoming days :)
I tried adbrite for showing ads and I added the code for some time now. The webpage has about 500-700 visitors per day, but is pretty nice ranked on google. Since then I only earned about 25 pennies in 14 days and I’m a little suspicious of adbrite, because I know the amount of earnings at adbrite already was (a little) bigger but from one day to another it switched back to a lower amount. I do not want to display ads on my websites and then not even get paid correctly for it so I’m going to remove the ads and better place a link for one of my spin off products on it.

So here is a final summary of what I’ve earned so far since I started this experiment (14 days ago)

Advertisements: 0.21$
Spin-Offs on Codecanyon: 62$

That’s it, my first attempt to get passive income. See you next time! If you have any feedback, please let me know! :)

Btw if you wanna check out the WordPress Visitor Heatmap Plugin, here’s the URL:
WP Visitor Heatmap Plugin

Cheers

Read the article following this one about
my daring adventures with passive income

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