How to Earn Passive Income Online

The first thing to realise that this particular blog is NOT an example of how I make most of money. This really is a blog which started as a real  blog – like an online personal journal – and grew into a sometimes useful source of information about what  I’ve learned along the way of nearly three years of trying to make money online.

I do make a some online income from people who sign up using the products I recommend via my affiliate links but I don’t really count that as my main income source. I really maintain this blog because I feel like I need to give something back – I’ve come across some great blogs and resources on how to make money on-line – but they are the 1% in the whole “make money online niche” .

Not All Online Income is Passive

First off – let’s be clear – I want  passive income not a work from home job. I wrote about the difference between passive income and a work at home job here. There are many freelance blogs out there – some are very good – but at the end of the day  didn’t want to replace my unreasonable employer byt a gaggle of unreasonable clients! (BTW if you are currently a client of mine you are, by definition, not unreasonable 🙂 )

Most Bloggers Aren’t Developing Passive Income Online

You may have seen the A-List format of “provide great content and they will come” – Darren Rowse at is often quoted as an example of great way to make money for begginers – just create a blog like Darren’s! The sad truth thoug his that he certainly makes more money from his other sites – not his flagship site which beginners try to immitate!

In fact if you want to use your blog a spring board to a book launch, speaking career or similar – then its probably a fantastic way to get started.

I don’t want to write a book – certainly not one for a conventional publisher.

I don’t want a speaking career or to be world famous in New Zealand!

I want to make income which means I can be a digitial nomad, work anywhere from the world on and which iwll continue to earn me money whether or not I am actually doing any work.

How I Make Passive Income Online

I develop little niche websites focussed on a product or service that people (not Internet marketers ) want an answer to. It would take a while to figure out what a buying keyword was, and how to rank a site in the search engine rankings (SERPs) and how to know what to sell on the site.

I make money from affiliates, from eBay and Amazon and from Google Adsense. I make money in my sleep – mainly becasue I live in New Zealand and most of my buyers are in the North Ameria!

I have gone from not  knowing what a keyword was and not understanding how to get a backlink to save my life, to earning more than US$2000/month online

The problem with passive income on the Internet? It takes a while to develop. Basically the big G (Google – no other search engine matters) is suspicious of new sites, it won’t really rank you properly and stably for around 6 months – maybe longer, a lot longer, for very competitive niches such as credit cards and weight loss.

That’s my plan really – a bunch of sites that will bring me in a $1/day.  How many do I need – well I want to make around $1000/week so that’s about 150 sites. They won’t all work of course, I’ll get the keywords wrong on some, but that’s the number I’m looking at.

  1. What will the sites be? They will be small sites – between 1 and 10 pages usually focused on a particularly keyword and providing real information which will solve the visitors questions/problem – or at least point them to a place where they will find that solutions.
  2. The sites will be optimized for SEO to ensure that the search engines understand what the site is about – incidentally good SEO is good for readers anyway.
  3. I’ll promote the sites until they are on the first page of Google results for their keyword – the only visitors who will buy are those from search engines.
  4. I will monetise them using a variety of methods including Adsense, eBay and other affiliate products.

Shortcut to Earning Passive Income Online

Its taken me over two years to get to this point. I can save you a lot of time by pointing to this blog and my sidebar and sending you off to do a lot of reading. Your risk information overload though.

Or I can offer you a couple of short cuts – they will both cost you money – but save you a lot of time. It really depends whether time or money is more important to you – but here they are: and if you buy them yes I will get a small percentage from the affiliate sales – and thank you!

Earn Passive Income Online – the eBook

Janet’s new e-book Nomad’s Guide to Making Money Online – its not free  (though rather underpriced in my opinion)- its based on Grizz’s Make Money for Beginners blog.

Earn Passive Income Online – the Course

If you feel the need for a supportive environment and a step-by-step teaching approach, particularly if you are really stuck on chosing the right keywords -the The Keyword Academy, run my Court and Mark, is the place for you. Try it out for free for the first month, yes there is an ongoing subscription model but from what I see most people consider the tools and techniques offered well worth the monthly fee. Cancel within the first 30 days  if you want (you probably won’t though!) – and this is  not one of those lame offers where the intro price doesn’t give you just he cut down version – you get access to everything for free for a month – if you can’t figure out the value in that time then I can’t really help you.

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19 replies on “How to Earn Passive Income Online”

Hi Lis!

You said above; “….focussed on a particularly keyword and providing real information which will solve the visitors questions/problem”.

In the gospel according to Grizzly. he says don’t actually answer the questions, but provide [Adsense] links that will, thereby encouraging them to click the link.

I know it is a great temptation to provide the answers (we owe it to our self esteem!), but doing so actually defeats the purpose of a ‘adsense niche’ blog.

What say??


Good question and well spotted – I wrestled with the same conflict myself for a while. Its a level of degree – I do a couple of things.

I hide the content with a boring layout and long paragraphs of text and most readers won’t find it cause they are scanning and not reading – so I dont write as I do here – I don’t use short paragraphs, bullet points etc!

Also say the keyword is “learn scuba diving” (not a niche of mine BTW) – then I would write about the dangers of scuba diving without without having taken the time to learn scuba diving. I’d advise the reader to decide whether to check out a local institute which has learn scuba diving classes or whether to learn scuba diving once they are on vacation – but at no time would I actually give them an address of a local scuba dive school. I rather think that the adsense ads might do that! I actually think that the article has some value to the reader and value to the advertiser and would have the added benefit of passing a visual inspection.

I have proven to myself that by actually providing the answers for example with my vacation packing tips article I get lots and lots of readers – and very little cash! That said you don’t have to write spam either – there is a happy medium.

This is pretty interesting, actually. I was thinking about doing the same thing before, but I happened on my one website that’s generating most of my income.

I think this is a good idea, however, because if you do make a bunch of sites, and you find that a few are doing REALLY well, you can focus on expanding on those niches and maybe creating 140 small websites that earn $1/day, but 10 websites that earn $100/day.

Good luck! I hope you do some extensive keyword research before you choose your niches 🙂

To be perfectly honest my keyword research has been very hit and miss – but I’ve had a bit of a lightbulb moment with market samurai and I am now getting a lot more focussed. You’ve had fantastic success with your e-book – but its always best to have more than one site – we don’t control a lot of things in this game- like the important one Google – so I feel its best to be diversified – and stuff changes all the time – lets face it luxury travel blogs are so last year now!

That’s the problem with “passive” is that you can’t be popular like John Chow. I am also all about the passive income because I am not branding myself either. I just want to rank high in search engines and make money.

Hey Lis, nice post and ideas. Enjoy reading some of your content. I think the part about providing some information but not too detailed is definitely right on. Then some AdSense or affiliate products for more information can give more resources for these visitors. Giving too much information isn’t good because if the readers already got what they want, they won’t take any action and that deters the whole point of your business model.

Hi Lis,

I have heard about this “Niche Devil”…

Is it any good, and if so why is it sold out when I look for it, after all it is only a piece of software isn’t it that can be reproduced?

I’m just curious.

How about this BANS? is that any good?

Mark Lawton

Niche Devil is sold out because the demand was so strong that the team was worried about being able to support their users. Its only a small company with limited support resources.

BANS has issues with Google not indexing sites

Hi Lis great blog and I love the articles you wrote about sbi reviews n stuff but I better post something about that on the right page : )


I’m trying to figure out is it alright to use blogger or blogspot by google as its free to set up my small nich sites? and is it possible easy to get index and stuff…(btw I’m know very little about webpage building and indexing and html coding, thats why I havnt gone for word press)…however I’m very keen and think is very doable setting up small nich sites with 10 pages ..

Also you mention the small nich sites pages are all focus on one keyword …or would some pages have keywords that are related like exmaple keywords of “how to get out of debt” to “budgeting software reviews” ?

anyway again love the blog love how you write tooo my spelling n grammer poo too.. : )

Thanks Lis… so as long as they related ..I can write a article on it ? ..btw do you have a time table or suggestions on a to do list for everyday? like you will write 3 articles in aday then work on back links and replying to blogs?….

also this is my last question I promise what you think of Yaro Starak thinking of joining his thing?

Of course – in fact having a few things off topic looks more natural IMHO. I don’t think much of Yaro -he’s about being a famous blogger and developing membership sites – the “fake it to you make it crowd” AFAIK he doesn’t have any real experience in developing an online business with income site outside the MMO niche.

Thanks Lis for making things clear I think I got a few keywords been actrually researching them for a few days now…..and been reading people’s blogs like yours, Yaro’s … gRIZZY the bear and others …but I think I got into fantisizing about a online business (which you wrote a article on “treat it like a business” thingy blog ) so I’m off writing my 300 words articles on my nich key words ……btw thanks for your input and i will keep refer back to your lovely site…..hope you make your 1k a week very soon so you can retire to thailand!

You’ve answered one of my on-going questions: Why do so many website owners buy so much absolute junk? Obviously, they want junk so people will click away from their sites via their ads.

Oh, and I signed up for Hubpages using your link.

Lis, thanks for visiting my blog (Mybloglog widget on my site told me you just visited 😉 ) Back to my real reason for wanting to drop a comment.

I have often been tempted to discard Grizzly Bear suggestion on not giving all the answer so that the search engine visitor will need to click on the Adsense adverts to get more help. But the fact remains that he is right.

Articles that gives all the information only receive good traffic but adds nothing to my adsense account. So, I am learning (reluctantly though) to give scanty information with the hope that the Google Adsense bot will serve advertisements that will fill in the gaps.

Thanks for remind me of the fundamentals of making passive income online. Often one can really get distracted by all the junks being peddle online.

I love your site. It is full of good stuff for the brain. I guess you’re a fan of Griz 😉

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