Making Money Online Online Business Passive Income Plan Review

Passive Income Goals 2010

I’ve been doing some planning – well its better than doing some work right? Although you many of you, like me, will have sat through the annual corporate planning wank – “failing to plan is a plan to fail” – in the business of making passive income online planning is a often just another way to procrastinate for many people.  After all  planning the next big thing is much more fun that getting a few more backlinks!

Passive Income Planning
Passive Income Planning

Working in IT put me off planning for a quite a long time.   I never had a plan to succeed when I starting trying to earn an online income – I didn’t have a plan at all. Which wasn’t a bad thing  – lets put it this way if you are 16 and have just decided to go to medical school – should you have a plan of which speciality you want to end up in and what income you want to be making by the time you are 30? To be honest you shouldn’t – you have no idea what life is like, haven’t met your life partner yet or had kids or not, you  don’t know any thing about medicine – you have no background knowledge to make a reasonable plan.  Ten years later you may have the basic knowledge (preference for medical speciality, costs involved and lifestyle of that particular speciality, know how much money you need to earn, have a partner or not etc) to make some sort of reasonable plan. If you don’t understand how to make money blogging or how to make money “placing google ads” (both search terms this site has been found for in the last month – I suggest you forget the big picture and go read How to Make Money with HubPages

Last week though – while I was surfing rather than working – I came across a planning post which actually sounded like it might be useful – it was over at The Art of Unconformity- Unconventional Business Goals. To be honest Chris’s business model is nothing like mine – I don’t want a book contact nor do I want to be recognised public speaker and coach. Nor do I want to go to every country in the world – for the sake of crossing it off the list!  Those are all his goals. What I like about him though is that he’s an excellent writer, and a lot more transparent about his business model than most.  His planning model made a lot of sense to me.  I took a couple of days and really thought about my goals for 2010. Now  I am still a reluctant goal setter and I certainly am not doing it for any thing else in my life apart from my business (finding nice beaches with warm water – seems to happen anyway doesn’t need a written plan!). But for my business I came up with three key goals:

Passive Income Goals 2010

  • Make a consistent  profit of US$5000/month of which at least 60% ($3000) should be from residual income websites e.g. affiliates, eBay, Amazon and Adsense
  • Develop website trading business to improve diversification of income sources
  • Develop my own products to improve diversification of income sources

I am sure someone will point out that US$5,000 is not very much – what about planning for the future blah,blah. Well I already did that – my  partner and I have property and and the (rare) winning stock picks so essentially all I am looking at doing is replacing an income not building a nest egg. I am not supporting any kids either – I’ve heard those are expansive! We own our own home. We don’t need flash cars or new clothes – though our dancing and travel habits don’t come cheap! Oh and the goal is in US$ because that is what you get paid in on the Internet – the exchange rate I can’t control – the fact that A$ has appreciated 30% against the US$ in the last year hurts – but there is  nothing I can do about it. You goals have to be within your control – I’d love to plan to win the New Zealand Ballroom Champs next year too – unfortunately that’s not in my control either (too old, too fat, not enough talent etc).

For me the most useful part of the planning exercise was what is not on the list – I spent all day thinking about and researching the market for starting a local SEO business for New Zealand small businesses – in fact if you want to go for that niche knock yourself out – you will have to educate your clients but there is hardly any competition targeting the SME sized market and at the newspapers and Yellow Page advertising rates leaves plenty of room for a profitable service which will save your clients money.   Why am I telling you this? Because I am not going to do it. The more I thought about what I value  about earning income online:

  • keep my own hours, control my  own time;
  • answerable to know one except the Google Gods;
  • dress optional

Would have been severely impacted by working for clients! The more I looked at the streams of income I did have – and matched them against my income goals – made me realise that I was nearly there – in the last five months I’ve averaged $1300/month from passive income sources. In November my actual income (including freelancing and it probably won’t hit that level for a few more months) was over US$4500 – an all time record for me and pretty much what I would make in a professional job in New Zealand. I didn’t need the distraction of starting another business, certainly not one that impacted on mycore values of being answerable to no one!

Its obvious writing it down now – but I have been thinking about the SEO thing off and on now for a year   – now I have come to a decision about it and can move on.

So – I do actually think that if you are just starting off online you don’t need a detailed business plan. )Pan to spend little to no money on gurus and a lot of time on educating yourself. Find one approach which sounds liek it might work for you – and then take action, rinse and repeat.

If however you have been in this game for a year or more – I do think you might want to take a look at Chris’s approach to planning and try out his spreadsheet  – you may be surprised at the results –  I was!

And I like the idea of  doing an annual plan for your passive income business in December not January – why?

  • December is often an outlier income-wise for many  people – looking at Dec to Nov figures rather than Jan-Dec figures will minimise the feel good/deep despair effect those Dec figures will have on you;
  • December is often a disrupted month workwise (even if you aren’t moving countries!) –  go with the flow and do a plan instead of trying to stick with the routine;
  • SEO : in January everone else will be googling “passive income goals for 2010” – or so I hope!

Check out my attempt at improving my time management to actually realise my passive income goals for 2010

53 replies on “Passive Income Goals 2010”

Good idea to start thinking about goals for the new year already now. I am also not very good in planning, but one thing I will do now is a) analyze where 2009s money came from b) set up a “rinse and repeat” plan for those findings and c) decide which projects I really want to accomplish next year, should keep me busy for a minute or two 😉 SY

@Hospitalera – you got it – I am terrible at forgetting to do the rinse and repeat bit!

As someone once said “tomorrow never comes” – make some plans if you want to achieve them !

That’s a massive goal, but I think you can do it. You’re going to need a lot of websites and a well planned out marketing strategy. I would recommend maybe purchasing a few of the websites to save time.

I have purchased a couple of websites to date – it can be a good short-cut I agree. To be honest most of little sites don’t need a marketing startegy – they just need more links

Hey! That looks like my mousepad! Goals for 2010 – Live free, die hard.

seriously – full time passive income. That means at least €1500/month from low to no maintenance adsense sites + some other crap 🙂

Hands of my mousepad – I have the pen and notepad too – and they were extremely hard won LOL. Sounds like we are looking at similar goals – bounce that check to the funeral director ..

This might sound odd but I’m actually procrastinating on the planning! Lol. But yes I do often use planning and organizing as a way to avoid my real work. But I’ve decided I need to make some real decisions and plans for 2010 – so that post you linked to should come in handy!

LOL Ruth – well you can procastinate about anything -but I must admit I have spent quite a lot of my “working” life planning my next overseas trip – so planning is one of the things I am good at – its the follow thru that sucks sometimes – that’s the next post!

I totally agree with Dave, I was going to make a similar comment. $5000/month is a nice goal especially if it’s something you feel you can really make. Plenty of people who work at real jobs would love to make that much money every month, in fact that’s a pretty good salary. Once you’re making that much, it won’t be hard to IMHO to increase it. Best of luck to you in achieving your goals. I’m a firm believer in planning. I do a great job of it in my job. Now if I can capture some of that energy for my online business, maybe I could make more than about $50/month. It would be nice to add a couple of zeros there!!

Its a comfortable salary in NZ (probably than comfortable with the current exchange rate! ) but so many people online seem to have to have the $10k or $20k a month – to me taking it to that level requires a lot more risk and – well basically work – than I am prepared to put in! Thanks for visiting

Lis, I like your planning methods and let me say this about the nay-sayers who don’t think your goal numbers are large enough …

Those who are still caught in the work/slave treadmill and still consider a ‘job’ a ‘success’ should really consider how much it actually costs the worker to hold a job … or even worse, to try to run a small business in the ‘dirt based” environment.

The clothes, the car expense, childcare, the extra insurance for this, the required fees for that, etc., etc. They all add up. Get yourself busy an emulate Lis’s plan for a year and see for yourself how much farther $5.000 USD per month will go living at home than swimming in the work place/business world seas.

I couldn’t agree more Dave – I learnt some time ago that I hated to work – so one way to minimise that was to only spend on what mattered – travel and dance, gin and chocolate! Since I have been working at home a good laptop,broadband connection and maybe a decent cellphone have added to the list. But they are more than paid for for not buying lunch, not buying clothes, not commuting, not going out to dinner every 2nd day cause I was too tired to cook, not spending on expensive mini-breaks cause I was burnt out from the job I hated. I am very lucky to have wised up long ago and have never ever had any consumer debt – that is real modern slavery as far as I am concerned.

Some people would think the over A$200/week I pay in dance lessons excessive – but its all about priorities really …

Good luck with the plan Lis, I’m ok at plans but its the sticking with it that’s the part I trip up on.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you found raising funds to $5k a month easier than getting from $0 to $1.5k a month passively.

Yeah that can be an issue for me – but I feel more momentum this year -mainly as you say – it seems quite a realistic plan – it certainly didn’t back a few months ago when I wasn’t beraking $200! And yes one of the quotes I took to heart was that “making the first $1000 online is the hard thing – then its easy” – that’s not a month -that’s total – once you have proven to yourself that you can do it – you are around 90% of the way – its the concept that Seth Godin talks about in “The Dip”

I’m all about setting goals, both personal and business goals. Do people even do New Year’s Resolutions anymore? I’ve been focusing more attention to the personal goals I/we have set for 2010, but I’m going to pull out that list again and make a second column that include passive income goals that are reasonable and attainable. But challenging too!

@Lin I don’t bother with New Years resolutions – being hung over is a bad time for planning to be honest. New Year has only resulting in totally unrealistic resolutions such as lose weight and stop drinking 🙂

Glad you’ve gained clarity re. the SEO consulting – I did wonder about that when you wrote about it in previous posts – dealing with clients sounded a bit too much like ‘work’ to me! ; )

I’m not one for rigid goals either, but like you have been thinking about where I want to be in a year’s time. My income goals are quite similar to yours – I’m aiming for about $4k+ / month by December 2010. It’s not a lot (especially when converted into UK pounds lol), but it will be more comfortable than what I’m making now, and then in 2011 (or earlier if I exceed my target) I can raise my sights higher & start shooting for the bigger money. I feel confident I can do it too – I’ve spent a couple of years experimenting with various IM stuff (and, I admit, wasting a lot of time), but now I know what works for me, and what I need to keep doing, so it’s just a case of scaling things up & keeping plugging away.

I’m also going to focus 90% of my efforts next year on three of my sites, which I intend to build up into authority sites that will be among the best in their niches. Not as an ego trip (I use pen names for all of them), but because I’ve decided that this model suits my working style more than the ‘millions of mini sites’ route. If I can make money either way, I might as well do it in with a method that I enjoy more.

Anyhow, good luck with your goals. It’ll be interesting to see how it all develops – maybe we should have a ‘checking in’ post every 3 months or so to see how we’re all doing!

Hope everyone has a nice Xmas – I’m taking 10 days off from the internet, which will be very weird!

Hi Cat – yeah tough earning US$ and living in pounds particularly at the moment. I agree if you have the choice go with what is more fun for you to do. Funny you should mention the 3 month checking in – its part of Chris’s method and one of things I was supposed to be doing on this blog – I forgot from about June onward LOL I will try better! 10 days off the Internet ? Wow that’s scary! Seriously I am typing this in a house mainly packed up in bags – due to move to a holiday home around the corner – and the very last thing that will get packed ? The modem! The fridge is gone, so is the washing machine, the food is on its way today, the laptop and modem remain – funny!

A lot of nice bulleted lists in there, ProBlogger would be proud! LOL
Actually, your decision to NOT do SEO for clients hit home with me. I am still debating whether I will work with “clients/customers” or not.
The only thing more frustrating than having a boss is having customers.
I love the idea of having enough passive income from online ventures to be able to go where I want and when I want.
BTW– $60K per year USD is not a small amount! Thats a very decent living over here and I love seeing your success my friend!

@Allyn – hah PB stole bulleted lists off scientists – they mean you can use less of those short words I always stuff up the grammar on – something you vbloggers probably don’t have to deal with! Yes that’s what I thought about the whole customer thing – what if they wanted me to do some work when I was busy drining beer on a remote tropical island? That would be inconvenient!

Goals are for people who have trouble motivating themselves. I always have the same purpose – just make as much money as I possibly can.

@Seth – why? What possible use is having as much money as you possibly can? By definition you would be working 24/7 – that’s not life – and its not a goal either – just a dream or a vague wish. Personally my aim in life is having enough money so that I can travel when and where I want for up to 6 months a year within the next two years that’s a SMART goal – its Specific, Mesurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound – look it up – its a very useful tool for goal setting – all you are setting yourself up for is burn-out

I am all about making goals and list, but sometimes have a hard time sticking to them. I have actually been reading your blog for awhile now but haven’t commented until now. I’m going to be documenting my own journey into making passive income online and I’m actually really looking forward to 2010 to get started on my goals.

The thing is that right now I am a freelance writer and I do some marketing for clients and I struggle with the instant gratification of money from clients compared to passive income which takes awhile to start rolling in. But I have made a committment to almost stictly work on passive income and let go of some of my private client work. Why should I let them make all the good money? lol. I look forward to watching both of us grow in the New Year.

You’d never get an argument from me regarding the dance classes. They are chicken soup for the soul and for the body as well … two things most all of us tend to neglect, no matter how we earn a living.

Also, when you mentioned not eating out so often, you touched on an important point all too often glossed over.

No matter if a ‘household’ is a single person or any the many different categories of partnerships, _someone_ needs to ‘run’ the household. I mean everyone reading these words lives some where and the average home is a pretty fair size ‘small business’ if you look at the money that flows in and out over the course of a year.

If earning a living at house allows the primary ‘home manager’ even an hour or two a day extra to making the home ‘work’ better, then at the end of the year that free time to mange things can be worth a young fortune.

Many of my readers are terribly concerned with expenses, that’s why they visit my blog, yearning for a cheaper, simpler life. The idea of pulling up stakes and traveling to a distant, cheaper place may be romantic, but it just isn’t practical for many.

But when they tell me about their expenses, I see that many of them are incurred out of desperation or frustration. These folks aren’t dumb or foolish with their money. They just don’t have enough time to do things smartly, so they say, the heck with it, I know it’s expensive, but I’ll just spend the money anyway.

Well what if you could make your life much simpler and cheaper without ever packing a moving carton?

Food (home cooked) for thought, perhaps.

DAve that’s an enormously insightful comment – you are so right – in essence after most of the 20th century ignoring the value of running a household (before that the well-off used servants so the household wasn’t free) women returning to the workforce has pushed a whole lot of costs back up for actually running a home. I think if you are stuck in the middle of a treadmill its really tough to step back and work out whether or not its all worthwhile – that’s why so many people will (after the fact) quote losing a job or a brush with serious illness as the “best thing that ever happened” – because they finally thought about what they wanted from life.

For me the trick will living cheap in the Western world is a having free accommodation – generally by owning your own home – and a low maintenance one at that!

If you’d like a tool for setting your goals for 2010, you can use this web application:

You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
A Vision Wall (inspiring images attached to yor goals) is available too.
Works also on mobile.

Dan – from your email address you have a relationship with this product – I am in hurry so have left the link stand – if one of my readers would like to check it out and confirm whether or not its free – please leave a comment – thanks


Developing your own product to teach people about how YOU make passive income is your best bet to become a millionaire 🙂

I would definitely trust your guide because you have started from scratch.

Kai-lo – interesting comment – but I don’t think it will be happening – there are tons of these products already on the web – its really not that hard – but its not that easy either – only the exceptionally motivated person will read a book and then apply the principals to keyword research, and backlinks which will make them money. Others are doing better using the membership site that I am flogging above in the post – The Keyword Academy – but I am certainly not interested in running something like that!


I think it’s not hard to sell your passive income guide because I think you brand yourself pretty well. I’m sure there are plenty of similar niche guides, but it is the person who brands themselves better will profit more. I think it’s worth a shot.

$3.000? wow that’s a lot of money for me because i still don’t have any passive income from internet marketing , all still active income.
well maybe because i just start for 2months, still far away from passive income but i hope someday i will get there.

I think December is the best time to make goals for the next year, as you can hit the ground running come January! In fact, it was December of 2007 that I first set my initial residual income goals — and I met them in half the time I projected! Best of luck with 2010.

Nice one Maria! good luck with your continued online endevours too – is that a new blog I see…

I heard a killer idea for developing your own info product. Write the sales page first. When you do that it helps you to envision a really great product. And as you go along you keep adding more to it and making it better.

Then, when you actually create the product itself, you’ve got an excellent outline and it’s easy to create your product. And as you go from product creation to sales page the synergy just gets stronger. Sounds like a winner to me.

Its a reasonably old idea Bernie – but I think it really works – you also try to get conversions before you actually produce the product

Hi Lis, first time I comment here but I’ve been reading for sometime. I agree I just started out with IM back in october, at that time I set the goal to be making $100 a month after the first month. We tend to underestimate what can be achieved, some years ago I set the goal to learn French in 3 months, it took me 2 years to reach a level I was comfortable speaking.

You and I think so much alike. I liken it to traveling down a highway with a destination in mind. If you take on other work such as in your case, doing SEO for a small business, you actually make a turn down a side road. Now it takes longer to get to where you are going even if you do make some extra $$. When you get off your route you also give someone else control of the steering wheel and I hate that.

Yeah I prefer to drive myself too Steve! Thanks for commenting – hope the snow is not too bad at your place!

Wikipedia defines passive income as “Income that is received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it”. As I see it, having a passive income goal is the first step towards quantifying my road to financial freedom.

Passive income is the ONLY way to financial freedom Daniel – think about it – selling your time for money is just slavery

Well because I believe the passive income goal supersedes these goals. This does not mean that I don’t have a budget or an investment plan; it’s just that there is little point in budgeting and investing activities if I didn’t have a target as to what the final result of all this money management would have for me. In fact setting a passive income goal means that I can work backwards to know what my budget and investment targets should be.

Logical George – no point in having a budget for investment if you have no money to invest!


I think you have set very reasonable goals that you will certainly reach in 2010. I know you have the knowledge and skills necessary to do it so now it’s just a matter of putting in the required effort. See you at the top!


yeah I know you are supposed to do the stretch thing – but I am a bit lazy – so don’t want to exert myself too much LOL !

Excellent article on executing a plan and setting reasonable goals to earn passive income in 2010. Sense when is $5000 a month not sufficient? To me that is a lot, but my overhead (investments for sites) is rather small because I have only 5 sites, which = an approximate overhead of $50 monthly…

Q: How much do you invest on a monthly basis to operate your sites to generate passive income? I guess the answer to that question has a lot to do with the perception of $5000 being sufficient or not? Anyway…

In all honesty I have yet to actually sit down to map-out any plan or strategy for my passive income goals for 2010. My only goal at this point is to simply have my sites sustain themselves; and perhaps to earn me a few extra bucks too 🙂 lol Time is money, and the time invested in developing and optimizing sites should be rewarded — in the least.

My goal, however, is just like yours and many others; to work from home earning passive income and eviscerate from the daily employment grind… My job sucks all the life out of me! Although I average good money and insurance benefits, it takes a toll after a while and I truly wish to end it soon. So to achieve this I guess I need to plan! Like you noted, “failing to plan is a plan to fail,” and I am in no position to invest in failure.

Thanks for the inspiration.


The $5000 really should be profit not revenue – though Iam still not reinvesting as much as I should be – my ongoing expenses are less than $500

5k a month would be a winner in my book, just not a realistic goal for me – yet – and I do not see it happening unless I can go fulltime IM. With a kid, a cat, unemployed baby mama and 7 fish to feed, I have some challenges ahead of me this year – and have been trying to break the 2k a month for half a year now…:)

passive income is not something that is linked to your activities that earn you your primary income. In effect, your money works for you to earn more money for no incremental effort on your part apart from the act of investing. This concept is similar to idea of compounding of capital you probably learned as a school student in your Maths class.

This post is really very inspiring! Planning like this is something so many people dont do and is one of the biggest causes of failure in internet businesses. Over the next few days Im going to write a similar plan for myself!

Awesome goals. I always find it interesting that wealth is relative to ones spending and debt. Some people could never be satisfied with 5k a month.

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