I am 34 years old. I finished grad school by the time I was 24. So I’ve been living in the “real world” for 10 ten years now, and I’m kicking myself for not having pursued passive income sooner. Passive income is the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas, or if you are relatively the same age as me, “all that and a bag of chips.”
Passive income is fantastic because you set it and forget it, and it continues to make money for you even when you are doing nothing. This is important because life happens. You get busy or sick. Your kids get busy or sick, and some days you just can’t hustle like you normally would.
This is exactly what happened to me at the end of December. I didn’t realize that I was basically running on fumes until the day after Christmas. I felt like I could suddenly relax then, and bam! I came down with a cold and was out for a week. I felt so bad! There was no way I was going to be able to write blog posts, schedule my social media, and do all of the things that I normally do.
What happened was that I immediately felt down on myself. Here I was, committed to posting on my blog consistently, and I wasn’t able to follow through. It was through that experience that I learned all about the importance of batch writing. But it wasn’t just my lack of writing that I was feeling frustrated about. It was also that I wasn’t making any money.
So imagine how surprised I was then when, once my cold had cleared, I logged onto the computer and saw that I had made $83 the week I was sick. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but to me, with a two-month-old blog, it was a huge deal. AND it was 100% passive thanks to affiliate marketing.
That $83 came from Maven. I don’t hear a lot about them from other bloggers, so I thought I would share for a minute how they work. First off, anyone can sign up at Maven, not just professional bloggers and influencers. Once you have an account, you can begin curating boards just like you do on Pinterest. So, you just make boards with themes like you normally would, like, “Favorite Fall Clothing Essentials” or “Cooking Tools for the Foodie.” People then go onto Maven and click through your boards. You can also share your boards through social media: Facebook, Twitter, even on Pinterest. Then, when someone clicks on one of the items on one of your boards and purchases it, you get a commission. So say I had a board that was “Cooking Tools for the Foodie,” and I put a Vitamix blender on there. Someone can click on the picture, get sent to Amazon, and buy it. And I would get a commission from that. But what makes them different from other affiliate networks (like ShareASale or Commission Junction) is that you only have to get approved through them and not through each individual retailer which can take weeks. That means that I can have a board with items from Nordstrom, anthropologie, and Last Call Neiman Marcus all on there, and I’ll get a commission on each item, but I only had to do through the trouble of getting approved by Maven. It’s a whole lot less work! I think that’s pretty sweet considering how much money I made in one week.
But Maven is only a small part of my growing affiliate marketing strategy, and I usually make affiliate income (all passive) from a variety of different sources (ebook sales, Amazon, and other affiliates just to name a few). I learned my affiliate marketing strategy from Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. Michelle blogs at Making Sense of Cents, and if you haven’t seen her income reports, you should! Michelle makes $100,000 a month blogging. No, there is no typo! $100,000 a month! And half of her monthly income routinely comes from affiliate sales. So Michelle created an online class teaching, called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, to teach others how to recreate what she does. It is a fantastic class and worth its weight in gold. But what is even more priceless, in my opinion, is how much Michelle wants to see her students succeed. Once you purchase the course, you become a part of her online Facebook group. Michelle is very active there and will bend over backward to help you. She’s retweeted things for me, promoted my pins, encouraged me when I felt down, and so much more. Plus, everyone else in the Facebook group rocks too and wants to help just like Michelle.
When I purchased Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, I paid $197, and it was completely worth it.
And so what is my strategy moving forward? Well, to continue to build up my passive income so that I can continue to make money when I am sick or on vacation. One day I even hope to earn a full-time income passively. I know it is possible because I have read about other people developing such significant incomes that they were able to take a “paid” maternity leave or pay for college through their passive income. That is just incredible!
Just one more thing too, I want to mention… this has really been weighing on my heart recently, and so I want to put it out there. I have been talking to a lot of friends, and a lot of moms in particular, who want to be able to stay at home with their kids and earn a passive income. Some of them are really hesitant to jump in and do it though because they feel like there are soooo many mommy blogs or frugal blogs or DIY blogs, you name it. And while that is certainly true, there is only one you! You are what will make your blog special. Blogging isn’t like any other industry where you have to fear that someone is cornering the market. It’s possible for everyone to have a blog and earn a passive income.
And now I want to hear from you! How are you earning a passive income?
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