Do you ever talk to yourself out loud in public and not realize that you’re doing it until you catch a stranger staring at you strangely? (Yep, that totally just happened to me for the millionth time today.) OR do you ever pretend like you’re talking on your phone in public so that you can talk out loud to yourself as much as you want without looking like Super MrCrazy Pants?
Totally me. (I swear I’m not crazy!) :P
Ehem! That all has nothing to do with today’s blog post, by the way. Nope! Today I’m sharing with you how, over the course of the last year, I’ve transitioned into making a full-time income with passive income.
Incase you don’t know exactly what passive income is, passive income is money that you make with little to no time or effort involved. So for example, if I create an e-book and have it on my website to sell, that’s passive income. I spent time creating the book initially, but once I created it no more work would be involved. So 50 people could purchase that e-book while I’m off binge watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix and stuffing down salt and vinegar chips and I didn’t have to do any work while that was all happening and I was making money!
(Yes, I just admitted to binge watching Pretty Little Liars. Sorry not sorry!)
You can literally make limitless amounts of money from passive income because there’s no limit to your time! Whereas if you do a freelance service (for example) where you take on clients, then you have a limit to the amount of people that you can take on (and therefore a limit on the amount of money that you can make), because there’s only so much time in your day.
Makes sense right?!
(Ya know, I have no clue what I was contemplating in this photo. Passive income maybe? Espresso swirls? Chasing tornadoes? :P)
Before I transitioned into my online business full-time, I ran my own full-time wedding photography business for 7 years! However soon after I started it, it became pretty clear to me very quickly that even if I raised my prices to what I considered to be pretty dang high, (and took on as many clients as possible without going utterly insane), I STILL wouldn't be making the amount of annual income that I really wanted to make.
That is until two words gently knocked on my pink-colored brain: passive income.
In January of 2015 when I decided that I wanted to transition from shooting weddings to being an online entrepreneur full-time, I knew that I wanted passive income to be my main focus so that I could continue to build on it with no limits to my time or the amount of money that I could make. Bwaaahhh hahahahaha!
(Not sure why I evil laughed just now, it seemed fitting in the moment.)
ANYWAY. I sat down and immediately made a business plan for the year, quivering with excitement as I feverishly scribbled out all of my goals which, to be honest, seemed rather impossible to me at the time! And now? Hot dang, it happened.
Passive income has become my bread’n’butter!
SO, my delightful little dandelion, I HIGHLY recommend building passive income streams into your online business (even if you do freelancing work!) so that you never have to rely on the amount of time that you have or just one source.
Here's how I started making a full-time income from passive income in 10 steps!
1. I created a business plan & a detailed quarterly action plan.
Yes, if you’ve read any of my blog posts before then you probably already know how much I attribute the success I’ve had to creating a detailed business plan and quarterly action plan! It gave me focus, clarity on what I wanted and the actionable steps I needed to take to make it happen.
2. I figured out which passive income ideas I wanted to focus on.
Yes, I chose a few different ideas so that I could also create multiple income streams (but more on that in a minute!) So after thinking about a bazillion different possibilities, I finally decided to focus on online courses, a tangible planner and maybe a digital product or two. I chose those things based off what I was the most excited to create, knew I had the ability to create well and what also aligned with my business goals (from step one.)
Although just FYI, there are SO MANY THINGS that you could do to create passive income! Online courses, digital products (like e-books, templates, stock photos, guides, swipe files, audio recordings, videos etc.), physical products, etc. :::Pokes head around corner::: Psssst, hey you! I've got over an hour of free video training if you're interested in learning lots of passive income ideas for your blog!
3. I included multiple income streams in my business plan.
Remember how I just said that I chose a couple different passive income things to focus on? That’s because I wanted multiple income streams. Having multiple income streams means that you never have to rely on just one thing- AND your chances for making more money are greater! (That sounded super greedy … I swear I’m not super greedy!)
But ... you can literally build onto your passive income. I started with creating my planner. Then I added a course. Then another course. Then ANOTHER course. Now, each month I make money from four different things that require very little to no extra work on my end!
4. I asked people what they wanted.
It’s not enough to just make an awesome thing- you need your awesome thing to be a.) something that actually makes sense for your online business (aka it’s inline with your goals and purpose) and b.) something that people actually want or need. So after getting really clear on the purpose of my blog and business (by writing my business plan in step one!) I simply asked my ideal clients what they wanted.
Yep … sounds so obvious, and yet a lot of people forget to JUST ASK. In addition to simply asking people what they want and need, you can also just be a good ‘ol fashioned stalker in things like Facebook groups where your ideal client hangs out to see what types of things they want / need / would give up their last cup of coffee for.
5. I wrote everything down.
After I created my detailed quarterly action plan that I mentioned above, I wrote EVERY SINGLE STEP down inside of my planner. I wrote down exactly when throughout the year that I would focus on creating / launching each passive income idea along with all of the necessary steps that I needed to do in order to create each thing. So for example, I decided to create/launch my Blog + Life Planner (pictured above!) around the end of the year when I knew everyone would be wanting to buy a planner for the new year!
Oh yeah, and I actually DID all of the things that I wrote down. (Because nothing happens unless you actually show up and take action.) :-)
6. I focused on getting more QUALITY traffic.
Once I had ideas for things to create that I KNEW people either wanted and/or needed, I continued to focus on getting more traffic to my site. Now ... I believe in QUALITY over quantity when it comes to getting traffic. I'd rather have 500 people visit my site who are engaged, love my content and sign up for my e-mail list then 5,000 pageviews from people who didn't give a crap! Know what I'm say'in?
And if you need help increasing your traffic I've got an epic 1.5 hour long workshop which includes a handy workbook below (for free) to help you do things like get more traffic and grow your email list, and it is FULL of action steps that you can start taking right now.
7. I focused on building my e-mail list.
Yeah … you’ve probably heard about the importance of this one by now, right? In fact, you’re probably sick of hearing about it! (Let’s be honest, do the words “e-mail list” make your ears burn a little?) But ...it’s like … really, super duper important if you want to sell things online. After all, you NEED people around to actually BUY your sweet stuff right?! And your e-mail list is the ONE direct connection that you have with your people that you actually have control over. (‘Cause we all know that social media platforms are always changing their algorithms and policies!)
So over the year, as I was working on creating my super sweet things like my online courses and my planner, I was also very focused on building my e-mail list. (Need help growing your email list? Be sure to check out that free workshop that I mentioned above!) I've also got this detailed blog post about list growing right here.
8. I made quality, free content that lead into my paid content.
You know what makes people a lot more likely to buy from you? Providing them with lots of quality, free content. (Yo, this has been a HUGE helping factor for me!) Doing this builds trust. It helps people to actually see that "hey, this person actually puts out AMAZING free stuff, I can only imagine how awesome their PAID content is!" It also gets some people hooked on your content like candy.
(Or in my case, COFFEE!!!!)
But you don't want to just create ANY free stuff. You want to create things that are directly related to the topic of whatever your paid thing is! And then you want to use that free stuff to lead people ever so gently into your paid stuff. (For example, doing a super value-fllled mini course that leads people directly into a related paid course.)
9. I started doing webinars.
Um ... webinars literally took my blog and business to the next level! Like ... before I was doing webinars I was on maybe the ninth floor with a bunch of slightly dusty furniture, and webinars was the elevator that took me from the ninth floor to the more posh, expensive 50th floor!
(That was a really bad analogy, sorry.)
They took me from, "I'm just starting to make some money (but not quite enough to live well), to HELL YEAH I'm making more than enough!
Webinars have been A-MAZING for both continuing to build my e-mail list AND selling my online courses! And the best part? You don't have to actually sell anything during a webinar to make money with them! You can actually use your completely "pitch free" webinars to make passive income. I talk all about exactly how I make passive income using webinars inside of this post right here!
And if you'd like to try doing a webinar, I've got a free webinar crash course to get you started! It's a 1.5 hour workshop replay that includes a goody bag with a workbook, checklists and cheat sheets ... (full disclosure I accidentally typed "cheat shits" three times in a row just now!) Hahaha. ANYWAY!!! You can click the pink button if you'd like to join in on the fun! :P
10. I developed an entrepreneurial mindset which has allowed me to keep going even when I feel like quitting.
Yep, I have had many, MANY days over the past year where I have felt like quitting. Hell, just the other day I spent SEVEN HOURS on tech support with GoDaddy and Squarespace and I pretty much just wanted to throw in the towel right then and there! I mean, I was literally reduced to tears of frustration. Need proof? Here's my mascara smeared, Joker-esque looking crazy face after my slight meltdown due to spending seven hours chatting with tech support:
(I know, super attractive photo right? That's REAL LIFE, baby!)
Guess what? You WILL have days where you have fear and doubt, you WILL have days where you're not inspired, you WILL run into stupid technical glitches, you WILL come across roadblocks that are annoying, you WILL have problems that seem impossible to solve (until you do!) and you just have to KEEP GOING.
Wanna learn how to develop your entrepreneurial mindset? Check out this live video I did recently on my newly started Youtube Channel! :-)
Having a community of like-minded people for support, feedback, brainstorming, inspiration and more is really important, which is why I have my free Facebook group for lady bosses. (You should totally join us!)
And that's it, my mascara-smeared story of how I started making a full-time income with passive income over the course of the last year!
And if you really want to start and/or grow a totally awesome online business then you should definitely check out this super detailed blog post on how you can do it in 28 steps!
What about you? Are you anywhere along this journey? How's it going? Do you need help with anything I went over? Just let me know below you little bushy-tailed broccoli! (Hehehe that's my new favorite term of endearment that I came up with. Isn't it great?) :P
And now, it's time to go hunt down my kitty Mr. Purrie so that I can give him some serious pett'ins!