The 7 Key Steps to Building Passive Income Selling Online!
Note: This 7 step beginners guide is focused primarily on those of you aiming to make full-time passive income selling digital download products online. Don't worry I will be creating an entirely different kick-ass guide to generating passive income through building your own blog in a following up coming guide!
Wouldn't it be amazing if someone came along and handed you £1000 with a cheery smile, a pat on the back and went on their way!?!
No catches...no return favours required just free money for you to spend on whatever you want that month or stash safely away in your bank account!
Now how about if instead of it just happening once, that same person came along again and again and again every month and handed you £1000 no strings attached no questions asked.
Well for the last 3 months, if you replaced that human hand with an automated transaction from my online selling platforms thats exactly whats been happening to me!
Over and over again i've glanced into my bank account to see wads of £100, £250 and even £1000 (not yet wads of £10,000's unfortunately) drop into my bank whilst i've sat watching T.V.
So what's the trick??
The reason I can now sit back and watch money cha-ching into my bank account each month without having to panic over things like renewing listings, shipping products or buying new stock (basically the hassles of running a physical product business) is because just under a year ago I discovered a way of earning money that I never really knew existed before...
(No I didn't discover a money tree at the bottom of the garden) and ever since i've become obsessed with working out exactly how to create it and how I can grab a little piece of the unbelievable pie that is 'passive income'.
According to Wikipedia... (what a source) Passive income is described as "income resulting from cash flow received on a regular basis, requiring minimal to no effort by the recipient to maintain it".
Now before I go on, let me promise you I am quite literally just a normal girl (nothing special) and I'm not about to confuse you with a wealth of rocket scientist knowledge that's required in order for you to follow my footsteps...
It's well within your reach to start building a little pot of passive income of your own and grow it over time to create something that will eventually support you financially with little to no work...
But I won't lie to you, from my experience I've seen that for the complete novice like I was (and maybe you are aswell) it takes time to build this form of income and there can be one hell of a steep learning curve before you start seeing results.
That's why I've created this step by step guide to help beginners get to grips with some of the basics on what's really needed to create and build passive income from selling digital and dropshipped products online.
In this blog article we're going to be discussing these four basic topics:
How to get 'started' on building passive income.
What online platforms I recommend starting with if you're new to the 'selling online' game.
What to expect in the building process whilst you create your passive income.
And most importantly the tips and tricks i've found to help make the process alot easier along the road.
I've broken this beginners guide down into the 7 key steps I think you need to know and follow in order to get jump started building your passive income through selling digital products online.
As you read and implement each step they should help to answer the big topics mentioned above and don't worry I will have tons more articles focusing on each step of the process on my blog to help you as you climb the passive ladder.
"We're on this passive income journey together remember."
I may be a few steps ahead of you in the passive income game but I have so much more to learn and share on my blog and I can't wait to be the solid helping hand just a few paces infront, guiding you along your journey to passive income success!
Sound good... Now lets gets started with Step 1.
Haven't got the time to read the entire guide right now???
Download the FREE Ultimate Guide Summary and Workbook and cheatsheet your way through the 7 Steps to Passive Income!!
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and decide to buy I will get a tiny bit of compensation for your doing so. I want to stress that in no way does me including affiliate links affect my opinion of a product good or bad and I would never bother linking to an item I didn't deem worthy of being purchased by me or my readers. I never want anyone to waste good money they've worked hard to earn!
STEP 1: DO YOUR RESEARCH
This first step is what I like to think of as focus time!
By this I don't mean you have to spend weeks working out every nitty gritty element to your passive income plan.
I just mean you need to sit down and really work out what your goals are financially, what passive income products you want to create and how you can make it as easy as possible to turn your idea into a full time business.
When I first started my online journey I sat down and really did my homework on what types of digital products I could potentially create and sell.
After a little research I discovered I enjoy creating 2 types of products in particular that had the "potential" to make passive income.
These were honing my writing skills to create fictional short stories and sell them as ebooks (although I still don't have the patience to write a full blown novel) and as I had a little bit of graphic design experience (I'm talking basic here, I still can't really work photoshop to save my life) I decided to learn how to sell my graphics as art printables online.
For you this may completely vary depending on your skills and which products you think you'd enjoy creating the most.
For example you might prefer creating products such as stock photos, digital fonts and graphics or designing online courses to teach others a skill you know well (knitting, cooking, graphic design e.c.t).
There are a wealth of different products you can create to sell online and I really recommend exploring a wide range of options before settling on your final choice.
Now the key thing to remember when it comes to building passive income is that whatever you choose to create needs to be able to make you "residual income" this means you do the work once and you can sell the end product again and again and again.
A good example of this could be writing ebooks you can sell over and over or creating printable art prints that you repeatedly sell on an online platform e.c.t.
Being a part of a fair few online seller facebook forums and platforms (more on these great programs in a later blog post), I've had the super fun pleasure of chatting with a host of people all working in numerous ways to sell things online and grow their income and one thing I have definately learned is that you can too easily fall slave to the turn-mill of new item creation and promotion if you build a business solely based on products that you have to make repeatedly and yet can only sell once!
"Right here at the very beginning of your passive income journey, it's essential for you to know that the most important element to any passive online business you build is to create products you can sell downloadable or dropshipping accessible versions of over and over again!"
You may find that you prefer to create different products than I did but don't worry all the principles in this guide are pritty much the same for all of them.
As long as you stick to the golden rule that your focus is centred around designing and marketing products that you only have to create once and you can sell many times over, plus you're confident through your initial research that you can find or create an online platform to sell your items on then your good to move to step two.
STEP 2: HONE YOUR SKILLS and learn how to create your products.
Now in the spirit of keeping this guide honest I'm not going to lie to you and say that I started my online journey for any other reason than making income.
I'm not naturally gifted at any particular skill like drawing, painting, crafting or doing anything talented with my hands.
Don't get me wrong I have grown to absolutely love what I do, I love making the products I design and sell but in truth it was never out of a deep seated passion to create art for peoples homes or write the next Harry Potter novel and sell it for £5.00 on Amazon.
Like most people starting out building passive income, I just wanted to learn how to create a product that I could upload online and that hopefully would help to make me money without me having to 'work' for it over and over.
Step two is all about the step I think so many other passive income bloggers choose to skip over (either because they assume you already have a skill to sell or because it's one of the unglamorous sides of building passive income, it's certainly doesn't fit in to the blog post "How to make £10,000 in 2 days!").
Now's the time to sit down and learn to create the products that you've decided to sell!
Stop, wait... stay with me I know it sounds like a moot step to mention but I think this is often the part of the plan that separates the dreamers who can't get past an idea and those who go out and do something to make their passive income dreams come true.
I want to add this part into my guide because although it may seem obvious that you need to at some point create the products you want to put online, when I first started working out the in's and out's of building my passive income I can honestly say this point nearly stopped me in my tracks before I'de begun.
The thought of having to create something that people will actually want to buy when you've never tried it before is quite literally terrifying, especially if you're like me and you don't naturally have a skill to start with before you decide you want to start creating passive income online.
Before I began my journey I'de never sold an ebook, I'de never created a piece of art let alone tried to make someone buy it and amoungst the swirl of online advice telling me how easy it was to make passive income this one cold uncertainty stopped me from opening my shop for nearly a month.
But the truth is if you're willing to take a little time and learn how to create whatever product you decide to sell, having no previous experience or online technical skills should never stop you from reaching your passive income goals. Contrary to what so many others tell you, you don't need to rush out and get an internship with an online sales company to gain enough experience before you create your product!
If you don't already have a sellable skill just teach yourself one. I promise it's easier than you think to learn how to create digital downloads or products you can dropship. Right now there are literally tons of online coaches, bloggers and mentors offering you FREE guidance on how to create a sellable Ecourse, workbooks, ebooks, art printables and so much more.
Once you've done your research and you know the types of products you think you would like to create then take these people up on there offers to help you and commit a little time to honing your new skill.
(In another post I'm actually going to show you how to create digital download art prints you can easily sell on almost any shopping platform or your own blog, so if you're still nervous about creating something sellable stay tuned for that one)
But whatever items you decide to create whether it be taking photographs and uploading them, learning to design fonts or create art prints i've actually come to discover that most things are possible when you give yourself the time to learn them and you take creating your products super seriously.
It's testament to this that I actually make most of my passive income through the very digital products that I knew the least about when I started building passive income.
Simply put this step is about learning how to create your products to a high enough quality to sell. Practise practice and practise some more until you feel confident to take the next step.
If you're one of the lucky ones with a skill ready to go then you're all set to move onto step three but don't panic if you're someone who needs to stop and take time to learn a few skills here in step two.
Trust me I've been there and within a few hours, days or months you'll be so ready to jump into step 3!
Step 3: Choose your selling Platform
Now if you're brave and ready to take on the responsibility of owning your own blog or website then by all means you can upload your stories, photos, graphics e.c.t onto your personal site and start trying to work out how to bring in traffic from the get go.
Indeed many of the online gurus out there lead with "start a blog, set up a website and watch the sales roll in"...
But can I be honest with you?
The first time I tried this very method I soon realised that driving traffic to a brand new website with little to no knowledge of how to promote and direct customers my way was quite literally a waste of energy and time.
Believe me I tried... I fumbled around on Squarespace and Wordpress despirately trying to create something that looked like an enticing place to shop and all the while I hadn't even thought about how I was going to brand myself, how many products I was going to have to create and how I was going to drive traffic to my minisule corner of the online world.
So my advice to complete online retail newbees (not bloggers more on this in another post) is this...
DON'T START WITH YOUR OWN WEBSITE!
Not yet anyway!
Not until you're a little more established with your products and you're ready to put in the additional time and effort it takes to bring people to your website.
This view can be rather controversial but from my experience I personally recommend starting out with using online marketplaces such as Etsy, Amazon KDP, and Creative Market to set up shop.
These sites allow you to create digital downloads for your customers and whats more they have spent their own millions of dollars creating the perfect platform for not only their buyers to feel welcome but also online sellers aswell.
Don't worry if you're desperate to own your own website that will definately come a little down the line, but the pro of starting with a marketplace platform as opposed to your own is it gives you time to hone your branding, products and marketing whilst making money before you take the big plunge and go it alone!
I began by working out which online market platforms I wanted to try in order to sell my downloads and generate passive income and I would suggest you sit down and do something simular.
When it came to writing stories the choice was pretty clear and I began with Amazon's KDP program. It's pretty much the go to platform for ebook writers and its user friendly interface means that you can quite literally upload your ebook within a few minutes and be on your way to selling.
The reason why now I truly recommend to do your research in step 1 is because a few weeks after I set up my Amazon bookshelf I also stumbled upon a wealth of additional online ebook marketplaces that now make a huge dent in my passive income pot. Smashwords, Nookpress and Kobo are personally the main platforms I use but there are plenty more out there if you look hard enough.
From my research I had discovered that Etsy allows you to sell digital items online and once more they're platform is super easy to navigate in helping to create your shop and upload your prints. (Note: I have a whole seperate amazing article focused on how to create your little etsy boutique and the easiest way to add your downloads.)
Creative Market is also a great place to sell photography, home designed fonts and graphics as you can upload them once to the platform and like Etsy they'll make it super easy for you to sell them again and again and again.
There are a whole host of online marketplaces to look at before you choose where to set up shop but whichever marketplace you decide just be sure to research the basics such as their selling policies, their average visitor count and even reviews from people selling simular online items to your own.
I want to go alot more indepth when it comes to specific online platforms including the pro's and cons of "marketplaces vs your own website" and so I will be writing more articles on these in my blog soon.
I personally recommend for complete online passive income beginners just finding one online marketplace that sells digital downloads and perfecting your shop set up there first. Then once you're ready to branch out, add additional marketplaces to your income streams and finally add your own website or blog.
That's just the way I choose to do it and definitely worked best in my experience. For me within 1 year I had Etsy, Amazon, Smashwords, Nook, Creative Market and my own website sewn up and I was drawing a full-time income from them each and every month.
Note: Finding the right home for your specific product is a huge key to the success in building your passive income. Research the best websites for what you're intending to sell before you join any marketplaces to ensure your product will work well on that platform.
Step 4: Get your products, platform and branding to all line up!
Once you've chosen your first platform its time to get everything set up!
Now before you go ahead and slap on any old shop banner and start haphazardly throwing your products onto your chosen platform I would suggest taking a moment to read though this step and getting your ducks well and truly in a row.
I can only speak for myself but I made the time consuming error of coming up with all my shop branding before I actually sat down and started to design the exact products I wanted to sell. I also just threw up products that I enjoyed making and paid no consideration to whether or not my products looked right for my platform.
Safe to say I ended up with an uber modern and sleek looking Etsy shop perfect for adding cutting edge art prints yet the printables I designed looked more suited to decorate a child's nursery than a modern living room and as a consequence to my mismatched shop I had a crazy bounce rate as customers found themselves wondering into my shop and rushing to get the heck out, confused as to what my store was even about.
The HUGE lesson I learned in that first month was that focus and uniformity are the focal points to any shop set-up!
Don't just rush to throw anything up!
In step two I discussed the importance of learning how to create your chosen products.
In those few days, weeks or months of trial and error you will most likely also discover certain preferences to the look and style of the exact products you enjoy creating.
When it comes to creating your shop, it's essential to cater your branding to the exact products you want to sell NOT the ideas you have in your head!
When it came to my ebooks I ended up discovering that I enjoyed writing short horror stories instead of the sweet romances that I originally had in my head so when it came to creating my ebook covers and branding my ebook platforms I knew I needed a darker moodier feel to my branding other than the sultry romantic style I would of created if I'd simply jumped in and designed my branding on the back of the products I thought I was going to create rather than what I actually ended up selling.
Tip: Why not start with designing 5-10 of the exact products you feel confident and enjoy creating, then fit them to a platform you feel has a market for them and FINALLY create your branding to help customers flow from your chosen marketplace to your store front.
This pretty much remains the same for any products you sell online whether it's graphics, fonts, photography, digital cards or anything else. Its best to understand what you're trying to sell to your customers first before you create the branding around it (trust me this was a hard lesson learned).
Much like creating a blog, selling products online is about tailoring your branding to capture your exact customer. No ones going to be ultra enticed to buy a super girly art print for their granddaughter from a horror and grunge branded Etsy shop!
I also suggest doing your research to find out what types of products sell best on the platform you've chosen before commiting to the exact branding and visuals you want for your shop. For example:
- Do moody and dark photographs sell better on that platform or do their audience prefer bright and vibrant photography?
- What type of cooking, knitting or graphics courses do best where you're going to sell your own?
- Which ebook categories are proving to be the most popular on your platform and would you enjoy writing in that niche?
Now remember if your products don't fit in with the look and mood of a platform it doesn't mean you should throw everything you've created away and start designing something totally new that will blend seamlessly into the background just so your branding will work, it just means that perhaps there's a better place out their to start selling your passive income items (e.g. Etsy vs Creative Market).
Alternatively you might fall in love with a particular marketplace and decide to make small changes to the look or style of your products in order to appeal to a better target audience (e.g. uploading lighter and colourful stock photographs to sell on Etsy where the vibe is soft and predominantly female orientated vs selling more moody and editorial stock photos on creative market that will appeal to anyone designing stylized social media posts and website backdrops.)
Side note: Never go to the extremes of just copying someone else's branding on a platform in a bid to make it easy on yourself and steal their audience it never works and remember that at the end of the day its you who will be creating all the products that go into your store so it has to be a style you love but never ignore what the marketplace is trying to tell you and take note of the key features on the style, quality and presentation in successful shops.
Now this is the place where your choice of product defines your next steps when it comes to your shop set-up...
Once you've decided on the look and feel of your products, you know there's an audience for what you sell on your platform and you've got the branding ready to go it's time to seriously start filling up your shop!
In terms of smaller and easier to make downloads such as art printables, stock photos, digital planners, graphics e.c.t you might want to create an initial collection of at least 50-100 items.
In my experience selling art printables on Etsy and Creative Market, the key to building a strong profitable shop is quality and very much QUANTITY!
The more items you have in your shop the more chance there is that they will be found it's "almost" as simple as that, particularly on marketplace platforms that use their own search engines to help customers find what they're looking for.
When it comes to art printables I now have over 400 items in my shop and I've known a number of successful art printable sellers uploading over a 1000+ to really start earning the big bucks.
Now I don't want to make you think you need to create a 1000 digital products before you can start making a penny in your shop, that really isn't true. I just want to let you know that the key to smaller digital download products is to build a strong collection of designs. When I started my first goal was to upload 50 prints in my shop and for at least a month I left it at that.
When I was ready I added some more, going at my own pace and ensuring that I never slipped on quality with every download I put up.
Now let me just reiterate I'm not telling you that you have to create 1000+ digital downloads to start making money from these kinds of products. If you learn how to market your shop correctly and drive high converting traffic to your shops then you can work with much lower numbers than that and still make a full time income.
But the truth is if you're a total novice with no experience in marketing or promoting online products (like I was) then to really start seeing results you'll have to commit to creating a healthy number of products for your shop before you start seeing constant sales roll in.
For much larger digital downloads such as online courses, workbooks and branding or website template packages the numbers are usually alot less (F.Y.I this isn't always the case for ebooks, more on this in a later post).
Depending on your pricing and again the converting traffic you can drive to your online shop, you may only need to create a few of your products to see a good in-pour of income however the work to create an excellent quality ecourse will require alot more initial research, development and time in the creation process than for example a downloadable greetings card.
To keep the long story of the Shop Set-Up Short... (thats a mouthful)
The main takeaways from step four are:
- You should have a clear knowledge of the exact look and style of the products you want to sell before choosing the branding you want to use for your shop and social platforms.
- You should make sure that your branding works well on your chosen platform and that your target audience can be found browsing those online marketplaces for similar products to yours.
- Once you've chosen your branding you should then create a strong collection of products to bulk up your shop and help give visitors more ways to discover your items via your platforms search function (e.g. 50-100 different art print designs or 20-50 design templates for your customers to choose from).
There is a whole lot more I can discuss regarding uploading your products onto platforms including writing great product descriptions, SEO and how to style your product listings to get maximum impact when someone visits your store but as this is a 'beginners guide' I want to keep it simple and leave the shop set up here.
If you want to learn more about any of these additional elements then visit my blog for more articles.
Grab this FREE Step by Step download to The Ultimate Guide to Passive Income!
It's the easy to follow 7 step summary that breaks down all the essential points into one useful workbook + additional pages for you to make your own passive income notes...
Step 5: 'patience' and 'PERSISTENCE' are essential!
Now that you've worked out exactly the products you want to sell and you've got at least one platform ready to go it's time to do the real work and build your income stream...
Wait... don't become overwhelmed its not actually as hard as it sounds and after a year of struggling to find every short cut, magic trick and secret tip to make my passive income grow fast...
I finally discovered the key to it all.
As much as you want to follow in the footsteps of those inspirational entrepreneurs who made £5,000 in their first month. For most complete online income newbies that's simply not a goal you want to put all your heart into unless you don't mind stressing yourself out and giving yourself a mini heart attack!
If you do get super lucky or you discover you have the uncanny knack to drive 1000's of customers to your online store and you make a killing in your first month then thats absolutley great but one thing I can truly say with a clear mind is please don't become disheartened if instead your passive income just slowly starts to trickle in over the days, weeks and months.
Now here's the rub to passive income that I personally think most folks who promote it conveniently forget to tell you.
For us lot who aren't SEO experts, have never built or run an online store before and have little to no experience on how to drive traffic to our shop then it can be painstakingly slow to learn how to get customers to find your products and buy them online (even if you're giving it away for free crazy enough).
Unfortunately this goes for bloggers and online course creators aswell.
Even though my passive income mainly filters from ebook sales and printable downloads we all share the frustration that comes when you create a new item or blog post, upload it very carefully being sure to give your all to it's SEO, styling and description and then... nothing!!!
You sit waiting for just one person to find your online product, for one person to stumble along and think "Hey that's exactly what i'm looking for...SOLD!" only to find it doesn't come.
It's the cold hard reality to passive income that at least in the first few months of growing and building this type of business there is quite literally NOTHING passive about it!
Creating your products, branding your shop, marketing and promoting to potential customers and keeping on top of all the little things that keep your business ticking over is a full time job.
Now don't get me wrong after a while it gets immensely easier until you reach the point where you're only working a few hours a week to keep everything in check but to get there you need to be ready to put in the WORK!!
Now i'm truly not trying to be morbid or put you off.
It's just that like anything else worth having, passive income comes with plenty of initial work and if you're going to reach the finish line it's important to know that from the start.
Now this part is what I like to call "The Build-Up". It's the time when you absolutely can't give up!!
The initial excitement of passive income may very well wear off and if you're not seeing sales come flying through the door right away you may forget what you're even doing it for but the truth is if you keep going, if you keep adding your products to your shop, keep working on improving your SEO (more about this in a future post) and building your audience...PASSIVE INCOME WILL COME!
Slowly the money will start to come and one day whilst your watching t.v or out shopping you'll be able to look in your bank account and see that your making sales like CRAZY and you don't even have to think about it!
To sum it up step five is about being PERSISTENT and PATIENT enough to build your passive income stream!
In my case that meant the more short stories I wrote and uploaded and the more art printables I created and started adding to my online store, the more visits, favourites and eventually sales started pouring through the door!
This is the interesting part of starting out with an already estabilshed marketplace platform. I'm going to tell you something I don't think that many online entrepreneurs really talk about...
Building a website is important and for several reasons I won't go into right now. At some point its far safer to start driving traffic to your own online store when it comes to the overall control of your shop but for those of you just starting out learning to create a website, setting up an online store and driving customers to an unknown spot is by no means the easiest or best way to start building passive income with products you've never sold or marketed before!
That's why I personally recommend starting out with strong online marketplaces that already drive millions of customers to their website each month.
Yes it also means you're in direct competition with everyone else carving their own little shop out on the same platform but the sheer volume of visitors makes it much easier to get your products seen online. Marketplaces are also great spots to learn more about selling products to an audience, check out your competition, gather the analytics the platform gives you and use it to really help bolster your knowledge so that when you start up your own website or blog you know exactly what your customers want!
A great tip I also picked up whilst steadily building my marketplace shop was that I could use the wealth of free data from my platform to tweak and change my products to make them perfect for my target customer before I went it alone and started trying to sell it on my own website.
Many of the online marketplaces such as Etsy give you priceless data from their customer searches regarding what your visitors and buyers were searching for before and when they found your shop. This information is literally gold dust and alongside helping you to improve your visits and sales on your marketplace platform it's also a great resource to use when you decide to start driving traffic to your own website.
There is soooo much more that I can say on the subject of platforms vs personal websites, how to use the information from your marketplace data to help potential customers discover your products and the overall concept of "The Build-Up" but my gosh that would be one long blog post so instead I'm going to break it all up into more manageable chunks for you to read on my blog.
Long story short...
Once you've created the "passive income" products you want to sell and built your shop then remember its important to be persistant and patient whilst it grows.
- Keep adding new items to your shop (this could vary from 1-1000 items or more. It really depends on how well you drive traffic, how sort after your products are and how well you've branded your shop)
- Keep pushing and promoting your brand and products on social media and influencer blogs
- And most importantly stay positive and motivated even if it takes longer to build than you first thought... It will get there!
Take your time, have patience and learn as you go.
Like I said at the beginning the initial process behind passive income can be difficult and tedious but eventually you will reach that point where you'll find your online products practically sell themselves.
I'm going to leave this step here for now but if you want to understand the nitty gritty details around exactly how to build an online shop and how to generate passive income than check out the additional articles on my blog www.evaknows.com
Step 6: Driving Traffic to your shop.
When you reach this point you really deserve a huge pat on the back!
Everything you've done so far is amazing. Creating an online shop with digital products to sell can be tedious and let yourself know you've done well!!
As much as I would like to say that your passive income journey's done I would be lying if I promised that you could just rely on your SEO, the millions of visitors on your chosen platform or just word of mouth to drive your ideal customers to your door.
Given time and patience these elements alone can definitely take you a long way down the road to passive income (I actually haven't advertised my ebooks in the past 6 months and I still make sales from them day in and day out).
But if you really want to ensure that your bringing in optimal sales for your shop and you want to guarantee that even if your online marketplace shut down tomorrow you could still set up somewhere else and maintain your traffic then as I mentioned briefly above it's time you started focusing on promoting your shop!
Learning how to market your products well and build a following online is one of the most essential elements to creating passive income along side amazing SEO.
Both take time to perfect and believe me I am no where near the end of that yellow brick road but once you've learned some of the basics to getting your shop out there in the big wide online world the rewards of being able to sit back and finally let the sales pour in far outweighs the trouble.
Now in this beginners guide i'm not going to go all the way into explaining every aspect of marketing and driving traffic to your shop as that quite literally could be an ebook in itself but I am going to explain some of the basic concepts that you should know when you start driving traffic on your own.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO quite literally is the focal point when it comes to passive income as this is the main way that search engines such as Google, Amazon, Etsy, Pinterest e.c.t organically match their visitors to their desired products.
For example perfecting Amazing SEO can literally bring you sale after sale without you doing anything at all.
Using the right keywords in your products title, descriptions and tags can drive thousands of potential customers to your shop in a matter of months but the difficulty however lies in finding the perfect words and ranking high enough for search engines to want to offer your products as an option to their visitors.
There are a number of amazing programs that can help boost your SEO and teach you how to rank for the right words and I will be writing a ton of articles on my blog about the exact resources I use to help drive my SEO traffic to my shops and blog but for now I just want to let you know that taking time to research and perfect your use of tags and keywords can really help jump your passive income!
I'm sure you've heard it before and yes I will tell you again social media is a powerhouse when it comes to driving traffic and bringing in the sales. I use a number of social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter & Linkedin to help find my perfect customers and bring them to my online door.
The most important factor to social media in terms of passive income is that there are now a wealth of online programs and apps that can do the majority of the work for you.
From scheduling new posts, optimising your visibity to reposting old content and even interacting with your audience, online sellers are now in a position to set their social media up and sit back and let it run.
A few of the great social media resources I use to boost my visibility and easily schedule all my posts months in advance include Tailwindapp, Later, Coschedule and Planoly. These platforms are absolutely amazing in helping me schedule new posts regularly and monitoring my social accounts.
I love being able to upload all my content for months on end and sit back knowing that these programs are busy out there doing the hard work for me.
Now like most things in life, social media took me quite a while to figure out but now that I've got it to work around me I absolutely love what it can do. I will be writing a number of blog posts on how I navigate social media and the tips and tricks I use to make it super easy on myself so if you're interested definitely keep an eye out for those up coming posts.
Being Featured on Blogs
Another great way to drive traffic to your shop is to approach bloggers within your niche and ask them if they would like to feature any of the items you sell.
Now in truth this method of getting your shop out there can be a rather delicate one and there is definately a thin line between politely asking if someone would like to try one of your products and badgering them until they ignore you all together.
I personally have only had a little experience with this type of promotion but when I've got it right the rewards are a butt load of sales over night however the key to this type of visibility is to pick bloggers and blogs that exactly suite the product you''re trying to sell.
If it's not a perfect fit and something that their audience would of bought if they found it organically then you're just wasting you time.
It's also really important to remember to not just target the huge blogs with hundreds of thousands of visits per month. Smaller more niche bloggers are in general more likely to respond to a new shop emailing about a their product and if they do decide to mention one of your items in their blog they usually have a highly engaged audience that when they say they love something their subscribers love it aswell.
Now lets be clear, there really is no hard and fast rule when it comes to how to get a blogger to feature you on their blog.
Sometimes you have to strap on a pair, go out there and ask for it yourself and other times they'll drop you an email letting you know they'd love to feature your item in their next blog post (i've even had people who haven't bothered to let me know at all).
The point is it can be done and when you're ready to take the plunge and start driving traffic to your own shop you'll eventually work out the right methods for youself.
Step 6 Sum Up:
The overall point to Step six is that when you're ready to up your game and start playing the online field there's a wealth of ways for you to start driving traffic to your shop.
I've found that the harder you work to make driving traffic 'easy' on yourself and the more effort you put in at the beginning the more and more 'FREE' time you'll start to see emerging along the track.
When I started my online business almost two years ago I found myself spending all my free time navigating the in's and out's of Pinterest, setting up my Instagram and Facebook accounts and scrapping every minute I could spare to come up with new and interesting twitter quotes.
Over time i've discovered a host of programs that can take care of most of that for me (I'll share them with you in a future post) and now I can mostly sit back and relax whilst my social media runs itself.
Every now and then I might want to create a new batch of content to send out or interact with the comments and questions followers might have but for the most part I don't like to spend more than a few hours a month working on my social media, SEO or trying to get featured on blogs and this leads me nicely into my last but definitely most important step.
Step 7 Automate Everything You Can!
Learning how to automate the majority of your work load is quite literally the difference between just creating another time consuming burden in your bid to grow your income and generating a shop that quite literally runs itself whilst you reap the rewards!
I can't tell you how important this part of the puzzle has become in my life. I'm constantly researching into new and better ways to automate even more and more of my shops and my overall income. As I still also have a part time job (that i'm aiming to quit in a few months) it's even more important that I make things as easy and effortless for myself as I can.
When I started on my online income journey I found myself juggling adding products, learning social media, uploading posts, pinning on Pinterest everyday and generally getting myself in a muddle trying to earn just a few extra bucks.
Now two years wiser and definately less stressed I can tell you that the best thing you can do for a passive income business heck personally I think for any business is to automate it as much as you POSSIBLY can.
You may not of heard of them but there are plenty of online programs out there designed to do much of the work it takes to run a business for you.
Platforms to schedule your Instagram, programmes to post constantly on your pinterest account and drive literally thousands of views per month to your shop. I''m not even going to go into the more technical applications that can schedule product releases for you, work out the perfect terms for your SEO and even keep track of your income and expenses so you almost have nothing to do when it comes to declaring your earnings during tax season.
Some great examples of these include Tailwindapp, an amazing online program that allows you to set up your pinterest account to release literally hundreds of pins per day without you needing to spend hours doing it yourself (This trick has doubled my traffic in 2 months).
This website has changed the game for me when it comes to driving my pinterest traffic.
In an upcoming article I will show you how Tailwind can quite literally bring you thousands of views per month and all you do is set it up and let it run. I also recommend Waveapp as an amazing online account website that keeps track of all your income and outgoings making it super easy to organize your Tax's each year.
I could go on and on recommending all the automation programs I currently use but I'm going to mercifully save it for another blog post.
The actual point of step seven isn't to offer you a whole list of online automated services that can really help add the "Passive" to your income. It's about highlighting to you that even at the very beginning of starting your journey its essential to map out how you're going to make it as easy as possible on yourself and as passive as you can.
Again i'm going to be writing tons of articles on this as we go along but I just wanted to highlight in this beginners guide that this step really does make the difference between growing your income with relative ease and being swamped with a sea of meaningless tasks and goals that at the end of the day only hurts your bottom line (thats sales lingo for screws up your income) ha.
I know that if you've made it this far in the guide you're super serious about starting up and building your passive income.
I also know that you've probably got alot to think about and work out before you take the next step into selling digital products online.
That's why i've attached a handy "Content Upgrade" to this blog post to help you keep track of the main takeaway steps you need to remember whilst you build your first online income source.
Before I go I just want you to know that even though it may seem stressful or even daunting at first it can really be great fun to build online income!
As long as you have patience and you build your online shops step by step, automating as much as possible as you go you really can arrive at a place where you can sit back do nothing and money just pours into your account month after month like it does for me now.
Anyways I hope you found at least some of the advice helpful and even though I've felt obliged to be super honest with you and tell you that building passive income isn't just a walk in the park I never want to you to think that:
1) It can't be done (because it can)
2) That it isn't fun (because it really is).
Yes it can be stressful especially when you keep listening and buying into the outrageous claims of unbelievable first month incomes and luke warm advice on how to make £10,000 in one month with little to no effort but if you need advice on the nitty gritty I'm here to help.
I hope to see you (virtually speaking) on my blog soon.
I release new posts as often as I can and they're always full of useful tips, tricks and advice that I hope will be super helpful to a newbee passive incomer.
See you in Evaknows
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