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Want To Generate Passive Income? Here Are 15 Practical Ways To Do It




In an unsteady job market, passive income has become a financial goal for many individuals. This is especially true for busy business owners who want to earn more money without overextending themselves.

Setting up recurring revenue streams that generate cash with little to no management or oversight is an effective way to maximize your financial gains. However, finding and launching the right passive income stream for your business can be harder than it looks.

To help, 15 members of Forbes Business Council shared some smart and practical strategies for generating passive business income without a ton of time and effort.

Forbes Business Council members share ways businesses can generate passive income.

Photos courtesy of the individual members.

1. Share Your Internal Resources As Paid Content

Find ways to make internal tools and resources public so you can retrieve an additional passive income for work you are already doing. This, for example, could be setting up internal training you have on sites like Coursera or Udemy, or making your API publicly available to use with a subscription. – Ada Liu, ShareCreators

2. Invest In Perennial And Unfading Industries

I choose to define passive income as prudent investments and rational savings. I believe every entrepreneur is born with the “Wise Investor” tag, so be sure to invest in perennial and unfading industries or sectors like healthcare. It generates a recurring revenue stream, and all it takes is your portion of savings as an investment. – Saikiran Chandha, Typeset

3. Ensure Your Brand Is Marketable

The first step is to ensure both your offer and brand are very marketable. You have to have a great product or service and communicate the value of your offer to the right audience. Even in a digital world, I cannot underscore enough the value of networking, speaking and reaching out to prospects directly to share your message and offer. – Hanna Fitz, Cultured Life Global

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4. Launch A Partnership Strategy

Launching a partnership strategy is a great way to generate passive referral income without taking too much time and effort away from your core business. Your sales and marketing leaders can lead, and once at scale, a partnerships manager can scale up further. Partnerships are a great way to extend your marketing efforts as well as create long-term business ambassadors with like-market businesses. – Jen Root, Manifest Commerce

5. Consult For Other Startups

Personally, I have been consulting for other startups and it generates good income. It is not as passive as many other types of businesses are, but with the proper structure, it can be quite passive. Whatever stage of entrepreneur you are, you must always have some skills that are needed by the other stage entrepreneurs like a seed-stage startup founder consulting a pre-seed stage startup. – Bhaskar Ahuja , Originscale Corp

6. Inherit Passive Income

There is no such thing as truly passive income unless it has been inherited. If one is receiving income today on a regular basis for a service or a product that one designed, developed and executed, then one is only bearing fruits of the time and effort that was invested in doing so maybe years ago. – Nikhil Ra, X8

7. Look To Affiliate Marketing, Cryptocurrency And More

Off the top of my head, a few ways entrepreneurs can generate passive income include through real estate, investments, cryptocurrency, affiliate marketing, digital advertising, partnerships or sponsorships, opening high yield savings accounts for their business and more. – Veronica H. Speck, VHS Ventures

8. Invest In Commercial Real Estate

Passive investments in commercial real estate are an excellent way to achieve risk-adjusted, tax-efficient and inflation-hedging returns while avoiding the headaches or the expertise required for day-to-day management—especially using a solo 401(k) to invest retirement funds. Cash flowing real estate in strong U.S. markets stands the test of time for investors.  – Mark Adair-Rios, ProsperityCRE

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9. Make Syndicated Investments

Syndicated investments can provide entrepreneurs with passive income with relative ease. In today’s market, entrepreneurs or professionals have a large selection of different investments available to them, each with varying rates of return or risk. Syndicated investments also allow you the option of building a tax strategy that can benefit your full-time business. – Anthony Morena, Mortar Group

10. Start A Professional Blog

One of the best ways I have found that gives a stable passive income is to run a professional blog. If you are passionate about writing, then this can change your life. I have been doing this and found that it has enough potential to grow and expand, too. Usually, passive income from blogs can be between $5000 to $12000 a month with programmatic advertising. – Jonathan Gary, i-Kare Treatment Center

11. Repurpose Your Programs And Services

One of the best ways to generate passive income in your business is to take one of your programs or your service offerings and turn a small portion of that into a digital download, masterclass or workshop that can be purchased at a fraction of the cost. Sell at a price point that gives people skin in the game to work with you on a larger level moving forward. – Jessica Marx, Jessica Marx Coaching Corporation

12. Automate Some Of Your Tasks

An interesting way to think of passive income would be increasing efficiency. Chipping away at unsolved inefficiencies would essentially yield the same results as passive income. Automation is a great example. If you can automate tasks that previously took time and cost money, you have then generated passive income by investing in your own business’ efficiency rather than someone else’s. – Gareth Parkin, GoPromotional

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13. Invest In The Stock Market

We have a record-high stock market, low-interest rates and only so many good real estate deals available. I speak daily with people across the country who are looking to invest a portion of their portfolio in small business ownership. They see the benefits of cash flow, asset building and tax write-offs. I let them know that nothing is easy, but semi-absentee income is achievable. – Jon Ostenson, FranBridge Consulting and Capital

14. Invest In Real Estate Syndications

Investing in real estate syndications is definitely one way to generate passive income while taking advantage of the tax benefits. This form of investing is truly hands-off once you have vetted the sponsor team and the business plan. By investing in this tangible asset with relatively low risks and above-average returns, you can sit back and enjoy the cash flow, profits and tax benefits. – Julius Oni, XSITE Capital Investment

15. Sell Your Business Tools As Services

When things are especially slow, sell not only your services, but your tools as well. For example, we don’t just sell our design work, we also sell 3D printing services. 3D printing capabilities are necessary for a design firm to have in-house, so using it to make a small profit when possible is a way to maximize income from an expensive tool that would otherwise not be in use. – Jackson Hedden, Jackson Hedden .LLC


How Brands Can Use Affiliate Marketing to Increase Their Marketing ROI



How Brands Can Use Affiliate Marketing to Increase Their Marketing ROI

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Getting a strong return on a marketing investment: It keeps a lot of people up at night. How will the money spent on that PR firm translate into sales dollars? How will that huge advertising campaign that cost a million dollars impact your brand? For most marketing initiatives, determining ROI is an unpredictable waiting game with no guaranteed outcome.

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There’s one marketing model that plays by a different set of rules, however — rules based on paying for performance after results have been driven. Affiliate marketing, once viewed as a shot in the dark, is driven today by sophisticated technology, transparency between partners and compensation tied to specific, measurable results.

Related: How This Affiliate Marketer Learned Enough About His Craft to Strike Out on His Own

That said, a successful affiliate program requires the right experience and partners. Whether you’re looking to start an affiliate program or take an existing program to the next level, you need a strong team behind you. Here are the five players you need to ensure you’re driving the affiliate ROI you want:

1. An Agency

Unless your company has the resources and bandwidth to build a team of several people with extensive affiliate marketing knowledge and experience, hiring an agency is the best option. Agency marketers are experienced at handling the multifaceted complexities that come with building and growing a high-performing program.

Make sure you’re clearly looking at the agency’s setup, ensuring it’s based on performance. I once saw a speech by Robert Glazer, the CEO of Acceleration Partners, a global affiliate marketing company. He wrote a book called “Performance Partnerships,” which focused on aligning any affiliate program with performance. It’s easy to fall for the trap of working with a company that says it will bring you sales, but make sure it puts its money where its mouth is. If it doesn’t deliver in the short term, chances are high it might not be able to meet long-term expectations.

See also  Google Says No Penalty For Using Affiliate Links Without Markup

2. A Scalable Network or Platform

Whether it’s an affiliate network or SaaS platform, all affiliate marketing programs need a technology platform to run on. Your platform should be able to support your growth plans and offer you the right features and geographical coverage, particularly if yours is a global brand.

Awin is an example of this type of platform. The firm provides technology that helps address industry challenges, such as third-party tracking, data light tracking, attribution and advanced commissioning. These types of data weren’t available years ago, but with new tech advances, you can identify what works, as well as when and why. It’s not just valuable for the affiliate program, but for also learning what works so you can apply that knowledge to different sales channels.

3. Loyalty Partners

If you want to scale your program quickly, you’ll need to partner with players who are focused on establishing loyal customers. Ebates is one of the bigger players in the loyalty sector operating on a performance basis. The brand is actively expanding its markets and its categories beyond retail to include travel, dining and ride-sharing for cash-back rewards.

It’s important to determine whether these types of partners will truly create loyalty or attract the wrong types of customers. If you pick the right type of loyalty partner, it can result in the strong, loyal customer base that’s key to long-term brand survival.

Related: How Loyalty Programs Are Emerging as Effective Marketing Tools

4. Mobile Partners

Customers are increasingly spending time on mobile devices and apps, so it’s imperative to have partners within your affiliate program who dominate the mobile ecosystem.

See also  Pick a Marketing Model That Lets You Pay for Results, Not Potential

Ibotta is an example of one of these apps in the U.S., connecting consumers with grocery, retail and lifestyle brands and rewarding them with cash for buying things they need. I used the app pretty easily when I was standing in line with customer service after a purchase. I simply took a picture of the receipt, and the app applied the cash back to my account. With a lot of mobile user growth, it’s good to look at partners who have developed a mobile user experience that makes things easy and accessible for the customer.

5. Tech-Driven Publishers

The affiliate space has grown well beyond coupon and deal partners. To drive incremental revenue on a performance basis within your program, consider partnering with publishers who are advanced in e-commerce technology, including deep website integration and artificial intelligence.

RevLifter is one example: The company helps brands deliver more conversions, incremental sales and customers by personalizing deals for advertisers across marketing channels. Available worldwide on a pay-per-performance model, it uses AI to understand real-time signals from users’ on-site behavior and deliver the right deal to the right customer at the right time.

Related: Partner Programs Turn Competitors Into Collaborators

Whether you’re new to affiliate marketing or simply needing to step up your game, checking off these boxes will help you develop a strong affiliate marketing program. ROI is hard to manage when you’re running a bevy of marketing programs, but the right team can help you take the reins — and get the outcome you want.

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This $19 Course Demystifies Affiliate Marketing in Two Hours Flat



This $19 Course Demystifies Affiliate Marketing in Two Hours Flat

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Fire up your go-to social media feed, and there’s a good chance you’ll scroll past at least one promo code or coupon being promoted by an influencer you follow. Without even trying, you’ve been exposed to a new brand, as well as an incentive in the form of a free trial or discount that might just get you to convert. That’s the magic of affiliate marketing.

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Companies big and small are leveraging affiliate marketing to drive brand awareness and conversions, and affiliate marketers stand to make a pretty penny for their services. Of course, the field can be a bit tricky to crack. but that’s what the SEO Affiliate Domination course is for. Now only $19, this course can help you make a killing in the affiliate marketing scene; and for 90% off what it would usually cost.

In just two hours, this course offers a detailed look into the lucrative world of affiliate marketing. Jump in, and you’ll discover important strategies for e-commerce, affiliate marketing, SEO, and video marketing; and you’ll emerge with a greater understanding of how to build brand authority.

Normally $199, the SEO Affiliate Domination course is on sale for only $19, a whopping 90% off the usual price.

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Pick a Marketing Model That Lets You Pay for Results, Not Potential



Pick a Marketing Model That Lets You Pay for Results, Not Potential

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In an era of caution, companies need to invest in marketing efforts that lead to a direct payoff and don’t require more than they can afford. Over the past week, I’ve had to evaluate all the things I’m doing at Calendar to see what’s really moving the needle. It’s astonishing the things we’re spending money on that aren’t actually driving revenue to our bottom line.

Visual Generation | Getty Images

As today’s environment forces drastic behavioral shifts in our daily lives, companies of all sizes and in all industries are evaluating the changes they need to make to stay nimble in our new economic reality. As businesses adapt to the stay-home economy, they’ll be focusing on which investments drive the best possible outcomes.

Businesses are used to pouring money into marketing channels that require upfront, flat-fee investments for promised inputs and potential outputs. Rather than invest in these marketing channels, companies can leverage affiliate marketing, which only requires them to pay partners once they’ve achieved the desired result.

Related: How to Build a Reliable (and Profitable) Affiliate Network From Scratch

What is affiliate marketing?

When managing their marketing budgets, companies should invest in channels tied directly to outcomes and avoid unnecessary risk. After all, if they pour all their funds into marketing but see no payoff, how will they afford to develop their products and services further? 

Affiliate marketing (often called “partner marketing”) is simple: A brand partners with a publisher, or an affiliate, to market a product or service to its audience using a tracking platform. Unlike marketing channels that require upfront payment, brands pay publishers a percentage-based commission for each sale generated through their content. 

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Forrester predicted that by the close of this year, U.S. ecommerce sales would total $500 billion. Combine that with predictive analytics firm Custora’s prediction that affiliate marketing will influence 14 percent of ecommerce purchases in the U.S., and that means affiliate marketing will impact $70 billion worth of sales. Pepperjam’s Adobe Summit 2017 Survey revealed that only 4 percent of are investing in affiliate marketing, meaning there’s a big opportunity. 

Related: Three Trends That Will Drive the E-commerce Sector In 2019

How affiliate marketing pays off (in more ways than one).

Affiliate marketing offers a cost-per-action (CPA) payment structure instead of a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) structure. This creates a sustainable, competitive advantage because businesses only have to pay for converted sales and leads after the publisher finalizes them. Even during tough times, brands should always want to pay for incremental revenue. It prevents businesses from throwing good money after bad — they don’t need to invest large amounts of money into marketing campaigns or ads that turn out to not convert as expected.

Instead of continuously investing money into Facebook and Google, hoping it leads to conversions, affiliate marketing enables brands to broadcast their product to a wide audience of potential customers with a pay-for-performance pricing model. It also enables them to be more hands-off, allowing their affiliate partners to use their brand standards to do the work themselves. Affiliate programs can even include partners who will share the brand via Facebook or Google; unlike traditional methods on those platforms, these will be paid based on those campaigns’ performance, allowing a low-risk entry to these channels. 

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Related: How Much Should You Spend on Social Media Marketing?

Even in an uncertain economy, this framework can scale. Because the marketing investment is only a portion of the revenue the partnership brings in, businesses just have to figure what they’re willing to pay for each transaction or new customer. They don’t have to worry about pouring excessive budget into a single channel. 

In a precarious marketplace, businesses need to stabilize their immediate future by investing in channels that they know will drive profit. Affiliate marketing is the model for this moment: It’s built on transparent and trusting relationships, where brands and partners set clear expectations and companies only have to pay for the outcomes they get.

People are at home, and that’s where affiliate marketers can capture their attention. Companies can stay ahead of the game by using affiliate marketing to maximize their ROI and make sure they’re paying for outcomes, not inputs.

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