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What is passive income and how can I start generating it?

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What is passive income and how can I start generating it?

“Passive income provides financial flexibility and freedom.”

With the world’s current precarious financial state, we’re all trying to get by in any way we can. It’s the era of influencer income, side hustles and the gig economy – and sometimes, it feels a little overwhelming. The nine-to-five schedule is demanding enough as it is (a four-day work week is looking really good right now). Do we really have to add an after-hours job into the mix?


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Unfortunately, there’s no blanket rule answer. When it comes to finances, everyone’s situation is different, and we all need to do what’s best for us. In saying that, there are a few ways to generate passive income outside of the nine-to-five. Below, the Founder of Ladies’ Finance Club, Molly Benjamin, explains passive income and gives her top tips for making that extra cash.

For those who don’t know, what exactly is passive income?

Passive income is money generated that requires relatively little day-to-day attention once you complete the upfront investment to set it up. Unlike active income, which is earned through traditional employment or work that requires continuous effort and time, passive income provides financial flexibility and freedom by allowing you to earn money with minimal effort to maintain.

A great example of this is to think about the difference between rent and wages! There’s an initial investment to set up the property, then once rented, it’s low maintenance from there to earn income on. Compare… [this] to wages, which require showing up every day to earn that money.

How can we start generating it?

[Firstly,] to set up for success, identify your passive income goals. Determine your financial goals and how much passive income you want to generate. Having clear objectives will help you stay motivated and focused. Get super clear on why you want to generate passive income, as this will be your key source of… motivation to keep going and make it happen!

Create a budget. Establish a budget to track your income and expenses. This will help you identify how much you’ve got to invest in your passive income venture (to get it started). It will also help hold you accountable to ensure you don’t overspend and help you understand your profits when the money starts coming in!

[My next tip is to] mirror success. Continuously educate yourself about different passive income opportunities, learning from those who have already done it successfully! You don’t have to pave the path yourself. Follow in the footsteps of those who already have to fast-track your success!

Be patient and persistent. Building significant passive income takes time. Be patient, stick to your plan and remember why you’re doing it to keep you motivated. [And make sure to] monitor and adjust. Regularly review your results! If it’s not meeting your goals, time to pivot. Adjust your strategy as needed to keep increasing your results until you hit your goals!

Can you give some examples of effective ways to earn passive income?

Invest in stocks and dividends: Invest in dividend-paying stocks or index funds that distribute regular dividends to shareholders.
Real estate: You’ll need to purchase, prepare and manage a property but once you’ve done the initial set-up… it can provide you with a consistent and predictable income.
Digital products: Develop and sell digital products online like e-books, online courses, stock photography, workshops, designs and more. If you want to learn how to start a side hustle like this, join the waitlist for our Side Hustle Kickstarter program here!
Start a blog or YouTube channel: Create a blog or YouTube channel around something you’re passionate about, and monetize it! You can do this through ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorships and more.
Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing happens when you share and recommend products to others through your own channels, and earn a commission each time someone purchases the product. Popular ways to share affiliate links include social media, websites [and] email newsletters.

Royalties from creative work: If you’re an author, musician or artist, royalties from your creative work can be a source of passive income.
Rent out your car park and/or car: If you have a space to park a car on your property that you’re not using, you can cash in by renting it out to others. Some may want to park their car when commuting to and from work or for the longer term. You can also offer to rent out your own car through Uber Car Share!
Rent out a room: Instead of purchasing and renting out a home, you can start small by renting out one of your rooms. It could be for a short-term rental (like Airbnb), or even as a space for someone to store their items in (people are always looking for extra storage!).
Open a high-interest savings account: By depositing money into this account, you earn interest over time without any additional effort. This interest is essentially ‘free money’ that accumulates as your savings grow through a safe, low-risk option for beginners to start earning income.
Be a micro-influencer: Micro-influencers are everyday people with a smaller social media following (usually between 1,000 and 50,000 followers) who have the ability to influence their followers’ purchasing decisions. Micro-influencers often have a very engaged and loyal following, which makes them ideal for promoting products or services.

What should we be wary of?

‘Set and forget’

While they’re less work than a regular job, they still need some attention sometimes. Passive income often requires an initial effort, investment or ongoing monitoring. While it can be less time-consuming than traditional work, it’s not entirely hands-off. So get ready to go all in at the beginning, to reap the rewards down the line.

‘Quick and easy cash’

It’s more like a slow-cooked meal than fast food. It takes time to cook up those earnings! Building sustainable passive income streams takes time and persistence. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. So make sure you know WHY you’re doing it to keep you motivated throughout the whole journey.

‘No skills needed’

Many passive income opportunities require skills, such as investing, content creation, or marketing, to be successful. So be open to learning!

‘Money guarantee’

Passive income sources can be unpredictable, subject to market fluctuations or changes in demand, so they aren’t always guaranteed (but your effort to make it happen can be!).

‘No tax worries’

The taxman might still come knocking, so keep an eye on that. Depending on your location and the source of passive income, you may still have tax obligations – best to speak to an accountant to prepare yourself accordingly.

For more on passive income, head here.

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AFFILIATE MARKETING

5 Types of Content That Will Attract Ready-to-Buy Prospects

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5 Types of Content That Will Attract Ready-to-Buy Prospects

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

They say that content is king — but not all digital content is created equal. While most digital content can help increase awareness for your brand, the most valuable content is designed to draw in warm prospects who are ready to make a purchase from you.

Of course, even the best content isn’t likely to result in a purchase on the first exposure. The marketing rule of seven indicates that consumers must be exposed to your messaging at least seven times on average before they decide to make a purchase. While this may often be the case, strong digital content will go a long way in lowering this total.

Related: 5 Digital Content Types Prospective Buyers Love to Engage With Online

1. Email campaigns

Email marketing remains one of the most effective methods for communicating with warm leads and staying in touch with existing customers to ensure they will buy from you again. Not only are emails far more likely to be read than other types of content, but their average return on investment towers over other options.

According to the HubSpot Blog, most marketers see an average open rate of 46-50% and a clickthrough rate of 2.6-3% — numbers that far outpace the engagement levels of social media and other popular forms of content.

Even if they are mostly comprised of previous customers, email lists are an essential marketing tool because they are made up of people who agreed to receive additional messaging from you. This fact alone already makes them far more qualified leads than someone who randomly stumbles across your blog.

2. Personal engagement on social media

While the overall engagement and reach of many social media platforms have declined, there is still much to be said for the potential these platforms offer for fostering one-on-one engagements with your warmest leads.

When marketers comment strategically on other people’s posts, actively participate in relevant groups and conversations, and respond to the comments and messages they receive, it helps create a meaningful dialogue with their target audience.

By pairing this personalized engagement with relevant, authoritative content (including videos, polls and more), you can leverage social media to nurture warm leads.

3. Cost calculators

Most companies have at least some kind of on-site content marketing strategy, which usually revolves around blogging. A blog can be undeniably beneficial for building SEO and domain authority, but depending on the type of content you create, it isn’t always going to create warm leads.

However, if your website content focuses on the customers who are ready to buy now, you can greatly increase your own sales potential — and one of the best ways to do this is with a cost calculator.

From calculating the cost of shipping a car across the country to determining how much it would cost to build your own website, these tools are inherently targeted at warm leads who are ready to make a buying decision. In this case, providing useful budgeting and planning information directly influences the user’s purchasing decision, providing a powerful way of reaching warm leads.

Related: 4 Steps to Writing Content That Converts

4. Webinars

Webinars have become an increasingly popular digital content option, and for good reason. When webinars are promoted to the right audience, they can become far more engaging and attractive to warm leads than a blog post covering the same topic would be.

The simple fact of displaying content in an audiovisual format helps make the webinar feel like an event in its own right. With an engaging topic and professional presenters, you can build a large audience. And when the topic of the webinar itself ties into your offerings, you can create a natural segue into how you can help viewers solve their most pressing problems.

Webinars can be even more effective when paired with other content, such as an e-book or follow-up video lessons. When done right, webinars can be an excellent resource for collecting email addresses and other information from warm leads who are most likely to be interested in your services.

5. Software demos

Admittedly, this digital content option doesn’t apply to every industry. However, there is a wide range of companies that offer software services, addressing everything from tracking logistics and customer relationships to managing the back end of a website.

A software demo gives warm leads the opportunity to try the service before they commit to a purchase. Firsthand interaction and experience with the software is ultimately far more convincing than a series of sales calls could ever be, as this helps buyers clearly determine whether or not a particular product works for them.

It should be no surprise, then, that opt-out free trials see an incredible 48.8% conversion rate. It’s worth noting, too, that companies that don’t sell software can use similar “trial” options, such as a two-week trial for their services. Trials and demos appeal to the warmest buyers, who often use them to finalize their purchase decision.

Related: 5 Steps for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy That Drives Business Results

While regularly updating a blog or social media profile can be useful as part of your content marketing strategy, it is essential that brands in every niche focus on the types of content that are poised to deliver the greatest return.

By focusing on the types of content that are most likely to capture warm prospects in the first place, you can turn more leads into sales and maximize the success of your content strategy.

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Broaden Your Horizons by Learning to Play the Piano with Skoove

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Broaden Your Horizons by Learning to Play the Piano with Skoove

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.

Running a business can be all-consuming. However, business people who only talk about work can sometimes struggle to network and socialize, ironically stunting their potential for growth as salespeople and entrepreneurs. That’s why taking up a hobby and developing a skill that might not relate directly to your work can help your company and career.

For a Memorial Day sale running through 11:59 p.m. PT on May 31, you can get a lifetime subscription to Skoove Premium Piano Lessons for only $119.99 (reg. $1,198). Rated 4.5/5 stars on the App Store, this platform is designed to help users develop their piano skills with interactive lessons powered by artificial intelligence.

Skoove uses cutting-edge AI technology that can recognize notes as you play them and then offer adjustments and notes in real time. With this approach, the platform can teach you a wide range of chart-topping songs with over 400 lessons and thousands of instructional videos. With the subscription, you can study tracks by artists ranging from the Beatles to Bach.

Skoove is also convenient to use and practice with. It’s compatible with all pianos and keyboards, including USB/MIDI and acoustic ones. It also works with both iOS and Android operating systems on tablets, smartphones, and computers. To broaden your horizons, consider adding it to your life today.

Remember that during a special Memorial Day sale that runs through 11:59 p.m. PT on May 31, you can get a lifetime subscription to Skoove Premium Piano Lessons for only $119.99 (reg. $1,198) with code ENJOY20 at checkout.

StackSocial prices subject to change.

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Save on Business Travel for Life This Memorial Day with an $80 Deal

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Save on Business Travel for Life This Memorial Day with an $80 Deal

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.

Growing businesses around the world rely on traveling salespeople and representatives to fuel expansion. For those in the accounting department who are trying to make enough room for airline ticket budgeting, you can do them a lot of favors by hooking up yourself or a team member with this special deal.

Through 11:59 p.m. PT on May 31, you can get a lifetime subscription to this OneAir Elite Plan for only $79.97 (reg. $790). This deal gets you indefinite access to OneAir’s deals on business, first, premium, and economy class flights to and from destinations of your choosing and interest. These deals include mistake fares and advantageously priced ones that happen to pop up.

OneAir’s platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to scan the web around the clock for deals so that they are ready for your team when someone needs to hit the road. In addition to getting to choose up to 10 departure airports with deals, Elite users can also take advantage of OneAir’s one-on-one business and first-class planning support.

Conveniently, the OneAir Mobile App lets you access these deals, book trips, and complete bookings all in one place. It is available for both iOS and Android devices.

One recent user, Ashok, who saved $1,080 on flights using OneAir, wrote, “I am so pleased with my decision to sign up with OneAir! Just booked a super cheap flight deal to Vancouver along with 5 nights of hotel stays.”

Remember that only through 11:59 p.m. PT on May 31, you can get a lifetime subscription to this OneAir Elite Plan for only $79.97 (reg. $790).

StackSocial prices subject to change.

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