Pat Flynn released his 15th podcast episode over at the Smart Passive Income Blog yesterday. In it, he suggests that the easiest way to create a passive stream of income on the internet is to write articles for revenue-sharing sites like InfoBarrel. I don’t like to get too metaphysical, but it seems like the stars were aligned just right when he mentioned InfoBarrel only one day after it produced my first internet marketing revenue. I’d like to go into a little more detail about the pros and cons of writing these kinds of articles as a means of creating passive income streams.
The first big pro is that this kind of work can be done without having to set aside a lot of time. I am a good, experienced writer, so I can turn out a quality 500 to 750-word article in about 30-60 minutes. InfoBarrel will even accept articles as short as 325 words. I can write an article during the little gaps and downtime throughout the day. This is a big benefit over working on a project that requires long, uninterrupted chunks of time.
The second big pro is that there is basically no investment of money required to get started. Even if you don’t already have a computer and an internet connection for personal use, you could conceivably do this from a public internet terminal at your local library.
The big con in all of this, of course, is that the return on the time you invest does take quite a while. If an average article provides about $1.00 in pre-tax income a month, the time I spent writing it might take six months to a year to surpass minimum wage equivalency. Three or four years down the road, though, those early articles will have produced a pretty impressive hourly rate. It’s the long run that really counts here, and with the ability to add an article here and there rather than having to sit down and write for 8 hours at a clip, this is an excellent money-making option for people who can produce lots of good content.
If I produce even three articles a week, they will start adding up quickly. My first two articles have already made me about $4.oo in less than two months. Just for the sake of simplicity, we’ll say that the each of the articles is averaging $1.00/month. If I produce three articles each week, and each of those articles continue to average the same $1.00/month, let’s take a look at how that would affect my passive income over the course of a year.
At the end of the first week, I will have created a monthly income rate of $3.00, and my earnings at the end of the week will be about $0.69. By the end of the second week, my monthly income rate will have increased to $6.00, and my total earnings would be $2.08. While these numbers are small, so is my investment of time. I could very well have produced the three articles in about an hour to an hour and a half. While two bucks for three hours of work is pretty lousy, remember that this income stream will continue to flow all year, getting bigber and bigger.
At the end of Week #52, my monthly income rate will be about $156.00, and my total earnings for the year will be $954.00. While my hourly rate at the end of Week 2 was only about $0.69/hr, my average hourly rate at the end of the year will be $12.23. It’s nothing to write home about, but it was simple to do.
So what happens if I don’t write even one more article after that first year? Well, in the second year my original 156 articles will produce another $1,872.00, without my having to put in any more work. I have no costs associated with their upkeep–no domains to renew, no hosting to buy, no advertising costs, and no employees to pay. After the writing is done, I can truly leave it on autopilot.