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You Gotta Get Active In Order to Enjoy Passive Income

I was on Kidgas’ blog today and his final statement on a recent post made me chuckle “Just wish that passive income was less active.”

He’s got a point, but residual income becomes more passive and less active over time. The amount of initial activity usually depends on two things:

  1. How much money you want to make
  2. How quickly you want to earn it

If you want to earn a lot in a short period of time, then it takes more focused concentrated activity. However, if you’re not in a rush (which most of us are) and money is not the driving force for online writing (which it usually is), then you can take it easy (which we don’t).

I spend a lot less time writing now than I used to. Actually I spend a lot of time wandering around, looking at other blogs, reading about new tools, looking for new and exciting ways to make money and sometimes playing games. Other times I’m tweaking my sites or blogs. My actual writing time has truly diminished from when I first started.

Back in April 2007

When I first started writing online, I made sure to work the equivalent of a full work day. I had just quit my job and I wanted to replace the income fast. I spent many hours working for Demand Studios popping out $15 articles. I was happy because I was proving to myself that I really didn’t need to go to a traditional job.

You see, when I first quit my job, in my heart I believed I could make a go of the online freelance writing thing, but there is no better confirming factor than actually making the money. Unlike Kidgas, I hadn’t quite realized the beauty of residual income when I first began, so I spent many Light Bulb Momenthours trading my time for money (what I call the cubicle mentality).

The Light Bulb Moment

I’d like to say that I had a light bulb moment when I realized that I could eventually direct my own time if I concentrated on residual income, but I didn’t. It was forced upon me. I’ll be forever grateful to Demand Studios for the forced revelation. Their frustrating editorial feedback and, at the time, slow review times made me realize I had invited a level of frustration into my life that was not welcome and I had to do something about it.

That’s when I started concentrating more on residual income. In 2008, although I still wrote for Demand Studios, I also devoted part of my day to writing articles for residually paying sites. When my residual income reached $1,000 per month (not yet enough to live on), I began to evaluate how I was spending my time. If I could spend that Demand Studio time writing residual articles, I would eventually drop Demand Studios from my freelance writing bag of tricks.

Stop Writing for DSThe Demand Studios Weaning Process

Every time I thought I was through writing for Demand Studios, I would write an article or two for them. In February 2009, I tried quitting cold turkey, but in March I wrote 4 more DS articles. Then I quit again in April, but in July, after receiving their standard “We want you back” email, I wrote three more articles for them in July.

Since my last few July articles, they’ve made bio request changes and other changes that I just didn’t feel like complying with so for all intents and purposes, I’m done with them and have been earning 100% residual income since then. I now spend my DS time writing residually earning articles. Doing so has paved the way for me to get closer to $2,000 in monthly residual income (I’m not there yet, but I’m not far from it).

My Freelance Writing Musts

Dropping Demand Studios was like having a weight lifted from my shoulders. It took me a couple of years to get there, but I made it. Now I have two freelance writing musts:

  1. I must write one insurance article a week for Suite 101 (they very gently reminded me of my obligation as I had fallen behind).
  2. For my sanity, I must add 2 to 3 weekly blog posts here. My hubby is very thankful that I blog here, or else he would be the one to hear all of my online writing successes and failures. Don’t’ get me wrong, he does humor me and listens intently (Umm hmmm. Really? No kidding? Ummm hmmm), but he isn’t a writer so he’s happy that I share my stuff with you guys.

Back to Kidgas’ statement, he’s right, passive income is very active in the beginning, but after a while it truly becomes passive. You just gotta hang in there long enough.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Mandy Harris October 22, 2009, 11:19 am

    Thanks Felicia, a great and encouraging post. I’m just having trouble focusing. It’s such a great big passive income world out there… where does one start?

  • Crystal October 22, 2009, 12:10 pm

    Congratulations on your residual income success! I’m so new to this that I’m thrilled with my $3.23 eHow earnings so far for Oct (which is over triple Sept, which was over triple my first month in Aug). In fact, my poor family is getting tired of my enthusiasm for such seemingly meaningless figures, but I see it as potential and a sign of what is to come. I need to get more articles posted as I only have 14 so far. But my money needs are low and I’m proceeding at a pace that works for me, delighted by every little sign of success.
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..A Few Ways to Make Money at Home =-.

  • Deanna October 22, 2009, 1:13 pm

    Hi Felicia,
    Great post as always. I understand how you feel about Demand Studios. I like to keep them around in case I have to “fall back” on them for income, but I also get very annoyed with them, especially now that they “rate” writers. Don’t they know that writers are “artisic” people who hate being criticized? Ugg. Building my residual income has been slow but that’s okay – I’m enjoying the freedom of choosing my own topics and having no deadlines. 🙂
    .-= Deanna´s last blog ..Writing Site Life123.com Review =-.

  • Kidgas October 23, 2009, 5:09 am

    Wonderful article! For me, the most encouraging part is the fact that after 2 years, you are almost up to $2,000 per month. That’s not pocket change. That is a roof over your head and then some.

    As I am now five months into it, I am excited since I just made the AdSense payout minimum. I should get a check in December now. I will be writing my post about it next. I am up to $60 this month which is more than last with several days yet to go. I may very well meet my goal of $75 for the month.

    Thanks again for having such a wonderful blog.
    .-= Kidgas´s last blog ..Google First Page in 16 Days! =-.

  • Jennifer Eden Cruz October 24, 2009, 7:13 am


    Well that’s really nice. To gain something is to really work hard for it at first. Passive income is really a way to go. Love your article.

  • Beelissa October 27, 2009, 3:05 pm

    I am wondering a couple of things, if it’s okay to be nosey. First, how many residual income articles does it take to get to $2000 a month? Which sites do you recommend besides Suite 101? Thanks! I think I am where you were a couple of years ago, banging out $15 articles at DS.
    .-= Beelissa´s last blog ..What I Write About =-.

    • Felicia October 27, 2009, 4:14 pm

      Beelissa, it’s hard to say how many articles it takes to earn $2,000 per month (remember, I’m not quite at $2,000 yet). The three top earning revenue sources for me are my own websites/blogs, Suite 101 and eHow in that order. The income on my sites fluctuate because one of them plays hide-n-seek with Google, but even when Google doesn’t like one of my sites the others seem to kick in.

      I just wrote my 186th article for Suite and I’m at 299 at eHow (lost a few in the sweeps). I have a few articles on HubPages, Bukisa and one or two on Orato and InfoBarrel. HubPages, Bukisa, Orato and InfoBarrel bring in a minimal amount of money, but I guess every little bit helps.

      While writing for other sites and earning $15 with DS, I think it’s wise to create your own website too. It may take a little while before you start to see earnings, but when you do, you get to keep 100% of it.

  • Julie October 27, 2009, 9:53 pm

    You have a lot of great info here. I am just starting out blogging for money. I will definitely be back.

    I have two blogs one on blogspot and one on wordpress.com. Wordpress does not allow advertising so I am looking to move that blog to a hosting site. I need to learn a little more about it though. Do you have any suggestions?
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Heatwave or Snowstorm? =-.

    • Felicia October 28, 2009, 6:53 am

      Welcome to NJFM, Julie.

      I use HostGator and have found them to be extremely reliable with great customer support.

      I’ve tried a few others and wrote about them in this post.

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