What am I defining as online “passive income”? If you can leave your business for two or three months and have few if any employees or contractors and the monthly profit does not change dramatically then you have an “online passive income business”.
The business model I’m using is to get Internet users to visit websites I own and then monetize those websites.
Monetizing The Website
At this time I am focusing on the advertising model. This model displays ads to the visitor and there are four different ways to earn money;
- Google and others have programs that will pay me a few pennies each time a visitor clicks on the displayed ad.
- Some companies will pay me a sales commission if a visitor purchases their product or service as a result of clicking their ad displayed on my site.
- As above I can sometimes make money if the visitor simply fills in a form rather than making a purchase
- Finally if the site becomes very popular some companies may simply pay to have their ad and link back to their website displayed on my site.
Getting People To Visit The Website
Their are both paid and “free” methods to attract visitors to a website. My focus for now is using “free” methods. Although I am a big believer in PPC (pay per click) programs such as Google AdWords I want to explore the “free” methods first.
You will notice that I’m using quotation marks around the word “free”. That is because nothing is really free as you are using your time and research in the place of dollars.
Most people use search engines to find what they are looking for. If your website can be displayed on the first page for reasonably popular search phrases then the major search engines like Google and Yahoo can send you visitors without cost to you.
Although there are many methods to attract visitors to your website, for now, I will be focusing on getting the search engines to index and rank my sites well for fairly popular search phrases.
Search engines look at two things to decide where they should rank a web page that resides on your website for a search phrase.
First is the content of the page itself of course, how relevant is it to the search phrase the user typed into the search engine to begin with?
Secondly they look at how other websites (usually in a similar niche, industry or category) “think” of your website for the search phrase in question. Do they link to your website and page that talks about this search phrase? Do they talk about your site and refer to it in online discussions? They are trying to gauge your “reputation” in the universe of the web. The better your reputation the better you will rank.
The second part of this equation is far more difficult to manage and improve than the first. Your content is completely under your control. Your reputation is not.