When I first started blogging I was working 60 to 80 hours a week at my full-time job and working on my blog for a few hours each evening. At that time, “passive income” to me meant anything that would allow me to earn money and get more than 4 hours of sleep every night. Now my definition of “passive” is a little different and I suppose it’s different for everyone.
Years ago there was a blogging course that preached that blogging would enable you to generate a long-term, passive, residual income. If you followed the guidelines you could build a blogging empire that would eventually be self-sustaining.
Of course, you had to build several hundred blogs and create all kinds of online content, but in theory, if you did it right, you could spend a good deal of your time lying on the beach while your blogs did all the work.
Well, it didn’t work quite the way they said it would…
Products come and go: You’ve probably seen it yourself. A hot product comes into the marketplace, only to be replaced a month or two later by something “new and improved.” It happens all the time.
These days, this isn’t as much of a problem as it used to be when bloggers built micro-niche blogs and focused on one single product, but it’s still something you need to consider. Better to build a blog that addresses a wider audience – especially if you’re going to be promoting affiliate products.
Even Your Own Products Will Become Obsolete: In order to build a stronger business you’re eventually going to have to promote your own products or services, but you’ll still be vulnerable to competition.
Eventually, someone will duplicate your product, and they’ll promote is as being “new and improved.”
Search engines are constantly changing algorithms: Google updates their algorithms at least once a day. I think in 2012 they put through almost 500 changes. Some of these changes have tremendous effects on blogs and online marketing.
Your traffic could drop by 50 or 75 percent, or disappear altogether – over night.
New competitors constantly entering the marketplace: Thousands of new blogs are started every day. Most never go beyond the first post but there’s always going to be someone gunning for that Number One index position. If it’s yours now, you’re going to have to protect it.
You might have the most successful blog in your niche today, but if you completely ignore it you’ll notice a significant drop in income in just two or three months.
The Target Keeps Moving: People used to flock to blogs like moths to a flame, but these days they head for their favorite social network. This week it’s Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn, but there was a time when everyone hung out at Reddit and MySpace.
The audience is constantly changing seats and the links you build today might not even be seen a year from now.
So what’s the answer? Can blogging produce a passive income?
Fundamentally, it can.
Passive income means you don’t have to be involved to earn money. With a regular job you only earn money when you’re on the clock.
With a blog you really can earn money 24 hours a day, whether you’re sitting there staring at your monitor or watching the sunset on the beach.
However, but it’s not as easy as they make it sound. You’ll have to create multiple streams of income to compensate for all the changes ahead. And the reason blogs are so successful is because they’re constantly updated with new information.
So if you want to generate true passive income you’d have to outsource all that maintenance, content and product creation.
Blogging has never truly generated passive income, and it probably never will. But it still beats the heck out of working 80 hours a week for the man!