How Not To Make Passive Income

I basically took last week off blogging because it was starting to get overwhelming. I am on summer vacation but you would never know it. I am working between 30-40 hours a week, working on this blog, and working on the other two businesses I have been writing about for a while now. All this with slow results was starting to get to me so I had to take a break. Sorry guys :). I will try to start posting a little more frequently. Over this break, I figured something out:

Blogging is not passive

Before I started blogging, I read a bunch of those make money online blogging sites. All of them seemed to say that blogging was easy and you can make lots of money doing it. Well maybe I still believe that you can make lots of money (even though I haven’t done it yet),but I don’t believe its easy.

I admire all other bloggers who post everyday or even more often than that. I find it tough to post once a week. The fact is, it takes lots of time to write articles and promote your site.

Why is it hard?

For me the hard part is coming up with ideas to post about. I enjoy reading other personal finance blogs and writing my own if I have good ideas. The thing is, coming up with fresh, good content is much harder than it sounds. Before I started, I could easily come up with dozens of ideas. Now that it has come time to write about them, it ain’t so easy.

Well I guess the whole point of this post was to tell anyone out there who was considering starting a blog to think it though. Try writing 20 posts before you even start blogging that way you can see if you enjoy doing it. Blogging will probably take at least twice as much time as you anticipated and you won’t earn anything for the first few months. So just know that when you are getting into it. Make sure you choose a topic you love. I did and thats the reason I think I have lasted this long. I hated English in high school (mainly b/c I didn’t like to write). Yet I chose to blog anyway. Real smart eh?


  1. Coming up with new things to post about is difficult for me too. I’m fairly happy with the money I’m making from my blogs but it is a long way from being enough to live on. The income mostly isn’t passive. Occasionally my abandoned blogspot blog will get a click for a couple pennies so I suppose that income is passive.

  2. Blogging definately requires some time and effort. I started blogging because I thought I could make money…. which hasn’t happened yet. It’s not a good business plan I don’t think. But I continue blogging simply because I enjoy it and I believe it helps me stay on track and stay accountable.

  3. I post every day because it’s fairly easy for me to crank that amount of copy. But…I spent many years as a working journalist, often writing upwards of 2,000 words a day for print media. Also, I write in a private journal (yes, actual longhand with ink on paper) almost every day. The more you write, the more your brain generates ideas for writing.

    Here are some ways to jump-start ideas:

    Read. Writers read. They read a lot.

    Read print media. I get ideas from the NY Times (which you can access for free online), Consumer Reports, Consumer’s Union’s “Money Matters” newsletter, AARP Magazine & AARP Bulletin (believe it or not!), Scientific American (that, too), the Atlantic Monthly, and the perennially disturbing Harper’s Magazine. I even have knocked off an idea from the New York Review of Books.

    Read online media. Check the local Play-Nooz by googling your local TV channels + “news” (it’s not real journalism, but every now and then something of general interest will appear). Read BBC and Google News. Read the Drudge Report. Report on stuff that appears there. Google factoids from these sources to build enough reportage to spin off a few hundred words.

    Read other blogs. Baldly steal ideas. Acknowledge the source and then build on something another blogger wrote to create your own post.

    Cannibalize your entire life. Just about everything you do has some relationship to personal finance: it either does or does not cost money. Looks like you enjoy gaming. How do you buy those things without bankrupting yourself? Or do you? Lots of opportunities to talk about bargains, trades, time management, guilt, whatever.

    Keep a notebook with you and jot down blog ideas as they occur. This is important: ideas are like dreams. They disappear within minutes after they happen.

    Looks to me like very few blogs actually make money. They do so because a) their proprietors post just about every day, b) because the bloggers are techie enough to know how to optimize their blogs AND each post for search engines, and c) because they’re good at marketing. If you’re not talented at all three of these things, you probably shouldn’t expect to make more than a few bucks a month (if that much) from your site.

  4. Blogging is definitely not passive income. I knew that blogging was hard work before I started my personal finance blog, because I had a personal blog for a few years. What I didn’t realize was how much additional work it is to promote your blog, much less crank out quality content on a regular basis. You shouldn’t expect to make much, if anything, from blogging in the first few months, but if you can make it past that point and continue growing your blog, the money will start to trickle in.