How I Earned $3,987 in Passive Income from a Single Post

Get creative with how you promote what you're selling. Think out of the box.

$3,987 in Passive Income. And counting.

If you’re looking for my presentation this morning, you can download it here: $3,987 in Passive Income from a Single Post.

The quick history of how I’m now making hundreds of dollars per month from a single post I wrote a few years ago.

  1. I spent 2 hours, maybe 3 conservatively, writing this post.
  2. I also recorded a video, then formatted the article and posted it.
  3. It became one of the most popular posts on my site and now Google Apps has a referral program so I make a little commission on each person who signs up.
  4. It keeps building every month and now it’s up to several hundred dollars per month.

Let’s take a look at how this happened and how it can work for you as well.

  1. Identify the pain
  2. Provide an expert solution
  3. Do them a “favor”
  4. Widen the net
  5. Stay creative

1. Identify the pain

Identify the pain. Where does it come from? Have a look in your inbox.
Identify the pain. Where does it come from? Have a look in your inbox.

What’s the issue that your clients (or customers or anyone) are facing? Not some little issue (where they need a “vitamin”) but a real pain point, a headache (where they want “aspirin”).

Where can you find their pain points?

  1. Your inbox.
  2. Their most popular complaint.
  3. What you’re doing every day, hating, and would love to not have to do.

It should be easy to find. In fact, if I asked you, in person, without warning, it should be the thing that you blurt out. It’s that simple.

2. Provide an expert solution

Provide an expert solution that you know how to do--and how to do well.
Provide an expert solution that you know how to do–and how to do well.

You know their pain and you know exactly how to solve it. Ideally, it’s a solution that doesn’t take 82 steps or 21 hours of your work. It’s also not a solution that you’d like to be hired for.

It’s a solution that you can write up the steps for and/or record a video or screencast. Ideally, you know the solution off the top of your head and you can get it done without too much research. You’re the expert in this field, right?

Keep in mind that this solution could be:

  • A post,
  • A series of posts,
  • An ebook,
  • An online course,
  • A downloadable PDF.

Anything that you don’t need to maintain. Those are not as passive–although also excellent ideas to sell your services or products.

3. Do them a “favor”

You're already giving them the information they want. But sweeten the pot. Make your offer irresistible.
You’re already giving them the information they want. But sweeten the pot. Make your offer irresistible.

You’re giving away your knowledge already. That is certainly enough. That’s your “favor” to them. But what else can you give? In my example, I show them how to set up their Google Apps in their email program, they love that. But then I throw in a bonus that helps them make the decision even more easily: I added a discount coupon for what they’re going to purchase.

  1. Give away a gift: your information
  2. Add on a cherry on top: a coupon, a discount, a bonus
  3. Make it almost too good to refuse

Keep in mind that they’re already happy to have found your post where you shared the information that they were looking for, but to seal the deal, offer up something extra, something of a “favor” that makes them even happier to go through you to finalize the transaction.

4. Widen the net

Use the most popular--or the most relevant--keywords to help people get to your post.
Use the most popular–or the most relevant–keywords to help people get to your post.

Once you know that this post is generating some interest, do your homework and see what keywords people are using to get to your post.

If your post isn’t generating much traffic, look elsewhere (using Google’s search engine optimization tools) to see what keywords people are using to find about the topic.

It’s often surprising what keywords people use to find what you’re talking about. You have your own ideas, but learning (and acting upon) what others use to find it must not be ignored.

5. Stay creative

Get creative with how you promote what you're selling. Think out of the box.
Get creative with how you promote what you’re selling. Think out of the box.

In my example, the original post was about how to set up your email program for Google Apps for your domain, specifically so that you could use the email But the actual product that I’m promoting (Google Apps) is a set of apps that offers much more than just an excellent email package. There are docs, spreadsheets, Google Plus with your new email address, etc. Lots of goodies.

So I took a completely different angle and wrote up a cute story about how I used Google Spreadsheets to teach my kids about:

  1. How to create a spreadsheet
  2. How to make charts and graphs
  3. How a pie chart works–and what we can learn from it (for example, we’re only 75% done with the tasks)
  4. How to enter numbers into a spreadsheet
  5. A little about how formulas work

It was really fun and my kids learned about spreadsheets and also, ta da … we used Google Apps to do it. Sure, I could have used Excel, but I actually really like that Google Apps is in the cloud. This spreadsheet we made (while on vacation) would be available to any of our computers and even on phones.


While this seems like quite a bit of work, it should be information that you already know. I didn’t do any research to write this up. I knew it already. But sure, it took time to write it up and polish it. In fact, I would do myself a favor by polishing the post and making it even more useful.

Wanna give it a try yourself?

  1. Have an idea?
  2. Do your homework.
    1. What are you offering?
    2. Why you?
    3. Gather some stats to back you up.
  3. Propose it to me. I’m a possible investor.
  4. If I think it has a chance, I’ll help you build it.
  5. We’ll work out a fair commission on revenue.

Speaking stats, here’s some research I did on the group this morning …

  • 82% of you are intrigued
  • 64% of you think it sounds like a lot of work
  • 45% of you will think it over today
  • 32% of you will be thinking about it tomorrow
  • 18% of you will contact me to follow up
  • 9% of you will truly be up for the work
  • 3% of you will make the cut
  • 1 of you will start earning passive income

Who’s going to be that one? If it’s you, contact me and let’s talk about it.

14 thoughts on “How I Earned $3,987 in Passive Income from a Single Post

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