The importance of residual income

It’s only when you can’t work for a while that the importance of having a number of recurring revenue streams really hit home.

Even though I’ve done hardly been able to do anything since April my earnings have hardly faltered. This is because:

a) many of the affiliate programs I concentrate on promoting are those which offer recurring income. Membership sites are probably the first thing that popped into your head, but there are many other affiliate programs which offer recurring payouts.

Getting people to sign up for web hosting, where they might stay for many years and you get a monthly or annual cut, is an obvious one. Paid newsletter subscriptions is another. Less obvious are products like food supplements, eczema treatments, genital wart or hemorrhoid creams where people keep buying the product month after month.

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An offline idea that might work is to cut a deal with a local gymnasium or health club that doesn’t have a site and ‘sell’ monthly or annual memberships on their behalf by creating a locally oriented fitness site that heavily promotes their services. Or by developing a web presence promoting the gym where people are made an introductory offer via a discount
coupon which is tagged to you. If the gym later reneges on the deal you simply cut a similar deal with one of their competitors and switch your traffic over to your new partner.

In fact, if you put some thought into this you can probably do a similar thing for lots of different businesses.

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To get back to what I was saying about recurring, or residual, earnings, when I quit my job years ago, to work online full-time, I took out medical insurance which would pay me around $1k a week if I got sick. But I’ve never been able to make a claim on it because of all the residual earnings pouring in from my web sites.

A couple of days ago I took some time out to look back through years of banking and accounting records. And I can plainly see shifts in where the earnings come from. In the first few years they came from a mix of mini sites and this ezine. Apart from recommending useful books and software here, I also sold advertising, running as many as a dozen ads in each issue.

Later I expanded a few of my most successful mini sites, and later still got into the Adsense site building craze and devoted most of my time to churning out sites. This worked spectacularly for a couple of years before Google turned the screws.

And now, over the past few years, the bulk of my earnings come from a select number of high quality sites that mainly use a blend of rewritten private label articles (PLR) and rewritten press releases.