What do people mean when they say that online passive income is a myth?

by Jake Green 56 replies
... so, what do they mean?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #income #myth #online #passive #people
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    The true meaning of passive income means that you do not do any work to derive the income.

    In the world of marketing online, that's just not going to happen.

    I'm sure others will chime in that consider it to have a different / modified meaning in that it doesn't mean that you can't do any work. But that's not the true meaning, so it will depend on who you talk to.
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    • Profile picture of the author gianbizz
      It depends on context,

      1. They have tried to get a passive income but fail, then they said "online passive income is a myth (aka: I Give Up!)"

      2. They mean that you can't make money online without actions before. You will only get passive income even while you are sleeping after you did some actions and found the right method that works for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by Jake Green View Post

    ... so, what do they mean?
    I've never heard anyone say this. Who has said this and in what context?
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    They mean their product is better.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi Jake,

    They mean, unless you are an instant manifestor like Jesus Christ or different adepts over the ages, you will need to move into action to create income, and not create it out of thin air with zero effort but a split second intent.

    The truth: passive income flows in after you learn, study, practice, create and connect, for quite a while.

    So yep; income flows to you passively, while you are sleeping, or traveling, or spending time offline, through channels like eBooks, products and services, but only after you spend months to years of your life learning your craft.

    Ryan
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    I like Ryan's answer. Spot on.

    This is passive income: publishing 40 books on Kindle and seeing the income roll in whether or not you are sat in your desk writing another book or in your gaming room playing COD.

    This is passive income: publishing 3,000 videos on YouTube, earning you AdSense, affiliate, and merch' income, whether you're shooting another video or watching reruns of Burn Notice.

    This is passive income: syndicating 10,000 articles around the web, that are generating unique visitors and income, whether you're tapping out another article or drinking Amaretto.

    This is passive income: publishing digital products that your own legions of affiliates are promoting on your behalf and having your PA field emails or Skype whilst you go jogging.

    This is passive income: setting up a business system (that usually involves investment and hard work on your part) that will deliver income to you afterwards, whether you spend another day working on the business or not.

    I could give you a hundred examples. The one in bold is the nuts and bolts of passive income.

    It's a big subject, but you get the idea!

    Cheers,

    Tom
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    • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
      I like the concept of compound passive income.

      Bit like compound interest.

      You find something that earns you a positive return and then you reinvest a portion of that return plus some additional work on your part to build a greater revenue stream.

      In any system you need to do a bit of maintenance to maintain optimal performance.

      Best regards,

      Ozi
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Originally Posted by Tom Addams View Post

      This is passive income: setting up a business system (that usually involves investment and hard work on your part) that will deliver income to you afterwards, whether you spend another day working on the business or not.

      Tom,

      I agree with your definition above . . . however . . .

      It has been my experience over many years online that when most income streams are not attended to regularly, they begin to dwindle and eventually become a mere trickle. Yes, you can pay someone else to keep the stream flowing (keep the system working) so that you don't have to do the work. Also, you can automate many tasks that keep the system going.

      But to me, true passive income that doesn't reduce over time where the creator has absolutely no involvement whatsoever is largely a myth.

      At least it's a myth to me because I have never seen or spoken with someone that has figured it out.

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
        Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

        Tom,

        I agree with your definition above . . . however . . .

        It has been my experience over many years online that when most income streams are not attended to regularly, they begin to dwindle and eventually become a mere trickle. Yes, you can pay someone else to keep the stream flowing (keep the system working) so that you don't have to do the work. Also, you can automate many tasks that keep the system going.

        But to me, true passive income that doesn't reduce over time where the creator has absolutely no involvement whatsoever is largely a myth.

        At least it's a myth to me because I have never seen or spoken with someone that has figured it out.

        Steve
        You just have. There you go: it's no longer a myth.

        - Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author rishwoj
    As others have stated passive income can only be earned after the initial work is put in.

    IE - You create a training course then charge a monthly membership fee. So in theory everyone that signs up and pays a monthly see gives you "passive income". BUT you first need to do (or outsource) the many things needed sell your course. Create it, put it online, market etc.

    Another example is you could create a video review of a product put it on Youtube with a link in your description to the product and make commissions on each sale, which would be a passive income. Again though, you need to create the video, get the video ranked so people can find it etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Slate ORM
    The tipping point where an income stream moves from active to passive is so dynamic that it is hard to nail down a static moment. Between this and people's discrepancies about what they consider passive to be leads to a lot of disagreements.

    Internet marketing is a beast that seems like it will never be truly passive. I'm working on a massive network of PBNs, transforming them into money sites for a form of "passive" affiliate/ad income on low-to-mid range search terms. But in that case, the only point for me where it truly becomes passive is if I have the process of website updates, routine maintenance, content additions, and SEO automated or outsourced.

    If I can do that (outsource every piece of the process to a trusted associate/assistant), the only things that would be required of me is to scan a roll-up email from said assistant with tasks performed, and make sure the domain, hosting, and content bills are paid. This is where it becomes passive.

    However, there are many things outside internet marketing that can be truly passive. Two examples I can think of off the top of my head are investing in funds that are low-risk enough to not need to check or adjust consistently, and real estate rentals.

    The investing in index funds I have experienced myself firsthand. I put a certain amount of money into a massive Vanguard index fund over two years ago, and any and all returns have been completely hands off for me. All I do is occasionally check the balances.

    The real estate rentals would need a middleman of a property management company to be truly passive. We all know how tenants can be.
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  • Profile picture of the author Connann
    TOTAL passive income is a Myth.

    Something you do not have to care about anymore. i mean like having loyalties when u wrote a best seller book.

    They say that online is quite impossible have something which you dont' have to care about to replenish or update....

    So if you have the best method to make money online, which is email marketing, the fundamental method, you have always to get update about new sources of advertising, give always quality content to your list, and test products for your list to sell them after.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jessica Ambos
    It's a myth in a way because people think they don't have to do anything and income will flow. Of course there's sweat and blood to deal with before passive income can flow. Others went through years of continuous learning before they made it big.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    I can't speak for everyone but I'll tell you what I mean.

    Several times a week it seems someone posts a thread saying...

    "What is the quickest and easiest way to make passive income? I have no money and don't want to spend a lot of time or effort to set this up. I want someone to give me an easy step by step plan that doesn't involve much work on my part so I can start earning a passive income by next month. I don't like my job, or working in general, and I'd prefer to live on the beach and spend all my time at a tiki bar."

    THAT, my friend, is known as the ultimate Make Passive Income Online myth.

    As others have already said, passive income does exist, but it's almost always after time has been spent, money has been invested, and value has been given.

    The secret is knowing the difference between the two.

    Rose
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    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      A Person/Entrepreneur/etc. can have "passive income" ... However they have to work for it. Pretty much like Rose said.

      2C
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      • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
        Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

        However they have to work for it. Pretty much like Frank said.
        Corrected - and thank you.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
          Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

          Corrected - and thank you.
          (Lol.)

          (I still prefer Rose's explanation ... So there.)
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          • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
            Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

            (Lol.) (I still prefer Rose's explanation ... So there.)
            That's just because you'd prefer anything Rose said over anything that I might say. I'm wounded - but I'll get over it. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author jyzdesign1
    Few more examples of this kind of income is through affiliate marketing and adsense. If your blog is a success, you need a little work.. just managing things and the income will be generated automatically.
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  • Profile picture of the author pingmycareer
    There are many ways to make passive income online. One of them is joining one or more affiliate programs, which reward you for purchases made from your recommendations/referrals.

    When choosing an affiliate/partner program to join, you should consider a few elements:

    does the product you would refer resonate with the audiences you already reach or can easily reach online?
    does the program offer clear information on how many referrals and sales you generated and how much money you earned?
    does it offer one-time or lifetime commission from your referrals?

    If you're active in social media, you might consider NapoleonCat's Partner Program, which meets all of the above criteria, offers 20% of lifetime commission and easy cash payouts via PayPal.

    Lifetime commission means that once a customer you refer makes a subscription to the service, you'll receive money every month his/her subscription is extended as long as they don't cancel their account. It means your passive income grows every month as you get new referrals. If you refer even one new client every month, after 12 months you will be collecting commission from 12 clients.

    If you're a blogger, such programs are great, because one piece of content you publish can "work" for you for a long time. Just find a popular and relevant question, post your answer and include your referral link in the contents of the answer (of course, it needs to be relevant and bring value to readers). This is the easiest way to build your referral base and generate passive income from your online activity.

    I hope this helps you grow your passive income and lead the lifestyle of your choice.
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  • Profile picture of the author zeus136
    Passive income is achievable if you have a great landing page and an automated source of traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author ydsimple
    For me its building list and follow up email sereies campaign, you need just to add traffic and emails sell for you automatically. Cheers :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by ydsimple View Post

      For me its building list and follow up email sereies campaign, you need just to add traffic and emails sell for you automatically. Cheers :-)
      And doing all of those things is called work. If you don't do them the money stops, so it is not passive income. Right? Lol
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  • Profile picture of the author connections
    Not sure what people you are referring to, but it sounds like maybe they are the ones who thought that you could get something of great value for nothing at all. There is real work up front first, in order to attain passive income.
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  • Profile picture of the author kursat
    I believe I have some passive income resources. Some I worked on many years ago and never touched again, like adsense sites, re bill affiliate commissions etc. But one thing I know for sure, these did not happen overnight. I worked many nights for them to be in place. It was hard work. Now I enjoy those small commissions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ivan2b
    They not believe that passive income is possible. Trust me it is! Those are usually people who were never in touch with any kind of online business with the passive income. Look at yourself and if you really wish to earn some cash you will do it offline or online. Passive income will come by the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gabriel
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    Passive income is possible.
    But takes a lot of bloody work
    so the income may be passive....
    the path to achieve it, it's brutal
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post

      Passive income is possible.
      But takes a lot of bloody work
      so the income may be passive....
      the path to achieve it, it's brutal
      C'mon Gabriel. I expect better from you on this. Even if you do the work to achieve something you might choose to call passive income, if you don't do additional work going forward to maintain your position, the income will dry up. Working to get there and working to stay there? Nothing passive about that - at all.

      Stop keeping this myth alive. You do a disservice to people who look to you for good advice.

      Just my 2¢, which are invaluable. :-)

      Thank you.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gabriel
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        Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

        C'mon Gabriel. I expect better from you on this. Even if you do the work to achieve something you might choose to call passive income, if you don't do additional work going forward to maintain your position, the income will dry up. Working to get there and working to stay there? Nothing passive about that - at all.

        Stop keeping this myth alive. You do a disservice to people who look to you for good advice.

        Just my 2¢, which are invaluable. :-)

        Thank you.
        I'm the guy that spammed the app store with 400 apps and after 1 month I made around $1500 per month for over 40 months..... I never looked at those apps again.

        It was 100% passive....
        but the effort wasn't passive...

        Not all the actions required to "stay there"

        So not sure why you are so defensive.

        I never wrote that "keeping" the same level of income is passive... that type of passive income eventually dies, if you don't put the work to "keep it"....

        But do I believe passive income is possible?
        Yes.

        I'm not selling you a dream..... I'm just talking of experience.
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        • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
          Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post

          I'm the guy that spammed the app store with 400 apps and after 1 month I made around $1500 per month for over 40 months..... I never looked at those apps again.

          It was 100% passive....
          but the effort wasn't passive...
          Exactly my point.

          Not all the actions required to "stay there"

          So not sure why you are so defensive.
          I'm not being defensive. I'm being declarative.

          I never wrote that "keeping" the same level of income is passive... that type of passive income eventually dies, if you don't put the work to "keep it"....
          Exactly my point!

          But do I believe passive income is possible?
          Yes.
          After a lot of work, for an indeterminate amount of time. After that it dies. People think it is something you set up and it generates passive income without ever lifting a finger, forever. THAT is the myth. Additionally, I guess we'll just have ti chalk this up to semantics as well as having a different opinion of what most of the people want to believe is 'passive income.'

          I'm not selling you a dream..... I'm just talking of experience.
          Well, you can't sell me anything, but I'm glad that you clarified your points which totally validate my belief.

          And don't be so defensive. lol

          Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bella Lopez
    It depends in what context someone says online passive income. For me, it means working really hard on something online and reaching a level where it can generate income for me even when I am putting in minimal efforts for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author eBizz Marketerz
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  • Profile picture of the author ATAC
    They are saying that they suck at it ....!
    Do not let anyone discourage you from your goals..
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Brindamour
    Jake,

    This partially true.

    You can make money passively...to an extent. There is no such thing as push button profits. You can automate most of your online business, however you still need get new clients and to build trust with you clients. People need to know, like & trust you before they will buy from you. That is the one thing you will need to work on. You will also need to continuously tweak your systems to optimize them.

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by Chris Brindamour View Post

      Jake,

      This partially true.

      You can make money passively...to an extent. There is no such thing as push button profits. You can automate most of your online business, however you still need get new clients and to build trust with you clients. People need to know, like & trust you before they will buy from you. That is the one thing you will need to work on. You will also need to continuously tweak your systems to optimize them.

      Chris
      Translation: There is no such thing as passive income. You will always need to do some work to maintain viability in producing an income stream, going forward.

      Can we please put this to rest?
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Back at the beginning of the 20th century, engineers and tinkerers were obsessed with the idea of a perpetual motion machine. One that, once set in motion, would continue running forever, thus obviating the need for fuel, maintenance, etc.

    A century later, "perpetual motion" machines are still a pipe dream.

    And they have a sibling.

    It's called "online passive income."

    Like its older sibling, there have been a lot of attempts. Some lasted longer than others, but all succumb to the principle of entropy eventually. In plain English, there's always resistance that drags it down.

    Which brings me to the people who say "just outsource everything." Again, entropy will rear its chaotic head. You can hire people to do things, including managing the people who do those things. But you still have to keep an eye on the manager. Otherwise, you're one bad hire away from the poorhouse.

    If you truly want passive income, work your ass off and buy an annuity.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      Some lasted longer than others, but all succumb to the principle of entropy eventually.
      As well as atrophy. If you don't continuously work that muscle, it will weaken and become virtually useless.
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  • Profile picture of the author xeniux
    Passive income is not a myth, it is a system that needs to build in order to success. If you offer good value and funnel. You could gain great benefit from the passive income system.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    I spend 100 hours building something. Then I put it on the market and over the next year it brings in $10,000.

    Is that $10K passive? Fu@k no!

    It's delayed payment for work put in.

    All the bullshitters in this thread who claim passive income are really talking about delayed payment for work put in.

    Even if you hire a manager there is work involved. If there is any work involved whether ahead of the income or at the time, it is not passive.

    The difference is they are trying to convince newbies of something that isn't real in order to try to sell them something, whereas I couldn't care less whether they buy anything from me.

    I feel sorry for people who come to this forum, populated by mostly (the exceptions know who you are) bald face, self-promotional liars, thinking they will find much in the way of truth.

    It makes me want to hurl!

    Brent
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    • Profile picture of the author davestrees
      You obviously know your sh_t, Brent.
      I don't know what field of IM you're in, doesn't matter really.
      I just want to say thank you for your whole hearted reply to the subject on 'passive income'.
      Your comment , was a hard punch to the face!
      Which is what I needed... I guess.
      I've been watching all this Affiliate Marketing crap for over 15 years now and have NEVER acquired (purchased) any of 'em, after reading alot of reviews. I'm still on the 'hunt' though~ HA! What a stubborn fu_k I am!
      Cheers to ya' Brent

      Sincerely,
      David A. Watkins
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  • Profile picture of the author Mahmudul Raju
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by Mahmudul Raju View Post

      If anyone interested to buy 13 years old technology related premium domain then knock me please.
      Buy an ad!
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  • Profile picture of the author michdubs
    Well, adsense to me is a form of passive income
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  • Profile picture of the author lila jon
    right income if you expert design site proved , see the link
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  • Profile picture of the author kevinfar
    I think it all depends what passive means for you.

    For me passive income means an income that comes from you being passive, i.e. doing nothing, which simply doesn't exist.

    However, you can have income that comes from very litle work, however it is only after you've tried and tested things to see what works that this is possible.

    Just my two cents.

    Kevin
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  • Gotta figure before the passive part ripples overya flesh as bikini-lovin' sunlight ... an' dollars bowl your way from outta the ether asya sip on a cocktail so delish you can't even pronounce the name ... plenty prior work gotta have been done -- work maxin' out on expertise & smarts ain't droppin' outta the sky no time soon.

    Beyond that, there is an impossibly benevolent fairy wanderin' round dispensin' SUMTHIN' FOR NUTHIN' coupons on a whim makes Santa look like a frickin' SLACKER.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by Princess Balestra View Post

      Gotta figure before the passive part ripples overya flesh as bikini-lovin' sunlight ... an' dollars bowl your way from outta the ether asya sip on a cocktail so delish you can't even pronounce the name ... plenty prior work gotta have been done -- work maxin' out on expertise & smarts ain't droppin' outta the sky no time soon.

      Beyond that, there is an impossibly benevolent fairy wanderin' round dispensin' SUMTHIN' FOR NUTHIN' coupons on a whim makes Santa look like a frickin' SLACKER.
      For the absolute first time, ever - I understood every word of your post. That scares me! lol
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      • Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

        For the absolute first time, ever - I understood every word of your post. That scares me! lol
        Natchrlly, I will take that as a compliment, steada barkin' out WHATCHYOO THINK I AM? A FRICKIN' DITZ?
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  • Profile picture of the author quadagon
    Not convinced that passive income is a myth.

    8 years ago I wrote a book on a hobby of mine. I am still receiving royalties from it today and haven't done anything connected to it for about 7 years. Ok there was work to do to create the book but I don't believe that excludes it from passive income.

    If you want something completely passive - I invested in a start up 15 years ago and they kindly send me a cheque every quarter and a yearly bonus. I have never done any work for this money other than once trusting a friend.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by quadagon View Post

      If you want something completely passive - I invested in a start up 15 years ago and they kindly send me a cheque every quarter and a yearly bonus. I have never done any work for this money other than once trusting a friend.
      That's passive income. Everything else is a variation on a theme colored by semantics and personal opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author uncia
    domain parking is pretty passive.
    you do initial work of finding decent domains and then just park it.
    might check couple times a month for stats and change a parking company, which takes, like 5 mins.
    other than that - it just sits and collects ad revenue.

    now, the trick is to find those domains that can earn regularly
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by uncia View Post

      now, the trick is to find those domains that can earn regularly
      Yes - we call that 'work.'
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  • Profile picture of the author skybridgedomains
    Income is income. passive is just a marketing phrase. I dont like the word passive when it comes to income.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelley
    Maybe residual income would be a better term. True passive income might be collecting dividends from inherited stocks.

    Residual income means you get paid several times for one effort. JK Rowling could be an example. She wrote each of the Harry Potter books one time (including revisions) yet has been paid many times.

    My new Whirling Bliss Machine business will have affiliates, as another example. They will make a good portion of the sales including consumable products. In some sense that is residual income, even if it isn't passive income since we will fill the orders.

    I'm not sure that truly passive income is all that desirable because the recipient spends a lot of their time wondering if their life shouldn't be something more than collecting money. It's good for them to wonder because satisfaction comes from doing combined with being. There are only so many ski slopes and wine bottles one can enjoy before the mind asks, "What's it all about, Alfie?"

    I wouldn't search for passive income too much, but for dynamic income - or even better, dynamic service because that's where we can get the money we want and the satisfaction we need.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kelley
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    Two and a half things and a further half.

    First thing.

    Every government in the free world accepts that passive income exists.

    Passive income (not to be confused with residual income, which is net income minus equity charge) is defined as income deriving from rental activity or "trade or business activities in which you do not materially participate."

    The latter form of the definition applies to our debate.

    Though, truly, there is no need for debate.

    Second thing.

    The duration of a type of income does not define it.

    Earned income is earned income.

    Portfolio income is portfolio income.

    Passive income is passive income.

    Duration is not a feature here of definition.

    If, therefore, you earn passive income for precisely 4 days, 3 hours, 4 minutes, and 19 seconds, the income you have earned does not morph into a different category of income.

    It remains passive income.

    Half a thing.

    In forum threads like this one, you will always see confusion as to how passive income is generated.

    This, partly, is the reason for debate.

    If 2 million people cannot unanimously agree that 2 + 2 = 4, then you will have debate.

    The debate continues because we rarely see both parts (there are only two) of how passive income is generated.

    Part one: ability.

    Part two: (usually omitted from debates) procedure.

    Further half a thing.

    We generate passive income through the application of ability and procedure.

    Gabriel has the ability to swamp the App Store with 400 apps.

    Tom has the ability to swamp the digital world with media.

    Uncia has the ability to park domains.

    Quadagon has the ability to write a book on his or her hobby.

    Discrat has the ability to make MFA sites.

    Rose has the ability to write wonderful books.

    Steve has the ability (whether he knows it or not yet) to write forum posts that float around the internet and generate passive income through his signature.

    Ability.

    We can define ability (in this case) as having the time, the knowledge, the willingness, and the resources to apply particular procedures.

    Joe Marketer has the ability to register domains with traffic.

    He spends $1 on a domain (applying his Godaddy coupon) and he redirects that domain to an affiliate offer landing page. He spends $1 and sends 2,000 uniques a month to his offer.

    For 364 days of the year, our mate Joe does bugger all to earn money from his business.

    And yet he does earn money. Passive income.

    2,000 people a month arrive on a landing page for a free-to-play video game.

    1 in 30 people register. 1 in 30 people earn Joe $5 in affiliate commission.

    Joe registered a domain. He does no other work.

    Once a year? He renews his domain registration.

    (Which, by the by, is one of many rather handy passive income procedures to promote free/ PPL offers.)

    Ability.

    Ability is the easy part.

    The hard part is figuring out procedure.

    Because, rarely, is anyone kind enough (or silly enough) to hand out procedures in public.

    Cheers,

    Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author Judey
    When you're using a proven system to earn money online with less and less effort or involvement
    on your own part ,
    then it's has become a passive online income source for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sioh Boon Yap
    Hi Jake. When people say that online passive income is a myth, to me its simply mean that you can generate income via online business without quitting your daily job. Further, as the time past and when you are going more actively, online business income would surpass your daily job salary and that's why it is a myth. Hope it helps.
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