Selling stuff online is a great way to make a buck, but the Holy Grail of internet marketing (and probably business in general) is repeat custom.
Repeat custom for a site like Amazon is obviously just getting people to come back and buy again, but for internet marketers that isn’t always possible.
Instead, you would need to focus on selling or promoting services and products that provide a recurring fee (and commission).
Recurring income (sometimes called residual income) is a great way to make money passively and regularly, as well as making more money per customer or lead.
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Below are different methods you can use to either create and sell, or promote something that has the potential for residual income.
#1 Membership Sites
The internet is full of free information, so it can often come as a surprise to find out that membership sites are not only popular, but profitable.
In general being a member of a membership site has to offer people more value than what they can find on the internet via Google.
A good example of this is Wealthy Affiliate. This site contains a vast wealth of information about affiliate marketing, regular webinars and importantly, a way to connect with your peers.
Paying the monthly fee to cut of the mass of misinformation out there is very valuable, and you can create a membership site in almost any niche!
As long as people are happy and being provided with value, they will continue to pay your fee.
#2 Specific Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing might seem an odd choice for recurring income, as usually you promote a product, get a commission and that’s the end of that until another lead comes your way.
That’s where the “specific” comes into it. There are a surprising number of affiliate programs that pay monthly recurring commissions. Membership sites that want affiliates is the obvious place to start, again Wealthy Affiliate is a prime example of being able to make a regular monthly income.
There are other sites out there though which provide the same benefit: dating sites, email service providers like Aweber, some hosting sites, etc.
#3 Renting Property
A more offline way to make residual income is via real estate. If you’re lucky enough to have more than one property then renting the building out can make a tidy monthly income, even after taxes and maintenance costs are taken out.
If you only have the one house though, you can still rent out rooms for a reasonable sum, especially if you live in a sought after part of the country. I personally wouldn’t recommend renting out a box in your living room for $400 a month, but most city areas renting out a room can be good money.
Service as a Software (SaaS) is a modern twist on internet services. Instead of buying a program to do what you need, you instead pay a website to get the same service – it’s almost like renting software.
One prime example of this is Salesforce which is an online CRM for small businesses. Instead of paying for expensive software, the hardware to run it and the people to manage it, businesses can get instant access to the software online, without the hassles attached to it.
Obviously from your point of view you would need to build the software that’s needed, but SaaS has a great potential to bring in recurring fees each month.
Stocks are often seen as a risky way to make money, and it’s true that if you’re not quite sure what you’re doing or you invest poorly you run the risk of losing your money.
On the flip side, you will generally see a return each quarter or year which makes stocks a viable way to make residual income.
In this era of easy self-published books, writing and publishing an e-book on Amazon, has the potential to bring in money every month.
Unlike other residual income types, this one can be a little hit and miss, as sales are an unknown quantity.
A series of books though, that’s a whole different kettle of fish! As an avid reader I actively look for interesting book series to buy. The reasoning is that I want to be sucked into a world and one book usually only whets my appetite.
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A series of books has the potential to bring in multiple sales, over a period of time, and can drastically increase your book sales.
Similar to membership sites, courses are a great way to bring in regular money over time.
It’s true that some courses are bought in one lump sum, so it’s important to find the right niche and have the right amount of detailed information, so that the course can be spread out over a period of weeks or months.
Rather than providing generic tutorials for people, why not coach people direct? Using your skills in your niche, you can help people improve their writing, their coding, their marketing skills, their language skills, or a myriad of other things.
Coaching can provide a regular income, especially if you can convince your customer to a minimum term contract.
The Bottom Line
Affiliate commissions are nice for sure, but nothing beats knowing that you will make multiple commissions per person!
Residual income is not perfect, as eventually a customer or lead will simply stop using the service and thus you will stop receiving commissions or payments.
It takes a lot of work to keep people happy (and therefore in the membership site or coaching system for example) and to bring in new leads.
Even with the work involved, residual income strategies can help you improve your cash flow and earnings.