Print on demand (or simply “merch”), where passive income thrives, took about two decades to get off the ground. CafePress, an online gift shop that calls itself “the recognized pioneer of customizable products,” launched back in 1999, followed by Zazzle in 2005 and Redbubble in 2006. By 2007 the trend had caught on widely enough that the Washington Post referred to custom T-shirts as a “growing market” and CNET published a listicle of “20 rad T-shirt sites.” Society6 started in 2009, then Teespring in 2012, and Merch by Amazon in 2015.
Next, you’ll need the right tools. You can be as complicated or simple as you want depending on your comfort with audio equipment, but at the minimum you’ll want a microphone and software for recording your voice. Companies like Behringer, Blue, Focusrite, and others sell studio-quality plug-and-play podcast setups that can get you recording today.
Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)
Create a writer website or blog. A website not only demonstrates your technical ability, but it also creates an online hub that allows clients to connect to you. Keep the design of your website clean and uncluttered. Include examples of your work that demonstrate the kind of writing you do. Make the samples easy to find and to read, and make it easy for visitors to figure out how to contact you. .
How much will you make? I think my best month with Google AdSense was almost $5,000 over the last ten years. That amazing month blew my mind since it was actually near the beginning of my blogging journey. When you go from making zero to $5,000 in a month, that will rock your world. For me, it also got me even more excited because I knew there were other ways to monetize.