Let me confess up front – I didn’t do a lot of research on this. So it’s not truly a historical piece. But I have lived through several phases of Passive Income history, so I feel qualified to speak on the subject.
The Early Days
I’m sure that as far back as history goes, people were dreaming of Passive income. Imagine, sitting in your cave, having foot delivered to you – even having cooked food delivered. Without ever having to venture out in the summer heat or the freezing cold.
So even though no money was exchanged, there was that dream of having everything you needed provided for you – with no effort.
Additional Disclaimer: My passive income experience does not date back to the early days, just in case you were wondering.
While historical scholars may disagree, it’s possible that Royalty may have been the next best thing to passive income. After all, you sat there, others served you, you didn’t really have to work – other than to pronounce a few laws here and there. Definitely a passive lifestyle, once you got past the conquering and fighting for your kingdom phase.
Additional Disclaimer: I am not royalty.
Fast forward a few hundred years and picture yourself in the early twentieth century. By then everyone recognized what Passive Income meant – it meant having your own oil well, cranking out profits for you, day after day. To current times, it’s still mighty handy to have your oil well royalties pouring into your banking account.
Full Disclosure: I own OnlineOilWells.com
Recent Online Passive Revenue
There have been several periods of Passive Income explosions online. Here are some of the highlights:
Automated Sales Process – With the growing Internet of the mid-1990′s, marketers could now set up a sales page and a download page – and know that their customers could get their product, even if the marketer took a vacation! The revenue just kept coming in – with no outward effort on their part.
This was probably the first use of the phrase “I couldn’t turn it off if I tried.”
Associates and Affiliates programs – In 1996 Amazon was the first to announce a way for “regular people” to get paid to refer customers to them online. That method of revenue has exploded to a multi-billion dollar industry.
Whether you earn passive revenue as an affiliate – or you are the business owner with affiliates sending you business, it’s often a no-effort method for earning revenue.
Autoresponders – With the invention of email-based autoresponders in the late 1990′s marketers now had a way to send automated sales messages. That meant that they could pre-schedule messages to go out, even when they were not in the office. This led to the ongoing stream of “I can’t turn it off, even if I try.”
Full Disclosure: I own AutoresponderBasics.com
Adsense – Google shook the world of Passive income with the announcement of the Adsense program in 2003. Suddenly you could put ads on your website and earn revenue when someone clicked on them – with no effort on your part. It was totally passive revenue.
The checks from Google skyrocketed with the advent of site-building software that rapidly churned out one site after another, each dedicated to earning Adsense revenue, quickly and passively. While the rules for the types of sites required to pull off this seemingly effortless feat continued to change, many people made a fortune from Adsense in these early days.
Then came the First Google Slap. People who were making 5 figures per month, saw their income drop to zero overnight. The rules had changed.
And the rules continue to change. But many of us continue to use Adsense revenue to augment our other income.
Automated Income Streams – Currently the Holy Grail for Passive Income, many programs purport to have the perfect system. All say they involve a little bit of work on your part up front, then “set it and forget it” and the checks start pouring in.
Is it a myth? CAN you create passive income online? I’ll let you be the judge of that.
As for me – while I have enjoyed all of the methods released in the modern era, I believe there is always room for improvement. So I’ll be teaching a new course on automated income starting Tuesday, October 11th.
Join me as we add the latest passive income tactics to your arsenal of online revenue.