How to earn passive income from your blogs

James Ryan Jonas

It feels weird making a new blog post after almost three weeks of resting. Yes, it’s been almost three weeks since I made my last post (see Free magazines for Filipinos posted on November 15).

This posting hiatus happened for two reasons. One, I went to Singapore and Indonesia from November 17 to 23 and didn’t have time to make any new blog post while I was away.

The second and more important reason is that the posting break was actually an experiment of mine. I was trying to check if blogging can indeed give passive income, and this I did by comparing my Google Adsense income before and after my last blog post.

Here are the results of this experiment.

Online income and posting frequency

I already noticed last year that there is no direct correlation between the frequency of posting and online income. In the article How blogging provides passive income, I explained that my Adsense income did not change significantly even if I only made 11 blog posts in one month as opposed to my usual rate of 25-30 per month.

This observation became more obvious in this recent experiment.

We checked our Google Analytics data to compare the number of ads clicked and the level of Adsense income on this website before and after my last blog post on November 15. Prior to this last post, the income level and number of ads clicked have been pretty much stable.

The surprise here is that after the last blog post on November 15, revenue and ad clicks did not decline day after day even for the next three weeks!

In fact, the average income is even higher during the three weeks with no blog post compared to the weeks when I was making posts. There were days too (on November 26 and 29) that income peaked during the month.

What does this mean?

Blogging as source of passive income

This experiment showed that I don’t have to make frequent blog updates just to maintain a certain level of Adsense earnings. As seen in the graph, even if there were no new posts — for three weeks, that is! — online income never declined.

Of course, I’m not sure until when this level can be sustained given no new posts. However, this is some proof that blogging can provide some sort of passive income. Why is it passive? Because there are no new efforts anymore, yet income has been consistent.

Lessons learned

What then does it mean to you as a blogger? Three things, assuming you want to make blogging a source of your passive income.

Continue building your article pool. I won’t be able to reach this feat if not for the more than 1,000 blog posts I have published since 2005. You should do the same. Continue making fresh, unique and relevant posts that readers will find useful. Sooner or later, this pool of articles will start giving you passive income.

Enhance your SEO. Repeat visitors usually return when you have new posts. What if you don’t make new ones? Your traffic will certainly decline. In that case, you need to rely on visitors coming from search engines. Which means you need to improve your site’s SEO (search engine optimization) in order to be on top of the search results.

Don’t just write “one-time, big-time” posts. These are posts high in traffic but only last for a few weeks or months. Examples of these are posts related to the Manny Pacquiao – Miguel Cotto fight or even the supposedly upcoming Manny Pacquiao – Floyd Mayweather fight. I’m not saying you don’t write about them at all — you will certainly lose big income associated with these high-traffic keywords if you don’t. What I’m saying, though, is that if passive income is your goal, you should not simply write posts that are high-traffic for some time. The reason is that these posts may be popular for weeks, even months, but one or two years later, not a lot will search for them anymore. In that case, you will have to constantly make new “one-time, big-time posts” to continuously earn from high-traffic keywords. And that’s not passive.

I still have a long way to go before blogging can give me a consistent inflow of passive income. I’ll continue my experiments but, don’t worry, I’ll share here whatever things I discover about blogging as a source of passive income. Subscribe to us to receive updates by submitting your email address in the sidebar on the right.

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James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.