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The Truth of Residual Income

Is there such a thing as true residual income?  Yes and No.

What is Residual Income?

Residual Income is income derived from doing the work once and getting paid over and over again.  Or it is an investment that can earn money over and over again.
In other words it is the perfect income.

Examples:

  • A songwriter.  They write the lyrics once and let someone else sing it.  They may only get a few pennys per play but it adds up over the long run
  • Actors. They make the movie or tv show and then every time it is played they get paid.
  • Inventors.  They create something, patten it, and then sell lease the patten.  If they are smart they have someone else produce it.  For every sale of what is produced the inventor gets a little money from it.
  • Investors. They can buy a stock like Disney and every quarter they get a nice little dividend.  As long as the company does well that little investment will spit out dividends for a long time.  Pepsico has given a dividend for 43 years in a row.  That is a lot of residual income.

Yes There is Residual Income

I have a small niche site that sells playbooks for youth football.  I have spent a total of about 10 hours working on it in the last 6 years.  Every year it produces money.  Every year I get something from it.
I get about $50 a year.  Not terrible.  If I did something with it I might get more.  But it truly is residual income.  Could I get more if I wanted to?  Yes I could.  I could spend another 20-30 hours revamping it, testing prices, making it look a little more modern.  Then I could spend a few more hours a week marketing the site through social media and participating in discussion groups.  But do I want to?
It would be nice to have another $1,000 or even $5,000 a year from this site, but then it would not be truly residual income.

No there is no true Residual Income

As shown before it is possible to create a stream of income where it is completely residual.  But, if there is to be any significant income from a source we have to put time into it.  So no there is not real residual income.
I left off with it being nice to have another $1,000 or $5,000 a year in income.  With minimal work I could probably get it back up there.  Now what if I want to totally replace my current teaching salary? I would have to develop bigger and better products to sell.  I would have to expand to several different products.  Maybe even a course dedicated to coaching coaches how to coach football.  I could do it.
With a lot of marketing and a lot of effort I could certainly get the product up to $15,000 to $20,000.  But I am doing a lot of work.  I am also not close to replacing my income.  So maybe I would have to make two or three sites similar to the coaching site so that I could completely replace my income.
The work is not in the producing of the products.  Once the products are made then they are done.  In some sense I am doing that work once and making money from it.
However I am doing a lot of work driving traffic to the site, promoting the site, and keeping the flow of traffic going.  That is not residual income.
So the answer is Yes and No.  Yes creating a product once and having it produce income for you over and over again is completely possible.  To have a product that creates a lot of money and continuously and consistently produces money then we still have to do work.

Action

Find examples of residual income.  Figure out a product that you can produce once then sell over and over again.  The promote the crap out of it.
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