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My company sold a record number of DVDs and books last month. While we’re certainly no where near Blockbuster territory this type of news is always good news. I’ve been focusing much of my non-dissertation writing time over the past month on setting up passive streams of income as I see this as a good base of stable income that has the potential to at least partially replace my former “real” job’s salary. Also, it kinda fits with what I can do right now since I haven’t opened a facility to train people yet.

Right now, I’m bringing in a little under 20% of my old salary position’s monthly paycheck through sales of my books and DVDs. While that’s certainly not a sustainable income by itself, it definitely helps and it supplements what I’m making with speaking engagements, paid research, independent consultation work and private coaching.

The fact that last month saw the highest sales of books and DVDs is great because it means my increased attempts at marketing and opening new streams of passive income worked. In addition to the DVDs and book sales, I’ve also been more proactive about increasing ad and other revenue from ELITETRACK. While the revenue generated by this is still a paltry 3% of my previous salaried income, the brightspot is that it more than doubled in one month thanks to some efforts I’ve made on the site.

So far my experiments at building passive income has worked. Here’s what I did, some things have worked some things have yet to pan out:

  1. I created a new website, AthleticLab, to sell our products. In it’s first month we haven’t made a sale but it hasn’t cost anything other than the time to set the site up. My aim is to make this site product oriented and HPC be service oriented.
  2. I placed our DVDs on for sale and ensured that I was offering for the lowest price. So far we’ve made 1 sale.
  3. I did a 2 week ad campaign for ELITETRACK, HPCsport, and AthleticLab on Google Adsense in an attempt to garner more visitors. It’s tough to track how much this increased sales but through Google analytics I was able to tell that it increased traffic to the sites slightly. I stopped this after 2 weeks but I’ll likely start it back up again after some research in to using keywords effectively.
  4. I added Amazon associate sales items on to ELITETRACK…so far this has only generated a couple bucks.
  5. I made some major changes to ELITETRACK to improve the user experience. This was a fairly large time investment but hopefully it will pay dividends.
  6. I increased both the quantity and quality of my participation on ELITETRACK. While this is something I’d do anyhow now that I have the time, I can now legitimately tell my wife that I’m not just wasting time by doing it….I’m working! The time I spend on the site increases exposure for the company, increases traffic to all three sites (which has the possibility of boosting ad revenue on ELITETRACK and sales on the other 2 sites), and defining myself as an expert in the field. It also gives me an opportunity to give back to a sport that has given me so much.
  7. Finished the first draft of a book I’m writing. It is now ready to go to the editors and I’m hoping this will be another item to add to my passive income stream.

So that’s it. I’m not making anywhere near what I was at my previous salaried position but it’s working out ok because I’ve drastically reduced my cost of living by making a temporary move to Southeastern Ohio from NY and making some lifestyle changes. The brightspot, and the thing I’m hoping to continue, is the upward trend in passive income as it means my efforts are working.

The thing I want to wrap up with is that what you can probably see is that passive income really isn’t all that passive. At least not right off the bat. I’ve learned you have to make a concerted effort to expose your product, define your ‘brand’, and create as many avenues as possible for revenue to come in (since even the smallest amounts add up over time).