I built my 7-figure business on selling information products.
Basically all it takes is a website, a few paragraphs and an “Add to Cart” button at the end of the page. People visit that website, like what they see and pay me for more.
Through this method, I’ve made money while I’m sleeping, driving, out with family or hanging out with friends. I make money 24/7 without having to actually do anything.
That to me is real passive income.
There’s no trading time for money. And this is the business that I created for myself.
But if you already know my story, then you’ll be aware that things weren’t always like this.
As a university student in the UK, I partied too hard, drank too much and spent way too many hours, weeks, months, years playing World of Warcraft. The result of which was barely scraping by my finals and having my conditional government scholarship revoked.
That was around RM200,000.00 ($54,000.00) that I had to pay back. I didn’t have that kind of money, my parents certainly didn’t have that kind of money and to make matters worse, because of my poor results I couldn’t get a job.
I was unemployed for three months until I finally landed a “stable” job with a salary of RM1,200 ($400) a month. I worked in an office for 18 months. I became desperate, couldn’t make enough to get by and was in a mountain of debt.
So I Googled “how to make money online.”
Through numerous books, guides and programs I learned to generate an income online by doing something you love. At that time it was the video game World of Warcraft.
So I wrote a 30-page guide on how to be good at the game and sold it for $7 online.
Months later I received an email from PayPal. Notification of payment received. I had finally made my first sale. That meant real money direct to my bank account. From a person I had never met, and likely never will.
It was a magical feeling. And this would be the moment that changed my life forever.
I scaled up, created more guides in more niches and within a few months my online income surpassed that of my day job. I got out of the rat race and have never looked back.
So how did I do it?
It’s simple. But I warn you, it’s not necessarily easy.
This is my 5-step system to creating a passive income online.
I call it the Silent Sales Machine…
STEP 1: Identifying a Profitable Niche
If money was not a problem, what would you do with your time? This is what your niche should be. For me, my niche was gaming. In particular, World of Warcraft. By choosing your passion as your niche, you allow yourself the drive to keep going.
If you’re in a niche you are not excited about, you’re going to find it very hard to continue.
As I said, making money online is simple, but it’s not easy. By being in a niche that you don’t enjoy, it makes it that much harder to succeed.
I didn’t make millions overnight from the start. It took me months to reach a point where I could quit my job and another year before I hit the 7-figure mark. The only reason I was able to achieve this, despite the failures and the trials I encountered, was the fact that I was personally invested in the niche and if money wasn’t a problem, I would be playing video games all day everyday.
So once you have a niche you are passionate about, you need to check it’s profitability. There’s no use in being incredibly passionate about a certain niche if it’s not going to make you any substantial income.
To do this, you need to check the supply and demand of you niche.
Head over to Google and search your keywords. You want to be in a niche that produces less than half a million searches online. Any more than that and it means there is a lot of competition, which will make it very difficult for you to monetize as a newbie.
Go to Google Keyword Planner (formerly known as Google Keyword Tool) and type in the same keywords. You want your keywords to have at least 2,500 people searching for it on a monthly basis. Any less than that and it means the demand is low, thus once again making it difficult to monetize.
When you find a keyword that meets these two criteria, then you’ve hit what I call, the sweet spot.
- Supply: less than 500,000 results
- Demand: more than 2,500 searches
STEP 2: Publishing Fresh Content
When it comes to publishing fresh and unique content online, the easiest, fastest way to do so is by installing WordPress on your website. This website, PengJoon.com, runs on WordPress. You don’t need any technical knowledge, it works similarly to MS Word, it’s completely free and used by millions of people all over the world.
Install it and continue to update your site just as I do.
STEP 3: Promoting a Product
In order to make passive income online you have to sell a digital product. There are two ways to go about doing this.
- Sell your own digital product and keep all the sales for yourself
- Sell someone else’s digital product and receive commissions for every sale you make
The latter is known as Affiliate Marketing.
The great thing about selling your own product is of course that you get to keep all the profit yourself. You also establish yourself as an authority and create your own brand. In the long term, this is something that you should strive for. However, if you’re just starting out, creating a product does take time, effort and money.
On the other hand, if you sell someone else’s product, you don’t have to worry about product creation, fulfillment or customer service. Just promote and receive a big commission. Affiliate marketing is the fastest way to get started making money online.
To get started with affiliate marketing, I highly recommend heading over to Clickbank. This is the World’s largest digital marketplace and usually offers between 50-75% commissions for sales of products. It’s free to sign up and there are thousands of great products in their marketplace that you can choose from.
Just click on your niche and search the products available. Start promoting and recommending them to people in your niche by creating review pages on your website.
Now, when it comes to product promotion, what you need is an offer page (also known as a sales letter). The only thing that sells on a sales letter are words. So if you’re worried about graphics and having them done professionally, don’t be. Beautiful graphics won’t make a difference to conversions if your sales copy is weak.
Focus on the words.
This is my sales solution formula, which I learned from one of my mentors and close friends – Alex Mandossian. He calls it…
The Persuasion Equation:
- Urgent Problem: Don’t waste time introducing yourself at the start, instead address your readers problem immediately e.g. “Is your social life struggling because you’re spending far too much time stuck in World of Warcraft? Are you losing sleep, feeling stressed and desperate to level up quickly?”
- Unique Promise: Tell them exactly what you have that will solve their problem e.g. “I have a blueprint that will enable you to level up as fast as the pros without compromising your social life.”
- Unquestionable Proof: Add testimonials and social proof from a third party that your product works or system works. This is the MOST IMPORTANT section of your sales letter.
- User-Friendly Proposition: People want to know that it will work for them. Make the solution simple so that anyone can use it and see success e.g. “In just 8 simple steps you’ll be able to achieve results; I created it to make it so easy even a 12 year old can do it…”
STEP 4: Generating Traffic
There are many ways of generating traffic, in fact this may be the easiest step in Internet marketing. I’ll give you my two favorite ways to generate free traffic on a long term basis.
Video marketing is one of the most powerful methods of getting free traffic online. The reason is because Google owns YouTube, as such YouTube videos are given preference in the search rankings. Many people don’t take advantage of this and continue to pour all their effort into their website’s SEO.
So if you upload a video on YouTube and make it keyword rich, you have a great chance of reaching the first page of Google for your keyword, surpassing your competitors, and gaining an unfair advantage. The video doesn’t have to be long or complicated. A brief 5-minute video is enough to give viewers an idea of what you want to share with them. Add a link in the description back to your website where you have written a full article based on the content of the video and gain traffic.
Practice makes permanent.
Now if you’re shy on camera, don’t be. I know this better than anyone else because I use to be terrified of being on camera.
As a perfectionist, I never thought I was good enough to be in a video. It wasn’t until I attended T. Harv Eker’s Train the Trainer program that I realized imperfections are what make people perfect.
Your faults make you relatable and authentic. That’s what will draw your audience to you. People aren’t interested in being spoken down to from some “expert” who doesn’t speak to them as an equal.
As someone who was once in the shoes of your audience, you have a story that likely reflects their own struggles and desires. Just be yourself.
In life, there are going to be some people who won’t like you and others who will. That’s just how it is.
You have two choices:
- You can create a video, share your knowledge, help people who want to be helped and get rich (and some people won’t like you). Or…
- You can NOT create a video, NOT share your knowledge, NOT help people who want to be helped, NOT get rich (and, I assure you, some people still won’t like you).
Same outcome for the haters. But VERY different consequences for you and the people you could potentially help.
I like this traffic generation method because it’s easy and effective. You write a press release in a subjective, third party voice about your service, product or website, submit it to a press release site and generate traffic through that article.
People trust press releases because they are non-advertorial, credible sources of information.
There are both free and paid press releases. To start with I suggest going the free route and submitting a press release once a week. You can then add on to that by writing a paid press release once a month. Typically a paid press release will cost you around $200.
- Free press release site: www.PRlog.org
- Paid press release site: www.PRweb.com
STEP 5: Automate
In order to create a passive income, your system needs to be automated. That means YOU have to be cut out of the entire process (as much as possible) so that people are automatically coming to your website, purchasing and receiving your product. You don’t have to email the product to them, or speak to anyone one-on-one to make a sale… Everything runs on its own.
When you’re able to reach this point where you are no longer trading your time for money, then you can experience time freedom.
I want to stress how important this is. Because the fact is, making money online is easy. Making passive money online is a different story.
When I first started out in this industry, I was making pretty good money as an SEO consultant. I serviced clients by doing SEO for their websites. On average I’d make around $200 – $500 a day. At the time I was 22 years old and it was more money than I could ever make at an office job. So I was happy.
During Chinese New Year, I met an uncle who is a very well to-do businessman in Malaysia. I told him about my business but he wasn’t impressed. He asked me how much money I made that day. And I answered that because it was a holiday and I was with the family, I didn’t work so I didn’t make any money.
He then told me that while he was also enjoying the holiday with family and not working, his business continued to generate profit and he was still making money. My uncle then said this to me:
“You will never be rich if you trade your time for money.”
So for the 5th step of the Silent Sales Machine, I want to you automate your business so that you can get paid while you sleep.
Here’s what you need in order to automate your online business:
- Your customer must receive their digital product instantly (no need to email them or talk to them or for them to have to wait for their product to arrive).
- You must build an email list. By capturing leads using a squeeze page and ethical bribe, you build a list of potential customers.
And that’s my 5-step system to creating an online passive income.
To recap, the first step is to find a profitable niche. Choose something you are passionate about so your interest doesn’t wane, then check the supply and demand of that niche. Next you want to publish fresh content. Do this by installing WordPress on your website and consistently keeping it updated. The third step is to promote a product. You can either create your own like I do, or you can choose to be an affiliate for a product on Clickbank. After that you generate traffic to your website and/or offer. And finally automate the whole process so it runs independently and you can scale your business.