What Is Residual Income?

Residual income describes any type of work which you perform once and then receive income from on an ongoing basis. For example, if you were to write a best selling novel then, after it was published you would earn money from it for as long as people were buying it and reading it.

Another good example of residual income would be if you were to record and release a chart topping single. You would earn money from this every time someone bought your song or it was played on the radio.

Of course, not everyone can write the next Harry Potter novel - and even if you are musically gifted a number one hit could prove to be elusive. However, there are some very real and practical ways by which ordinary people can earn residual income. They may be a little more mundane than topping the charts - but they are financially rewarding nonetheless.

Why Do You Need Residual Income?

There are many people who dream of having their own little home business. The idea of having no boss, working whenever you feel like it and spending time with your friends and family is very appealing to many. The problem is that, in order to realise this dream, most people will require to replace their monthly salary with some other source of regular income.

Most of us have financial commitments to meet month in, month out. Many of us have people who depend upon us. A regular income is essential. That's why you should make an effort to ensure that at least a portion of your income is residual. There's no problem in having special promotions, pushing the latest e-book or the new cool electronic gadget available from Amazon or eBay - but some percentage of your income stream should be regular and reliable. Residual income in other words.

How Can You Get Residual Income?

The key thing is to look for repeat business. Any goods which will be used up and need to be replenished are good. Of course, there's no guarantee that when your customer has exhausted his supply of whatever you're selling that they will buy the next batch from you. Long term supply agreements are good - but might be difficult to come by depending upon what products you're promoting.

One area to consider might be anything that is renewed on a weekly or monthly basis. Selling utilities such as telephone services, electricity and broadband connections would be good examples. Other examples, perfect for earning online, could include web hosting services, membership to special interest clubs and websites, autoresponders or other web based services. These all form the basis of many online affiliate models.

Finally, although you may not have the next Harry Potter novel in you (maybe you do - if so good luck!) you can still earn by writing. There are a number of sites on the internet which will publish your content alongside adverts. Google Adsense is a very popular way of monetising these types of sites, but other income streams, including Amazon and eBay for example, exist. The revenue from any clicks is shared with the author (you) and as long as your content is published and viewed you have the opportunity to earn.

The actual mechanism for earning can vary a little from site to site. Some of them require you to sign up for the Google Adsense program (it's free and takes only a few minutes) others have other ways to share out the ad revenue.

It's a very good way to start earning online. It's free, and therefore low risk, and you will generally find that there's a helpful community at these types of sites which will offer you hints and tips when you're just getting started. The actual writing is also fairly pain free. Something around four hundred words (that's less than a sheet of legal sized paper) on a topic that you know a little about is usually enough.

Of course, in order to continue earning, you do need to select a site that is going to stick around. Here are three that have been around for a while now and have a good track record:


Don't expect to write one four hundred word article and retire off the proceeds. But do remember that the effort you put in building up your portfolio of published articles will be rewarded repeatedly for a long time to come.

Residual Income In Summary

Residual income is achievable and liberating. Before you sign up for the latest get rich quick scheme check out how easy it is to make money online for free at any of the above sites. Later on, when you've proved to yourself that you can earn online you can branch out into other areas.

Be realistic and don't expect overnight wealth. Remember that you will be rewarded for your effort time and again.