How to build your first profitable passive income website.

By Craig / June 5, 2017

I love the Internet. Ever since building my first site way back in 1998 and getting my first online sale I have been addicted.  I love the way the Internet can create passive income and give you the freedom to live the life you want.
My first sale in 1998 was from the worlds most ugliest website (that I coded and built)  which was selling used car manuals and I still remember the first product I sold.  (A used Holden Gemini car manual at $12).

19 years later things have changed quite a bit but I still get the same thrill today of making a sale online as I did back then, and now it is much easier then ever before to earn a great income online with the incredible software and website platforms available.

So the question remains. How to build a profitable website and start making money?
Listed below are some guidelines and starting points to guide you. Stick with these and you will be successful. Stray off and you will fail. Its that simple. The fundamentals listed below are key to a successful money making blog and have enabled me to make passive income through my various websites.

By the way I have created a free 7 day course here showing you how to build a passive income affiliate website step by step.

1. Research your niche, what best fits your skills

I have seen many websites come and go over the years (including some of mine)  and typically they failed for two reasons. The first reason was the content was very poor, too short, not helpful or engaging enough for the reader which was usually caused by the writer having the knowledge, passion or expertise, and the second reason was the topic was not popular or was dying out. These are all too common rookie mistakes that alot of folk make so please don’t join them. My blogs that failed were not dying markets but I found I had no interest in the topic so it was very difficult to prepare content.  An easy way to start off is to go to and type in a topic you are interested in and have the skills in. See if your topic is a popular niche, a seasonal niche or a dying niche. You don’t want to work hard and have your blog fail because your readers have moved on to the next big thing. Choose topics that are evergreen, in other words will still be popular in 10 years time and is  a growing niche that attracts new readers every day. This is what we call a “Evergreen” niche.
As we can see below Roses is a strong niche however it is seasonal, so if you were creating just a Rose Growing blog you would lose traffic over winter.

Here is an example of a topic that is dead and another reason why I never choose Electronics. Electronics niches are not evergreen which means the demand will drop as the model gets replaced and in a few years time there will be no demand at all. Electonics is a lot of work also to keep up with the new equipment coming out, researching, writing etc. Gardening as an example is ever green  and growing vegetables and plants won’t fade out any time soon

And finally here is a topic that is steady all year and in fact is growing in popularity so this niche will have consistent traffic for your blog.

2. Creating the end goal for your website and monetizing tips

This may sound a bit strange to do as its so early in the piece, however it is actually a very helpful process to adopt to keep you on track. Having the end goal in mind at the beginning of the process keeps your sub conscious brain on track, helps tremendously with the planning process and also helps keep you motivated. Keep in mind that you can/will add additonal income steams over the years and nothing is set in concrete.


Take time to write your content. If it takes one week for you to come up with a 3000 word article that is going to attract readers for the years to come, then take one week. Don’t rush it. Its like building  a house. Builders usually don’t spend 5 minutes on the foundations, if they did the house building project will fail.

Here are the top ways to monitize your blog to earn passive income. I use the first 3 in my business however I know of several marketers who do very well just selling link and banner clicks and just using adsense. These would not be my choice but they do suit many niches and people’s personalities.

      1. Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing is when you sell some one else’s product and get paid a commission. There are many affiliate companies out there that you can join and then search for related products to your niche. Once you choose a product you simply put a special link on your site and when a visitor to your blog clicks through and buys something you get paid a commission. Its a very passive style of income however you do need to have a good volume of traffic to make a decent living from it. I go into more detail in my free 7 day course with case studies and live examples.
        Some simple rules here. Don’t promote something you would not use yourself or have not tested, always have a disclaimer on your site to advise people you are an affiliate marketer and lastly only promote products relating to your niche that will add value to your readers.
      2. Your Own Products:  With the many softwares and web platforms around now its very easy to create your own products to sell to your web visitors. You can in fact create multiple products to sell and keep subniching within your main topic.  For example if your blog is about Photography you could create a course on “How to shoot DSLR quality videos on your smart phone”   or  if your blog is about ” Dog Grooming” you could create a course on “How to set up a profitable Dog Grooming Business in 5 simple steps” and so on. A great way to get content for course is to ask the readers what they would like to see as a course. Let your customers tell you and look for some common requests.  Solve their problems with great solution based content and you will have a winner. To get people to buy from you they need to like your content,  recognize you as an industry expert and trust you. Easy peasy
      3. Google Adsense: Not one for the faint hearted. It can be very lucrative sharing Google ads on your websites however to make it viable you need many hundreds of thousands of visitors each and every month so when starting off this is not possible. Also you will lose visitors to some one else’s site so unless you have a huge traffic site with nothing to sell I would park this one for the time being. Below is an image on one of my adsense websites shwoing what an ad looks like. In this case Volusion are targeting me because I went onto their website this week, (known as retargeting) but that another story for another time.

    1. Banner Ads  . This one also relies heavily on large volumes of traffic to warrant some one paying you to be on their site. Typically an advertiser will send you a banner with their message on it and pay you to be on the front page of your site. Prices can range from $40 a month up to $40,000 a month (if you have millions of visitors). Copy of a typical banner ad below

    4. Technical tips for building your new website

    This can be a very long topic and is covered in more detail in my free course however here is one thing you should know.
    Most web hosting companies have good support and will help you through the process but there is some learning to do.
    If you don’t want to build a website yourself there are many contractors out there that will build a site for you for not much investment. Sites like, and more are full of vendors looking to help you and will do basic setups of 5 page WordPress  sites with a reasonable looking theme/blog on a server from as little as $30US. One word of warning is this.
    Do not expect them to read your mind.

  1. You will get very frustrated very quickly if you do. The more information you give them the better result you will get.
    Design: Have a look around at the top converting websites in your chosen niche by searching google and see what is working already. Don’t reinvent the wheel and don’t forget the 6 P’s. “Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Production” This has never been so true as in web building. The site does not have to be a award winning design but it needs to be easy to navigate, fully responsive for all devices and easy for you to use. Ugly sites often convert very well as long as the content is engaging, responsive for mobile, and easy to navigate. You can buy a good looking WordPress Theme for $60US approx or less
    Platforms to use are as follows.
    I use WordPress for most of my sites and the platform is robust and reliable. It is used by 75 million people worldwide and is 100% free to download. From there you can use a free theme (generally quite basic) There are many free themes if you are starting out and also very cost effective paid themes designed for various niches and industries. I recommend and use Thrive Themes. The support and training there is terrific and their themes are very easy to use for beginners plus jam packed full of extras to help you succeed. They also have a very useful content builder tat cabn be used if you want to create your own products (as I recommend you do over time)
    Other platforms you can try (these are online and not hosted by yourself) are Wix and Weebly however I have never found these effective for what do and this is why I only use WordPress and the hosting companies shown below.

5. Hosting your new website

I would recommend if you have no experience in hosting a website to pay some one on to set everything up for you. It saves a lot of time and is very inexpensive to do. If you are a kind of learn as you go guy or gal then use the training provided by your host provider. An excellent web host for Word Press is and if you do not want shared hosting then try . Both have excellent support and training tutorials to help get you set up.



6. Creating Content for your website

Content that is engaging and helpful takes time to write. It also takes a bit of planning. For instance this article you are reading now was not written in 5 minutes. I had to plan it and have a good think about what content would actually be helpful for you if you are looking to be come an affiliate marketer or make a living from a website. The great news is that alot of your content will be producing income for many years to come.

The article that produces this income took me just 24 hours to write and produces money every single day without fail. The articles that make me money are “Review Articles” and these are typically reviewing 5 products and then making a recommendation.

Here is an example of a review article below. The writing in Green are affiliate links with Amazon

In my free course I give away the template that I use for all my product reviews and I have trailed and tested the layout for many years to get the right layout that converts the best.

About the author


Craig is a Freedom Marketer and has been an affiliate marketer and a local business Marketer since 2002. He built his first ECommerce website selling used car manuals in 1998 (Coding was a bit different back then) and has been online ever since. Craig helped build a successful Digital Marketing Agency in New Zealand and currently spends his time Internet Marketing and Fishing