Zero to $10K a month in passive income in less than 12 months

Note: I’m not at $10K a month in passive income yet, but I think I will be by the end of this year… this post is about my plans to improve my sales funnels.

I don’t like talking about how much my business earns, because it doesn’t give the full picture. With all the services and tools I pay for, hosting, Clickfunnels, Teachable, Mailchimp etc, plus all the freelancers I hire to help build things I can’t handle on my own, plus aggressively investing in new experiments, most months we barely cover costs.

However at the same time, I am making more money than ever before, and I’m working less and less. For the past several years I’ve been wanting to quit client work and develop passive income products that people could help people without taking up my time. I’ve taken a lot of time off to develop these products, and my income dropped for most of last year, as I’m only taking on a few clients a month.

Here’s a video of me talking about this stuff… 

This month, I (finally) implemented a few things on my sites, including a tripwire (low cost initial offer). My fiction is also doing really well. I’m not making crazy money, but I have basically replaced the salary I was earning when working with clients (about $350 a day in passive income.) 

I’m really excited about that, because it was a year in the making, and also because I’m just starting. Something I heard said once that I really like is “You can’t improve what you can’t measure.”

When you’re not making any money, it’s really hard to test and tweak and measure results. If you’re not selling any books, it’s hard to improve, because you don’t know what the problem is. I have traffic and get conversions, but I don’t sell well, so sales have been inconsistent, which means, I don’t know what to fix, because everything was broken.

That made it hard to improve. 

Zero x 10 = Zero.

Even if you 10x what you’re doing or drive more traction, it doesn’t improve the results.

However, now that I’m making some money, it’s much easier to actually test things.

Tweaking My Funnel, x2 Case Study

My next goal is to get to $500 a day in passive income.

Right now my funnel is:

Landing page >> Tripwire >> Educational email series, last chance deal

But it’s barely holding together.

First, I want to improve my landing pages, so I’ll test 3 versions of the landing page. I’ll also try adding a sales or welcome video. I’ll keep the one that works.

Second, I’ll tweak the Tripwire (it’s basically another sales page with a discounted offer). I’ll try three different sales letters for that and also test a sales video. I’m talking, totally different sales copy and layout, maybe some design. Not little tweaks. Once I find the sales copy that works, I can tweak smaller things (eventually even button color, though I think that matters less than the copy).

I’d also like to test a “squeeze page” instead of the landing pages, just one core offer, huge optin button, possibly a video squeeze page as well.

Third, after fixing those things, I’ll focus on my email series – testing different email headings to find the one that gets the most opens. Positioning and selling my offer better. I basically say, “you missed the $47 (tripwire) but you can still get it for $67…” and then “price is going back up to full price ($97) tomorrow.”

After that I don’t try to sell them anymore, I just keep sending them valuable resources and trying to drive them back to my blog, so they get to know, like and trust me. But I should go through all my emails and tighten them up.

Fourth, more products! The tripwire is just a low cost offer – I need to introduce people to my main offer. I haven’t had one, because last summer I launched my first online course, and I’m still building the new one. The first course went well and people like it, but I wanted to do better, so I’ve been making a new one called Guerrilla Publishing.

When it’s out, I’ll launch it to my list (I’m going to do a separate case study just one launching courses, the “100K in 8 weeks challenge”) and then add it into my email series. I’ll direct most of my content to it, and put in evergreen course launch sequence in my autoresponders.

I get about 100 optins a day, which leads to about 3 sales (of my tripwire offer, average $200). I should be able to get that up to 5 sales a day if I had everything working right.

But I’m also shooting for 1 sale of my course ($349). 

I also have some other low cost products or offers, that I’ll either use as bonuses or try to sell individually.

Fifth, capture existing traffic. I’m getting about 2000 visitors a day on this blog (Creativindie) but I don’t really sell anything; I’m also not focused on capturing leads. But I should/will redesign my sites to focus on capturing leads, and putting them into a sales funnel right away.

NOTE: this might be a good place to point out, all I want to do is make it easier for me to help people. When a site is confusing or doesn’t hook their attention, they’ll leave without getting what they need. I want people to find my site and have it change their life by providing solutions for their problems. It’s my responsibility, as “host”, to organize that experience so visitors don’t have to work to find the content they need; it should be served up to them and look amazing. I’ve never been worried about this stuff, because I’ve had more clients than I needed and no lack of traffic… but now that I have something to sell, I need to capitalize on my existing traffic.

These are some of the things I’ll be working on this year: you can expect new resources, new tutorials and videos, new tools and tempates, and tons of free content.

Sixth, once I feel my platform is put together well and working, I’ll start investing on advertising… both for all these sites and for my fiction, which is really exciting. There is the possibility to send a lot of traffic with advertising and make a lot of money quickly. If that works, I’ll buy a castle or a summer camp and use it for writing retreats. If it fails, I’ll buy a little cabin in Oregon and raise goats and drink yerba mate.

Stay tuned to see what happens!

About Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors build profitable publishing platforms. Find me

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