Recurring Revenue for Your Online Business

If you’re renting a place to live, your monthly rent payment is a recurring bill—every single month, you have to pay your landlord a certain amount of money to continue living in your apartment or house. As a matter of fact, a lot of bills are recurring. In some cases, like an electric bill or water bill, the amount due may change slightly, but you still expect the bill and know that you’ll have to pay it.

Recurring revenue is similar, but instead of spending money on a regular basis, recurring revenue means that you’re receiving money on a regular basis. As with recurring expenses, the amount of your recurring revenue can vary per month (or other time period) but it’s still money that you can expect to receive regularly.

Earn Recurring Revenue on the Internet

If you’re an entrepreneur that wants to earn money on a regular basis, you probably already know that there are several different types of recurring revenue available for the taking. It’s actually pretty easy to earn recurring revenue on the internet. Subscriptions to a website are probably the first type of recurring revenue that comes to mind but others are out there.

I earn the largest portion of my income with affiliate marketing. I do this by promoting various products and programs on the websites and blogs that I created. When someone decides to purchase something that they learned about through my website, I receive a certain percentage of what they spend each month even though it’s not a product I created myself! The percentages vary depending on the affiliate marketing agreement I have with the product’s owner as well as the price of the product.

Learn the Recurring Revenue Secret

If you’re going to pitch things online in hopes of earning recurring revenue, the key is to find the absolute BEST programs available. Concentrate on them and don’t even bother wasting your time on others. You read that correctly— only promote the programs that you would use. Only promote things that you’d honestly recommend to your own friends and family.

That’s my recurring revenue secret, and I wish I had known it from day one. Looking back, it makes perfect sense that I didn’t do too hot any time I tried to promote products and programs that weren’t the greatest. If I’m not willing to use something myself, why should I tell anyone else that they should buy it? It’s a much better idea to truly stand behind the products you promote.

Recurring revenue is a great way to have a steady stream of income rolling in each month. Depending on the types of products you promote, it’s completely possible to earn a great income online. Other sources of recurring revenue are available too, if you just know where to look!

Take Action. Get Results.

22 thoughts on “Recurring Revenue for Your Online Business”

  1. Hi Steve,

    That’s an unusually short post. I guess you have been eating too much turkey? 🙂
    Just kidding! Enjoy the holiday season!

    Recurring income is a very important aspect of passive income. I remember the discussion in one of your earlier posts on passive income, that sitting back and enjoying the passive income would take you on the downward trend.

    But thinking about it again, if you have really set a solid base on recurring income, the downward trend should be very gradual, if at all, and if the game is played well, it might actually lead to a constant upward trend. What do you think about that?


    • I aim for smaller posts on Friday/Sat since those are “slower” days anyway. I made up for it with Mondays post. I just finished that up and probably spent over 10 hours on it. I wrote a long post and also created other links etc. to link to as examples. Hopefully people will get some really good material with quality actionable steps out of that.

      But a Tryptophan Turkey high could be a possibility too.

      I did go into it more in the previous post, and you are right, if you are not care-taking and growing your residual income it will start dieing off. It is a viable income stream though…as long as someone keeps working it…or goes onto another product (with possible NEW residual income streams.

      • Interesting point about Fridays and Saturdays being “slower”! I think it makes perfect sense… who would want one’s pillar post to go without being noticed?

        But hey, did you notice? You probably get the most comments from me over the weekend, especially when the weekdays are “slower” (in a different sense) for me. 🙂

        Looking forward to reading your post on Monday. I’m sure there would be tonnes of stuff in there.

  2. Hi Steve

    I would like to eventually be able to do affiliate marketing as one of my income streams. Sounds like you are being successful with it. Would like to have products that are compatable with my niche blog initially and then go from there.

    Look forward to what you have in store for us on Mnday 🙂 I’m glad you said it is slower for you on Fri/Sat cos that is what I usually find on my blog. However for some reason this week has been the exception! Thanks again for some helpful information for me to think about.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Yes,

      There could even be affiliate products within the niche you are in. If you were to promote a “how to grow your own Lavander eBook” if such a thing exists or something of the sort, or even referring people to a site that sells relate products.

      On the other hand a lot of AM is really about building contacts to create YOUR OWN affiliate products, which you seem to be really good at (networking). In your shoes I would think about creating some sort of ultimate lavander guide. (growing, buying, shopping for, uses) a massive tome rehashing some of the things that you have been discussing on your website as well as as many exclusive “important” things as you can find. and see if any people you have made connections with within the niche are willing to be affiliates for YOU.

      Often the hardest part is getting the notice within your niche, but I think you likely have that.

      • Thanks for that really valuable information for my own product Steve. I have been asked by some of my readers when am I going to have an ebook on all things lavender.

        Have started rewriting a few of the older posts as I feel more confident in my niche now

        Probably need to set aside time each day to work on it. Really like some of your suggestions that I can include in my book too. Thanks for sharing those ideas with me Steve. Much appreciated.

        Patricia Perth Australia

  3. Steve, I’ve been trying to launch a couple of affiliate programs but I always seem to put them on the back burner whenever I get a new client. It’s tempting to take on paying jobs when there are no guarantees that an affiliate program will be successful or how long it will be successful for. Having said that, my long-term strategy is to generate recurring revenue. Someday, I’d like to be lying on that beach I dream of watching the waves and making money at the same time! Your article serves as a reminder to me to keep the big picture in sight! Thanks.

    (BTW – I have Patricia@lavenderuses to thank for my finding you.)

    • Sounds like you have your priorities strait. It can take time to build a solid affiliate marketing and I would really hesitate to recommend anyone do it INSTEAD of a paying gig.

      One thing that is important to point out, though, is that recurring revenue is very possible and can afford you some nice time off, it is also something that needs to be “tended” to or it will ultimately dry up.

      I just took a 8 month trip to Europe and only did about 5-6 hours of work a week maintaining my niche sites; BUT…there was a little bit of dropoff and now I am working harder on them again to “refresh” the content/process.

      The 100% passive model is a bit of a myth, but you can certainly achieve a level of success with greatly reduced effort.

      Glad you found me through Patricia and I hope I am able to give you a hand in the future weeks. 🙂

  4. I agree with you Steve, the best way to recommend a product is by using it yourself, and giving honest opinions about it. However this could be an expensive way to go about things, buying every product you want to promote. 🙄

    I must admit that at the moment I simply look at which product has the highest gravity on Clickbank, and give links to that. If it’s selling a lot, it must be good – I hope. 😳

    How do you determine which is the best product to promote? Buy it and use it, or read reviews on forums?


    • It can get expensive, that is true, I didn’t spend as much while traveling, but before…and now once again, I spend about 40+ bucks a week on eBooks/products.

      Some of which I would not want to wipe my butt with, some of which have “some” decent info and a few which I strongly recommend. Of course a lot of that is in my “main” niche where any time I recommend a product to my email list it will get me $400-500 in commissions. But it is essential that i do not recommend any of the butt wiping products.

      For starting out it may be better to stick with the “biggies” that offer real value (Market Samurai, UAW, Hosting services, maybe some themes)

      Going by gravity in CB, is a good “general” indicator that a product sells, but it can be manipulated a little bit. I have touched on it before, and I will again in upcoming posts, so I won’t delve too deeply in comments.. but with a large list/ connections in a niche you can leverage a lot of people to “recommend” your product as affiliates off the bat (and affiliate for yourself if you have a large list) This creates really fast high “gravity” which in turn gets more people to become affiliates…which in turn keeps gravity up.

      So there CAN be some great products with lower gravity and some crappy products with higher….though I would hope many of the marketers with deeper lists would screen somewhat.

      For what I decide to promote, I read reviews/comments to see if it is worth taking a shot at it and then buy it and at least give a few days use before promotion. As you get bigger in aniche (far bigger than I am now) and you askfor a free review copy…you would usually get one too. If darren rowse asked me for a free copy to see if he was willing to promote something…he would have it in a second…lol

      Ultimately though the very best promotions are for the things you use everyday. (hosting etc.) because they are simply sells. If you like it enough to use it all the time, what better advertising can there be than that.

      • Thanks for that in-depth explanation Steve. 8)

        I think the main difference between us, is that you have a LIST. 😉 So when you recommend something to your list, you have a personal responsibility that the product is good. When I eventually get a list together, I will also be very, very careful about what I promote.

        I knew my clickbank gravity strategy was flawed. 😳 High gravity could just mean it has a great sales page, or loads of affiliates as you said, also it doesn’t account for high returns. The product might sell a lot because of the promotion, but actually be rubbish and get lots of claims under the money-back guarantee. 🙄

        I have only used these clickbank links on my blog posts, where I feel it is a general recommendation to the whole world, and I don’t have any committment to it. I also don’t say anything at all about the product, I just give the link and let my readers decide.

        On the other hand I have written whole posts on software I use and like, such as XsitePro. These ARE personal recommendations, and I stand by them.

        This issue is more complicated than I thought. I’m not sure what I’m going to do now. 😉


        • List building is big. I cannot say enough about it. I do think it is the KEY to long term success to be honest.

          It takes a while, but if you haven’t started list building one of the first things I would do is take a step back and think of ways to start building a targetted list through use of a lead magnet or something.

          I am not selling a TON through my blog yet…IMO blogs take a lot of time and energy to monetize, but my main niche (where I DO NOT have a blog) I have a very large list (60k+) and I have seen firsthand how powerful it can be… As a heads up though..that list took me YEARS to build…so it will not be overnight.

  5. Hi Steve:

    Recurring income is a known topic to me, but you have explained it with a very good example. One of the marketer who is marketing for 35 years, used to say, make 10 mini sites with a $7- 10, products and add traffic to it every day, these sites will bring you income to pay your recurring bills and grocery

    So, as everyone is saying i will get to know more on Monday. Okay. thank you

    fran A

    • Very good point Fran,

      You might do a lot better than that with 10 solid mini-sites if you you pick rigth and are able to get them to 1-5 ranking on Google for a decently trafficked search term.

      Of course there is a lot of work involved in that simple statement of getting 10 sites to 1-5 ranking on Google.

  6. Hi Steve, I totally agree with just promoting products you think are good. I haven’t spend a lot of time on affiliate marketing, but then I haven’t had to buy anything either! I’m just promoting the hosting I already use, an ebook the author let me peek at for free, and a couple of books I read on Amazon.

    • In many ways that is the best way to start. You cannot go wrong if you only promote things you use/like.

      Over time you may find some products (info or real) you like and just add them to the list. When you start to get a decent number, set up an autoresponder sequence, and maybe spend a “little” researching for good ones to promote.

      I do feel it is important to have actual faith in the products you endorse. Others may not always agree, but if you are at least consistent in YOUR faith in it it will show.

  7. Recurring revenues are very stable sources of finance for a small business and the more reason why as an entrepreneur, especially in the early start up days you should focus on recurring incomes by emphasizing repeat patronages than one-off transactions.

    Meaning, create or market a product that are recurring.

    Nice post Steve.

  8. Although recurring revenues are a great way to earn a passive income, isn’t it hard to keep people subscribed to certain affiliate membership website?
    Oh, how do you find “only the best products”, because I think that this is a subjective opinion and everyone things of a product as being the best after they tried it and helped them somehow.

    We all know that recurring revenue (aka passive income) is one of the best revenue tips you can get because you can be on a beach in Maui somewhere and still be making money.(I can only imagine…)

    • You are right on a couple of accounts.

      1) It is subjective. Just because I think something is awesome doesn’t mean everyone else will like it. BUT it does increase the probability that others will like it if I only link to things that I believe in. There are also things that are relative in here. I might promote a product that I think will be of great service to someone starting out because it holds a wealth of good information that is readily available, but might hesitate to mek a strong recommendation to someone who knows a lot.

      2) It depends. For affiliate marketing membership sites that hold a lot of value many people will hold on to them for a long time. Market Samurai is a great example of this. Once people use it, if they are affiliate marketers, they find it will worth the costs to keep it for a long time. Some site like the forum I promote can be a little more hit and miss. It might not be for everyone and that is fine, the people that like it will stay and others won’t. So your % that is ‘really’ recurring likely breaks down to a percentage.

      3) The great thing about passive income is the ability to work it from anywhere (the internet lifestyle). Though I do disagree with the notion that it takes little actual work. Some people are fooled by those commercials showing how easy it is to get “rich” with passive income. But all of us who do it know that you have to bust your ass to get to the point where it really works enough to be significant.

  9. I too was impressed with the shortness of this post 🙂

    You make some solid points, though. I wholeheartedly agree with the “only promote what you use yourself” approach. I think it’s easier to promote those kinds of products both from an moral standpoint and personal standpoint (it’s easier to write and be passionate about something if you don’t hate it, you know?).

    Great post, Steve. Looking forward to tomorrow’s monster post. I’ve got a huge one coming out, too!

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