Passive income opportunities, at first glance, may seem like a great way to retire quickly and make money by doing almost nothing at all. However, the truth is that making any sort of significant money from supposedly "passive" methods requires a huge amount of upfront work and dedication with no immediate reward.
For most, passive income will be no more than a small source of spare change: maybe enough for a nice dinner every now and again, but certainly nothing you could ever expect to retire on. This isn't to say that setting up a source of passive income isn't worthwhile, however. These passive income opportunities can help you earn money over time with any amount of effort you want to contribute.
If you have a talent for writing, you can write articles or eBooks and make them available for money online. Websites like eHow and Bukisa allow you to post articles for free, and give you a share of the revenue earned from advertisements. Some people can make around $1000 a month from these sites. However, success like this demands a constant stream of writing, uploading and promoting articles. More realistically, you might expect to make mere fractions of that depending on how faithfully you write. Keep in mind, too, that most copy only stays "fresh" for around 4 years. After this time has passed, you can expect to see your revenue from that article drop dramatically. So, writing several hundred articles may earn you some money over the next few years, but it won't be fattening your retirement account in a decade.
EBooks can be written on any subject you care to name - the question is whether or not anyone will be willing to spend money on it. To sell an eBook you have authored, either create an account with ClickBank and your own website devoted to selling it, or publish it through an Internet company like Amazon. Depending on the length and topic of your eBook, the price you should sell it for will vary. For works of fiction, around $5 tends to be standard. For how-to guides which can make money for the reader (or prevent the reader from losing money), up to $50 might be possible with a great deal of advertising and a well written sales letter.
If you own a website, you can earn money from Google by allowing them to advertise on it. To set up an AdSense account, go to Google.com/AdSense and follow the instructions listed. You will be able to choose what ad format to have on your webpages. Studies have shown that a horizontal 4x1 bar across the top of pages works well, and blocks of 2x2 or 2x3 also have good results.
While Google AdSense is quick to set up, you should realize that you'll likely only make a few cents every time someone clicks on an ad, and they actually do have to click on it in order for you to get any money. To earn anything significant from running ads on your site, you'll need a large number of visitors, and this requires that you put in the effort to promote your site.
These are only 2 of the many passive income methods available to you, but they are both a good example of the truth of passive income opportunities. No matter what kind of passive income you make, you will have to put in a great deal of upfront work in order to make more than a few dollars of revenue. Setting up passive income generation can be a side hobby or even a job, but you can't and shouldn't expect to retire on passive proceeds.