n. pl. roy·al·ties

share paid to a writer or composer out of the proceeds resulting from the sale or performance of his or her work.

As this definition shows, most people associate royalties with musicians and to some degree top actors and actresses, but there are a lot of other people outside of those arenas making money on content that they have produced.

One of the top ways to create this form of truly passive residual income is to create your own content. It could be ebooks, music, patents, comedy, a personal development library or an educational class. There are so many ways now that you can get paid residually by creating something that people desire.

Another way a lot of people try and create a royalty stream or to further brand themselves is to write a book. It gives instant credibility and is now easier than ever to self-publish and promote via social media. And with digital platforms, there is no need to pay a bunch of money to pre-order and distribute your own books.

Amazon just purchased this website that has a built-in self-publisher and editor. They fulfill the distribution and you get to dictate how much the book sells for and thus your profit. You get to play publisher and author from the comfort of your home. There are websites like or the Self-Publishing School which boasts a turnkey system to help you take your book idea to a best seller in 90 days. We were speaking with a guest on our podcast and he had just interviewed a woman who has written 27 books.  Off of just one book that taught her readers how to use home goods and activities as a home gym, she receives $5,000 a month.

Articles are another way of generating passive income. A client of ours partners with businesses and helps them write and curate industry and consumer-related content that lives on the internet and not only gets paid a commission up front to write the articles but can also use and repurpose the same content on multiple platforms that then generate residual income into perpetuity.

There are also passion projects, blogs, and other writing and curating content that drives so much user interaction and traffic that advertisers want to advertise on those sites or blogs. Further, new blockchain projects like Reddcoin and Steem are creating platforms that allow users to tip and profit from their articles and contribute to the platform.

Online courses are one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Sites like Udemy, BitDegree, and others allow you to build an online course – think recorded powerpoint with audio and or video. You post your course on their platform which is seen by millions of people a month and you can set a price on each course.

We interviewed another gentleman that works for a large industrial company and he has secured multiple patents related to his work and received some nice bonuses and pay raises. That’s great but he has other ideas as well. He wants to patent some of those ideas, not related to his employer, and then license those to other businesses where they would just pay him per unit sold.  They would handle manufacturing, fulfillment, distribution and have retail channels in place. That is truly mailbox money.

Royalties are often mysterious or attributed to the super wealthy or talented, but lots of people are exploring their passions and documenting their processes through royalty driven channels that help them monetize their passion, assert their expert status and live the life they want to design.