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What was your best passive income in 2017?
50 points by joebaf on Dec 7, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 65 comments
What is your best source of 'passive' or recurring income?

I built an Alexa skill that makes about $4k/mo. I'm adding more functionality this month and applying for access to further monetization.


Wow. This is amazing! Skills look so difficult to monetize. Couple of apps I checked seem to interject ads between the skills.

This looks extremely interesting, how much time went in building and promoting the skill?

Curious, how do you monetize?

IIC, Amazon pays for skills with sufficient engagement: https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/rewards

Yes, it's 100% rewards at the moment. I need to get real monetization in since there's no guarantee this will last for any amount of time. I predict they'll keep it going for at most 2 more years.

4K for 84 reviews? How does the rewards system work?

My native Mac app, sold outside the App Store: https://radiosilenceapp.com

I was really afraid that Apple’s new policy on making kernel extensions harder to install would cut into the profits, but sales have actually gone up since. Perhaps other firewalls are even harder to get up and running.

Thanks much! Found it way more usable than Little Snitch and the price is fair. :)

Really great!! Are you working in some company or just living happy life from your side projects and games.

I was happily unemployed for a while, living off the app income for about 15 months.

However, I just joined an AI startup two months ago, not out of necessity, but because I found their idea super interesting and had the chance. (Also, the marginal value for a day off wasn't that high anymore.)

May We know how you get the idea of this app? Was you aware of Little Snitch at the time of making and how you thought about to overcome the competition etc and what was in your mind while creating this?

I some time feel scare of competition. I am happy customer of Radio Silence :)

Little Snitch was actually the inspiration to build Radio Silence, but in a what-not-to-do kind of way.

I had just bought my first Mac, and was really impressed with how easy everything was. It really was a joy to use. Little Snitch instantly turned it into an obnoxious, interrupting mess where almost every app was broken by default.

I'm sure Little Snitch is the right app for many people, but not for me. I basically learned Objective-C just to build an alternative for myself. That turned into Radio Silence.

My cryptocurrency information website is finally taking off the ground, after months of netting $30-40/month, it's going to reach 500$ this month. Weirdly enough,I'm not even adding content right now, as I am working on a freelance project

What's your site? Would love to take a look.

A whole bunch of tongue-in-cheek "Is $xyz down?" type sites. Simple footer ad, maybe an affiliate link or two for a competitor and also my web hosting provider, some sort of social media affiliation like a pre-canned tweet with a complaint in it - they all pay for their domain name and hosting, some turn $100+ monthly in ad and affiliate revenue as well.

I'd estimate about $450ish on a good month, but it has taken a while to get to this point. I've stopped actively promoting any of them now, but the most profitable ones I'd probably invested 30-40 hours each in promoting.

My YouTube back-catalog nets me $2-5k each year. One video in particular has repeatedly paid for my children's Chirstmas presents as it tends to "go hot" around this time of year.

How many videos are found is said catalog?

Between 400 and 500. That number is super-misleading though. I only have 3 or 4 videos that have earned me any countable money.

I have a "dear diary" type series that I do every weekday. I have uploaded 433 episodes on that series and it generates nearly no views. It's not the type of content people look for on YouTube.

That makes me all the more eager to see it. I would like to do this but I'm not the biggest fan of having a discernible social media presence.

Bisquit is similar I guess, in that he picks super obscure topics that interest him and vlogs about it. Lots of programming, but also a ton of esoteric Christianity, folk dancing, etc. Interesting guy.

what's your channel?

It’s in his profile.


$2k a year, book price comparison search http://www.librarist.com/ - don't have much time lately so sales are declining, I'm using it as a proof-of-concept + new technologies playground ti skill myself up...

would love to take longer holiday and fix/enhance the site...

Stock market trading robots, being doing it for years and earning more than my "real job" - systems/security team lead in big telco... still have time till the end of the year, but so far this looks like to be my first triple digits return year, (which I don't expect to repeat anytime soon, but still it is a quite an achievement in my book...)

What kind of software/tools are you using? I'm curious to get into this as well.

few VPS scattered around the world, python and the API from your stock broker... initial setup very cheap + a lot of time to develop and test...

How often are you trading? Largest barrier to success seems to be commission.

Why do you need VPS scattered around the world?

And which broker do you use?

Everything is automated and redundant... to start you can do it on your own laptop... I'll keep my broker secret for security reasons, but you can take a look at Interactive Brokers, their API looks pretty good...


I'm just curious about which brokers offer APIs. I've thought about automating some stuff, but never seriously enough to explore brokers.

in today's world most discount brokers offer API...

Wow, I'll be damned. I looked at this stuff a long time ago, and (I know I'm lazy) never looked again. Apparently ETrade has an API too. Interesting!

LOL, welcome to the new century :-)

> triple digits

Is this referring to $ or %?


LOL? An individual claiming automated trading resulting in >100% annual gains is a fairly extraordinary claim. Triple digits in $ is a hell of a lot easier to believe.

Didn't you read what I wrote: making more money than highly qualified technical position... Of course it is extraordinary, that's why I am sharing... still few weeks to go, even if not over 100% it will be close and will be my best year so far...

> making more money than highly qualified technical position...

The labour market has many inefficiencies and as a result can see huge variances by location. Highly qualified technical talent, where the supply of labour is lacking, can make a lot of money and highly qualified technical talent where labour is abundant, or where demand for that type of labour is virtually non-existant, might be lucky to make anything at all.

Without more information, this means little. Highly qualified technical talent doesn't come with a pre-defined price. With respect to how much one might earn, "highly qualified technical talent" means absolutely nothing.

if you are good enough, you can move around the world and make 6 figures USD for example...

Maybe if you have sufficient internet access. Although many people, even in the US, struggle with that. And that assumes that the market is efficient enough to make those connections in the first place. Not everyone in some random internet-deprived town has the connections to find work that pays six figures, no matter how good they are.

You can make 7 figures these days just being in the right place at the right time.

Yep, with the right numbers you can make 8 and 9 figures for sure, but you have to be very lucky ;-)

Care to share some source?

What kind of source?

I can be wrong but I guess he means source to find strategies for the robot.

People asking this question clearly do not understand the stock market and how it works... We are all competing in the same market, so why on earth, I should save you time and effort and give you this kind of info? Just think about it, would you go and give your secret sauce to your competitors?

Most people don't want to look too closely at the stock market. In order for someone to make money, someone else has to loose some, eventually.

Yep, life is not fair...

$1k/y. Mostly from a direct ad on my niche blogs (invisible to adblocks) and the rest from Amazon affiliates. Adsense is almost dead, I'm just waiting to reach the money threshold to close my account.

Blogs are not exactly passive but I would do this research anyway.

im guessing its going to be bitcoin this year

Still waiting for bitcoin to hit $100K and I'll buy a home.

Bitcoin is not income.

It is if you sell.

Hackathons. Won 8 hackathons. made around $14607(900000 INR)

Do you have any strategies for winning hackathons?

I just keep following things in mind while building product. avoiding mainstream ideas working demo/prototype creativity feasibility and viability Making sure it adds value to what organizers wants

a bunch of InDesign templates

Do you have a link to your templates?

Here: https://gumroad.com/storyboards

For now these are mostly focused on film ratios and storyboards but there are plenty more in the drawers.


just invest what you can in the top 10. cash out only what you need when you need it and simply watch the rest rise over time to heights most mortals would never dream of.

The hype is strong with this one.

yeah, the "almost been going on for 10 years now" hype

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