• The Geek Labs
  • Posts
  • [#3] Want Passive Income? No bullshit way on how you can do it today!

[#3] Want Passive Income? No bullshit way on how you can do it today!

Want to improve your finances? This email explains the first step to earning passive income, perfect for software developers.

Hi,

I hope you enjoyed my last newsletter. I would appreciate your feedback—does the content provide value to you? What topics would you like to see more of?

This email focuses on ways to earn passive income, where you don't trade your time for money. We'll explore true passive income streams that continue to pay even if you stop working or marketing.

Want to earn passive income, do this →

If you want to drastically change your life, learn how to do "sales." The best way to start is by selling yourself—not literally, but by sharing your knowledge, thoughts, and skills. Begin by offering these for free to gain loyal followers.

The first and most crucial step is to create a distribution channel. Many friends have asked me how to build a startup or earn passive income. My advice remains the same: learn "sales" or create a "distribution" channel. This doesn't necessarily mean learning about ads or taking a marketing course, although that can be beneficial. The simplest way to sell is by creating a channel, which could be anything like Instagram, a blog, a newsletter, a website, LinkedIn, Twitter, or even a simple WhatsApp group.

Find something you can write about; it can be anything, even your personal blog or a simple newsletter. You don't need thousands of subscribers; starting with just five friends reading your content is good enough. The key is consistency, which is often the hardest part. It's challenging to keep producing content without expecting immediate returns, as you may not see significant results in the first month or even the first three months. But if you persist, I promise you will find your tribe.

This goes beyond just passive income. Gaining a substantial following on LinkedIn, for example, can help you land a better job. The main goal is to increase your reach. Most people don't do anything extra beyond their 9-to-5 job, making it easy to stand out. The more you put yourself out there, the more you will receive in return.

Luck isn’t a matter of chance; it’s the reward for those who dare to try many things, relentlessly seeking new opportunities until success finds them.

How to get started?

DO NOT COPY WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING! It doesn’t work. True creativity is found not in imitation but in the courage to be yourself. Be authentic, and try different things. You can start writing on LinkedIn about anything, and use ChatGPT to refine your writing (use it for editing, not as a starting point). In my experience, the uncommon paths lead to the most remarkable destinations; trust your uniqueness.

This newsletter is my way to connect with you and provide real value without asking for anything in return because I know one day it will come back to me—with interest.

I assume you are a professional like me and are on LinkedIn. Why not start writing something on LinkedIn? Maybe share your thoughts on a new website you discovered, a cool ChatGPT prompt, or anything else of interest. Please don’t write like those business folks using too much jargon. Write like a real person, as if you were speaking. Would you have read this email if I had written it like this:

"To augment revenue as a software engineer, it is imperative to strategically leverage and diversify one's technical competencies. Engaging in freelance projects, contributing to open-source initiatives, and developing proprietary software or applications for commercial use are efficacious methodologies for generating supplementary income streams.”

Only those trying to impress others with business jargon write like this. Be real, and your authenticity will resonate.

Real recognize real.

- Anonymous

Is it even possible? Sounds too tough?

To be honest, the tough part is consistency and nothing else. Your efforts compound over time. Instead of spending all your time thinking, start somewhere and create something. Don’t wait for the perfect time, the perfect post, or the perfect email. Make things happen. What’s the worst that can happen? The world is big enough to have a place for everyone and everything. If you start something, let me know, and I'll be happy to feature you.

I use Beehiv to send this newsletter, and it’s the best platform I’ve found for this purpose.

It took me 14+ years to build a subscriber base of 12,240 users from blogs like dailyjag.com, hackiteasy.com, shankee.com, and more. Please don’t scroll all the way to the first few posts, the writing is truly embarrassing.

How can AI help?

If you are one of those people who blame AI for stealing jobs, well, I can’t help you. But if you are an opportunist, you can use AI as a tool to 10X your efforts. I highly recommend getting a paid subscription to ChatGPT, Perplexity, or Claude. So far, ChatGPT is the best one.

Here’s a prompt I use for writing social media posts, blogs, or emails. Feel free to use it:

“As a senior tech writer, write a [describe your topic in one or two sentences]. Don’t use any marketing jargon, and don’t repeat yourself. Be concise, and write dense but simple-to-read sentences. Don’t sound salesy; write like a real person.”

You can use AI as your ghostwriter, proofreader, or researcher. You can even talk to it and refine your ideas. Usually, the first answer I get from ChatGPT needs more refinement, so I ask it to update or fix certain things or do some more research.

Top Podcast to Listen to This Week: The Story of Sony by Acquired [link]

This podcast feels more like an e-book than a traditional podcast. Sony was founded by the legendary Akio Morita, who was a hero to Steve Jobs. Steve had a picture of Akio Morita in his office until the day he died. The story is truly remarkable. Did you know that Akio Morita started Sony at the worst possible time and place—in Japan, just after World War II, when the country was facing recession, hunger, and a lack of opportunities? Listen to this podcast to understand what it means to build a real company, what it takes, and the art of pivoting.

Top AI Tool This Week: Relume.io

I’ve tried a bunch of AI website builders, but this one is the best so far. You can create a website just by writing in English. It generates a whole set of pages, landing page copy, placeholders for images, etc., in under 5 minutes. If you spend about an hour refining the prompt and regenerating the pages, you’ll have a fully featured website. This tool complements the advice above, so give it a try. It’s free to try, but I recommend getting the $39 USD subscription if you want to publish a website.

On a side note, api.market is gaining almost 40 new users per day from Google Search alone—100% organically, without spending a single dollar. This traffic resulted in over $2K in sales, as mentioned in the #2 newsletter. In the next few emails, I will share how I achieved this and how you can do it too.

Screenshot from Google Search Console for API.market

Screenshot from Google Search Console for API.market

What did you think of this week’s newsletter? Was it helpful? Did you make it to the end? I'd love to hear your thoughts—feel free to email me anytime at [email protected].

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a great day!

P.S. Please mark this email as “Important” to prevent it from going to spam.

Best regards,
Shashank Agarwal

Join the conversation

or to participate.