How to Build Your Own Automated Income Machine

I’ve never been a fan of the term passive income. It’s pretty deceptive because it makes you feel as though nothing was done to make it happen.

Basically, it skips over the active part of the passive income process.

But I do like the term automated income because that’s what you’re really trying to build towards. Something that feels automated.

This is why everyone building an online business is trying to build an automated income machine. They might not all know it, but that’s the goal.

And if I’m being honest it’s the only way you can survive building a Pocket Business.

What Is Freedom?

When we think about freedom what do we think about? You’re building an online business to achieve some type of freedom. For a lot of people the freedom starts with money but that money is simply a tool for the true freedom.

The freedom of choice.

You want to be able to do what you want to do when you want to do it. You want the choice.

This is why automated income is so important because if you’re building a business and then you’re stuck watching over it for the next 20 years then you’re not giving yourself much choice.

However, you have a choice if you can disappear from the business for hours, days, or weeks. Then you’re able to do almost anything without worry.

Does it take a lot to achieve this level of freedom? Theoretically? No.

Practically? Yes.

But that’s okay because along the way you start to gain little bits of different types of freedom. For example, when you make your first $1,000 maybe you’ve gained the freedom of stress from having to buy groceries each month.

When you get to $10,000 a month maybe you get the freedom of choosing if you want to keep your 9-5.

$50,000? For most people that’s any type of freedom that they want.

Too many people want to become solopreneurs and then fall into the trap of having to constantly work just to make ends meet. That doesn’t sound fun. You’re almost better off being an employee at that rage.

The question becomes how do you start to build your automated income machine and that’s what I’m going to show you here.

If you’re ready…

building an automated income machine

Building an Automated Income Machine

It’s important to note that technically anyone can build an automated income machine, but maybe 1% of the people that try actually do it.

It has nothing to do with skills or knowledge. It has everything to do with belief.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that success all comes down to some woo-woo stuff, but if you don’t believe in yourself fully then what will happen is that you’ll sabotage yourself every step of the way.

And that’s where I see most people struggle.

So as we go through this it’s important to know that simply understanding these steps isn’t enough. As you start to implement the steps you’ll encounter roadblocks that are almost always self-inflicted. The people that succeed are the ones that overcome these roadblocks.

They aren’t the ones who work harder or have a headstart.

The Attention Machine

Your business will live and die based on the attention that it has. It’s not called The Attention Economy for no reason. So if we want to get our machine as automated as possible we need to ensure there is something that is always out there grabbing attention.

The way you grab attention online is through content. This is why all of us have become content-producing machines which doesn’t sound fun at all and it isn’t if you get stuck in that loop.

But you don’t have to be stuck in an endless loop of content creation as long as you understand that there are three different types of distribution channels:

  1. Active. This is social media.
  2. Passive. This is SEO (usually blogging), Pinterest, and YouTube.
  3. Nurture. This is usually emails and podcasts.

Your goal is to have all three distribution channels active and filled with content. The reason so many people burn out is that they only focus on the active distribution channel.

The good thing about active distribution channels is that they get you in front of people sooner. The bad thing about them is that the content you put in them doesn’t last long.

When I post on Threads that Thread has shelf-life for how long the algorithm will push it in front of others. The more engagement it gets the longer the shelf-life.

But I don’t control the algorithm so I don’t know how long the shelf-life is going to be for a piece of content. Yes, it’s there forever, but that doesn’t mean people are going to hunt it down.

Much of what was posted yesterday is already forgotten which means I need to fill the channel up again.

Passive content is different. It’s content that people actively search for and so it can get people forever. The challenge with it is getting it in front of people. When competing on platforms like Google, Pinterest, or YouTube, you compete against thousands of others who want that same attention.

Here is the search traffic for Odd Noodle. Every day we’re trying to get that chart to go up but so is everyone else. But let’s see how it looks from the very beginning.

It’s taken some time to get the chart to move up but what you’re seeing is content that was written months or years ago getting people to view it today.

That’s what makes it a passive distribution channel.

If you look at the stats of a social media post it would be the opposite of this chart. High at the beginning and then it completely drops off not too long after.

This is why it’s important to have content filling up both channels.

Utilizing the Pocket Business Framework

Most people pump out content without any thought. Their thinking is that if they put out enough content then eventually the numbers will go up but that isn’t the case at all.

Remember, there are thousands of others competing for the same attention as you. Which means you need content that walks people through the Pocket Business Framework.

What’s that?

  1. Get them to notice you
  2. Get them to pay attention to you
  3. Get them to trust you
  4. Convert that trust into money

All of your content should be doing at least one of these steps. I tend to do longer pieces of content because it allows the content to tackle more of the steps, but if you’re creating content that doesn’t do any of these steps then you can see how it’s a waste.

But that’s not the biggest mistake.

The biggest mistake is that people learn how to create content that gets people to notice them but it doesn’t do a great job of moving their audience further down the framework.

For example, if I create a social media post with the hook, “How I made $100,000 yesterday” then that will get people to notice me. But if the content talks about mindset and that’s it then I’ll lose their attention.

The Two Layers of Content

We’re not done with the content yet because if we want people to pay attention to us and trust us there is something we need to do with our content.

There are two layers that your content can have and if it can have both layers of content you’ll find that it’s more effective.

The first layer is:

  • Problems
  • Outcomes
  • Mechanisms

This is the most basic layer. It’s what you must always have if you want to keep people’s attention and gain their trust. If you aren’t talking about the problems they face, the outcomes they want, or how you help with both it will be hard to get your content to do anything.

The struggle here is that everyone can do the exact same type of content so you need to add in layer 2 to differentiate your content and bring your audience closer to you.

The second layer is:

  • Opinions
  • Experiences
  • Worldviews

When you start to layer (pun intended) these pieces into your layer 1 content, your content begins to stand out.

Active, Passive, and Nurture Distribution

Let’s go back to the active, passive, and nurture distribution channels. Remember, the goal is to have all 3 filled with content but that doesn’t mean we need to show up every single day with them.

Let’s start with the passive channel.

One of the brands that I’m working on is The Obsidian Tavern. At the time of writing this post, the site currently has 113 blog posts published. That’s a healthy number of blog posts.

I very well could try to continue posting every single day but with that many blog posts, it’s okay if I drop it down to a couple of times a month and we’ll see why in a second once we talk about the content ecosystem.

Those 113 blog posts also start to serve as inspiration for the other distribution channels. Each blog post can become multiple emails and social media posts. That way I don’t have to try and come up with new things every single time I post on those channels.

Even better, what usually happens is I get a ton of blog posts up and that means I can walk away from that channel for a bit. Then I can write a batch of emails from some of those posts and put them together in a campaign.

If I’m feeling really frisky I very well could schedule 52 emails and have one email go out each week and that’s me set for the year. Would I do this? Probably not that far in advance in case I want to change some things but I wanted you to know it’s possible.

That leaves me with the active distribution channel (social media). This can also be scheduled if you want but I do think that it works best if only some of it is scheduled while you remain active on the platform.

This isn’t possible for every platform you go with but it’s great for your main platform to hop into comments (both your own and other people’s posts) and engage with your audience.

With all of this together there is one more thing that we have to do.

Create Your Content Ecosystem

The goal is to retain your audience. Remember the Pocket Business Framework? You can’t get them to buy from you until they trust you and not everyone is going to trust you right away.

Also, not everyone has the money to buy right now or the timing could be off for other reasons and because of this, it’s important to always stay at the front of mind for your audience.

A lot of people simply hope that people continue to come back to their content, but we know it doesn’t work like that. We don’t control the algorithms and we don’t control when people show up online.

But we do control email and that’s why it’s the central part of this ecosystem.

The goal is to get people to your email list but you don’t need to force them there. There is a whole post to write about getting the right people onto your list. However, once they’re on your list don’t assume that they are going to come across all of the great content that you create.

Use your email list to show people what you’ve created but instead of simply linking to the new content, present it in a new way in the email. For example, this post is going to be in an email but it won’t be a rehash of what’s already been said.

There are two approaches I can take with the email:

  1. Figure out the problem before this post and write an email around that. In the email, I’ll also solve the problem then let people know that if they’re ready for the next step check out this blog post.
  2. Approach the content in this blog post from a new angle and then say if they want to see a deeper breakdown to check out this post.

This post will also become a YouTube video which I’ll embed in the post. This in turn introduces readers to my YouTube channel where they can get even more content from me.

The goal is to bring them into my world and make them feel welcome. Then they should want to stay in this world because it’s for them.

Feed the Machine

Once the machine is built the only thing left to do is feed it. If my content is working then everything should be humming just fine.

Instead of trying to figure out individual sales funnels the whole thing is a funnel. It’s one unified system where every piece of content plays a role in selling the offers.

In Full Stack Engines I break things down even further and show you the different types of micro-funnels to implement within your Automated Income Machine to ensure that you’re giving yourself the best chance of making sales daily without making people feel like they’re always being sold to.

If you can get this machine implemented then you’ll discover what freedom really is for yourself and you’ll never look back.

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No silly costume required but it could help grab some attention. Which is never a bad thing.