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During the 1990’s, one very popular way to earn easy, passive income online was pay-to-view advertisement feeds. These were applications that you installed on your PC, and for the length of time you had the window open, you would get paid at a certain rate. While the rate was ridiculously low, over time it would slowly accumulate.

One particularly ingenious idea I had was to sign up for as many of the services as I could find (I think I found about twenty at the time), install all of them, and just let them run in the foreground on my computer throughout the day. Gradually, my earnings climbed. I think I approached $15 in about four months (yes, that’s all).


Then, one day, the rules changed – you had to click on the window every now and then. After spending the next few months working diligently on clicking “I’m still here” buttons every now and then, and finally getting my total earnings up to just under $20 (nearly the level when they send a check) – the services ended completely. Apparently the unique online approach to advertising wasn’t working, and the advertisers left all of us hanging out to dry. I swore that I would never be taken on a ride like that by another online money-making scam.

In the spirit of promoting legitimate and authentic online money-making ideas for MUO readers, I would like to offer a business idea that anyone with a little bit of web design and web hosting skill can build which will run itself and provide a nice, steady stream of income every month.

Create An Easy Passive Income Stream Selling Affordable Web Site Hosting Services

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you host hundreds of high volume websites from a PC in your basement, but honestly if you have 10 to 15 friends or local businesses that sign up for web hosting through you – at $5 to $10  a month, you’ve got a nice little business that brings in $100 or more every single month. Is it difficult? It isn’t really difficult any more. Jeffry provided a great tutorial How To Install Wordpress Blog Locally On Your PC How To Install Wordpress Blog Locally On Your PC Read More on setting up a local web server so that you could host your own WordPress blog. Taking it a step further and hosting other domains for friends and businesses isn’t that much of a leap.

However, for those of you who have a fear of hosting other sites on your own PC, there’s a very simple solution. Invest in unlimited web hosting that offers unlimited addon domains. For example, GoDaddy offers Unlimited plans at the market average – pretty much any web hosting service offers these rates, on average.

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If you consider that an unlimited web hosting account today costs from $10 to $12 a month, that’s only less than $150 a year, and you have yourself the foundation of a brand new online business that will bring in easy, passive monthly income at well over the $10 a month for the web hosting. Whichever web hosting plan you go with, just make sure that unlimited add-on domains is part of the package. Also make sure that the web host doesn’t prohibit “reselling” web space in this way.

Most small businesses or individuals who want their own websites don’t expect huge traffic or have massive demand for website features. They simply want a web presence that their local customers or friends can visit and that they can update with the latest news, products or services. You could easily offer to host the website of such a local business at a fraction of the cost that they’d have to pay for a full hosting account. All you have to do is create an add-on domain, link their registered domain to it, and upload (or create) their webpage.

When you have a friend or business that wants to host a particular domain with you, first go into their domain registration account and change the DNS settings to point to your hosting account. For example, I use Webmasters.com for hosting, so first log into your hosting account and check the DNS settings.

In my case, the settings are right on the left sidebar – NS26 and NS27 under the webmasters.com domain. Your particular settings will be similar depending on your web host. Next, log into your client’s domain registration account, and assign their DNS settings to the same as your hosting account.

Now that you’ve pointed their domain in the right direction, you have to configure your hosting account to direct all of the incoming traffic for their domain to the correct web hosting directly. Every web host may have a slightly different procedure for creating an add-on domain within your hosting account. Make sure you add the add-on as a “hosted” – this tells the web host you want to host the website under your current account.

Once you’ve done this, usually within hours you’ll discover the new domain folder located inside the “addons” folder within your hosting account.

As you can see, I have dozens of domains that are all hosted under the umbrella of my one hosting account. Each of these represents a website that you could host for a friend or a local business at a nominal monthly fee (easily configurable as a recurring payment through Paypal!). If the friend or business owner wants you to create a simple website for them, and you really don’t want to dedicate a lot of time to it or you aren’t a web design expert – you can create some pretty impressive websites using free web design software tools like KompoZer or CoffeeCup.

Better yet, if you want to provide your client with a simple method of adding their own content to their site, consider installing Drupal, Joomla, or WordPress. In the end, once you have your add-on domains configured and serving up content, you really won’t have to do anything else other than collecting your checks every month.

Do you have your own approach to earning residual income on the net? Share your own tips in the comments section below.

  1. Nick
    April 3, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Setting up hosting for a few local businesses is cool, but trying to start your own hosting company would be suicide - advertising on Google's AdWords network would set you back 5-15 dollars a click, and the SEO competition is fierce.

    • Ryan Dube
      April 3, 2010 at 6:16 am

      Hey Nick - that's true, if you want to go mainstream you'd have to establish some sort of niche or you can't compete. For example, Christian web hosting is currently a lucrative area (as one of many examples). It's just like any other business, only those who can set themselves apart and become unique will end up on top. The rest just all melt back into the ocean with all of the other millions of little waves.

  2. Siddharth
    March 5, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Hey Guy if anyone needs a One time Payment Life time Unlimited Hosting please contact me via copydown.ads@gmail.com. I'll be giving it really Very very Cheap...!!!

  3. Jack Cola
    March 5, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Another option is to use resellerspanel.com. They let you set up a free reseller account, you create your own accounts and get people to signup. Doesn't cost you a thing, only gives you profits.

    • Paul
      March 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm

      Hey Jack, I've been using Resellerspanel for a couple of years now. Great support, lots of options and they have the live chat support which they answer within 10-20seconds. It can't be beat as an option to starting your own hosting company/reseller.
      Everyone should check it out.

  4. Jack Cola
    March 6, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Another option is to use resellerspanel.com. They let you set up a free reseller account, you create your own accounts and get people to signup. Doesn't cost you a thing, only gives you profits.

  5. Ryan Dube
    March 5, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Hey Matt - agreed. I think as a purely web based business, there's too much competition. However, as a local business and offering the service in-person to local clients, a person could build a decent little side business. Given that there aren't already too many existing hosts in the area of course...probably would work better in rural areas!

  6. matt
    March 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    that business model is sucked dry my friend. The GoDaddies are overselling hosting at 1.99 a month to clueless people. I do hosting for my design clients but have fully given up on making anything over and above them via random internet traffic. Googling for hosting is akin to googling the word boob. You will get more result then you can ever look at.

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