How to Make Passive Income with a Job Board
Online Job Boards Made Easy
The subject of passive income often triggers heated discussions within marketing and finance-related communities.
Why, you ask? Let’s just say the definition is no longer straight forward and some purists may reject this. While the term is supposed to mean one thing, society has slowly expanded its meaning over time (kind of like the word Literally).
Here’s how passive income is unofficially defined, depending on whom you ask:
Definition #1: Passive income comes from work that you completed once in the past. You don’t have to lift a finger ever again and money is generated even while you sleep.
For example: Receiving royalties from a book or a song (for months, years, or even decades to come).
Definition #2: Passive income may also refer to money made from sporadic or inconsistent work.
For example: Let’s say you receive money from multiple YouTube videos, and you only publish a new video every 2-3 months. Despite this inconsistency, you still receive some money every single day from existing videos.
Which version do I personally believe?
I personally believe in both definitions of passive income. In this specific context, ‘passive income’ means ‘not necessarily upfront’ (work / results that may happen gradually).
Keep in mind this is only my personal opinion, as people have formed their own perspective on passive income over the years.
I published numerous adult ebooks on Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble between 2011 and 2014. These books still make money as of 2019, even though I haven’t touched them in years.
You can read about my income reports on my legacy (outdated) blog, EpicPassiveIncome.com.
I also make money from my websites, which consists of performing sporadic / inconsistent work. That is, I may receive some money even when I don’t actively work on them.
The above income streams can die down over time — but the income is still passive while it lasts.
Phew. With that out of the way…
That was a long intro to passive income streams, which brings me to today’s post…
Today i’d like to focus on passive income that’s maintained through sporadic work. More specifically:
- A project that requires intense work, but allows for less ‘upfront attention’ over time
- Something almost anyone can start
I had a tough time deciding which idea to write about, but I ultimately decided to focus on….
How to Make Passive Income with a Job Board
I get it, the job board business model has been around for ages…
Does the internet really need more online job boards? That all depends on how you manage yours.
Whether you create a job board aggregator or post unique entries, the following method can yield incredible success with the right amount of strategy and discipline.
Can you provide some kind of benefit for employers or job seekers in your new job board directory? I’ll cover this in more detail later on.
In truth, job boards come and go all the time (for example, the job board on Facebook is now gone. This is your chance to fill that tiny void).
For now, though, let’s answer a question that’ll shape your job board as a whole…
Job Boards: To Niche or Not to Niche?
If you’ve been in the blogging / marketing space for a while, then you’ve probably heard people say, “go niche.” This basically means to only focus on one specific area of any given topic (or business), as opposed to casting a wide net and covering many things at once.
In this case, however, we’re not talking about a traditional blog. We’re talking specifically about a job board, which means we can be more relaxed with our choices.
Niche Job Boards: Overview
Generally, focusing on specific job board ideas can help you become an authority in that space. It also makes things easier to manage.
Let’s take the ProBlogger job board, for example. Darren Rowse could have easily accepted any darn job under the sun, but he only allows writing / blogging / editing listings.
As a result, his board has become synonymous with writing & editing jobs, and employers / applicants are now deeply fond of it.
Niche job boards give you a better chance to become a master of your domain (and no, i’m not referring to that weird Seinfeld episode).
Moreover, this approach allows him to only target specific employers and leave him with more time for other tasks.
Broad Job Boards: Overview
There’s nothing wrong with accepting a wide range of jobs, either. It all depends on the scope of your mission and how much you can handle.
A broader job board opens the doors to many more employers and potential traffic over time… if you can handle the workload to reach that level.
In other words: Instead of your job board publishing three writing jobs per day, it could potentially see 25 jobs from different industries each day.
If you charge clients for each posting, this obviously amounts to much more money.
Can you handle it all? Is it feasible?
In my opinion, the answer is “Maybe.”
Here’s my reasoning: Your job board won’t have hundreds of employers and tons of traffic overnight. You won’t suddenly be overwhelmed with support tickets or emails, processing orders, refunds, and answering questions.
This is a very gradual process. By the time you do have to worry about the above, you should be making enough money to hire additional help anyway. But I’ll get to the monetization part later in this guide.
In Summary: Should You Go Niche or Broad?
I have noticed niche job boards are referenced (linked to) more often due to their laser-focused authority.
As far as going broad, the biggest challenge comes from bringing traffic (especially job seekers) from so many industries.
In other words: If a web developer only sees one relevant job per week, he may not visit your site very often…
But if your board ONLY targets web development jobs, this person would likely see a relevant job posted more often and he’ll come back accordingly. Your board may have more jobs within that industry because you’re not spreading yourself too thin.
That being said, some of the best online job sites are broad in nature, so you should be fine with either choice. Just keep in mind that maintaining a broad job board could (and will) prove more difficult — especially as a solopreneur.
The harder your project, the less passive it potentially is.
How to Implement a Job Board
Side Note: This guide is written primarily for those running a self-hosted WordPress blog, so you’ll see some references to relevant plugins and themes here. I will also assume you have a basic understanding of these.
WordPress tutorial: https://codex.wordpress.org/Getting_Started_with_WordPress
You’ll also need a web host, which is used to “store” WordPress itself and form your very website. I personally rely on iWF Hosting (aff. link), as these guys have never let me down.
Popular WordPress Job Board Plugins and Themes
Having your own job board begins with a specialized tool or theme designed to handle jobs.
These tools provide essential features to manage each job (such as expiration dates, reposting, the ability to charge per job, and much more).
Generally speaking, you can install either a WordPress job board theme or a plugin to manage incoming jobs.
Let’s look at some WordPress job board plugins and themes to implement:
Install any of the above plugins/themes on your WordPress site to begin posting jobs.
Wish to avoid plugins and specialized themes altogether? You may also publish jobs manually in the form of blog posts or list them on a static page. However, installing any of the above tools is highly recommended.
How to Populate (Backfill) Your Job Board
Okay, this is where things begin to get interesting – but also a tad overwhelming because it involves……. REAL WORK (gasp!)
As you already know, don’t expect employers to start posting on your job board overnight. So how exactly do you grow it and make it useful?
Thankfully, there are several ways to populate your job board, all of which are relatively easy…
Method #1: Manual Aggregation & Syndication
Did you know you can safely use a small/large portion of a job listing from another website?
Yes, I know, this sounds shady as hell.
We have all been taught to never copy content and “duplicate content is bad because yada yada yada.” But fear not.
Some types of content require permission, others require attribution, while others don’t necessarily need much of anything.
This is the reason you may see a listing on job sites like Indeed, Glassdoor.com, the ZipRecruiter job board, FlexJobs.com, and WriteJobs.info simultaneously.
Many of these popular job sites often use the power of aggregation (similar rules may also apply to some syndicated news websites).
With this in mind, you can add jobs to your website in one of three ways:
- Post only the title and link to the original source
- Post the title, a brief summary, and then link to the original source
- Post the entire body, and ultimately link to the original source
Important: If you’re reposting an entire job, DO NOT include the employer’s email address in the body of your website. Instead, link to the original source at the end of the job description. This way the employer has full control of all applications received (ensuring no applications are sent long after the job is filled).
Other details to add manually: Wish to have one of the best job sites in your niche? Disclose pay rates within the title or the body whenever possible. Also link to a company’s previous jobs, or perhaps to any existing reviews about said company.
Method #2: Apply to a Company Partner Program
You have probably seen some boards with listings that link you straight to Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Jobs2Careers, among other sources.
This is thanks to innovative scripts that help populate your job board based on a desired criteria. This script basically allows jobs to automatically appear on your website, with dozens of listings that link straight to the original source upon clicking them.
In order to use them, you’ll first need to sign up with a company’s partner program.
Here’s a small list of popular companies offering such options:
Once accepted, these programs generally provide you with a Publisher ID, a widget, or code snippet to embed.
The complexity of this depends on the program in question; certain companies may require you to perform some programming, while others just provide a simple Publisher ID.
For example: Many job board plugins (such as WP Job Manager) make it easy because some of their settings are specifically designed for such partner programs. This screenshot shows jobs straight from Indeed.com on your website merely with the help of an ID:
This one shows jobs from ZipRecruiter:
That pretty much covers it for populating your job board. You don’t need employers actively posting jobs themselves from the very beginning.
You can happily hit the ground running by placing jobs from the very first day, even if you’re not getting significant traffic yet.
How to Promote Your Job Board
Anyone can own a job board, but there’s no point if nobody’s visiting it.
So let’s talk about growing it and promoting it to the masses, shall we?
By the way: In addition to the methods outlined below, Profit CoPilot (by Mick Meaney) can gradually help your website explode to thousands of views daily.
Share Jobs Around the Web (Consistently)
You should share a lot of your manually-added jobs on social media by default, especially the likes of Twitter and communities where your audience hangs out.
Here’s what to include in a tweet:
- The job title, which helps with SEO
- Use the occasional #hashtag within the title
- The link to said job on your website (duh!)
For example: B2B Marketing #Writer Wanted – https://yourwebsite.com/job-details.html
Pro Tip: Develop a routine and post frequently. It wouldn’t hurt to post & share a new job every single day, or almost daily.
Share Jobs on LinkedIn / Facebook Groups
Remember Facebook and LinkedIn groups? Yeah, they’re still pretty damn active. These are basically communities where people discuss specific topics.
Take LinkedIn, for example. Do you plan to run a job board that targets busy moms? There’s probably a few good groups for that, including this one:
Work-from-home Moms LinkedIn Group:
How about this group where bookkeepers and accountants hang out? This is useful if you run a niche board that caters to these people:
Bookkeepers and Accountants LinkedIn Group:
Important: The above links are only used as a general example, as they may or may not allow for job listings. Do NOT spam.
Quick Links to Groups:
Start by searching for a broad keyword that closely matches your job board. In the case of accounting jobs, you could search for “Accounting” or “Bookkeeping” from each website’s ‘Groups’ section:
- Only join groups with over 5,000 people to maximize your marketing efforts
- Do NOT spam. Use these groups primarily for regular conversations and only post a job when appropriate (when someone needs a job, or when you come across a highly valuable job listing). Read the Group’s rules first.
Leverage the Power of Reddit
Reddit.com is mega popular among internet users – including job seekers. Since you already have a few jobs to show off, that means you can safely share it over there.
For those unfamiliar, Reddit essentially consists of “subreddits” (or subs) dedicated to specific subjects. Think of subreddits as niche categories; for example, there are several “subs” dedicated to business, as well as gaming and weight loss.
How to find a specific subreddit:
Visit Reddit.com and use the search field. Typing “weight loss” will show relevant subreddits you can join:
Another method is to visit Google and type, subject site:reddit.com.
For example: “gaming site:reddit.com” (without quotes).
So let’s say you have a job board exclusively about healthcare-based jobs. Find yourself a relevant subreddit and introduce your job board in a natural, non-intrusive manner (if appropriate).
A quick post may say something like this:
As this subreddit is mainly interested in health-related topics, I wanted to share a job board that focuses only on healthcare-type jobs. This includes medical coding, transcription, and other jobs within the field.
Here’s a job about medical writing that was just posted a few hours ago: [Link to job].
I hope you find this useful.”
Important: The above quote is a very generic example and it may not be acceptable within some subreddits…
In other words, each subreddit has its own rules to follow. Some do not allow any type of promotional posts whatsoever, so you *must* read their guidelines prior to posting. Such guidelines are typically found on the subreddit’s sidebar on the right.
Bonus: Here are some subreddits where job seekers usually gather. These guys usually talk about job posting sites and various ways to make money in general:
I showed off AllFlexJobs.com at one point (sister site of Listiller.com), and this led to a huge spike in traffic that month. Many visitors have kept coming back and even signed up to the website’s newsletter.
Don’t Forget Other Communities
The internet really is your playground, and the opportunities for outreach are endless. In addition to the above sources, I suggest you join traditional forums around the web.
For instance, typing Niche + forum into Google can yield a ton of relevant forum results…
So if your job board focuses on video game gigs, type “video game forum” or “gaming forum.”
Remember: Don’t spam and don’t be selfish. The goal here is [mainly] to contribute meaningful discussion.
Keep helping others and remain consistent; many of these people will start visiting your job board regularly over time.
Build a Mailing List
More specifically, build a relationship with your list.
This is pretty cliche in the digital marketing world, but that’s a good thing.
Yes, you may need to invest some money to build a sizable mailing list, but consider this a very small and worthy investment.
In fact, did you know that for every dollar invested, the average return is a whopping $38?
Email marketing simply works, as it’s highly effective in engaging and retaining your audience.
In this case, you ideally want to capture both employers and applicants:
- You could occasionally email employers and remind them to post another job
- Likewise, send applicants a daily (or weekly) email digest containing the latest jobs
Building a list means more engagement, more traffic, happier applicants as well as employers. Everybody wins.
Some email distribution services to consider:
Better yet, none of the above services will force you to sell a kidney. GetResponse only charges $15/mo for up to 1,000 subscribers as of this writing.
Note: I’ve decided not to write a tutorial on how to implement a “capture form” using the above services, as it would go beyond the scope of this article. That said, each of the above links take you directly to their respective Help page.
How to Monetize Your Job Board
I’m really starting to show my age thanks to certain references
Let’s talk about monnnaaaayyyy!
Anyway, we need to go back a few paragraphs to better understand job board pricing models…
Remember what I said earlier about populating your job board with listings from Indeed and similar services? Well, it turns out you can also make money from that same tactic.
Simply put, Indeed and other services may pay you for every job click/search that leads to their site.
I actually tried Indeed for Publishers in mid-2014, when Listiller was still in its infancy under a different name.
My job board was instantly filled with listings from Indeed, and I made a few bucks at the same time.
I hardly had the traffic or recognition — and yet, I made $58 within a short time:
* Screenshot modified to show only the date & total
I eventually concluded that Indeed for Publishers wasn’t for me, since I was testing and implementing other methods to handle jobs.
Nevertheless, I made some money immediately thanks to that service. Can you see the potential?
These job board affiliate programs can assist in populating and monetizing your website. Once again, here are the same links I had provided earlier during my discussion on backfilling your board:
Hint: SkiptheDrive.com, a popular job source, displays most jobs directly from places like Jobs2Careers as of this writing (and they’re paid as a result).
Reminder on how to join: Sign up to any of these and wait for a representative to contact you via email. You’ll be given a widget, a code, or ID to paste into your website and get paid.
But Wait, There’s More…
No, this is not a cliche line from an infomercial. There really is much more to talk about…
Since this article is getting too long (3,500 words and counting), I have written the remainder in a special guide containing details not available here.
The Full Guide Includes:
- Even more ways to monetize your job board
- Other amazing ways to bring traffic
- How to make your job board irresistible to employers
- Ideas for over 30 niche job boards, such as…
Some job board ideas include:
- Job board for nonprofits
- Job board for startups
- Job board for college students
- Job board for veterans
The question is: Do you really need the rest of this guide?
Answer: This blog post is technically 100% complete. Everything here is enough to get you going and start making money from a job board……. but only if you’re just looking for the basics.
But if you stop here, that would mean:
- Fewer monetization methods
- Fewer traffic methods
- Less success in general
So, do you feel those details are a must-read?
If so, the remainder of this guide is available for a mere $1 via PayPal:
You will be redirected to download the guide after PayPal.
If you’re not redirected for any reason, email Writertown@gmail.com and i’ll send it right away.
Otherwise, become a “Prime” or “Ultimate” Listiller member and receive it later on via email. Existing members receive several guides throughout the year, including this one (plus many other benefits).
Note: If you’re already a member and want the guide right now instead of later, email me and i’ll send it over.
So, are you ready to execute a brilliant job board business model?
All of the above sounds like a lot of work, and some might even argue there’s nothing “passive” about this.
But remember, passive income streams are rarely ever developed overnight. This is the type of business that gets more passive over time, but it requires serious work for a while.
Once you have an established system (mainly consistent traffic and steady jobs available) you won’t need to work as hard / consistently as you did in the beginning.
There will come a time when recurring employers (and job seekers) may allow you to work less frequently. This is especially true if you build that mailing list as discussed earlier.
However, please note that there will always be some level of maintenance involved. This is about doing work inconsistently without needing your active involvement at all times.
I hope you enjoyed this extensive guide on making money with a job board. If you need help or have some questions along the way, shoot me a comment or an email.