The Internet has made it possible to generate many more forms of passive online income. Passive income is one of three types of income, as categorized by the IRS. The most common source of passive income is through online advertisements. Advertising models Online advertisers offer a variety of advertising models where advertising affiliates are offered payment in exchange for clicks, impressions or for each commission. For example, an e-commerce website might offer a percentage of the revenue generated from sales after a user arrives from the affiliate’s link. Generating passive income The size of the passive income generated by the advertising affiliates comes from the number of users who see the link and are compelled by the advertisement or context that the link is embedded in. In order to draw in traffic and maximize clicks, advertising affiliates need to create content that is interesting to the users and can also draw in traffic that is likely to click on the links and purchase the product on the other side. The need for content For this reason, many websites that are advertising affiliates need content, which is most often text. However, the content can also include images, downloads, software, video and various other applications and forms of multimedia. Website owners earn a passive income through advertisements either by creating the content themselves or by subcontracting the creation of this content out to other content creators. Passive and active compensation This can be paid for either through passive or active payments. Some website owners choose to share a portion of the website earnings with the content creators, while other websites choose to pay content creators a flat fee, which represents an active form of income. Flat fees provide content creators with an immediate gratification for the content creator, but articles with a large amount of views can earn much more passive income. E-commerce and auctions Advertisements are only one way in which income is generated online. Another way to generate income is through the selling of products and services. Many products are sold on e-commerce websites and auction websites. E-commerce websites generally sell a select type of merchandise, with products sold usually at a set price. Auction websites allow buyers and sellers to meet online. Buyers can bid on products, with the highest bidders getting the item for sale. Private contracts The bidding concept is also used to sell services on a variety of bidding websites. In this model, clients can post projects and professionals can bid on the project. In this case, the bid represents the fee that the professional wishes to be paid for the project. The client can choose bidders based on the suggested fee, the professional’s credentials and samples that are presented to the client. However, this only represents one of many ways that clients and independent contractors can come together. Many clients will advertise the need for services on online classified websites, content mills and forums. For more high-profile projects, talent is usually found through word-of-mouth or by the independent contractor advertising his or her services on a personal website. While clients might pay a flat fee for services, some clients and independent contractors work out an hourly rate or a revenue share system.