The Best Books On Passive Income 

 February 3, 2020

By  Jake Lang

The Best Books On Passive Income

All of my online businesses are set up to generate passive income. I’m currently generating upwards of $10,000 per month in recurring passive income, with less than three hours of work per day. In fact, I take full days off, with no issues except a couple of emails to answer when I come back. Everything runs automatically.

I sell online courses, books, and membership programs. The website traffic comes in organically through my blogs, I generate leads with my lead magnet (email opt-in), I build trust over a series of automated emails, and I get sales after a few weeks of automation. All of this is done automatically, with automated emails and systems. At most, all I do is answer a few emails on a day-to-day basis.

You can do this too. That’s why today, I want to share with you a few of the best books on passive income. These are the books I read that helped me get set up with my websites that are now generating thousands of dollars in passive income every single month. These books alone will get you set up and get you started. You don’t need to take any courses, you don’t need to hire a coach, you don’t need to do anything other than read these books and get started.

These are the best books on passive income, these are the ones I recommend if you are serious about starting a website to generate passive income. These are the books that I read that helped me succeed in generating passive income online (read a summary of each below):

  • The 4-Hour Work Week
  • Will It Fly
  • The Automatic Customer
  • Rework
  • Superfans
  • Ask
  • The E-Myth Revisited
  • Storybrand
  • Copy That Sells
  • Email Persuasion
  • The Link Building Book
  • Built to Sell
  • Profit First
  • Think And Grow Rich
  • Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad


WARNING – Beware of information overload. Read my description of each book below and CHOOSE ONE to get started. Read one then start. Do not try to read every book before you start. Getting started is more important than trying to consume all of the content in these books. Choose one book, get started, then pick up another one to continue your reading.

BONUS: Step One by Jake Lang

Step One Book Cover

Shameless plug. In Step One, I teach you the Surprisingly Simple Process To Research, Validate, And Choose The Perfect Online Business Idea. In this book you will learn:

  • The reason why your first business should be an online business.
  • The step-by-step process to find and validate a viable online business idea.
  • The trusted and proven process to brainstorm a business idea list and come up with over 150 business ideas.
  • The steps to take to successfully launch your business.

This is the ultimate online business book. By the end of this book, you will come away with the perfect idea–and plan–to launch your online business.

You can view Step One here on Amazon.

#1 Best Books on Passive Income - The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

The Best Books on Passive Income - 4 hour work week

This ranks #1 on my list of the best books on passive income. The 4-Hour Work Week is the one that got it started for me. It didn’t click until I read this book. In fact, I didn’t think online business was a viable business opportunity until reading this book, let alone the thought of generating passive income and spending my day doing anything other than working!

This is a must-read for every entrepreneur.

You can view The 4-Hour Work Week here on Amazon.

#2 Will It Fly by Pat Flynn 

The Best Books on Passive Income - Will it Fly

Another must-read for every entrepreneur. Will it Fly by Pat Flynn (one of my favorite entrepreneurs in the online business space) teaches you how to test and validate a product BEFORE you build it. You must understand this concept before starting an online business. Far too often I see new entrepreneurs jump into an idea and invest thousands of dollars before ever talking to any potential customers. They end up with a wonderfully designed and very expensive product that nobody wants!

Will it Fly gives you a process for testing, validating, and pre-selling your business idea before you spend too much time investing in the wrong business. I use the Will it Fly process for every new business and every new product that I create. I would not be making $1,000 recurring passive income from my Pomsky blog without this book.

You can view Will it Fly here on Amazon.

#3 The Automatic Customer byJohn Warrillow

The Best Books on Passive Income - the automatic customer

I created a simple membership site that increased my monthly revenue by $500 (and growing) after reading The Automatic Customer by John Warrillow. This is one of the best books on passive income for the sole fact that it teaches you how to create automatic recurring revenue with the subscription model.

In this book, John gives you nine subscription business models that you can build a business around including the membership website, the monthly gift box, and subscription services.

I highly recommend this book for new entrepreneurs looking for revenue-generating ideas, and entrepreneurs with a solid business looking for new ways to generate recurring revenue.

You can view The Automatic Customer here on Amazon.

#4 Rework by Jason Fried

The Best Books on Passive Income - Rework

This is a new one recently added to my favorite reading list. I include Rework by Jason Fried in my list of best books on passive income because of how different it is. It takes such a different approach and it debunks many of the traditional online business myths that scare people away from the online business space. This book will give you the confidence to start your own online business and show you how it can be done.

I love the conversational tone used by Jason throughout this book. He covers a lot of the same topics that I’m constantly preaching (but in a much more concise and eloquent way) like you don’t need a business plan, you don’t need startup capital, you don’t need to work 20-hour days, and most importantly you just need to get started.

As Jason puts it, “With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Read it and you'll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don't need outside investors, and why you're better off ignoring the competition. The truth is, you need less than you think. You don't need to be a workaholic. You don't need to staff up. You don't need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don't even need an office. Those are all just excuses. What you really need to do is stop talking and start working. This book shows you the way.”

You can view Rework here on Amazon.

#5 Superfans by Pat Flynn

The Best Books on Passive Income - Superfans

Superfans is another great book by Pat Flynn. In Superfans Pat describes exactly how he built a massive following of what he calls “super fans”, the fans that will buy your book in print and audio version, the fans that subscribe to your YouTube, Podcast, and Blog, the fans that hang on every word you say, the fans that spread the word about your business and have your back at all times. These are the customers that you want, these are the type of customers that will grow your business and generate a steady stream of passive income.

Ignore the number of email subscribers, ignore the number of web hits, ignore the number of Facebook likes. What really matters, is the number of superfans that you have. Focus on the people, not the numbers.

This follows the concept as stated by Kevin Kelly in his famous blog post 1,000 true fans. Kevin says that all you need is 1,000 people to pay you $100 per year. Do that, and you have a business generating $100,000 in annual income. Now that is achievable.

In Superfans, Pat shows us how he built a group of superfans (me being one of them). He says “You don't need to change the entire world to build a successful business; you just need to change someone's world.”

You can view Superfans here on Amazon.

#6 Ask by Ryan Levesque

The Best Books on Passive Income - Ask

Ask your target market what they want. This is the number one thing I tell new entrepreneurs. This book taught me how to build a profitable business by talking to my target market, and asking my target market what they want.

In the book “Ask”, Ryan Levesque gives us a foolproof formula to ask the right questions so you can create a product that your target market wants and will buy. The concept of this book is that you should never guess what your prospects and customers are thinking. The ask formula will help you discover exactly what people want to buy and how to give it to them - and in a way that makes people fall in love with you and your company. This is a must-read for anyone starting to sell products and services, its one of the best books on passive income.

You can view Ask here on Amazon.

#7 E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

The Best Books on Passive Income - e-myth revisited

This is an entrepreneurial classic. Ask any online entrepreneur, and you’ll find that 9 out of 10 have read the E-myth revisited by Michael E. Gerber. A number of online business entrepreneurs that I’ve met credit their start to this book, that’s why I’m including it in my list of the best passive income books.

Here is the description of the E-myth revisited: “Gerber walks you through the steps in the life of a business—from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed—and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. Most importantly, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. The E-Myth Revisited will help you grow your business in a productive, assured way.”

You can view The E-Myth Revisited here on Amazon.

#8 Storybrand by Donald Miller

Building A Storybrand Book - By Donald Miller

I highly recommend Donald Miller’s book Building a Storybrand. This is just one of the many recommended books published by Donald Miller.

I can credit a large increase in monthly sales to this book. By implementing the Storybrand process into my niche websites I increased my email subscribers, reduced bounce rate, and increased my monthly recurring revenue.

In a super quick one-sentence Building a Storybrand summary, this book will teach a step by step guide to clarify the message of your business and marketing by positioning the customer as the hero, so that you can guide them through the challenges they face to solve their problems with your products and services. You can see a full Storybrand summary that I published here.

You can view StoryBrand here on Amazon.

#9 Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards

The Best Books on Passive Income - Copy that Sells

Copy that sells by Ray Edwards is by far the best book on writing sales copy. It is the only book I recommend for help writing sales pages, effective sales emails, and website copy.

Ray is a master copywriter, he has built a whole business and podcast around the art of writing sales copy.

I personally use Ray’s PASTOR method on my websites and sales emails. It is a must-read for anyone struggling with conversion, email opt-ins, and writing sales copy. You will use Ray’s step by step formula to writing copy in all of your businesses. This book will improve your sales and conversion.

You can view Copy That Sells here on Amazon.

#10 Email Persuasion by Ian Brodie

The Best Books on Passive Income - Email Persuasion by Ian Brodie

The book “email persuasion” is the book that kicked off my success in email marketing. I now generate 95% of my sales through my email list. This book helped me improve my email sales funnel, improve my email open rate, and improve my email click through. This directly resulted in an increase in sales for each of my email sales funnels.

You can view Email Persuasion here on Amazon.

#11 The Link Building Book by Paddy Moogan

The Best Books on Passive Income - link building

Those of you that know me, know that I am an SEO junkie. All of my sites drive organic traffic with blogs ranking on Google. (you can see my process for driving traffic and getting back links here)

Link building is a huge part of SEO and driving organic traffic, you need to get links back to your site to rank on Google. This is the book that taught me everything I know about link building. The Link Building Book by Paddy Moogan is by far the best book I’ve read on the process of link building. This taught me everything I needed and gave me a ton of different strategies to get back links for my site.

You can view The Link Building Book here.

#12 Built to Sell by John Warrillow

The Best Books on Passive Income - Built to Sell by John Warrillow

This is another great book by John Warrillow. Built to Sell is different than all of the other books on this list. This book by John Warrillow is written as a story, where you follow along with the fictional story of a graphic design agency as the owner scales and eventually sells the business.

This is a great book with a lot of key insights on how to master one aspect of your business to grow your sales, automated the business to run without your personal input, and then sell the business.

You can view Built to Sell here on Amazon.

#13 Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

The Best Books on Passive Income - Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

This is a must-read for anyone that is generating revenue from their business. Profit First is an eye-opening concept that every entrepreneur should learn and understand (I use it in my business today). Essentially, you should pay yourself first before you pay any other expense. Before you invest in that new automation system, before you hire that new assistant, before you invest in that new fancy web app, pay yourself. Pay yourself what you need to earn as a wage to live, set aside money for taxes, set aside money for recurring expenses, then see what you have leftover and consider if it’s worth investing in a new expense for your business.

You can view Profit First here on Amazon.

#14 Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Best Books on Passive Income - Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This book is about business mindset, not necessarily about passive income. That being said, it is a must-read for anyone building a business. Think and Grow Rich is a must-read for any entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur. Whether you are building a passive income business or a service-based business, you should read this book. It gives you some keys to business success, how to unlock the potential of your brain, how to think through business ideas, and how to stay focus for future success. You can read my favorite Think and Grow Rich quotes here.

You can view Think and Grow Rich here on Amazon.

#15 Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

The Best Books on Passive Income - Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

Similar to Think and Grow Rich, this is a business mindset book. I can't stress the importance of mindset enough. If you do not take care of your emotions and your thoughts, you will not make it as an entrepreneur. Start focusing and investing in your mindset now, whether you have a passive income website or a giant corporation with one hundred employees.

Secrets of the millionaire mind gives us insight into the thought practices necessary to become a millionaire.

You can view Secrets of the Millionaire Mind here on Amazon.

#16 Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

The Best Books on Passive Income - Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

This is an all-time great business book. It’s on the “must-read” list of most successful entrepreneurs. Rich Dad Poor Dad is a story of Robert Kiyosaki’s life and his rise to entrepreneurial success by investing in real estate. This is absolutely a book about passive income and how Robert Kiyosaki mastered the real estate game to become financially free.

You can view Rich Dad Poor Dad here on Amazon.

Other Passive Income Resources

That’s it! Those are the best books on passive income. This blog will be updated from time to time with new books on passive income as I continue to read and invest in education. Here are a couple of other resources that I recommend for anyone interested in generating passive income:

Jake Lang

Jake Lang is an author, entrepreneur, and founder of over seven online businesses. Jake now helps new entrepreneurs start and scale their first online business at TheEntrepreneurRideAlong.com where he shares his experiences along the entrepreneurial journey starting and growing new businesses.

It’s Jake’s mission to start a new online business every year and share everything behind the scenes on The Entrepreneur Ride Along Podcast and The Entrepreneur Ride Along Blog so that new entrepreneurs can learn from Jake’s mistakes, understand the struggles of starting a new business, and find the path to entrepreneurial success.

Jake Lang

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