Do you think it’s possible to build a blog from scratch, outsourcing the work from day one (assuming I have some cash that can cover the initial expenses until the blog generates enough income to at least break even)? In other words, do you think you could you have spent your $500 max per month for the writer, social media expert, etc to build your blog to the point it’s earning the same amount of money it does now?
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I have rented out my basement in the past and have been a ‘landlord-ess’.  In general, the tenants I had were pretty good and we collected $1200 a month for the basement suite.  It can be kind of fun if you are handy.  If you have a bad tenant though, things can get bad really quick.  You also can’t be too ‘nice’ or want to try and be your tenants’ ‘friend’ because otherwise, they may take advantage of your kindness.
The United States Internal Revenue Service categorizes income as active income, passive income, or portfolio income.[1] It defines passive income as only coming from two sources, or "passive activities": rental activity or "trade or business activities in which you do not materially participate."[2][3] Other financial and government institutions also recognize it as an income obtained as a result of capital growth or in relation to negative gearing. Passive income is usually taxable.

What means passive income?