Are you thinking about earning some extra cash on the side on a regular basis while not having to worry about it too much? It’s time to get inspired with a few passive income ideas!
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Passive income is an income stream received regularly with zero or very little effort on your part. I mean, who wouldn’t want to make money while they sleep?
Also, a consistent cash flow, especially one that comes from multiple sources, supplements income sources that aren’t as steady, so it’s particularly attractive to freelancers or small business owners.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take a sick day or simply a mental health day and continue to earn?
Today, I’ve compiled a list of passive income ideas to inspire you to start setting up this year!
10 Passive Income Ideas to Get You Started
Just a note before we dive into the list.
There are plenty of passive income ideas out there, but I focused on passive income ideas you can do online.
If you have a computer and an internet connection, you can get started today!
1. Create a blog and monetize it.
Being a blogger isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of deal. Obviously, you’ll have to write articles, respond to comments, and maintain your website.
However, if you pick and choose the right ways to monetize your blog, you can set it up so that an article that you wrote once can generate income long after you’ve written it.
One of the most basic ways you can earn passive income through blogging is through displaying website ads, and one of the most reliable ad networks to join is Google Adsense.
It’s certainly not the highest-paying passive income stream, but it’s one of the most reliable. If you can regularly produce useful content for a niche audience, then you can show them targeted, relevant ads.
You earn in cents per ad you show your visitors, but if you have a high volume of website visitors, the cents can really add up to real money.
Another way to monetize your blog is via affiliate marketing.
You can join one or a few affiliate networks, find products and services that fit your target audience, publish articles about these products or services, and put in an affiliate link that your readers can click so they can buy these products. In return, you get a commission for everyone who purchases through the links you posted.
If this is something you’re interested in, you can read our complete guide to starting on affiliate marketing.
2. Write an ebook.
If you have a knack for writing, writing an ebook could be a good source of passive income for you in the form of royalties.
Whether you’re into fiction or you prefer writing about a particular topic you’d like to share your knowledge about, creating an ebook and working with a publisher or even self-publishing it can earn you money for months or years to come.
You can even add to your income by creating audiobooks and expanding your audience. Some people simply prefer listening to books rather than reading them, especially those who like to listen while doing something else like driving or cleaning their house.
Check out our guide to self-publishing your ebook if you want to know more.
3. Become a vlogger.
Are you comfortable in front of a camera? Is there a pressing topic you’re just bursting to talk about in front of an audience?
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Becoming a vlogger just might be the passive income stream for you!
You can start a channel on YouTube or on Twitch with nothing but basic equipment: your computer, a webcam, a microphone, and your knowledge.
The main source of YouTubers’ income comes from Google’s YouTube Partner Program, which is made available for accountholders who meet certain criteria.
Once your account gets approved for this program, every video you upload on YouTube is served with AdSense ads and you earn from them continuously.
It’s a different story with Twitch; vloggers earn on Twitch mainly through affiliate marketing and sponsorships.
Whether you go with YouTube or Twitch or some other platform, being a vlogger is definitely a workable passive income idea.
4. Start a podcast.
Fun fact: 57% of US consumers over the age of 12 listen to podcasts, and nearly 75% of podcast consumers enjoy listening to podcasts to learn new things.
Why not share your knowledge about an interesting topic and get some passive income out of it?
A podcast is a periodic digital broadcast available for streaming and downloading to a mobile device or a computer. It’s similar to radio shows, except the sound doesn’t go through the airwaves; it goes through the internet.
Podcasters usually earn passive income from ads, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing, and you can further increase this if you do your podcast in front of a web camera as well and then publish it as a vlog. That way you get double the passive income opportunities.
5. Become an influencer.
According to the official HopperHQ List 2021, Cristiano Ronaldo was the top-paid Instagram influencer that year, with a fee of around $1.6M per post.
You might never get to command a fee like that, but if you’re social media savvy and you can amass a following or you already have one, being a social media influencer is a viable passive income idea.
The first thing you need to do before this becomes a regular source of cash is to build up your follower count on various platforms: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or YouTube.
And you do this by posting relevant, timely content on a regular basis, as well as engaging with your audience. Genuine engagement with your followers goes a long way to growing them. Reply to their comments, follow back your most popular followers, and like some of their posts, too.
When you have enough followers to qualify for affiliate programs and ad networks, then you can start gaining passive income through those.
Plus, when you have enough followers to get noticed by brands, you can become a brand ambassador, too.
You do have to post regular content for you to earn regularly from ads and affiliates, but as you grow in popularity, the amount of money you can charge per post also goes up.
6. Sell digital media.
Artists and creators nowadays realize that the internet is a boon. It gives artists a chance to work with new media, explore new ways of creating, and showcase their art to new audiences.
Of course, the obvious downside is that there is plenty of competition, but if you keep at it and manage to get your creations in front of a paying audience, you can potentially earn passive income while getting to do something you love.
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Here are some ideas for digital media to create and sell, either on your own website or through digital marketplaces like Envato.
- Stock photos
- Photoshop filters and presets
- Digital art
- Icon sets
- Instrumental music
- Sound effects
- Website design themes
- Website plugins
- Printable journals and trackers
- Printable meal prep guides
- Printable workout guides
7. Sell online courses.
If you enough about a topic to be able to teach it to everyone who’s interested, you can create and sell online courses. That way, you only have to plan it and create it once and then students can buy it continuously for the foreseeable future.
You’ll have to update your courses according to your students’ feedback as well as with new information in that field, but other than that, once it’s up on an online course platform or on your own website, it’s going to earn passive income as long as it’s up and as long as students are enrolling.
Similarly, this opens up additional passive income streams from an accompanying ebook and possibly a membership website where interested students can subscribe for bonus content and an exclusive forum where virtual classmates can discuss the lessons and swap additional knowledge.
8. Set up and automate a dropshipping store.
Dropshipping is an amazing ecommerce business model that lets an online store owner sell products without an inventory or storage facility. In order to make this work, the owner sets up connections to merchants who will handle everything from processing the order to shipping them out.
In return, the dropshipping store owner either receives a cut from the sale or is paid a referral fee by the merchant.
A dropshipping online store can become a lucrative business, but it still requires a ton of work after setting up. In order to really turn this into a passive income-generating business, you’ll have to automate the whole process (from forwarding an order to sending the customer an email about their order details).
Setting up the store is as easy as setting up any website or blog. If you really want the easy way, you can even check out ready-made stores from providers like Shopify. Do note that because you’ll be hosting your store on Shopify’s database, Shopify gets a cut from every sale.
9. Rent out your assets.
A good source of passive income is getting assets that you don’t use or barely use to work for you.
You can sell these assets, but it’s a one-and-done deal.
Renting out a room or a house you own that’s not lived in, or a car you barely drive, or useful stuff around the house you aren’t using every day can help out other people who do need them while you earn some passive income out of it.
You’re going to spring for maintenance of your properties, but for the most part, you can earn some side cash out of these assets on a regular basis.
10. Invest in equity microfunding.
This one may be for those who have a bit more money earmarked for investing, aka money you can afford to risk for a greater reward.
But if you’ve built up one or more passive income streams and have no immediate need for the money, you may be able to place the funds into this type of investment and potentially make even more.
Traditionally, startup businesses raise funds through loans or appealing to angel investors or venture capitalists.
Equity microfunding is like crowdfunding but with higher stakes; that is, investors in equity microfunding get equity ownership in the business.
Startup businesses create online profiles on crowdfunding platforms where potential investors can see their pitches, financial statements, and other relevant information about their businesses.
You as an investor get to pick and choose the businesses you believe in. There are guidelines in place regarding how much you can invest in a certain time period, and you’d need to educate yourself about these guidelines.
Equity microfunding is the riskiest one yet out of this list, and yet it has the greatest earning potential, especially if you invest in the right startup businesses.
Here are some crowdfunding platforms offering equity crowdfunding:
The Bottom Line
Having a 9-to-5 job sounds so much better than being unemployed.
But being stuck in a job that you don’t really love and more than likely won’t make you rich is the worse.
Unfortunately, we’re all here trying to win the unbeatable rat race with regular jobs. To finally become financially free, you have to find ways to earn passive income.
Earning money while you sleep is completely possible, but people who have successfully done so had to put some conscious effort and work into getting there. If you are serious about running a business that earns income passively, you have to accept that the initial workload would be challenging.
Don’t believe anyone that says building a passive income-generating business is easy.
But the rewards are definitely worth the effort. Just imagine earning an extra $100, $500, $1000, or even up to $10,000 a month just because you’ve set up multiple sources of income streams a few months back.
What are you waiting for?
List down the passive income ideas relevant to you, and start working on them now.