31 Smart Passive Income Ideas That Actually Work

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Learn everything about the best passive income ideas in 2020! An image that shows a flat lay with black letters saying

I worked in an office for many years (what people call 9 to 5, but I called 9 to 9) and I got burnt out.

I had enough.

I decided that I wanted more freedom.

I really couldn’t spend another 30 years in a job, working 60+ hours a week! But to have freedom, I still needed to make money somehow. That’s when I became obsessed with passive income and ways to make money while you sleep!

After reading books like The 4-Hour Workweek and Rich Dad Poor Dad, I knew there were ways out there to make enough money to replace my full-time income without working every day, but I had no idea where to start.

So I began researching how to make passive income a reality.

But is it really possible to make money by doing nothing?

What is passive income?

If you want to understand the real meaning of passive income, you need to know what active income is first.

Active income is what most of us make. We go to work every day and give up our free time in exchange for money. If for any reason we don’t go to work, then we don’t get paid. This lack of income can become a huge problem if we don’t have any other money coming in, while we still have bills to pay every day.

Passive income is money you make without the need to actively working for it every day. 

Let me be clear: as much as dreaming is nice, and some residual income opportunities require less work than others, most passive income ideas need you to put in some (or a lot!) of effort at the beginning.

But the amazing thing about passive income is that no matter how much work you have to put in upfront, you will reap the rewards for years to come without having to sweat for your money all the time.

If the only way you have to make money is to go to the office, you will never be able to quit!

Passive income allows you to put effort today for something that will repay you every single day of your life.

And once the amount of passive income that you can generate equals or covers more than your expenses, then you can stop working entirely. 

Why passive income?

Passive income for me means just one thing: freedom.

This quote from Warren Buffet sums up my reasons to pursue it:

“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”

Passive income means having more time to do all the things you really love: spending time with family, traveling the world, and enjoying a flexible schedule. 

What I love about passive income:
  • It isn’t dependent on how many hours you work: once your revenue stream is set up, you can make money with little work needed to maintain it. 
  • It requires you to put in the work upfront, but you will then be able to generate revenues day after day!
  • You will have more time to do what you love, while still being able to make money and pay your bills.

And even if you are not dreaming to quit your day job, it’s never a good idea to depend on one single income stream. Your job isn’t 100% safe, and being able to generate money passively will give you more security.

But there is one thing I really want you to remember which I learned during these years:

Passive income is not EASY: it takes time and hard work to build. Whether it will come from a product or investments, you need to have the motivation to create it in the first place!

But if you put in the hard work and do your research, it is possible to make money while you are walking in the park or sipping a margarita on the beach.

Table of contents

Best passive income ideas

Passive income icon: invest money you already have Passive income icon: rent things out Passive income icon: get paid for things you already do Passive income icon: create an online business

Below you will find all the passive income ideas I researched over the years (including the things I am doing today to build my own revenue streams).

Some of these passive income strategies require more work than others upfront, and some come with financial risks that you will have to evaluate before jumping in.

There are 3 ways to generate passive income:

  • Investing money you already have
  • Renting out things you own
  • Getting paid for things you already do
  • Creating an online business

I classified each money-making ideas by:

MONEY: the amount of money you need to have to generate a significant income.
RISK: the risk you will need to take (including the danger of losing your money). This will also depend on your risk tolerance.
TIME: how much time you will need to put in, which could be research time at the beginning or actual work to set up your passive income stream.
GAIN: income potential. This is based on average. Every passive income idea can generate an amazing gain (or very little if poorly executed, or if dependent on external factors).

This score, of course, is just based on my personal views and experience.

But the question you need to ask yourself is:

How many people are going to commit to learning about how to make money through passive income?

Take action. Just do it!

Choose a few ideas that sound interesting to you and try them out! If you don’t start to create passive income now, you will never escape the rat race to live the life of your dreams!

Scandi style bedroom view to show how you can make money while you sleep with passive income!

Image from Norsu Interiors

PASSIVE INCOME IDEAS:
INVESTING MONEY YOU ALREADY HAVE

Passive income: make money investingInvesting is the easiest form of passive income, and doesn’t require much day-to-day effort. If you can save money, or you already have a substantial amount of funds sitting in your bank account, there are plenty of passive income ideas for you to choose from.

1. Invest in dividend-paying stocks

MONEY: 10/10
RISK: 9/10
TIME: 4/10
GAIN: 8/10

What are dividends? Dividends are cash paid by a company to its shareholders.

When you invest in a dividend-paying stock, you are buying a share of the company and you literally become part-owner of that business. As the company grows and generates extra cash that it doesn’t necessarily want to re-invest, it might decide to return some of it to the shareholders in the form of dividends. And because you own a fraction of the company, you will receive a portion of the cash!

Dividend-paying shares can be an excellent tool for generating income, but make sure you do your research on the shares you buy as dividends are not guaranteed: if the company isn’t generating enough cash, it can cut or suspend its dividend.

If you want to learn more about dividend investing you should read:

  • The Dividend Mantra Way: Achieving Financial Independence By Living Below Your Means And Investing In Dividend Growth Stocks
  • Dividend Growth Machine: How to Supercharge Your Investment Returns with Dividend Stocks
  • The Single Best Investment: Creating Wealth with Dividend Growth

Blogs I recommend:

  • Dividend Growth Stocks
  • Dividend Mantra

 

2. Buy index funds and ETFs

MONEY: 10/10
RISK: 8/10
TIME: 2/10
GAIN: 7/10

If you have the capital to invest, but don’t have the time, knowledge, or energy to get stuck in dividend investing, index funds and ETFs are a much easier alternative. Both index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) track specific returns of a market index.

If you want your money working for you, you are looking for a simple long term approach and don’t want to play with risky investments, this strategy might be for you.

It took us a long time to decide how to invest our money. I have always been terrified of investing in the stock market as I am the worst gambler in history.  Then I discovered index investing and ETFs and I am converted. Last year my investments made a return of over 20%! But investing in the market can be a bit of a rollercoaster (thanks to the virus that shall not be named!). 

Before you decide to invest in index investing and ETFs I strongly recommend you read this blog: J.L. Collins’ Stock Series.

Books to read before investing:

  • The Simple Path to Wealth
  • The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing

Photo of a paper sheet attached to wall with some investment graphs

3. Open a high-yield account

MONEY: 5/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 1/10
GAIN: 2/10

We have been experiencing low-interest rates for years, and with the recent cuts now more than ever most bank accounts pay close to nothing for savings. If you have money sitting there, and you still don’t know how to invest it or prefer a no-risk investment strategy, make sure you pick the best possible rate you can get.

You normally need to look at online banks to obtain a much better return on your money, but the difference can be massive. You can get up to 145x more than traditional banks!

Do you think I am kidding?

Bank of America currently offers 0.01% on your savings while you can currently get 1.45% with CIT Bank! Their savings builder account has no fee and you can open it with as little as $100. You just need to put $100 a month in the account to earn their top interest rate.

Although the interests paid by Bank of America are extremely low, online savings accounts like CIT Bank still offer over 15x the national average, which is unbelievable compared to traditional banks.

Here are just some examples of high-yield accounts available on the market now:

  • CIT Bank – 1.45%
  • Barclays Bank – 1.30%
  • Synchrony Bank – 1.30%

And if you consistently put aside savings every month, you could see your money grow without much effort! You won’t get rich, but you will be able to get much higher returns than just leaving your savings in your current account!

What we are trying to achieve here is to have your money working for you, instead of having to work for money! 

4. Certificates of deposit (CD)

MONEY: 5/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 1/10
GAIN: 2/10

A certificate of deposit (CD) is similar to a high-yield savings account. Banks will offer you a premium interest rate BUT you need to leave a lump sum untouched for a certain period of time.

Most financial institutions offer CD terms in multiples of six months. So you can open one for six months, 12 months, 18 months, etc. Usually, the longer you agree to leave your money, the higher the interest rate you can get.

At the end of the fixed term, you will get your money back, plus any interest you have earned during that period.

CDs are great if you have a sum of money you know you won’t need in the short term, but you want to maximize your return without any risk.

When you look for a CD that suits your needs, make sure to check any penalty fees you might have to pay in case you need to withdraw your money before the end of your term. Some banks, like CIT Bank or Ally Bank, offer no-penalty CDs that allow you to access your money, after the first 6 days of deposit.

5. Bonds

MONEY: 6/10
RISK: 3/10
TIME: 2/10
GAIN: 3/10

When you listen to people talking about investing, you’ll normally hear them discussing stocks and bonds.

But what are bonds?

When you purchase stocks, you are purchasing a tiny part of the company. When you purchase bonds, you are lending money to the company and receive interest payments on that loan.

Companies aren’t the only ones issuing bonds. The government can issue bonds to finance projects too. 

The two key elements of bonds are the interest rate you will get and the term (how long the money is being lent for).  

Bonds are much less risky than stocks but do not normally produce as high of a return, as you don’t benefit from the company’s growth. 

But they have 2 major benefits:

  • They are income-producing assets and give you a fixed stream of income.
  • They can offset some of the volatility you might see from owning stocks, although they still carry some risks.

Books to read before investing in bonds:

  • The Bond Book
  • The Simple Path to Wealth
  • The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing

6. Invest with Robo advisors

MONEY: 7/10
RISK: 7/10
TIME: 2/10
GAIN: 7/10

Up until a few years ago, if you wanted to invest your hard-earned money in the market, you had to hire a portfolio manager or financial advisor.

This not only required a minimum sum to invest but also came with substantial fees.

What are Robo advisors?

Robo advisors are digital platforms that aim to change the way you invest by using algorithm-driven technology. This makes high quality investing available to everyone, even if you have little money to start with.

Betterment is the largest Robo advisor on the market, and without a doubt, one of the best, especially if you are not keen to spend too much time learning about investing.

There is no minimum amount to invest, the fees are low (between 0.25-0.4%), and you really don’t have to know anything about the stock market.

All you have to do is:

  • Open an account (which takes less than 5 minutes), with no minimum deposit.
  • Tell Betterment a bit about yourself: Where are you in your financial life and what are you investing for? Dream vacation? Down payment for your mortgage?
  • Based on your answers and risk tolerance, Betterment will recommend an investing plan and use their advanced technology to build a personalized portfolio.

It couldn’t get any easier than this!

Blooom is similar to betterment but for your 401k plan. What makes Blooom unique is that it will give you a free analysis of your current employer-sponsored retirement plan. This will help you to uncover unnecessary hidden investment fees very quickly.

Not only will they work to reduce your investment fees, but they will also rebalance your retirement portfolio based on your birthdate and retirement age, to help you reach your retirement goals.

Get your free analysis in under 5 minutes!

7. Peer-to-peer lending

MONEY: 8/10
RISK: 9/10
TIME: 3/10
GAIN: 7/10

Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) means loaning money to other people. Specifically, you lend money to people who don’t qualify for traditional financing. Companies like Lending Club and Prosper offer returns in the range of 6-10%, which are a lot higher than a typical savings account.

With P2P you will be able to select an investment, based on your risk assessment strategy. But before you get too excited by the rates on offer, you need to consider that the higher the returns, the bigger is normally the danger of losing your money.

Although companies like Lending Club cherry-picks borrowers according to credit checks, there are still risks that you need to consider before putting your money in. 

So always make sure to do your own research!

8. Crowdfunded real estate

MONEY: 7/10
RISK: 7/10
TIME: 3/10
GAIN: 7/10

I love real estate investing, but it requires a lot of upfront capital plus you need to learn to love your tenants (see point 10 below)! Crowdfunded real estate investing gives you a way to still invest in the real estate market, without having to necessarily put in a lot of money upfront. It’s a much more passive investment than owning rental properties!

When you invest in crowdfunded real estate, you are normally funding loans, which are then used to buy and improve real assets, and you get paid for that.

With Crowdfunded real estate investment, you can get returns in the range of 7-10%, similar to peer-to-peer lending, but you have the actual house to back up the investment.

PeerStreet has a minimum investment of $1,000. If you are interested in finding out more, I suggest you sign up for free. Once you have an account, you will be able to check the potential real estate deals or look through PeerStreet’s portfolio suggestions.

Please keep in mind that this is a new market, and there are still risks, like with any investment strategy.

Article I recommend:

2 white front doors on a pink and blue building

9. Invest in REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)

MONEY: 7/10
RISK: 7/10
TIME: 3/10
GAIN: 7/10

Another way to invest in real estate is to invest through a REIT.

A REIT is a company that owns, operates or finances real estate and allows anyone to invest in portfolios of real estate assets, the same way as stocks: you can purchase individual stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF). You can then earn a share of the income produced through the real estate investment without having to own, manage, or finance a property.

A REIT offers capital growth and generally high dividend yields.

Article I recommend to learn more about REITs:

  • What’s a REIT?

PASSIVE INCOME IDEAS:
RENTING THINGS OUT

Taking advantage of things you already have is one of the best ways to make passive income a quick reality.

10. Invest in rental properties

MONEY: 10/10
RISK: 6/10
TIME: 8/10
GAIN: 7/10

This is one of my favorite ways to generate passive income! It’s the first one we explored and decided to go for, as we love real estate and we do like to have a tangible investment. You will normally need some capital to invest and you will need to do quite a lot of work upfront to find the right rental property.

Although a lot of people don’t consider rental properties a passive business, it’s more passive than going to the office every day!

We have 2 rental properties at the moment. Last year we generated over $22,000 net income (after mortgage payments, expenses, and taxes), and all I had to do was to go to inspect the properties 3 times to make sure the tenants weren’t destroying them! They are actually keeping them in perfect condition and they are lovely people! Call me lucky.

Every time we buy a rental, we renovate it to high standards to make sure it’s in perfect shape and won’t need much work done for quite a few years. If you want to make it even more passive, you can outsource the property management duties and maintenance tasks.

Websites I recommend:

  • BiggerPockets
  • Afford Anything

11. Rent out your spare room

MONEY: 1/10
RISK: 2/10
TIME: 4/10
GAIN: 5/10

What could be better than making money from home? Earning passive income from your home!

If you own your house and have a spare room or you rent a place with some extra space, you can start earning money now on websites like Airbnb.

If you are renting, make sure you check with your landlord first, as you will need his/her permission to rent out the extra space.

How much you can make will depend on the location, the size, and condition of your home, but this is definitely a way of earning money from space that might just be sitting there empty.

Going away on holiday? List your home while you are away and you could earn more than what your holiday is costing you! Click here to learn how!

12. Rent out your car

MONEY: 1/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 4/10
GAIN: 4/10

Got a car that you don’t drive all the time? You should probably rent it out! Just like renting out a property, this will require some maintenance and work, but you can earn some good money.

If you want to rent out your car while you are on holiday, or while you are not using it, check out websites like:

  • Turo
  • Getaround

These websites let you rent your car Airbnb-style. With Turo, you’re protected with $1 million in liability insurance, and your car is covered against theft and physical damage. Your car has to be from 2005 or newer, have a clean title, and have less than 130,000 miles on it.

Getaround has similar requirements: every trip includes $1,000,000 insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance. Plus it installs a device that lets people get into your car without the key. Getaround says the average car owner makes $1,000 per year.

Not bad for very little effort!

13. Rent your parking space

MONEY: 1/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 4/10
GAIN: 4/10

If you have a free parking space, driveway, or empty garage, you can easily turn that into money. You could list the space yourself on Craiglist or, reduce the hassle and use something like Stow It. Stow It connects individuals and businesses with extra space to others that need vehicle storage.

It will also process all payments and makes sure that you get paid on time. Plus listing your space is free and you keep 95% of your earnings.

Other websites you can look into, depending on where you live:

  • Parqex
  • Curbflip
  • Roverparking
  • Pavemint

If you live in a major metropolitan area, you will be surprised by how much you can make for your spot!

14. Rent storage space

If you have some extra space and are happy for people to store their stuff in there, you could simply rent it out without much hassle. Much easier than letting your spare room on Airbnb, and having to deal with potential guests every day.

By renting out your space as storage, you could earn some easy money by actually doing very little.

I suggest you use a peer-to-peer storage rental platform to find verified users. 

Websites like:

  • Neighbor
  • Stashii
  • Kostok

Will charge you a small fee but will vet users and help you to collect payments and insure your space.

15. Rent your bike, sports equipment, or anything else you can think of

MONEY: 1/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 4/10
GAIN: 4/10

Did you know you could earn cash with that bike you rarely ride or sports equipment you only use once or twice a year?

Websites like:

  • Frindswitha
  • Spinlister

Let you make money by renting out all sorts of equipment: from bikes to cameras, tools, generators, paint sprayers, speakers, and more.

You can list all your equipment for free on both websites (Spinlister will only take bikes, snowboards, skis, and surfboards while Friendswitha has more options). Plus you can insure your items against damage or theft. All you have to do is to pay a low fee (from 6% to 17.5%) when you rent out your equipment. 

Surfboard against wall to show you how you earn money by renting things out with passive income in 2020

16. Rent your clothes

MONEY: 1/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 4/10
GAIN: 4/10

Yes!

If you have some nice clothes in your wardrobe (or bags, shoes, and accessories) that you rarely use, you could make money by renting them out. 

While you can rent pretty much anything…designer brands like Alice and Oliva, Eliza J, or Chanel rent much easily while renting fast fashion (like Forever21, H&M) won’t make you much money. 

Websites and apps to check, if you want to rent your clothes:

  • Rent My Wardrobe
  • StyleLend

These websites give you the option to insure your items in case they get damaged or lost, but always check the fine print before you lend.

PASSIVE INCOME IDEAS:
GET PAID FOR THINGS YOU ALREADY DO

Passive income: getting paid for things you already do icon

17. Get paid to shop

MONEY: 1/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 2/10
GAIN: 2/10

The thing is: we all spend money shopping, no matter how frugal we are.

How about getting money back on everything you buy?

Using cashback apps and websites isn’t going to cost you anything, other than a bit of time. And you can get anything from 2 to 10% back on your money. That’s a lot! If you spend $1,000 in a month, you could get $100 back!

My favorite cash back apps:

Swagbucks: This app has over 1500 shops to pick from, including places you already shop from like Starbucks, Amazon, and Target. You just need to select the shop you need, click on it, and earn cashback. You can then use the points you make to buy gift cards (from places like Amazon) or get paid via PayPal.

Rakuten: This website gives you cashback when you shop online. To earn money you just need to go the website or download the app, select the store you need to shop from, and earn money! You’ll get a free $10 bonus when you sign up and you’ll be able to see how much cashback you can make on each different store when you select it.

Ibotta: This is a bit different! You need to take a picture of your grocery receipts with your phone and upload them to the app. You will then receive between $0.25 to a few dollars per receipt as cashback for buying certain products. It’s so easy I can’t believe they actually give you cash for that. Plus you’ll get a free $10 bonus when you sign up!

18. Credit card rewards

Credit card rewards work a bit like cash back apps. 

Choosing credit cards with a reward program can get you $1 to $2 back on every $100 you spend. It’s a great way to maximize what you can earn on what you spend!

But before you run away to open several credit cards remember that:

  • Credit card rewards are only valuable if you pay off your cards in full every month. There is no point in earning a 2% cashback if you end up paying 15% interest. Remember: paying off your debt and becoming debt-free should always be your priority!
  • Don’t open too many credit cards at once to avoid your credit score to drop.
  • Choose a credit card that has a reward program you’ll use. If you love to travel, you can pick a credit card that will reward you with frequent flyer miles. Or if you eat out often, you can pick a credit card that gives you high cash back at restaurants. Don’t let points and rewards go to waste!

PASSIVE INCOME IDEAS:
CREATE AN ONLINE BUSINESS

Earn residual income by creating an online business

If you don’t have savings and don’t own many things, you can still generate residual income by creating an online business. This normally requires more time upfront, making it a bit less passive than other ideas, but if you stick with it for long enough, you will be able to reap the benefits and generate real passive income streams.

19. Start your own online store

MONEY: 4/10
RISK: 3/10
TIME: 9/10
GAIN: 7/10

To be completely honest, having an e-commerce store isn’t the most passive way to earn money. The reason I included e-commerce in this list is that if you set up your supply chain in a clever way, you could create a business that can make thousands of dollars a month with little effort to maintain it.

There are several business models for an e-commerce website:

  • Sell your own physical product: this is a lot of work and requires some capital to invest but you could create something unique with high-profit margin.
  • Dropshipping: you will not have to own stock. When someone purchases a product from your online store, the manufacturer will ship it directly to the customer. It’s great as you don’t have to handle deliveries and returns, but you don’t have much control over quality and customer experience.
  • Sell other people’s products: you get to sell a lot of different products from the start, but it’s hard to differentiate yourself and make a profit in a competitive market.

If creating an online business is something that intrigues you, check out Shopify.

Shopify is by far the best e-commerce platform out there. They have beautiful templates that will make designing your site a breeze.

They also have lots of tools and adds-on to help you process payments, handle deliveries and returns, set up promotions, and much more.

Simply start a 14-day free trial by clicking here.

20. Start a blog

MONEY: 2/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 8/10
GAIN: 7/10

Really? Yes really! Blogging isn’t 100% passive and requires A LOT of hard work in the setup phase. Believe me, I did it! It took me 3 months before I launched to generate enough good content, and don’t trust anyone who tells you that you can create a money-making blog in a week!

But what I found out myself is that if you put in the hard work, and you are clever about what you write about, you can quickly generate traffic, and TRAFFIC = MONEY.

There are so many ways to make money blogging, some more passive than others: you can simply add advertising on your blog, or you can generate money using affiliate marketing, selling your own products, or create partnerships with brands.

If you are interested in starting a blog you have to read this article:

How To Make Money Blogging With No Experience

I managed to get over 180,000 page views and earn over $3,800 after only 3 months! In the article, you can find out exactly how I did it.

And if I did it, you can do it too!

21. Buy a blog

If starting a blog feels like too much work, how about purchasing a blog that is already making money?

You can simply learn how to maintain it, but all the leg work will be done for you.

The main advantage of buying a blog is saving time. Starting a blog and building an audience takes a lot of time and effort. By buying a blog that is already established, you can take a shortcut, as the design, the look, and social media accounts will be already set up.

You will also be able to verify if that particular niche is profitable before you buy, without the risk of spending months on an idea that won’t get you anywhere.

All this, of course, comes at a bigger cost than starting from scratch. But it could save your months and month of hard work. 

Websites like:

  • Flippa
  • Empire Flippers

Let you chose between thousands of blogs and online businesses for sale. You can enquire about current earnings and profit, and get an idea of the work involved before you buy.

It’s something worth considering if you want to explore the idea of having a blog that generates money from day one.

22. Affiliate marketing

MONEY: 1/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 8/10
GAIN: 7/10

Affiliate Marketing is my favorite way to produce passive income on Gathering Dreams. It makes up over 60% of my revenues. 

The idea is that you will research a potential niche that can be profitable, use SEO techniques and advertising to drive traffic to your website, and earn money by getting a commission for recommending products or services.

It takes time and effort to build a large audience, but once you have created the correct platform you will be able to earn a good income with very little work.

And that’s why I love it!

You can read more about affiliate marketing here:

Affiliate Marketing For Dummies: A Smart Guide For Beginners

23. Write an e-book

MONEY: 1/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 8/10
GAIN: 7/10

Self-publishing is great: you write a book, hit publish, and then collect royalties for years to come.

If you love writing content, you won’t find it hard to write an 80-100 page e-book on the things you love. Make sure you pick a profitable topic and you market your book through bloggers and influencers in that niche.

Non-fiction e-books that educate your potential audience on specific topics like finance, online marketing, and business are going to make you more money than fiction books. Of course, there are always exceptions and you could write the next Harry Potter book, but if you want to create some residual income quickly, I would suggest you go for what sells first!

Using the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform is an easy way to get your e-book on Amazon as quickly as possible and start making some money!

3 books on a white desk with a branch and leaves

24. Make money publishing blank books

We talked about self-publishing just before. 

But let’s be honest: writing a book is no easy feat. Especially if you are not a professional writer!

What if I told you that you could publish books without writing? And still make money? Yep!

Have you ever heard of low-content self-publishing?

With low-content publishing, you will be creating books that are made with mostly blank internal pages. 

Think about:

  • diaries
  • planners
  • journals
  • notebooks
  • sketchbooks

With these types of books, as long as you have a good eye for design and pick a profitable niche with good demand, you won’t have to write 50,000 words that possibly no one will read.

Once you create a great book layout, you can simply keep it as a digital file, use Amazon’s print-on-demand service, hold no physical inventory, and collect passive royalties whenever a book sells.

What’s not to like?

25. Teach your expertise

MONEY: 1/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 8/10
GAIN: 7/10

Teaching your skills by creating an online course has the potential to become a fantastic way to earn passive income. 

There are plenty of people that make a living from selling online courses. You can create videos, e-books, checklists, and audio files to supplement your lessons and share your passion with others.

Creating different courses at different prices can help you to maximize your chances of selling them.

The best online websites that make it easy for you to sell your skills and create online courses are:

  • Teachable.com
  • Udemy
  • SkillShare

If you are seriously interested in generating passive income by starting an online course, a great place to start is the Teachable free webinar. Teachable offers free live training to help you launch your online course in no time. You can claim your free spot by clicking here.

26. Flip domains for profit

MONEY: 2/10
RISK: 2/10
TIME: 4/10
GAIN: 6/10

This is the idea: you purchase domain names for cheap that can be valuable to companies in the future, and then you resell them for a profit.

Some people made millions by purchasing the right domain name, although a lot of their success is due to luck!

You need to do your own research and make sure you pick keywords that have the potentials to make you money. A great place to start is to select a specific niche, narrowing your focus, and find out what domain names could sell well in that niche.

If you want to try it out, make sure you don’t spend a lot of money on a domain. Don’t invest more than $10-$100 to start with, and remember, the money is in your sales abilities, not necessarily in the name.

There is only one domain name, and if someone wants it and you own it, your negotiation skills will make the difference between a small and big profit.

27. Set up your YouTube channel

MONEY: 3/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 9/10
GAIN: 7/10

I won’t lie: it’s not easy to make money out of a YouTube Channel. You will need to create quite a lot of video content before you can start to earn a significant amount of money. But if you pick the right niche, and manage to create great and useful content, you will be able to get organic traffic from YouTube and Google.

You can make money by display ads on your channel and will get paid every time someone watches your videos.

On the plus side, great quality video content is relatively scarce, compared to text-based content. Also, people prefer watching a 5-minute video recipe than reading a long set of instructions. Right now, the market is less competitive. If you have great video and editing skills, you should give it a try!

For more info on how to make money with YouTube and start your own channel check:

 How much do YouTubers Make? And How Do They Really Make Money?

28. License your photos

MONEY: 2/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 6/10
GAIN: 5/10

If you have a great eye for the perfect shot and friends keep telling you how beautiful your photos are, you can select the best pictures from your hard drive and make money by selling them online.

You don’t have to be a professional to sell photos: you still have the opportunity to earn some money, even if you are just a novice.

Most websites pay you based on the number of downloads: you get paid a percentage every time someone downloads one of your pictures. So once the pictures are uploaded, you will be earning passive income every time someone buys them.

Best websites to sell your photos online:

  • Shutterstock
  • iStock
  • Adobe

If you want to learn more about making money by selling your photos online, check out these courses Udemy: 

  • Earn extra income by selling your photos online
  • License your photos online: Create photographs that sell

Both courses are rated above 4.5 stars and have been taken by over 1,000 people!

29. License your music

I am probably the last person in the world that will make money passively with music! Last time I tried to learn the piano I was 13 and let’s just say Beethoven wouldn’t be impressed! 

But if you love composing your own music you can make thousands of dollars by licensing it to be used on many platforms: from YouTube videos, computer games, and movie trailers to TV adverts or corporate promotional videos.

By creating stock music, you can earn royalties (a bit like with photos) every time someone downloads and use your music for their productions.

Some great places to start selling your music are:

  • Premium Beat
  • Epidemic Sound

30. Develop an app

MONEY: 4/10
RISK: 6/10
TIME: 7/10
GAIN: 7/10

Unless you are a developer yourself, building an app can cost quite a bit of money. But if you can get together with people with the right skills, and come up with a clever idea, you’ll be able to generate a nice little income every time someone downloads your app.

The best way to develop an app successfully is to look for gaps in the market, and for apps that will help people to solve a problem. You can also look for apps that have been downloaded many times but have a very bad interface or poor user experience.

If you think you can do something better, you should give it a shot!

31. Sell printables on autopilot

MONEY: 2/10
RISK: 1/10
TIME: 7/10
GAIN: 6/10

A picture frame with a quite on a metal sideboard to show how you can sell printables for money.

Found on Posh Pennies Shop

If you love design and you have an artistic soul, selling digital products on Etsy could be a great way to earn passive income. Digital products require little maintenance, your customers will simply receive a link to download them (which means you don’t have to worry about shipping and returns handling). All you need to do is spend time upfront to create beautiful artwork! (Easy right?)

 Some examples of the most popular printables include:

  • Greeting Cards
  • Wall Art
  • Organizer
  • Decorations
  • Invitations

These are just a few examples: there is no limit to your imagination! Are you a great cook? You can sell meal plans and recipe cards. Are you a fanatic organizer? You can sell beautiful planners or calendars.

You can simply use your knowledge and expertise to make beautiful products. As long as your printables are appealing to your target audience and high quality, they will sell!

For more inspiration check out:

20 Easy Things To Make And Sell Online For Extra Cash

Ready to pick your favorite passive income ideas?

Passive income through any of the ideas above requires work, but IT IS POSSIBLE to make money while you sleep! No matter what ideas to make money you go for, you might have to sacrifice time, but if you want it badly enough it will be worth it!

My favorite passive income ideas (mostly because I am working on them already and can see the results) are:

  • Buying index funds and ETFs
  • Investing in a rental property
  • Creating a blog

And I am seriously looking into:

  • Writing an e-book
  • Selling photos (well, Dan’s photos, really! But don’t tell him lol)
  • Starting a YouTube channel

Remember, if you want to achieve financial freedom and be able to quit your job, you need to seriously start thinking about earning passive income today!

MORE IDEAS TO HELP YOU BUILDING YOUR DREAMS:

Need money now? Make extra money fast with these creative ways to make extra money, the easy way. The best ideas to make money. Learn how to make 100 dollars a day! 31 CREATIVE WAYES TO MAKE $100 A DAYLearn how financial freedom can change your life and help you to achieve all your dreams! These 7 easy steps will help you to take control of your life! FINANCIAL FREEDOM: 7 STEPS TO REACH YOUR DREAMS

 

If you are interested in starting your own blog, have a look at my step-by-step guide! I will show you everything you need to do to start a successful money-making blog!

Check out all the best resources for your blog!  I find all these resources so valuable and I am sure they will help you as much as they helped me.

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