Is the concept of doing a job once and getting paid over and over again appealing? Would you like to earn passive income while you sleep?
Yes, we’d all like to make money without having to do much work, but the reality is creating a passive income stream can take a lot of time, work, and often money. And let’s face it, there is an element of risk — nothing is guaranteed.
If you’d like to build your wealth with this monetization method, here are 14 passive income ideas to get you started.
1. Start a Blog
One of the most popular passive income ideas is blogging. That’s because bloggers can write and publish content that generates page views over and over again.
But how do you make money from these page views?
The three most common ways to make passive income with a blog are affiliate marketing, ad revenue, and product sales (courses, printables, and e-books).
With affiliate marketing, you include referral (affiliate) links within your content. Each time a reader clicks on that link and takes an action (signs up or purchases something), you’ll earn a commission.
Say you have a blog post that contains 2 affiliate links, and each day, at least 20 people click on those links. Out of those 20 people, let’s say 2 people purchase a product or sign up for an offer; each time that happens, you earn money passively!
Now multiply that by the number of blog posts you have on your site — that can add up to a lot of passive income!
Ad revenue works in a similar fashion. You’ll place advertisements on your blog, and each time an ad is seen by a reader, you earn advertising dollars. Most ad networks pay on an RPM model (revenue per thousand impressions) or RPS model (revenue per thousand sessions) – so you will need a decent number of page views to make money with this passive income method.
Here are some ad networks you may want to consider:
The third method bloggers use to make passive income is creating a product, like a digital course, e-book, printables, or templates. With this method, you create the product once, and you’re able to sell it repeatedly without investing any more time into product creation. Of course, you’ll need to market your products, and if the information is out of date, you’ll need to spend some time updating it.
If blogging sounds like it might be your cup of tea, sign up for our free 10-day blogging course.
2. Flip Websites
If you’re knowledgeable on writing, marketing, SEO, getting traffic, and monetizing websites, perhaps flipping websites is your passive income calling! With website flipping, you can either start a website from scratch or buy an established website. Simply build up the traffic and income, and then flip it for a higher profit.
Like I mentioned above, you can use affiliate marketing, ad revenue, and courses to passively monetize your site, then automate your marketing using a tool like SocialBee. You can even hire writers to create new content, so you’re not having to spend a lot of time working on the site. Once it reaches a decent level of income and traffic, you can sell it for a profit (usually 2-3 times the annual revenue).
Here are a few website flipping platforms:
Related Content: The 9 Easiest Things to Flip for Profit
3. Create a Course
Creating and selling an online course is a great way to earn a passive income from home. However, it will take some time, effort, and expertise in the creation and marketing process. The passive part is the automation you build into the course, such as the sales funnels and the affiliate marketing programs in which you receive revenue on autopilot. Use a platform like Teachable or SamCart to deliver your course and house your affiliate program.
If you need some inspiration, Kristin Larsen has created two courses around her passions, Become a Pinterest VA Today and Diva Dog Bakery. She’s had so much success selling these courses online that she earned over $800,000 in 2020!
4. Sell Ebooks
If you enjoy writing and have expertise in a certain subject matter, you can write and sell ebooks for passive income. Having written a couple of books myself, the process of researching, writing, and editing can be time-consuming. But the great thing about ebooks is you can sell on multiple platforms like Amazon, Nook, and Apple Books, and you can sell them anytime, anywhere, for an indefinite period.
5. Invest in Property
You’ll need to have money for a down payment, or you’ll need to take out a loan, but investing in property is an excellent way to make a passive income! The value of a property generally goes up every 10 years, but in the meantime, you can rent out your property for a stable monthly income.
With sites like Airbnb and Vrbo, you can easily rent your property for a recurring income. When I checked out Airbnb, they estimated I could earn $3,554 a month renting my house to 4 guests, not bad!
6. Savings and Retirement Accounts
With this passive income method, you won’t make money overnight, but it can be a good way to earn extra income over the long run. If your employer offers a 401K program with a matching percentage, be sure to take advantage of it, investing the maximum amount possible. This is free money (the employer match); don’t leave it on the table!
With savings accounts, you’ll want to look around for a bank that offers high interest rates. If you have extra savings, you may look into CDs (certificate of deposit) where you allow a financial institution to use your money for a set period of time (usually 3 months to 6 years) for a higher percentage rate. Talking to a financial planner can be helpful when determining your best options for earning passive income with these methods.
7. Earn Royalties From Your Creative Work
If you’re an artist, author, influencer, musician, or photographer, you may be able to earn royalties from your creative work. Basically, a royalty is a set amount of money you’ll earn each time one of your products (books, songs, images, or photos) is sold or used.
With this method, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with legal terms routinely used in contracts. Having a lawyer look over the contract is highly recommended to understand the terms of the agreement fully. And get ready to negotiate; companies will not advocate on your behalf, ask for what you’re worth.
8. Create a Monthly Membership Subscription
If you have a business that publishes free content, why not put some of it behind a paid subscription wall. Sites like the Harvard Business Review allow readers to read 3 articles a month for free. After that, you must purchase a monthly subscription ($12 per month) to continue reading the articles on their site.
Another method is to host premium content (tutorials, webinars, job boards, forums, events, templates, etc.) and offer it for a monthly subscription fee. One person that has seen massive success with this passive income method is Carol Tice and her Freelance Writers Den, which earns her over $300,000 a year! You can read how she started her membership subscription site here.
9. Get Pinning
Did you know that Pinterest allows users to include pins with affiliate links? If you’re affiliated with some affiliate marketing programs, create new images, write a catchy description, and add your affiliate link. Creating pins with affiliate links can earn you commissions over and over again without a lot of extra work.
Don’t have a blog? No problem! Some affiliate programs allow you to join without having a website. This post explains how to get started with affiliate marketing when you don’t have a website.
Do you have a great idea for a product? Then you can use a company like Alibaba to create your product and have it dropshipped directly to customers. You can sell your one creation over and over again through an e-commerce platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Amazon. You don’t even need to physically stock products. To learn more about dropshipping, check out this post.
11. Make Passive Income Surfing the Web
Did you know that there are companies that will pay you to track your interactions on the web? Market research companies like Survey Junkie and Nielson Computer & Mobile Panel will pay you for your web activity. Which means you make money for doing what you were going to do anyway.
With Nielson Computer & Mobile Panel, you’ll create an account and then download their software on your devices. According to their website, if you install the app on your smartphone, you’ll unlock up to $50 in reward points. Points are payable via PayPal or gift cards from major retailers. You’ll also be eligible for sweepstake entries and instant win game tokens.
On Survey Junkie, you can choose to participate in attitudinal market research (surveys and focus groups), behavioral market research (tracking your web activity), or both. To share your activity, you’ll need to join the SJ Pulse Community. This will include installing an extension on your web browser or opting into the mobile app. With Survey Junkie, you earn points that can be traded in for gift cards or cash via PayPal. For more info on Survey Junkie, check out our full review here.
12. Sell Stock Photos Online
If you love snapping photos, you can earn a passive income by selling your photos online. Of course, your images will need to have good lighting and composition. But if you’re a talented photographer, you can take a photo once and sell it repeatedly on stock photo sites.
Each company has different terms, so be sure to read them carefully. Some companies will require an exclusivity agreement. This means that you can’t sell images that are being sold on their site anywhere else. Generally, you’ll have to submit a few photos to prove your abilities. Once you’re approved as a seller, you’ll earn a commission on each photo that you sell. Here is a big list of stock photo sites to get you started.
13. Design and Sell T-Shirts Online
Always coming up with catchy slogan ideas? Are you a talented artist or designer? If so, you can earn passive income by designing and selling t-shirts online. Platforms like Teespring and Spreadshirt allow you to set up shop for free! Simply sign up for an account, create your designs using the platform, price your items, and publish your shop. These companies will ship products directly to your customers, so you never have to worry about inventory. Again, you’ll need to market your creations, but once they’re designed, you’re good to go!
14. Rent Stuff You’re Not Using
With companies like Airbnb, RV Share, and Turo, you can easily earn passive income by renting stuff you’re not using. Don’t think you have anything to rent? Think again! This post has 20 unique things you can rent for money, including boats, bikes, surfboards, photography equipment, and so much more! To give you an idea of how much you can earn with this method, I checked out the Turo website. With Turo, you rent out your car when you’re not using it. According to their website, you can make an annual income of $10,516 renting one car!
There are many ways you can earn passive income from home; some require a financial investment, while others require a time investment upfront. But if you’re willing to put in the time, effort, and possibly money, you can create alternative income streams to generate more wealth.
How are you earning passive income from home? Drop me a note; I’d love to hear from you!
Originally published October 8, 2019. Content updated September 17, 2021.