The only thing better than making money is making money while you sleep. That’s the whole concept behind passive income. You can spend more time with your family and friends, perfect your golf swing or learn another language. The possibilities are endless because you’ve set up passive income streams that provide you a paycheck without needing to clock in. Here are the 10 best passive income ideas that will rock your world.
What Is Passive Income?
Passive income is an income-generating idea, product or strategy that requires little-to-no maintenance once it’s set in motion or released to the public. With passive income, the income potential is unlimited even though we all have the same 24 hours in a day. This is what sets apart passive income from a “traditional” job.
Just know that these ideas will take some time, money or both to set up initially. But once the hard work is done, you can focus on other things that are more important in your life.
There’s a big movement called “FIRE” that focuses on debt reduction and building passive income so people can become financially independent and retire early. Although debt reduction is important, you cannot retire (at any age) without enough passive income.
Why Do You Need Passive Income?
No matter how much you love your job, there will come a time when you will leave it. The choice could be yours or the choice could be made for you.
You could reach retirement age or become too ill to work. You may leave to devote your life to charitable endeavors. Or you could decide, like I did, that you don’t want to waste your life sitting in traffic while you’re missing out on quality family time.
Whatever your reason for leaving your day job, you’ll need some income to pay the bills.
This is where passive income comes in. It gives you the freedom to make choices without needing to worry about where your next paycheck is coming from. This residual income may not replace 100% of your salary, but it could provide enough to keep the lights on, the mortgage paid and food on the table if you left your job.
Top 10 Passive Income Money Making Ideas
This all sounds wonderful, right? Here are some money making ideas that will show you how to make passive income a reality in your life.
PASSIVE INCOME IDEA #1
Start a Blog
Starting a blog is one of the most popular side hustles to earn online income. This is because whether you have 10 people or 10 million reading your content, the amount of your effort to write an article is the same. Websites have low start-up costs and you can literally buy your domain, launch your site and have a few pages created in less than an hour. You won’t start making money right away, but you will be building towards that first $1 of income.
On your website, you can earn money from banner ads, selling products that you’ve created, referring people to other websites or from writing posts that are sponsored by companies that target your audience.
PASSIVE INCOME IDEA #2
Write and Publish an eBook
You have an incredible amount of knowledge and experience. You may not feel that way, but we all do. And people who don’t know as much as you are willing to pay for that knowledge.
Because you’re publishing an eBook rather than a physical book, the costs are minimal. And you don’t have to print 1,000 copies of your book hoping someone will buy it. Instead, you can write your book, create a fancy cover for $5 using Fiverr and publish through services like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Amazon will handle everything for you, then take a percentage of the revenue you generate.
PASSIVE INCOME IDEA #3
Create an Online Course or Webinar
Similar to the ebook idea, you can create an online course or webinar to earn online passive income. Some people just don’t like to read or they learn better through spoken word. By creating your online course or webinar, you are reaching people who need the knowledge and experience that only you have.
And the good thing is that this scales easily. Services like Teachable host your content, then process payments and enrollment for you. All you have to do is create the content and customize the look and feel of your course.
PASSIVE INCOME IDEA #4
Become an Affiliate Marketer
Affiliate marketing is all the rage right now. It is a way for advertisers to get the word out about their products without paying an upfront fee to the people sharing their message. Instead, the people who refer business to that company will be paid a flat fee or earn a percentage of the revenue the company generates.
Best of all, the customer doesn’t pay anything extra when the affiliate marketer gets paid. Instead, the company treats the payment like any other marketing expense, like commercials, print advertising or banner ads.
This is one of the ways that we get paid at RewardExpert. We educate our readers about the pros and cons of credit cards, why one card may be better than another, and the best ways to use your travel rewards to book your next free vacation. When you click our links and get approved, you get the same offer you would get from their website, and the bank sends us payment as a thank you for referring you to them.
PASSIVE INCOME IDEA #5
Earn Real Estate Rental Income
Real estate rental income is one of the best passive income opportunities I’ve taken advantage of. When you buy a rental property, you are buying a home, apartment building or commercial building, then renting it out to someone who cannot afford to buy it themselves. It is a win-win for everyone. They get a nice place for a reasonable price and you get a property that is being paid for by the tenant.
I use a property manager to handle my rental properties. Most months, my only involvement is checking my bank account to verify I received my checks, then making a payment to the mortgage company. If you don’t have enough money to buy a rental property, you can get started investing in real estate by buying a REIT stock or investing through platforms that let you buy a partial interest in a building.
PASSIVE INCOME IDEA #6
Sell Digital or Automated Products
If you are an artist or able to create catchy slogans, digital and automated products are for you. Websites like Etsy allow you to sell digital products that only need to be created once. When someone buys it, there’s always another one ready to buy.
The same concept can be used for automated products. People create catchy slogans, then use services like CustomInk or Printful to automate the process for them. Once the slogan is done and you’ve designed the shirt, these websites handle the rest from taking orders, printing the shirts, and sending them to the customers.
Do you see the theme with these passive income ideas? Create once, get paid many times.
PASSIVE INCOME IDEA #7
Earn Royalties From Songs or Jingles
People who have musical talents can get paid every time their music is used. Whether you are writing a song, creating a jingle or doing voiceover work, you’re only creating once.
I just paid $49 for a song for a podcast I’m working on. Did that person have to get out of bed and send me the file? Nope. The middleman website took care of everything. Everyone went away happy. I found a great song. The musician got paid. And the website took a cut.
PASSIVE INCOME IDEA #8
Make YouTube Videos
Although YouTube has been around for years, it is gaining in popularity as more people “cut the cord” on their cable TV service. There are plenty of people who are polished and have production quality that rivals many of the movies or TV shows that I watch. However, the vast majority are people just like you and me. Don’t be shy. Trust me, no matter what kind of content you publish, there are people way worse. And you will get better, just give it time.
YouTube recently implemented minimums for subscribers and minutes watched before you can earn ad revenue. That’s ok. You want to practice and build your audience anyway. But that doesn’t mean you can’t earn money. Plenty of brands are willing to pay sponsorship fees or provide free products for you to test.
PASSIVE INCOME IDEA #9
Use Cashback Credit Cards and Shopping Portals
There’s a saying that the biggest opportunity for improvement is at the margin. Boiled down, this means that you can reap big rewards for minor adjustments in behavior. Instead of using a check, debit card or cash to pay for daily activities and big expenses, using a cashback credit card can earn you a sizeable return each year. One of my favorite cards, the Discover it will even double all of the cash back you earn the first year!
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But don’t stop there. When you shop online, don’t go straight to the merchant’s website. Instead, use the RewardExpert Shopping Tool to find out which shopping portals will give you the most cash back or travel rewards. By taking this extra step, I earn hundreds of dollars in cash back and thousands of airline miles and hotel points every year.
When you receive this cash back, put the money into a high-yield savings account, accelerate your debt payoff or invest it into real estate or the stock market to make money in your sleep!
PASSIVE INCOME IDEA #10
Pay Off Debt and Improve Your Credit Score
Although paying off debt doesn’t increase your income, it does increase your cash flow which can allow you to invest in something that creates passive income. Refinancing a mortgage can offer huge benefits. Taking credit card debt and shifting it to a 0% balance transfer card or debt consolidation loan can save a ton in interest.
One of the most important assets you have is your credit score. By taking care of it and pursuing the steps to improve your credit score, a world of opportunity can open up for you. If you need a loan to buy that rental property or some quick funding through a business credit card, a good credit score will help you get approved so you can build passive income.
How Much Passive Income Can I Make?
These residual income ideas sound great, but how much passive income can I make? Like most questions in life, it depends. Your investment of time and money, choice of strategy, opportunity in your market, and a bit of luck all play a hand in determining how much passive income you’ll earn each month.
Time and Money
All ideas take some amount of time and money to come to fruition. Some people have a lot of one of these, but not much of the other. A lot of successful ideas have started when one person had the resources that another did not. And many businesses have been started using 0% loans from credit cards to fund their concept and keep the business going until it achieved success.
Choice of Strategy
You could have the best idea in the world, but if your approach doesn’t take advantage of the opportunity, you won’t build that passive income that you are searching for.
Opportunity in the Market
Keep in mind that all business is local. What works in California, may not work in Georgia, and vice versa. The best way to approach an opportunity it to take a look at what someone else did, analyze why it was successful, then adapt it to your market.
A Little Bit of Luck
Luck is hard to quantify, but I really like a definition of “L.U.C.K.” that I heard from J. Massey from Cash Flow Diary. LUCK stands for “laboring under correct knowledge.” Putting it another way, people who are “lucky” are usually those that have been learning the most and working the hardest to perfect their craft.
Passive Income Ideas to Make Money
Now that we’ve shown you the top 10 residual income ideas to make money and the ingredients to make it happen, which is most appealing to you? What is the first step you will take to build your passive income stream? How much will you need to reach your goals and how far along the path are you towards financial independence?
Keep in mind that most passive income streams take time to develop. But you can start implementing these money making idea slowly, then reinvest and build your income over time. Soon you’ll have a recurring income that can make a meaningful impact on your life.