Wondering what passive income is and how you can add more to your life and business?
Here’s our ultimate list of passive income ideas! Feel free to use any or all of them in your life!
We’re passionate about helping others create their dream lifestyle and we know that passive income is the key to be able to scale your income and free up your time.
If you’re unsure, passive income is income that is generated without you having to increase your workload. Don’t get me wrong, you will need to do some work (at times that will be a lot of work) but the thing with passive income is that once you’ve set it up, created systems or created products, you’re able to keep selling them without having to do the work each time.
There are other ways that are more passive but most sources of passive income will require some upfront work. And to be honest, some of these passive income ideas will need some ongoing work but most don’t need a lot (IF you’ve set them up correctly!)
Let’s get stuck into them and see what’s on our ultimate list of passive income ideas.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning when you click through and make a purchase I receive a commission. This occurs at no cost to you.
This is the first passive income idea because it’s my personal favourite! It’s a great place to start earning passive income and if you already have a business, it’s easy to add it! If you’re already recommending products, then you just need to see if they have an affiliate program (if you can’t see one, just email them and ask), sign up and then use your affiliate links.
If you don’t have a business already then once you start creating content, add affiliates as soon as you can. With a new site, it will take time to build up your traffic and then sales but it’s a perfect place to start!
The best resource that I’ve used to up my affiliate marketing game is Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. It was a game-changer for me and I’m so thankful that she created the course and shares her strategies all within one course. For more information on her course, click here.
The thing that makes affiliate marketing my favourite source of passive income is that it is truly passive. Once you have it set up, it keeps earning you money while you sleep.
I love this….if you can make $1 online, then you can make $10. If you can make $10, you can make $1000. It’s so true and has been so valuable for me when growing my businesses!
Revenue from ads is super passive income but you need to have traffic to your site for you to be able to generate any income. Once you have the traffic though, you’re able to start earning money from it!
When starting out, the only platform that you’ll be able to sign up for is AdSense but as your traffic grows you can apply for Medavine. You will earn more with Medavine but you need to have at least 25 000 sessions a month through your website.
Another way that you can make the most of ads is to be organising them privately. Of course, this takes a bit more work but you have the freedom to set your own prices and can change them up as you need. You can also run ads that are more relevant to your content. Another option would be to create your own buttons and use affiliate links.
There are a few options with ads. The only consideration is they will take valuable traffic away from your site. This is ok if the sole purpose of your site is to get traffic to use ads but if you have other products or services available, you might want to reconsider.
Create a Course
Course creation is one of our favourite passive income ideas!
The e-learning space is gaining so much momentum! It’s estimated to be worth $325 billion dollars by 205. Say what? It’s time to get in on the action and create your own courses!
If you have a skill that others are always asking you about, it could be a good start when thinking about creating a course. You could sell a course on anything really, from homesteading to stock trading to blogging to weight training. There are so many out there and I’m confident that all niches have a place for a course.
If this is what you’re thinking might work for you, then I recommend you start with Teachable. They have a free option to start with and are really user-friendly.
I’d also recommend this course from Liz Benny, it’s more expensive but if you think about how much money you could potentially make with a course, it’s worth it. She has a great free webinar that will get you started, even if you don’t ever buy her course.
Courses vary in prices but I think on average they sit around the $100-300 price point (this is by no means the upper limit though, there are some out there for thousands). Think about that for a moment. If you’re selling a course for $197 and have 500 people sign up for it, that’s almost $100 000. Not bad hey!
Sell an e-Book
An e-book is another form of e-learning but they are usually less in-depth than a course. For that reason, they usually sell for a lot less. They range from less than a dollar to $150-200. Your pricing will depend on the subject matter and how much of an impact your knowledge will have on someone’s life.
e-Books are easy to create and can be done in Word, Canva or InDesign. If you want more information about creating and marketing your e-book, then I recommend this course by Ana over at The She Approach.
Start a Blog
Starting a blog is a great place to start if you haven’t started anything online before. Maybe you have a topic that you’re passionate about but not sure how you can create an income from it just yet, then starting a blog on that topic might be a great place to start.
Think about your niche and do some research on whether it’s a profitable niche. Look at competitors and think about how you can create something better or have another point of difference to the others.
When starting a blog, it can be overwhelming when starting out especially if you don’t have any technical experience. There are a lot of free resources out there but I recommend investing in the Blog By Number Course from Suzi over at Start a Mom Blog. It’s so reasonably priced and it covers everything you need to get started and to grow your blog.
Buy Real Estate – rent, flip or develop
This is also one of my favourite forms of passive income. The barrier to entry though is having to have some money (or contacts that will loan you the money) to start. The reason that I love it is that you not only earn passive income from the rent but you create wealth in the equity that accumulates. This is the key to real wealth, increasing your net worth.
Of course, on top of that, you can use real estate to create income via renovating and/or developing. These can be passive in that you hire skills to manage the project and you’re free to enjoy life or get working on other projects!
Invest in a Manage Fund
Investing in a managed fund is extremely passive. You can set it up so that deposits are automated and it grows without much involvement from you.
Do your research to see which funds suit you and your level of risk.
Set Up a Shop – digital products or physical product
Starting a shop. Your mind might quickly jump to being swamped with orders and having to put so much time into it. This could be true if you don’t set it up the right way, to begin with.
You have two options here. You could sell digital or physical products. Digital products are ones that are downloadable and physical are ones that will need to be mailed in the post.
Some examples of digital products are wall art, sewing patterns, e-books or social media templates. There are many options here! Obviously, digital products are ideal for passive income, it can all be automated and therefore not requiring you to do much to get the product to the customer.
Physical products are things that will need to be sent in the post. Obviously, that will need to be done by a person but it doesn’t have to be you! This is where hiring and outsourcing become important and if you want to create passive income with physical products then it’s a must!
Start a Podcast
Podcasts are all the rage at the moment. They have become the new blog and a great way to spread your content and build a business. Just like blogging, you have the ability to generate income with ad revenue. Once your podcast grows, you’ll be able to monetise it with ads and other partnerships.
Like when creating a blog, you will need to work to create the content but once it’s up there you will continue to earn money from those episodes.
Sell a Course on Skillshare
We mentioned creating a course earlier but you could also create one and list it on Skillshare. This way you don’t even need to have loads of traffic to get started. You could create it and then load it.
There are guidelines that you will need to adhere to and you probably won’t earn as much as you would with your own course but it’s a great place to get started.
Merch by Amazon
Merch By Amazon is a print on demand platform. There are a few of them around but essentially you load up your designs and list the products. Amazon then takes care of the rest. When someone purchases a product, Amazon will print it and send it out to them. They mainly use Tshirts but there are other platforms that have a range of products that can be used.
Create a Directory – build a community and products for a niche
If you’re thinking about starting a website but don’t have your own product or services, you could think about starting a directory or marketplace style business. This is what The Inspired Boss is and it’s great because you’re grouping products or services that serve a niche or a topic. The businesses that list on your site then either pay a monthly fee or they give you a percentage of the money that you generate.
It’s a great way to get started and you don’t have to create carry any products or services.
If this is something that you’re interested in, then I recommend you head over to Business Jump. They create directory style businesses for their clients.
Credit Card Rewards
Ok, so this isn’t really passive income but you can passively get points that you can exchange for things that would ordinarily cost you money. Just a word of warning though, if you’re not disciplined enough to have a credit card, then it’s not for you!
Open a Savings account
Sounds simple right but if you have some money sitting there, then make sure it’s working for you! If you’re using a regular savings account, it can be a bot slow going but it’s money for nothing really. And don’t forget about the benefits of compound interest!
License your Photos
Do you have a knack for taking photos? Then you could start licensing them to stock photo sites. You can earn when someone downloads your images.
With the online business world exploding, there’s only going to be more of a need for good quality stock images.
Create Presets for Lightroom
This is another one for photographers, why not sell your presets? I’ve heard some people say they don’t want to sell their secrets but the reality is, is that nobody is going to really be able to replicate your work. There’s a lot that goes into taking and editing images and presets is only one component to that.
If you spend any time on Instagram, you’ll see that many influencers are packaging up their presets and selling them.
If you create music, then why not license it? This is along the same lines as selling your images but for music. Your talent is so valuable to others!
License your artworks
This is a huge market. Think about all the art that you see around. All the fabric your clothes are made of, stationary that you buy, towels, sheet, wall art, packaging. It’s everywhere!
You can create art and then sell it to other businesses. You can then earn royalties and ongoing passive income from the designs.
Open an offset account
This is one for those with a mortgage. If you have a home loan but don’t have an offset account, you need to get one! Essentially with one, you’re saving interest on any money that you have sitting in. You will never find a savings account that has the same interest rate as your mortgage. Put your excess income there and start saving interest or start paying your home down quicker.
Start a Service-Based Business
You might not associate passive income with a service-based business. I know I didn’t. I was running my service-based business for 2 years before I even figured this one out! Say what?!?!? I didn’t know it was a thing and I even think I would have not been able to give up the control really. Now I know there are people out there that are doing things way better than I can and I’m happy to pay them to do it! You’re not going to earn the same amount when you’re outsourcing but it creates a scalable business. If you’re getting to capacity, then you grow your team and more freelancer.
I now love my design and social media management business! There can be a few teething problems but once you’ve got an amazing team, the sky’s the limit!
Start a Drop Shipping Business
Dropshipping is a business model where you create an online shop, bring customers in, they make a purchase and then you place an order with the manufacturer and they ship it to the customer. It’s a great model if you don’t want to hold the stock but the downside is that you don’t make as much per sale as you would if you were a wholesaler.
There are plenty of opportunities out there for products and businesses, have a look around as see if you can use it in your niche.
Open an Amazon FBA
Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) is similar to drop shipping but you purchase your products and have them stored at the Amazon fulfilment centre. When someone makes a purchase of your product on the Amazon site, you earn more. Amazon will charge processing fees but again, you’re not holding on to the stock.
Rent Out a Spare Room
Let’s face it, you can rent out anything these days! The most obvious is your house. With Airbnb making it so easy, why not rent out part or all of your house? Or you could add a studio to your property. You could rent out a room or rent out your entire property whilst you’re on holidays, making your trip much cheaper!
Rent Out Your Car
If you don’t use your car all the time, rent it out when you can. This is great if you live in the city and use public transport. Get it earning money for you!
Rent Out Caravan or RV
Have you got a caravan or RV that you aren’t using? There are ways you can lease it out!
Rent out your parking space
I’m sure you get the idea with renting out your stuff but I’ll add this one in, your car parking. If you’re in a city where parking is limited, this could be just what you need to earn more passive income.
Buy Share for Dividends
Buy shares that produce a dividend. You will need some money to start investing but you can start with a small amount and then consistently buy more. You can receive good dividends that are classed as passive income. A hot tip here, reinvest your dividends and grow your net worth quicker.
Also, make sure you invest in knowledge on how to do this well!
Create an App
Got a good idea for an app? Start researching how to make it a reality. It’s getting easier and cheaper to apps created. If you have the idea, then now’s the time to look into it!
Start a YouTube Channel
I know you’ll probably argue that this form of income isn’t passive. I have to say that it’s a lot of work but like all other forms of content, once it’s created it can keep earning you money. There are videos out there on anything you can think of. Do you have something to share? If so, then maybe this could be something that you think about.
Also, don’t forget that you can create content on YouTube and then use the audio as a podcast or have it turned into a blog post. There are so many ways you can repurpose content so that it earns you money across different platforms! Seriously, get on it!
Once you have up for 12 months, have 1000 subscribers and have 400 hours of video, you can then apply to have ads placed on your videos.
Start a Network Marketing Business
I know that over the years, network marketing has gotten a bad wrap. I get it, I used to think the same. Now, I understand that it’s a way of generating passive income and that it’s well worth investigating.
When I started looking into it, I realised that if I placed monthly orders with a company that I was already using, I’d get paid. Not only would my products be covered but I got extra on top of that! I also discovered that if people that I shared the products with did the same, we’d all start earning extra income. It’s not income that could replace a job at this level but it does have the potential to be that and more. I personally know women that are making 6 and 7 figures with network marketing.
Start by looking at products that you’re already using and see whether you can leverage that into passive income. If you don’t already use products that use network marketing, there are plenty out there that could be the perfect match for you.
I’m more than happy to share how I make it work with the company that I use, feel free to email me at email@example.com
Create a Comparison Site
If creating your own site is where you want to head, then why not create a comparison site. Think about sites that compare various products and services and present you with the best match. They take work to get them up but can deliver a nice passive income stream.
Develop and Manufacture your own products
If you’re into e-commerce, then why not start your own label. You can develop and manufacture your own products and sell them online. This is like all other e-commerce sites but you’re developing the products. You then also have the opportunity to sell via the wholesale market as well.
There’s a lot of work to set it up but it can be a great source of passive income.
Buy an Existing (+ profitable) business.
If you’ve got some money to get started, then you could buy an already built and profitable business. It is possible to buy 100% online businesses through sites like Empire Flippers and Flippa. When purchasing your site, make sure you run through the financials and see that it is a genuinely profitable business and has a good financial history (I recommend more than 12 months).
Create business systems and franchise it
If you have a great idea that you can create systems around, then you could potentially create a franchise from that. Ok, so there is a lot more work that needs to go into it but you get the idea. If you have a business that you can package up, then you could bring in passive income by selling the systems, procedures and branding.
Sell on Teachers Pay Teachers
I’ve touched on a few sites like this but I thought I’d mention Teachers Pay Teachers individually. The reason is that you might not know about it. Other sites are well known but this is one that you might not know about.
On Teachers Pay Teachers, you’re able to upload and sell resources that teachers can use in the classroom. I don’t think that you necessarily need to be a school teacher but you will need to know what they’re teaching and the curriculum.
Teachers are more and more under the pump and know they can save so much time by buying resources already made. It’s something to investigate!
Sell on Creative Market
I love Creative Market! I buy so much there (hello font addiction)! If you have a creative flair, then you could tap into this huge market. There are so many products that you can create for the platform. Think WordPress themes, fonts, social media graphics and other illustrations that other designers can use in their work.
I truly believe that we are capable of creating a life where we have the time and freedom to live it how we want to. The key to that is creating passive income!
I hope these ideas give you some guidance and get you creating the life of your dreams!