25 Passive Income Ideas

passive income ideas
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Ahh, passive income. What started the 4 hour workweek craze. Thanks to the internet and AI, more passive income opportunities are available than ever.

In 2022 I left my 9-5 job to travel full time. Pretty quickly I realized I needed more money to make ends meet. I started researching ideas for passive income, and came across some novel ideas. Many of which I tried for myself. Below are a list of those strategies I’ve come across online and or personally tried.

It’s important to note that all passive income ideas take some initial investment of time, money, or both. But once that machine gets rolling, there’s no better feeling. Let’s get those passive income wheels turning.

Build Once, Sell Often

Build it once, sell it over and over again. A tried and true recipe. Especially in the internet age where costs generally don’t scale with revenue.

Once your product gets momentum, it can become passive income with the aid of some automation. The idea is to build something that you sell through an e-commerce store or a payment link like Gumroad. There are an unlimited number of ideas to build and sell, but let’s consider some you haven’t heard of.

1. Templates

This guy is making over $1M a year selling Notion templates online. But there are other kinds of templates as well – eg. Figma, Excel sheet, WordPress, Shopify and more. If you’re already using these tools, see if there’s a template you can productize and sell online.

2. Ebooks

AI is making creating ebooks really easy. In fact, too easy. Kindle is getting flooded with spammy e-books lately. Differentiate by creating high quality e-books. Use AI to aid your writing instead of publishing raw machine generated garbage. This is still a very viable option for a passive income stream.

e book image

3. Stock Photos

Websites like ShutterShock let you sell stock photos online. You can also license your own photos and charge people to use them. Turn your artistic passion into some mulah.

Create Content

People are making fortunes creating content online, and there’s no let up in site. The content creating market is valued at $24.5B, and expected to grow a whopping 25% per year. Get in on the action. And the best part is it can be a lot of fun.

Pretty much all of these ideas make money from a combination of ads, sponsors (company pays you to mention them in the article or video), and affiliate marketing (you promote someone else’s product and get a % of the sale). Let’s see how.

4. Social Media

Personally I only use social media to send funny videos to family. But the platforms also have some huge potential for making money. If you already have a decent following, or enjoy social media, try monetizing your channel for some passive income. By the way, every one of those influencers you follow on Instagram with over 1M followers? They’re making over $10k per post.

5. Youtube

Did you know Youtube is the second most used search engine in the world? People are increasingly looking for Youtube when they want their questions answered. And thanks to AI ,if you don’t like to have your face on-screen, you can now make faceless channels.

6. Newsletter

Newsletters are a great way to reach an audience. And you don’t have to worry about a big tech platform moderating your content. Beehive has become a go to platform for creating newsletters. If you have a topic you’re an expert on, or even passionate about, start a newsletter.

newsletter image

7. Blogging

If you have a niche you’re an expert on or passionate about, try creating a blog. This works well coupled with a newsletter – your blog is a lead generator for getting newsletter signups.

Pro tip, write articles on SEO keywords that are not written about much, for higher chances of getting traffic.

Rent It Out

You already own money making assets that you can take advantage of. You just don’t recognize them. Here are some ideas for turning your everyday resources into some passive income.

8. Parking

Rent out unused parking spaces. Platforms like Neighbor or JustPark make this easy. And you could earn anywhere from $50 to $300 per spot.

9. Show ads on your car

Get paid to drive with ads on your car. Platforms like Wrapify or Cavartise will pay you for this.

Pay depends on how much you drive, but you can expect to make like $100 – $500 per month.

10. Peer-to-peer lending

This one is on the riskier side, but you can lend money to other people or businesses and get a return. Check out platforms like LendingClub, Prosper, or Worthy. You can expect a return of around 4%-10%.

lending money

11. Pet sit in your home

Have people pay you to watch their pets. This is basically passive but the active part (playing with dogs!) makes it all the sweeter. 🙂

Automate

12. Dropshipping

Dropshipping works by opening up an e-commerce store (eg. Shopify), and using another company to handle manufacturing, packaging, and fulfillment. If you can find a product people are eager to buy you can make some serious money. And best part is it’s mostly hands off.

13. Build software

If you can code, or are willing to hire someone who can, you can create a software product (eg. SaaS, mobile app, or game) and charge users for access. This will take some serious investment up front. But once you’ve built something people are using, automate it. Outsource operations work like customer support or sales. Or you could choose to scale the company and make lots of money!

Even if code gives you the heebeegeebeez there are no-code tools like Bubble.io you can use.

14. Buy a business

Why build something from scratch when you could buy something that’s already working? This obviously will take some upfront financial investment. But once purchased, you’ll not only have a valuable asset but also some recurring revenue. Check out sites like Flippa or other marketplaces to buy digital businesses. Warning: buying a business is a complicated business. For beginners it’s recommended to work with a professional.

15. Build a team

This idea is a little different, but can apply to most ideas. Once you’ve established a revenue stream, eg. a side hustle, you can then choose to automate the processes of the business to make it into passive income. Hire a team to run all or parts of the business, and free up your own time to work on other things.

a team of diverse people

Buy and Hold

One form of passive income is holding an asset that grows in value over time. There are so many different kinds of assets that fall into this category. But below are some exceptionally lucrative ideas you may not have considered.

16. Domain name

Domain names have value and are daily sold for thousands of dollars. Sometimes up to 6 figures.

17. Website

Similar to domains, websites can hold a lot of value. Especially if it’s getting traffic. Buy a website on a platform like Flippa, fix it up, and if the traction grows re-sell it for a higher value.

18. Vending Machines

Believe it or not vending machines can make you some significant passive income. Depending on the location each machine can bring in up to a a couple thousand a month. Get enough of these bad boys and you could not only have enough Reese’s to last a lifetime, but also cash (I’d take the Reese’s).

vending machine with snacks

19. Billboard

I came across this idea on the internet and found it wild. You buy a billboard for something in the $1k – $5k range, and then charge advertisers to put their ads on it. Depending on the location, this could become a solid source of passive income. And if it doesn’t work out, you can sell the billboard to someone else.

Invest

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention these more traditional investments you can park your money in. The best part of these are they are tried and true. You can be relatively confident it will make you money, although slower than other options.

20. Invest with a robo-advisor

Use an automated robo-advisor with a lower fee than traditional financial advisors.

21. Real Estate

What people think of first when they think of passive income. There’s lots of info on this idea online so I won’t go much in depth here. But also consider REITs. These are a way of investing in real estate without having to own or manage any of the property.

sold real estate sign

22. Crowdfund Real Estate

You can invest in real estate without having to step a foot into the physical space. Platforms like Fundrise allow you to invest money for a small percentage of ownership. This lowers your exposure compared to buying it all out yourself.

23. High yield savings account

It amazes me when I hear people say they have all their cash sitting in a regular savings account. These days you can get a 5% return by putting cash in a high yield savings account. And most are FDIC insured. Check out options like Wealthfront.

24. Private businesses

These days you’re able to invest in private companies that weren’t accessible a couple years ago. Check out platforms like Republic, and if the company skyrockets you reap the rewards.

25. Stock market

Last but definitely not least is to put your money in traditional stock market. The average return since the S&P 500’s inception in 1957 has been 10.26% a year. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

What next?

Thanks to the internet there are plenty of ways to make money online. We researched and found the best things to sell online, check it out.

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