The idea of making money while you sleep with passive income is very enticing. You’re not doing anything but still making money! This has been a personal project of mine that I am still working on. I’ve had success with side hustles in the past but haven’t quite cracked the code of passive income. If you can achieve this, you will be able to make money while you’re working somewhere else or even on vacation. Part of the reason I haven’t been successful is that I haven’t found a passive income stream that I’m truly passionate about and that will also generate revenue.
While researching passive income ideas, I’ve found a lot ideas that would be perfect, just for someone else. Most passive income ideas require either money or time to get started. Finding a passive income idea with the perfect balance between money and time that fits your current lifestyle is essential. Most, if not all passive income ideas require a lot of time, effort and luck to get started. Depending on your goals, it often takes a lot of time and effort to get your income to a level you’ll be happy with.
Not everyone has the specific skills required to generate passive income, but if you’re looking for some inspiration, check out my list of passive income ideas.
- Kindle Direct Publishing / Low Content Publishing
- T-Shirt and Sticker Design – Tee Public / Red Bubble / Amazon T-Shirts
- Sell e-books
- Digital Products on Etsy
- Sell Stock Photos / Videos
- Blogging and Affiliate Marketing
- Create an online course
- Vending Machines / ATM or Bank Machines
- Web Hosting
Passive Income Ideas
1. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) or Low Content Publishing
Amazon has made it almost too easy to upload books for use on either a Kindle or to be printed off. This marketplace is certainly becoming more saturated with low content books, but there is still money to be made, even in 2021. If you can find an untapped niche or are able to improve upon existing ideas, there is no shortage of people looking to buy cheap books on Amazon.
The idea behind low content publishing is that you can take something like a notebook, graph paper or day planner, put a fancy cover on it and upload it to Amazon through their Kindle Direct Publishing site. Customers can then purchase your book and you make a profit. Amazon takes care of printing / publishing the book and mailing it to the customer, allowing you to focus on being creative. If you are looking for some interiors to get you started, check out Book Bolt.
2. T-Shirt and Sticker Design
If you have some great ideas for T-Shirts or custom stickers, Tee Public, Red Bubble or even Amazon will let you create and upload designs of your own. They take care of the hard part, which is printing and shipping, so of course they are going to take a cut of the profits, but once your design has been uploaded, any profits are 100% passive.
3. Sell e-books
Do you have a great idea for a book or course? Why not publish it for free as an e-book and sell it? You could even create your own website and sell it from there. The nice part about ebooks is that there is no printing involved. With an all digital product, you can really maximize how much you make for every book sold.
4. Sell Digital Products on Etsy
If you’ve ever visited Etsy, you’ll know that they don’t just sell hand-made crafts. You can buy any number of digital products, from rental agreement templates to back-to-school chalkboard designs. Although Etsy will take a portion of the money you make, it’s such a popular site that your products will receive far more traffic and exposure than they would on your own hosted website.
5. Sell Stock Photos and Video
Just about everyone owns a phone with a decent camera in it. Although a phone isn’t the best for generating high-quality content, you can get started selling your photos and videos immediately, without having to buy any other equipment. There are several sites that will let you upload your photos and videos for online sales. To get started, it’s suggested to purchase a tripod and at the very least download a photo app that lets you adjust the settings on your phone manually. There are a lot of people selling their content online, so you won’t make a ton of money this way, but it’s just another fun way to generate some passive income.
6. Blogging and Affiliate Marketing
It seems as though anyone looking to get into generating passive income attempts to create a blog or site for affiliate marketing. Many of the review sites you come across are just affiliate marketing sites, hoping you will click on their link. This isn’t always a bad thing as it doesn’t cost you anything and you often come away having learned something about the product you are researching. There are many sites that will let you generate income by promoting their products. One of the biggest is Amazon, although they’ve reduced the commission they are willing to pay you in recent years. If you enjoy writing and can think of a niche that hasn’t been taken over by large, established sites, this can still be a good way to generate some income.
7. Create an Online Course
Do you have a special skill or knowledge that you could package into an online course? The great thing about a digital course is that once that hard work of creating it is completed, people will continue to buy it, even while you’re sleeping! You can create the course as an e-book, audiobook or even with videos. Youtube will allow you to upload private videos which you can have automatically emailed to customers who purchase your course. If there is enough interest in your course, you could even host a private Zoom meeting and charge customers for more personalized content.
8. Create an Online Store with Dropshipping
The idea behind dropshipping is that you promote products that are shipped and sold directly from the manufacturer. This means that you don’t have any stock and don’t have to worry about preparing products for shipping. Sites like Shopify are great for selling with the dropshipping method.
9. Vending Machines and ATMs (Bank Machines)
Vending Machines and Bank Machines can be purchased and all you have to do is find a place to put them. There are lots of places like bars or arenas that people are often looking for cash or snacks. The hardest part is finding a location with good traffic to make it worth your while. The only other thing to consider is that you will have to re-stock your machines.
10. Web Hosting
If you feel comfortable with websites and hosting software, you can rent space on a server and start your own web hosting company. It’s recommended that you don’t host websites on your own personal server but you can find server’s that will let you set up your own hosting business.
There are certainly other ideas, such as mining bitcoin, peer-to-peer investing and real estate, but in my mind, these are for people who already have some income or experience in these areas. Not everyone has the capital available to invest in real estate. I’ve personally been reluctant to invest in real estate as I don’t want to become a landlord and have to resolve issues all the time. Finding the perfect niche for yourself is sometimes the hardest part, but hopefully, some of these ideas will help get you started down the right path.