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28 Passive Income Ideas To Build Real Wealth
28 Passive Income Ideas To Build Real Wealth

Last modified by Jeff Rose, CFP® on April 17, 2020

“Making money while you sleep” has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? After all one of the goals of financial independence is to build wealth that doesn’t eat up your time, so you can enjoy life and do the things you choose to do.
The truth is that building a passive income stream usually isn’t passive at first. It requires time, money, skills or all three. But where do you start? The first step is to just build a small nest egg savings account that you can use for later. We’ll come back to this.
Building multiple streams of passive income has an additional benefit in the short term: it can make you more resilient, and better able to weather economic shocks.
Passive income is a long term choice that requires short term tradeoffs. If you’re willing to commit your resources to the steps and ideas below, you could be earning effortlessly for years to come.
You just need to know where to start and decide what resources you’re willing to expend for your passive income ideas to take flight.
I’m going to break down passive income, and show you the steps I took to create my passive income streams, but if you want to get right to the ideas, you can. Lets dive in! 
What is Passive Income?
Quote:Passive income is money earned with minimal activity through any venture that requires little daily effort or upkeep on the individual’s part.
Let’s break that down a bit more:
Passive — requiring little or none of your most precious resource, your time!
Income — generating cash inflow to you that either represents income you use in the course of daily life or that you re-invest.
A good litmus test is that you should be able to go out and get a full-time job, that takes up the majority of your working hours, and still be able to run your passive income streams.
The golden rule of passive income – protect your time.
Passive income is more about time than anything else. You could do a lot of things to make money, but not all income streams are passive. I’m all for you actively building a business or a side hustle, but for the income stream to truly be passive, it must require less and less effort to produce income, eventually requiring no effort (or very little to maintain).
For example, if it takes you 2 hours to generate $100 today, and it takes you the same 2 hours to generate $100 next week or a year from now, that income stream is not passive, because it takes the same effort (money, time, etc).
On the other hand, if I open an investing account today that takes some effort. But as that account grows and I check it 4 times a year, my returns go up, and my effort goes down.
Same if I build an online course. At first, I’m earning no money and my effort is very high. But I expend a ton of effort at first. Once the course is complete, I do some continued marketing and client support which amounts to just a few hours per week, while sales roll in month after month.
You get the picture? Now let’s talk about what passive income is not.
What Passive Income is not.
Your job.
Obviously. The whole idea of passive income is to supplement, augment or get you out of your job so you can retire, travel or spend more time with loved ones.
Side hustles.
Side hustles are great ways to make money, but not all side hustles are passive. Side hustles are usually active, and maybe with systemization, they can turn into passive income streams.
If you need to continually invest the same (or more) amount of time for the same amount of financial output, the venture is not passive. Be careful here, because remember, in the beginning, a passive income stream could require more time, money or work than it produces. You have to evaluate the passive income opportunity on its long term state for you.
Consulting is just another job – perfect for a side hustle, but not exactly passive. For consulting to be passive, you’ll need to build the practice with other people, and be able to step away from the work eventually.
Investing for speculation.
Here’s where I split hairs. I do not consider stock investments for capital appreciation only to be passive income. Why? Because stock appreciation is not income. On the other hand, investing in stable companies that throw off cash in the form of dividends is definitely a passive income strategy. The difference is, are you getting a cash on cash return, or will you only see return if you sell the investment?
Also, investments like cryptocurrencies and commodities are reserved for price speculation. There are many times where these investments should get some allocation of your portfolio, but investing like this is not a stable passive income strategy.
Examples: What is and is not passive income
Active Side Hustle Income
Passive Income
Consulting by the hour
A course on your area of expertise that you sell online
Freelance computer programming
Building a program you can sell over and over
Freelance writing
Writing a book
Working construction
Investing in real estate
Driving for Uber
Renting out your car
Photography sessions
Building your photog Instagram account
How to Start Building Passive Income
There’s no magic trick that turns your time directly into money. Instead, you plant seeds so your money will grow, even when you’re sleeping or at the park walking your dog.
The initial downtime you put into passive income can be as involved as starting a blog or as simple as logging into a robo-advisor platform and investing $100. You can earn passive income whether you’re an entrepreneur with a brilliant business plan, a talented artist, or just happen to have extra cash to invest.
1. Start building a nest egg
Remember earlier I said to create passive income you need time, money or skills? Let’s start with money. Open a high interest savings account and park even $100 dollars in it. Boom, you just made passive income! It may not be much, but you’ll earn interest on that money and many online banks even offer cash bonuses for opening accounts. Our favorite right now is CIT bank. 2. Assess your skills
When I started I was a Certified Financial Planner looking to grow my business and answer common client questions. I figured out that I could use these skills to create great content online, and that I could make money with this blog over time.
I have friends who were stock traders and now have communities around that skill or write for financial publications. Other friends have gotten good at management, and now are building career websites.
What are you good at? What are you passionate about? Take a quick inventory, and research the ways others have used those skills to build income streams.
3. Assess your time, money and effort. Be realistic about your commitments
Time is a tricky one, because it’s our most limited resource. Trying to make more money or create passive income can be a trap because it usually requires you to learn new topics or new skills, and that can be a time suck. Remember, you may have to bite the bullet in the short term, but in the long term your goal is to minimize your time investment.
Are you fully committed? Current work, family and social activities eat up a lot of time. If you don’t have much time, you’ll need to lean more towards investing or getting someone else to do the work for you.
In this guide, we’ve labeled each idea with an effort level (1-5, 5 requires the most effort) to help you match your current abilities to the idea.
4. Ideate and choose
The final step is to put some ideas down on paper and choose how to begin. We created the following list to help you kick off your brainstorm. To help with that,we’ve created this list of ideas to get you started. Here’s to your wealth and freedom!
28 Passive Income Ideas
Generate Passive Income With Money Investment (Effort Level: 1-2) Generate Passive Income With Time Investment (Effort Level: 3-5) Semi-Passive Side Hustles Easy Wins To Boost Your Income Or Start Your Nest Egg 1. Real Estate Empire From Your Couch (Effort Level: 1)
Real estate has been a way to build wealth for a long time. Real estate investing used to take a lot of time, capital and expertise. However real estate investing apps have democratized access to this asset class – making it easier for you and me to create no-work, passive income.
Below are resources I recommend checking out if you’re interested:
Fundrise specializes in REITs (real estate investment trusts). If you live in an expensive city or don’t have the time to manage a property, REITs are the way to go.
REITs own and manage income-producing properties and distribute the profits to investors. Investing in REITs used to be expensive and require accreditation, but Fundrise has changed all this.
The minimum investment on Fundrise is only $500.  
Roofstock is a marketplace of turnkey single family homes for sale. The term “turnkey” means the numbers have been crunched, the home may have been rehabbed, and may already include tenants!
All you as the investor have to do is put up the cash. Once you purchase the home it is 100% yours and the rental income goes straight to you.  
Realty Mogul
For something in between Fundrise’s REITs and Roofstock’s single family homes, I recommend checking out Realty Mogul.
Realty Mogul is a crowdfunding platform that pools together investors’ money to purchase large ticket properties (office buildings, retail space, etc.). The minimum investment is $1,000. 2. Peer to Peer Lending (Effort Level 1)
Peer-to-peer lending, or P2P Lending, is a favorite of mine. The idea is to lend money to individuals or a business. They then pay you back, plus interest.
Let’s say someone needs to borrow $10k to consolidate their debt. They create an account with Lending Club (for example) and depending on their credit history, income, etc. are given an interest rate on the loan. The investor (you) also creates an account with Lending Club and buys the debt. When the borrower makes monthly payments, the principal and interest are paid to you in your Lending Club investment account.
There are several companies that underwrite P2P lending, some like Lending Club facilitates personal loans, while others, like Worthy, facilitate business loans (the process is the exact same).
Expected returns are in the 5% range (depending on platform and loan type). While not exactly stock returns, 5% or more is better than most national bank interest rates.
3. Invest in High-Yield Savings (Effort Level 1)
Savings accounts might be the most boring investment ever invented, but they are also the safest.
At 0.15 percent interest or lower, you’d need to exceed the FDIC-insured $250,000 account limit to see any real action.
However, online savings accounts offer rates well above typical banks. Better yet, these rates are competitive with CD rates without locking in your money for several years.
Our favorite high-yield savings account option currently is CIT bank with an APY of 1.70%. 4. Invest In the Markets, Passively (Effort Level 1)
Investing in public stocks and bonds is the main way people build long term wealth and income through their retirement plans or brokerage accounts. The data is pretty good, however, that the average person like you and me should be passively investing through ETFs and index funds that have low fees.
There are two ways you can do this:
Set it and forget it with a robo-advisor
Letting an algorithm manage your investments is about as passive as you can get. Robo-advisors like Betterment allow you to set your willingness for risk, then sit back and let the income flow. And the fees are much lower than what you’d pay a human account manager. Below is a rundown of a few of the leading robo-advisor platforms.
I have been a long-time supporter of Betterment and even did an interview with their CEO in my Betterment investing review. Betterment is great at reducing any taxes you have to pay on your investments, and they work with you to give you the best financial advice through their algorithms.
Unlike other robo-advisors, with Betterment, you can actually talk to a human being if you want to. Betterment charges the same fees as Wealthfront but does not waive the fee on the first $10,000 you invest.  
Pick your own Dividend Stocks or ETFs with an online brokerage
By building a portfolio of high dividend stocks, you can create regular passive income at an annual rate that is much higher than what you get on bank investments.
Just as important, since high dividend stocks are stocks, there is always the potential for capital appreciation. In that way, you can earn passive income from two sources – dividends and capital gains.
You can make this process very easy and affordable by opening an account with any one of the brokerages listed below. Most brokerages these days no longer charge trading commissions which is a huge savings for us!
Online brokerages give you a bit more flexibility to choose which ETFs (and individual stocks) you want to invest in. Incumbent online brokers like TD Ameritrade and E-trade have done very well with low fees for individual stock and bond trades.
However, my favorite online broker right now is M1 Finance. They make is super easy to passively invest in ETFs, and are rounding out their portfolio of services to get you access to your money seamlessly. 5. Invest in CDs (Effort Level 1)
CDs are simple, straightforward, and if I’m being honest, far from the most exciting investment strategy out there. But if your goal is to make money while you sleep, there isn’t anything more passive than CDs. Investing in a certificate of deposit is a great-low risk strategy to accrue interest risk-free.
CDs are like savings accounts with a catch. You can’t touch your funds before they reach maturity, which is based on the time frame you set when you open the account. That time period can range from months to years.
Be sure and buy your CD with an FDIC insured financial institution (up to $250k is insured), and make sure to get the best CD rates. The longer the duration of the CD, the more interest the financial institution will pay. 6. Buy a Blog or Website (Effort Level 2)
A few years ago, my partners made a number of good investments by purchasing blogs that other people created then “monetizing” them. While it’s not as easy to get a screaming deal anymore, there are very healthy marketplaces for online businesses that do a great job of connecting buyers and sellers.
Thousands of blogs are abandoned by their owners every year. If you can buy blogs with a reasonable amount of web traffic and demonstrated cash flow, it could be a perfect passive income source.
Most blogs employ Google AdSense, which provides a monthly revenue stream based on ads that Google places on the site. There may also be affiliate programs generating additional revenue.
From a financial perspective, blogs usually sell for 24 times their monthly income. So if the site generates $250 a month in income, you can likely buy it for no more than $6,000. Translation: a $6,000 investment will buy you $3,000 per year in cash flow.
Some sites have good “evergreen content that will continue generating revenue even years after the site has gone silent, so a simple $5,000 investment can net you ongoing passive income.
Bonus tip: If you buy such a site then reinvigorate it with fresh content, you may be able to increase the monthly revenue and sell the site at a later date for substantially more than what you paid for it.
I recommend buying a blog on Flippa. Here are some quick facts on this awesome marketplace:
  • Includes everything from small sites to ones that garner millions
  • Currently has more than 2,000 web-based businesses for sale
  • Based on a bidding system and fulfilled by Flippa Escrow program to ensure your money and business are safely secured.
My partners continue to buy web-based businesses on sites like Flippa and Empire Flippers. There are apps, blogs, saas businesses and online retailer opportunities all over those sites.
7. Invest in a Business (Effort Level 2)
If you don’t like the stock market, a better way to build passive income is to invest in tangible assets that you can see, understand and watch grow over time.
My favorite way to do this is to invest in small businesses. Entrepreneurs are a special breed and when you come across the right one with the right idea… there’s no doubt that money is in their future!
So how to jump on the bandwagon? It’s simple: Provide them the funds they need in order to grow.
Below are platforms and websites that connect entrepreneurs and businesses with investors seeking a return.
 Worthy Bonds
Fixed 5% return by way of bonds
Learn More
Loans focused on Veteran-run business
Learn More
Often, investments in private businesses are reserved for “high net worth” individuals, but there are other ways you can invest in a business. Chances are you know a local business or two that could use some capital, or help, or both. You can provide services such as social media consulting or operational consulting for a share of the cash flows of the business. If you have capital, and meet certain qualifications, you can buy a percentage of the business.
I have made both passive and active private business investments across a range of businesses including venture capital deals and local small businesses like restaurants.
8. Start a Blog – My Favorite! (Effort Level 5)
This is the main way I ultimately created passive income for my family – I started Good Financial Cents! blogs are an unbelievable source of passive income. But there’s more to making bank with a blog than just posting good content.
If you’re looking for an extremely cheap, yet highly scalable way to create a passive income for yourself, you might want to take a moment and consider starting a blog.
Did you know: you can start a blog for as little as a penny for your first month, and just a couple dollars per month thereafter?
Here’s the idea: If you can consistently use your blog and create a lot of value for a lot of people, you can generate an extraordinary amount of passive income. As you post to your blog, more and more, your site will start bringing in traffic whether you put in any additional time or not.
Quote:A blog is the most cost-effective method to creating a truly passive income stream I know of. Hour after hour, day after day, your blog is out there doing work for you.
What’s the catch? It takes time to get it rolling. That’s it. The sooner you start, the sooner an income stream can begin to grow.
You’ll also want to access our Make 1k Challenge, which is a free email course that walks through the steps to start your first blog and make your first $1,000.
The first step is to register a domain and select a hosting plan for your blog. I recommend Bluehost to get started.
9. Create An Online Course or Guide (Effort Level 5)
Online learning is an exploding business opportunity. You can create a course on just about anything. How to tie a fishing knot, cat grooming, how to talk to girls (or guys) – it’s all there. My friend Holly has a successful course on how to become a freelance writer.
One very simple way is to produce and share your course is Teachable has over three million students and is a great way to get your content in front of others.
What do you put in your online course? Good question. You can add:
  • video lessons
  • checklists for completing steps you recommend in your video lessons
  • small ebooks to supplement the lessons
  • audio files for people listening while traveling
  • informative interviews with like-minded experts
  • and a whole bunch more!
Pro Tip: Create several packages at different price points. Some people want everything, so you can include ‘the works’ for the highest price point and have two lower price points so you can receive the largest possible volume of orders.
If writing articles or creating videos isn’t your thing and you want to make money online, try creating an online guide. A good example of this income source comes from Pat Flynn’s website, On the website, his map allows someone to click on any state to see the security guard requirements for that state.
By providing specific information in a guide-like format, you can make money through some of the means already addressed: Google AdSense, affiliates, and even memberships to your online guide.
It’s a fantastic idea!
10. Sell An E-book (Effort Level 5)
I wrote Soldier of Finance to help my clients and others struggling with the same financial issues over and over again. While not exactly an ebook, its also available on Kindle and paperback, this book still nets me passive income years after I wrote it.
11. Sell Stock Photos (Effort Level 3)
Are you a photographer or someone who enjoys snapping pictures? Put that talent to use! If you want to make some extra money for your photos, you could consider selling your images as stock photos. The easiest way to make your images available for sale as stock images is to use a third-party site, such as Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, Alamy, etc.
If you have the skills and resources to do so, you could also sell your stock images on your own website.
12. License Your Music (Effort Level 3)
Are you passionate about making music, but not passionate about performing live? Or have you tried to perform live and not made enough income? One solution would be to license your music.
Licensing your music means that in exchange for the rights to use your music in a project, people and companies pay you. Here are six different ways that you can make money licensing music:
  • YouTuber
  • Wedding/Videographer
  • Indie Film Soundtrack
  • Indie Film Trailer
  • Corporate video
  • Advertisement
13. Build An App Or Product You Can Sell (Effort Level 5)
If you have a skill or service that you can share with others, you can build an app or create a product to sell. For example, if you are passionate about fitness and have background in creating workouts, you could create a workout app. You could also create a physical or digital product, such as an ebook or physical book if you would rather do that instead of an app.
Hiring someone to create an app for you can get expensive. If you are willing to learn, you could create an app on your own or barter services. Creating an app or product is a great source of passive income!
Selling products that you create can also be very profitable. Sites like Etsy allow you to sell your handmade, custom and unique products. It’s simple to set up a storefront and get started!
There are also sites like Kickstarter, that help bring your creative projects to life. You can join Kickstarter to launch a project or to help back others projects. This platform is a great way to get your ideas into the world, see if there is a demand for your product and then get assistance with funding! Since Kickstarter’s launch in 2009, 18 million people have backed projects.
14. Become A Social Media Influencer (Effort Level 3)
Did you know that you can get paid for posting on social media? There are a variety of ways to earn money as a social media influencer. You can work with companies to produce sponsored posts/content which the company will pay you for. Typically rates for sponsored posts are calculated by how many followers you have and your engagement rates. You can also earn income as a social media influencer by sharing affiliate links, writing sponsored blog posts or by hosting events/attending events as an influencer. To get started earning money as a social media influencer, it is a good idea to create a media kit highlighting your social media accounts, your niche and samples of your work.
15. Deliver for Instacart (Effort Level 2)
If you’re looking for a flexible way to make extra money, Instacart is a great choice. Instacart is an online grocery delivery service that works with local grocery stores to deliver groceries to your door. As an Instacart employee, you would shop for items at the grocery store and then deliver the groceries to the door of the customer. Currently, the demand for Instacart shoppers is higher than ever.
As a shopper, you will be paid weekly, have the flexibility to choose your own hours, potentially have the ability to earn tips and be eligible for special earnings promotions.
Instacart also recently rolled out a number of new features including contactless delivery and in-app incident reporting.
16. Deliver for Postmates (Effort Level 2)
Postmates is a goods and food delivery service that allows customers to order almost anything they want such as personal items, groceries, and restaurant meals.
It is 100 percent free to sign up to deliver for Postmates and Postmates delivery drivers take home 100 percent of what they earn every time they complete a delivery.
Postmates delivery drives love the flexibility and independence to work whenever they want. Postmates offers weekly pay and a super simple onboarding process.
17. Rent Your Home
If you’re interested in making money in real estate but want more of a hands-on approach, renting out your vacation home, house, apartment, or even a single room can be a stellar way to earn passively.
Airbnb allows people to travel all around the world and to stay in accommodations that are a lot less expensive than traditional hotels. Their site breaks rentals into three categories: private room, shared room, and entire home.
Airbnb charges you 3% on every booking for their services, but you can set the nightly rate at whatever you want. People around the world are making impressive passive incomes through Airbnb.
With over 2 million rental properties, most of which are entire home rentals, VRBO has established itself as a legitimate service for renters and owners alike.
VRBO charges 5% per booking, plus another 3% if the guest pays with a credit card. But again, you can set your own rate and easily make these fees worth their while.
Vacasa is a vacation home rental management company. In other words, you can’t rent out a spare room in your house on Vacasa like you can on Airbnb, but have an extra home in a vacation destination?
Then Vacasa is a great option to make passive income, they do all the work for you.
Pro Tip: The key to your rental success is reviews. The more 4 and 5-stars you get, the more people will rent your space (and the more money you’ll make).
18. Rent Your Car
It used to seem weird to rent out a spare room to a stranger, or to stay in stranger’s home when you go on vacation. Thanks to the likes of Airbnb and others, these sharing economy services have shown us it’s not so scary!
So let me ask – how do you feel about renting out your car?
Think about it. Rental car agencies (Enterprise, Avis, Budget, etc.) are awful to deal with and too expensive.
A company called Turo has disrupted the industry, just like Airbnb disrupted the hotel industry. People across the country are earning money from lending their cars out to strangers.
If you aren’t using your car for a couple of days, or if you have a spare one, simply join Turo’s free platform, list the car, and charge whatever you want for the day.
19. Get Paid For Your Opinion
Did you know you can get paid to take online surveys? Right from the comfort of your couch, you could be earning money just by surfing the web. There are tons of great survey sites out there, and some of them give you a bonus just for signing up.
20. Network Marketing
Network marketing is a business model where independent contractors buy into a company. They then earn a commission on the products that they sell. Many individuals are drawn to network marketing as this field allows them to be their own boss, set their own hours and have flexibility.
There are many network marketing companies. Some popular companies are Mary Kay, DoTerra, Pampered Chef and Rodan & Fields.
There are a few different ways to make money through network marketing. You can profit by sharing the company’s products with others, you can use products yourself and you can recruit others.
21. Become a Rideshare Driver
While it isn’t completely passive, rideshare driving makes the list due to its flexibility. You can make your own schedule with Uber and pick up extra income by driving others around when you are already out and about anyway!
I assume you’re familiar with Lyft, the ridesharing competitor to Uber. I actually find Lyft to be cheaper and have better experiences with the drivers.
Speaking of, how would you like to earn a guaranteed $1,000 to become a Lyft driver? Yup! That’s what the company is offering right now.
It’s part of a program called Earnings Guaranteed. According to the Lyft website, drivers will earn a guaranteed amount within a certain time frame. If the driver does not make the guaranteed amount within the time frame, Lyft will cover the difference!
And right now the guaranteed amount is $1,000! Easy money.  
Don’t have a car? No problem! HyreCar is a marketplace for car rentals prequalified to drive with Uber and Lyft!
22. Advertise with Your Car
Carvertise: With Carvertise you could earn up to $1200 during an ad campaign and can usually expect around $100 a month, just to use your car as ad space. Check out their site to see if they’re currently advertising in your area.
Wrapify: Wrapify operates a lot like Carvertise, but differs in how you get paid. With Wrapify, you track your mileage and location. The more you drive, the more ads you qualify for, and the more money you make, which can add up to $200 a month.
Vugo: Vugo is an awesome way to earn passively alongside rideshare driving. All you do is mount a phone or tablet to your dash and play ads, games, and videos. The app is compatible with Google Maps and Waze. Drivers can earn up to $200 more a month playing the ads, and there’s a driver tipping feature built in.
23. Get Paid to Snooze With Sleep Studies
Quote:I’m not even kidding. If you’re in decent health, catch plenty of Zzz’s, and are in an area where a sleep study is being conducted, you could make the most passive income of all.
If you qualify, you could make thousands of dollars in one study. Once accepted, you’ll probably have to undergo a physical, alongside an exam from a psychologist to ensure you’re up to the task. Did I mention you get paid every step of the way?
Keep in mind, though, that these studies have their own challenges, like cutting you off from media sources and your social life and requiring you to be watched and studied for the duration of the experiment.
You might also be asked to sleep in potentially uncomfortable positions for an extended period of time. But the pay is impressive. For sleep studies and other medical and psychological studies, search and filter results based on your location, age, and other factors.
24. Car Detailing Service
An employee of mine worked a couple summers in a detail shop in high school. The manager told him how he could start a side hustle easy with some cleaning supplies and a buffer! People pay up to $300 to get their cars detailed!
Car detailing businesses make money through the services they offer and are paid on a per-job basis. Car detailing is not something you have to go to school for, however you do need to know the proper methods for detailing. Then, you will need to invest in the proper equipment, such as a pressure washer, buffer, towels, buckets, sponges, etc.
After you have purchased all the proper equipment, it is time to start building your customer base. As you are getting started, it may be a good idea to reach out to local businesses, such as a hotel concierge, to see if there are any opportunities to partner.
25. Flip Goods on eBay
Quote:There is a simple equation to flipping goods on eBay and making money. That equation is: buy low, sell high and repeat.
To get started, you will need to set up an eBay store. Then you need to do research on items that you want to sell. As with everything, you don’t want to blindly purchase items to flip without any knowledge on that item. Some research that you need to do includes market price, profit margin and shipping/packaging.
You can find items to flip on the “free” section of Cragislist, your local Goodwill or on eBay! Then follow the equation above and buy the item for a low price, list and sell it for a higher price and then repeat.
26. Dropship With Amazon
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, dropshipping is defined as “to ship goods from a manufacturer or wholesaler directly to a customer instead of to the retailer who took the order.”
To make money dropshipping with Amazon, as a vendor you purchase the items at a discount by working directly with a wholesaler. Your profit then comes from the difference between the initial item cost and whatever price you sell the item at.
You can get your Amazon store set up and be ready to accept orders within 24 hours! Just as we mentioned with eBay flipping, it is important to do research when it comes to choosing which items to dropship. It’s best to find and start with a product that is high in demand and low competition.
27. Refinance or Pay Down Debt
The less obvious way to increase your net worth is to reduce your debt!
Mortgage Debt
Interest rates are near historic lows, so if you haven’t yet refinanced your mortgage, now is a great time to do so. If you cansave 0.50% or more on your loan, you’re potentially adding tens of thousands of dollars back into your pocket. Not many investments can beat that.
Student Loan Debt
Don’t have a mortgage? Chances are good you have student loans, so be sure and refinance if you qualify, it could save you thousands over the long run! The math when paying down debt is simple – if your loan is currently at 7% and you refinance at 3%, that’s equivalent to a 4% return on your money!
Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt is slowly creeping up in America as consumers feel stretched at the end of the month. If you have credit card debt, I highly recommend putting in place a strategy to pay it off as soon as possible.
28. Get Online Rebates
With Rakuten, you can get a rebate when you shop at a surprisingly wide variety of online retailers. Here’s how it works:
  • Start an Rakuten account.
  • Follow the directions to activate the Rakuten browser extension.
  • Shop like you normally would online.
Cashback percentages range from 1 to 22 percent (occasionally higher)! Each month you’ll get a check, PayPal payment, or gift card to the store of your choice.
If you buy a big-ticket item like a refrigerator or a smartphone or do your grocery shopping online, you can earn some noticeable income.
Tools To Help Outsource Your Business
If you currently own a business, outsourcing will free up your time so you can focus on other tasks that will result in more income. If you don’t want to hire employees, consider hiring freelancers who work as contract laborers. Look for freelancers with a strong work ethic who provide quality results.
Quote:As long as the main product or service isn’t something only you can do, you can transform your business into a passive moneymaker.
Here are the companies I recommend starting with:
  • CloudPeeps: CloudPeeps does an excellent job matching business in need with skilled, vetted freelancers who can manage everything from PR and marketing to web development and administrative tasks.
  • Fiverr: Fiverr has it all. Much like CloudPeeps, it supplies hand-picked freelancers for all of your business needs.
  • Guru: Guru offers similar services to Fiverr and CloudPeeps but emphasizes their flexible payment options, like hourly pay, recurring payments, payment by milestones, and payment by the project.
  • PeoplePerHour: With an advanced AI system that matches your project needs to the perfect freelancer and features on Forbes, CNBC, and BBC, PeoplePerHour offers a legitimate pool of talented artists to outsource to.
  • Upwork: Like the other freelancing networks, Upwork pairs you with freelancers in several sectors and boasts hires by companies like Microsoft, with short-term, full time, and recurring options.
How Can I Generate Passive Income?
Passive income can work for you, regardless of if you have millions of dollars to invest and no time to spare, or $0, ample free time, and a spark of ingenuity.
While they might take some funding and fortitude to get started, the moneymakers on this list will continue to earn you money long after you’ve put in the work.
So look at what you are working with: establish your financial goals and decide how much time, effort, and money you’re willing to put into your venture.
Whether you choose to invest, buy a business, outsource your own, or get paid for your daily routine, you can prosper from passive income.
What are you waiting for? Plant the seeds today with one of the ideas on the list.

Reader Comments

Igbasan Kehinde Francis. says

Making passive income is laudable, but the money to invest is not easy to come by, to cash the liquid cash is very difficult since Nigerians can not pay through PayPal and other medium of getting money.
Whatever things the western world could do to extend this good gesture to Africans especially Nigerians so that we can make our legitimate income through internet in a flexible way.
Igbasan K. F.

Glenn says

This is great. The Sleep Study one I could use, just so I can get some sleep, but it sounds rough.

Nick says

Most people are lazy to create their own course or guide. However, those who do not want to do this, still can make money by reselling digital product with master resell rights. provides 2500+ ebooks with complete resell rights. Check it out

Eileen Vicente says

Great article☺

Svens says

Does Bettement or any other investing platform works for non-US residents? I am from Eastern Europe, where our currency is euro.

wplearners says

Thank you for this post… Really appreciate your writing skills. What an informative and needful post indeed


Freddie Clark ,CL 81
the advise and ideals alone will make money for you, I been looking for a site that has ideals to think about and not trying to sell you something upfront. gives me a change to due research on a concept I may have not though of. Starting a business for you and stop working for someone else. Or the way I like it, retire from your work world and make your world work for you… it.

Ralph says

Thanks for all of the tips. There is a new group that issues 5% bonds called Worthy. I don’t know if you have heard of that one. Its at least better than the high interest savings account if you can afford some risk. I am going to try some of these ideals out.

Jeff Rose says

Thanks Ralph – I have heard of Worthy. It’s a P2P platform to invest in loans to upstart and small businesses. It’s something like angel investing but on a smaller scale. However, it isn’t risk free. The business could default or go under completely.

Jeff Rose says

Thanks for the info Edmon.

Bamm Bamm says

For your 2019 list, you may want to look at Populous (PPT). Invoice financing on the Ethereum Blockchain. Going live soon.

Jeff Rose says

We don’t want to include ideas that aren’t already up and running and have something of a track record. But thanks for the advice, it may be something to keep an eye on going forward.

David Clemons says

Jeff I am interested in buying real estates notes Can you send me more info ? Thanks !

Jeff Rose says

Hi David – I don’t have any info to send you, but you can do some research on the web and see what turns up.

Illidi says

Seems like earning a passive income is both easier and harder than ever 🙂 there’s a lot of learning resources that teach you various skills, but the competitions has gone up A LOT.
Been spending some time on udemy and bitdegree learning app development. Managed to make a couple hundread dollars, but the app store is LOADED now.

Jeff Rose says

Well said Illidi. There are more ways than ever, mostly because of the internet. I think the secret is to put out a product or service that’s unique. Not that you have to invent a whole new business, but take an existing business concept, and add something unique to it. Because you’re absolutely right, everyone is getting into the game, making it harder to succeed.

Laquina says

Hi I have been interested in real estate as a whole for some time now. In particularly the REIT. I had a friend who introduced the idea to me several years ago. However he never mentioned any companies who could help me with getting started investing in a REIT.
I really appreciate this blog and community.
I now have the information I need to get started in Real Estate at the least cost and liability level.
Thanks!!! (Fundrise)

Ahmad says

There are many more opportunities for passive income in the cryptocurrency space. For example: Sapien Network, a decentralized news platform, allows you to stake your coins for passive income.

Marcia says

This is my first time seeing such list about passive income other than the work from home once. Interesting! I would really like to start out with REITs. Is there anyone who had tried? How does it work? Thanks Jeff

Gloria says

I’ve always interested and intrigued by Passive Income Online. I read some of the comments about this topic.
Is it really possible to generate Passive Income Online? I have tried some affiliate marketing, but some of the training programs are just a complete rip off. Then there are another ones extremely expensive, and completely out of my budget.
For Brad, try Flipa . They buy and sell sites…..
Does anyone have any suggestions? I really want to get fully into Affiliate Marketing.

Jeff Rose says

Hi Gloria – If you really want to get into affiliate marketing, you’ll have to have a website. Have you considered starting a blog?

GS Rao says

amazing ideas, is there any template to track the progress of these ideas and income generated?

Jeff Rose says

You can try setting up an Excel spreadsheet to track them, but I’m not aware of any specific tracking software.

Ramaiah Nagarajan says

I am from India
I am in construction business buying land of 1200 sqt and construct 600 to 800 sqt building and sale the property to the needy..
For the above business i am souly depending on private finance for every project..
If you have any group of people to lent the money to the tune of 25 lakh (2.5 million) I can pay 21%..
Please if you could arrange through any source my company will be a source to get regular passive income one or a group of investors…

Jeff Rose says

Hi Ramaiah – Unfortunately, I’m not aware of lenders will provide financing in India, or for that matter anywhere outside the US. You might want to try doing a web search or checking with local peer to peer lending/crowdfunding sources.

Harish Kumar says

Thanks for the great Ideas, I am looking for a work from,I am this will be helpful for me, keep doing this great work.

Inna Laurie says

Excellent ideas! It’s always tempting to pick up a part-time job because the money is immediate.

Sanjay thapa says

Thnxx.. M glad to know that there are lots of passive income options . Thnx for info it helps me lot 🙂

Huseini Musah Baza-Awe says

Thanks for letting us know.
All of them are great ideas.
It’s up to every reader to pick and choose.
I have already chosen what I want to focus on.

steve says

Thanks for the article – any advise on robo advisors outside of US? Where funding methods are not required to originate from a U.S.-based financial institution. Seems Betterment and Wealthfront just serve US based customers? Thanks

Jeff Rose says

Not really Steve. I have my hands full with the many robos in the US. But what I do know is that most of the US based robos aren’t available to non-US investors.

Bella says

Wow!! Amazing. I’ve always wanted to earn money passively and I guess I landed on the right page to discover some of these wonderful ideas and methods which I will start on immediately. I know this will take a long way and free me financially. Thanks for sharing.

Rosemary says

Thank you for all the good recommendations. I’m interested in the cashback reward programs like ebates and Do you have any recommendations on these programs?

Jeff Rose says

Hi Rosemary – I don’t have any specifics (other than what’s presented in the article). But there are a number of good articles on this topic all over the web. Just try googling the topic.

Giuseppe says

I like your idea about buying abandoned blogs. How do you go about finding one and how do you know the amount of web traffic – as well as a demonstrated cash flow that they have? Thanks.

Jeff Rose says

Look at Flippa or GoDaddy Auctions

ReinisZ says

Hey, Jeff.
Great article and ideas. I wanted to ask you what is your opinion on making money with a cash rewards network? I came across something called FluzFluz and it looks promising.
Would love to hear your opinion.
Thanks in advance.

Jeff Rose says

Not familiar with them.

Jeff Rose says

As long as the network is legitimate, it can be a good way to pick up some extra money on a steady basis. You won’t make a fortune, since your rewards will be limited to how much money you will spend. You certainly don’t want to get carried away, spending money just to generate rewards. That could put you into a situation where you will spend more money than you will earn from the network.

Anthony Mitchell says

Great Article,
There were a few suggestions that I had not thought of yet, thank you!

AG says

Great Ideas 🙂
I tried all kinds of ways to make money online.
What works best for me is
I sell my knowledge (my hobbies, DIY, tips etc)
And make good money from it!
It’s great 🙂
Highly recommended !

Laura @ says

Hi, Jeff —
I want to thank you for the great article. I was looking online for some inspiration to re-ignite my side-hustle and breathe some new life into my existing efforts. Your ideas here are fabulous and I’ve made notes on seven of them. I already have a lot of the concepts started, but you have given me the spark I was looking for to keep moving forward. Thanks for the help!

Jeff Rose says

I’m here to help Laura!

Lê Huy says

Hey bro! I’m Huy – a blogger from Viet Nam. I read your article and thanks so much about content. However, to get income is not easy, it so hard than my think. Therefore, I think the most important is we need to keep patience to make income.

Mark Davies says

Jeff, I think you’re onto something with your blog, but I’d encourage you to double check you writing as you had a lot of typos. It makes your blog feel less credible.
Just my honest feedback. Keep after it!

Jeff Rose says

We do our best to proofread Mark. But when you write articles that are 2,000 – 3,000 words, there are going to be errors that don’t get caught. We’ll certainly try to do better going forward.

Beth says

Hi Jeff!
Great resource.
If you do not already have it I would suggest downloading Grammercy (might be misspelled – I am on my phone). It looks not only at your spelling but also your grammar. All you have to do is place your pointer over the offending word or phrase and options will appear – no need to click on the word(s) to see them.

Shawn says

Hey Mark, you made a comment advising Jeff to double check his content because there are a lot of typos.
You might want to double check your own comments before posting?
You wrote: “but I’d encourage you to double check you writing”
Anything wrong with that picture? 🙂

Jeff Rose says

We all make mistakes!!! 😉

usama bhatti says

yes..!!! absolutely we all make mistakes..but you know that there are alot of replys or opinions gives us a maturity in our opinions and increase our knowledge about that what people think and how they think and which way they use to think….

Lucas says

#26 Create a blog with a big name, alleging that it reveals the secret of passive income and then give the most obvious, not-so-passive income ways. All of these ideas are the most basic and obvious ideas.
The internet is unfortunately so full of these so called idea-givers with no background.
Join an affiliate program. Thanks. Which one? How? How to make it successful? At which point does it become passive, without me keeping on throwing money into Google and amending the marketing or the page?
Real Estate? How much do I need to invest? And if I had that kind of money, why real estate? Why not a container? Where to invest anyway? How?
Come on…

Jeff Rose says

@Lucas so which one these “basic and obvious ideas” have you implemented?

Jeff Rose says

Hi Lucas – This post is meant to be an overview only. It isn’t meant to be a deep dive into any of the ideas. As to the ideas being not so passive, the only TRULY passive investment is putting money into a bank and getting interest on it. But with bank interest rates well South of 1%, we have to look at not-so-passive to find remotely passive.

sandy says

A lot of these ideas are not very passive 🙁

Wallet Squirrel says

Wow! What an awesome list Jeff! My favorite is the stock photography as I love photography. I have some success there, particularly with one photo I make some decent income from. I think the key with stock photography is finding a shot that is high demand then find a new unique way to frame that shot. This is the reason my St. Louis Arch photo is a top 10 on both of the platforms you mentioned above. Thanks for the awesome ideas above!
– Adam

Ship Me This says

Thanks for these methods. I rented out space in airbnb. But no one is applying in that. Like that i guess other methods also look bleak to me.

Jeff Rose says

Geography plays an important role with AirBNB. The results are better if you live in a large urban area, or somewhere close to business or recreational amenities. It doesn’t work with all locations.

James says

Hey thanks for the great article! My main goal is to only have to work one day a week by the time I’m 30 and a few of these methods I hadn’t thought of. I was just wondering about the photography method, with your wife having a few hundred uploads onto the website what kind of money does she make back from that a month?
Thanks in advance

Jeff Rose says

@James My buddy that was doing this was making between $500 to $1k per month from his stock photography side hustle.

Dani says

You forgot corporate and municipal bonds

Jeff Rose says

I didn’t forget them Dani, its just that the interest rates on them are pretty low.

Selma Roth says

One of the commenters said,”Writing your own eBook and designing your own products can be very rewarding, you just need to get your work in front of an Interested Audience. This may sometimes prove a little more difficult than originally anticipated.” That’s where I am. I have two websites with e-books and products, but I can’t figure out where to advertise or how to promote them. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Deanna says

A few things…
For anyone thinking of renting out their place via AirBnB, just check to make sure that it is legal where you live. I live in NYC and AirBnB is illegal here because a short-term rental for under 30 days is only allowed if you are a legal hotel. If caught renting or even advertising your home within the five boroughs of NYC on AirBnB, you could incur heavy fines for running an illegal hotel. Plus, most neighbors in apartment buildings don’t want strangers tramping in and out of their buildings all the time, so there could be trouble from people making complaints. So, check the laws where you live if that’s what you want to do!
I have a question about e-Books and online courses – how do you protect your work so that purchasers do not share it with people who haven’t paid for it?
Also, Mr. Rose, you have quite a number of typos in your article! I think the next person you hire should be a proofreader! Thank you for the ideas, though!

Jeff Rose says

Hi Deanna – That’s a good catch! Another one to b

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