Make Passive Income Online: 7 Totally Doable Ideas for Beginners

Ready to make passive income online? You’re not alone! Earning while you sleep is the dream of many. But how do you continually add to your bank account 24/7/365 if you have no clue how to start?

The answer depends on you! Even if you’ve never made a single dollar online, you can definitely get into the passive income game. It’s just a matter of playing to your strengths and finding the right revenue stream(s) for you.

Whether you’re a creative maker or a right-brain thinker, there are beginner-friendly ways to make passive income online.

1. Course Creator

A quick look on Pinterest and you’ll see no shortage of awesome solopreneurs sharing amazing income reports. And many of these #girlbosses are all online courses creators! While these women (and men) are pros now, they weren’t always. Everybody starts at the beginning, so don’t feel like you need to be a well-seasoned pro to earn passive income as a course creator.

In fact, you don’t even need to be a so-called expert to teach others. As long as you have knowledge to share, whether it’s about knitting, resume writing, networking, or wine tasting, you can package it into a course!


To explore the idea of earning passive income as a course creator, head on over to Teachable. This is an easy-to-use platform solopreneurs often turn to when they’re ready to make and sell a professional course online.

On top of the free and paid-for options to create, Teachable sets you up for success with plenty of helpful guides, webinars, and tutorials. Even their blog is packed with articles that cover everything a beginner will need to go from course idea to course creation in as little as 20 minutes a day.

Make passive income online by creating an online course with Teachable.

2. Stock Photos

You may not realize it, but stock photos are everywhere. When you visit a website, look at ads, read a magazine, or browse a brochure, chances are there’s a stock photo or two (or 20) being used. Bloggers, business owners, and marketers turn to large photo marketplaces whenever they need an image to help tell their story.

Because of this high-demand, online photo marketplaces constantly need new images to add to their lineup. That’s where you come in. And, before you even ask — you don’t need to be a pro-photographer to make passive income online with photo sites!

In fact, if you have a smartphone, you can use images right in your phone’s gallery. One great image can sell over and over again earning steady income month after month.

Each stock photo site will have different terms. But, more often than not, you can offer as many images for sale as you’d like. Each time one of your snaps sells, you get a commission. It’s really that simple.


3. Ebook Author

Like creating a course, you can also write an ebook without being a so-called expert. In fact, you can write a non-fiction ebook in just 30 days. If you’d like to exercise your creative writing chops, you can go the fiction route. But, keep in mind, it often takes much longer to pen a fiction ebook than a non-fiction one!

To turn an ebook into passive income, it all starts with an idea. Maybe you want to put together a recipe book filled with crockpot recipes for one. Perhaps there’s personal branding advice you’ve been dying to share with the masses. Whatever your knowledge, passion, or hobby, chances are you can capture it into a well thought out ebook.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

Not only is Amazon the Mecca of online retailers, it’s a popular platform to buy and sell ebooks. Because of it’s popularity, many ebook authors use Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) to get their words in front of millions of online shoppers.

Amazon KDP walks you through each of the steps it takes to format and upload your book for sale. The percentage you’ll earn on each purchase depends on the price of your book. Books priced between $2.99-$9.99 earn the highest royalty rate of 70%.

You can also choose to enroll your book in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program. Kindle Unlimited allows subscribers to read as many ebooks as they’d like each month for one low fee. If your book is enrolled in this program, you’ll earn for each page that is read.

Royalties earned from KDP are made once a month, and can be direct deposited to your bank account.


Another popular place to sell your ebook is called Gumroad. While this platform isn’t as large as Amazon, there’s still plenty of potential to bring in passive income.

Once your ebook is for sale, you can easily promote it with direct links to Twitter and Facebook. Plus, there are built-in tools that help you build an audience and email list, which can result in a loyal following that equals more sales.

What I like about Gumroad is the option to set your book price as “pay what you want.” That is, buyers can pay what they feel is a fair rate for your ebook, whether that’s $1 or $100. Whatever your price point, payments are made once a week — every Friday!

Make passive income online by selling an ebook using Gumroad.

4. Refer-a-Friend

You won’t get rich with referral programs, but they are super easy ways to make passive income online. Your cell phone provider, apps you use, online retailers, and even your bank may have a referral program.

What is refer-a-friend? Essentially, you make money for using a service and telling others how great it is. Most of the times, you’ll get a unique link that you can share with friends directly or throughout social media. Whenever anybody clicks your link and signs up and/or makes a purchase, you’ll get a bonus. The bonus can be in the form of cold hard cash or an account credit.

For example, Capital One has a referral program for its account holders who refer new customers. Whenever someone uses your link to sign up for a new account, you’ll receive 50 bucks deposited into your account. But that’s just one example of the many referral programs out there that can help you make passive income online.

Curious if companies you currently use have refer-a-friend programs? Check out this list for more than 40+ popular programs that can lead to passive income.

5. Digital Downloads

Some online stores keep physical inventory on hand, which means lots of packing, shipping, and returns — not exactly passive. When you eliminate physical products and opt for digital goods, you can create an e-commerce passive income machine.

When it comes to selling digital downloads on autopilot, you can get super creative. Sewing patterns, greeting cards, templates, coloring pages, invitations and printables can all be created ahead of time and delivered digitally to customers. And, like the other options listed, you can make a digital item once and sell it many times over.


One of the easiest ways to make passive income online with digital products is with Shopify. This popular e-commerce platform makes it easy to get digital downloads up for sale thanks to its intuitive website builder and apps that allow you to sell around the clock without having to be anywhere near a computer.

Their help center is brimming with the best advice from experienced sellers as well as helpful tutorials that’ll make it easy to get your shop open. Go ahead and give it a try for free and see just how easy it is to create this passive income revenue stream!

Make passive income online selling digital downloads with Shopify.

6. YouTube Channel

Can you cook? Play the guitar? Use Photoshop like a pro? Whatever your talent, you can record yourself or your computer screen and turn those videos into a passive income YouTube channel.

Granted, it takes time to develop a following. But if you focus on quality content, your audience will follow. Screencast software, like Camtasia, can help you create professional tutorials for anything computer related whether it’s a how-to video for setting up a website or a step-by-step guide to mastering Photoshop.

If you prefer to be front and center, you can easily do that too with a decent webcam and microphone. Product reviews, cooking demos, makeup how-tos are great videos to share with an online audience. But, again, feel free to get creative and use your unique talents to broadcast valuable videos to the world.

Some of the most popular YouTube channels involve health, finance, fitness, and food. But, really, you’re only limited by what you’re able to do.

YouTube Partner Program

Because you can use affiliate marketing and advertisements to monetize your YouTube Channel, that can translate into some pretty impressive passive income month after month — all for recording a video once but getting paid over and over again. A video made a year ago, can still earn impressive revenue today!

Some YouTube stars can make millions (yes, millions) each year off of their channels. The amount you make in passive income will depend on the number of viewers and types of advertisers. SocialBlade has a handy calculator you can use to project your passive earnings based on audience size and video views.

Once your channel gets large enough, you may even be invited to join the YouTube Partner Program. You have to apply to get in, but once you do, you’ll start earning income right away (on the videos you’ve chosen to monetize).

7. Become a Blogger

If I can start a blog and make passive income online, you can too. In fact, many bloggers make most of their income passively. Affiliate marketing and ad sales are (probably) the two most popular residual ways bloggers earn month after month.

And while it may take a little bit of time to get earnings rolling in, once you do, it can be pretty substantial. Take a look at Michelle over at Making Sense of Cents. Her popular finance blog routinely earns $100,000 each month — often in passive income!

How to Monetize Blogs

Making passive income online as a blogger all starts with a niche. Again, the big-money makers are often related to finance, relationships, fitness, and food. But don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, either. You don’t need a large audience to make money, just a specific one that you can monetize.

We know bloggers use a combination of revenue sources to make passive income online each month. If you decide to start a blog, you may prefer certain methods of monetization over others. And that’s okay. You need to find what feels right to you and focus on the those revenue streams that pay off the most.

Amazon Associate

Recommend products on Amazon and earn a commission on each sale. There are also special bounties that pay a flat-rate for each conversion, i.e., someone signs up for a Prime membership trial using your link and you earn $5.

With millions of products to choose from, you can use Amazon Associates program to monetize just about any blog. Your earnings are paid out once monthly.

As a publisher, your blog will display Yahoo contextual ads. Anytime someone clicks on an ad from your site, you receive a payout. You can customize the look of ads to complement your blog’s design, not overwhelm it.

Commission Junction

Advertisers sign up on Commission Junction to manage their affiliate programs and open them up to publishers, like you. There are programs for all types of services, stores, and products. So, chances are, you can find plenty of programs that would work for your niche.

Google Adsense

Google Adsense is one of the most popular platforms to display ads on websites. And it’s the one I use the most here on Work From Home Happiness. Ads are customizable so they never overwhelm your blog’s content. And the analytics are great in helping to optimize ad placement so you can make adjustment to help increase your passive income earnings!

Make passive income online with Google Adsense

Make Passive Income Online

While passive income isn’t always easy to come by, it is possible to create residual revenue streams — even as a beginner. Remember, not all options will make sense for you. And chances are you’ll find one that sounds the most promising. Not sure which that may be? The best way to find out is just to simply get started. Many of the options on this list are free or at least offer a free trial, which gives you a chance to try before you buy!

Few people make money online overnight. But with a little patience and a lot of tenacity you too can make passive income online, even if you’ve never earned a single buck online before.



The 2 Quickest Ways to Generate an Income Online

Today, I’m sharing the two quickest ways to generate an income online. In this post, you will learn:

Gary Vaynerchuk’s timeless lesson on patience and hard work.
How your skills are foundational to your online business success.
The many benefits of starting with freelancing.
How to adopt affiliate marketing into your business.
Why quick has value, but how being too quick can also set you up for failure.
On my podcast, AskPat, I’ve collected over 3,000 voicemail questions related to starting an online business. The most common question of those I get is this:

“What’s the quickest way to generate an income online?”

Before I get into my answer, let me tell you exactly why this question is tricky and a little problematic. There are two specific reasons for this:

First, the emphasis on being quick. I’ve witnessed several new business owners who’ve put speed over quality and value, only to end up further behind than where they were when they started. Quick can be good, but if that’s your focus, you may be setting yourself up for a stumble down the road.
Second, it implies trying to avoid the work it really takes to make money online. Building a successful business takes a lot of effort and strategy. From research to execution and everything in between—it takes blood, sweat, and tears. The question is in search of a magic button, but there is no magic button.
Gary Vaynerchuk puts it best. In order to succeed, you need “micro hustle, and macro patience.”

Micro hustle is focusing all of your work and effort on the next task at hand (not the task ten tasks from now), while macro patience is about allowing time to give you the results, because they will not often happen right away.

The question “What’s the quickest way to generate an income online?” is the opposite of Gary’s advice.

I’ve thought for years about how to best answer this question. I’ve been asked this question in person before, and even during a live Q&A on stage in front of hundreds of people, and my answer usually reflects the two points I’ve made above.

After I share my thoughts with those who’ve asked this question, their body language usually very clearly reflects disappointment. They were expecting an all-in-one solution, after all, and it’s not that simple.

As I’ve thought more deeply about how to answer this question over the years, I’ve come to a realization that the problem is not the answer, but the question itself. For those who’ve asked it, I don’t think it’s always coming from a place of “quick money.” If we reframe the question, I think there’s room to empower and actually help those who’ve asked it—to give them a foundational understanding of what it really means to generate an income online.

Here’s how I would reframe the question:

“With the resources I have available to me now, what can I possibly offer to others in exchange for money?”

Now this is a question we can begin to answer. And, as you can likely tell, the answers will come to each person on an individual basis based on the resources they have available, and to whom they may be able to share and offer those resources.

The answer doesn’t come from me, it comes from the individual.

If you’re ten years old, you might not have much, but perhaps you may have access to a lawnmower in your garage, so you (after asking your parents) offer to cut the lawn for your neighbors, in exchange for money.

If you’re a writer who’s been trying to build your own brand and sell your own books, offering your talent to others who need it would be the best way to go. It’s a resource you have available to you now, and it’s something others (i.e. non writers) may be willing to pay for if they need writing for their website or blog.

By the way, today’s post is on “quick,” but if you have more time and want a more in-depth look at how to make money online, check out my recent video on how to create multiple streams of income online:

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Okay, back to our topic today: If you’re struggling to figure out how to make money online FAST—in a way that focuses on your strengths—that’s how you do it. Think about the resources you have available to you, the skills and talents you have, the superpowers that you’ve so severely underrated these past years, and journey out there to find those people who are looking for the resources and skills you offer. They are out there.

Remember, the skills you have are an asset, they are your “unfair advantage.” They are essential to your unique personal brand, and you can start making money online using those skills if you have the right strategy, tactics, and mindset in place. Another way to describe this is your “unfair advantage,” a term I was first introduced to by Lain Ehmann in SPI Podcast Session #37.

Lain described an unfair advantage as a skill or asset that you have that no one else has, or very few others might have in your specific niche. There are a few different types of unfair advantages, including:

1. Your Rolodex: The People You Know
You know and have access to the right people in your industry, people who others do not have access to. You’re a connector, and you can provide value to a specific audience by using the connections you’ve made over time.

Who do you know that others in your industry may not know?

2. Your Experience: What You’ve Been Through
I watched an episode of Shark Tank once where I was introduced to Major Robert Dyer. Major Dyer was pitching a new energy drink called The Ruck Pack Energy Drink. It’s not like the world needs another energy drink, but he was able to convince both Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjevic, two of the investors on the show, to give him $150k in exchange for 20 percent of the company.

Major Dyer used his experience in the Army to create an energy drink that was perfect for a combating soldier. He was actually in Afghanistan when he came up with the concoction.

His experience became his advantage because he was in extreme conditions that allowed him to create and test a drink of this kind of caliber, one that provided this kind of energy and focus that a combating soldier needed. I doubt the guys at Red Bull or Monster put themselves in the line of fire when testing the capability of their drinks.

When I started, I already had experience with a successful, automated online business at Green Exam Academy. A lot of people were providing online business advice at the time, but most were using other people’s businesses as examples, or just spoke theory with no real case studies to back it up. Here, I was able to use my own experience as evidence, and it helped me become more credible right from the start.

What experiences in your life have given you the ability to prove yourself or your business more than others?

3. Your Story: And How To Tell It
Stories are incredible marketing tools. They stick. People who listen to or read stories transport themselves into the situations that are described and the storyteller is better able to make a deeper connection with their audience.

We all have a story to tell. If you have a good one, tell it and use it to your advantage.

I know I have a great story. I’ve shared it here on the blog and I even went deeper into the story for my first book, Let Go.

It’s funny because when I’m interviewed for podcasts and radio shows, many times the interviewer will apologize and say, “I’m sorry . . . I know you’ve probably told your story hundreds of times before, but I’d like you to tell it again if you don’t mind.”

I always respond with “Of course!”

I love telling my story, not just because it reminds me of where I came from which always gives me a motivational boost, but because I know it’s a great way to connect with an audience. To have the opportunity to share it right from the start is awesome.

Of course, your stories should always be true, but if you have a good one make sure there’s a way for people to hear it.

What’s your story and how can it help your business?

4. Your Hustle: How Much You Put In and Where
Gary Vaynerchuk would probably agree with me when I say that sometimes all you need to do is hustle. I mean like, truly hustle. The all-out just insane amounts of work kind of hustle.

Not everyone has the time or ability to hustle, and of course the work that’s done has to be the right kind of work – the right kind of hustle.

John Lee Dumas, host of Entrepreneur On Fire, is a perfect example of someone who is using his ability to hustle to his advantage.

John has a daily (yes, daily) podcast where he features an interview with a successful entrepreneur. Now, John enjoys many hundreds of thousands of downloads per month, he’s written a book, has products and has opened up a ton of opportunities for sponsorships and partnerships that wouldn’t have come otherwise. He’s not the first person to have a show dedicated to interviewing rock star entrepreneurs—not even close—but he’s definitely the fastest to see these kinds of results.

He’s not just working hard either, he’s working smart. Hustle doesn’t mean just pure physical and mental work, it can mean spending the time to put the right systems into place to generate more output.

What’s something successful that other businesses are doing that could use your hustle to stand out?

5. Your Personality and Your Ability to Connect With Others
Out of the 7 billion people in this world, you are uniquely you. Within specific markets and niches, you are definitely uniquely you. If you have a personality that people can easily connect with you shouldn’t be afraid to share it.

In 2009 when struggling to get traffic to this blog, I had a chat with Jeremy Frandsen from Internet Business Mastery.

He told me I had a magnetic personality and I should find other ways to share it. That’s when I started my YouTube Channel, and then later, my podcast, which just passed 33,000,000 downloads.

How will you connect with others and grow your business by being you?

6. Your Ability To Listen, Build, Measure, and Learn
All companies build something, but not all of them measure, learn, and then adapt or shift.

In Eric Reis’s The Lean Startup, a fantastic book about how today’s entrepreneurs and startup companies are approaching the way they create and innovate, Eric talks about how vital it is to use validated learning and scientific experimentation to be able to steer a company in the right direction. In other words, to use customer feedback and quantified data analysis (of real, non-vanity metrics) from a minimal viable product to make decisions and pivot a business one way or another.

If you have the ability to see what holes lie in existing markets before you enter it, the ability to listen to a target market (or become a customer yourself who is extremely conscious of the overall customer experience), and learn from the wins and failures of the companies that already exist, you will have an edge over your competition.

Like I mentioned earlier, coming in late in the game can be an advantage if you listen, learn and provide solutions for what seems to be missing. Even coming into a market with a minimal viable product, you’ll have the advantage of being able to get deep into the customer experience to shape your product or service to what it should be, again, all based on what you’re able to measure and learn.

There is a lot more to be said about lean startup methods and the build-measure-learn feedback loop.

7. Your Specialization: Who You Serve and Your Ability To Do So
It’s not just the skills and experiences that you have to offer that can give you a competitive edge, it can also be that fact that you want to serve a more specialized segment of a market.

Generally, the more specialized you get, the less competition you have to deal with. In addition to that, the more specialized you get, the better you can hone in your skills for a particular group of people. Your advantage is your knowledge of and ability to serve that particular segment of the larger market.

Take for example, shoes.

Everyone (well, almost everyone) buys shoes. If you wanted to enter the shoe market, you might think your competitors are retailers like Zappos, EastBay, Sketchers and other large online retailers. Then there’s Nike, Reebok too. It’s virtually impossible to compete with them, especially when you’re bootstrapped. So what can we do?


Instead of getting into the market to sell all types of shoes, how about serving a part of the market that’s looking for a specific type of shoe: running shoes, walking shoes, children’s shoes, etc.

Even at this level of specialization, however, it’s not quite an advantage yet because companies already specialize in these types of shoes: Foot Locker, The Walking Company, and Stride Rite, respectively. Now what?

Specialize again.

Within running shoes, how about soccer cleats? Within soccer cleats, how about women’s soccer cleats?

When your target market is women who are looking for soccer cleats, it’s much easier to do market research and enter the build-measure-learn feedback loop. You have an advantage over others who are targeting a larger segment of the market.

Trunk Club, is a great example of this kind of specialization at work.

Like lots of other businesses, they sell clothes. That in itself is not very special.

But, their target market and who they serve is special, and it’s not everyone. Their target market is specifically men who want to dress well who either don’t like to go shopping, or don’t have the time to do so.

It works like this:

You speak to a personal stylist over the phone, they ask you a number of questions to get to know you a little better and figure out your style, and then they send you a Trunk with a number of pieces of clothing in it based on your conversation.

You try stuff on, keep what you like, and ship back what you don’t like in the same trunk. Shipping is already paid for.

Boom. New clothes and I didn’t even have to leave my house. No membership fees, you just get a trunk whenever you want, and they charge you for pieces that don’t return.

I’ve received two trunks so far and another is on the way. I’ve kept roughly 35-40% of what was shipped to me.

I heard about this service from a friend, and I’ve definitely passed this service onto others. Not everyone, but other men around the same age who are in situations where they might need to dress up and they might be too busy to go shopping on their own.

You see, when you specialize and can provide value to a specific segment of a market, those people within that market tend to talk to each other about you.

How can you specialize and become the topic of conversation when those people get together?

All of this brings me to the first way to generate an income online, and that is:

When you think of all of your skills, and what you have to offer the world, your “unfair advantages,” chances are there’s someone out there who will pay you for it. No, it’s not at all passive, but it’s the quickest and easiest way to get paid for something that can actually help people and solve one of their problems.

There are two more major benefits of going down the freelancing route:

It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in an industry and get to know the lay of the land—the marketplace—so you can carve out your own niche in the future in some way, shape, or form. You’ll also be able to connect with the people you need to connect with, and build on those relationships to create more opportunities.
A freelancing service is something that can, with the right strategy and action, turn into something more productized and passive. Brian Casel, featured guest on SPI Podcast Session #158, talks about how he was able to turn his stress-inducing one-on-one design service business into something that was actually more productized, passive, and profitable. I highly recommend you listen to that episode if you have a service-based business and you feel stuck.
You can also check out my post, How to Start Freelancing (and Get Your First Client), which walks you through the steps you’ll need to kick off your freelance gig, including:

Why there’s huge opportunity in freelancing.
The many freelance skill sets you can build into a freelancing career.
The secrets to landing your first freelance client.
Five ways to make more money as a freelancer.
Career and business options for freelancers.
And once you get started, here’s a great video on FIVE WAYS to make even more money as a freelancer:

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
Okay, so beyond freelancing, what else can you do to make money online? Well, you could literally just start contacting everyone you know and offer a service today, right now, right at this moment.

I’ll just wait a moment while you do that ?

There is one more method of generating an income I’d like to share with you. This method is:

Even easier and faster than freelancing.
Something that has helped me earn more than $3 million since I started my online business.
Something you’re likely, in a way, already doing.
What is this sorcery I’m speaking of?

It’s not magic. It’s simply recommending products you already use to those who trust you. In online business terms, we call this:

Affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is the process of generating an income through a partnership you have with a company by recommending their product(s) to others.

To learn about the basics of affiliate marketing, watch my Affiliate Marketing 101 video series:

Just think of how often you’ve shared with a friend or online network an amazing tool, service, or product that you love. What if you could potentially earn a percentage of the sale of any products you helped sell through your recommendation? Well, that’s possible, and it’s been around for a while.

The term affiliate marketing has taken a bad rap over the years, primarily because people are abusing just how easy this is to do. Internet marketers are finding products they don’t even use because they come with a sweet commission, and are spamming everyone until they either buy, or unsubscribe. This is also known as the dark side of affiliate marketing.

That’s why I sometimes hesitate to even say I participate in affiliate marketing. But that’s not how I, or you, should approach it. I’m here to lead the change and show people there is so much opportunity out there in affiliate marketing the right way (and the smart way). It’s insane to me that more people aren’t really realizing their full potential with this.

There are products that already exist in this world that provide solutions for your audience (and future audience), and when you align your attention to really help them, with the products out there that already exist, it’s a recipe for success and a win for everyone.

How do you make affiliate marketing work for you? There are a few affiliate marketing principles I stand by:

1. Affiliate Marketing Starts with the First Impression
First impressions are huge because they set the tone for a visitor’s entire experience through your website, including any possible transactions that may take place now, or in the future.

What is the first impression that you get when you go to a site and it’s splattered with advertisements, for example? What does a site like that say to a first time visitor?

“Hi, nice to meet you – click here so I can earn a buck?”

It’s like if you met someone for the first time and the first thing they ask you is if you’re interested in buying something from them. I’d much rather get to know somebody first, trust them, and then have them tell me what they might have to offer. Or better yet, be genuinely interested in what they’re doing, and ask them about it myself. This is the kind of philosophy that I use when promoting other people’s products.

2. Only Promote Products That You Have Used
As I mentioned in a previous post on the 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained, the way I earn money with affiliate links in ALL of my online businesses is by promoting only products that I have used, and only what I would recommend to my friends who want to achieve similar results. I feel that anyone with an audience has a responsibility to do the same thing.

There’s something fishy about someone promoting Apple Computers who only uses a PC.

3. Always Describe the Product You’re Promoting
If you have an affiliate link that’s just a banner ad, or a link at the bottom of a post with no real description – it’s a waste. If you’re actively promoting a product (that you’ve used), you obviously know something about it. Share your knowledge with your audience, and they’ll be intrigued and more likely to click through to learn more.

4. Content First, Affiliate Link Second
Although I just said you should always describe the products you promote, the content that you write should drive the affiliate links that you offer, not the other way around. Don’t write posts just for the sake of placing an affiliate link within.

5. Share Your Experience with The Product
When describing whatever it is your promoting, share your experience! If you can throw in some data or graphs to go along with it, even better. Back when I was more actively writing about eHow, I promoted an ebook that I read which helped quadruple my earnings per article. I created a graph that showed how much I earned before I read the book versus how much I earned after. To this date, that ebook has been one of the most successful affiliate promotions I’ve done on this blog.

6. Only Promote One or Two of the Same Type of Products
There are a number of reasons why you should never promote more than two of the same type of products:

The more products you promote, the less believable each of them becomes. If today I recommended Company X, and tomorrow I recommended Company Y and Company Z, each of their “stock” immediately goes down.
The more products you promote, the more difficult the decision to choose between them becomes. I’ve been to a number of personal finance websites that offer sign-up bonuses for 4 to 5 different banks (sometimes within the same post!). It hurts my brain.
If you keep promoting the same products time and time again, your audience will begin to realize that there must be something special about the specific ones you keep bringing up.
7. Starve the Horses and Feed the Stallions
This is a fancy (and thankfully not literal) way of saying that you should only promote the products that you know make you the most money, and forget about the ones that don’t. You will only know this after trial and error, so see what works, and get rid of the rest.

For a while, I had a number of banner ads on this blog that were not generating any type of income for me. There’s no point in wasting valuable ad space with banners that don’t pay out.

Test, test, test.

8. Utilize a Resources Page
A resources page is a page that consists of helpful links to websites, products and services related to your niche. This is a perfect spot for affiliate links, so take advantage of this if you haven’t already.

It takes the “books I’m reading” area you often see in blogs (within Amazon affiliate links) to a whole new level. not only is this great for you, but it’s extremely helpful for your readers who may be looking for additional resources related to your niche. Plus, they may come across products or services they weren’t originally looking for while on your resources page.

Everybody wins.

To start your affiliate marketing journey, make sure you sign up for my Affiliate Marketing Masterclass, which will walk you through five steps to finally begin generating an additional passive income stream using authentic affiliate marketing strategies I’ve used myself. Click the link below to sign up for the next Affiliate Marketing Masterclass

7 Legit Passive Income Ideas to Make $5K a Month

The best passive income ideas might not be fast but they will pay the bills with no extra effort

You can work your ass off to make money but you’ll never get anywhere until you start making passive income. I make money on seven different income sources but some of them take a lot of work.

I make good money but what’s the point of making money if you’re always busy…making money?

Passive income is money you make from a product or an investment where you don’t have to do any more work after you set it up. That means consistent cash flow every month whether you’re working or not.

That’s the only true way to financial freedom. Passive income is the only way you will ever be free from worrying about money and the only way you will ever reach financial independence.

I’m going to share my seven favorite passive income sources, income streams I use to make money every month. Now I’m not going to sugar coat this, some of these are going to take work but will mean thousands a month you can count on.

How to Find Passive Income Ideas

I’m going to start with the easy passive income ideas, the ones you can start making money on immediately and will work through to the ones you’ll make the most money on as we go through the list so make sure you stick around to catch those last couple of passive income strategies.

I’d also love to hear your passive income ideas so be sure to leave those in the comments.

Our first side hustle idea is with deal sites like Swagbucks and TopCashBack. Now these are actually two different types of passive income ideas because they’re different types of websites.

making money swagbucks surveys

Making Money Online Shopping with Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a get-paid-to site so you get paid to do things like take surveys, play video games, watch videos and try out free product samples. Doing each of these, you earn points which are usually convertible to one hundred points for a dollar.

Now this isn’t something that’s going to make you rich but you can earn some legit money for less than an hour of your time. Swagbucks users have redeemed over $344 million in rewards for gift cards and Amazon rewards.

passive income rewards

Passive Income Rewards Programs

Now I’ve been using Swagbucks for a while and have found the money works out to just under $2 an hour so this isn’t something that’s going to make you rich. You’d have to work 2,500 hours to make $5,000 so that’s about three and a half months, non-stop. The thing with Swagbucks though is you can do it when you’re doing something else so I flip through surveys and other stuff while I’m cooking dinner or flipping channels.

Swagbucks is offering a $5 cash bonus just for signing up through their special offer so sign up here to snag your bonus cash.

TopCashBack is an online shopping cash back site where you get a percentage discount on anything you buy online. What you do is start at the TopCashBack website then click through one of the 4,000 retailers with a cash back program.

These are everything from Nike to Home Depot and you get from 3% to 25% cash back on anything you buy. You’re still shopping directly on the retailer’s website so you get all the other discounts and deals they offer, you just get an extra bonus for going through the TopCashBack site first.

passive income shopping programs

Get Paid to Shop Online


It’s free to use the site so basically it’s just free money on stuff you were going to buy.

Start getting paid to shop online with TopCashBack

TopCashBack is a little better with the average cash back around 6% of your purchase so if you spend $1,000 online you’re going to get $60 back. Again, not something that’s going to make you rich because you have to buy stuff to get the cash back but it’s free money on the things you were going to buy anyway.

Blogging as a Passive Income Source

Our next passive income idea is blogging. I’m not a big fan of the term blogger because it sounds like you’re just writing random notes on a website. In fact, owning your own piece of digital real estate is big money.

I started my own sites in December 2014 and broke $5,000 a month just two years later. I averaged $5,500 through 2017 and that’s not including side hustle work I did freelancing.

blogging income

Blogging Income as a Passive Income Source

Blogging is still going to take work starting out. That path to $5,000 a month didn’t happen overnight but just like real estate development, it build up an asset that now creates constant cash flow whether I work or not. I get over 30,000 visitors a month from Google search rankings, rankings that will continue to send traffic even if I take a little time off.

Now I’m working on a video to share five secrets to starting a blog that I’ve learned over the last four years from how to boost traffic to the easiest ways to make money so be sure to subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss it when it comes out.

The biggest secret to success in this passive income source though, is to just get started. There are factors like website age that play into getting ranked on Google and the sooner you get started, the better.

You can start your website for less than $5 a month with Blue Host and spend just a few hours a week to build it while you wait for it to start producing that income you can count on.

I’ll leave a link to a special offer by Blue Host below. Don’t wait until you need the extra cash to start your blog. I was making a grand a month off my websites within a year of launching so even if your blog isn’t big enough to replace your job, a grand a month is still pretty nice for a mostly passive income source.

Get your blog started in less than five minutes with this special deal from Blue Host

Real Estate Crowdfunding is the Only True Passive Source in Real Estate

I talked about this next passive income idea in a recent video on the five investments that helped me make money while stocks were crashing. Remember that, back in February when the stock market plunged 10% within two weeks? I came out ahead because I had real estate crowdfunding and p2p lending to smooth out my portfolio.

I started my professional career as a commercial real estate analyst and I’ve managed my own rental properties so real estate has always had a special place in my portfolio. No other asset has created as much long-term wealth as property.

There are a couple of problems with direct investment in real estate though. It’s expensive to buy even a single property, a minimum of tens of thousands of dollars, and there’s no way most investors can build a portfolio of different property types and in different regions to protect from those risks when you have all your money in just one or two investments.

Besides that, managing your own properties is a constant headache with tenants and repairs.

passive income real estate strategy

Collecting Passive Income on Real Estate Crowdfunding

So real estate crowdfunding is just the crowd meets real estate investing. Developers and investors list their properties on a crowdfunding platform that reviews the investment and the project owners. This is a detailed review and only about 5% of the projects ever make it on to the RealtyShares platform which is where I do most of my investing.

You can invest as little as $1,000 in each property which means you can build up a portfolio of different property types and in different areas for that diversification. You also get professional management of the projects. The project owners send all debt or equity payouts through the platform and it gets passed on to investors.

Since these are longer-term projects, short-term market hiccups shouldn’t affect them. Real estate prices may follow the economy a little but there is still that natural demand from homeowners and commercial users so that supports prices.

I surveyed real estate crowdfunding sites on returns and found that debt investments average around 9% while equity returns average 15% annually. I invest in real estate debt on PeerStreet and in debt and equity on RealtyShares. I like investing on more than one platform because it gives me access to as many deals as possible.

Self-Publishing is My Favorite Passive Income Source

Subscribers to the channel have probably already seen the videos on our next passive income idea, self-publishing. I’ve been self-publishing on Amazon since 2015 and have 10 books that averaged $1,857 a month last year.

Before you think you can’t write a book, anyone can do this and it is so easy. In fact, self-publishing is a natural fit for bloggers because you’re already writing the material. All you have to do is reformat it and turn it into a book for another income source. So if you’re thinking about blogging, you definitely need to be self-publishing also.

2017 self publishing income

Self-Publishing for Residual Income on Books

I’m making an average of $185 a month on each book and you can produce a new book every couple of months if you’re really focused. The best part about self-publishing is that once you have it published on Amazon, there’s almost nothing left to do. I spend about $20 a month on advertising for each book and that’s it.

So if you’re doing a book every two months, you’ll have your $5,000 a month in just over two years and that’s going to be consistent income every month even if you stop writing.

P2P Lending for Monthly Passive Income

Another investment I highlighted recently was p2p lending through Lending Club. I’ve been investing in p2p for a few years now and have booked returns just under 10%. Now that might not sound great against double-digit stock returns but it’s double what you get from other fixed-income investments.

Investing 1000 in p2p loans

Investing in P2P Loans for Monthly Passive Income

Investing in loans is nothing new. In fact, I guarantee you already have money in them through any pension plan or insurance. You see banks sell their loans to investors that need reliable cash flow so their biggest buyers of loans are pensions and insurance companies.

With p2p, you cut out the middleman and become the bank yourself for higher returns.

I average just under 10% annually on the loans so about $1,000 on every $10,000 invested. Now that’s a year so you’ll need quite a bit invested to make that $5,000 a month but even a small portfolio will constantly be putting cash in your account. You get paid principal and interest monthly on your loans so it’s a great cash flow investment.

What I like about p2p investing on Lending Club is the website’s automated investing tool. You pick the criteria for loans in which you want to invest and the program does the rest. It will look for loans every day that meet those factors and automatically invest your money. It’s important because you’re collecting money on your loan investments every day so you want that money reinvested as soon as possible.

The automated investing tool on Lending Club makes the investment completely passive. I might only check in on my account once a month or even less often. I know that program is going to keep investing my money for a stable and passive return.

Open a free investing account on Lending Club

Patreon: Residual Income for Artists

Our next passive income idea is another twist on crowdfunding called Patreon. The website is promoted as a crowdfunding site for creative people like artists and writers but really it’s for anyone with a side-hustle idea.

online income artists

Online Income for Artists and Creatives

Patreon is actually how the arts used to work hundreds of years ago. Back during the renaissance, artists used to ask the rich to be their patrons to support their work through regular contributions.

This gave us amazing masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and many of Picasso’s works.

So now the website Patreon gives you the opportunity to get patrons for your own works. You build a community of people interested in your work, another use of a blog that does double-duty for this passive income strategy, and then ask them to make contributions each time you produce something.

Now patrons don’t come away empty-handed, you offer rewards and copies of the work. So for a writer, you might offer copies of your books. You could promise to publicly thank patrons on your blog or to promote something of theirs in the future.

Even if each patron only contributes a very small amount each month, it can still be a huge source of income. Take a look at the Patreon page for Kinda Funny, an internet video company. They have over 6,209 patrons which means an average of just $3 a month would be a monthly income of almost $19,000 – plus they get cheerleaders that are always happy to spread the word on their brand.

residual income artists

Residual Income Sales from Amazon FBA

Our last passive income source is creating your own brand and selling through Amazon FBA. This is one of the most exciting income ideas I’ve seen in years. Amazon FBA makes it easy to start your own retail company, to sell your own products.

It used to be that you needed hundreds of thousands of dollars for manufacturing, marketing, logistics, everything that went into selling products. With Amazon FBA, you contract with a manufacturer to ship everything directly to Amazon warehouses across the country.

The manufacturer is going to put everything together, package it and even put your label on it. Then you just run your advertising and sell everything from your page on the world’s largest internet shopping site.

growing online income

Growing Online Income from Retail Sales

Amazon FBA gives you the opportunity to compete with the biggest names in retail. Always wanted to start a toy company, move over Hasbro. Want a line of blue jeans with your name stitched across the pocket, you can now get started for just a few thousand in inventory.

I’ve got a couple of interviews on the blog from people that have started stores through Amazon FBA. A couple of them are making six-figure incomes in less than a year so $5,000 a month is easily achievable in less than that.

Making legitimate passive income isn’t as difficult as you might think. Some of the best passive income ideas might take a little time to set up but can start cash flowing within a couple of months and will provide a consistent monthly income for years or more. The most important point is just to get started. You make exactly $0 on the passive income sources you never start.

5 Ways to Generate Passive Income and Keep Your Job

Passive income is the Holy Grail for online marketers. It’s automatic. Effortless. But, not at first. In the beginning, it’s grueling. I liken this to doing the most amount of work for the least initial return. However, over time, as your passive income begins to increase, your reliance on an active income plummets. That’s when the real magic starts to happen.

For most people, that means an exit from the proverbial rat race. It equates to freedom. True financial independence. An extrication from the shackles that binds us to the 9-to-5 corporate life-sucking job. It means being unleashed. Living a fulfilled life. And having total freedom to live, work and roam free at your leisure.

Yes, it’s Utopian. That’s by design. But, if you’re sitting there thinking that passive income is impossible because you’re too busy working a day job, think again. Not only is it possible. Not only should you do it. But, you’d be silly not to put as much of your effort into generating a passive income immediately.

However, this comes back to the old discussion of pain versus pleasure. We will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. When our backs are against the wall, we act. When they’re not, we relax. The truth is that the pain-versus-pleasure paradigm only operates in the short term. We’ll only avoid pain in the here and now. Often not in the long term.

The day before our taxes are do, there’s pain. Lots of pain. We know what happens if we don’t file. Same thing the night before an exam or a paper is due. We spend so much time procrastinating that it’s only at the point when the pain of continuing the procrastination exceeds the pleasure of putting it off any longer, that we actually take action.

But, when it boils down to it, passive income isn’t that hard to generate. When you know what avenue to take, and you follow along with a few simple steps, you can do it. It just takes time. Don’t expect this to materialize overnight. Unless, of course, you have money to invest in something like real estate or high-yield dividend stocks.

There are dozens of ways to generate passive income. However, the option you select has to do with two metrics: time and money. Either you have a lot of time or a lot of money. Most people usually don’t have both. But, if you have a lot of money, generating passive income almost instantly is easy. You can buy up some real estate and begin enjoying rental income. Or, you can invest in a dividend fund or some other investment vehicle that will begin generating a steady income for you.

However, when you lack the money, you need time. You’ll need to invest the upfront time now in order to reap the benefits of automatic income later. It just doesn’t happen overnight. So don’t expect it to. However, you can do this without quitting your day job. All it takes is some sincere effort over a consistent period, and voila! But, to get there, you’ll need to consistently burn the midnight oil or get up at the crack of dawn. Your choice.

1. Start a blog.
One of the best ways you can create a passive income is by blogging. Yes, in the beginning there will be no income. Expect that. But, over time, you’ll start to generate an income from that blog. Eventually, it will snowball. Potentially, it could earn you six or seven figures per year, sometimes even more.

There are some basic steps you’ll need to take before you start a blog. Don’t just rush headfirst into this without planning first. Blogs in the following sub-markets make the most money:

Dating and relationship related blogs
Money related blogs
Diet and fitness related blogs
However, you should pick a niche and blog about that. If you’re launching a money related blog, maybe it’ll be about how to make money in real estate or simply how to make money online. Pick the niche and stick to it. If it’s a diet and fitness related blog, maybe the niche is the Ketogenic diet, the Atkins diet or some other form of diet or fitness.

2. Launch an automated webinar.
Webinars are absolutely crushing it these days. If you’re looking to create a serious amount of passive income, consider launching an automated webinar. However, before you do that, make sure you do that webinar live every single week for a year. Once you’ve got that webinar converting, automate it.

Some people take it automated well before the year is up. When it converts, it converts. If you target the right people and you’re able to create the right message that appeals to your audience, you might just hit a home run. An automated webinar often involves the creation of a webinar funnel. That includes, not only the webinar, but also the email sequences, and possibly a self-liquidating offer, and maybe some done-for-your services and up-sells.

It’s not as complicated as it sounds. There are loads of things to keep in mind when building out a webinar. It’s not a simple task. But, when it clicks, it’s a proverbial money-making machine. Not only do you make money fast, but it’s often more than you had ever dreamed of.

3. Write a ebook.
Ebooks are one of my favorite sources of passive income. Now, you can do this the simple way and just publish it on Amazon’s KDP. Or, you can go all out and build yourself a book funnel. Book funnels are powerful, but they won’t be fully passive. For example, if you do a free-plus-shipping offer for your ebook (converting it into a physical book), you’ll need to create some one-time offers (i.e. extra training) and up-sells (i.e. an audiobook). But, a book funnel can be very powerful.

But, you don’t need to go further than that. You can simply write it and publish it and collect the income. That’s all. Send out a couple emails to your list (if you have one) or post it on social media, and there you have it. Passive income. Now, the amount of income you receive depends on the quality of the book you’ve written. How well did you craft the message? How targeted was the information to your audience? It counts.

If you want to take it a step further, you could easily create that ebook into an audiobook using the Audible platform. You can either produce the audiobook yourself or hire out a producer to do it for you. You can either pay them a flat fee or a royalty from the proceeds of the audiobook.


4. Do affiliate marketing.
One great way to generate a passive income is through affiliate marketing. Now, this does depend on the size of your list. Yes, size matters when it comes to your list. Especially if you’re looking to make some serious money and do it on autopilot. But, list-building takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. And you need to add value to your list or you become obsolete.

Build a list in a particular niche and tell them stories. Create a bond. Build a relationship with them. It’s important. Then, when you’ve created a bit of culture, start marketing affiliate products or services to them that you think they might like. Just be sure that you personally vet out whatever it is that you’re selling to avoid complaints if the product or service falls short.

And if you’re wondering whether you need a blog or a website to build a list, you don’t. You can use sites like Medium or Quora or LinkedIn Publishing, and place a call-to-action to join your list. It’s as simple as that. Build up quality content and invite them to join your list. Then, start marketing to them.


5. Build an information product funnel.
Sales funnels are powerful. They offer the highest potential for income on the internet. When configured properly, they can also easily be scaled. You will need to understand a thing or two about conversion optimizations. And, possibly Facebook ads. But, you can source out whatever confuses you.

The hardest part about building an information product funnel is coming up with the right hook. There is so much competition out there that virtually everyone has just about done every type of product or service. The goal is not in recreating the wheel. You simply have to model what’s working, but not copy.

Find something you can sell that will entice enough people. In other words, pick a hot market. What are people buying up like crazy? Is it something diet related? Is it money related? So on. Find what’s working and build out a better version of it without actually copying it. Add loads of value and watch as the money comes rolling in over time.

Passive Income – What it is and Why You Want It

In The 4 Hour Work Week, he talks about the method he created with where marketing, banking, reordering, shipping, as well as customer care on the business was on total auto pilot. I thought the idea intoxicating.

Effectively, no. That lifestyle type is a pipe fantasy, and also for valid reason. Setting up passive income requires work, constant reinvention, and maintenance. But we will go to that. The greater pertinent issue is why.

The purpose of passive income is liberating the time of yours for much more productive endeavors–whatever those might be.
If you’ve the ambition as well as gall to escape the nine to five game and create passive income, odds are you will not be pleased with sitting on the butt of yours or even traveling year round. You will want to do a thing with purpose and meaning.

For Tim, which was studying and creating many books, which he is genuinely passionate about. For me, that is working, learning, and traveling on startups that are risk that is high or have a great deal of street to generating revenue. For you, perhaps it is spending time with the kids of yours but not needing to take overtime when it is offered to you. At any rate, the aim is spending as little period as you can to deal with your essential needs; in case you wish to spend much more time making money, that is usually an option? -?but you need it being an alternative, not a need.

For me, that has pushed brilliantly. Because I’d passive cash flow streams developed, I did not have to be concerned about producing sales instantly, raising money from investors therefore I can eat, etc. I takes the time of mine, try out hundred unique possibilities, and eventually settle for a company which suited the needs of mine (the one that I am running now), that enables me to live and also do the job anywhere I like and every time I would like, plus is, for probably the most part, fully independent.

Residual Income: 12 Simple Ways to Start Building It in Minutes

Wouldn’t it be nice to make money while you sleep? Residual income streams can help you do it!

If you need a quick fix, finding ways to save money will get you the fastest results. Starting a budget, tracking your spending, and cutting your expenses are also important. And if you’re looking for ways to make money fast, there are plenty of things that can help you do that, too.

Residual income is a long-term play, but it can provide an enormous boost to your overall net worth. If you’re looking to build real wealth, creating these types of passive income streams is essential. Here’s why.

What Is Residual Income?

In the personal finance world, the term “residual income” actually has two different definitions. First, residual income can be thought of as the amount of money you have left over after accounting for debts, typically on a monthly basis. Basically, it’s your “expendable” income.

For a more visual representation, consider this formula: Monthly Net Income – Monthly Debt = Residual Income.

Having expendable income each month is great, but it isn’t what we’re concerned with in this piece. For our purposes, we’ll consider the more widely used concept of residual income.

Residual income is money that is earned on a recurring basis, typically as the result of a single original action. Rather than earning an hourly wage, residual income is typically generated through an initial investment of time or money with the goal of earning continuous payments. Once the initial investment, product, or service is made, the ongoing income that is earned is generally passive in nature.

Why Should You Build Residual Income?

Developing residual income is an important part of building long-term wealth. In fact, it’s practically impossible to do without it.

Think about this: If your only source of income came from your job, you’d have a hard time making enough money to retire. Even if you saved enough to give retirement a shot, you’d be taking a huge gamble. Without residual income, the only thing you’d have to live on is the money you have saved. Once it is gone, it’s gone.

But, by sticking your money into a 401(k) or other retirement account, your stash doesn’t just sit there; hopefully, it will grow – and continue growing – for years to come.

The more residual income you can build, the better off you’ll be. In fact, it’s said that the average millionaire has 7 different streams of income. By creating passive income streams that generate money while you sleep, you’ll build wealth faster and diversify the ways you’re able to make money – which helps protect you from the loss of any one individual income stream.

Now, don’t be fooled; passive income doesn’t mean easy income. In many cases, it takes a lot of hard work with no guarantee of a return.

With that said, I think it’s super important to build as many passive income streams as possible. Heck, I’ve built over a dozen of my own. So, if this sounds like a good idea to you, check out this list of simple ways to make residual income and get started right away!

12 Residual Income Ideas to Try This Year

1) Real Estate Investing – No Down Payment or Becoming a Landlord

Residual income streams are a great way to make extra money and build wealth. With some up-front work, you can build passive income that may last for years to come. Try these 12 residual income ideas to begin boosting your net worth today!

Want to invest in real estate but don’t want to pony up a down payment? Or, maybe you’d love to get into real estate but don’t want to deal with maintenance or tenants?

No problem.

Now, you can still gain exposure to real estate investing without owning or managing properties directly. In some cases, you don’t even need to be a millionaire to do it. Here are three options:

Fundrise – With a minimum investment of just $500, investors of all types can make crowd-funded real estate investments through Fundrise. This means you get the benefits of being a landlord without actually having to deal with owning or managing the properties yourself. Even though we own 2 rental properties, we recently began investing in Fundrise ourselves. We love it because there is no “accredited investor” requirement, making it far more accessible for the average person than the other two options below. Follow the link above to learn more, or read our full review here.

RealtyShares – Like Fundrise, this is another crowd-funded real estate platform that allows you to earn residual income from real estate. However, in order to invest here, you must qualify as an accredited investor. There is also a $5,000 minimum investment. Realtyshares offers a variety of property types (including single-family, multifamily, retail, and office space) located in over 220 cities and across 39 states.

Peerstreet – This residual income option is slightly different, helping you earn through real estate backed loans instead of the property itself. By helping fund the loan, you’ll earn a percentage of the interest rate charged to the borrower. Most loans are short-term, generally lasting between 6 and 24 months. You can build your own portfolio by choosing the exact loans you’d like to fund, or Peerstreet will choose the loans for you. Again, you need to be an accredited investor, although the minimum investment here is just $1,000.

2) Try Peer-to-Peer Lending

Residual income streams are a great way to make extra money and build wealth. With some up front work, you can build passive income that may last for years to come. Try these 11 residual income ideas to begin boosting your net worth today!

I’ve always wanted to own a bank, and that is what makes peer-to-peer lending one of my favorite residual income ideas.

Banks are money-making machines. It’s what they do. But, I obviously don’t have enough money to start a bank on my own.

With peer-to-peer lending, I can get exposure to the loan market by providing cash for personal and business loans. Better yet, I can spread my cash around, funding dozens of loans at the same time.

Lending Club is a popular P2P lending website that is a great place to start. Take your interest income as cash on the side, or invest your money into an IRA account. With only $1,000 needed to get started, the choice is yours!

3) Put Money in the Stock Market (and Reduce Fees!)

Residual income streams are a great way to make extra money and build wealth. With some up front work, you can build passive income that may last for years to come. Try these 11 residual income ideas to begin boosting your net worth today!

If retirement is a goal of yours (and who doesn’t want to retire someday?!?), it’s important to learn how to start investing. In fact, funding your retirement accounts should be at the top of your list. While these accounts won’t help your immediate situation, by stashing cash now, the residual income they create should help propel you through your golden years.

To make the most of your retirement funds, be sure to invest at least enough to meet your company match. That is free money that can potentially have a big impact on your future nest egg. Additionally, experts generally suggest you save at least 10% to 15% of your annual income in tax-advantaged retirement accounts (like a 401(k), IRA, etc.).

Just because you have a 401(k) through work doesn’t mean that you can just shove money in and forget it, though. Even though your employer may offer the program, they may not be actively managing it. What’s worse, you may be stuck in a program with ridiculously high fees and not know it.

Blooom is a great little program that offers a free analysis of your current retirement plan. (Yep, the analysis is FREE.) They’ll comb through your plan to help you understand your plan and find any unnecessary fees. From there, you can ask them to monitor your account and optimize it for you.

If you’re looking for more immediate returns, try investing in dividend stocks by opening up a brokerage account with Ally Invest. Their DIY platform is fantastic, and – with trades starting at just $3.95 each – trading stocks there is ridiculously cheap!

For those who prefer a more do-it-yourself style but still want their investments to be managed automatically, a robo-advisor like Betterment may be better suited. After completing an initial questionnaire, this program will automatically invest your money based on things like your risk tolerance and time horizon. They’ll even rebalance your portfolio when necessary – all automatically, of course!

#4) Become a Landlord

Residual income streams are a great way to make extra money and build wealth. With some up front work, you can build passive income that may last for years to come. Try these 11 residual income ideas to begin boosting your net worth today!

I love investing in real estate. In fact, outside of our original work-sponsored retirement accounts, real estate was the very first investment Holly and I ever made.

As a young married couple, we probably couldn’t have afforded it at the time. However, in our second year of marriage we took out a mortgage to purchase a rental property and have been landlords ever since. It’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

Personally, I love our real estate investments for two main reasons. First, they provide a steady source of residual income that’s hard to beat. No matter what the markets do, there will always be renters needing a place to live.

By becoming landlords, we have a (relatively) reliable source of income that we can use to finance our lifestyle, pay for our kids’ college, and fund our retirement. That’s tough to beat.

Additionally, the thing I love about real estate investing is that the property is tangible. It isn’t just paper money or a number in some bank’s database. It is real, and – for me – buildings and land will always hold some sort of value.

At this time, we own two single-family units and have plans to buy one or two more. That’s how much we believe in real estate.

5) Rent Out a Room, Apartment, or House

Residual income streams are a great way to make extra money and build wealth. With some up front work, you can build passive income that may last for years to come. Try these 11 residual income ideas to begin boosting your net worth today!

If you live in a large city or area that attracts tourists, renting out a room in your house or apartment is a great option for building residual income. It’s even better if you have an entire apartment or house you can make available. To top it off, it’s an almost completely passive income idea.

So, who is the type of person who would rent out your space? I’m glad you asked!

We love traveling and rent out spaces all the time. In fact, we travel about once a month to places all around the globe. And, as frequent travelers, we generally prefer staying in a comfortable house or apartment – especially if we’re traveling with the kids.

You may also be able to rent out your apartment, house, or room to travelers who are in town for an event. For instance, rather than staying in a stuffy hotel, business travelers may wish to rent an apartment for a few nights. Concert goers and sports fans may also look for places to stay near the venue. The options are almost endless.

Airbnb is the perfect spot to list your space. Here, you’ll find thousands of guests searching for places just like yours. (We’ve booked through here several times.) Of course, you’ll earn a fee for each completed stay. Bonuses and rewards are also available and can really build up over time.

VRBO is another potential income source. While there is certainly some overlap, you’ll find another whole group of guests searching for vacation rentals here. It never hurts to list your property on both!

6) Start a Blog

Residual income streams are a great way to make extra money and build wealth. With some up front work, you can build passive income that may last for years to come. Try these 11 residual income ideas to begin boosting your net worth today!

Blogging is a great way to work from home and build residual income. In fact, Holly and I have been able to make enough money from blogging that it’s now our full-time careers.

Starting a blog is super cheap and fairly easy. For less than $10 a month in expenses, you can easily get your blog up and running. I mean, how many hobbies do you have that cost that little AND give you the chance to make money on the side?

For help getting started, check out our simple 6-step guide to starting a blog!

Now, don’t get me wrong. Blogging may be a good way to make residual income, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s not particularly passive either.

To create a successful blog, one that actually makes money, it takes time and a lot of hard work. However, once you learn how to make real money, blogging can provide some significant side income.

So, how do blogs make money?

Bloggers generally make money either through products/services that they sell or through advertising revenue. When it comes to advertising, bloggers typically get paid through direct ads they place on their website (think banner ads) or through affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a form of advertising in which a blogger promotes a product or service. The blogger then gets paid when a reader clicks on a link or banner and completes an action. (For instance, the reader purchases a product.) So, once you’ve written a piece, you can continue to earn residual income from that piece over and over again.

We do fairly well with affiliate marketing, but our good friend Michelle knocks it out of the park. In fact, she earns over $50,000 a month (yes, a MONTH) through affiliate marketing alone!

To learn how she does it and how affiliate marketing can work for your blog, check out Michelle’s course “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing!”

7) Create an Online Course

Are you an expert in a field or have a specialized knowledge that others might want? Do you have certain skills you could teach that would benefit others? Consider creating an online course.

Online courses are all the rage right now, and they are a fantastic way to make residual income. Simply create the course once, put it online, and sell it for years to come!

Speaking from experience, I know this works.

My wife Holly is an incredible freelance writer who makes over $200K a year from writing alone. After years of answering questions individually, she decided to create a course called Earn More Writing.

In the course, she offers over 6 hours of writing tips and tricks. This provides value to students, helps keep her from answering the same questions repeatedly, and provides our family with an excellent stream of residual income.

Now, creating an online course might sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. First, decide if you’d like to use written materials, video, or both. Outline a few modules, and get started!

To build your course, consider using an online platform like Teachable. It provides everything you need to get started, and it’s super simple to use. (We use it for our own course!) Pricing is relatively cheap, and there is even an option to host your course for free. Learn more about Teachable here.

8) Write a Book

Residual income streams are a great way to make extra money and build wealth. With some up front work, you can build passive income that may last for years to come. Try these 11 residual income ideas to begin boosting your net worth today!

Writing a book (or e-book) is a classic example of how to make residual income. Simply write the book, find somewhere to publish it, and sell it for eternity!

While getting your book published used to be a major obstacle, these days, would-be authors have several options.

If you’ve got a book you’re itching to write, you can still go with the traditional publishing route. (We published our first book using a traditional publisher.) Whether your book is fiction or non-fiction, a publisher can help get your book into print and onto shelves in both online and traditional book stores. This is still a good route, although it may take more work and be more expensive than some other options.

Amazon is a good option if you choose to self-publish. They can help format your book so it is ready to sell. Plus, you can always list your book on their site once it is ready.

9) Earn Credit Card Rewards

Residual income streams are a great way to make extra money and build wealth. With some up front work, you can build passive income that may last for years to come. Try these 11 residual income ideas to begin boosting your net worth today!

While not necessarily an income “source” per se, earning credit card rewards can provide you with tons of value for doing practically nothing. It’s also incredibly passive. Just make a purchase, swipe your rewards card, and earn free stuff.

We’ve redeemed credit card rewards for free hotel stays and flights around the world. I’m talking about huge savings in places like Paris, Rome, London, the Caribbean, and much more! They are a simple way to get more for your money.

Although earning rewards on your spending is nice, the biggest benefit to these cards usually comes when you sign up. Many cards offer a signup bonus which can equate to hundreds of dollars in earned rewards. To earn these bonuses, you typically need to meet a minimum spending requirement.

Remember, redeeming points and miles for travel isn’t the only way to use your rewards. Many cards allow you to exchange your points for cash, gift cards, or statement credits. That’s real money that can go right back into your pocket.

Compare our favorite rewards cards here!

10) Create a YouTube Channel

Residual income streams are a great way to make extra money and build wealth. With some up front work, you can build passive income that may last for years to come. Try these 11 residual income ideas to begin boosting your net worth today!

Do you enjoy creating videos that are fun and informative? Think you have a personality that resonates on camera? Creating your own YouTube channel could be a good idea for you.

Video content is blowing up right now, and you can use that to your advantage. Like starting a blog, a YouTube channel could be an excellent source of residual income.

To make money on YouTube, you’ll need to build an audience. Pick a niche that you enjoy, and concentrate on creating videos that provide value to your viewers.

Once you’ve built your audience, consider monetizing your videos with ad placements. If your audience is large enough, you may also be able to gain sponsorships from companies who want you to create videos that promote their products.

Another great way to earn is to link back to your blog from your YouTube channel. Let’s say you publish a video on how to tie the perfect fisherman’s knot. From that video, link back to a blog post that sells fishing equipment. That’s two chances to earn from one video!

11) Open an Online Store

Residual income streams are a great way to make extra money and build wealth. With some up front work, you can build passive income that may last for years to come. Try these 11 residual income ideas to begin boosting your net worth today!

Selling your own products through an online store is a wonderful way to make extra income. If your products are digital or only need to be created once, all the better.

Shopify makes it easy to open your online shop and start making some residual income. They have hundreds of design themes for you to choose from, plus you can even use your own custom domain name. Their intuitive process allows you to focus on creating your products, not designing a storefront.

12) Build an App

Residual income streams are a great way to make extra money and build wealth. With some up front work, you can build passive income that may last for years to come. Try these 11 residual income ideas to begin boosting your net worth today!

From laptop computers to mobile phones, apps are everywhere these days. Why not cash in and earn some residual income by making your own?

If you’ve got the skills, building an app that could potentially make you a boatload in passive income. Simply build the app, list it in either the Google Play or Apple App Store (or both), and let the residual income start rolling in.

Have an idea for an app but don’t have the tech skills to do it yourself? Hire an app developer to make it for you. Sure, it may cost you money on the front end, but you could be pulling in residual income for years to come.

Passive Income from Surveys and Survey Apps

The idea of collecting passive income is appealing to pretty much everyone. Earning rewards without having to actively participate in something sounds like a dream come true, but there can be strings attached. Are passive income programs really worth it?

Internet meters

Internet meters are apps that gather data anonymously, while the user uses the app. Patters are observed and information collected is aggregated with other user’s data. These apps can often be installed on multiple devices (such as phones, tablets and desktops), and should not interfere with the functionality of the device.


  • Can be pretty lucrative, especially if you associate multiple devices to the same program
  • Very passive; little if any user input required for ongoing participation
  • The programs themselves are typically very easy to install on your devices


  • Some users report problems taking surveys through other survey sites, as it may appear that you are using a VPN or proxy
  • Even though your data is anonymized, it might feel strange having your information monitored

Providers: SavvyConnectMobileXpressionComputer and Mobile Panel

Purchasing data apps

These types of apps sync with a third party account such as Amazon, and aggregates your purchasing habit information with other users. These typically require a simple, one-time setup.


  • Truly passive; set up is simple and data syncing is done automatically


  • Can’t pick and choose what purchasing data you share

Providers: ShopTracker

Web browser add-ons

Web browser add-ons such as toolbars and plug-ins are offered by some online survey panels as an additional way for their members to earn rewards.

These add-ons can have both active and passive features: notifications of new online surveys, easy account access, and like internet meters, some monitor browser habits, where the data is then aggregated with other users. These are easily installable and should have no/minimal interference with web browsing.


  • Easy installation, straightforward to use
  • Runs in background; should not interfere with web browsing
  • Bonus: Some connect with your survey panel account, which will notify you when new surveys are available


  • Can slow web browser down, especially if other plugins are installed
  • Browsing habits (ex. preferred search engine, preferred news source, etc.) are monitored

Providers: OpinionSquare

GPT site options: video watching

Although watching videos on Get-Paid-To (GPT) websites might require a minimal level of engagement, watching videos on GPT sites is probably the most passive way to earn points on these types of websites.

Although not ‘survey sites’ per se, GPT programs host online surveys supplied by survey routers which are provided by survey panels. Taking surveys is only one way of earning on these websites; watching videos, completing offers, and performing micro tasks are also ways to rack up points.

Virtually all GPT sites contain a ‘Video Wall’ section. You can watch these at any time, and it’s not unlike watching tv: simply select the category you’re most interested in (food, sports, movie trailers, home and garden, etc.) and the videos will play. The videos themselves contain ads, but the number that you are allowed to watch is seldom capped, as you can typically watch as many videos that are available to you, as you want.


  • Easy to do – minimal effort required
  • Some videos are interesting and are worth watching
  • Can watch as many videos as you want (at any given time, hundreds can be available)
  • Some sites offer weekly bonuses for watching large quantities of videos


  • Adblockers don’t work with video walls
  • Can take a while to earn a significant number of points

Providers: PrizeRebelSwagbucksInstaGC

How much can you make with passive income survey programs?

As with most online programs, the amount you can make will ultimately depend on your level of participation.

For instance, SavvyConnect advertises earning up to $60 if you connect your phone, desktop and tablet to the program, ShopTracker offers a $3 joining bonus awarded within 48 hours of registering, and MobileXpression offers a $5 Amazon e-card to USA users after one week. Even though some programs may, on the surface, offer better rewards than others, it’s best to fully investigate which passive income programs fit you best.