Passive Income Ideas Requiring an Upfront Time Investment
The next section of passive income ideas require a time investment. Instead of using money, you need to put in sweat equity to make these happen.
Almost all of these ideas require starting a personal blog or website. But the great thing about that is that it’s incredibly cheap to do. We recommend using Bluehost to get started. You get a free domain name and hosting starts at just $2.95 per month – a deal that you won’t find many other places online! You can afford that to start building a passive income stream.
12. Sell an eBook Online
Self Publishing is mainstream today. When you purchase an eBook off of Amazon there’s a pretty good chance you’re buying a self-published book. Self-publishing is also ridiculously easy. I tried this a few years ago and couldn’t believe how simple the process was.
To self-publish a book you’ll first need to write and edit it, create a cover, and then upload to a program such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Don’t expect instant success though. There will need to be a lot of upfront marketing before you can turn this into a passive income stream.
13. Create a Course on Udemy
Udemy is an online platform that lets its user take video courses on a wide array of subjects. Instead of being a consumer on Udemy you can instead be a producer, create your own video course, and allow users to purchase it. This is a fantastic option if you are highly knowledgeable in a specific subject matter. This can also be a great way to turn traditional tutoring into a passive income stream!
Do you ever wonder where your favorite websites, blogs, and sometimes even magazines get their photos? These are normally bought from stock photo websites. If you enjoy photography you can submit your photos to stock photo sites and receive a commission every time someone purchases one of them.
One of the biggest marketplaces to sell stock photos is DepositPhotos. You can upload your photos are earn money whenever someone uses them.
In fact, check out this awesome story of one of our scholarship contestants who turned photography into a stock photo business.
15. Licensing Music
Just like stock photos you can license and earn a royalty off of your music when someone chooses to use it. Music is often licensed for YouTube Videos, commercials, and more.
With the amount of YouTube videos and podcasts that are being created, there is more demand than ever for music – and people are willing to pay for it.
The key way to do it is to get your music in a library that people can search. Check out this guide on how to license your music.
16. Create an App
If you own a smartphone or tablet then it’s safe to assume you have several apps downloaded. But have you ever had an amazing idea for an app? If so, you could consider hiring a programmer to create your app for you. You could then sell it on the App store for residual income.
17. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the practice of partnering with a company (becoming their affiliate) to receive a commission on a product. This method of generating income works the best for those with blogs and websites. Even then, it takes a long time to build up before it becomes passive.
If you want to get started with affiliate marketing check out this course on affiliate marketing and how to become a full time blogger.
18. Network Marketing
Network marketing, or multi-level marketing, seems to be on the rise. Companies such as Young Living Oils, Avon, Pampered Chef, and AdvoCare are all multi-level marketing companies. You can earn passive income through network marketing by building a team underneath you (often referred to as a down line.) Once you have a large team you can earn commissions off of their sales without having to do much.
19. Design T-Shirts
Sites like Cafe Press allow users to custom design items like T-shirts. If your design becomes popular and makes sales you’ll be able to earn royalties.
Even Amazon has gotten into this business. Amazon has a new service called Amazon Merch, where you simply upload your designs and Amazon takes care of the rest (making it, packing it, and shipping it).
20. Sell Digital Files on Etsy
I’ve been into home décor lately and I had to turn to Etsy to find exactly what I wanted. I ended up purchasing digital files of the artwork I wanted printed out! The seller had made a bunch of wall art, digitized, and listed it on Etsy for instant download. There are other popular digital files on Etsy as well such as monthly planners. If you’re into graphic design this could be an amazing passive income idea for you.
Semi-Passive Small Business Ideas
I call these semi-passive income because they are more like a business, less like the ideas above. They all also require a small combination of time and money investment. But once you invest, you can earn more income and typically do so passively.
However, these all do require some ongoing time investment, so they aren’t 100% passive like having a savings account.
21. List Your Place On Airbnb
AirBNB is great because you can earn money on a space you already own. It does require a little work up front to prep your place, list it, and clean up after guests, but it’s pretty passive otherwise.
22. Car Wash
It’s always been a dream of mine to own a car wash. This seems like such a great way to earn a semi-passive income. While regular maintenance will be needed at a car wash it’s something you can either hire out or perform once a week.
As a side note, I’m talking about the really basic car wash that is cinderblocks, a pressure washer, and coin operated. If you’re going to run a drive through car wash, it’s definitely a business vs. a passive income stream.
23. Rent Out Your Car
Similar to listing your place for rent, you can also list your car for rent. This can be truly passive because once you list your car, it can earn you income when you’re not using it!
Our favorite partner to rent your car is Turo. Turo allows you to put your car out for rent, and when people rent it, Turo handles the rest!
The cool thing with Turo is that, depending on your location and what kind of car you have, you can make a decent passive income!
Check out Turo here and get started earning passive income with your car! Check out our list of other ways to make money with your car as well (most of the others aren’t passive though).
24. Vending Machines
Vending machines are another great low maintenance small business idea. I have a friend who has vending machines all over neighboring towns. He replenishes and cashes them out once every two weeks. His vending machine business is part of his retirement plan.
25. Storage Rentals
My cousin owns a set of storage rentals and receives monthly checks for letting customers rent these out. The only time she seems to do any work for these is when she has an opening for one of the storage units.
If you’re not sure about getting into this space, you can also invest in storage rentals via a REIT.
I debated on listing this one here because while in theory it seems like owning a laundromat would be semi-passive I anticipate there would be a whole lot of ongoing maintenance needed. You be the judge on this one.
Easy Passive Income Ideas
Last on the list I wanted to point out a couple of easy passive income ideas. These require no money and no upfront work. While the earnings are menial you still can’t beat easy passive income!
27. Cashback Rewards Cards
If you pay your bills with a credit card make sure it offers cash back rewards. You can let your rewards accrue for a while and possibly put the easy money you earned toward another passive income venture! (Be sure that the card you select doesn’t have an annual fee or you might be cancelling out your rewards). Check out this list of the best Cashback Rewards Cards.
28. Cashback Sites
Just like cashback rewards cards you should opt to use a cashback site when shopping online. If you don’t you’re giving up free money that requires little to no work! We just compared the two most popular sites – Rakuten versus TopCashBack.
29. Get Paid To Have An App On Your Phone
What if you could install an app on your phone, and get paid for it? Yes, this app tracks what you’re doing and it sells your data – but what’s more passive than that?
If you don’t want to do anything out of the norm, check out Neilson Digital. You simply download the app and do what you normally do. The app runs in the background and you are entered to win rewards. Simple, easy way to get money for nothing! Download the app here.
Mobile Expression is a similar app for iPad. You can earn rewards for installing it and leaving it on your device for at least 90 days. And boom! You get paid!
30. Save Up To 30% On Your Electric Bill
Let’s mark this one as passive saving versus passive income, but every little bit helps when you’re looking at your bottom line.
Truebill is an app that helps you save money by identifying recurring subscriptions and other bills and helping you cut costs by negotiating better rates and fees. One of their partnerships is with Acradia Power, which has the potential to save you up to 30% on your electric bill. It searches for better power rates in areas where competition is allowed, and it locks in the better prices for you.
Read our full Truebill review here.
Check out Truebill here and see how much you can save.
How to Get Started
While it can be tempting to want to pick five passive income ideas to get started with I’d really encourage you to pick one in the beginning. You need time and the ability to focus to really a grow a passive income stream. Master one thing before moving on to the other.
It’s going to take a substantial amount of time or money in the beginning but I promise earning passive income is everything it’s cracked up to be! Pick an idea, make a plan, and dedicate yourself until that income stream comes to fruition.
This content was originally published here.