20 Passive Income Ideas to Increase Your Earnings

Sit back, and let the money roll in.

Reviewed by Electra Michaelidou

Passive Income Ideas

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could make money doing nothing at all or, better yet, while sleeping?

What once was a pipe dream is now actually possible — you just need to put in the hard work now, and you’ll soon start seeing a return on investment.

To help you get to the point of generating income with minimal work, we’ve listed the 20 best passive income ideas below for your consideration.

1. Set up an online store

If you have a knack for crafts, or a unique product to sell, then running an online store is one of the most popular side jobs there is. Once you have all your templates and products in place, it will require less of your time to execute. You can even hire someone to manage the packaging on your behalf or outsource this completely to save yourself time and hassle.

If you opt for the second option, remember that you’ll need to give a percentage of your earnings to your contractor — you’ll still receive a good return on investment, though!

2. Get involved in affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great way to increase your residual income, but to make a high amount of earnings, you need a high-performing website to advertise on. So, if you’ve already got an established blog, you can earn big bucks by promoting products or services on your site.

Amazon offers one of the most popular affiliate programs to date, so if you want to jump on board, you can incorporate the retail giant into your very own listicles.

If you don’t already have a blog, though, don’t worry! We have all the information on how to create one, and monetize it, too!

3. Create an audio jingle

If you’re musically talented, you could consider creating a jingle or writing a song for an artist. If you manage to sell your song, you’ll receive royalties from your track, meaning that you’ll earn a residual income even long after you’ve produced your song.

Just be sure to license any tunes that you do make through popular websites such as SongFreedom, Audiosocket and SoundCloud.

4. Invest in real estate

Real estate is one of the safest passive income streams, but to get onto the property ladder, you need a hefty initial investment. That said, once you’ve managed to secure your own property, you’ll see a direct return on investment.

However, owning property does come with its downfalls, too. As a property owner, you’ll be expected to pay for any maintenance and upkeep the property may need, so you will need to invest a portion of your passive income back into your property.

5. Create a dividend income

Dividend stocks are probably the oldest trick in the book when it comes to earning passive income. You’ll not only gain money if the price of the stock rises over time but also receive a certain amount on every share owned.

To ensure you receive a return on investment and not a loss, you should withdraw your investment when the price of the stock has risen. That said, as the stock market is risky and confusing, it’s best to consult a financial advisor before you decide to take this route of generating passive income.

6. Invest in peer-to-peer lending

If you have spare cash lying around, you could lend it to others and earn some interest when borrowers pay back their loans. You can use a platform like LendingClub and invest as little as $25 to get started. You can also choose which loans to invest in and earn competitive returns.

While this sounds like a good idea, there is also a risk factor involved — the largest being failed repayments or an extended repayment period. So, before you decide to take this route, it’s advisable to first weigh out the pros and cons.

7. Rent out a room in your house

Holiday rentals such as Airbnb and HomeAway have risen in popularity, paving the way for homeowners to make a decent amount of money by simply renting their property online.

The best part is that you get to decide when the room is available, so you won’t have a permanent lodger in your property. This is also a great idea for making some extra cash if you’re going out of town!

8. Get cashback earnings with shopping sites

Shopping and earning money back might seem like a practical joke, but it’s a real thing! Indeed, with apps like Ebates and Quidco, you can get money back while you spend. All you need to do is log into your account and click on the partner link before you buy.

It might not make you thousands, but you can generate a fair bit of spare cash over the year.

9. Create YouTube videos

Have you got something interesting to share with others? Maybe you have some expert tips that can help people? If so, consider creating a few videos and uploading them to YouTube.

While you won’t receive a high return per view, and you will need to meet specific requirements before you can even gain an income, you can work towards becoming a social media influencer if you manage to make a hit video.

10. Sell photos online

Do you have a knack for taking Insta-worthy snaps? Why not sell your photos to stock websites and receive a commission each time someone downloads your image?

With most stock websites, you can earn a higher return if your image proves to be popular. So, although this opportunity won’t make you rich, you can turn your passion for photography into some form of income.

11. Create and sell an app

Creating and selling an app isn’t a goldmine anymore, but you can still receive a decent amount of profit on something that’s user-friendly and high in demand.

While development skills are essential if you want to keep the production costs down, you can hire an app developer if you have a vision, the funding and the determination to do well. You might not create the next Uber, but you can produce a substantial income from selling an app!

12. Create and sell an online course

Creating an online course isn’t easy, but if you’re an expert in a particular field, why not make money off your knowledge?

To create a good course that you can sell on academic learning sites, you’ll need to have a good plan and offer something that’s niche, and that can’t already be found on the internet — and for free, no less!

Once you have your plan in place, watch the money roll in as you sit back and enjoy your online income.

13. Write a book and collect royalties

If you have a way with words, you could consider writing a book like some of the world’s best authors. If you make it big, you can quit your day job and enjoy a career as an author; if you don’t, though, you can still collect royalties on each sale that you make!

And with the opportunity to self-publish your book on Amazon, it’s not that difficult to write and sell a book nowadays.

14. Invest in a business

If you have spare cash, you can invest in a business that’s looking for capital as a silent partner. Think of yourself as an investor from Dragon’s Den, taking equity on a business that you see is profitable in the long run.

That way, you will receive profits without having to get involved in the actual operation of the business!

15. Open a high-yield savings account

While most banks offer a laughable interest rate (if any at all), there are certain online banks that have a much higher interest rate, meaning that you can make money on your savings without having to lift a finger.

The bank and option that’s best for you can differ, so to help you find something that suits you, use a comparison website to view the different packages available to you and see what the lowest investment amount is.

16. Record audiobooks

If you have a rich, dynamic and unique voice, recording audiobooks can be a great way to generate passive income streams through sales and royalties over time. Indeed, you can earn anywhere between $10 and $300 per hour just for recording — add to that royalties (usually $2 per sale) and you’ll be raking in the profits.

You will, however, need to invest in the right equipment (including a decent microphone and audio interface). That said, you can also audition for narration work at established publishing houses.

17. Share your internet

Want to generate a passive income while you sleep? Share your unused internet bandwidth with a platform like Honeygain from your phone or laptop. It’s easy to do and secure, and you can make as much as $184 per month — which you can cash out for money rewards, gaming and monthly subscriptions.

“Earning passive income is just like planting a tree,” says Sandra Krikstaponyte, Product Director at Honeygain. “It calls for initial effort and patience, but once it grows, it provides you with shade and sustenance without constant care.”

18. Invest in vending machines

If you have some spare cash lying around (about $5,000, that is), then you can buy a vending machine, place it in a busy office or college campus, and you’ll soon be rolling in it.

Sure, you’ll need to maintain it and keep it stocked up, but you’ll hardly need to do anything, other than potentially watch $500,000 land into your bank account — just like Marcus Gram.

19. Rent out your parking space

If you live in or near the city center, and you work further away from home, why not rent out your private parking space while you’re away? After all, you’re out the house for 8–10 hours a day, so why not make some money off it? In fact, charging $5, for example, means you could be making $50 a day — by doing virtually nothing.

20. Become a domain flipper

Domain flipping can be very profitable, once you get the hang of it. All you have to do is buy a few domain names on the cheap, and then flip them at a higher price after a few weeks or months — the longer you hold on to the domain, though, the more valuable the domain becomes and the more you maximize ROI.

It’s important to do some initial research, and choose domain names that are short, easy to pronounce and spell, and relevant to popular trends and keywords.

Final thoughts

The best way to build a decent passive income is to find different passive income streams. After all, why stick to one option when you can invest in two or three or more?

Which of these methods will you use to create a passive income? Join the conversation below and let us know.

Originally published on April 9, 2019. Updated by Chris Leitch.