Everyone likes the idea of earning passive income. After all, what could be better than setting up a system where it continues to make you money with little to no work on your part after the initial set up.
I have gathered small list of truly passive income ideas for those trying to learn how to make a passive income.
Earning Passive Income Requires Work Too!
But first let me rant a little about this crazy notion some people believe that earning passive income means you don’t have to do any work.
That is a lie!
No matter how you make money, there is always work involved. Money doesn’t just fall into your laps. You have to work for it. Sure, there are some methods that require little work, but it still is work.
To me, passive income is an earning method that doesn’t require a lot of work. It usually requires some initial work and set up, and after that it is mostly maintenance and keeping things on track kind of work, but it is still work.
With that in mind, the following methods are as close as you can get to truly passive income ideas.
1. Earn Interest with Your Money
You get to be the bank by lending money to the public through platforms such as Lending Club. Each note costs $25, so if you invest $1,000 this means you can lend money to 40 people.
There are different grades of loans, from safe to risky. You can look at making an annual return anywhere between 5.49% and 13.55%.
2. Publish a Book
Once you have written a book, you can either self-publish an eBook or work with a publishing house, and earn an income through the sales of your book.
Check out my How to Make Money Writing and Selling eBooks for a detailed guide.
3. Design T-shirts
If you are the creative type, you could design a t-shirt for Threadless. Threadless uses designs that are popular among the site’s community for their t-shirts.
You can get paid $2000 if your design is chosen, as well as receive a $500 Threadless voucher, which can be redeemed for $200 in cash. You also receive $500 each time your design is re-printed on t-shirts.
4. Develop an App
You don’t have to know programming code, all you need is a great idea for a smartphone app, and you can then hire someone to develop it for you.
The way you make money with apps as a developer is simple – each time someone downloads your app you get paid. If your app goes viral, like the iFart app which netted $30,000 in just one day, you will be laughing all the way to the bank.
5. Start a Blog
Invest some time into working on website content that would not get dated, such as instructional articles, that people would be regularly looking for online.
Don’t forget to host ads on your site because that is how you will generate your income.
Once you are satisfied with the quantity and quality of content on your website, you can sit back and let the dollars roll in.
6. Invest in Stocks
This is a well known way of earning a passive income. To get an idea of which stocks pay a high dividend, check out TheStreet’s High Dividend Stocks page.
7. Write Articles for Sites Like About.com
People that write for About.com get paid to write articles for the first two years. After that you get paid according to the number of page-views your articles get, so if you write and publish good articles you can earn an income from them indefinitely.
8. Stock Photography
If you have some beautiful photographs just taking up space in your hard drive, you could put them to good use and earn and income by licensing or selling them on microstock photography websites.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer, as long as your photos look good and are technically correct they will get accepted to microstock sites.
There are a large number of sites selling stock photos, like Shutterstock, iStockphoto and Shutterfly, each paying you a commission that can vary from 25 cents up to $75 or more depending on the site, so it is best to research the sites that suit your purposes and style of photography.
9. Make Videos and Put Them on YouTube
I actually posted a guide a while ago about making money with ringtones through YouTube videos. Popular YouTube videos can make lots of money by running ads on it. While the income flow can vary, with some people earning six figure incomes, there are other benefits too.
Take for example Justin Beiber, who was discovered on YouTube and now has a successful music career.
10. Design Graphics
Microstock sites also pay you a commission for your illustrations and graphics that are downloaded.
11. Sell Insurance Policies
You generally earn a commission once you have sold an insurance policy, but there are some companies that will also pay you an extra commission each time a customer you introduced renews their policy.
12. Create & Sell Your Own Information Products
An information product can be an eBook, a DVD, software, an audio book, or a video.
If you sell your information product the advantages are that you get to keep a much higher percentage of the profits and have more flexibility in upsells and landing pages than you would have through third party sites.
An additional advantage of selling your own product is that this is a good opportunity to build your list.
What else is out there that could fall under “passive income” category?
I would love to hear your thoughts about this whole idea, and perhaps your experience in making passive income.