28 Passive Income Ideas for Beginners

Many or all of the links on this page compensate me. Here is a list of our partners and how I make money.

Studies show the average millionaire has 7 income streams while the average person has only 1: their job.

These are legit & simple passive income ideas to help you earn more money and become a millionaire.

No BS or gimmicks. You can do this too!

1. Earn Interest with High Yield Savings

This is the first and easiest step to building passive income RIGHT NOW!

Traditional banks pay barely any interest because the Fed lowered interest rates near zero.

You are losing money to inflation by leaving everything in low interest checking/savings accounts.

Open a HYSA (High Yield Savings Account) and earn up to 1.30% APY on your money. I use two different high yield savings account for different goals: Ally and Marcus.

AllyBank High Yield Savings Account Rate
Source: Ally.com

Check BankRate for the latest high yield savings account rates.

2. Invest in Dividend Stocks

Dividends stocks are a fun and easy way to earn more passive income without doing any work.

Companies like Walmart, Costco, and Visa pay out a portion of their net income to shareholders in the form of a dividend.

These companies send you a check every 3 months just for owning the shares. You don’t have to do anything except own the stock and collect money.

Larger, more establish companies usually pay a dividend while fast growing tech companies choose to reinvest the profits back into the company.

All you need to get started is an online brokerage account that allows you to buy stocks.

  • For US Citizens: Fidelity is my favorite full service brokerage if you want to trade dividend stocks in your retirement account. I also use Robinhood as my favorite online trading app.
  • For Non- US Citizens: If you live outside the United States then try Interactive Brokers as a good alternative.

3. Invest in CDs (Certificates of Deposit)

CDs are high yield savings accounts that banks offer when you lock away your money for 1, 2 and 5 year terms.

If you are saving for a big event in life (like a house or car) then CDs are a good way to invest your money and get it out of sight to avoid spending it.

4. Start a Blog

Blogging is a fun way to earn money while you sleep. You can start a money making blog using WordPress (it’s free!) and publish content like articles, videos, worksheets, downloads, etc.

Find a group of people who have a problem or pain point then create content to solve it for them.

Do keyword research to discover what exact questions & topics people have using a free tool called Keywordtool.io. Use the information to create content around those keywords to drive free organic traffic using SEO.

You can also buy advertising with Google Ads & Facebook ads to drive paid traffic.

Earn money through display advertising (Google Adsense, Ezoic, or Mediavine), sponsored posts, online courses (Teachable or Kajabi), and selling your own products (Woocomerrce or Shopify).

Source: Ning.com

Treat your blog like a business and it will pay you like a business.

Want to setup a blog and start making money? You need a domain and web hosting before you can launch your website.

Use Bluehost to start your own blog for just $2.95!

5. Earn Money with Youtube

Youtube is the 2nd most popular website on the internet and thousands of Youtubers earn full-time income with their Youtube channel.

You must apply to the Youtube partner program to show ads on your channel. You need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watchtime hours to apply.

Create your Youtube channel and start uploading videos on a regular basis.

I recently gained over 8,000 subscribers by researching popular keywords using Youtube Autosuggest, creating bright thumbnails using Canva, and uploading at least 1 video per day.

The more often you upload, the faster your channel will grow.

Once you get accepted into the partner program, turn on monetization and manually add midroll ads for videos longer than 8 minutes!

6. Peer to Peer (P2P) Lending

Microlending marketplaces have really grow a lot over the last decade as consumers search for more creative ways to borrow money, consolidate debt, and raise funds for major events like weddings, graduations, and home repairs.

You act as a bank and lend out money to different people who promise to pay back the entire loan in small amounts.

How Peer to Peer Lending Works

7. Invest in Treasury Bonds

Long term treasury bonds are low risk, high yield investments that can earn up to 9% return annually depending on how investors react to the stock market.

When the stock market performs poorly, most investors rush to bonds as a cash haven.

You can buy treasury bonds easily through index funds or ETFs with your online broker.

If most of your cash is sitting in low yield savings accounts then you can boost your passive income quickly with long term treasury bonds.

For bond index funds, I recommend the Fidelity Long Term Treasury Bond Index Fund (FBLTX).

8. Affiliate Marketing

One of my favorite passive income methods for making money is affiliate marketing.

This blog post is an example of affiliate marketing because I make money when you sign up for certain products or services under my referral link.

Companies pay you money when you send them a paying customer.

You sign up for their partner or affiliate program, fill out an application, get approved then copy and paste your unique affiliate tracking links on your website, blog, social media accounts, and email signature.

Most affiliate networks pay monthly and it’s one of easiest way to make your first dollar online.

My favorite affiliate networks are CJ, Clickbank, and Amazon Associates.

9. Shopify E-commerce

Celebrities like Kylie Jenner, the owner of Kylie Cosmetics, built highly profitable online stores using a simple software solution called Shopify.

Shopify allows anyone to create an online store with unlimited traffic, products, and bandwidth.

It only costs $39.99 to get started with their most basic plan and you can sell almost anything through their software.

10. Sell an Online Digital Product

Online digital products can make you a millionaire in 30 days if you have the right marketing, offer, and a powerful product.

Model the success of other profitable digital products then create a better version and sell it online.

Research the best selling Clickbank, JvZoo, and DigiStore products to find good niches to enter.

When you find a winner then purchase the product and study the marketing process along with the product design.

You want to create a similar product but don’t copy it 100%. Use the sales letter or video sales letter as a template then hire a copywriter on Fiverr to create your website and sales letter.

Publish your product on marketplaces like JvZoo, Clickbank, or Digistore to gain access to thousands of affiliates who can drive sales for you.

Wesley Virgin is a successful online digital marketer who shows you how to make $1,000,000 in 30 days with your 1st digital product. Watch the video below for more details:

How To Create An Online Product To Earn Up To $1,000,000 in 30 Days (Video may Be Deleted Soon)

11. Sell Online Courses

The online education industry is booming right now because more people use the internet to learn skills like programming, cooking, fitness, making money online, etc.

It’s now easier than ever to launch a successful online course.

If you have any specific knowledge or skills to help someone achieve a desired outcome (positive transformation) then you can start a profitable online course.

Find a target market that has a specific problem then create a course to help them solve it.

Use articles, videos, worksheets, quizzes, and other learning tools to help your students grasp the information better.

Outline your course from start to finish then start recording videos while adding text to create each lesson.

Don’t create too many chapters at first. Keep your course lean then improve it over time.

The quickest way to launch a course and get started is by selling courses on Udemy.

Udemy is an online learning and teaching marketplace with over 100000 courses and 24 million students.

The downside is Udemy takes 50% of all course sales generated through organic search. In order to earn more money from your course, you can try these alternatives like Teachable or Kajabi.

Teachable and Kajabi are two easy ways to launch an online course online.

If you have WordPress development skills then use LearnDash or WPCourseWare.

12. Start an eBay Store

eBay is still a great way to generate passive income online. I made a lot of good money in the past selling sports card (Basketball, baseball, and football cards) on their platform but you can sell all kinds of stuff like shoes, baby clothes, watches, toys, electronics or anything to find laying around your house.

Go to eBay and create a seller account so you can post items for sale. Research the best selling items on eBay by searching around for items with a lot of bids or high completed sale price.

Now, you’ll need to find items to resell on ebay.

First, take a look around your home and see what you can quickly flip for cash. Decluttering your house is a good idea anyway plus you’ll earn some quick cash to build up your savings.

Go to flea markets, garage sales, and thrift stores to find unique items to resell.

You can also google “product type + wholesalers” to find wholesale items that you can flip for profit.

eBay takes a bit of work to get everything set up but you can build a passive income business selling items online while you sleep.

Once you receive an order, simply package the item and leave it at your doorstep for the USPS mailman to pick up. If you want to ship quicker then pick a time during the day and batch ship all items at once.

For example, you take all orders for the day and ship at 3pm. Don’t head to the post office everytime you receive an order.

13. Start an Etsy Store

Etsy is an online platform for selling vintage & handmade items. It’s similar to Ebay and allows people just like you to create a storefront and make money online.

E-commerce is great because all you need to do is list your products online, answer your customer’s questions, collect the orders and ship the items.

You can literally make sales from all over the world and make money while you sleep. Figure out what kinds of products sell best by heading over to Etsy and doing plenty of research.

14. Rent Out a Room in Your Home

If you own a home then rent out a spare room to earn passive income from your real estate investment.

Homeowners can find a roommate using popular sites like Roomster, Craigslist, or by posting their home on AirBNB.

While some people don’t like living with others, I think the passive income earned from a roommate helps to lessen the the burden of reduced privacy.

Many roommates are busy hard working professionals who won’t cramp your lifestyle. The perfect roommate has a regular job, shows respect for your home, and pays their rent on time every month.

If you rent out a room in your home for just $500 per month that’s an extra $6,000 a year in passive income.

You can use this money to build up an emergency savings, pay off your mortgage quicker, or invest in assets like stocks.

15. Rent Your Car or Parking Space

Renting your car or parking space is simple and easy with car sharing marketplaces like Turo.

Turo is like the “AirBNB for cars and people earn around $700 per month on average for renting out their cars.

You’re covered for up to $1 million liability insurance from Liberty Mutual and can select Physical damage protection in case something happens to your vehicle.

$700 is a decent chunk of money that adds over $8,000 in passive income into your bank account each year. Nice!

Some car owners build up a fleet of cars and make bank renting out their vehicles each month.

This is a good idea for people to avoid trading in your cars to dealers for nothing. Keep your car and turn it into a money making machine.

As for renting your parking space, people always need a place to store their car.

You can earn around $300 to $400 per month for a parking space in a big city like NYC or LA while smaller towns will earn you around $100 or more.

That’s a nice ROI for letting someone use your parking space!

16. Write a Book

Writers can earn passive income from writing a book and publishing it online.

Several years ago, I wrote a couple Amazon Kindle books and published them on Amazon. Those ebooks still earn money to this day and I did the work a while ago.

It’s simple to research a solid book idea and write the book yourself or outsource it to a ghost writer.

I used Amazon Publishing but you could hire a major publisher and get a lucrative book deal with your amazing idea.

Read More: Passive Income Ideas for Writers

17. Sell Stock Photos

Did you know websites, blogs, and magazines pay big money to licensed photos online? If you enjoy photography you can earn a lot of money taking photos and sell them online.

You submit your photos and earn a commission everytime a customer buys your photos.

All you need is a good quality DSR camera and a place to take photos.

Sell your photos online at big marketplaces like ShutterStock or DepositPhotos. Just upload your photos and start earning money today.

18. Start a Food Cart Business

You gotta eat, right? The food business is one of the easiest, low barriers to entry businesses around. All you need is a busy location and delicious food. This business can become truly passive once you hire staff (cooks) and pay someone to work at your foodcart fulltime.

I especially see the potential of foodcart businesses when I travel outside the USA. You can simply rent a space in a mall or busy intersection, hire a few staff, and open your food cart during normal business hours.

You’ll need a few things like an official government food business license, a good recipe or franchised business, and trustyworthy staff.

Once everything is setup, your business can make money on autopilot while you do whatever you want. If your first foodcart business does well then open another in a different location to multiply your earnings.

19. Swing Trade Stocks

Buying and selling stocks based on news stories and earnings reports is a quick way to earn a lot of passive income in a hurry.

You want to find stocks that trade with a lot of volume and can move big on potential news releases or earnings. News stories like a new product release, new contract, or revised quarterly estimates are good examples of stories that can send a stock up in a hurry.

Positive earnings release are a big catalyst too and it’s not rare to watch a stock rise 10 or 20% within hours after an earnings suprise.

You want to buy these stocks before the news reaches the public then sell a few days after all the buyers rush in. It’s passive income because you can setup limit orders to buy and sell these stocks for you automatically.

For example, you buy Tesla stock (TSLA) at $700 then place a limit sell order at $900. If Tesla stock rises after a news release or earnings then you sell the stock automatically and profit $200 per share.

20. Launch an Online Dating App

Dating apps will always be popular because people seek out love no matter what’s happening in the economy.

Tinder is the most popular dating app in the world and it makes billions of dollars every year.

You too can develop and launch a dating app to target a specific group or people or go big and compete with Tinder, Bumble, etc.

Earn money by showing ads to free users and selling a paid monthly membership to members who want extra perks like disabled ads, unlimited messages, etc.

All you have to do is launch the app on the Google Play and iOS store then get people to download your app.

Spend money on Facebook Ads & Google Ads to get mor downloands for your app.

Who knows? Perhaps your app blows up and you can start earning thousands or even millions of dollars in passive income while you sleep!

21. Start a Viral Website

Websites like Buzzfeed make millions of dollars by publishing viral-type articles and sharing them on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have an eye for catchy headlines and list posts then you can start a viral website and make lots of money with display ads and sponsored posts.

Don’t have time to write? No problem.

Hirewriters, TextBroker, and iWriter are some good places to hire freelancers writers who will write all of your content for you.

If you’re interested in hiring someone long term then try Upwork for finding Fortune 500 level talent.

All you have to do is hire writers to come up with catchy headlines and list posts features images, memes, social media shootouts, and other trendy, popular news stories.

These types of articles get tons of clicks on social media and can go viral in a hurry!

Slap on some Google Adsense or Mediavine ads and you’re good to go! Take your adsense revenue and reinvest some of it back into more content creation.

Rinse and repeat. It’s truly 100% passive income if you hire an editor and literally take a hands-off approach to your business. Spend your time finding higher paying sponsors and optimizing ads while your content team pumps out articles.

Want to make even more money? Take your most popular articles and convert them into a video and upload it to Youtube. You can run ads on your Youtube channel too to make even more money!

22. Local Lead Generation

Many local businesses struggle to get new customers but you can make a lot of money if you strike up a deal and earn a payout per customer referred.

For example, contact local businesses like gyms, nightclubs, dentists, or any small business that needs more customers.

Ask them how much a new customer is worth to them and get paid for every referral you generate.

Drive leads to their business using a simple website or buy paid ads on Facebook, Google Ads, and Youtube to flood their businesses with customers.

Use proper tracking to make sure you get paid for your hard work. Using this strategy, it’s possible to make a decent $1,000 to $100,000 per month generating leads for businsses in your area.

23. Domain Parking

While it’s not what it used to be, many domainers earn passive income by buying domain names and showing ads on their landing pages.

Buy domains through marketplaces like Godaddy, Afternic, or Sedo and park them through popular networks to make money.

If you hand register a domain, it only costs around $10 per year to keep it. Better domains cost more money and you’ll have to make an offer or win them in auction.

Once you own the domain, create a parking account and customize your domains to show the best ads by adding keywords, a description, and choosing a good ad layout.

I’ve used parking partners like Bodis, Godaddy, and others with good results.

Parking revenue has decreased over the years since internet users are smarter than ever.

However, you can own a high traffic domain via type-ins and referral traffic then earn cold hard cash with your ads.

If you find a winner then develop the domain name into a website to make even more money. Create content and monetize your content with ads to build a real passive generating cash cow!

24. List Your Vacant Living Space on AirBNB

If you have a vacant house, apartment, or condo, think about listing your property on AirBNB and start earning money when your room gets booked.

AirBNB is a smart way to monetize a living space you already own. It does require some work (taking photos, answering questions, cleaning the place, meeting gueusts) but the rewards are worth it.

25. Cashback Rewards

While I’m not a fan of cashback credit cards rewards, I do like cashback rewards website like Rakuten where you get a percentage of your purchase in cash.

Rakuten has over 2,500+ stores like Nike, Macy’s, QVC, and Target that pay cold hard cash straight to your Paypal account after they confirmed your purchase.

Sign up for Rakuten now and get $10 when you spend your first $25!

26. Start a Vending Machine Business

Vending machines are a great low maintenance, high profit passive income idea.

Place vending machines all over your town, restock them every few weeks, and collect your cash.

It’s a simple way to boost your passive income without learning any fancy tech skills.

6 Steps To Create A Successful: Vending Machine Business

27. Buy and Flip Sports Cards

The Sports Card market is red hot now and you can make a lot of money if you’re a prudent investor who spots undervalued baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, and gaming cards.

eBay and COMC have millions of sports cards for sale that you can buy low and flip for a quick profit.

If you want to earn even more passive income then buy huge lots of cards and relist them individually to boost your passive income.

For example, I found this lot of 5 2003-04 Fleer Basketball Lebron James Rookie Cards for sale. You could buy this lot then relist each card individually to make some quick money.

Another popular strategy is to buy raw cards in gem mint condition, submit them to a sports authenticator like PSA or BGS, and sell the graded version for a big profit.

PSA cards resell for a higher premium than BGS so I focus on flipping PSA cards to make more money.

Focus on popular active players or Hall of Fame legends. These cards tend to attract the most buyers and resell for the highest profits.

A PSA 10 1986 Topps Jerry Rice Rookie sold for over $31,000 this year.

28. Rent Out Your Unused Space

Earn extra money with your unused space. Neighbor self storage makes it easy to rent out your garage, parking spot, warehouse, shed, or even empty closet as avialable for storage.

Hosts are protected with $1 million liability insurance and can screen potential renters.

You get paid directly to your bank account at the end of the month.

List your unused space on Neighbor to start building more passive income.

Passive Income Ideas FAQ

What’s the difference between passive income vs active income?

Passive income is money earned whether you are working or not. Active income is money earned hourly through your job.

The difference is passive income comes in automatically while active income stops the minute you stop working or quit your job.

It’s important to build passive income streams so you can earn money while you’re sleeping, on vacation, or spending time with friends.

If you don’t figure out how to earn passive income, you will work a job for the rest of your life.

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