Passive income is as good as it sounds. It’s money you make with little or no effort.
It often requires investing money, including earnings associated with such things as:
One big problem with these is that you usually need a large amount of money as an investor if you want to earn enough passive income to live off of.
You could also win the lottery, which is the ultimate passive income.
But unless you’re really lucky or have enough money to be an investor, then the most likely form of passive income begins with a bit of work. (Total irony.) No, this won’t be a full-time job but rather a bit of time and effort to set up a product or service that will not require much effort to keep it going — earning you some income while you passively sit back and let the cash flow.
Here are six passive income ideas that don’t require being an investor:
1. Teach a course
Whatever skill you have, chances are someone is willing to pay to learn it from you.
It could be a hobby you enjoy, such as knitting, that you teach through Youtube videos. Or it can be video lectures or a written class that you’ve put together to teach aspiring writers how to make money writing online.
Using sites like YouTube to monetize your videos is pretty easy. Eligible videos meeting Google criteria can simply enable ads. It could take some time to build followers or appear in search engines so this route requires a bit of social media skill and patience.
YouTube pays $0.01 to $0.03 an ad. This means you need 1,000 views of your video to make $10 to $30. If you’re really going to make money on YouTube, you’ll need a lot more views — but if you post a few videos and let them sit and gain their own traction, it’s a doable passive income medium.
Sites such as Udemy
also allow you to teach online courses in topics like piano lessons, marketing, photography, software programming, and painting. These sites help you get set up and promote your courses. Although you need to spend time developing the course, if you develop a great course it can be a steady money-maker.
2. Write an e-book
Long gone are the days of aspiring writers not being able to publish their books without the approval and assistance of publishing houses. If you have a subject you want to share or have written your great American novel or book of poetry, formatting your book for publishing on sites like Venngage
, and selling online could bring in some dough.
Amazon makes it easy to write and self-publish e-books for free with Kindle Direct Publishing
. Popular genres include business and investing, comics and graphic novels, education, fiction, mystery, and romance.
Yes, there is a lot of work on the front end and effort needed to promote and sell it but with the right subject and finesse, you could potentially sit back and let the money flow.
Still, a 2016 review of ebook authors on Amazon found that less than 3% were earning $10,000 annually. But there are those dream-come-true breakthroughs, such as EL James who self-published her “Fifty Shades of Grey” as an ebook before it was such a hit it was acquired by a publisher and made into a movie.
3. License your music
Your hidden musical talents don’t have to stay so hidden to make passive income from them.
You don’t have to sing. Record a short, original song that you composed and you can sell the license to it for personal videos, TV shows, films and advertisements.
It doesn’t have to be music, either. Sound effects are also in demand, and stock musicians have reported earning $200 to $300 each month on music they placed in marketplaces such as AudioJungle
Pond5 allows sellers to set their own price and collect royalties. You retain the rights to your work.
4. Sell stock photos and videos
It’s not just music that is in high demand: Images, video and graphics are needed. Whether you have taken some amazing vacation photos and caught a beautiful sunset or a rare moment of a baby animal with its mother in the wild or are a true photographer looking to gain more traction (and money), stock photo sellers like iStock
are looking for you.
You submit your high-quality images and videos and are paid every time your content is downloaded by a customer. It takes some work to create a portfolio, but once you get it up and running you’ll have a passive income stream that won’t take much work at all.
Stock photos earn $0.25 to $0.45 per download so you’ll need to sell 1,000 images a month to see about $500 each month but if you upload your images that is possible money and more than you’ll earn keeping them to yourself.
5. Wrap your car in an advertisement
If you don’t mind being a walking billboard (or in this case, literally a driving billboard), you can lease your car to companies as advertisement space. Your car gets wrapped so that as you drive around, it is being seen and potentially earning money for the client.
Basically, you need to have a car that’s less than 10 years old, live or drive in a metro area for about 30 miles per day, and have a clean driving record and insurance.
You won’t get rich but you could earn about $250 per month driving with your car wrapped in an ad.
6. Rent out your car
The sharing world is booming and just as you can rent your home on Airbnb you can rent your car to those in need of a vehicle during their travels. You won’t be driving or doing any work; simply listing your auto on sites like Turo.
is the Airbnb of rental cars. You list your car with photos and potential customers can choose to rent it, paying you for the usage rather than a big-name car rental agency.
You provide photos of your car, set the price and mileage limits. Users them book your car and a meeting is set up to give them the keys. You share your car whenever you’re not using it.
Turo says its members earn an average of $706 per month. You earn 65 to 85% of the price you set, depending on the vehicle protection plan you choose to be reimbursed from Turo if your car is damaged, stolen, or vandalized during a trip. (The site also provides up to $750,000 in liability insurance.)
With a little elbow grease to get the ball rolling, you could earn passive income without investing any money. While the returns won’t be enough to quit your day job, it is an initial investment and will help you reach the next step in improving your net worth and having financial freedom.