I think the idea of making money while you sleep is definitely one of the coolest ideas there is.
Let’s face it: the idea of earning passive income every month is awesome. But, how do you actually go about creating meaningful passive income sources for yourself?
Well, in this post, I’m covering 10+ ways you can start earning passive income today and well into the future.
This post is going to contain a mix of easy, medium, and hard ideas you can use to diversify your monthly income, so there’s something in it for everyone!
Let’s jump into the best passive income ideas!
Easy Passive Income Ideas
In this category, the passive income ideas are ones that you can start immediately with small amounts of capital or even completely for free!
If you’re looking for fast and simple ways to create new income sources for yourself, these are the right ideas for you!
1. Invest In Real Estate With Fundrise
If you want to put your money to work in real estate, you can get started with Fundrise for only $10!
Fundrise lets you invest in a variety of different real estate portfolios to start earning passive income.
You have to be a U.S. citizen to use Fundrise, but other than that, the $10 starting requirement is incredibly low for the world of real estate investing.
Over 150,000 investors use the platform, and to date, these investors have earned over $100 million in dividends alone!
2. Use Reward Apps & Programs
Companies are willing to pay for your loyalty. And, thanks to a variety of reward apps, you can now make this process mostly hands off.
Generally, to use these apps, you have to connect a credit or debit card to the app to track your spending. When you shop from sponsored stores, you earn shopping rewards automatically.
Some popular apps and websites you can use to automatically earn shopping rewards and save money include:
- Capital One Shopping – Apply coupon codes online and earn shopping rewards for shopping at specific partners, which are redeemable for free gift cards!
- Rakuten – Install their browser extension to earn cashback when shopping online. Read our Rakuten review to learn more!
- Drop – Use the Drop app to earn cashback for buying special offers and buying from brands that you already support.
- Fetch Rewards – Scan receipts and earn free gift cards for buying groceries and everyday essentials.
- Honey Extension – Automatically apply coupon codes and earn cashback in the form of Honey Gold for shopping at specific merchants.
- Lolli Extension – Earn bitcoin for shopping at hundreds of popular online retailers.
- Dosh – Earn cashback for shopping at thousands of retailers after installing the app.
None of these apps or shopping extensions will make you rich. But, if you want a low-effort passive income idea, these ones are worth considering.
If you’re an online shopper, I suggest sticking with Capital One Shopping and Rakuten.
But if you mostly want to earn rewards for in-store shopping or through your mobile phone, apps like Fetch Rewards and Drop are your best options.
Note: Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up with the provided links.
3. Invest In Dividend-Paying Stocks
This one is truly as simple as it gets for passive income ideas.
There are a myriad of companies that pay out dividends to their shareholders, and you can become a shareholder by buying these stocks or mutual funds/ETFs that contain dividend paying companies.
Personally, I invest in several Vanguard funds and other dividend-paying ETFs and stocks, and you can get started with a very low amount as well.
If you want to get started, I recommend checking out M1 Finance, a zero commission online brokerage account that makes it easy to start investing.
You should consider your level of risk tolerance and speak to a financial planner or get professional advice if you’re unsure how to begin investing.
But, there are tons of low-commission online brokerages out there and free education as well, so be sure to read and educate yourself on this topic!
4. Rent Out Storage Space
If you have an extra parking spot or empty space like a garage, shed, or even spare room, you can start earning passive income by renting it out with Neighbor!
With Neighbor storage, you can rent out your extra storage space to people in your city and make money every month.
Neighbor hosts get $1 million in liability coverage, and a lot of storage spaces range from $50 to $200 per month.
This means you can make hundreds or even thousands of dollars with Neighbor if you get a steady stream of renters or one long-term renter.
Neighbor pays you through Stripe to your bank account, and you set how much you want to rent your space for.
Neighbor only charges hosts 5% per payment, and plenty of hosts have left positive reviews, stating they’re making solid passive income as a host.
You can sign up as a host across the United States, and it’s free to create a listing.
If you’re not using your spare storage space, this is definitely a low-effort way to boost your monthly income.
Check out our Neighbor review for all the details!
5. Rent Out Other Assets
Storage space is just one thing you can rent out for money, and the sharing economy is ripe with opportunities to earn passive income.
If you have a vacant space or second residence, rental properties are obviously a great place to start. Some of the most popular ways to make money by renting your home include:
You can also consider renting out your own vehicle.
This does depreciate the value of your car overtime, but you can do the math to figure out if the additional miles put on your vehicle are worth the extra income.
Three popular options for renting your vehicle to make money include:
Finally, (and most passively), you could always rent out other assets you own on platforms like:
- Spot Hero or Parking Panda – rent out empty parking spots or a driveway.
- Rentah – The Kijiji of renting items.
6. Use Passive Income Apps
Passive income apps are another simple way to create micro income streams for yourself, and this idea truly requires almost zero effort on your part!
There are actually numerous apps that pay you for downloading them and sharing your data.
Examples of popular passive income apps include:
- Mobile Performance Meter – Earn around $0.10 to $0.30 per day.
- MobileXpression – Earn credits which are redeemable for a variety of free gift cards!
- Panel App – Earn around $1 per month for sharing your opinions and location.
- UpVoice – Earn up to $75 per year for browsing the web.
- S’more – Earn $0.10 per day just for unlocking your phone!
- Cash Magnet – Turn a spare phone into an autosurfing device that browses the web and earn up to $15 per month!
These are a few examples of different apps that pay you small amounts of passive income.
I used a lot of these apps during my time phone farming in college, and I think it’s a great beginner passive income idea since you usually don’t have to spend money to get started.
Businesses That Generate Passive Income
I think the above list of easy passive income ideas is perfect for getting your foot in the door and building up some simple residual income sources.
But, if you want to scale your income sources even further, there’s a variety of business ideas you can start to do just that!
7. Start A Blog
Blogging is not easy money. It never really was, and it certainly isn’t anymore considering how saturated the internet is.
I’ve been blogging for a little over 3 years, and now, my blog earns $4,000 to $5,000 per month consistently:
Between Mediavine ads and a number of affiliate programs, I hope to continue scaling This Online World over the next few years to reach new revenue milestones.
I mean, the blog made $22,000 in 2020, but I anticipate reaching $50,000 this year, and who knows what the future will bring!?
This isn’t passive income yet, but it gets easier every month.
I now outsource my Pinterest marketing, some content writing, and I’m slowly spending less time on things I don’t like and more time doing what I enjoy.
If you use affordable blog hosting like Siteground and learn the basics of SEO, I definitely think you can turn a profit in under a year if you put in some time.
8. Print On Demand (POD)
I created my own POD store when I was in college and sold absolutely horrendous mugs by dropshipping POD products on Etsy.
Ultimately, I only made 2 sales, and my POD manufacturer refused to create my merchandise because I blatantly infringed upon multiple trademarks, but hey, these things are just details.
The point is, if I could initiate sales by selling literal garbage on the internet, the barrier to entry really isn’t that high.
Take some time, create a few neat or funny graphics, and design some merchandise on a POD service like Printify or Printful.
Take a few minutes out of your day every now and again to post an image on Instagram and spam-follow some people, and you will invariably drive traffic to your storefront.
Even if 1-2% of people convert, you’ll make a sale every hundred visitors. That’s not too hard to drive from Instagram.
This is probably one of my favorite passive income ideas since ecommerce isn’t going anywhere, so if you know how to design products, definitely consider Etsy dropshipping.
Sign up with Printify today and start selling print on demand products!
Extra Reading – How To Open An Etsy Sticker Shop.
9. Start A YouTube Channel
Once you reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time, you can start making money on YouTube.
I was curious about how long it would take to reach this point, so I decided to start my own YouTube channel.
Let me tell you: things snowball quickly.
After about a year on YouTube, my channel now generates $400 to $600 in semi-passive income every month!
Now, YouTube isn’t passive at the start, but like blogging, as you start outsourcing things like editing and uploading once you begin generating revenue.
Plus, YouTube isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I think this fact alone makes this a great passive income idea that’s worth considering.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get started on YouTube either.
In fact, if you have a decent smartphone, you can start there!
Here’s the gear I started my channel with:
- Sony A6000: Approximately $500.
- Audio-Technica Microphone: Approximately $80.
- Joby GorillaPod Tripod: Approximately $25.
In other words, I spent under $1,000 to start my channel (before upgrading my camera down the line), and the channel is now on track to make around $6,000 per year in passive income!
Extra Reading – How To Get Your First 1,000 Subscribers On YouTube.
Other Passive Income Ideas
If you’re still wondering how to generate passive income for yourself every month, you’re not out of luck yet!
I wanted to create one more category of some creative passive income ideas you can turn to in order to start diversifying your monthly income.
Let’s get to them!
10. Get Paid To Get In Shape
I’ve written a post on apps that pay you for working out, and while this isn’t passive in the sense that you make money while sleeping, it’s easy to add to your routine if you’re already active.
These apps are fairly simple. They either pay you for your data or pay you for betting on yourself to reach a certain fitness goal.
Some popular fitness apps are:
- HealthyWage – Bet on yourself to lose weight and earn cash. Read our HealthyWage review to get all the details.
- DietBet – Another way to bet on yourself to get in shape like HealthyWage.
- Sweatcoin – A data collection app that pays you for walking.
- StepBet – Another way to bet on yourself to reach a certain number of weekly steps.
These apps won’t make you rich. However, if you’re making the effort to stay active, you might as well earn some passive income in the process!
Extra Reading – The 10 Best Apps Like Sweatcoin.
11. Get Paid To Play Games
Now, this isn’t a passive income idea if you don’t enjoy playing video games and never play them whatsoever.
But, if you’re currently spending a few hours per week gaming on your computer or smartphone, you might be missing out on some passive income.
Some platforms that pay you with cash or free gift cards for playing games include:
- Mistplay – This is the leading mobile gaming rewards platform for Android that lets you earn free gift cards for gaming! Read our Mistplay app review for all the details.
- Gamehag – Earn free gift cards, cash, and Steam codes for playing video games on your PC!
- Coin Pop – Another mobile gaming app for Android.
- App Flame – Like Coin Pop and Mistplay, App Flame lets you earn gift cards for playing mobile games.
- Rewarded Play – This site like Gamehag lets you earn rewards for playing PC video games.
These apps and websites won’t make you rich, but again, if you already spend time gaming, you might as well earn some rewards for your effort!
12. Invest With Groundfloor
Like Fundrise, you can start investing in real estate by using Groundfloor.
However, unlike most real estate investing platforms that invest in equity, Groundfloor actually earns interest from real estate debt.
This is arguably less risky, and Groundfloor has pretty short terms for loans: think around 12 to 18 months.
Groundfloor lets you start investing with just $10 and has an average return of approximately 10% according to their website.
If you want to create passive income by investing in real estate but want a shorter-term investment idea, Groundfloor is for you.
13. Save Energy & Money With OhmConnect
Energy companies have a certain capacity that they can can fulfill with their most efficient plants.
But during peak usage times, these companies might have to rely on less efficient power plants to meet their total energy needs.
However, OhmConnect lets power plants pay users to not use energy during peak times.
OhmConnect users participate in ‘Ohm Hours’ by reducing their energy consumption during peak times. OhmConnect then sells your negative energy consumption back to energy companies, splitting the proceeds with users who saved energy.
Specifically, OhmConnect keeps 20% of the profits and shares 80% with their users.
OhmConnect pays through PayPal cash once users have accrued $10, and the more energy you save, the more money you earn.
OhmConnect is only available in the following areas and for users with these hydro companies:
- California users with PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric), SDG&E (San Diego Gas & Electric) or SCE (Southern California Edison).
- Texas users with Smart Meter Texas.
- Ontario users with Toronto Hydro.
If you don’t live in those areas, you can still use OhmConnect to earn tokens, which can be redeemed for sweepstakes or discounts on smart appliances. Not the same as cash, but not awful.
Ultimately, OhmConnect isn’t the most traditional passive income idea, but it can definitely save you up to $100/year (or more) if you diligently reduce your energy consumption.
Sign up for OhmConnect and start saving money on your energy bills!
14. Watch Videos With Get-Paid-To Websites
I don’t use GPT websites for anything that isn’t passive, but I occasionally run video portals on an old laptop or in the background of my computer when I work.
I’ve covered the best GPT websites before, and recently, I’ve been running Engageme.TV’s video reward portal through Grindabuck.
GPT websites won’t make you rich, but they aren’t a terrible way to earn a few extra dollars a week.
To date, I’ve earned $100+ from using Grindabuck, and I’ve also experimented with a few other GPT websites to find new passive income streams.
15. Sell Courses
Udemy is a marketplace where you can pay to enroll in classes to learn more about a specific skill or industry from an instructor.
From learning to code in Python to drawing the perfect sketches, Udemy has quite the extensive array of courses. Additionally, courses on Udemy are generally affordable, with most courses starting from $11.99.
Anyone can become a teacher on Udemy, and you can pre-record lectures to develop your own course material for a specific audience without having to pay.
Udemy has a payout structure that really benefits content creators who can market on a channel outside of Udemy.
Here’s how the revenue share model works:
- Instructor promotions: You earn 97% of revenue on course sales if a customer purchases your course using an instructor coupon.
- Organic sales: Sales driven organically on Udemy result in 50% revenue share.
- Paid advertising: Course sales resulting from paid advertising or affiliate networks result in 25% revenue share.
If Udemy’s payout structure isn’t for you, you could also sell courses through your own blog or by growing a Medium following and promoting your courses there.
Now, Udemy is an incredibly competitive marketplace with over 80,000 courses.
If you decide to sell online courses to hopefully create a new passive income stream, you best be willing to put in some serious work hours and deliver quality!
Extra Reading – Passive Income Vs Active Income.
16. License Videos
If you have ever captured crazy, hilarious, or endearing videos before on your cell phone, GoPro, or dash cam, you might be able to make money by licensing your videos.
News agencies or media outlets are always on the lookout for viral video opportunities or high quality content, and they are willing to pay for it.
When one of your videos sells, you earn 50% of the total sale.
How much you earn per video sale depends on a variety of factors, including:
- The media outlet that’s buying your video.
- How the video will be used.
- The time-frame the video will be licensed for.
Newsflare states that videos typically earn between $25-$100, but videos can earn more if they are licensed by large companies for a considerable amount of time.
Ultimately, if you have some potentially viral video content, you might be able to earn some passive income by licensing the video every few months!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Passive Income Idea Is Best?
Deciding on the best passive income idea really depends on a few factors, including:
- Your income goals
- Your life stage
- Your starting capital
For example, I think some great passive income ideas for students and young adults include things like starting a blog or YouTube channel since you don’t need a lot of capital and you also learn a ton of new skills.
Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with creating several passive income streams, but make sure you get one off the ground before turning to a bunch of other ideas!
2. What Is The Easiest Way To Make Passive Income?
I think the easiest way to generate passive income is to invest your money.
You can invest in real estate or dividend paying stocks with just $10 (or even less) with so many platforms, and this is a concrete way to start creating passive income.
Granted, you won’t make much with just a few hundred bucks in your investment account, but this is how you start building good habits!
Passive income apps are also straightforward, so I recommend these two categories if you’re looking for something nice and easy.
3. How Can I Make $1,000 A Month In Passive Income?
To make $1,000 in passive income every month, you have a few options.
The first would be to invest in dividend paying stocks, but this likely requires a few hundred thousand dollars in your portfolio to generate $1,000 in monthly dividends.
Alternatively, you can try making money online with something like your own blog or YouTube channel.
I really like these ideas if you have less starting capital, especially since you can scale both businesses to way more than $1,000 per month in passive income.
Again, after three years of blogging, This Online World earns $5,000 to $7,000 per month between display ads and affiliate income.
Granted, scaling these businesses takes time, but if you don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest, I think these are your best options.
Plus, you can even sell your blog down the line to cash out big.
And, even if you can’t scale to make $1,000 in monthly passive income, the skills you learn from either business can help you land a higher-paying job, which is a win in itself!
At the end of the day, you can keep researching the best passive income ideas until you’re blue in the face.
The hardest part is really deciding where and when to start, but don’t overthink the process!
It doesn’t matter if you start by investing $10 or you launch your first blog; generating passive income is a process that takes time and dedication, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Pick an idea or two, put in the initial effort, and then nurture your new income sources over the coming months and years.
If you stick with it, your future self will thank you for the effort.
Best of luck in creating passive income for yourself!
If you’re looking for other money-making ideas, I suggest checking out:
Tom is a 24 year old recent college graduate from Canada with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and marketing. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
If you’re interested in freelance writing services or want to partner with This Online World, please visit Tom Blake Digital to get in touch!