For many, the thought of making money while you sleep is incredibly enticing.
And don’t get me wrong: I love passive income ideas as well. In fact, I think these sorts of ideas are one of the best ways to start building wealth.
But one common mistake I think people make is not putting in the effort to get a passive income source up and running.
So in this post, I’m covering some of the best passive side hustles you can use to create an income-generating asset for yourself.
All of the side hustles for passive income in this post require upfront work, but the rewards are certainly worth it!
Let’s get to it.
Passive Side Hustles Versus Passive Income
Before we jump into the passive income side hustles, it’s important to understand the difference between a passive side hustle and a passive income source:
- Passive Income Source: An asset that generates income for you without you having to do any work.
- Passive Side Hustle: A side hustle or business you start that begins generating income for you even when you’re not working on it.
There’s a fine line between the two ideas, but it’s an important distinction.
I mean, passive income ideas like investing in real estate with Fundrise or investing in dividend-paying stocks is great.
But a passive side hustle can turn into an incredibly lucrative asset for you, provided you put in the time and effort to grow it.
In short, passive side hustles can eventually turn into a passive income source, but you need to put in the upfront work to grow your hustle and eventually outsource the work.
The Best Passive Side Hustles For 2022
Now that we’ve covered the difference between passive side hustles and income sources, let’s dive into some of the best options you can use to create new income streams for yourself!
1. Starting A Blog
Blogging has to be one of my favorite passive side hustles because it’s now my full-time job basically alongside some freelance writing work I do.
And in my opinion, blogging has one of the highest income ceilings out of any passive income side hustle.
I mean, making money with a blog just relies on growing your website traffic and knowing how to monetize. And if you stick with it, it’s possible.
For some proof, take a look at the last four years of income reports for This Online World:
- Blogging Income Report 2018 – Making $1,700 From Blogging!
- Blogging Income Report 2019 – Making $7,000 From Blogging!
- Blogging Income Report 2020 – Making $22,000 From Blogging!
- Blogging Income Report 2021 – Making $92,000+ From Blogging.
It took years of work to turn This Online World into a business.
However, these days, I work less on this site than I did in 2020 during my serious grind phase.
This is because I can use income from the blog to outsource writing, social media marketing, and other blogging-related tasks.
What I like about this side hustle for passive income is that you also have a lot of creative ways to monetize your blog.
Popular ways people make money with a blog include:
- Running display ads with companies like Mediavine (my current partner) and Monumetric.
- Selling your own products or courses
- Offering online coaching
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored posts
Mediavine is a major driver of revenue for This Online World, and articles I wrote years ago still bring in income every day as people read them.
In fact, the blog makes $400 a day in ads alone, and then there’s affiliate income on top of that.
Again, this whole process takes time and effort.
However, if you enjoy writing and want to learn more about search engine optimization (SEO), I think this is a great passive income side hustle to try out.
And blogging doesn’t have to be expensive either!
You can start your blog with a cheap domain name, simple WordPress theme, and SiteGround hosting for around $100 to $150.
When you consider that this business can potentially change your life, this is definitely one of the best passive income side hustles in my book!
2. Print On Demand Selling
If you have a knack for design and spotting trends, print on demand (POD) selling is another great side hustle for passive income to try.
Print on demand selling involves uploading your designs to products and selling those products to your audience.
Except the advantage of POD is that you work with manufacturing partners who create and ship your merchandise for you.
So, you just have to worry about your designs and marketing your stores; the POD manufacturing partner handles all the logistics.
One common way people start out with this passive side hustle is through Etsy POD selling.
I like Etsy and print on demand partners because Etsy has a huge marketplace, so you can get a lot of organic traffic to your store and sales.
But Etsy is just one way to try out POD selling.
These marketplaces are slightly easier to start with than Etsy, although your margin is usually lower.
In any case, if you can create some clever or trendy designs, there’s a lot of money to be made in the print on demand space.
Another popular side hustle idea for passive income is to make money with YouTube.
I also think YouTube is the perfect example of what we’re talking about here.
I mean you upload videos, work on monetizing your channel, and videos you made from years ago can still generate meaningful passive income long after you put in the work.
This is also one passive side hustle I really like since I’ve got to test it out on my own YouTube channel.
I started the channel sometime in early 2020. After a year and a half of work, my channel consistently earns $600 to $1,000 in ad revenue every month.
Of course, YouTube takes serious work to start making money with.
For one, you need 1,000 YouTube subscribers to enable AdSense ads to make money from people viewing your videos.
However, you can still make money with affiliate marketing at any point. And, reaching 1,000 subscribers is possible in a few months if you have some videos rank on YouTube search.
And again, what I love about this side hustle for passive income is that a single video from years ago can consistently make money.
For example, my video on online jobs for teens has earned nearly $7,000 in its lifetime, and the video still makes a few dollars per day in income.
Ultimately, YouTube takes some serious work to get up and running. And you have to learn how to film and edit videos, which takes time and patience.
But you don’t have to spend a fortune on YouTube to get started, which is another aspect I like.
The budget YouTube gear setup I used to grow my channel to over 10,000 subscribers actually cost around $600, but you can definitely spend less than this amount!
- Sony A6000 Camera – $495.
- Audio-Technica AT2005 USB Microphone – $80.
- Wondershare Filmora for Video Editing – $60.
- Joby GorillaPod Camera Stand – $15.
The bottom line is that YouTube is a passive side hustle with practically endless income potential.
So, if you like filming and feel creative, you can definitely give YouTube a try!
Extra Reading – YouTube vs Blogging – What’s Best For Making Money?
4. Renting Out Assets
While it might surprise you, there are lots of ways to make money renting things to other people in your city that you can use to earn extra cash every month.
Making money with a spare room through websites like Airbnb is the most obvious example here.
This is also the perfect passive side hustle; you have to do some work to setup your listing and manage guests, but much of the hosting experience is completely passive.
And, some Airbnb hosts make the hosting process almost completely passive or fully passive by outsourcing cleaning, guest communication, and managing listings.
The main downside to this side hustle for passive income is that you need a property to rent out, which is quite expensive.
However, there are numerous other ways to rent stuff out for money.
Popular rental marketplaces and ideas you can try include renting out:
- Your car on Turo
- Spare storage space with Neighbor
- Instruments on websites like Fretish
- Camera equipment and drones on Fat Llama
Options like Neighbor are particularly awesome because you just rent out spare storage space, so you don’t even need to invest in assets to start this passive side hustle!
5. Start A Podcast
Like blogging and YouTube, another side hustle idea for passive income you can try is to start a podcast.
Podcasting has been all the rage the last few years. If you’re passionate about a particular niche and want to share your thoughts, it’s an exciting and fun platform to do just that.
Because of this challenge, it’s typically harder to make money with a Podcast than it is with other online business ideas.
However, podcasts typically earn more money-per-viewer than any other platform because listeners are so dedicated.
Podcast hosts usually make money with sponsored ads and affiliate codes. And it’s also incredibly easy to start your own podcast without spending a fortune.
For example, podcast hosts like Buzzsprout let you start your own podcast for free or for $12 per month.
A podcast host like Buzzsprout helps host your podcast media files and also get your podcast listed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other popular platforms.
Plus, new users get a free $20 Amazon gift card for trying out Buzzsprout and picking a paid plan.
Overall, this is one of the trickier passive side hustle ideas out there since it takes time to grow.
But in time, you can outsource aspects like podcast editing or even guest outreach, so you’re basically getting paid to chat about topics you love with interesting guests and don’t have to do any of the behind-the-scenes work.
6. Passive Income Apps
When I was in college, I started a phone farm to experiment with making passive income.
The idea here is also quite simple.
You basically buy an old Android burner phone off Amazon, install some popular passive income apps, and then monitor your phone every once in a while to make sure the apps are running properly.
Some of my favorite passive income apps that I’ve personally used to earn rewards include:
- Cash Magnet: Earn up to $15 per month with one phone by turning it into an auto-surfer.
- Mobile Performance Meter: Earn $0.10 per day for sharing your data.
- MobileXpression: Earn $2 to $5 in free gift cards per month with this data-collection app.
- S’more: Earn $0.10 with this money lockscreen app just for unlocking your phone.
- Panel App: Earn $1 per month for sharing your data.
- Amazon Shopper Panel: Earn $10 in free Amazon gift cards per month for uploading shopping receipts.
Again, these apps take a bit of maintenance to ensure they’re running properly, which is why this is a passive side hustle.
Just note that these apps largely work in the United States and Canada and aren’t international!
7. Ecommerce Businesses
Another popular passive side hustle idea is to start some sort of ecommerce business.
This is somewhat similar to making money with POD selling, and the idea is to start a profitable online business where you eventually outsource a lot of the work.
People do this all the time by selling software as a service (SaaS) products that charge their customers monthly for a specific type of software.
But, you can apply the same logic to more “traditional” ecommerce businesses that sell digital and physical products to people.
And launching an ecommerce store doesn’t have to be extremely expensive or technically difficult.
For example, platforms like Sellfy let you start your own ecommerce store in minutes. There’s also a free plan for you to test everything out, and overall, it’s very beginner-friendly.
Sellfy lets you sell physical and digital products, and it even has its own POD cataloge.
Plus, you can sell subscriptions through Sellfy, which is definitely useful if you’re trying to grow a passive income source.
Of course, you have to figure out what you’re selling and work on driving traffic to your store.
But if your store generates revenue, you can reinvest into the business to continue scaling and eventually outsource the work you don’t enjoy doing.
8. Selling Online Courses
Like starting an ecommerce business, another side hustle that can generate passive income is to sell online courses.
This is also an idea I’m going to try this year, and the income potential of online courses is immense.
The side hustle part comes with all of the upfront work that goes into planning, creating, and launching a course.
But once you have your course, you can set up funnels from social media or a blog you run to drive potential customers to your course.
Fitness influencers do this all the time with Instagram and direct followers to training ebooks and courses they have.
Again, you have to grow some sort of following and put in the time and expertise to build a course that’s worth buying.
But once you’re done creating your course, the hard part is done and you can focus on selling to your audience and recruiting affiliates to promote the course for you!
9. Real Estate Investing
As mentioned, companies like Fundrise let you invest in income-generating real estate with just $10.
So, if you’re looking for beginner-friendly investments that make money daily, something like Fundrise is right up your alley.
However, this is completely passive like I mentioned, but that doesn’t mean real estate is off the table.
For example, many landlords purchase properties and then put in some upfront work to renovate them or get them ready for tenants.
That’s the side hustle part. Afterwards, you can outsource tenant management to an independent property manager or property management company.
The downside is you need a lot of starting capital to invest in a rental property.
However, many people start by purchasing a duplex and then rent out half the home to a tenant to cover a lot of the mortgage.
10. Amazon Kindle Publishing
Another popular passive side hustle is to sell books you write though Amazon Kindle Publishing.
This is a similar idea to creating an online course or ebook because you have to put in a lot of upfront work into writing and editing your book.
But, Amazon is a massive marketplace, and if a book does well, you might be looking at easy autopilot cash for years to come.
Just note that the main challenge of Amazon Kindle Publishing is that you’re usually selling books for $5 to $20 a pop, so it’s hard to generate serious money.
This video from Project Life Mastery does an excellent job at breaking down if Amazon Kindle Publishing is worth it or not and how to decide if it’s the right passive side hustle for you.
Extra Reading – How To Turn 10K Into 20K Fast.
11. Vending Machine Business
One interesting side hustle for passive income you see quite frequently online is to start a vending machine business.
This is also the perfect example: you have to work to purchase a vending machine, put it somewhere, and keep it stocked. But the money you make in-between stocking is technically passive income.
However, this idea is easier said than done.
You have to find businesses that are willing to have a vending machine, and these businesses usually charge monthly fees or take a portion of your profits.
Vending machines can and will break as well, so you need to factor in repair costs and the cost of your time when it comes to restocking.
This video from YouTuber Chris D’Andrea provides a great breakdown of how he started a vending machine business after buying a used machine on Craigslist.
Chris’ main tip is that you need to get a prime location solidified before you actually buy a machine.
Location is truly everything for this business, but it’s still a viable side hustle for passive income if you put in the work and are willing to take a risk.
12. License Stock Photos & Videos
One final passive side hustle idea you can consider is licensing videos and stock photos to people and media companies.
This is actually a very interesting way to make money because if you get lucky, a single photo or piece of footage can earn you thousands of dollars or more.
I’m not kidding; media companies and creators are willing to pay a lot of money to license the right content.
And it’s also easier to find potential buyers than you might think.
For example, websites like Newsflare let you list your videos on its marketplace where buyers can license the rights from you.
Major news channels and brands work with Newsflare, so if you capture some viral footage, you might be looking at some hefty paychecks.
The side hustle work comes from taking photos and videos, and you have to get a bit lucky of course.
But if you enjoy photography and filmography, this is one of the best passive side hustles out there.
Extra Reading – How To Double Money In 24 Hours.
Tips For Starting A Side Hustle For Passive Income
Now that you know some of the top passive income side hustles, here are a few tips you can keep in mind while building new income sources for yourself:
- Don’t Stretch Yourself Too Thin: It’s tempting to try several business ideas or hustles at once. However, focusing on one or two ideas prevents stretching yourself too thinly and doing multiple ideas poorly.
- Create A Goal: Set a specific income goal and timeframe for your passive side hustles so you have something trackable to work towards.
- Reinvest Profits: As your side hustle generates revenue, make sure you reinvest a portion of profit back into the business to turn it from active to passive income.
Extra Reading – How To Turn $10k Into $100k.
I hope this list of the best passive side hustles for 2022 helps you increase your income and also diversify your income.
Personally, I’m focusing on blogging, YouTube, and online courses this year.
However, there are so many different ideas out there you can try. Just make sure you play to your strengths and put in the upfront work so your business gradually demands less time.
Thanks for reading!
Looking for other money-making ideas? Checkout:
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. 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!
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