Building passive income streams is one of the best ways to create long-term financial freedom and a lifestyle you really don’t need to try to escape from! Why? Because it literally allows you to ‘earn whilst you sleep’ with money coming in from minimal to no effort. Passive income is also a great way to supplement the money you currently earn in a full-time job, without it just completely destroying you in the process! Say goodbye to ridiculous hours, because once you’ve done the groundwork with these things, they can support you in so many different ways. So, without further ado, here’s 20 passive income streams that can help to build your wealth…
One of the easiest (yet mind boggling!) forms of passive income is to invest your money. This can be in stocks, bonds, funds, products, or even savings for retirement: that’s classed as investing. To cover it off properly that would require a whole different post in itself, but investing is something I’d recommend to EVERYONE! If any of this grabs your interest, the first thing I suggest is to get a book and start learning! Yes, you can invest money in also speaking to a financial advisor too, but they will literally eat away your money and take away your control. By instead self-learning it (or at the least to the point so that you have a basic understanding) you can better make decisions about which route you want to go down.
Books like The Intelligent Investor or The Little Book of Common Sense Investing are great starting points. Alternatively you might like to read the same book I went for which is Smarter Investing: Simpler Decisions for Better Results. “Knowledge is power…” Investing is one of the best ways to create long-term wealth so it’s well worth expanding your knowledge in this area.
In the case of investing, time is also money. The longer you wait, the more you miss out on, so if there’s one thing you take away from this article, let it be the chance to start investing now: no matter how big or small it is to begin with. I know it may be daunting but take those first steps today by at least learning more about your options. I promise, once you’ve made that first investment, you’ll never look back!
2. Property Investment
Another popular choice in the world of passive income. Similar to stocks (mentioned above) by investing in property not only are you ensuring you’re not LOSING money through depreciation, but you’re also able to MAKE money through rental and eventually selling the property on. You’ll need a big bulk of savings to get you started on this one and -unless you buy your first property outright- you’ll not make money on rental until your mortgage is paid off, but the property itself becomes a real asset which will pay back in the long-term.
If you’re interested in learning more about this The Complete Guide to Property Investment by Rob Dix, Multiple Streams of Property Income by Rob Moore or my favourite of them all: Buy Low Rent High, How Anyone Can Be Financially Free in the Next 12 Months By Investing in Property. You can grab that book here. All of my suggestions are free with Audiobook and Kindle Unlimited, or if you like to fold pages, highlight and make notes like I do: the hard copies work a treat and are a great price considering the amount of knowledge that gets packed in there!
3. Crowdfunded Real Estate
As mentioned, real estate can be a great way to make money while you sleep. However, because it costs so much to purchase a home, it’s not always an affordable option. That’s where crowdfunding platforms like Fundrise come in. This is the first investment platform to create a simple, low-cost way for anyone to access real estate’s historically consistent, exceptional returns. It enables you to crowd fund to invest in property, making real estate investing more accessible for all. Now it’s not something I personally have ever explored so I can’t speak from experience with this one, but it’s certainly worth looking into. I just find it amazing what opportunities are out there now!
4. Peer-To-Peer Lending
Become a bank! Well pretty much anyway. Another new passive income idea that’s out of my experience, but a pretty cool concept. Peer-to-peer lending is when you loan other people money who don’t qualify for traditional financing. Typical investment returns in the 3-8% range, but investing money with companies like Lending Club, you can get you much higher income results than a typical savings or money market account. For even lower risk, you can also check out Worthy, which offers a 5% return but the chance to take your money out at anytime. I personally would rather go for stocks / shares investment, but for lower sums of money just ‘lying about’ you may want to look at this to get it working a little harder for you!
5. Invest or Rent Your ‘Assets’
So we spoke about property investment, but just because you don’t have a property doesn’t mean you can’t rent things out. Surprisingly (or maybe not?!) things like camping gear, sports equipment, camera equipment and other high-value items can be hired to those who need them for a one off, but don’t want to buy them outright. Peerrenters is a great place for this, as is Rent My Items. You basically advertise the items you have for rent and then see what bites.
Other popular products include: Extension ladders, Party tents, Tables and chairs, Utility trailers, Log splitters, Chainsaws, Snowmobiles, ATV’s. So a pretty broad mix! Have a mooch. You may find things you have are in demand, that you had no idea about! You could even treat this like a bit of a side-business: finding what’s popular in your area, making the investment in it and then renting it out! Just make sure that you have a proper rental agreement signed by both parties. Also make sure you’re paid BEFORE they use your stuff. It’s better to dot the i’s and cross the t’s as they say. You need to protect yourself.
6. The Vending Machine Investment (Example)
Following on from the last idea, you can invest in things not to put them on websites, but to use in places to get a return. Let me give you an example… A successful vending machine business can be a great way to make passive income. All you need to do is buy one, find the right places to install your vending machines and then check back to reap the profits. The best places for these are smaller brick and mortar businesses. Contact those that have over 100 workers in the building on a daily basis, and see if they need vending machines. But here’s a little trick! Ask those workers what items they prefer to have in the vending machine and then stock accordingly to increase sales. Once it works, if you want to reduce the amount of time that you are involved, consider hiring someone to stock the machines for you. It then becomes an asset that’s put to work for you without you having to do very much at all. What other ways could this be replicated? Think outside the box!
7. Write A Book
Writing a book is a great way to earn a passive income, because once the initial work of creating it is complete, selling them can produce some serious residual income. Thanks to the self-publishing options available, books are also now easier than ever to get out there. So what have you got to lose?! Get your creative juices flowing and see what you can bring to life. If fiction isn’t your thing, write a book on something you know about. Become an expert in your field and teach others how to become one too. There’s a lot of things you can combine with books in this area then, like coaching, workshops or training. Your book can therefore be a stand-alone passive income project, or complement other projects.
Another option to consider? E-Books. These work the best when you can find a niche, tackle a problem and build it into a ‘how to’ style guide. The great thing about them is they don’t have to be that long. So long as they solve a problem, they cn kick off a storm! And again, for every sale you make once you’ve spent that time creating it, all that money will just go straight to you. Now that’s what we want!
8. Create an Audio Book
Following quickly on, you also might want to consider audiobooks. Doing an audiobook is more complicated than a written book but you’ve already done the work of figuring out the content, so you may as well get it out there in another format to appeal to other types of people. You can even save time (and hassle!) creating this by hiring someone else to do it for you on a platform like Upwork. This may make your initial cost higher, but once you get your sales through, those costs will be covered. You could even then combine the Ebook and Audio Book together for a higher selling value. Bingo!
9. Create a Course
Online courses are BOOMING and your pockets could therefore be overflowing too! If you have skills, knowledge or experience in particular area, why not turn it into a course to teach others everything you know too?! It’s similar to the book idea above, but just going one step further. And sure, it may require a lot of time to begin with, not to mention a certain level of technical expertise (unless you outsource those bits!) but it will be worth it once it’s finished. Earn more, watch others grow and feel like a pro! Win, win and well, win!
Another thing to look into? Email courses. These are an automated series of emails that teach someone something. You have to provide A LOT of value to be able to charge, or you can use them as a lead magnet to demonstrate your expertise and draw them into your full course. One of the keys to success is strong marketing and sales strategies so make sure you’ve mapped everything out right from who your target audience is, to how you’re going to make those sales (with gleaming reviews for referrals and growth!)
10. Set Up a Shopify or Amazon Store
As we’ve started to touch on, selling stuff is a great way to make extra money whether you sell things you make or re-sell stuff you buy. If you want to build an online store, Shopify makes it super easy and it looks oh-so-professional. Just remember: to make this a passive income stream, it needs to require minimum effort which is why set-up is key. If you do have products to sell, another great platform to consider is Amazon. You sell your own products on here and Amazon will even sort and ship the products for you. It’s a no-brainer to utilise it really! Particularly considering what a huge player Amazon is. Whichever platform you choose to utilise, ensure strong foundations are in place then sit back and reap in the rewards!
11. Set Up a Drop Shipping Store
Similar to a Shopify Store, but even SIMPLER, is a Drop Shipping store. This was covered on my post ‘Six Side Businesses That Will Make You Money While Traveling’. Why? Well for the very reason that it’s an easy business to travel with as -aside from your marketing efforts- it requires little else for you to do. Get the right people to your website, find effective ways to convert your visitors into paying customers, and the rest of the work is done for you!
12. Set Up a Teespring Store
Okay so this is an amazing platform and if you’ve not yet heard of it, I’m super excited for you to explore! Teespring offer a no risk turn-key solution to you running your commerce business. They handle everything from production, fulfilment & customer service, making e-commerce easy. You create your own designs and then upload them onto different things: t-shirts, backpacks, leggins, mugs, prints and pillows. There are heaps of different products to choose from and the great thing is: before advertising them, you can see exactly what they look like with your design on.
The earning potential is huge on here, because you can trial different products for free until you find what sells, what doesn’t and tweak your approach from that. Once you know what’s popular and the best ways to promote it (besides the exposure you’ll automatically gain through the site, you’re able to generate a strong passive income stream… That I also imagine will be pretty fun to master in the process!
13. Affiliate Marketing
Similar to drop-shipping, Affiliate Marketing allows you to earn a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. It’s super popular amongst bloggers, although don’t be fooled because it’s not necessarily as easy as you think! To convert your visitors into buying customers, you must work hard to build trust, experiment with the best ways to market and advertise the products and work on a creating an effective sales funnel. Once you master this however, the world is your oyster! With thousands of different affiliate schemes, experiment until you find the best ones that work for you. Then: focus, focus, focus! The great thing about affiliate marketing is you can use it on a blog or website you currently have, set up a new one with this in mind, or even do it WITHOUT A WEBSITE! Click here to learn how to do that. Passive income at its best!
14. Youtube Marketing
So we all know the great opportunities we now have because of social media. I mean, the fact that Influencer Marketing is so huge says it all! One of the best platforms we have for earning money whilst we sleep is Youtube. This network is now pulling in over 1.8 billion users every month- and that’s just the people who are logged in. That makes YouTube Google’s most popular service, with even more users than Gmail. YouTube’s monthly user number is even nearing that of Facebook, the world’s largest platform, which has over 2 billion users, so it’s growth is pretty insane!
The other advantage of Youtube is there aren’t nearly as many videos as there are articles, so gives you the chance to be found and heard by your audience a little easier. Why are there less videos? Well, one reason is because they’re harder to make and far more time-consuming, but if you’re willing to invest in doing this, it’s worth it because you have less competition and greater opportunities.
Now, Youtube have recently changed their programme whereby you now have to have a minimum number of video views to apply for their ad scheme. Right now this is 4,000 hours of annual viewing time per channel and over 1,000 subscribers. There was an uproar created around this when it was first introduced! However, it really makes no difference at all, because without hitting those required hours of views, you’d make pennies from their ads anyway. Instead, you want to go for the big income! So set up your channel, create GREAT content, promote it to get it seen and push and push and push until you reach those views.
From there, each time someone watches one of your videos, ads can appear, and you can make money from those ads: not only on the clicks but also on the impressions. Earning passive income from Youtube Marketing undoubtably takes a lot of time up front, but once your videos are live there is potential for you to keep earning from these with very little effort. The more views you get, the easier the videos are found and the knock-on effect that then has.
Once you have the subscriber base, you’re also set up for the views every time you publish a new video which maximises your earning potential. Better yet, with an engaged audience, you also have the opportunity to sell additional products (perhaps affiliates, perhaps your own) which converts – when done properly – far higher than other social media channels. So as you can see, lots of opportunities to explore. For everything you need to know about their Partner Programme, click here.
15. Google Adsense
Now if you do have a strong website, Google Adsense is also something to look at, particularly if you’re already receiving high traffic. There are two ways to make money with Adsense. One: impressions which give you money for every 1,000 page views. Or two: clicks which provide you with money when a visitor to your site clicks on a displayed ad. As mentioned, you need some SERIOUS traffic to make this worthwhile and you have to be careful that the ads don’t take away from the site that you have. But it’s an easy and simple way to bring in extra money every month and there’s a reason so many people utilise this!
Don’t have a site yet? Consider buying a blog. Thousands of blogs are created every year, and thousands are either completely abandoned by their owners sometime afterward. If you can buy blogs with a reasonable amount of web traffic – as well as a demonstrated cash flow (bonus!) – it could be a perfect passive income source.
16. Buy a Blog
So I mentioned buying a blog if you’re interested in Adsense and want a helping hand up with your starting traffic. But did you realise even aside from this, blogs can make a great investment? See, from a financial perspective, blogs usually sell for 24 times their monthly income. So if the site generates £250 a month in income, you can likely buy it for no more than £3,000. Translation: a £3,000 investment will buy you £1,500 per year in cash flow. Not bad hey? And that’s even before you build on it yourself! Blogging is always the hardest when you’re starting from scratch so why not get that kickstart to make it a passive income, faster?
17. License Your Photos
Have you ever wondered how you could make money taking pictures? Do you have an eye when it comes to taking good photographs? If so, check out a site like Shutterstock. Here, you send your photos over to them and if they are approved, each time someone downloads one of your photos from the platform, you’ll get a paid a royalty. All the technicalities of the photo sales are handled through the web platform and this becomes a completely passive income stream. If you already enjoy photography or take a lot of great shots: why not turn that into an additional earner? Now like most things there is a LITTLE bit more to it than just that. But all can be easily learnt. If you’re interested in finding out more, I recommend reading this: How To Take Stock Photography That Sells.
18. Sell Leads or Referrals
An ever popular new passive income source is selling leads or referrals. See, every small business needs referral sources in order to maintain sales. In essence you want to write a list of small business providers that you use on a regular basis and feel you can recommend to others without reservation. Then contact the owners and see if they have any kind of cash referral offers available. You can do this with accountants, landscapers, electricians, plumbers, carpet cleaning services- the list is endless. Keep a list of these businesses, and be ready to refer them to your friends, family and coworkers. You can earn a fee on each referral just from talking to people. It’s great if you’re an avid networker!
Alternatively, you can set up a website that does the same thing on a bigger scale. Find something that you’re an expert in, make it niche and offer valuable content on there. Then, recommend other companies on that in the same way. This method is not passive to begin with. It’s kind of like building the foundations of a blog. But once you get it up and running, it gives you access to the online world, further broadening your passive income potential. Something worth exploring for sure!
19. Set Up a Business & Have Others Work On It
Owning a business that works well and runs by itself can be a great passive income source, earning you a lot of money. The key is in having the right people working for you, or freelancers you can rely on. Whether it be through the purchase of an existing business or opening a new business, your great business idea can be a viable source of passive income if you set it with that in mind.
I for one can vouch for this, running my business Blue Monkey Social Media alongside other ventures. Because I have such a strong team of people, I can often spend little time on it and it will still tick over, bringing me in thousands every month. I focus back on it when I want to push for growth, but it’s also not reliant on me which gives me more time to focus on other things than can further grow my income. It’s an ideal situation and a big earner.
20. Start Small
Last but not least, I wanted to finish where we started, with the investment method to accumulate passive income and long term wealth. Apps like Moneybox make this super super simple. From your morning coffee to last night’s Uber, round up your everyday purchases to the nearest pound and invest the spare change. It really does make investing easy and is the perfect way to get your foot through the door. Intrigued? Find out more about Moneybox here.
A Quick Summary From Me
So that completes a list of 20 passive income stream ideas, including ones you can start today.
For me personally, my passive income streams include Stocks & Shares, Cash ISA’s, Property Investment and soon-to-be online courses. I love developing new passive income streams (both big and small) so instead of spending time at night watching TV or scrolling through social media, I put my focus in learning more and developing new things. The more passive income streams you can build, the better off you will be. Just be sure whatever you’re doing, you do it properly.
Wishing you the best of luck with any new ventures! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments box or get in touch with me directly here. The whole mission of our blog is to help you create the life you’ve always wanted to have, full of freedom, flexibility and the lifestyle you really desire. I hope this post helps you take one step closer to achieving all of this.
Best of luck in your next venture!