Passive incomes is highly sought after and often misunderstood. Passive income streams require an upfront investment and a lot of nurturing in the beginning. After some time and hard work these income streams start to build and are able to maintain themselves, bringing you consistent revenue without much effort on your part.
Read also: 8-Kids Who Earn Million Dollars
Speaking from personal experience adding passive incomes streams to your portfolio can help you increase your earnings and accelerate your financial goals in tremendous ways.
If you want to get started earning passive incomes here’s what you should know first.
What It Takes to Earn Passive Income
Before we get into the passive income ideas I think it’s a good idea to first clear up a couple of misconceptions. Although the word “passive” makes it sound like you have to do nothing to bring in the income this just isn’t true. All passive income streams will require at least one of the following two elements:
1) An upfront monetary investment, or
2) An upfront time investment
You can’t earn residual income without being willing to provide at least one of these two. Today, I have a big list of passive incomes ideas you can try regardless of the category you fall in.
A. Passive Incomes Ideas Requiring an Upfront Time Investment
1. Sell an eBook Online
Self Publishing is mainstream today. When you purchase an eBook off of Amazon there’s a pretty good chance you’re buying a self-published book. Self-publishing is also ridiculously easy. I tried this a few years ago and couldn’t believe how simple the process was. To self-publish a book you’ll first need to write and edit it, create a cover, and then upload to a program such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Don’t expect instant success though. There will need to be a lot of upfront marketing before you can turn this into a passive income stream.
2. Create a Course on Udemy
Udemy is an online platform that lets its user take video courses on a wide array of subjects. Instead of being a consumer on Udemy you can instead be a producer, create your own video course, and allow users to purchase it. This is a fantastic option if you are highly knowledgeable in a specific subject matter. This can also be a great way to turn traditional tutoring into a passive incomes stream!
4. Selling Stock Photos
Do you ever wonder where your favorite websites, blogs, and sometimes even magazines get their photos? These are normally bought from stock photo websites. If you enjoy photography you can submit your photos to stock photo sites and receive a commission every time someone purchases one of them.
5. Licensing Music
Just like stock photos you can license and earn a royalty off of your music when someone chooses to use it. Music is often licensed for YouTube Videos, commercials, and more.
6. Create an App
If you own a smartphone or tablet then it’s safe to assume you have several apps downloaded. But have you ever had an amazing idea for an app? If so, you could consider hiring a programmer to create your app for you. You could then sell it on the App store for residual income.
7. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the practice of partnering with a company (becoming their affiliate) to receive a commission on a product. This method of generating income works the best for those with blogs and websites. Even then, it takes a long time to build up before it becomes passive.
8. Network Marketing
Network marketing, or multi-level marketing, seems to be on the rise. Companies such as Young Living Oils, Avon, Pampered Chef, and AdvoCare are all multi-level marketing companies. You can earn passive incomes through network marketing by building a team underneath you (often referred to as a down line.) Once you have a large team you can earn commissions off of their sales without having to do much.
9. Design T-Shirts
Sites like Cafe Press allow users to custom design items like T-shirts. If your design becomes popular and makes sales you’ll be able to earn royalties.
10. Sell Digital Files on Etsy
I’ve been into home décor lately and I had to turn to Etsy to find exactly what I wanted. I ended up purchasing digital files of the artwork I wanted printed out! The seller had made a bunch of wall art, digitized, and listed it on Etsy for instant download. There are other popular digital files on Etsy as well such as monthly planners. If you’re into graphic design this could be an amazing passive income idea for you.
Read also: 8-Kids Who Earn Million Dollars
B. Semi-Passive Small Business Ideas
1. Car Wash
It’s always been a dream of mine to own a car wash. This seems like such a great way to earn a semi-passive incomes. While regular maintenance will be needed at a car wash it’s something you can either hire out or perform once a week.
2. Vending Machines
Vending machines are another great low maintenance small business idea. I have a friend who has vending machines all over neighboring towns. He replenishes and cashes them out once every two weeks. His vending machine business is part of his retirement plan.
3. Storage Rentals
My cousin owns a set of storage rentals and receives monthly checks for letting customers rent these out. The only time she seems to do any work for these is when she has an opening for one of the storage units.
I debated on listing this one here because while in theory it seems like owning a laundromat would be semi-passive I anticipate there would be a whole lot of ongoing maintenance needed. You be the judge on this one.
C. Easy Passive Incomes Ideas
Last on the list I wanted to point out a couple of easy passive incomes ideas. These require no money and no upfront work. While the earnings are menial you still can’t beat easy passive income!
1. Cashback Rewards Cards
If you pay your bills with a credit card make sure it offers cash back rewards. You can let your rewards accrue for a while and possibly put the easy money you earned toward another passive income venture! (Be sure that the card you select doesn’t have an annual fee or you might be cancelling out your rewards).
2. Cashback Sites
Just like cashback rewards cards you should opt to use a cashback site when shopping online. If you don’t you’re giving up free money that requires little to no work! We just compared the two most popular sites – eBates versus TopCashBack.
How to Get Started
While it can be tempting to want to pick five passive income ideas to get started with I’d really encourage you to pick one in the beginning. You need time and the ability to focus to really a grow a passive income stream. Master one thing before moving on to the other.
It’s going to take a substantial amount of time or money in the beginning but I promise earning passive income is everything it’s cracked up to be! Pick an idea, make a plan, and dedicate yourself until that income stream comes to fruition.
(This article appeared on The College Investor)