Passive Income Ideas: Your Ultimate Guide

Are you sick of working from dawn to dusk with no break? You may want to look into passive income ideas to get some of your time back.

Passive income allows you to earn money when you aren’t working. It’s a great option for business owners and side hustlers.

Before we get into it, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.

What Is Passive Income?

Passive income refers to money you earn without working directly for it. The truest form of passive income includes things like inheritance or interest earned on investments.

However, a lot of people use the term more generally to include what I would call “scalable” income. That means you do the work upfront, and you can increase your earning potential with time.

You don’t have to work more hours to obtain those results. Instead, as your audience grows, you income may grow too.

Benefits of Passive Income

When setting up your business or side hustle, consider incorporating some passive income. This can be especially helpful if you’re busy or want to work less.

Consider some of the biggest advantages of earning passive income.

Earn More Over Time

We all start somewhere, and that is usually from $0. But if you’re persistent and consistent with your passive income stream, you may start to earn something.

Over time, you can increase your earning potential. You may switch to selling higher-ticket offers, or maybe your audience grows in size so you have more people to sell to.

Either way, you can start to double or triple your income. And you don’t have to work your life away to reach those goals.

Flexible Work Schedule

When you set up passive income streams, you have control over when and where you work. So if you have a day job, you can work on your days off or before or after your shift.

You’ll still have to work, so don’t expect to put up a few posts and make millions. However, you don’t have to stick to a normal work schedule if that doesn’t work for you.

There are also tons of different passive income ideas with different requirements. You can choose the streams that work the best for your situation and skills.

Minimal Upfront Costs

Depending on the passive income streams you choose, you could arguably start for free. For example, you could start an Instagram account where you share reviews of your favorite products.

You may include your affiliate links in your bio and stories. All of that can be done for free with products you already own and with your phone.

Now, if you want to start a website to earn passive income, that requires a domain and hosting. Still, my first year of hosting was around $50 with SiteGround.

You can get started without spending a ton of money, and you can invest your initial earnings to see even more growth.

Multiple Income Streams

Passive income isn’t just one thing. It can be a variety of things, from display ads to digital products and more.

That means you can build a business of passive income, but you can also protect your business. So if your ad revenue drops, for example, you may still have digital product sales.

You won’t have to worry about your entire business crumbling with one bad month. When one income stream dips, the others can make up for it, so you may feel more secure.

Passive Income Ideas

Setting up the right passive income streams for you can make or break your business. Consider some of the best options for an online business.

That way, you can set yourself up for success.

Affiliate Marketing

One of my favorite ways to make passive income is through affiliate marketing. This is where you partner with a brand or company and get access to trackable links.

When you share your special link on your website or social media and get clicks, the brand will track any sales that you generate. Then, the brand will pay you a commission on the sale.

Of course, this isn’t totally passive because you have to create content. You also need to make that content compelling enough to make people purchase.

But you can share a link, and you could make one sale or 100 sales. You don’t have to be the one to create the product or ship it.

If you have products you love, you can see if those brands offer an affiliate program. Once you join, you can then get those affiliate links and share them with your audience.

Some affiliate marketers earn tens of thousands of dollars per month. Most earn less, but it can be a great way to earn extra income.

Display Ads

If you have a website or YouTube channel with a decent amount of views, consider using display ads. You can set them up once and earn money from every impression or click.

On YouTube, you need at least 1,000 subscribers. But with your own website, you just need to follow the rules from whichever ad network you choose.

Google AdSense is the easiest to join since there’s no traffic requirement. As your website grows, you can switch to something like Mediavine, which offers a higher payout per 1,000 views.

With display ads, all you have to do is post content that gets views. It’s then up to the advertiser to create an ad that gets people to click.

Now, some people are against ads because they can detract from your website. However, they’re not always a bad thing, so give them a chance before you write them off.

Digital Products

Another one of the most popular passive income ideas is creating digital products. These can be as small as a one-page download or printable.

But they can also be much larger, such as eBooks, planners, and more. You can start with smaller downloads to test the waters and see if you get sales.

Regardless of what you create, you create it once. Then, you upload it to an eCommerce platform, like Easy Digital Downloads, to handle sales and sending the files.

Whenever someone buys your product, the platform will take care of their payment. The platform will also deliver the file to the customer’s email.

You don’t have to do anything aside from promoting your products. That does take work, but it can be more flexible than making a new product each time.

Online Courses

You can also create an online course to earn passive income. Now, some courses have a live component, so they aren’t entirely passive.

But other courses are all pre-recorded. So like smaller downloads, you create the content once, and you can sell the course over and over.

Sure, you may update the course occasionally, especially if it’s related to an industry that changes. Still, that can take less work than offering individual lessons or coaching sessions.

Depending on the course subject and content, you can charge anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or more per sale.

So you don’t even need a large audience to make a lot of money from courses.

How to Choose Between Passive Income Ideas

When starting or growing your business, you need to be careful about the income streams you choose.

Keep the following things in mind to make sure your business will be one you enjoy.

Consider Your Current Situation

First, you want to think about what your business looks like now. Maybe you’re starting from scratch, or you have an established audience.

If it’s the former, you may want to start with affiliate marketing, which has a low barrier to entry. You’ll also want to pair it with a service to earn money sooner.

But if you have a larger audience, you might be able to use ads on your content. That could help you earn more money.

And don’t forget about your work schedule. If you’re balancing your business with a day job, you may want to stick to income streams that don’t take much time to set up or run.

Think About What You Enjoy

It can take weeks, months, or even longer to earn money from passive income. You can expedite that process with the right marketing strategies.

Still, there’s going to be some time when you aren’t making money. To make that period easier, start with passive income ideas that interest you.

Maybe you like designing printables and other downloads. That’s a good sign you should start with digital products.

Or if you enjoy reviewing products, you may want to look into affiliate marketing. That way, you can look forward to doing the work.

Start With One

You may eventually want to combine a ton of passive income ideas. But for now, start with just one income stream.

Get really good at it, and understand what you need to do to make money from it. Start to earn some money consistently from it.

Once you get the hang of how things work, then you can add another passive income stream. Repeat the process before adding your third.

This will give you time to learn what works for you or doesn’t. And you can come up with a strategy to run that first income stream on autopilot when you focus on something else.

Final Thoughts

If you want to enjoy some extra money in your bank account, consider the best passive income ideas.

You won’t have to work yourself to death just to pay the bills. And you can start with something you truly enjoy.

If that thing is promoting your favorite products, enroll in Affiliate Marketing Superstars. I learned everything I know about affiliate marketing from the course.

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