I make money in my sleep. literally. And you can too.
It’s called passive income, and I found it by chance.
When I graduated with a master’s degree and got into the workforce as a biotech engineer, I was paid well but was feeling uninspired. I was hungry for a career change and overwhelmed with figuring out where to start.
I have always been passionate about food and cooking. I toyed with the idea of quitting my job to go to culinary school. But after some self-reflection, I realized that the last thing I wanted was to move from one stressful profession to another. So I started a food blog and thought it could become a creative outlet for me. Ironically, I was laid off from my job after six months.
This was when I dedicated myself to a new passion project – learning how to make money online. I was drawn to the idea of having the freedom to live and work anywhere and not rely on staying in one place to earn a salary.
What I have now is passive income streams. And with multiple passive income streams, I finally have financial stability and protection from layoffs.
Sound too good to be true? My food blogger Delish D’Lites earns over $7,000 in passive income each month.
Here are seven ways you have been successful in earning passive income.
- digital courses
- digital downloads
- Affiliate Marketing
- Real Estate Investment
- Investing in the stock market
What is passive income?
Passive income is earned through investments or work already completed and continues to make money without any extra effort.
By contrast, active income is money earned in exchange for performing a service, and passive income, by definition, does not require active work after a certain point.
Most passive income sources require time, energy, and effort up front. But if done correctly, you will reach a point where your passive income streams are earning income on their own, with little effort on your part.
My Top 7 Passive Income Ideas
Many types of passive income can be made online, so if you want to generate site-independent income, passive income may be right for you. All you usually need to earn is a computer and an internet connection.
Blogging is the perfect passive income source for writers or hobby enthusiasts.
A blog (abbreviation for “weblog”) is an online magazine or informational site that displays information in reverse chronological order, with the most recent posts appearing first. It is a platform where writers share their views on a topic.
Your blog becomes a passive income source through display ads, affiliate marketing and/or sales of digital products. To earn passive income with display ads, you will need to focus on SEO (search engine optimization). SEO The science behind bringing traffic to your website. Once your blog gets constant traffic, companies may even reach out to partner on projects.
To start your blog:
- Select the perfect niche for your blog
- Choose a blogging platform (Example: WordPress)
- Choose a domain name (example: www.myamazingblog.com)
- Get a web hosting account (Example: SiteGround)
- Design your blog, write content, promote through social media
2. Digital courses
We all have experience with something that we are willing to pay for. You can turn your skills into dollar bills with a digital course.
The digital course is a source of passive income that continues to promote itself without having to do a lot of work after the initial creation.
You may already be sharing your experience and not realize it. Perhaps it was a Facebook post, a YouTube channel, or a blog post tip on a specific topic. Instead of giving away all your knowledge for free, you can turn it into passive income by pooling your ideas, skills, and knowledge into a digital course. Platforms like Teachable, Podia, and Kajabi make it easy to assemble, market, and sell your digital course.
Similar to a digital course, writing an eBook (eBook) is another way to sell a specific skill set or experience. The main difference is the way this information is packaged.
An e-book uses a computer, mobile device, or e-book reader (such as a Kindle) to display long text in book form that contains text, images, or both. These don’t have to be the length of full novels (although they can be).
Keep in mind that your price will determine the expectations of your customers. The average eBook can range from 2,500 to 10,000 words, depending on your major. You can design your e-book on sites like Canva, Beacon, or even Microsoft Word.
4. Digital Downloads
Digital downloads are tools that give your customer a quick profit for a problem they have.
Instead of producing an entire e-book, with digital downloads you can produce individual downloadable products. These are products that can stand on their own and still add value to your customers. Printable checklists, craft and hobby guides, downloadable spreadsheets, and social media templates are all viable options for digital downloads.
You’ll want to do market research to find out what your potential customer base is looking for. The best place to start is by researching competitors in your space. Search for relevant keywords on Google and see what happens. This is your competition. Study what they offer, and see how you can create your own unique version of a similar offering.
Canva is good for creating digital downloads, while platforms like Etsy and SendOwl are great for selling them.
5. Affiliate Marketing
Your affiliate marketing consists of collaborating with retailers to promote their products. You can get commission for every sale for promoting products or services. This is an easy form of passive income because you are simply promoting someone else’s product and getting paid.
There are some places to promote your affiliate links through social media, email marketing, YouTube channel, podcast, or blog. Some of the well-known affiliate marketing platforms are Amazon Associates & ShareASale. But there is a huge variety of platforms to choose from.
The key here is originality. The moment you promote bad products is the moment your audience loses trust in you. Make sure to only promote products you know and love.
6. Real estate investment
Real estate investing is the most expensive passive income option. It requires a significant initial investment, especially if you are new to the real estate world.
But before moving into the world of real estate, it is important to ask yourself these questions to help you decide the type of real estate investor you wish to become.
Depending on your financial goals and how much energy you want to invest, you have several options for real estate investments to choose from. Passive income from real estate can come through short-term rentals (think Airbnb) or long-term rentals, where you are a full property owner.
7. Investing in the stock market
It can be said that becoming a stock market investor is the easiest way to earn passive income. This type of passive income is driven by capital gains or dividends.
As the value of your stock grows and as you continue to reinvest any dividends you earn, you can watch your investments grow through the power of compound interest.
The key to earning passive income through the stock market is to use a buy and hold strategy. If you use a retirement account, such as a Roth IRA, this income stream isn’t really a source of income to live in right now. It is a savings and investment way to earn money to live on in retirement. But you still earn through compound interest, and that requires little or no work from you.
How many income streams should you have?
This study, published by the IRS, shows the common types of income streams for high-income earners:
- Dividend income from shares owned.
- Income earned from salary.
- Rental income from renting real estate.
- Royalties from selling the rights to use something they wrote or invented.
- Capital gains from the sale of assessed assets.
- Business profits they own.
- Interest from savings, CDs, or bonds.
So, how much should you have?
It all depends on your financial goals and your current situation.
Are you in a stable job with an opportunity for growth? You probably only need a couple of sources of income, such as your regular salary and dividends from stock investments.
If your business is precarious or irregular, you may want to increase your income streams so that you have several sources of income to turn to.
But if you are an aspiring millionaire like me, you may want to diversify your income and incorporate all of that.
Passive income streams can provide a boost to your savings and investment goals and an unexpected job loss. Who wouldn’t want to make money without having to sign up for eight hours a day?
The good news is that there are many options for getting started with building a passive income stream beyond what I already mentioned above. Most of them will require upfront time and dedicated energy to build them before you start seeing returns.
Explore these ideas, and you could be on your way to making money in your sleep in no time.
This story has been edited and revised. Its original version contained parts that did not meet our editorial standards.