Most people would like to work less and make more. When it comes to working at home, there is the idea that you can make money doing nothing. Often, this idea is promoted by scammers. However, there are ways to generate passive income that can have you earning a good income without having to work all the time.
What is Passive Income?
The problem with the term “passive income” is that it’s not quite accurate. There is no way to make money without doing something. In passive income, you do the work upfront, create systems of management, and then are able to spend less time working on it. Consider a song or a book. These items are time intensive in the beginning, but then once they’re out in the world you don’t have to do as much because it’s already created.
While passive income requires less work once it’s created, it can’t be ignored. Systems can help you manage it, but you’ll still need to attend to it. However, the amount of time spent is usually less than when you trade hours for dollars such as in a work-at-home job or service-based home business.
9 Passive Income Ideas
Here are 9 passive income ideas you can start and manage from home. Many are affordable and some are fast to start.
Of all the passive income ideas on the list, blogging is probably the most time intensive. Nevertheless, done right, a blog can earn a livable income with part-time effort, sometimes even less. The advantages of blogs are many including:
- Potential to make money from many passive income streams (i.e. affiliate programs, ebooks, videos etc).
- Ability to involve your interests and passions in making money.
- It’s affordable to start.
The challenge is that blogs can take time to generate any significant income. The building and initial traffic generation can be time consuming as well.
Success in blogging requires:
- A topic people want to read about.
- Quality content that readers want or need.
- The ability to find and reach readers (marketing).
- Monetization on the blog (i.e. affiliate products, advertising or ad networks, etc)
For more information on blogging, check out:
Promote Affiliate Programs
Affiliate programs are an awesome way to make money because they allow you to sell stuff without having had to create it or provide the service. Bascially you get paid a commission for referring customers to other businesses. Not all programs require that you make a sale in order to get paid. For example, some will pay you a small sum for referring a new lead. With that said, you’ll get paid more per referral when sales are involved.
While blogging is a great method for promoting affiliate programs, it’s not the only way. There are many successful affiliate marketers that run their affiliate program business using only a one to two page website and an email list.
For more information on affiliate programs, read:
Write and Sell eBooks
Amazon has changed the way people read books, and it has created a great opportunity for self-publishers. Plus, Amazon isn’t your only option when it comes to selling ebooks. You can also have your books for sale on Barnes and Noble, iBooks and more.
Ebooks are time consuming to create, and in reality, it can be difficult to make a living as an author unless you can find and maintain your reading audience. With that said, I love ebooks as an income option.
Success in being a ebook author requires:
- Great, well-written content. (Get your book professionally edited!!)
- An attractive cover.
- A book description that entices readers.
- Knowing who your ideal reader is and going out to find him/her.
To learn more about making money publishing books, check out Digital Writer Success: How to Make a Living Blogging, Freelance Writing, and Publishing Online.
Create Online Courses
The great thing about the Internet, is that you can learn just about anything from the comfort of home. And more and more people are seeking answers and education through online courses. Like blogging, the topics that can be popular for an online course is vast. If you know how to grow tulips, you can create a course. If you know how to keep a car running in tip-top shape while saving on maintenance, you can create a course.
Course can be delivered through written materials, audio, video, or a combination of all those options. Like in most passive income options, the set-up (creating the course materials) is the most time intensive, but once your course is online, your work is mostly getting people to take the course.
You can sell your course through your own website, but if you’d like more hands off, you can use a service such as Udemy or Skillshare or Teachable. These sites will host and deliver your course to students, usually for free. You just pay a fee based on when your course sells.
Make YouTube Videos
Making money through YouTube videos is similar to making money blogging. While the content is free, you earn income through ads and promoting affiliate products (or your own products). Lifehack has a list of 14 ways to make money with YouTube videos.
Like blogging, success in YouTube videos is having a video people want to see and getting lots of people to see it. The fun part of YouTube is that they sky is the limit when it comes to topics. Many successful YouTubers do tutorials (i.e. how to use a software or put on makeup). Others have online TV shows, such as talk shows or funny skits.
While many successful YouTubers have elaborate (and expensive) video studios in their home, you don’t necessarily need that. If you’re doing computer tutorials, you just need a screen capture software. I have Pinnacle Studio 19 Ultimate, which includes screen capture as well as video editing.
Sell Digital Products
The advantage of selling digital products is that it doesn’t require any shipping on your part. It’s a truly passive income once you set up the sales page, payment processing, and delivery system. You can use a service such as Etsy or Fiverr to deal with sales and delivery so you don’t have to create a website and set up payment processing.
They types of digital products you can sell are vast. Along with information products (i.e. ecourse, ebooks, etc), you can sell forms, calendars, checklists, and more. I’ve bought items for my Happy Planner on Etsy. Once you’ve created the digital product, you simply set up the system to sell and deliver it (i.e. Etsy), and promote it.
Sell Photos Online
The Internet is a visual place now. Blogs and websites need quality photos to help attract people to their websites. Other types of businesses need photos too, such as authors needing graphics for their book covers. The cool thing about photos, is that you don’t need to be a professional photographer. In fact, you might be able to sell photos taking from your smartphone.
Further, the variety of photo needs is vast. You can take photos of flowers, dogs, apples, computers, people etc. People need photos for all sorts of things.
For a list of places to sell your photos, check out:
Create a Phone App
How many apps a day do you use on your phone? If you’re like most people, you use apps for communication, productivity and fun.
Creating an app requires tech knowledge or hiring a tech professional. Over at Code with Chris, he offers a list of options for getting an app created.
Apps can generate money either through sales or advertising. Depending on what your app is or does, will determine how much, if any, you can charge for it. In this economy, people like stuff, including their apps, for free. However, through advertising, you can still generate income through a free app. You can offer both as well. People who love your app and hate the ads can buy it to get the ad-free version.
Along with the tech challenge, is the sales difficulty. There are millions and millions of apps. So once your app is finished, your work is getting the word out about it.
Create and Sell T-Shirts
For a long time, you could use a site like CafePress to create a t-shirt and other materials. Today, the number of companies you can use to create and sell t-shirts has grown. The desire for cool t-shirts has grown as well.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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