The Passive Income Portfolio
The Goal: $100,000/yr. in Passive Income
The ultimate goal of my financial existence is to build up a passive income portfolio that generates $100,000+ per year of income. I accomplish this by building up my active income, then investing that money into various sources of ideas that can generate money even while I am not working.
What is the definition of passive income? I define passive income as income that I earn as a result of systems that are self-sustaining and products that sell regardless of my active efforts.
Quite often, passive income sources take quite a while to develop and establish. Some examples of passive income might be: products that sell via an automated online mechanism, stocks that pay dividends, real estate rental income, etc.
While passive income is the ‘long game’, it is the only way to achieving true Financial Freedom.
Why is Passive Income so Important?
Passive Income is important because through passive income we achieve Financial Freedom. Through Financial Freedom, we achieve Time Freedom, which is the ability to do what we want, when we want.
Time and Financial Freedom doesn’t mean you need to spend the rest of your days lounging on a beach in the middle of the Caribbean. The type of freedom for which I seek is the freedom to live a more involved and passionate life, while not worrying about where the next paycheck will be coming from.
A well-established Passive Income portfolio will allow you to maintain a lifestyle where if you want to work, you work; if you don’t, you don’t. When you have this type of mindset, you are not tied to a job, a boss, a paycheck, or any situation. In essence, you are Financially Free.
I have found that the best way to keep me motivated towards the end dream of being Financially Free is to have a purpose for the goal. My personal reasons for wanting to be Financially Free:
- Never being tied into one income source or one particular employer.
- More time spent with family and friends.
- More time for pursuits of non-money passions – i.e. basketball coaching, volunteering, etc.
Building Towards Passive Income
My passive income journey goal is to build my way to sources that generate $100,000 in passive income per year. It is the long game, but through these various sources, I am on course to achieve my dreams.
50 Passive Income Ideas
The idea of earning money through passive income has enticed people for years. Well, how could it not? Imagine, you could grow your bank account while sleeping – that's literally everybody's dream! But here's the thing, as great as passive income is, it is not always a guaranteed success. You still need a brilliant business idea and a tremendous amount of effort to make it happen.
So to help you with that, we've compiled a list of 50 ways to earn passive income.
1. Purchase Rental Properties
Acquiring a property – like a house, apartment, or etc. – and putting it up for rent is one of the best ways to earn passive income. The 'passive' part will happen once you enlist the help of a management company to run your property. At the same time, the "income" will flow in from the wallets of your future tenants.
Having a rental property business is excellent. However, there are certain things that you need to put into consideration before you officially open your business. This includes the demand for your property, its cost and expenses, your expected return of investment, and possible financial risks.
It's definitely challenging, but worth the effort if you can do it correctly. Perhaps you can look at buying a duplex, renting out one side, and living in the other?
2. Invest in Crowd-Funded Real Estate
Buying your own property can be difficult if your funds aren't enough. Thankfully, there are crowd-funding platforms that can help you out with your needs.
Some of the sites you can check out are Realty Mogul and PeerStreet. These sites are useful, but please keep in mind that some of them will require you to be an accredited investor before you can utilize their services.
3. Become an Airbnb Host
Another great way to earn a steady monthly income is by putting up a free room in your house/apartment for rent via Airbnb. If you don't know Airbnb, it's one of the world's leading platforms for those who are looking for short-term rentals
All you have to do is make your room look presentable and register on the platform to become an Airbnb host. And if you want to earn more, you can also put your entire house for rent.
While this can be a bit more active in nature, if you build a system around it - i.e. have a regular cleaning crew, become a superhost, and have people booking based on reviews - this can become a decent passive income proposition.
4. Purchase REIT Stocks
Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a type of company that manages and sometimes operates commercial real estate. To earn passive income from this, you need to buy stocks so that when they make their profit, you will get your own share in the form of routine dividends.
5. Turn Your Backyard into A Camping Site
Do you live near a well-known tourist spot and have a garden or a backyard with an immaculate view of it? Then turn that into your primary source of passive income. Believe it or not, you can rent your backyard or garden to strangers who will bring their own tents and pay you on a per-night basis.
You can check out Campscape and other similar platforms if you find this interesting.
6. Start Your Own Blog
Starting your own blog is an excellent way to generate extra cash if you have a knack for writing and marketing. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will be able to make money easily. In fact, to make your blog profitable, you need to have high-quality content, a knowledge for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and social media marketing skills.
Once your blog can establish a solid following, you can monetize it by advertising or producing sponsored content. There is also the potential to write books, build-out courses, and develop products. It's a lot of work, but it does become passive once you have a product that you can sell.
7. Create and Publish an E-Book
Writing and publishing your own e-book can also give you a steady flow of passive income. Although similar to starting a blog, you need to put in a lot of work before you can make some money out of it. This includes finding the right topic to cover and the perfect audience to share your content with.
8. Write a Paperback Book
Believe it or not, paperback books are still a thing. So if you're a writer with some terrific stories to tell, this could be the perfect way for you to generate an impressive amount of passive income. As an author, you will earn by receiving royalties (which is essentially a percentage of the book's amount) whenever a copy is sold.
Once you're done writing your book, you can publish it on Amazon and other similar platforms. Keep in mind that you still need to market your work online and offline to make it more successful.
Note: people still love paperback books! I noticed that with my latest book, Simple Investing, I sell more copies of the paperback than I do the ebook. It is very interesting!
9. Make an Audiobook
This one would be perfect if you gave any of the previous two entries a try. Audiobooks are in-demand these days. So, if you already wrote a book, turn that into an audiobook and unlock another source of passive income.
Audible is hailed as one of the biggest platforms for audiobooks. One of the best things about it is that it lets even amateur authors upload their finish audiobook and earn too. How awesome is that?
10. Create Online Courses
Producing an online course about a topic that you're very knowledgeable about is another excellent way to establish a steady flow of money. However, similar to when writing books, there will be a lot of work needed to be done before it becomes profitable.
Once you're done making the online course, you can upload it on Udemy, Teachable, and other relevant platforms that can pay you whenever someone signs up for it. In addition to that, you can also advertise the online course on your own website to increase the traffic and take your content to the next level.
11. Invest in Dividend Stocks
This is one of my all-time favorite sources of passive income. This is because not only do I get steady income through dividend payments, but I also own some of the best companies the world over.
You can read more about the dividend investing strategy and view my dividend portfolio, which is live tracked against the markets. Sure there have been ups and down, but overall I have really enjoyed the journey towards becoming Financially Free through dividend investing!
12. Try Peer-to-Peer Lending (P2P)
Another investment-style idea that you can try is P2P lending. Peer-to-Peer Lending is when you allow other people to borrow your money, and then they pay it back with a high-interest rate. Prosper, Lending Club, Funding Circle, and Worthy are some really cool websites that you can sign up on to find the most reliable borrowers.
These websites can look for trustworthy loan applicants that will suit you perfectly. All you have to do is choose the person you are going to help, and your chosen platform will handle the rest of the transaction.
P2P investing can be great, but it doesn't come without risks! Make sure that you know and understand the challenges inherent to investing in any product before you decide to do so.
13. Set Up A High-Yield Savings Account
Putting your money in a high-yield savings account is another effective and low-risk way of earning passive income. In case you don't know, online banks with high-yield accounts offer higher annual percentage yield (APY) than regular savings accounts.
I currently put all my excess funds into a CaptialOne MMA account, which currently earns me around 1%+ in interest income. It's been a nice place to have my cash that I want to keep on hand but not lose any value.
Depositing your money in a bank will not make you rich beyond comprehension. However, it will still provide you a steady flow of income with almost zero work.
14. Build CD Ladders
Another low-risk method of earning passive income is by building CD ladders. CD laddering happens when you own several certificates of deposit with different maturity dates set in the same year. Your 'income' will then occur by taking the profits off each CD as they become available.
Although investing in certificates of deposit is one of the safest ways to earn passively, the yield is not that high. In fact, the bank with the highest 1-year CD interest rate now is Ally Bank with just 1.35% APY. It will not make you rich per se, but it will guarantee a steady flow of residual income.
15. Be the Referral Person in Your Field
This one is similar to building a lead generation website in terms of creating a database of information – related to specific niches – that one can profit from. But that’s where their similarities end.
Becoming the referral source in your field of expertise takes a lot of upfront work before you can make it a source of passive income. From choosing the niche you’ll be in to building your reputation and then looking for the right businesses or companies to work with, everything has to be perfect.
The whole process starts with finding startup or established businesses in the field that you’re in and convincing them that you can help them grow by posting their products/services in all of your platforms. Then, you will get paid a commission whenever you bring a customer to them.
The amount of money you’re going to earn per referral can vary depending on what has been agreed upon or the nature of the business that they have.
16. Become a Silent Partner
Do you have a friend or a relative with a keen business idea but couldn't put it in motion due to financial issues? Then help them by investing your money and becoming their silent partner. In case you're wondering what a 'silent partner' is, it's essentially a person who funds the business but is not included in any of its daily operations.
As a silent partner, you have the potential to earn big. However, that can only happen if the business actually takes off.
17. Pay Your Debt
While paying your credit card debt may not give you an income, it can help you save more money once everything has been settled. One good strategy to get rid of your debt quickly is to lower its interest rate. And you can do that by checking out sites like Credible.
Credible is a platform that offers loans with interest rates as low as 5.93% APR plus autopay to refinance your credit card debt. And if you have multiple debts, you can start by paying off the highest interest first as the smaller ones are easier to handle.
18. Rent Out Your Storage Space
Not yet ready to rent out a room or your entire home to strangers? Then why not house their stuff instead? That's right. Your extra office room, garage, basement, outdoor, and even old cabinets can become passive income-making machines by turning them into storage units for other people's things.
One of the leading websites for this is Neighbors. This platform offers excellent services for both the host and renter. In fact, the host can get up to $1,000,000 for personal liability insurance. On the other hand, the renter can claim up to $25,000 in case their stuff gets damaged.
19. Rent Out Your Car
Aside from your house, room, and extra storage space, you can also put your car up for rent to earn passive income. If you want to give this a try, you can check out Turo to learn more about it.
Turo is one of the world's leading platforms for online car rentals. What's excellent about Turo is that it helps make the entire process easier for you. All you have to do is list your car, set your prices, payment method, and the site will handle the rest, even your insurance. How great is that?
20. Rent Out Your Parking Space
Don't have a car but got enough space for one or more to park on? Then make that your new source of passive income by putting it up for rent. One great platform you can visit for this is Stow It.
Stow It is a fantastic site that helps connect parking space owners with people looking for places where they can store their unused/old vehicles. Though, please remember that the money you will earn from this will likely depend on the location of your parking space, the kind of car that will be stored in it, and how long it will be there.
21. Rent Out Your Equipment
Another excellent way to earn passive income is to put the expensive items that you seldomly use for rent. Aside from the maintenance of the equipment itself, the only work you need to do is create a listing on popular platforms such as Craigslist and wait for interested folks to contact you.
Some of the valuable stuff that you can put up for rent includes;
- Audio/Video Equipment
- Party Tents
- Tables and Chairs
- Farming Tools and etc.
Just make sure that a proper agreement is set before you allow your stuff to be taken away. Insist on getting paid in advance as well and ask for a valid ID to prove their address.
22. Try Network Marketing
With a steady rise in popularity over the last couple of years, network marketing is definitely one of the things you should consider to earn extra bucks. Network Marketing is all about forming a group of people – commonly called a "down line" – to sell your products for you.
There will be a lot of work required at the beginning, especially with recruiting people and making sure that your resources are enough. But once everything has been established and you have a large group, then you can start earning a considerable amount of money from the commissions of their sales.
Some of the companies that have already been doing this include Avon, Advocare, Pampered Chef, Young Living Oils, and more.
23. Do Email Marketing
Although it's been around for a long time, email marketing remains one of the most used advertising methods by both large and small businesses. So, if you have a knack for enticing people to buy something through your words, then this would definitely be perfect for you.
The 'passive' part of email marketing can happen once you send out affiliate links and go back to it from time to time. The 'income' will then flow from the commission you are going to get for selling an item. You will also get a salary if you've been hired by someone to do it.
For your email marketing strategy to be optimized, you need to have a well-established email base and excellent software to automate the sending process. Luckily, you can achieve those two by doing lead generation work and downloading programs like MailChimp.
24. Get into Affiliate Marketing
This one will work best if you already have a blog or website with high traffic. Affiliate marketing is putting links of other people's products/services in your blog and then getting commission whenever a sale has been made through your link.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn a steady flow of income. However, you still need to put in work, especially with maintaining the number of your site's visitors and the relevancy of your content to the brands you are affiliated with. Also, affiliate programs tend to pay between 30 and 60 days, but that may vary depending on the company.
25. Start a Lead Generation Website
Producing a lead generation website is another awesome way to earn passive income. Unlike with affiliate marketing where you need to include other people's products in your posts, a lead generation website is all about letting people come to you.
When building a lead generation website, it would be best to focus on certain keywords/niche to build a solid foundation and attract the best leads possible. The content you post needs to be on-point to encourage your readers to ask for help. And once they do, you can refer to them to the professionals near their location.
In addition to that, you need to have a solid understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to make your website rank as high as possible. It would be good to work on your list of professionals to make sure that they all have clean records and are willing to get to work instantly.
There are two ways that you can earn money from having a lead generation website. First is when a business/professional pays you for connecting them with a client. And second, is by putting advertisements on your site – another reason why familiarity with SEO is fundamental.
26. Make A Niche-Specific Review Website
Do you have a passion for writing and analyzing things? Then creating a review website might just be the perfect residual income strategy for you. Review sites are some of the most visited web places as people always turn to them before buying anything. And thanks to their almost always high traffic, a lot of well-established review websites can rake in huge amounts of money through their sponsorships and affiliate links alone.
Starting your own review site is also fairly easy as you can choose which niche to focus on. You can do books, movies, cooking equipment, garden tools, and other topics that are close to your heart. Just be prepared for all the work that needs to be done to give your site great content and excellent SEO ranking.
27. Produce a Content Curation Website
Thanks to the internet, finding public domain information has never been this easy. However, not all available data can be understood right away – this is where you come in. Curating a database of public domain information and putting it on an easy-to-access website is another good way to generate a steady flow of passive income.
You can build a list of local stores, dental clinics, accounting firms, museums, and other essential establishments in a certain area. If you want, you can also do research about different health conditions, laws, school regulations, and so much more. Once you can build the database and attract considerable traffic, you can monetize your website and earn money.
28. Design Website Themes (And then Sell Them)
If you are a web designer, then this one is perfect for you. Platforms like Template Monster and Envato Market are some of the best sites you can visit if you want to sell your website themes. All you have to do is sign up, upload your stuff on the marketplace, and wait to get paid whenever someone purchases your design.
29. Create an App
Apps have the potential to become huge money-makers. That’s why if you have a great app idea that you think would be a hit, then don’t hesitate and hire a programmer to help you make it happen. Once the app is ready, you can upload it to different app stores and earn a profit after each sale.
30. Buy a Website (And Then Sell It Afterwards)
Purchasing a website that already has a tremendous amount of traffic is incredible, not only because it can improve your presence on the internet but also to serve as a foundation for a business that you are going to start and then sell later on. Apart from that, you can also improve the site's traffic even more and resell it for a much higher price.
31. Purchase and Resell Domain Names
Domain names play a huge role, especially in establishing brands for companies. This is why they must find only the best name that can showcase their business identity and reach a specific audience.
Now, do you have a knack for finding – and making – creative domain names? If so, then this might just be perfect for you. Look for unused catchy domain names that you can either buy or set up and then sell them to the companies in need. If you need more tips on how you can do it properly, then check this out.
32. Create a Website for Coupons/Deals
A recent study showed that a massive number of consumers in the U.S. use coupons whenever they shop. Well, how couldn't they? Coupons basically mean discounts. Take advantage of their popularity by setting up a website and filling it with the latest coupons and deals that you can find.
Your website for coupons can be a great source of residual income once you monetize it by doing affiliate marketing.
33. Use Google Adsense
Integrating Google Adsense into your blog or website is another easy yet effective way to earn some residual income. However, the amount of income you are going to be getting will depend on how much traffic your site can attract.
34. Start a Digital Publishing Platform
Believe it or not, producing a digital publishing website can also help you rake in a solid amount of passive income. But, before that can happen, there's a lot of work that needs to be done. And it all starts with you setting up the website and taking care of its marketing.
The good thing about it is that you can decide what the platform is all about. It can be about photography, writing, food blogs, and basically anything else. You can make money out of this by taking a portion of the profit that your members made from the products/services they posted on the site. Apart from that, you can also monetize your website through affiliate marketing.
35. License A Product idea
Got a really cool product idea but not enough skills and money to make it happen? Then why not market it to a company and take your cut as royalty to ensure a steady flow of residual income?
Product licensing is another excellent source of passive income, especially if you have a knack for coming up with brilliant ideas. However, it is the kind of gig that will require an extensive amount of upfront work before it becomes something profitable.
First, you need to think of a brilliant product idea – take note that good isn’t enough, it has to be nothing short of exceptional. Next, turn it into a mock-up. Once you have a stable version of your idea, then it’s time to apply for a patent as an added protection. When you’re done doing that, look for a company that you think can help you launch the product properly. To make it passive, instead of getting a one-time payment, ask them to pay you through royalties instead. That way, you’ll still get paid even if you’re not a part of the production process anymore.
The amount of money you can expect to get will depend upon the agreement. But usually, a royalty will start at around 5% of the entire gross wholesale sales.
36. Hire Someone to Manage Your Business
Hiring someone who is 100% capable of running your business may be questionable at first. Still, it's something that you should consider. Why? Having someone that can take care of your business will give you the time to focus on other things. You can either revisit an old hobby, spend more time with the family, or think of ways to earn money.
Several sites can help you find the best person for the job. This includes PeoplePerHour, Guru, Upwork, and other online job platforms. And since your business will be managed by another person, the earnings can be considered as passive.
37. Start a Youtube Channel
Youtube has evolved from a regular video streaming site into a platform where people from all walks of life can share their content and earn a good sum of money. Starting a Youtube channel is relatively easy as you get to decide the topics you are going to cover and your brand as a creator.
However, taking your viewership and subscriber count up to the level where you can monetize your videos requires a massive amount of work. That's why you need to be prepared to make dozens or even more than a hundred videos to boost your channel's presence. But once it does take off and you can finally put ads on your videos, then each one of them can give you passive income for a significant period.
Aside from acquiring ad revenue, there are still other ways you can earn extra cash from doing Youtube videos. This includes endorsements, affiliate marketing (product links that you can include in the description box), sponsorships, and merchandise.
38. Make Stock Music & Sounds Effects (And then License Them)
39. Get into Stock Photography
Do you love photography? Then why not make some money out of it by selling your photos online? In case you didn't know, there are lots of platforms like iSTock, StockPhoto, and ShutterStock that you can sign up on to put your photos on sale. You will then get a portion of the sales whenever someone downloads your picture.
While stock photography may not make your rich, it's a sure-fire way of earning some passive income. You can also sell photos to local stores and large businesses in your area that would like to use them for marketing purposes.
40. Create Stock Videos
Like the previous two entries, you can also make money out of creating stock videos such as brand reveal, CCTV-style footage, or even just random clips.
When you're done editing your videos, you can upload them on sites like Videohive or iStock and get paid whenever someone downloads your work.
41. Enjoy Cashback Rewards
Cashback programs can give you some extra cash while you're doing something that you regularly do – shopping. Enjoying cashback rewards is actually reasonably easy, just sign up for a program and start getting rebates.
TopCashback is one of the best sites to go to if you want to experience the wonders of cashback. Aside from offering free membership, TopCashback will also give you 100% of your rebate, which is pretty cool as not all similar websites do the same. Plus, they also have a collection of coupons and promo deals that you can avail to save more money.
42. Design Logos, Icons, Fonts, and Etc.
Selling logos, icons, wallpapers, and other visuals you've designed is another smart way to earn some extra cash. The money you will gain from this can be considered as passive income because y paid whenever someone uses your work. Some web places you can check out for this are 99Designs, Zazzle, and DepositPhotos.
43. Put Advertisements on Your Car
Believe it or not, putting ads on your car doors and windows so that everyone can see them as you drive around is an actual thing – and you can get paid for it!
Wrapify and Carvertise are two of the leading platforms in the vehicle advertisement industry. They can connect car owners like you to companies who are more than willing to pay for their ads to be posted on people's cars.
The best thing about this is that you can earn up to a few hundred dollars per month while doing something that you have always done daily. It can also serve as an excellent side-hustle if driving for people is not really your thing.
44. Install an ATM
Putting up an ATM right in front of your store or in the lobby of a well-established company is another awesome way to earn passive income. As a vendor of the ATM, you have the chance to earn a good amount of money, depending on the number of people who are going to use your equipment. However, as the owner, you also need to take care of other things such as maintenance and inventory of supplies.
45. Sell Digital Artworks on Etsy
Etsy has been the go-to website for all artsy handmade crafts. But did you know they sell digital artworks too?
There are wall arts, logos, maps, and other beautifully-designed digital prints that can be downloaded instantly. If you are into graphic design, this might be something you would want to look into. It is also considered passive because the digital files you'll post can be bought repeatedly.
46. Download Apps That Pays You to Use Your Phone
Nope, your eyes didn't fool you, there are actual apps that pay you to use your phone. The only catch? These programs will collect data from your phone usage behavior and sell it to companies. If that's something you're comfortable with, then you might find this the easiest way to earn residual income.
47. Start Your Own Podcast
Got some really cool topics that you want to discuss but not talented enough in the writing department? Then why not just talk about it? Like, literally!
Podcasts have been getting more and more popular these days. And just like Youtube, anyone can make money out of it as long as they know what to do. Speaking of money, you can make your podcasts more profitable by doing affiliate marketing, sponsorships, selling your own products, and so much more.
48. Use Honeygain
You can put everything up for rent these days – including your internet connection. Honeygain is an exceptional app that can help you earn money by sharing your unused internet data. All you have to do is download their app on your device, connect to the internet using their platform, and search the web as you usually would.
You might be asking how do they make money out of this? The data they tracked from users like you will be relayed to business data scientists that will then utilize them for market research, web intelligence, and more.
Now before you get excited and sign up, please know that will work best if you have an unlimited daily plan. You can earn from $3 to $300 per month, depending on how much internet data you have shared.
49. Scan Your Grocery Receipts
Yes, that’s right. You can also make extra cash out of grocery shopping, which you do on an almost daily basis anyway. Believe it or not, there are dozens of apps that you can use to scan your grocery receipts and barcodes to earn a couple of bucks and other awesome rewards.
50. Rent Out Your Boat
As you may have noticed by now, there are tons of ways to earn passive income. From investments and writing books to web creation and rental businesses, all of these ideas can help you have that financial freedom you've always dreamed of.
Hopefully, this article inspired you enough to give any of the things listed above a try. Or you can also look for other ideas that you think would suit you better. Who knows? You might just be able to find something that can help you earn more money while working less.