Are you tired of working for a boss, or have you always want to have your own business? If so, then 10 ways to make a passive income online is the article you want to read. In this article I'll not just show you ways to build your own business, I'll also show you how to create a passive income that you can manage from anywhere in the world.
Before you read any further, I want you to be rest assured I won't waste your time by trying to sell stuff that show so called "easy and fast ways" to make money online. If you're lucky or have a really good idea, then yes it can go very fast. However most of the time these kind of businesses (just like any business) take hard work and determination to succeed. A lot of the things I'm going to show you can look very easy when someone else does it. In reality it probably took years for them to get at the point where they are now too. I'm talking about people that are at the point where they indeed make huge amounts of money.
Many of the ways I'm going to show you are risk free, doable without a degree and most importantly, fun! It's important that you do something you think is fun and really interests you. This way it will all be a lot easier. If you just do it for the money, then the chance of failure is bigger and the chance of you getting up again smaller.
But wait, what is a passive income?
This section is for those of you who don't know what a passive income is yet. If you already know this, then you can of course move on. I'll summarize it for you as good as possible. A passive income is making money out of content, products or capital that you invested money or time in weeks, months or even years ago. It is a cashflow on a regular basis and eventually requires little to no time to maintain.
10 ways to make a passive income online
Blogging is a great way to make money online and writing is a lot of fun! Ways to make a passive income with blogging is with AdWords (or a similar ads platform) and affiliate marketing. Let's look at an example from this very website. You can see ads in the sidebar and links to products in their posts. Most of them come from affiliates who pay this blog every time someone clicks on the affiliate link and buys one of their products. When you advertise with affiliates you want to make sure you advertise a good product that is related to your audience and actually benefits them (like this site does). If it's a product that doesn't work or isn't relevant for your audience, you'll take down your own credibility.
AdWords on the other hand is a little easier, it looks at the content on your site and bases their ads on that, so it's always relevant. If you want to you can block certain websites from the AdWords ads on your site in your AdWords dashboard. AdWords pays you per mil views or per click.
Blogging is probably one of the easiest ways to start out. Building a website nowadays is easy and costs next to nothing thanks to opensource platforms like WordPress. You probably have a hobby or interest. Think of things you could write about that. What I did is write down some keywords on a piece of paper on what I could write about on the blog for my business. As I did this, more and more ideas came to me. Writing my first few posts was even more fun than I thought at first.
If you're thinking about starting a blog, but don't know how to build a website, I suggest you take a look at YouTube videos about how to use WordPress from WordPress.org. I personally don't recommend WordPress.com, because it's just a little less flexible. Of course you can take a look at both and decide for yourself.
You probably already know that people make money on YouTube with ads in their videos, but there are other ways too. On YouTube you can also apply affiliate marketing by putting links in the description box. Of course you have to point to these relevant links in your video. I do not advise you to do it with every video, the goal is to get an audience that watches your videos on a regular basis. This way you get the maximum out of your channel.
When you start a YouTube channel, you first, just like with a blog, have to make sure that you're able to create valuable and unique content. You can't win if you're doing what everyone else does. Create somethings unique, it doesn't have to be a whole new niche or something. But for example if you want to start a gaming channel or movie review channel, look at what your competitors do, learn from it and from that you can determine if you can add value to this niche.
Once you know what you want to do and how you're going to do it, you'll have to upload videos consistently. For example, every week. Of course sometimes you won't be able to upload a video due circumstances, then I suggest you let your viewers know that you aren't able to upload a video that week, but a video is coming one week later.
So how to create a passive income out of this?
When you upload videos consistently and built up an audience, you'll be able to make a decent amount of money within months. Not only will your new videos be watched by your subscribers, your old videos will be watched by many other people that came to your video via another video, or are new to your channel and want to watch your previous videos. You absolutely don't have to do anything about your videos that are already out there, but you'll still make money out of them.
For those of you who know a lot about anything can write an eBook. You can easily sell eBooks on sites like Amazon and make a nice amount of money. When you're eBook is out, you can ask people to promote it on their website as an Amazon affiliate, so they will make money out of it as well. You could also start your own site where you offer your eBook(s). Of course the hardest part here is actually write an eBooks with valuable content. I suggest, just like with finding things to blog about, to write down a few keywords. Of course you have to know your stuff before writing down these keywords, but you don't need a degree at an Ivy League university for this, trust me.
If you aren't an expert in some area, then find something you're interested in and do a lot of research on and offline by interviewing someone or going to an actual library. Now you can write your eBook and have a lot of information about something you're interested in. So even if your eBook isn't a success right away, you still one because you gained knowledge that you're may be able to use in another venture or another eBook, or blog.
4. Audio Books
If your eBook is a success, create an audio book for it. The principle of this is the same as an eBook. However, if you want to make a high quality audio book, you'll need the right equipment and this can be quite expensive. You'll also have to know your stuff about audio software and computers. That's why I suggest this after your eBook is a success. You'll either have to get good equipment, or hire a third party to record your audio book.
The benefit of an audio book is that people can actually close their eyes and listen to it. I personally like audio books for this reason, because it really takes me into imagination land.
5. Social Media Accounts
You'll probably be amazed about how much money you can make with social media accounts. Instagram accounts for example are sold for thousands of dollars nowadays. Of course this depends on how much followers, likes and interaction you have.
If you take a look on FameSwap for example, you'll see Instagram accounts being sold for a few bucks up to tens of thousands of dollars. But not only selling social media accounts can make you money, you can also display ads on them, or promote other accounts. Instagram is a very popular platform for this.
This may not be a perfect example of something you can turn into a passive income fast, but as your cashflow starts to grow, you can outsource most of the tasks needed to maintain your social media accounts.
6. Affiliate Marketing
A lot of people combine this with a blog or YouTube channel, but you can also just put affiliate products on your website. Amazon for example has many affiliate opportunities. Place products with your Amazon affiliate link on your site. You'll get paid whenever someone clicks on the link and buys a product on Amazon.
Make sure you find your own niche here and give a good description for the products. If you're just putting some random products on your site it looks kind of weird. Instead, look for products you'd use or know a lot about.
7. Drop Shipping
Reselling is similar to affiliate marketing, but here people don't get sent to another site. With a reselling you place products on your website, the customer buys the product and you'll get the order. Then you can buy the product from your supplier, most of the time with a discount and the supplier sends it straight to your customer. This system can easily be automated with, this way you have to do absolutely nothing. Make sure you get an XML file with all of your suppliers products so your stock levels are always the same.
I've tried this myself, but I prefer affiliate marketing. Reason why is that with reselling you'll have to deal with angry customers when your supplier messed up. Still I thought I should let you know, it will work if you have a good supplier. You can also have more than one supplier. Often suppliers are your competitors too, so if you offer more products it will make your shop more unique.
Normally suppliers don't ask for a fee upfront to start reselling for them. If you see a supplier that does, move on to the next one.
8. Create Your Own Product
Although this is a little more risky, it will often make more money than the options above. You don't have to share revenue and the product is delivered straight from you to your customer. You'll have everything in your hands.
The hard part here is creating the product and raising money. Kickstarter is a great place to start for these kind of ventures. Create a concept, a great promotional video and people can invest in your idea. Not only can you raise money this way, it will also give you information about how much demand there will be for your product.
But how do you make this passive?
You can sell your product via Amazon with their fullfillment plan. You send your products to Amazon and they take care of everything. Of course you could also create a virtual product, this is what I did myself. I created a free WordPress plugin with which you can make an app for your WordPress website. I'm offering plans for creating and publishing the apps. But you'll need to know how to code to do something like this. That's why I made a special section for programmers right below.
9. Sell (WordPress) Themes and Plugins
Selling themes on markets like Themeforest can be very lucrative. If you're creative and can make beautiful and unique themes you can make a nice amount of money out of this. Look at what other theme sellers are doing and look at high selling themes. Do what they do, but give it your own unique twist.
Now you won't make a lot when you have just one theme out there, so if your first theme doesn't sell a hundred times right away, create some more. When you got 10 or more themes on the market which all sell a few times a month you'll be able to make some money here. Although you have to create a really unique item if you want to make tons of money, because there are already a lot of people doing this.
10. Make a Game or App
Remember Flappy Bird? This game made a reported $50k per day with ads. At one point there were 50 million Flappy Bird players on iOS and Android combined. If you got the skills to make an app or a game than give it a shot and make one. You can make a game based on a serie or a kids show. Make sure that when you do this, you don't name the game after the show, because this can get you sewed. There are many game making platforms to create cross-platform games like Corona SDK. If you want to make a useful app with HTML, CSS and JS you might want to consider PhoneGap.
But what if I have to give my customers support?
You might be thinking, what if I still have to give customers or visitors support? The income won't be passive then right? Fortunately there's a solution to this. As your business grows and generates a good amount of money every month, you can hire a virtual assistent who takes the support over from you. A virtual assistant is simply a person, often in low salary countries like India, who can help you with anything where he or she doesn't have to be there in a physical way.
How do I know all this?
The information in this article is from personal experience and a book I read called 'The 4-Hour Work Week'. If you're interested in making a passive income online, I suggest you read this book. It's based on experiences from the writer Tim Ferris and experiences of people he knows. I used the instructions in this book for my own venture as well and it really helps. Just like this article it doesn't promise you an easy way that works for everyone, you still have to work for it yourself. I hope this article informed you and gave you new insights on how to create a passive income that you haven't thought about before. Good luck with your ventures!
Joshua Clinton in an online entrepreneur, WordPress developer and founder of: Hostsonny
Latest posts by Joshua Clinton (see all)
- 10 Ways To Make a Passive Income Online - April 15, 2017
Great post thanks for this. I’m currently working towards generating an income from affiliate marketing but it was really good to open the door to the many other ways to make a passive income online. Can you tell me any top tips for researching the best relevant products and services for my online niche? Thanks and all the best
Thanks for reading. When searching for affiliate products for your niche, just go to google and type in – “product name + affiliates” and some cool results will come up. After that it’s really up to you to determine if the offers are good or not.
thanks for the options. I have a question. By reselling you mean drop shipping or something else?
I understood you tried but moved on because of angry customers. May I ask what was your niche?
I am curious because I am thinking to give it a try and want to know more about pros and cons.
Hi Andrey. Yes, the “Reseller” section is referring to drop shipping. The article is actually a guest post, so I myself can’t really answer your question as to why the author experienced angry customers when doing drop shipping or what his niche was. I’d say he wasn’t careful enough in selecting which suppliers to work with. I’ve recently looked into drop shipping a lot myself over the past few months, but the more I read about it, the less attractive it sounds.
Yes reselling can be a good option, however there are also downsides like low margins if you want to keep your prices competitive. Your customers will also keep you accountable if your suppliers mess something up. In my case, it was the smartphone accessory market, which already had low margins per item.
Before you start your reselling business, please do a lot of research to prevent headaches. I’d suggest you arrange some personal meetings with stores or online warehouses so you can discuss prices. If you put items up from a reseller who openly offers reselling on their site, there’s a high chance more people are doing it, which means more competition for you.