How To Make Passive Income Streams Online



Money DominosThe online world has over 3 billion regular internet users, and with a global population of nearly 8 billion people, that’s a lot of potential customers and people looking to spend money on something.

This article will be offering a brief snapshot of the various ways you can make money online, and for some great training that shows you how, check out the Wealthy Affiliate platform. It's free to get started..

Some of these ideas can generate a passive or residual income, some require ongoing work. All will require some initial work to get started. Nothing is truly for free, and that includes avoiding work of some kind. Everything takes at least a little bit of effort, if not a lot. But the possibilities on the internet are endless. That’s what makes the online world so great and so unique.

I don’t go into detail with these opportunities. They are just snippets of information to give you an idea of what you might like to try. This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything that is out there. This list is just a mere taste of some of the possibilities.


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Selling Services

If you have some expertise in some area that can be utilised online, you could sell your services. Perhaps you can edit, or do graphic design, or build websites. You might be an expert in putting together business plans. Just about anything you can think of can be sold for a fee as a service online.

There are plenty of places where you can advertise your service for free, such as Craigslist, forums, a blog. Advertise yourself on Fiverr, or a freelance site like Guru. You could even set up a simple one or two page website to promote yourself and find free hosting. Click here to learn how to do it.


Online Store

Do you have a product that you already sell in the real world? Or maybe you have thought of creating and producing a product line. Why not set up a web store and market your products to a global marketplace? Creating your own website these days is a lot simpler than it used to be, and there are free plug ins available that take care of most of the technical stuff.

Of course, there is always the option of hiring a web designer to create the site for you. You can’t do better than having a global market, so it’s sure worth considering.

Wealthy Affiliate also teach you how to set up a website from scratch, so it's worth checking out. It's way easier than you might think.


Financial Freedom on Red Road Sign. 



With eBay you could set up an online store as a variation of the above option. If you don’t want to go that far, then you could simply sell off unwanted items either at auction or with a Buy It Now option. Maybe you just produce one product and don’t really require a store.

eBay is one of the best platforms to sell singular items like this. Many people import cheap products from China and sell them for a small profit on eBay, making money on the volume of turnover. Setting up an account on eBay is simple, and so is the selling process.


Drop Shipping

This method is a simplified way of running a store online. Rather than manufacturing the goods yourself, or stockpiling the goods in a warehouse, essentially you set up an online store advertising the products for sale. When a customer orders that product, the order goes through to the manufacturer or wholesaler, who then ships the ordered product to the customer.

Generally you’ll have a percentage agreement with the wholesaler or manufacturer on what your profit split will be, and you’ll be paid that agreed amount every time your virtual shopfront generates a sale. You hardly have to do anything. Not a bad way to make some dollars.

Click here to learn how to create a simple website for your drop shipping business.


Paid Surveys

Not the most profitable option to make money online, but certainly an option nonetheless. There are many companies offering to pay you for your opinion. Only problem is they don’t pay you very much. Often you’ll find yourself working your way through tedious tasks for a few dollars an hour.

Some companies don’t even pay you cash. Instead, you redeem your accumulated points for gift vouchers. Paid surveys are a definite money maker, but you will only make pocket money.


Forex Trading

Forex TradingThis can be a stressful way to make a living, but there is good money to be made if you have a little bit of capital to begin with and know what you’re doing.

Trading foreign currencies for a profit is similar to gambling. You get it wrong, or the market turns in an unpredicted direction and you can lose money fast. But on the exciting flipside, you can also make very quick profits.

Not a method of making money that I’d recommend unless you’ve got nerves of steel and can keep your emotions out of the trades. If you make emotional decisions in this business you can lose big time!



This is a form of fundraising that can be instigated to raise funds for personal projects, or to raise capital to get a venture off the ground and up and running. Crowdfunding on sites such as Indiegogo has become extremely popular in recent times. Basically you create a fundraising profile and project and upload it to the site. It costs nothing initially, but the site owners do take a slice of any donations you receive.

You might be fundraising for a cause, either for yourself or someone else, or perhaps trying to get the cash together to manufacture a prototype of an invention, or get a business started. Some fundraisers do extremely well, raking in millions, while others don’t receive a single pledge of support.

Fundraising isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s not a case of simply uploading a fundraising project, sitting back and watching the money roll in. It takes a lot of initial work; not only in setting up the campaign, but promoting it before it’s even launched, coming up with incentives to offer donors for their generosity, garnering interest from friends, family, acquaintances and business people so that the project receives donations immediately when it’s launched and gains momentum.

If you don’t raise around 30% of your fundraising target within the first few days, your project generally stalls and raises nothing to very little. Like with many things on the internet, people tend to jump on something that seems popular.


Creating Apps

You don’t even necessarily have to code the app yourself. You can outsource. All you need is a good idea. The app business for smartphones and tablets is huge. Even apps that are given away for free can still generate revenue through paid advertising on the app itself, often with an upgrade option where the customer pays for the app and no longer has to see the advertising.

It is a very competitive marketplace, but creating apps isn’t all that difficult, and often the process doesn’t take very long to complete. Certainly a very current and topical option to consider.


Affiliate Marketing

One of the best long-term ways to make an income online (and often quite passively) if you know how to do it and set things up right. If you write a popular blog, run a website or have some form of online presence, then there are ways to monetise what you already do with affiliate marketing links.

Being an affiliate marketer is akin to being a sales rep on the internet. Rather than sell your own products, you sign up for affiliate offers through sites such as – ClickBank, Link Share, Commission Junction and Amazon Associates  – to name just a few, and promote the products you choose on your sites, either through banner advertising, or directs links within your relevant content.

That’s the key word right there for success in this business – Relevance. Whatever you are trying to promote, it has to be relevant to the content it is within, or the theme of your website or blog.

There are endless opportunities to make money with affiliate marketing, and I explain more in the last opportunity in this post.


Make Money Online Like I Do


Become A Writer and Sell Books

I’ve been doing this myself since 2008. Sales can certainly be very up and down, but you can make consistent income – sometimes really good income – if a book or books start to sell well.

BooksThere are two options; creating print books and publishing eBooks. The eBook option is better. You can set cheaper prices, it’s quicker to set up on the sales channels, and the books go live almost immediately. It costs nothing to be your own publisher these days, unless you want to pay for professional cover design and editing.

Many people don’t go this route, they just do it themselves. You can sell directly on Kindle, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Nobel, or you can have your books distributed to a multitude of online retailers through aggregator sites such as Smashwords and Draft2Digital.

Writing, publishing and selling books as an indie author can be quite lucrative if you produce quality and have an ounce of luck thrown into the mix.

You can check out my books here.


Become A Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is like being a personal assistant in the online world. You don’t actually work for someone in a physical office space of employment. Virtual assistants can perform just about any task, whether it be maintaining someone’s website, approving and replying to comments on blog posts, writing content, answering phone calls, sending emails, doing research.

Just about any internet (or even no internet) related tasks can be a potential job for a virtual assistant. Even a simple Google search can bring up a list of results of people requiring the services of a VA.


Stock Photography

Stock PhotographyIf you’re a photographer you can upload and sell your photos on stock photography sites such as Fotolia and Dreamstime. You often don’t get paid much, sometimes less than a dollar per download, but if you have enough good quality images there you can certainly set up yet another online income stream.

The setup process is tedious, uploading the photos, filling out title, description and populating a long list of keywords associated with each image, but it can be worth it as it truly becomes a passive income stream in time.

Why not set up your own website to promote your photography? Wealthy Affiliate will show you how.



Create helpful videos on any subject you know something about and upload them to YouTube. You can monetise your videos with advertising and create yet another form of income. All these little income streams can really start to add up. Maybe you know how to play guitar, or are an expert in using a particular piece of software.

It can be anything at all. No matter what your interest, your passion or your area of expertise, you can guarantee someone out there in this big old world is looking to learn something about what you already know how to do.


Wealthy Affiliate

As I mentioned above in the affiliate marketing section, there is a lot of money to be made in affiliate marketing if you know what you are doing. That’s the key: Knowing how to do it, and not wasting time and enthusiasm going in the wrong direction.

Wealthy Affiliate teaches you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing from start to finish. It costs nothing to sign up as a Starter Member and start doing the training.

They teach you with both written tutorials and video how to go about setting up a niche website on a subject you have a strong interest in, how to create quality content on that site so it gets ranked in the search engines, and most importantly, how to make money as an affiliate marketer from your niche website.

If you really want to learn how to make money online, then affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to do it. But you have to learn how to do it properly or you will just be shooting blind and not be very successful.

WA has a very active community of members who are always there to answer questions and offer help in any way you need it. This is so important when trying to get an online business off the ground. Having a support network gets you through the tough times and keeps you going until you achieve success.




To Sum Up

As I said at the very beginning, this is in no way a comprehensive list of all the ways you can make money online. In fact, this list has barely even scratched the surface. There are so many ways to generate money online, or receive money for online services. Truly the possibilities are endless!

Feel free to leave comments below. And if you have a great way to earn an online income that I haven’t mentioned here, please tell us about it.


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Darren Burton

Site Owner
I am an author, online entrepreneur and internet marketer. I work from home and anywhere else in the world I choose to work. I've been making a living online since 2010, and you can do it too. I'm here to help.

2 thoughts on “How To Make Passive Income Streams Online

  1. When I think about making money online I think mostly about affiliate marketing. That is usually comes up when searching how to make money online. Your article has been an eye opener with highlighting the many other ways to earn an income online. One that stands out is crowdfunding. Although I can see how people could make money doing that I also see a lot of scam potential with it.
    I think I will stick to some of the other methods that you mentioned. Thanks for a very informative article

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Maureen. You are right about the Crowdfunding – it is open to potential scams. The other unfortunate thing with Crowdfunding is people abusing the system, setting up funding for all manner of things they would like to buy. It was never intended for that, but more for either raising capital for a business venture or product idea, or for personal hardship. Anyway, there are plenty of potential options out there, though affiliate marketing is one of my favourites, along with writing and selling eBooks.

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