There are two ways to earn passive income:
- You invest money and it works for you (for instance investing in the stock market, real estate…)
- You invest time and create a side hustle. This will require some initial effort to create something that will over time earn you money.
In this article, we will focus on the second part where nearly no money needs to be invested. If you are interested in investing money to create passive income, please make sure to check our article: Passive Income Investing Money
Write an ebook
If you have an expertise in a particular field then consider writing an ebook about it. Multiple platform are available to publish it, the most popular are the kindle platform from Amazon and IBooks from Apple.
In exchange for a percentage of the profit, those platforms offers all the publication tools and a large audience.
The thing to be careful with is the pricing of the ebook. I read that a great strategy is to start very low or even free so the ebook will become popular. Once the ebook is in the popular section of the platform, this where the price can be increased.
Airbnb your home
If you are willing to have guests at home, Airbnb can be a great way to generate some passive income.
In the basement of our house, we have a bedroom and and bathroom that we were not using. We quickly put some decoration, repurposed a desk into a table, put our old kettle and in a matter of a couple of days, we had it ready. The next day, we created our host account and put the room for rent. by the end of that day we had 2 guest booking the room.
There is still the cleanup required to do but as you get used to it, the turnaround process becomes very short. It is about 30 min for our bedroom and bathroom. And if it scales up, you could easily hire this task out.
Start a blog
Starting a blog is a very popular way to start generating income. You need to find a niche a start writing articles regularly about it. There is almost no cost associated as you can use wordpress as a free blogging tool and it has thousands of free themes and plugins. The only cost will be hosting which is a very small fee per year.
If you are interested in knowing more about starting blog, make sure to check out our article about how to start a blog. If you are already convinced, jump straight into our step by step guide to create one.
Grow a Social Media account
The whole purpose of growing a social media account is to create an audience. Once you have the attention of a significant amount of people, then you can start monetizing it.
Monetizing a social media account can be done in multiple ways:
- Direct sale: selling your product directly to your audience
- Product features: a company will give you for free their products in exchange of reviewing it and presenting it to your audience
- Paid sponsorship: a company will pay you to endorse their products
- Affiliate marketing: a company will pay you a percentage of any sales generated by your traffic
Start a Youtube Channel
Very similar to the growing a social media account, building a Youtube channel will create an audience that once it reaches a certain threshold, it will be monetized through ads.
To enable monetization of your channel, you need at least:
- 4,000 hours of watch time within the last year
- 1,000 subscribers
This new policy is in effect since 2018 and is prioritizing watch time over view count.
Note: The application can take up for monetization can take up to 30 days to be reviewed and approved.
The other ways mentioned for social media are also applicable to a Youtube channel.
Create an app
If you are a skilled programmer creating a phone app can be a great way to generate passive income. You will need to put the upfront work to create it and once it is published, you can reap the ruit of your labour. Of course, the app is not only a one time effort as, it will require some maintenance, bug fixes and updates.
Once you receive income from the selling the app, you could still turn it into passive income by outsourcing the ongoing maintenance work.
Drive for Uber/Lyft
Uber and Lyft falls under the ride sharing section and while driving for them doesn’t really fall under the passive income section, it is still a good way to make some extra income with no money down.
Flexibility of making your own schedule and driving as much or as little as you want is a bonus.
In a way, it can also be passive if you find pickup customers that needs to go a similar direction you are heading to (works probably for big events such as concerts, football games…)
Create an Online Course
If you are very knowledgeable in a particular field, why not create an online course for it. Some platforms not only allow you to sell the online course but they have tools that will help you build it. It can be a few hours of video teaching about how specific tools such Photoshop or Illustrator works but also programming skill.
Sell Stock Photos
If you have a passion for photography and you would like to combine this passion with passive income? Photography websites such as Shutterstock provide you with platforms to sell your photos. They simply offer a percentage of each photo that is sold on the platform.
Simply create an account and start creating your portfolio on the platform. Nowadays, smartphones have a camera that is close to professional quality so you can easily take pictures from your day to day life and turn them into potential residual passive income.
In the same vein as selling stock photos, if you have some graphic design skills and creativity, upload your designs to Spreadshirt, sit back and wait for buyers to purchase Tshirts, hats or any other merchandise with your designs. Spreadshirt takes care of printing and shipping the products to the customer. Once the order is complete, you get a percentage of the sale.
Cashback Credit Cards
This one is very easy to put in place and doesn’t require much effort nor changing your habits. SImply go to your bank and apply for a cashback credit card.
There is no real effort to do this one but the counterpart is that the return every year is in the 1% range of your spending.
Paid Surveys like Swagbucks
Some website will pay you to do surveys online. This one is not as passive as the others but it is worth to mention.
If you already have a car and drive around quite a lot, this could be an easy solution to earn some passive income. This would be passive in the sense that you wouldn’t change your habits.
Your car will get wrapped for a particular campaign and you will be paid monthly. The amount will depend on how much wrapped your car will be (only rear window, full wrapped…) and the population density in your area.
Be aware though that they will check your driving pattern and make sure you are driving enough per day. Some companies also requires that your vehicle is less than 5 years old.
Last but not least, be careful when choosing a car advertising company as I have read that a lot of scam have been reported.