Even if you consider yourself to be a non-technical person or not good at computers, there are many ways to earn passive income online. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Make money while you sleep. That’s the goal with passive income. We’ve all heard of the success stories, but how EXACTLY can you make your dreams a reality from the comfort of your computer?
Let’s talk about eight tried and true ways of earning an online passive income.
#1. Affiliate Marketing
Let’s kick it off with the big one: affiliate marketing. In its most basic form, affiliate marketing is really just the act of promoting another business’s products and services.
You get a link that tracks how many people purchase their product from your recommendations, and you earn a commission.
There are a couple of ways to get into affiliate marketing. If you already have a large audience, you’re halfway there.
Otherwise, you’ll have to work on increasing your following. You can do this by blogging, increasing your social media presence, podcasts, ads, building an email list, and more.
The next step is to select the companies you want to promote. Most successful affiliate marketers work with one to ten companies.
When you’re choosing which companies you’re going to work with, think about your audience, their pain points, and what types of services they need.
From there, you can either sign up for individual affiliate programs or use a platform like ShareASale, AWID, or Amazon that lets you select from thousands of merchants.
How much can you earn from affiliate marketing? According to Supermetrics, 35% of affiliate marketers make $20K a year from their commissions, but there are marketers out there that close six figures through their efforts.
Do keep in mind that affiliate marketing isn’t entirely passive, as you will have to continue to grow your audience, but there are automation tools out there that can help on that end!
Have you ever wondered how bloggers make their money? There are quite a few ways for you to monetize your blog, whether it’s through ads, affiliate marketing, selling products, or even by turning your blog into a membership site.
If you’re going to get into blogging, the most important thing to consider is what niche you’ll write about.
The niches with the highest traffic include food, lifestyle, travel, and arts and crafts, but you should really blog about something you’re passionate about.
Choosing a niche that you can write about comfortably will give you credibility and authenticity, which is key to increasing your following.
What if you’re not a writer? You can still make money from blogs by using sites like Fiverr or TextBroker to find ghostwriters.
While you’ll incur some additional expense going this route, it does reduce your workload.
Most bloggers make between 30-40% of their income through ads, and the most profitable bloggers use one of the top two ad networks: Mediavine and AdThrive.
You do have to build a pretty sizeable number of sessions, what used to be called visits, to qualify for either of these networks.
Until then, the smaller networks will still allow you to earn a passive income.
Dropshipping is one of the most passive ways to make money. With this method, all you have to do is set up a website where you sell a third-party company’s products.
When a customer purchases a product from your website, you then buy it from the third party, and they handle all the shipping.
You would, however, have to take care of returns, but if you choose to work with the right company and products, you shouldn’t have to deal with that too often.
The best part of dropshipping is that you don’t have to hold on to any inventory.
If the process sounds complicated, it doesn’t have to be. There are apps like Oberlo that let you select the products you want to sell, link them directly to your Shopify store, and allow you to fulfill orders with just a few clicks.
This type of dropshipping is quick and convenient and works well if you’re just looking for a bit of side income.
Keep in mind that the products offered on these types of apps are typically lower-cost items that aren’t necessarily name brand.
If you’re looking to replace the income of your full-time job, another dropship method is to select name brand or higher ticket items.
While you may have a lower number of purchases, you’ll likely see higher revenue. This model may require some additional investment in terms of time.
Whichever road you choose to take, advertising, ideally on both social media and through Google Ads, is a vital piece of the puzzle.
#4. Ebooks and Audiobooks
If you love to write, ebooks can be a great way to earn a passive income. It takes some time upfront, but it’s one of the more passive ways of making income.
There’s no set length for ebooks.
You can write anything from a short, 2,000-word how-to book to a full-blown, 100,000-word historical novel. Most ebooks range in price from $2.99 to $19.99.
It’s a relatively straightforward process. You can take advantage of Amazon Kindle’s Direct Publishing tool to sell on their platform, or you can choose to sell the product on your website using a platform like Ecwid.
There are plenty of free resources for ebook writers.
One of my personal favorites is Reedsy, which has everything from free courses, publishing guides, and even a marketplace to find vendors for cover design, editing, marketing, and web designers.
If you’re not a writer, you can find ghostwriters on Reedsy too!
One key factor to keep in mind is how long your content will be relevant.
If you’re writing a book on digital marketing, for example, you may need to update your ebook several times a year, whereas if you’re writing a novel, you won’t need to update it at all.
You can make twice as much by turning your ebook into an audiobook.
Again, there’s a time commitment, but offering the audio version gives you double the opportunity to sell the same content.
Copywriting, which is essentially marketing through writing, is another opportunity for passive income. Copywriting comes in all shapes and sizes.
Some types of copywriting are passive, while other types are more of a side-hustle. Side hustle gigs include ghostwriting blogs, writing landing pages, and writing social media posts.
On the other hand, passive income copywriting would be more along the lines of creating a set of promotional emails or direct mailers where you could earn royalties.
You could also outsource the writing through some of the tools we’ve already discussed, which is pretty common.
What does it take to become a copywriter? You can find a lot of free resources and courses out there to help you learn how to sell through your writing.
From there, the hardest part is to find clients. You can start off on places like ProBlogger to build up some samples.
As you get more and more comfortable and start to make money, you can invest in a website and some advertising to attract clients.
#6. Stock Photos and Videos
If you’re a photographer or videographer, you can make a lucrative passive income by selling your media to stock image sites.
There are two major types of stock images: macrostock and microstock.
Macrostock sites like Getty Images license images to individual customers, and the photographer gets royalties.
Microstock sites are the ones you’re used to seeing on places like Shutterstock or iStock. In this case, the photographer doesn’t get any royalties.
Instead, they get paid per download and are typically able to cash out once a month.
In order to sell enough to make a full-time passive income, your images have to be exceptionally high quality, and you have to upload a lot of photos and videos.
Remember that you’re competing against a lot of other photographers, so making sure the description of your image uses keywords that will drive traffic is key.
It’s also important to take photos geared to the buyer’s needs and not your personal preferences.
For example, some of the trending stock images for 2021 include pictures of DIY projects, mental health awareness, nature, and modern aging.
As the trends change, you’ll want to upload more images so that you always see dollars heading into your account.
#7. Print on Demand
With a keen eye for design, a good idea of trends, and a laptop, you can easily earn an income with Print on Demand.
Print on demand lets you put your design on products, connect them to your eCommerce site, and a third party produces the item and ships it to your customer.
Companies like Printful, SPOD, and Printify make the entire process relatively easy.
Most of the larger print-on-demand services give you a wide range of products to print on, as well as multiple shipping options and several fulfillment speeds.
This gives you a lot of control over the quality and service your customers receive.
What’s great about the print-on-demand model is that it doesn’t take long to upload your design and start selling.
The start-up costs are minimal and, similar to dropshipping, you don’t have to hang on to any inventory.
Your earnings potential is really based on how much traffic you can drive to your eCommerce store and the variety of products and designs you offer.
#8: Digital Courses and Products
Digital courses and products are a great way to earn a passive income. One of the things I hear all the time is, “But I don’t know anything worth teaching!” and that is absolutely untrue.
You have your own unique abilities, and I can almost guarantee that there’s a lot of people out there who are trying to master a skill you’re great at.
You can build a course about nearly anything. Whether it’s cooking, writing, knitting, fitness, finance, planning, the list goes on and on.
The first step to creating a passive income through online courses is to find your topic. Once you’ve got your topic, then you can start thinking about the course itself.
Start by thinking of the pain points your audience experiences.
For example, if you’re working on a fitness course, what are some of the problems people have that you could solve through your online course?
Is it motivation, knowledge, or something else entirely?
Once you’ve got the solution, build your course based on the steps that they need to overcome that obstacle.
After you’ve recorded your content, there are a ton of options, like Teachable or Thinkific, to host your course. This works best if you already have a wide audience.
Of course, you could also host it and set up payments on your own website, but that gets really techie unless you have a web designer building your site for you.
If you don’t have a huge following just yet, you can use a platform like Udemy to sell your course.
So What’s Next?
Looking for a quick way to get started with making money online? You can start earning affiliate commission checks with only a Facebook account with this program.