Popular with the entrepreneur crowd and scammy marketers, the term “Passive income” has been thrown around a lot in recent times.
But what exactly does it mean?
Passive income is a source of recurring revenue that doesn’t depend on sustained effort. In a set-it-and-forget-it kinda fashion, you expend some time and energy to create the source, and it rewards you with steady cash flow (or trickle) without further work on your part. The cash keeps coming in whether you’re sleeping, binging on Netflix, or climbing the Himalayas.
Or, even dead.
According to data from SoundScan, Michael Jackson sold 13.228 million albums in the 5 years following his shocking death in 2009. More than he ever sold in the last 13 years of his life. Not too bad for a dead guy. The King of Pop didn’t have to be around for that cash to drop.
Income couldn’t get more passive than that.
Let passive income be your mantra this new year and for the next ten years.
To This End, I’ve Compiled a List of 10 Passive Income Ideas to Stimulate Your Creativity:
Invest in Crowdfunded real estate investment
Investing in real estate lets you earn income passively. But it requires a lot of money and effort upfront to get it going. This is the earliest form of passive income and typically involves buying properties or investing in REITs. However, crowdfunding adds a modern twist to this passive income model, which doesn’t require as much money or effort to get started.
Crowdfunding has grown increasingly popular over the years and quite possibly in my opinion, one of the best passive income ideas mentioned here. It’s a way a group of people can pool money together for a common goal. In real estate crowdfunding, you contribute cash, along with other investors, to fund a specific real estate deal. You are then entitled to some sort of income distribution or a share of the profit from a successful sale.
The attraction with crowdfunding real estate investment is that it lets you jump on potentially lucrative deals (which may have been impossible winging it alone) with relatively little cash. The returns are impressive too. Most concluded crowdfunding deals earned an average annualized return of 14%.
Crowdfunded real estate investment allows you dabble in real estate without the headaches of dealing with tenants, maintenance, and other issues landlords face. The deal sponsors do all the heavy lifting, from identifying property investment opportunities to vetting them to closing the deal. All you need do is get on to one of the numerous crowdfunding sites and place your investment.
Discover Peer-to-Peer lending
Peer-to-peer (or P2P) lending is a way of lending money to borrowers who may not qualify for loans through banks and other traditional lenders. Here, you can lend someone money at a competitive rate, and the borrower repays with interest.
The rate of return could be as high as 6% making P2P lending one of the best sources of passive income – better than any money market fund you can find. All you need to do is have enough funds for investing and create a diversification strategy. You can select the borrowers yourself and spread your invested funds to reduce your risks.
Peer to peer lending is powered by lending platforms that connect lenders and borrowers. This eliminates the cumbersome protocols encountered when borrowing from banks. The platforms do not lend any money but act as facilitators for a fee.
The power of dividend-paying stocks
Investing in dividend stocks are some of the easiest ways to earn passive income. Dividends are cash payments made to shareholders of a company out of their retained earnings. In essence, you are being paid for owning a part of a company. You can choose to reinvest your dividends to purchase additional shares and earn more.
The essential skill to learn here is finding dependable companies who have a valuable product or service, plenty of cash, and little debt. And in this age of automation and AI, investing in dividend stocks is as simple as opening an account with an online broker. There are several online brokers with features tailored to suit investors at various levels of skill and experience. Some of the best include Ally Invest, M1 Finance, Fidelity, E-Trade and TD Ameritrade.
Start selling stock photos
If you have a flair for photography, you can readily turn your talent to cash. You can create passive income by selling your photos on stock photography websites like iStock PhotoandGetty Images. The best part? You don’t have to undergo any training or buy expensive equipment to get started. High-quality images with good composition, lighting, and color will often get good sales.
Once you shoot your photos, you upload them to the stock photo site, set up metadata, and your work is done. You start earning whenever someone buys your image, usually for commercial use.
While it may not turn you into a billionaire overnight, stock photography is a cool way to earn a side income passively. You’ll continue to earn royalty off each sale for as long as they are hosted on the site.
Self-Publish an eBook
You can write a book in your area of specialty and publish it yourself – thanks to technology. Although it requires a significant input of time and energy upfront, you’ll be guaranteed a totally passive income as the sales of your book kicks off.
But not just about any book will do. To make money from your efforts, you must write a book people will want to read. You’ll have to research the best-selling books in your chosen niche on Amazon. This will also help you craft a compelling headline that will help drive sales.
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is a popular and easy program for self-publishing. After writing and editing your book, you’ll create a cover. upload it and sell directly to Amazon. However, your work is not done yet. You’ll need to market your book before sales start to roll in. And as more people become aware of your book and buy, amazon will then begin to promote it for you.
Create an App
There’s literally an app for everything these days and your smartphone is probably choke-full of a diverse range of apps. What if you could be the one whose app people pay for and download?
Creating an app and selling it on the app store can provide you with a residual income for a very long time. And you don’t have to write a line of code if programming isn’t your thing. If you have an idea for an app, you simply hire a programmer to develop it for you.
Sell products on Etsy
Etsy is a fantastic marketplace for creatives. It allows you to sell uniquely made products to a ready market. While physical products such as jewelry and handcrafted items are popular on Etsy, you can also sell digital products. And this is where you can make passive income, unlike physical goods, which will require physical inventory and some continuous efforts to keep going.
Some of the digital products you can list on Etsy for instant downloads include artworks, wall art, pictures, and even eBooks. Once you register your work on Etsy, you can sit back, fold your hands and watch the sales come in.
Get into affiliate marketing
If you own an established blog or website, selling other people’s products for a commission is the perfect passive income source for you. In Affiliate marketing, you partner with a company to receive an agreed commission for every sale you make on their products.
What makes this income source particularly attractive is that if you have a large following or audience, you already have a considerable list of prospects interested in the products. All you have to do is attach a unique affiliate link to your article, Facebook page, or twitter bio directing them to the sales page. When they make a purchase, a percentage is credited to your account.
You can get started by joining an affiliate program like Clickbank or JVzoo. There, you’ll find thousands of affiliate programs across diverse niches with products to choose from and start promoting.
Create an online course or guide
Make money by teaching others valuable knowledge or skills. If you have superior knowledge or experience on any topic – how to do something, how to make something, how to fix something, you can create a course or guide sharing that knowledge.
Your course could be in the form of video lessons, PDF file, or a combination of both. You can offer it for sale on your own site or reach out to bloggers in the relevant niche to sell it on their websites. If you wish for a more straightforward way to get your content in front of others, you can use platforms like teachable.com or Udemy to share your course.
Rent your space
You can rent out your apartment, home, or spare room for a fee, of course. You make money on space you own but do not use. While it may require some work upfront to spruce the place up and clean up after your guest leave, otherwise, it’s pretty much passive income.
List your space on platforms like AirBNB and VRBO and start earning once your space gets booked. These rental websites let travelers get accommodation cheaper than standard hotel rates. They’ll get a percentage for their listing services, typically 3 – 5% on any booking.
These 10 income ideas are just a few of the several opportunities and ways you can make money passively this new year. You just have to look around you and leverage on any creative skill you have. Note that these passive income stream ideas require a significant amount of work, money, or time upfront – they are no get-rich-quick schemes.