10 Passive Income Ideas To Help You Make Money In 2023

Passive income a money not derived from active involvement such as a salary can come in a variety of flavors. While the concept may be intimidating for novices, there are some ways to generate passive streams with little or no effort.

“Passive income is the financial sweet spot where money works for you instead of the other way around,” said James Allen, CPA, CFP, founder of Billpin.com. “The key to passive income is patience. It’s like growing a garden. You plant the seeds, water them, and wait. It might take time, but the harvest can be bountiful.”

As for tips on getting started with passive income, Allen said the first step is to identify your interests and skills, as these will guide your choice of income stream. He also recommends starting small and growing gradually, reinvesting your earnings to compound your income.

“Remember, creating a passive income stream is like running a marathon, not a sprint,” he said. “It requires patience, persistence and a willingness to learn from mistakes. But with time and effort, you can build a steady stream of income that works for you, even when you’re not working.”

Rent Out a Room on Airbnb

If you have an extra room or a guest house, it’s like having a golden goose, said Allen.

“You can list it on Airbnb and earn income from guests who stay there. It’s like running a hotel, but without the need for a concierge or room service,” he said.

Sebastian Jania, owner of Ontario Property Buyers, added that while this does require some effort, if you’re comfortable with having someone else live on your property, this can generate “anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars extra a month.”

Create an app

Creating an app could be a way to make that upfront investment of time and then reap the reward over the long haul. Your app might be a game or one that helps mobile users perform some hard-to-do function. Once your app is public, users download it, and you can generate income.

An app has huge upside, if you can design something that catches the fancy of your audience. You’ll have to consider how best to generate sales from your app. For example, you might run in-app ads or otherwise have users pay a nominal fee for downloading the app.

If your app gains popularity or you receive feedback, you’ll likely need to add incremental features to keep the app relevant and popular.

The biggest risk here is probably that you use your time unprofitably. If you commit little or no money to the project (or money that you would have spent anyway, for example, on hardware), you have little financial downside here. However, it’s a crowded market and truly successful apps must offer a compelling value or experience to users.

You’ll also want to make sure that if your app collects any data that it’s in compliance with privacy laws, which differ across the globe. The popularity of apps can be short-lived, too, meaning your cash flow could dry up a lot faster than you expect.

Sell a Design

One of the best passive income ideas is setting up a print-on-demand business, said Justin Albertynas, CEO of RatePunk.

“All you have to do is make a design — you can easily use design applications like Canva and Photopea for free. Then you need to choose a print-on-demand service that will actually print your designs on clothes they have stored in their warehouses and send them to your customers who already paid for the product.

Choose a service that best suits your needs,” he added. “Upload your product to an online marketplace site like Etsy.com and that’s it!”

Albertynas added that you can also do some advertising on TikTok or Instagram to generate some traffic.

“When you make a design that’s successful — yes, not all of your designs will get sales — you can sit back and relax and enjoy that passive income,” he said.

“I have a design that’s still making me money a year after I started selling it, and I’m not even doing print-on-demand anymore. It requires no investment because you pay for the print-on-demand service only when the customer pays you! And the whole process can easily be automated,” he added.

Create an Online Course

If you have expertise in a particular subject or skill, consider creating an online course, advised Blake Whitten, financial advisor at Whitten Retirement Solutions. “Platforms like Udemy or Teachable allow you to host and sell your courses to a global audience. Once the course is created, it can generate income as long as it remains relevant and valuable to learners,” he said.

Whitten also recommended focusing on high-demand topics and engaging with your students to improve course reviews and attract more customers.

Affiliate Marketing

Another way to generate passive income streams is to partner with companies and promote their products or services through affiliate links on your blog, website or social media platforms.

“When people make a purchase through your unique link, you earn a commission,” said Whitten. He warned, however, to be transparent with your audience about affiliate links, and focus on promoting products that align with your niche and audience interests.

When a visitor clicks on the link and makes a purchase from the third-party affiliate, the site owner earns a commission. The commission might range from 3 to 7 percent, so it will likely take significant traffic to your site to generate serious income. But if you can grow your following or have a more lucrative niche (such as software, financial services or fitness), you may be able to make some serious coin.

Affiliate marketing is considered passive because, in theory, you can earn money just by adding a link to your site or social media account. In reality, you won’t earn anything if you can’t attract readers to your site to click on the link and buy something.

Rent Your Car

You can generate some cash by renting out your car on several platforms. For instance, HyreCar says on its website that owners can become “autopreneurs” by turning their car into a passive income stream.

“List your car within minutes. Set your own rates. Keep your cars safe with our protection plans,” the website says.

Flip retail products

Take advantage of online sales platforms such as eBay or Amazon, and sell products that you find at cut-rate prices elsewhere. You’ll arbitrage the difference in your purchase and sale prices, and may be able to build a following of individuals who track your deals.

Opportunity: You’ll be able to take advantage of price differences between what you can find and what the average consumer may be able to find. This could work especially well if you have a contact who can help you access discounted merchandise that few other people can find. Or you may be able to find valuable merchandise that others have simply overlooked.

Risk: While sales can happen at any time online, helping make this strategy passive, you’ll definitely have to hustle to find a reliable source of products. Plus, you’ll have to invest money in all of your products until they do sell, so you need a robust source of cash. You’ll have to really know the market so that you’re not buying at a price that’s too high. Otherwise, you may end up with products that no one wants or whose price you have to drastically cut in order to sell.

Rent Your Parking Space

And if you have a parking space you don’t need, you can rent it out, as well. Several sites enable parking spot owners to list their space, including Mobypark.

The site enables owners to choose the price and the duration they want to rent out their parking spot or select the exact dates during which their parking is available, according to the website.
Rent Your House as a Movie Set

A very easy way to generate passive income with zero effort is by renting your home or apartment as a movie set. For example, LocationsHub enables you to list your space, and monthly packages start at $4.95 and go up to $69.95.

“The daily rate for renting your property for filming is approximately the property’s monthly mortgage. Location, production schedule and size may also affect how much your property can earn,” according to the company’s website.

And an added benefit is that LocationsHub does not take a percentage of what you make — you get to keep 100% of the income.

Sponsored posts on social media

Do you have a strong following on social media such as Instagram or TikTok? Get growing consumer brands to pay you to post about their product or otherwise feature it in your feed.

You’ll need to keep filling your profile with content that draws in your audience, though. And that means continuing to create posts that grow your reach and engage your followers on social media.

Leveraging your social media presence is an attractive business model. Draw eyeballs and clicks to your profile with strong content and then monetize that content by setting up sponsored posts from brands that appeal to your followers.

Getting started here can be a Catch-22: You need a large audience to get meaningful sponsored posts, but you’re not an attractive option until you get a meaningful audience. So you’ll have to focus a lot of time first on growing your audience with no guarantee that you’ll be successful. You can end up spending tons of time following the trends and building content, in the hopes that you eventually get the sponsorship that you’re aiming for.

Even when you’ve got the sponsored posts you’re looking for, you’ll need to keep posting to draw in your audience and remain an attractive option for advertisers. That means committing to more time and monetary investment, even if you do have a lot of autonomy on exactly when to do it.
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