You’ve got a steady paycheck from your 9 to 5 job and that’s cool.
But deep down inside you know you’ve always wanted more. More money. More freedom. More flexibility. And so you finally decide that it’s time to take action.
This article breaks down 20 ideas that’ll help you earn passive income while keeping your full-time gig. So you can finally get more than you’ve ever dreamed of.
- What is Passive Income?
- 20 Passive Income Ideas 2020
- 1. Start a Dropshipping Store
- 2. Run a Blog
- 3. Create a Course
- 4. Instagram Sponsored Posts
- 5. Create a Print on Demand Online Store
- 6. Create an App
- 7. Invest in Stocks
- 8. Buy Property
- 9. Host Airbnb
- 10. Build your Own Website
- 11. Affiliate Marketing
- 12. Sell your Videos
- 13. Flip Websites
- 14. Company Stocks
- 15. Create YouTube Videos
- 16. Sell your Photography
- 17. Help Businesses Bring in Clients
- 18. Write an eBook
- 19. Sell your Stuff
- 20. Sell Digital Products
- Want to Learn More?
What is Passive Income?
Passive income is money you earn that doesn’t require you to do a lot of “active” work to continue making it. In essence, you can do most of the work upfront and put some additional effort along the way to earn an income.
For example, if you create an online course, you just need to update its content to keep the money flowing.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “make money while you sleep.” That’s the biggest draw that entices people to earn passive income.
You can create something (a blog, course, ebook, videos, or an online store) that generates money even when you’re not working. Or you can own something (property or stocks) that allows you to earn passive income.
20 Passive Income Ideas 2020
1. Start a Dropshipping Store
Dropshipping is one of the most profitable passive income sources you’ll find online. And since we here at Oberlo specialize in dropshipping, it’s a good place to start.
With dropshipping, you can find trending products on the Oberlo marketplace that you can then sell online to customers around the world. You can sell products in various dropshipping niches from fashion to home decor to beauty.
The magic in dropshipping is that you build your own business and control how much you charge for the products. In fact, out of all the passive income ideas on the list, dropshipping is the one where you have the most control over your earnings.
2. Run a Blog
The most popular passive income stream tends to come from blogging. Blogging has helped countless entrepreneurs earn passive income through affiliate links, courses, sponsored posts, products, book deals, and more.
It’s true that it can take quite a bit of upfront work to build a successful blog. However, it’s one of the most sustainable ways to generate an audience through organic and social traffic or by building an email list.
The biggest perk of creating a blog is that you can turn that one asset into several different streams of income. Thus, running a blog is one of the easiest ways to make passive income.
3. Create a Course
Selling online courses is one of the best passive income ideas of 2020.
We’re still seeing massive sales growth for course creators. Whether you decide to sell a course on your own website or on a platform like Udemy, you’ll find customers who want to learn your insider tips and tricks.
If you’ve followed tip number two and built your own audience, selling your course on your website can help you control how much passive income you earn. Finding your customers is up to you.
That will be a bit easier if you sell on course platforms like Udemy, but your course may be heavily discounted during certain periods. This will affect how much passive income you earn.
4. Instagram Sponsored Posts
If you love Instagram as much as I do, you might want to turn your scrolling time into posting time to help you skyrocket your passive income.
The best thing about Instagram is that you can literally create fan pages for absolutely anything. Whether you love travel, fashion, beauty, home decor, or something really peculiar like outrageous dog grooming…
… you’ll find a committed audience.
The secret to getting a ton of Instagram followers is to be super consistent with the type of content you post. So be sure to stick to one niche so that people who follow you can count on you to deliver more content just like that.
In your Instagram bio, be sure to add your email address. As your account starts to grow, so will sponsored posts requests allowing you to make money on Instagram. The more Instagram likes your posts get, the more people will reach out to you so be sure to create engaging content.
5. Create a Print on Demand Online Store
With ecommerce being one of the most popular ways to make passive income these days, it only makes sense to give a shout-out to print on demand.
Print on demand allows you to sell your custom graphics on products like t-shirts, clothing, mugs, canvases, phone cases, bags, and more. The best thing about this is that you can build your own branded products.
The only downside is that you need to be savvy at graphic design because the margins are often too thin to outsource the designs affordably. However, if you design that unique winning design, your sales will take off. Plus, it won’t hurt sales since you won’t be competing with anyone but yourself.
How profitable is print on demand? Find out the answer in our collaboration with Wholesale Ted where we compare dropshipping with print on demand.
6. Create an App
We might only be on the sixth passive income idea on this list, but you probably noticed a trend: Creating stuff tends to lead to passive income. If you’re a developer or programmer, you might want to try creating apps as a passive income stream.
You can go about it in two ways. First, you can charge a fee for people who want to buy your app. Second, you can make your app free and monetize with ads. My fiance did this a few years ago and still makes a side income from his app to this day.
7. Invest in Stocks
When you look at the world’s richest people, it’s pretty safe to say that stocks have played a big role in their deep, endless bank accounts.
Warren Buffett reads 500 pages a day but he’s not reading your average mystery book. Nope. He reads business’ annual reports. By reading annual reports each day, he better understands whether or not a business is performing well, which helps him improve his ability to invest in stocks.
While the act of investing in stocks is pretty passive, the research that goes into it is active. Still, investing in stocks can help you earn passive income that stretches far beyond what your value at your 9 to 5 job is worth.
So, consider this passive income idea if you like reading about the performance of various businesses.
8. Buy Property
Depending on where you buy and when, real estate can be a good way to make passive income. In popular cities like Toronto, there has been a rapid increase in property value – 44% in the past five years in Canada alone.
By buying pre-construction condos, you may find some lower cost properties that’ll increase in value by the time it’s finally built, allowing you to sell the property once it’s complete for a profit.
As with all investments, it can be risky, so it’s best to speak with a real estate agent if you’re new to the game to help you buy the right investment property.
9. Host Airbnb
If you followed step number eight, you can choose to list your condo or home to rent on Airbnb.
What’s interesting is that you don’t actually need to buy a new property to make Airbnb passive income. You can also rent a room in your current home or apartment if you have a spare room.
Also, Airbnb has recently expanded into “Airbnb Experiences,” which allow you to host events, meetups, and tours in your city. You can choose to make some side hustle money through that as well, though it won’t be passive income.
“I decided to give Airbnb a shot when I stayed in one on a visit to NYC. I loved the concept and wanted to get in on it. I put my condo up for rent and was surprised by the demand. I was able to charge $169/night (in downtown Toronto). My biggest win came when a company contacted me because they were sending a few employees to Toronto. They booked the unit for the entire month. I didn’t have to worry about finding new guests. The beauty of Airbnb is that you can turn it on and off as you please. When you’re looking to make some extra cash, you can put your place up for rent. You can also rent out that spare bedroom.”
10. Build your Own Website
Building your own website can be a reliable source of passive income.
Some folks create marketing agencies and outsource the work to freelancers. Others, like a couple entrepreneurs on this list, create online courses to share their knowledge and educate others. You can also sell products – digital or physical – online.
However, by building your own website, you gain more control over what you sell and how much money you make. Ultimately, your success lies in your hands, enabling you to take your brand wherever you want it to go.
11. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make passive income today. The upside to it is that almost every big brand has an affiliate program so you can sell some pretty popular products and rake in the dough.
The only real downside is that you only make a commission of the sale. Some programs like Shopify’s affiliate program allows you to earn up to $2,000 per referral, which is astronomical. Some online retailers only give a measly 10% referral bonus.
So, you’ll want to make sure you do some research into the best affiliate marketing programs before you get started. Blogging tends to be the most cost-effective way to make recurring affiliate commissions without having to spend money on ads.
12. Sell your Videos
We live in a day and age where people are obsessed with video content. If you always find yourself in the midst of drama and excitement, you might want to pull out your phone and hit record. Doing that can help you make some passive income.
Why? Because you can sell that video to a news site. And if the video takes off, you can make some recurring money for weeks, months, and sometimes even years. Of course, the easiest way to get in on the action is to be at public events such as protests, demonstrations, and festivals.
Wherever there’s controversy, you’ll find opportunities for your content to be sold. And if you’re good at producing entertaining content, companies will pay you to create viral videos along with offering a share on overall earnings.
13. Flip Websites
Do you love building websites and online stores? If so, you could make passive income selling them.
You’ll likely need to get your first few sales (to prove that your store is awesome). But if you’ve got great design skills and build out some of the content on your website, you could find someone who’d be willing to buy your store.
If you’re looking for a place to sell your website you could try out Shopify’s Exchange Marketplace. On the platform, you can sell your newly built online store or your advanced six- or seven-figure store. It’s the perfect platform for website flipping.
14. Company Stocks
Yup, your 9 to 5 job can also become a passive income stream. No, it’s not the hours you work. However, your company stocks or any company-matching retirement plans can help you score some pretty decent passive income.
I actually used this passive income method to pay for the downpayment on my condo. And it only took two years. Of course, you’ll likely need to invest some of your own money too, but the extra bit that the company adds in is a nice perk if you’re willing to try it. (And trust me, few people ever do.)
If you’re starting a new 9 to 5 job, be sure to ask for company stocks as part of your hiring package. You’ll thank me later.
15. Create YouTube Videos
YouTube is the passive income stream that just keeps on giving. From sponsored videos to ad revenue, you’ll find that you can make recurring income from your YouTube channel.
The secret to creating a successful YouTube channel is creating content on a consistent schedule for a long time. That’s it. If you stick with it for the long haul, eventually you’ll start reaping the passive income rewards.
16. Sell your Photography
While being a photographer may seem like an active income business, it’s actually not. Photographers don’t only make money from taking photographs. They sell them too.
Stock image sites, magazines, and canvas printing for their clients are some of the ways you can make the big bucks in the photography biz. All you need is a great camera to get started.
But these days, you can even use your phone to take photos. You could make passive income in a snap.
17. Help Businesses Bring in Clients
Are you a savvy marketer or salesperson? There are tons of businesses who will pay you referral fees for bringing them more business.
Real estate agents are always looking to help more people find a home they love. Freelancers, DJs, photographers, and other solopreneurs will often be willing to pay a referral bonus for finding them a client that signs a contract.
So if you love helping people make money, you can make passive income yourself through your connections. All it takes is a couple of emails or messages and you could earn passive income for very little effort.
18. Write an eBook
Ebooks exploded onto the scene in 2009 and 2010 and are still a hugely popular content medium. Even though they first became popular a few years ago, there’s still a pretty good chunk of people who make passive income from writing ebooks to this day.
Sure, it’s an insanely competitive market. But if your writing chops are stellar, you could find yourself with a decent slice of the profits. By creating how-to ebooks on popular niches and marketing them, you could build a fanbase of loyal readers.
19. Sell your Stuff
Looking to follow Marie Kondo’s advice and start decluttering your home? Well, you might want to turn that clutter into cold, hard cash. We all have those piles of boxes filled with stuff we haven’t thought about in years.
You can either hold onto the stuff for a chance to end up on an episode of Hoarders or you can sell it online to help you make passive income. You might have to dig deep, but you might find that you have some items that are worth some serious cash.
So if you don’t know where to start when it comes to passive income, your closet might be your best bet.
20. Sell Digital Products
If you’re looking to create your own products instead of selling someone else’s, you can create digital products.
You can use Shopify to sell your digital products online. Digital products can include everything from ebooks, online courses, PDFs, custom graphic designs, stock photos, or some other digital goods.
Selling these products is the epitome of passive income, as the entire process can be automated on Shopify with instant downloads.
Passive income can really help elevate your earnings and fill in the gaps that your 9 to 5 job can’t fill on its own. If you’re looking to replace your 9 to 5 income so you can quit your job, the passive income ideas on this list can help you do that.
And it’s okay if you like your full-time gig too. The work that goes into earning passive income tends to be manageable when paired with a 9 to 5. So, yup, you can do both.
Whether you’re looking to start a dropshipping store, start your own agency, or create profitable content, you’ll find that there’s money to be made in all these areas. All you need to do is get started.
Which of these passive income ideas will you be trying out today? Comment below!
Want to Learn More?
- 10 Best Side Hustle Ideas to Make $1000 a month
- How to Sell Online: Online Selling Ideas for 2020
- 10 Free Online Courses for Entrepreneurs [VIDEO]
- How Email Marketing Helped Build a 7-Figure Dropshipping Store
- How to Make Money Online: 26 Real Ways to Earn Money Online