How many passive income streams are you currently utilizing to build wealth right now? In this post, we’ll cover eleven of the most lucrative passive income streams.
Don’t worry – I won’t talk about completing surveys! While surveys will bring in a little spending money, they’re not going to become a full-time career.
I only teach about passive income businesses that can bring in real, serious revenue.
But, I do want to warn you, passive income is never entirely passive. You will have to work hard in the beginning, to set up each passive income stream before it actually becomes passive. Cool with that? Read on!
What Exactly Is A Passive Income Stream?
What is a passive income stream? Well, before you rush off to quit your 9-5, it’s a good idea to get a handle on what exactly passive income is.
Passive income is where you continually get paid for work, long after it is done. It generally needs little or no work at all to maintain.
Some examples of passive income streams are; royalties from songs, movies or books, rentals, stock market investments, and affiliate marketing.
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It’s entirely possible for passive income to increase over time.
You can make money while you sleep from passive income, especially when selling online.
Passive income is about working smarter, not harder. We’ve all been taught from a young age to work longer hours, get a higher paid, more stressful job.
But, with passive income streams, you do the work up-front and potentially get paid forever, without having to do anything else!
What Skills Do You Need to Build Passive Income Streams?
I believe anyone can build their own passive income streams. The one thing that separates the successful from not successful, is usually the ‘belief’ they can do it and taking action.
You do need;
- A good work ethic. Lot’s of work needs doing in the beginning. You need to manage your time wisely and set aside time each day to make things happen
- To be determined even in tough times. You may hit problems or a passive income stream may fail. You need to be able to push forwards no matter what
- Investment in time or money up-front. Passive income only becomes passive after some work is put in
The Best Passive Income Streams to Quit Your 9-5
The internet world today has brought many more money-making opportunities to us.
We can reach customers across the world, without physically having to be in their country.
Smart platforms have popped up allowing even ordinary people, with no tech skills to set up their own shops, start blogs and build online businesses.
There are multiple ways to set up passive income streams and eventually quit your 9-5.
For example, I earned $380,000 with my blog in 2020, from a combination of different, mostly passive income streams.
My income in 2020 was as follows:
- Affiliate Income: $108,830
- Courses & Digital products: $69,430
- Virtual Summit $58,075
- Selling Niche Sites / Website investing: $71,524
- Ad revenue: $16,516
- Other Non-Affiliate Commissions: $55,671
- Misc other income: varies
I will share my tips for my favorite types of passive income streams now.
Some require investment up-front, some need zero startup funds, some are online and some are in the physical world.
I’ve categorized each below. Go have a read, take notes, and try out the ones that resonate with your personality and situation.
11 Lucrative Passive Income Streams You Should Try
Most of these types of passive income streams don’t require much or any upfront-money investment.
But they do require your time initially, to set things up. They become passive after that initial setup, and they earn money while you sleep.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a simple business model to set up, with or without a website.
If you’re looking to make passive income and leave your 9-5, affiliate marketing is definitely a good business to start.
While affiliate commissions may take a while to come in, once you gain the right audience you can make a lucrative income.
I am still making passive affiliate sales on blog posts I wrote over 3 years ago! Affiliate marketing is one of my most profitable passive income streams.
Many successful affiliate marketers make 5-6 figures monthly, just from affiliate earnings! Hard to believe right?
If you’re unsure exactly what affiliate marketing is, it basically means promoting someone else’s product and receiving a commission when you get a sale.
Commissions can range from a small percent right up to 100% of the sale in some cases.
You can find affiliate products on established platforms like:
And, you can sign up to private affiliate programs for products you may be using. Search in the footer of websites for ‘partner program’ or type in Google ‘affiliate + your niche’.
You should take a look at the High-Paying Affiliate Program Database for sure!
To learn more about affiliate marketing, here are some courses you should check out:
- The Blog Monetization Course – This is my signature training on how I personally monetize websites with great success. This HUGE course is great value for money, great for beginners, and will have you making affiliate commissions in no time. Learn how to make passive income with affiliate marketing, while avoiding common mistakes, including how to protect yourself legally.
- The Complete Shopify Amazon Affiliate Course – Learn how to use Shopify and Amazon to build a successful affiliate marketing business. Taught by Tim Sharp who’s built multiple successful eCommerce stores over the years, he’ll teach you how to quit your 9-5 and be a successful affiliate marketer.
- Clickbank Success: Affiliate Marketing Without a Website – Clickbank is a super established affiliate platform offering thousands of digital products. They allow you to promote products without a website and just use your free social media sites. Learn and model this instructor’s exact system, to make money selling Clickbank products.
Speaking of affiliate marketing even without a blog, did you know you can make affiliate sales right off Pinterest? Pinterest allows you to add affiliate links directly onto your pins. Learn how to start affiliate marketing on Pinterest without a blog.
2. Create a Digital Course
There are people out there who want to learn what you know. You could self-host your online course using simple course creation tools like Podia or Teachable. Or you could use a course marketplace like Udemy.
Udemy is an established learning platform with millions of online courses for sale.
Many of these courses were made by ordinary people, with no formal education as a teacher. This is the beauty of Udemy – anyone can share their unique skills with the world and make money.
Some popular and trending course topics on Udemy are:
- Watercolour painting
- Language progression
- Making money online
- Public speaking
So you can see, there’s something for everyone. Whatever random skill you have, you could create a course and share it with the world.
To learn more, read my guide on how to make 5 figures a month selling your own online courses.
3. Buy an Established Online Business & Flip It
Website investing is one of my passions. I love buying, developing and selling niche websites for profit!
I love it so much, that I became a blog broker, so I could help other people buy and sell websites too!
If you have spare cash saved, you can sidestep a whole lot of work and stress by purchasing an already-established business.
To start making money with an affiliate website or e-commerce website takes time and hard work. That’s why buying an established website that is already earning income passively is so sought-after.
As a blog broker, I connect you with creators who are looking to sell their active websites. It’s a smart way for you to skip the startup phase altogether.
Skip having to build the site or research profitable keywords, or create content, and so on.
Many of the sites we sell are earning $1000+ per month, have sizeable lists and social followings and are ranking on Google.
What is also great, is that we also offer ready-made starter sites for all budgets. Pay a little more to get a site that is already earning or a little less for a starter site.
But whichever you choose for your budget, you’ll get a quality website, comprehensive training, and ongoing support.
You can keep the site for yourself as another passive income stream, or develop it further and sell it for profit.
Take a look at our current blogs and online businesses for sale listings.
4. Start a Niche YouTube Channel
Video content is increasing in popularity every year. And, YouTube is a giant in the video world and ranks as the second-largest search engine on the internet.
Anyone can start a YouTube channel for free, build up an audience and make passive income. If you want to quit your 9-5 this year, starting a YouTube channel is a great option.
But, you might be thinking it’s only people with huge social followings that do well, or maybe people who are great speakers on camera?
This is simply not true. You can even create videos without showing your face.
And, the highest-earning YouTuber last year was nine-year-old Ryan Kaji who pulled in a cool 29.5 million dollars from his channel in 2020! He also made an additional $200 million this year from brand deals. Let that sink in.
So go start yourself a niche channel and work on getting subscribers and views. Once you get enough, you can qualify for YouTube ad revenue.
Another way to make passive income is to promote relevant affiliate products in your videos and in the description.
Plus it’s also fun getting sent free products from brands, who want to be mentioned in your videos.
5. Sell Products in an Etsy Store
This passive income stream will need you to create products up-front to sell in your store.
Products that sell well on Etsy are t-shirts, jewelry, digital downloads, home décor, vintage clothing, prints and crafts.
If you’re creative, sell your own products or you can source products from marketplaces like Aliexpress. It’s also pretty simple to create your own digital downloads for free in Canva.
Once you’ve created your products, set up your store and promote them across social media.
As you land those first few sales, you’ll see which products are popular and which aren’t working.
And, check out these Etsy sellers courses:
- Etsy 101: Set Up a Shop and Promote it on Social Media – Taught by Course Envy, here you’ll learn how to quit your 9-5 and get financial freedom with an Etsy store.
- Learn How to Build a Successful Etsy Shop – This course is ideal for beginners breaking down every aspect of starting and running an Etsy store.
6. Sell T-Shirts Print on Demand
The custom t-shirt business is growing in leaps and bounds and by 2025 it’s expected to reach 10 billion!
Many people are making a killing selling custom printed t-shirts and it’s easier than you think.
And when you launch that Youtube channel of yours, you know you will want to sell merch from your channel!
Print-on-demand platforms have popped up over the years, allowing anyone to upload their designs and have them printed onto apparel when ordered. So you don’t have to buy lots of stock and get stuck with it if it doesn’t sell.
This is why it’s such a great, low-risk passive income business.
Some popular print on demand sites are;
Go check them out and set up your own POD (print on demand) business in under an hour.
Join this popular course How to Start A T-Shirt Business Online, already taken by over 44 thousand students, to guide you in setting up your first POD business.
7. Write and Publish an eBook
With the rise in self-publishing, anyone can become a successful author and make passive income from their own EBook.
No need to go through the agony of rejection with publishers and spending lots of money getting your book published.
Now it’s possible to write a niche eBook in 30 days and sell it on platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing, PayHip Publisher, Lulu, Smashwords, BookTango and many more.
It’s important to do your research to see what EBooks are selling. If you have a blog already, you could even put the information from your most popular blog posts into an EBook.
Tom Corson-Knowles is a bestselling author, blogger and entrepreneur who makes passive income every month from selling his books. He’s created his own course How to Become a Bestselling Author on Amazon Kindle to show you exactly how to write, format, publish and make money from your first eBook.
If you want the best chance to make passive income with eBooks, check out his course!
8. Start A Drop Shipping Business
Dropshipping is when you advertise products for sale on your website, which you don’t actually, physically have. When someone places an order, you order the product from your supplier, who then ships the product directly to your customer.
For example, you list a T-shirt for $30 on your site. Your customer buys it, and their $30 payment lands in your PayPal account. You then order the T-shirt from the supplier for $5, and they ship it to your customer. You just made $25 and had to deal with zero inventory or shipping.
Dropshipping T-shirts from China was one of my first online businesses, as a Univesity student, and it helped me pay my tuition and rent as well as pay off my student loans quickly.
Since then, I have built and sold a few drop shipping businesses over the years.
I don’t currently run any drop shipping sites myself right now, but I do teach a very affordable dropshipping course (normally $60) but you can take it for just $7 right now when you sign up here.
9. Flip Domains for Profit
Domain flipping is buying a domain and selling it on for a profit.
Some domain names like Hotel.com and business.com sold for $11 million and $7 million! These are of course extreme cases and success stories like this don’t always happen.
Even though the big bucks like this are hard to get, many people make a decent amount of side income flipping domains.
It’s a good idea to start with a small budget of up to $100 to gain some experience. Do your research and pick names including keywords that will be valuable to a certain industry.
Your sales abilities will determine how much you make flipping your chosen domain. Try out various sales strategies like selling directly, selling to the highest bidder on flippa.com or set a particular price for your domain name.
10. Build and Monetize a blog
Starting a blog is not a fast way to passive income but it’s entirely possible to quit your 9-5 when your blog gets enough traffic.
It takes a lot of time, effort and continued determination to get your blog seen in the crowded space of the internet.
A blog can be set up quickly for a few dollars, and will need you to spend at least a few hours every day building it.
Once your blog is set up and getting some traffic, you can monetize it with various methods;
- Promoting products as an affiliate and making money when someone buys through your link
- Sell your own eBooks, printables and digital courses
- Displaying ads from popular networks like Amazon Associates, Google AdSense, Monumetric, Mediavine and AdThrive
- Sponsored posts. This is more of an active income as you have to put the effort in to write the article, but still a great way to leverage your blog to make money
To get your blog started today, and have it monetized by this weekend, enroll in my free blogging course for beginners!
11. Invest with Robo Advisors
Robo advisors are digitally driven platforms that use algorithms to make investments on behalf of people. This is a great way for new investors to get their feet wet.
You can start investing very little and not have to pay the high fees of a financial advisor.
Betterment is a big player in the robo-advisor market. You don’t have to invest a minimum amount, fees are low and you can start investing with zero knowledge about the stock market.
Just open an account, fill out details about your financial life and investment goals and Betterment will suggest investing plans to you, based on your risk level.
Other great things you can do with Betterment are;
- Get a zero-fee checking account and credit card
- Save with a cash reserve
- Invest in stocks and bonds
- Earn more for your retirement
And if you are Canadian, Wealth Simple Trade is the one to use. You can buy and sell stocks right from a handy app, with no fees.
Plus, you can hold your investments in a TSFA account on the app, so your gains aren’t taxed.
11 Lucrative Passive Income Streams You Should Try – Conclusion
Making enough passive income to quit your 9-5 is hard work, but it is totally possible.
Choose a few passive income streams that align with your personality, free time, and funds available. And always keep moving forwards even in the rough times.
Making money while you sleep will not come easily, but those who stick at it will be successful.
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Now, go and read this big list of inspiring passive income ideas!