11 PASSIVE INCOME IDEAS to make money while you sleep

October 25th, 2019

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Whether you are looking for quick cash or a steadier source of income, making money online has never been easier.

If you are dedicated and disciplined, it’s easier than you ever thought possible. There are tons of ways to make money online.

But if you look into the variety of the ways to make money online, you’ll see that many of the opportunities will only provide you with money to pay for the necessities in life like rent, utilities, and groceries.

There are, however, some that are able to explode your income potential, providing you with things you only dreamed of having.

A quick search of the term ‘passive income’ on google trends will show you that it has been the talk of the (personal finance) town for a number of years now and only seems to be growing.

passive income google trends

These passive income opportunities will allow you to expand your mind to new possibilities and change your life for the better.

It’s important to be realistic about your expectations. The more effort and time you are able to put into a task, the more reward you’ll see.

You need to choose a method with this in mind.

If your current nine-to-five is making you miserable and leaving you with less time with your family, then the below forms of passive income are for you!

What is passive income?

Passive income can be described as earnings obtained from a business/project where you are not actually actively involved.

So your typical 9 to 5 job would be classed as Active income, because you are actively working in order to receive some sort of income.

Earning money passively can mean investing time or money into creating a product or service once and then receiving income from that product or service for many many days, months, years afterwards. Without you having to do any extra work. Incredible, huh?

Some of these passive income ideas require more time and money than others. So think hard about which ones suit you the most.

Why passive income?

Well, isn’t it obvious? Waking up every morning knowing you’ve made money sleeping is the ultimate goal.

Reaching financial freedom

I don’t know about you, but living a life of financial freedom has always been one of my goals, so the idea that this could happen in a matter of years, even months, should definitely get your heart racing!

Building one or more streams of passive income can help you get to your financial goals much quicker than you would from a traditional 9 to 5 job.

More free hours

Imagine working less hours, still bringing in the same money? It allows you to spend more time with family and friends and may even lead you to quitting your job and making this type of earning your full time income.

How amazing would that be?

Earning Potential

The earning potential is extremely high, depending on the income stream you choose. You can earn anywhere from a $100 extra a month to $100,000 in 1 year, sometimes more.

It all depends on the time or money invested.

Some things to note..

Building lucrative passive income streams takes time, effort and sometimes money. 

If you are not willing to put in any one of those three things, then chances are you will fail. 

All, yes, All of the ideas I list below require the upfront time and knowledge, however will eventually transform into passive income streams that require little to no upkeep by you.

If you’re looking for get rich quick schemes that promise you $100/day for sitting on your butt and doing nothing, bad news! Those are called scams. Listed below are 11 legitimate jobs that can make you a serious full time income in your spare time! 

Read through these ideas carefully and really think about which one suits you. If you think more than one applies, always start with one and go from there.

Don’t try and split your time/effort on multiple projects unless you know what you’re doing.

Definitely not easy, however with the right knowledge and input, you can achieve one if not more streams of income passively.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into my top passive income ideas for 2020…

1. Dropshipping store

easy way to make money online as a virtual assistant

I talk about dropshipping a lot on this blog, if you haven’t already noticed) and that’s because it is such a great way of earning passive income.

The time and effort required for this business model is heavy however this kind of input is only required in the beginning stages. A lot of work goes into:

  • Sourcing a ‘winning’ product
  • Creating a stunning website
  • Fulfilling orders from manufacturer to customer
  • Running advertising (instagram/facebook/google)
  • Customer service/refunds

But once the business is up and running, all of these things are easily (super easily) outsourced. Meaning you are able to hire assistants/agents to do all of this work for you. 

The sales, better yet, the money rolls in without you actively doing anything.

Shopify makes running an ecommerce store like dropshipping so easy, especially with an integrated fulfillment service like Oberlo. Seriously you could be up and running, like I was, in a day!

This is 100% one to consider, especially this time of year. Have a read of my Ultimate guide to dropshipping here…

2. Selling on Amazon

dropshipping great way to make money online

Amazon FBA is one of my income streams and I have successfully built passive income with this business models for nearly 2 years.

As a new mom, it took me a while to get it off the ground. But once it was it turned into an incredibly profitable business.

The concept with Amazon FBA is:

  • Finding a winning product
  • Buying the product in bulk and sending to Amazon
  • Amazon picks and ships the product to your customer
  • General customer service enquiries

The amazing thing about this business model is that once you have picked the right product and you see that it’s profitable, you are able to assign small jobs like reordering, customer service and photography to agents or assistant. This is how it becomes passive income. Read more here…

3. Invest in Property / Real Estate

Wherever you are in the world, providing you have enough capital, you are able to invest in property. Investing in real estate, involves you sourcing property which you pay for (debt free) and then renting the property out for recurring monthly income.

Yes, the money required upfront is substantial. However for many individuals they have money sitting in the bank that isn’t gaining any interest.

Property investment allows you to get fantastic returns on your investments, ranging anywhere from 2% to 20% per year! No what savings account, do you know that will do that free of charge?

Hiring a property management company to take care of the tenants for you, makes this a little more passive.

Flipping houses

Buying derelict or low valued properties and selling them on for a profit. This work requires a lot of upfront capital and in many cases rebuilding/decorating. There are countless amounts of shows on the TV now doing just this and it’s for a good reason. The returns are potentially huge.

Crowdfunded real estate

Crowdfunding allows small time investors to get involved in big projects. It works by pooling money from a bunch of small investors to make an investment.

Think of getting together with your best friend, neighbor, auntie (twice removed) and several others, putting in $5,000 each to buy a property for $100,000. The money earned from either flipping or renting the property is split between all of you.

Fundrise is an online real estate company that lets small time investors buy into private commercial and residential properties via an investment platform. Check them out!

4. Starting a blog

start a blog and make money

Do I sound like a broken record? Well if I do it’s for good reason. I won’t lie, running a blog requires extensive research and hours of writing.

The return on investment (time) is huge!

And it also doesn’t require huge investments. My blog cost me a total of $67 for the first 3 months, and as a result I earned 50 times this in the same time period!

Blogging is honestly a lucrative business model. Not only do you get to write and provide amazing content and value to your readers, but you are also able to earn income from it.

There are a crazy amount of ways to earn money blogging, all of which require you doing the work once to acquire repeated earnings.

Read my dedicated post on starting a money making blog here..

5. Create an eBook

If writing is your things, why not try to produce an ebook and sell it on your own website, facebook, instagram or even Amazon. There are people who love to read and if you have something that they can learn or be entertained by, chances are you can sell it for cash.

create and sell an ebook

It’s really easy and FREE to self-publish and sell your books online through Amazon. Through Kindle Direct Publishing, you can publish your book in less than 5 minutes and see your book appear on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours.

How much can I earn?

Commissions from online book sales range from 5% all the way up to 70%. The best way to start earning big cash from book publishing is to start with a price of $0. Yes, offering the book for free will not only bring you customers but also increase your ‘BSR’ (best sellers rank). Your BSR is a ranking of Amazon’s best sellers – and this my friend is golden! 

Once you have a few great reviews and have moved up on the rank, you can slowly increase your price and make money passively! How great is that? 5 sales a day at $5 per sale is still $25 a day you didn’t have, and for something you only had to create once!

6. Make Youtube videos

youtube make money online

Shall I just start with the elephant in the room? Youtube is the biggest platform for spreading knowledge, advice and earning money.

According to YouTube statistics, YouTube gets more than one billion unique users a month: that’s a crazy huge audience. Many people are already making money there.

Now there are different ways you can make bucks on the Tube. The most popular and best way is through video views and affiliate marketing.

Youtube Affiliate Marketing

Youtube allows you to promote physical & digital products/courses etc through affiliate links. This basically allows you to earn money for promoting a company’s (or your own) product.

For example, you could create a video (for FREE) on Youtube reviewing products, get unique affiliate links for the items and link each one in the description bar underneath the video.

Each product sale will earn you a commision. How amazing is that!

With every 1,000 views, you will be able to get an approximate return of $2-$4.

This might not seem a lot, but if you consider a commission of £4 per product sold, making 1 video with 5,000 views and then 50 people buy the product. That’s $200 from just one video! Not bad!

The is number one on my list because of the low barrier to entry involved. Youtube is FREE! So why not start today?

7. Sell your photos

If you are great with your camera, you could earn quick money by taking amazing quality ‘stock’ images and selling them to stock sites online.

A stock photo is an image that a photographer has made available for commercial purposes. Stock image companies are always looking for new images to add to their sites, so the more quality images you take the better.

stay at mom or dad hobbies earn money online

The key here is to do some research into trending products, topics and keywords to gain insight into what people are looking for.

Google trends is a fantastic and free way to do this. Landscape and lifestyle pictures are great sellers.

Turn this into a full-time income by joining sites such as Alamy and Pond5. Photographers on Alamy are already selling their stock imagery on Alamy to over 100,000 customers worldwide.

Pond5 is a site that allows you to sell all sorts of media, such as music tracks, video, images and sound effects. 

8. Become an Affiliate – (Personal favourite)


Affiliate marketing involves referring someone to a product and receiving a commission from the company, when the customer makes a purchase.

It’s really that simple. The company who are advertising that product will give you a unique link to promote.

There are several ways for you to promote that special affiliate link:

  • Adding affiliate links to products or services via a website or blog
  • Promoting affiliate links via Youtube or Pinterest
  • Running an instagram account in any niche, promoting products

With some sites you do need to have a blog/website, however not all of them have this requirement.

Along with starting a money making blog, becoming an affiliate is my personal favourites when it comes to earning passive income.

Read my post on Affiliate marketing and check here to see a list of affiliate networks.

9. Create a digital course

Creating and selling a digital course has never been easier with sites such as Udemy or Teachable.

If you have a topic you are especially knowledgeable in, you are able to guide other people via course content and earn a decent profit from it.

Providing something of value, especially online, is a one of the best ways to earn money. People will be able to take the value they get from you and instill trust in you. 

If you are looking to build a brand from this, this is very important.

10. Design Printables

I create a range of printables every week to help my blog readers reach their financial and life goals. However there is definitely money to be made from creating a digital product, your customer can purchase and download themselves.

Examples of printables include:

  • Calendar Planners
  • Worksheets
  • Templates
  • Stickers
  • Wall art / Canvas prints
  • Planners (meal, diet, project, budget, savings etc)
  • Financial Planners
  • Journals
  • Checklists
  • Spreadsheets
  • Workbooks
  • Stationary

Some printables require more skill than others, so have a think from the list above of the type of printable you would be able to offer. Then find platforms to sell your printables on such as Fiverr or Etsy.

Printables allow customers to customise the product to their needs. For example a wedding invitation or personalised

Turning this into passive income is simple, as you can either:

  • outsource the delivery of the digital products to your customers


  • get a service such as Templett, where the customer can edit and print the product themselves

11. Investing in stocks

Long term investing can be a great option for those that are looking to build income for the future like money for retirement or savings for your children.

This all sounds great, but investing can be a minefield and incredibly overwhelming.

Betterment is a company that specialises in safe ways to manage your money. They work primarily as a Robo-Advisor which will automate your investments using algorithms.

Start investing with Betterment by opening an account, telling them a little more about yourself and they will provide personalized investment solutions. What’s more is that there is no minimum deposit, so start with an amount that suits you!

Check them out for yourself.

Wrapping it up..

The road to passive income involves TIME, EFFORT & sometimes MONEY, however it is totally possible! I, for one, am so glad that I decided to work on external streams of income because year on year they are allowing me to earn money passively.

Ignore your inner critic and push through. There may be roadblocks along the way, but understand that many of them are unavoidable and out of your control.

The key here is to stick with it and you’ll for sure see results.

Passive income is where it’s at when it comes to generating income in 2020. Remember I am not saying to completely get rid of your current job.

You can work an active day job and still earn a steady passive income, one that is truly endless.

If your ultimate goal is to make money while you sleep, be consistent, work hard and smart, and watch your earnings scale to new heights!  

So the question is how much do you want it?

I created this blog to provide super helpful information and advice regarding all things health and wealth. I love creating content related to making money online and also ways to live a happy and healthy life. Enjoy!

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