Streams of Passive Income: 13 Ways to Make Money Without a Job

by | Last Updated: October 15, 2019

It’s the holy grail for many wage slaves – highly desired but rarely achieved.

I’m not talking about a promotion, 2% salary bump, or better work-life balance.

Oh no my friend, I’m talking about…

Creating streams of passive income so you can make money while you sleep.

For many people, it feels like an impossible task – far beyond all but the most luckiest and privileged individuals.

Why do you think that is?

Do those “special” people have more hours in a day? Are they 100 times smarter?

Of course not. They’ve just figured out how to play the money game.

Yes it’s a game, a very easy one too. And if you know the rules, you can play to win.

In this post, I’m going to teach you about streams of passive income. And you’ll discover some of the best passive income ideas to make money 24 hours a day – even while you sleep.

So if you want to make money on autopilot, have the freedom to enjoy it, and win the game… then keep on reading.

What are Streams of Passive Income?

They are the assets flowing into your life that allow you to create wealth in different ways and make money while you sleep.

Many people are attracted to the idea of passive income because they think it’s an easy way to make money. And they’re right… sort of.

You see, it’s easy to make passive income AFTER you’ve successfully created, implemented, and automated an income-generating asset.

That’s the part most people forget about or choose to ignore. Why? Because it involves work, which most people are allergic to.

Another factor is time. Everyone wants to make money now, get rich fast, and be successful today.

Thankfully, you’re smart enough to know better than that.

It’s a fact that all income streams will require some amount of time, money, and effort, in order to create them.

And if you invest those things, I promise that:

  • You’ll be able to increase your wealth dramatically, and
  • Maintaining it will require little to no work or extra money from you

Obviously there are some streams of income that are easier to create than others. And you’ll learn about them when you read the list below.

13 Passive Streams of Income Ideas

Here are some of the best passive income ideas you can use to make money and grow your wealth:

1. Make money with affiliate marketing

Speaking from experience, affiliate marketing is one of the easiest streams of passive income.

Basically you find a product, promote it, and if someone buys it, you get a commission.

The best way to get started is to create a website for a specific niche, write content to attract visitors, and promote affiliate offers to those visitors.

Many people start this as a side hustle and eventually turn it into a steady source of income that allows them to quit their job.

It doesn’t cost much to become an affiliate marketer. The biggest investment will be your time. But, you can cut that down tremendously if you hire people.

That’s actually the secret to doing this successfully in the long-term…

Automating everything to give yourself freedom to do other things.

BTW, if you think affiliate marketing isn’t worth it, you should check out the Wirecutter. That’s an example of an affiliate site which sold for a whopping $30 million! #foodforthought

2. Create an ebook

Despite what many people say, ebooks are still a great source of passive income.

You can totally sell an ebook for $50, $100, or more. And with just a few sales each month, you can easily make an additional $2-3k/month.

The key is to identify a pain-point for a specific niche audience and create a solution for them.

That’s the part most people don’t understand. They assume that no one would pay more than a few dollars for an ebook. But they’re wrong.

It’s not about the cost of the ebook, it’s about the value to the buyer.

Of course, the challenging part is actually creating the ebook, which might take you a few weeks. But once you’re finished, other than minor updates, your ebook will continue to earn money passively.

Also, it’s best to sell your ebook directly to buyers via your website. That way, you won’t have to split the profits with a third party website.

3. Invest in dividend stocks

Although most of the ideas on this list are passive, none will ever be as completely passive as investing in stocks.

Why? Because all you have to do is open a brokerage account, deposit some money, purchase a stock, and forget about it.

Now I’m not talking about any ole stock. I’m talking about dividend stocks. The kind of stocks that pay shareholders a portion of the company’s earnings monthly, quarterly, or annually.

With this type of investing, you don’t have to obsess over the stock or market’s daily performance.

It’s a smart long-term strategy for building wealth.

If you pick the right stocks and continue to reinvest the dividends, the power of compound interest could easily give you a huge nest egg for retirement or sooner than that.

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4. Start a lead generation website

Creating a lead generation website is a simple way to make passive income online.

Unlike affiliate websites, lead generation sites have a more local focus.

For example…

You can create a site for personal injury lawyers in Blaine, Washington.

If local residents are looking to hire a lawyer, they’ll come across your website when searching online. And you can either have them fill out their information or provide a number to call.

When they do this, you can pass their information off to local lawyers for a fee.

Another option is to rent ad spaces on your site to local firms.

Either option is fine, although the rental option can give you a nice stream of recurring revenue.

Keep in mind though, you’ll need to do some initial work to build up the site and get it ranked high on search engines like Google, Bing, etc.

There are many businesses you can do this for and it’s a lot more profitable than you think.

5. Create and sell an online course

Selling a course online is similar to selling ebooks.

Once again, your goal is to create a course around a specific solution for a narrow audience. Besides that, there are only two differences between courses and ebooks.

The first is that it may require a little more time to create a course, especially if you’re recording videos.

But don’t think videos are necessary or you need Disney-level production. Your course can be text-only or narrated screen recordings.

The second difference, and the biggest one, is pricing. You can easily charge $200, $400, and even $1000+ for a course.

That means you can make more money with less sales compared to selling ebooks. And of course, apart from any updates, it will continue to sell all day long.

As for selling the course, you can do that via your website or on a platform like Thinkific.

The latter saves you the technical headache for a low monthly cost. But other than that cost, you get to keep 100% of the sales revenue.

6. Make money licensing your work

Another way to make passive income is by licensing things you own and collecting royalties for it.

Here are a few examples:

  • You can create music and get paid to license it as stock music
  • If you love taking photos, you can license your stock photography
  • You can license your artwork for use on t-shirts and other media
  • If you own a digital product or software, you can license that too

When you license your work to others, they pay you royalties for using it. Just like how a company might compensate a musician for playing their song in a TV commercial or on the radio.

Now you don’t have to be a creative person to do this.

If you have zero talent, you can buy a license to sell someone else’s proven product and keep all the revenue.

It may not be F-U money but it can certainly earn you some extra passive income each month.

7. Invest in dividend ETFs

An exchange traded fund (ETF) is basically a publicly-traded fund that tracks a stock market index such as the Nasdaq 100.

Sound foreign to you? Don’t worry, I won’t burden you with any financial jargon.

When it comes to ETFs, there are thousands available. But the ones you should care about are dividend ETFs.

A dividend ETF is basically a collection (portfolio) of dividend paying stocks. Instead of having to buy individual dividend stocks, these funds allow you to invest in multiple stocks at once.

Many people choose ETFs because:

  • It’s a low-cost option
  • It offers long-term growth
  • It can provide safe retirement income
  • It can be passively managed
  • It offers exposure to several companies

That last benefit is especially important. It means you can diversify your dividend income. So if one company decides to stop paying a dividend or goes tits up, you won’t be left up shit creek without a paddle.

It’s also one of the main differences between picking individual dividend stocks and investing in dividend ETFs.

Now, there are pros and cons for both, but I won’t get into that debate. Some folks like to do a combination of both strategies.

However, if you don’t want to spend time analyzing the market, then dividend ETFs may be the better option for you.

Either way, both are perfect for creating long-term passive income.

8. Make money with joint ventures

Most people don’t think of joint ventures (JV) when they think of passive income.

Maybe it’s because they’ve never heard about it or no one really talks about it.

But let me tell you, it’s one of the easiest ways to make money without spending money or creating your own product.

So what is it?

A JV is where two or more parties combine resources to create a highly profitable winning situation.

Here’s an example, and one you can try on your own.

Let’s say there’s a salon and a med-spa in your city.

You can approach both and offer to increase their clients by implementing a referral program that costs them nothing.

The program will basically be having the hairstylists recommend the med-spa’s services and vice-versa.

In exchange for this, you can charge them a percentage for each referral client or a fixed monthly fee for implementing the program.

If you manage to do this successfully, you can repeat the program for businesses in other areas.

Then all you have to do is sit back and watch the funds roll in every month.

There’s zero maintenance, zero product, and everybody wins.

How’s that for passive income?

9. Invest in real estate

Some people say that owning rental properties is hard work and not really passive.

First, let’s raise a glass to those folks and say thank you for leaving so much money and opportunity on the table for you and me.

They must be the kind of people that often lose and get upset at the game of Monopoly. And I think I know why…

Apart from thinking they need millions to start, most people assume that real estate investing is complex.

Also, not everyone wants to deal with tenants calling at ungodly hours because they broke a toilet and need you to fix it.

But those just sound like excuses from scared and lazy people.

The reality is, real estate can be a source of passive income.

Will it require a little elbow grease and money to get started? Definitely.

Will tenants drive you bat-shit crazy? No doubt.

Are those reasons enough to avoid making an extra $1000, $5000, or $10,000+ every month? Only you can answer that.

All I know is that many people have used real estate to build wealth and become millionaires. And most started out with just one property.

Now if you think they’re managing properties themselves, you’re mistaken.

They definitely have systems in place to do that. Either a property management firm or their own employees. No one said it’s an “easy” stream of passive income, but it’s very lucrative.

BTW, if you do want to invest in real estate without dealing with maintenance and tenants, and want to take advantage of properties across the country, then check out Fundrise.

It’s free to sign up and explore.

10. Launch an affiliate program

Got your own product? You can create an affiliate program for it.

Basically, you’ll be paying other people (affiliates) a commission to sell your product.

This is a great alternative to affiliate marketing because all you have to do is create the product. You don’t need to build a website and drive traffic to it.

Once you have your product, you just have to contact potential affiliates and ask them to promote it in exchange for a commission.

As long as the product is good and fits an affiliate’s audience, it’s a win-win scenario. Both of you will make money passively. And the more affiliates you have promoting your product, the more money you’ll make.

BTW, don’t worry if you don’t have a product idea or skills. You can easily hire someone to create a product or purchase the private label rights (PLR) to resell another product.

Apart from creating the product and connecting with affiliates, there’s virtually zero maintenance involved in running an affiliate program.

You can literally create a bunch of products, sell through affiliates, and just stack the profits.

11. Build a software as a service (SAAS)

Critics will argue that software can’t possibly be a source of passive income, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

There are many solo founders who’ve turned their software projects into lucrative streams of income.

Some of them don’t even spend more than a few hours each month working on the software. Other than minor updates, everything is pretty much automated.

Usually software can make $10,000 a month easily for it’s founder. However, one of the biggest benefits of software is it’s unlimited earning potential.

So if the founder decides to make more money, they can simply hire a team to do that. Especially if the software needs to offer user support.

Obviously the biggest obstacle is whether you can code or not. If you don’t know how to code, there are two ways to overcome this:

  • You can hire someone to build the software for you, or
  • You can buy an already established software product

Either way, you’ll need to invest time or money to turn a SAAS into a stream of passive income.

If you want to see success stories of people making money with software, check out IndieHackers.

12. Make money with Airbnb

I’ve already touched on making money with traditional real estate and long-term rentals.

Now we’re going to discuss short-term rentals. Specifically, those that are the driving force behind the sharing economy.

You’ve no doubt heard about services like Airbnb and VRBO. You’ve probably even used them at some point.

What you may not know is that a lot of the properties are generating a good chunk of income for their owners.

Those folks make money by renting a part of their homes or their entire house. And since most guests only stay for a short period of time, owners don’t have to worry about leases or contracts.

Yes, there are minor expenses such as maintenance and cleaning. But compared to a traditional lease, you can make 2x more money with short-term rentals.

The big question is… “is this really a stream of passive income?”

Again, it’s all about having systems in place.

Considering that many people rent out properties in multiple states and countries with little effort, I’d say that qualifies it as passive income.

13. Create your own mobile or web apps

Who do you think loves apps more, the people that make them or the ones that download them?

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that the person making thousands of dollars each month from an app is probably in no rush to swap places with the folks who are downloading it.

Apps are similar to software in terms of maintenance and scalability. And although it’s harder for non-coders to create an app, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do.

Just like software, you can hire someone to create your app or buy an existing app. Another option is to learn how to create apps on your own.

If you think that’s impossible, you should read this story about a guy who makes passive income from an app he created himself.

And if you want to see more successful apps, you can visit ProductHunt.

Time to Earn Money While You Sleep

You now have a list of proven ways to create passive income.

If you have any desire to achieve financial freedom, you’ll make it a priority to create different streams of passive income.

You may not be able to add every stream to your life today, and that’s fine.

You can simply set a goal to create one stream of passive income by the end of the year. And over time, you can add more streams to grow your wealth.

Remember, this isn’t an overnight process, it’s a long-term one.

Unfortunately, most people don’t realize this…

They want to rush into things, which causes them to make poor decisions that can severely affect their current and future finances.

The good news is, there are a number of folks just like you who would love to learn about creating streams of passive income. And a post like this could help point them in the right direction.

Together, you and I can inspire those people to help them achieve the financial prosperity they want to have. And it starts by doing something as simple as sharing this post.

All you have to do is click the buttons below. It’ll only take a few seconds. So go ahead and do it now.

About Alex S.

When he’s not watching Barca games, Alex is busy sharpening his coding skills. A self-taught indie hacker who enjoys finding ways of automating pretty much anything in his life. He’s not fascinated by finance, but he loves the thrill of making money.