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Passive income is the dream for most people. Find out how to generate passive income from the internet with these 10 passive income ideas that you can get started with today.
It’s the dream isn’t it? Lazing on the beach, sipping on a cocktail (or a bottle of ice cold water, in my case – yeah, yeah, I’m boring,) counting your benjamins.
Wikipedia defines passive income as “income received on a regular basis, with little effort to maintain it”. Before I get into ways to create a passive income, I want to focus on a specific part of that definition. “…little effort to MAINTAIN it”. The key word here is “maintain” – while passive income does not require much effort to maintain, it almost always requires a substantial initial investment of either time, money (or both).
But in the long run, that initial time investment is absolutely worth it, especially when you’re sitting back watching your bank balance grow.
Here’s how you can generate passive income from the internet (my favorite way.)
How To Generate Passive Income From The Internet
1. Self publish an eBook
eBooks are incredibly popular these days, with the vast majority of eBooks being self-published. And while there is certainly an initial time investment involved with writing an eBook, there is the potential to generate a nice passive income through eBook sales.
I can attest to this, having written my own eBook (which you can check out here.) The process of writing my eBook was surprisingly simple. I wrote the eBook in Microsoft Word, exported it to PDF format, created a cover using Canva, and then uploaded it to SendOwl and linked my PayPal account.
Canva is a great tool to use for creating your eBook cover and graphics to promote your eBook but if you’d rather hire it out, you can find graphic designers on Fiverr or Upwork.
2. Purchase a rental property
Purchasing a rental property obviously requires some initial capital but in the long run, it could be a great opportunity to build a passive income. If you can find the right property in the right market, then you can potentially rent it out for more than your mortgage payment. Investing in a good property manager can help to ensure the property is well looked after and rent is collected on time.
A good alternative to buying your own rental property is to invest with a company like RealtyShares. RealtyShares is a crowdfunding platform that allows you invest in real estate for as little is $5000.
3. Start a Blog
Blogging is one of my favorite ways to generate a passive income. The beauty of a blog is that it’s always “on,” regardless of whether you are or not. Just recently, my family and I went on a week-long vacation to NYC, and I didn’t work a single minute on my blog. However, thanks to the hard work I’d put in prior to our vacation (and investing in some excellent scheduling tools like Tailwind) I was able to keep things running smoothly and continue to make money.
If you’re interested in starting a blog, I’ve written a step-by-step tutorial here (and you can also get a free copy of my blogging resource guide where I list everything I have done to create a full time income in less than a year.)
4. Multi Level Marketing/Network Marketing
MLM certainly isn’t for everyone but there are lots of people who generate an amazing income through network marketing. I personally know of a couple who makes six figures a month through their networking marketing business, so the potential is there.
It appears that one of the main keys to success is choosing a network marketing company that sells a product you’re genuinely passionate about. If you love the product, it’s probably something you’re already sharing with your friends anyway, so why not make some money doing so?
But, like any opportunity, network marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, and there is almost always an initial cash investment required. However, most companies will provide you with a start-up kit as part of your initial investment.
The jewelry company Stella & Dot is an example of this – their start-up cost is $199 but you get to choose $350 worth of jewelry. (I’m not a Stella & Dot consultant, but I think that’s a pretty good deal if you truly like the jewelry!) You can read more about Stella & Dot here.
Investopedia describes a robo-advisor as “an online wealth management service that provides automated, algorithm-based portfolio management advice without the use of human financial planners.”
If that sounds like gobbledygook, basically robo-investing means that you’re using an online service to invest your money for you, with very minimal requirements on your part.
Robo-investing is a great option for someone who doesn’t have the time or inclination to learn the ins and outs of investing (or the time to manage a portfolio) but wants to invest in stocks and bonds.
I’ve been using a robo-advisor called Betterment for a couple of years now and I’ve had a great experience with them. The initial set-up was very straightforward and I’ve basically done nothing since then – I let them handle everything.
6. Sell stock photos
If you’re good at photography, you can generate a passive income by selling your stock photography online. There are countless website owners looking for great stock photos to use on their site (I subscribe to two stock photo services for this blog.)
Once you’ve taken and edited your photos, you simply upload them to a stock photography site like Shutterstock or iStockPhoto. From there on out, every time someone purchases your photo, you’ll earn money.
7. Create an online course
If you’re an expert on a certain topic then creating an online course and sharing your knowledge with the world can be a great way to generate a passive income.
And don’t think that you’re limited to teaching things like accounting, freelance writing, knitting, etc. A quick search on Udemy and you’ll see that people are creating and selling online courses on every topic under the sun.
Just think, if it’s a topic or skill that you’ve mastered, it’s highly unlikely that you’re the only person in the world interested in it.
You can check out Udemy here for more inspiration (and you can also use them to host and sell your own online course.)
8. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing basically means that you’re partnering with a company to promote their product for a small commission, and it’s one of the most popular ways that bloggers and website owners make money.
Affiliate marketing is a long term game but once you’ve gotten the ball rolling, it’s basically the definition of passive income.
However, it’s not as easy as slapping up a few links on your blog and calling it a day – there’s an art to affiliate marketing.
Hands down, the best course I’ve ever taken on affiliate marketing is “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing” by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner.
Michelle is the founder of Making Sense of Cents and she makes six figures a month through affiliate marketing so it’s clear she knows what she’s talking about.
9. Create YouTube videos
YouTube is one of the most popular sites on the internet with billions of page views every day and you can tap into this by starting your own YouTube channel.
Start by creating videos that are funny, entertaining and/or informational and promoting the heck out of them. Once you’ve grown a following and garnered a good amount of views, you can start monetizing your videos with ads.
10. Sell digital products on Etsy
Etsy is the premier online marketplace for handmade products but there is also the ability to upload your digital designs and sell them through the platform.
Selling digital downloads is an excellent way to create passive income because it’s essentially set and forget – just upload your design to Etsy, set your price and the delivery is handled by Etsy (you’ll be responsible for driving traffic to your Etsy shop though, so consider starting Instagram and Facebook pages to promote your products.)
Do you have any other ways you generate a passive income from the internet? Let me know in the comments!
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