18 passive income streams that can make you real money

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Creating several passive income streams is a dream for many entrepreneurs. It can accelerate plans to make extra income, pay off debt and invest in building wealth.

But what exactly is passive income? Are these streams truly passive? What can we do to begin tapping into this hidden stream of profits?

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Read on to find out how you can start producing passive income today.

What Is Passive Income?

Who doesn’t want an extra source of income or some extra cash to splurge here and there? Well, passive income is the best income stream that you can have. It’s cash flow without considerable effort.

Passive income is all about money making money 24/7. You know the famous “make money while you sleep” idea. It’s about buying money-producing assets and investing time to build products that generate income without future effort.

Your ability to generate an income, become rich and accumulate wealth is infinite. Sure, you may have to find multiple income streams to keep it going depending on market cycles and economic conditions. But it’s there for the making.

There are two main ways to generate passive income: purchasing and creating assets that earn money.

Truly Passive: Purchase and Forget It

Passive income that is always passive is usually found in the form of investments. With this type of income, you make a purchase and forget it. Therefore, you don’t have to devote time or energy to generate money from these passive income streams. 

1. Income From Stocks

There are two main ways to make money from stocks. First, you can start investing. Purchase and forget it. Then make money when you sell the stock down the road through capital gains. That isn’t a continuous form of income, but it can come in handy when you’re ready to retire.

On the other hand, you can see regular passive income in the form of dividends from dividend stocks. Here, dividends are directly paid to you in cash, but you can reinvest the dividends. Large and well-established companies usually offer dividend-paying stocks with profits that they want to return to shareholders. As a bonus, these stocks may be less risky and less volatile than growth stocks.

Although you may choose to buy dividend stocks individually from well-known companies, you can also find them in index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as a group of stocks that mimic the market or industries. This form of investing minimizes risk by diversifying investments while still offering regular income through dividend stocks.

Some investors may argue that income from dividends isn’t passive income. But I argue it’s passive because you don’t have to actively do anything to make it. 

2. A Bond Ladder

A bond ladder is a portfolio of multiple bonds that mature at different times. When the bonds mature, you can reinvest the returned principal in new bonds and start a new ladder or continue adding on to your current one.

Bond ladders provide current income while limiting rate risks. Investors can have predictable passive bond income depending on maturity dates. However, bond ladders may need to be re-balanced depending on rate changes over time.

Investors should consider different types of bonds when creating their portfolio for passive income with bonds.

3. Income From Interest

You can earn passive income with interest when you loan money to someone else. For example, you can loan banks money in the form of a high yield savings account, and you can lend businesses money in the form of bonds. 

But you also earn interest when you loan money to peers.

Peer-to-peer loans are personal loans between you and a borrower using third parties like Peerform, Upstart, Lending Club, Funding Circle or Prosper. You have to keep in mind that peer lending is high risk due to the unsecured nature of the loans. But with higher risks, you’re likely to make more interest than using high-yield savings accounts.

4. REITs

Rental properties are expensive and time-consuming. If you love real estate but don’t feel like putting in the work or money to flip or manage properties, check out real estate investment trusts (REITs). Real estate investing with REITs is like buying and selling stocks on major stock exchanges. These funds include commercial real estate, movie theatres, apartments, office buildings and more. 

5. Invest In Crowdfunded Real Estate

Invest in real estate without buying property through crowdfunding real estate platforms. These platforms connect investors to real estate investment properties. Money is pooled together to buy multifamily properties, commercial or retail properties, office buildings, single-family homes, and more. In addition, investors collect passive income through the form of dividends. 

6. Rent Your Parking Space

There’s nothing like owning a piece of asphalt that can make you some easy money. Renting out your parking space in crowded cities where parking is precious can earn you a few hundred extra dollars a month. Of course, location matters, but size can also be important. Some renters may be willing to pay more for lighting, security, electric charging stations, and cameras. Check out third-party platforms like CurbFlip, SpotHero or ParkingCupid to look for renters. Just keep in mind they may take some of your profits while serving as the middleman.

Requires Upfront Work, Then Becomes Passive 

Despite its name, passive income is rarely 100% passive. Instead, many forms of passive income take upfront planning and work to produce a continuous money flow.

7. Income From Royalties

Earning passive income from royalties is more popular than you might think. It’s the money you earn as people pay you for a percentage of the sales of your intellectual property. It can be anything like copyrighted music, pictures you sell on a stock photography platform, books and more. Royalties are paid every time a third party sells your creation. And if you get famous enough, your name can earn royalties, too.

Although freelance writing may not be passive income, writing a book once could be. 

8. Income From Publishing

Of course, if you want to put in a little extra effort, you can publish books and music yourself instead of earning money from royalties. You’ll make a more significant profit because you’re removing the third party from the equation. The process is also faster than working with publishers and agents because you’re making the calls. Only you can weigh the pros and cons of working with a larger agency. 

9. Income From Patents

Do you have the next best solution to the world’s biggest problem? If so, patent the invention and start a stream of passive income. Once you have the patent, you can create the product and sell it or license your patent to be produced by someone else who can then sell it. You’re the brainchild, but you don’t have to do much work when you license it. You can also sell patents if the price is right or used as collateral for loans.

10. Income From Affiliate Sales

Affiliate marketing is becoming a popular source of passive income. According to PayScale, the average base salary for affiliate marketers is $51,788 per year. Affiliate marketers promote products through email marketing, social media, or paid advertising for various products. Once marketers have built a large audience, they spend less time promoting the products. It only takes a few high ticket items and good blog posts or email evergreens to make a noticeable passive income.

11. Create An App

Who hasn’t used an app? Very few people, that’s who. Mobile apps can create millionaires overnight or at least a few extra thousand for the right person. If you have a knack for coding and programming, maybe it’s time you create an app to make money online. Once you publish it, you’ll earn passive money for quite some time. Even if your app is free to use, you can make money through advertisements.

And don’t worry about the time you’ll have to invest later to update the app. You might make enough to hire someone to help down the road.

12. Advertise On Your Car

If you’re looking to make some extra money while doing all the things you usually do, try advertising on your car. Think of making money on the commute to work or while running errands. If nothing else, you’ll offset the costs of gas while getting things done. Check out companies like StickerRide, Wrapify, Carvetise, Free Car Media and ReferralCars.

13. Create A Blog Or YouTube Channel

Become a content creator to make passive income online with a blog or YouTube channel. You can generate revenue through advertising, affiliate marketing and sponsored content. Of course, there’s a lot of upfront time invested. However, you only have to write an article or make a video once with blogging and YouTube, even though the article or video has traffic multiple times over. Once you establish a community and rank content with high traffic, you can outsource more to grow without doing the work. That’s less and less on your effort and time over time.

14. Sell Designs Online

Now is prime time to sell your graphic designs and artwork online. Bloggers, store owners, virtual assistants, influencers and others need graphic designers to help market and promote their products. You may find that you enjoy designing templates for social media or website designs, or maybe you create cute shirt designs. Your imagination is your only limitation. You can sell your designs directly on sites like Etsy, Creative Market or a personal website. You could also try building a membership community where people can access all of your designs for a monthly or yearly fee. Selling designs online requires a little upfront time investment, but you can put it on autopilot once the work is done.

15. Purchase A Blog

Everyone knows that blogs can generate money through advertising and products. But sometimes people don’t want to build a community, which can sometimes take years. You can buy a blog that is already established for 2-3 times its annual earnings to get a head start on owning a successful blog. It will probably take a few years to see a return on your capital, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you keep the blog well maintained. You may even run an email program to the already established email list that regularly sends visitors to your site.

16. Create An Online Course

Put in a little work to create a course or product and watch the money steam in without much more effort from you. While this form of income does require you to have a strong brand and presence, it’s still doable. You can successfully earn passive income for a significant amount of time after you create an online course. People are looking for systems that teach them everything from exercising and losing weight to stress management and personal finance. There’s something for everyone. What’s your passion? What can you teach the world?

17. License Your Photos

If you’re the sole owner of your photography, you can consider licensing your work for commercial use, non-commercial use, exclusive rights, non-exclusive rights, one-time use, or creative commons. Every time someone purchases a license, you get a kickback even though you only had to take the picture once. It took a little upfront work, but the return can be infinite.

18. Start An ATM Business

Have you ever wondered who owns the ATMs you see in the gas station, movie theatres and restaurants? Well, it’s probably everyday people like you. You can purchase an ATM and set it up anywhere to collect passive income. Starting a passive business with ATMs is simple. You’ll need to find a location, set up a contract with the business owner, and stock the machines regularly. You’ll have to share some of the ATM fees you receive with the business owner and the ATM processor, but the rest is yours, and you only have to put in a little work to get it.

Final Thoughts

It’s essential to have different streams of income. So, if you genuinely want to generate passive income, look for ways to make money without big-time commitments and work. Building a steady income stream may take a little time, but it’s worth it.

Imagine building wealth and financial freedom with relatively little long-term effort. This list of 18 passive income ideas is a perfect first step to generate more income and additional revenue with multiple income streams for years to come.


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50 ways to make an extra 100 bucks a day

50 ways to make an extra 100 bucks a day

Busy but kind of broke? Join the club.

The internet is full of lists about ways to make $100 a day in passive income, but if you’re not prepared to sell an organ or become a Wall Street wolf overnight, a lot of those lists won’t do you much good.

For those looking to make money online, on the bus to work, or even laid out on your couch, there is a slew of options at your disposal. And they don’t even involve you spamming your former high school classmates’ inbox desperately trying to sell overpriced hair products or yoga pants for dubious online companies.

From becoming a virtual assistant to teaching online and selling physical products to creating sponsored social shares, there are plenty of opportunities to make passive income every month.

Here’s a roundup of easy ways to earn a hundred dollars a day in your spare time without losing your dignity or kidneys.

Jcomp / istockphoto

DepositPhotos.com

Survey sites like Swagbucks will help you get paid if you already spend a lot of time online. Many Swagbucks users make $1 to $2 a day by taking surveys, shopping online, and watching videos. The app offers a myriad of ways to earn cash back through gift cards or PayPal.

Swagbucks

InboxDollars is another app that’ll pay you to play games, take surveys, watch videos, or do various other tasks. Next time you’re scrolling mindlessly through social media or watching a show, go to InboxDollars so you can get cash back on the side.

IndboxDollars

Survey Junkie connects you with brands and companies looking to get your opinions on a variety of subjects. This app will pay you to take surveys or even join focus groups depending on your demographics and interests.

Survey Junkie

Survey Rewardz also partners with companies to survey users and provide them with valuable marketing information. These companies pass along a small cash back reward to those willing to answer survey questions.

Survey Rewardz

This group has been pairing companies with users for over 20 years. With millions of survey takers to date, the site will pay for your feedback. Its partner companies will then use the survey results to inform its marketing decisions. You could easily make a hundred dollars a day simply by giving your opinion in your spare time!

American Consumer Opinion

Alliant Credit Union

Next time you go to the store, be sure you don’t skip on the receipt. Earn passive income by downloading the app, scanning your receipts, and saving up cashback and other perks from your favorite stores. You can use these rewards in-store and online.

Ibotta

You can get cash back rewards from many credit cards, debit cards, and loyalty programs. Check with your card holders to see what offers are available. You can also check your app store to find out if the stores you visit online or in-person the most offer royalty rewards.

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If you need help finding cashback and reward offers, Rakuten is the place for you. Use their mobile app or website to help you earn cashback and other rewards for the sites you already shop on. Getting paid is easy. Just connect Rakuten with your PayPal account to cash in your rewards. This is an easy way to earn extra income every day.

Rakuten

Pay your bills online with Trim to make sure you’re taking advantage of savings without doing the work. Trim automates the savings process by negotiating bills, fees and even canceling old subscriptions. You don’t do any of the work; just sign up for a subscription and let experts do the work for you.

Asktrim.com

BillShark is another great way to negotiate bills and fees. Just download the app, upload your TV, cable, internet, phone, or other bills and let experts negotiate lower fees on your behalf. The best part? If BIllShark can’t lower your bills, they don’t get paid. You’ll easily make $100 extra bucks or more with how much you save on bills.

BillShark

Before making your next online purchase, be sure to download the Honey app or browser extension. Honey scours the internet for coupon codes to save you money on your purchases. Even if they don’t find a discount code for you to use, you can earn Honey points to make extra cash via gift cards from Amazon, Target, Walmart, and other retailers.

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DepositPhotos.com

While you may not make money off YouTube immediately, you can build up your subscribers and view counts so you can start putting advertisements on your videos. You can also get tips from users if you do live streams.

DepositPhotos.com

Can you match $100 a day by playing video games online? Many streamers make more than that in tips from viewers in just a few hours of streaming on Twitch. Not a gamer? Stream musical performance, how-to videos, workout classes, and more. You can get paid to do the things you love or even teach others to play an instrument or learn a language. Audience members who like your live streams can donate tips to you, which you can cash out at any time.

DepositPhotos.com

If live-streaming isn’t for you, you can become a Twitch moderator. While not all moderators are paid, many streamers are at least willing to share their Twitch tips with moderators who keep the inappropriate language out of their chats or answer audience members’ questions.

Related: Do you have what it takes to be a Twitch moderator?

Markiplier/ Twitch

Many successful live streamers or YouTubers don’t have time to edit videos themselves. If you know how to edit videos, you can help content creators get their videos out sooner while also making extra income.

BartekSzewczyk / istockphoto

Good at photoshopping? Make passive income by creating the cover image for Youtube or videos on demand (VODs). These thumbnails are simple yet catchy images that show viewers what their video is about. Many content creators are willing to pay for anyone willing to help them make an eye-grabbing thumbnail.

NikkieTutorials / YouTube

Content creators may offer exclusive emoticons or emotes to viewers who pay to be subscribers or members of the YouTube or Twitch channels. If you know how to make basic emotes, you can make quick money by working with content creators to make one-of-a-kind emoticons that fans can use in live chats.

DepositPhotos.com

If you’re good with a camera, you can upload your photos to various stock photo websites, such as iStock or Deposit Photos. While each site will have different rules regarding how you get paid, you can get credit for your photos. You’ll easily add $100 or more to your passive income revenue by selling stock photos.

Deposit Photos

More and more small businesses are relying on their own sites for eCommerce and spreading brand awareness. However, many owners need help designing their site. If you know basic coding and are familiar with popular hosting sites, such as Weebly or Squarespace, you can take on clients on a freelance basis to make some side cash.

Depositphotos

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This option will let you clear out your home and fill up your bank accountant. While designer and well-known brands will fetch you more money online, Thredup and Poshmark also accept non-designer items. The cashout for non-designer items may be lower, but the savings can add up over time.

H E N G S T R E A M on Unsplash

Do you have digital artwork or prints you’re looking to sell?


Jump on the nonfungible tokens (NFTs) bandwagon and convert your artwork into profit. Many artists are making $100 a day or more by selling their art as NFTs. There are plenty of ways you can hop online to learn how to use NFTs if you’re not already familiar with how they work.

Sergey Shulgin / iStock

Not ready to make an NFT?


Sell your physical crafts or other goods through popular craft sites like Etsy. Since the pandemic, the demand for local or small business-made artwork and jewelry has increased. You can capitalize and make quick money on your talent by creating an online marketplace.

etsy

If you have gently used technology, furniture, or other goods, hop on eBay or Amazon so you can sell to buyers looking for a bargain. If you own your own business, you can even create an official store through these popular sites so you can reach an even broader audience.

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For less valuable goods, use Craiglist, Facebook Marketplace, Letgo, or other sites that match local buyers with sellers. You can move clothes, yoga mats, planters, and more quickly and even arrange socially distanced pickups.

Depositphotos

Vladimir Vladimirov

Turn your love for yoga, pilates, workouts, dancing, or more into a fun way to share your passion with others and get paid. Many people are willing to sign up for digital workout classes for a flat price or a suggested tip. You can simply share a Zoom link for a fee or use Twitch, YouTube, or even live stream through Facebook.

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For those who have beefed up their home gyms during the pandemic, a personal trainer can be a great way to turn their pandemic panic buy into a way to actually go through with their plans to reach fitness goals while stuck at home. Make quick money online by walking through workout routines, warmups, and how to use gym equipment so others can safely learn to work out from home.

DepositPhotos.com

Have extra fitness equipment? Rent out your dumbbells and equipment to others who are trying to get into shape. You can help and make good money by renting out equipment when you’re not using it.

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Help others sort out sustainable diets from trendy ones. Many people need assistance planning out meals, determining if going keto is right for them and answering other nutrition-related questions. You can also offer meditation and motivational classes too. You could easily make a hundred dollars a day with this side gig!

DepositPhotos.com

Love cooking? Help others find their passion for food by teaching them how to find deals, plan healthy meals and snacks, and find recipes that work for their dietary and nutritional needs and goals.

Tijuana87

If you love cooking, you can always take meal planning a step further and prep the meals yourselves. Many people are looking for local alternatives to national meal prep companies. Make extra money by sharing your favorite meals with others. You can offer different plans depending on your future clients’ nutritional needs and how many meals they’re looking to buy. Just be sure to follow good kitchen hygiene.

DepositPhotos.com

Maria Symchych-Navrotska / istockphoto

Many professions require listening to recordings and transcribing them in full. If you’re willing to transcribe these recordings, you can get paid handsomely for your efforts. Use sites like Fiverr or dedicated transcription agencies to sign up and take on clients on a freelance basis to make more money every month.

fizkes / istockphoto

With the rise of online learning during the pandemic, many students from K-12 to college need extra help as in-person tutors become scarcer. Teaching English online is especially in demand. You can sign up to work with an agency that offers tutoring services or advertise to friends and family yourself to build up a client base. The hourly rates will vary depending on which service you sign up with.

Yelena Khayrullina / istockphoto

News organizations, offices, and many other professions all need help filling writing and editing roles. If you have a knack for grammar, you can freelance from anywhere in the world. Make good money from freelance gigs on LinkedIn, Indeed, Fiverr, and even social media posts from independent workers or small businesses asking their followers for help filling these roles. If you love writing, you could also start your own blog and use affiliate links to start making money on your own time, too!

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If you have an upbeat personality and enjoy talking to people, many companies are looking for customer service reps who can work from home. There are plenty of options, from large corporations to local businesses, if you’re willing to work odd hours and help people solve their problems or answer questions about a business or product. If you’re willing to work a few extra hours a week as a customer service rep, you can easily make an extra $100 a day without ever leaving your couch. The average hourly rate may vary, but you can make good money with this job no matter your schedule.

DepositPhotos.com

Do you have experience in leadership, marketing, getting the most out of tax refunds, or a variety of other in-demand topics? Then the chances are high that there’s a market for your advice or expertise. Many entrepreneurs are selling their expertise through webinars that are either live or prerecorded. You can make money quickly by hosting them through Zoom, Facebook, your personal website, or various other sites and either ask for a flat fee or tip for access to your webinar.

Ridofranz/istockphoto

As more people adjust to working from home, the demand for virtual assistants has increased. If you’re good at managing schedules, ticking off to-do lists, and helping people get through their day, you could sell your services as a virtual assistant.

fizkes / istockphoto

Many people are willing to pay you for feedback on their website or physical product from tech startups or professionals revamping their portfolios. Whether you have an eye for good website design or comparing products, you can get paid through sites like UserTesting.com for your feedback.

AAUB / istockphoto

If you already spend most of your time on social media, you can capitalize on your free time by getting paid as a social media manager. This could involve creating posts, targeting certain audiences, affiliate marketing, building up followers, posting photos, or creating several other posts that will engage a business’s targeted audience and increase its brand recognition.

DepositPhotos.com

DepositPhotos.com

Going out of town and not taking your car? Rent it on a site like Turo to make quick money and easily earn $100 a day. The company will connect you with nearby candidates who want to rent a car. You can set the price per an allotted period of time and even a fee to cover insurance costs.

DepositPhotos.com

Anyone who owns or rents a coveted parking spot can rent them out for a fee through SpotHero. This can be an especially lucrative way to make money every month if you have a parking spot in a cramped city or another area with few parking spaces to go around.

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Spacer is another great alternative for anyone with a parking space or spare garage to rent out. It’ll be especially easy to make a hundred dollars or more if you’re looking to rent for a month or longer since Spacer connects users wanting to rent monthly with those looking to rent through the site.

DepositPhotos.com

Cameras, film equipment, audio equipment, and more are in high demand but can be expensive to purchase. If you have any equipment you’re willing to rent out for some passive income; you can make money off sites like ShareGrid and KitSplit.

DepositPhotos.com

When you’re not traveling the country in your RV, rent it out on RVShare to make extra cash. Since the pandemic, demand for RVs has skyrocketed, making it the perfect time to put your camper on the market and earn some passive income off it.

Pekic

Selling physical products, like clothes, online can take more time, but it’s still an easy way to earn passive income and make an extra $100 fast. Clothes for special occasions can rack up and take up space in your closet. You can rent expensive tuxedos, dresses, and other items online through StyleLend, RentMyWardrobe, and other sites.

DepositPhotos.com

Going out of town? Rent out your space on Airbnb. Depending on where you live, your home, apartment, or condo could get high dollar amounts, especially if it’s around the holidays or peak vacation times.

DepositPhotos.com

pixelfit

If you play games on your phone anyways, download Mistplay.

The app helps you earn points that you can cash in for gift cards to your favorite places. You can even add your friends on Mistplay and compete in challenges with them while earning extra money every month.

Depositphotos

Swap out your regular solitaire app for Solitaire Cube so you can start making money in your spare time. If you’re a casual solitaire fan, you can play in the Practice League and work your way up in the leaderboards. Anyone who places in the top three of the boards will win prizes through Solitaire Cube.

Depositphotos

Looking to discover new games? Connect with Bananatic to download free games. You can play or test out new games, gain banana coins and cash them in for various prizes, including game skins, steam wallets, pay safe cards, and more. This is a great way to earn extra money every month.

pixdeluxe

Play bingo in Blackout Blingo, formerly Blackout Blitz, to earn rewards and cash. The bingo game has already garnered the attention of over 5 million players. You can play on your android, iPhone, or iPad anywhere and at any time.

DepositPhotos.com

Nielsen is a global marketing agency that offers various ways you can get paid for your opinions, testing products, and even playing games. Join their Nielsen Panels, Nielsen Families, or other research groups to earn cash for your opinions on games, movies, TV shows, products, and more.

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