10 Best Passive Income Ideas

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There are two basic ways to make money. The first is the traditional way: getting out of bed in the morning and working for it.

But the second way is a lot more fun because it means you get to earn money while you’re sleeping, or reading a book, or in the middle of a lake on your kayak, or anywhere. Once you’ve gotten them set up, the best passive income ideas require little to no active effort from you.

Most of these passive income ideas require a bit of startup capital, so your first step will be building up some savings. After that, get ready for your money to start making you money! How to create passive income with no money is a bit trickier and narrows your options, but there are still things you can do.

1. Start a Dropshipping Store

Dropshipping is one of the most profitable passive income sources you’ll find online. And since we here at ANTDIY specialize in dropshipping, it’s a good place to start. 

With dropshipping, you can find trending products on the ANTDIY that you can then sell online to customers around the world. You can sell products in various dropshipping niches from fashion to home decor to beauty. 

The magic in dropshipping is that you build your own business and control how much you charge for the products. In fact, out of all the passive income ideas on the list, dropshipping is the one where you have the most control over your earnings. 

To start dropshipping today, you can sign up for Shopify. In the Shopify App Store, you’ll find the ANTDIY so you can find products to sell.

2. Create a Course

Selling online courses is one of the best passive income ideas of 2020. 

We’re still seeing massive sales growth for course creators. Whether you decide to sell a course on your own website or on a platform like Udemy, you’ll find customers who want to learn your insider tips and tricks. 

If you’ve followed tip number two and built your own audience, selling your course on your website can help you control how much passive income you earn. Finding your customers is up to you. 

That will be a bit easier if you sell on course platforms like Udemy, but your course may be heavily discounted during certain periods. This will affect how much passive income you earn.

3. Investing

Investing is one of the most common and accessible methods of generating passive income. Over the long term, the stock market has consistently generated steady returns, even if it has ups and downs in the short term.

There are a couple of ways to earn money from stocks. You could buy high-dividend stocks for regular cash payouts based on company earnings. Or, hold onto ordinary low-dividend stocks and let them grow in value until you’re ready to sell at a profit.

It’s also possible to buy shares of REITs (real estate investment trusts) and earn a share of income from the real estate projects they hold. You can get started investing with as little as $100!

4. Buying bonds and/or CDs

Bonds and CDs (certificates of deposit) are two very low-risk ways to get your money making money. The tradeoff for this safety is usually fairly low returns and having your money committed for a certain amount of time. For instance, checking current CD rates shows that you can earn about 2% for a one-year CD. There is usually a penalty if you need to withdraw early, so make sure you don’t need the cash soon.

With bonds, how much they pay mostly depends on how stable the bond issuer is. U.S. savings bonds are guaranteed by the government and are very safe. Corporate bonds depend on a variety of factors to determine their risk factor and interest rate. Generally, you can expect to see anywhere from 1-4% as a bond’s annual interest rate.

5. Publishing ebooks

When it comes to how to create passive income with no money, you’ll have to invest effort upfront instead. Passive income ideas like this and the next few only become passive over time.

Self-publishing books on Kindle is one popular way to monetize fiction or nonfiction writing. Actually writing the book will require the most time and effort of the process, of course. You’ll probably also want to research some marketing strategies to get your title out there. After that, you get to sit back and make sales! Even if you only charge a couple dollars, it can add up as people continue buying copies for years into the future.

6. Building a niche affiliate website

The upfront work of this method includes finding a niche to write about, creating an attractive website, researching keywords that will drive traffic to you, and joining affiliate programs. Once it’s set up, you’ll earn ongoing income from any affiliate sales your content generates. You might want to make occasional updates to keep the site active and update keywords. When it comes to websites like these, think small and specialized. Review websites for a specific type of product can be successful and easy to monetize.

7. Coding apps/software to sell

If you already have tech skills, think of a program that would improve people’s lives or be fun to use. Even simple apps can be successful. For instance, look at the story of Flappy Bird: an extremely simple yet addictive game that went viral and at one point was earning its creator $50,000 a day from ad revenue. This story is an exception rather than a rule, but it demonstrates that you don’t have to build the fanciest, most complicated apps to earn a profit. Once your app is available for sale, there’s little ongoing work besides making any necessary updates.

8. Selling stock photos

This isn’t a passive income idea that will usually make you rich, but it is relatively easy. Once you’ve done the work of taking photos and listing them on a stock photography site like Shutterstock, your photos can bring you a little cash on the side for years to come. These days, most smartphone cameras are capable of producing high-quality images, so you don’t necessarily even need to upgrade your equipment (unless you’re already a hobbyist photographer and have a DSLR on hand!).

Think about the types of photos companies might want to use for websites, articles, etc. The subject matter might not always be the most exciting, but getting paid is exciting, right?

9. Host Airbnb

If you followed step number eight, you can choose to list your condo or home to rent on Airbnb. 

What’s interesting is that you don’t actually need to buy a new property to make Airbnb passive income. You can also rent a room in your current home or apartment if you have a spare room. 

Also, Airbnb has recently expanded into “Airbnb Experiences,” which allow you to host events, meetups, and tours in your city. You can choose to make some side hustle money through that as well, though it won’t be passive income.

10. Keep your savings in a high-interest account

High-yield savings accounts are a very secure place to keep your money. However, the drawback is that you usually won’t earn significant amounts of passive interest income. Sometimes you can get up to 5-6% on limited amounts at credit unions or other special accounts like Netspend, as outlined here. Otherwise, you can usually expect to see 1-2% on regular online savings accounts like Chime or Credit Karma Savings.

These rates are partially determined by the Federal Reserve’s target interest rate, so they can go up and down. In fact, as I write this, most interest rates have been cut to beneath 1% as a pandemic response to stimulate spending. Only time will tell how these rates change in the future.

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