Top 30 Passive Income Ideas Online in 2021 to Help you Retire Younger or Earlier

"You’re not rich, unless you can earn money in your sleep" (by D.J. Trump). Passive income is when you do upfront work and earn revenue later in an automated way without being actively involved in the work. 1 min

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How to Make Money Online. 30 Passive Income & Online Business Ideas

As an entrepreneur, there is always going to be a limit on how much you can earn unless you can earn money without being actively involved in the work.

As Donald Trump once said, you’re, not rich, unless you can earn money in your sleep.

Passive income ideas allow an entrepreneur to earn revenue without requiring your direct involvement. Millions of people are looking for ways to make passive income stream, even if you want to become financially free and earn while sleeping.


1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a REFERRAL MARKETING. You promote and or recommend a merchant-company's product  and or services. Then you earn a commission for every successful transaction. Its FREE to join Affiliate Programs and you can earn from 1% up to 75% commission.

It is basically a revenue sharing between a website owner and an online merchant. The website owner will place advertisements on his websites to either help sell or promote or recommend the merchants' products or to send potential customers to the merchants website All in exchange for a share of the profits or a commission. 

There are three types of affiliate marketing programs you can choose:

  • Pay Per Click  (PPC) 
  • Pay Per Lead (PPL)
  • Pay Per Sale

Affiliate Marketing Quicklinks: 

2. Blogging

The blogging scene has changed in recent years. Previously people used to blog to fulfill their passion. Some found it the perfect solution to remain in touch with near and dear ones, globally, with the increased popularity of Internet.

Now, everyone and his mother wants to make money blogging. In fact, many are making an excellent income blogging right from the comfort of their home. 

Blogging Quicklinks:

3. Ecommerce Business

If you are one of those who still want to see how wonderful eke immerses, you must definitely start now. 

It is necessary that you take the opportunity of creating an e-commerce business today, since many retailers are hesitating on continuing their plan on creating ecommerce businesses.

4. Dropshipping 

Picture this. 

  • You sell a product that you don’t ever have to store. 
  • You set your retail price and every time you sell, your wholesaler or supplier ships the product for you (on your behalf) to your customers door in your name and you keep the profit. 

How is that possible? It’s called dropshipping simply put a Dropshipper is a distributor that will ship products in single units directly to your customer in your name.

5. Mobile Apps 

Have you ever wished of creating your own great game or dream app for iPhone or iPad making money with mobile applications? Is such a smart idea. It can be harder than making a course if you create or develop it yourself, but the income potential here is far larger.

Fortunately, you don't have to be a developer to start a Mobile app business. You can leverage the power of outsourcing.

Step 1:  Learn the system. Study and Think. Decide which type and platform for which you would like to develop your mobile app 

Step 2: Think of the app. Gather, great ideas, learn programming languages or hire any freelance programmer for creating your app.

Step 3: 

  • Create the app idea you have
  • Make your idea become a reality. 
  • Construct. and 
  • Test it out.

Step 4: Add it to the app store within days, not weeks. Decide on the pricing. The usual price for an app ranges from $ 0.99 to $ 10

6. Video Blogging 

Video blogging is a totally new resource of introducing ideas and products over the Internet. We surely do know about text or article blogging. But now videos are used as a preferable way of representation. This form of exchanging information may perhaps involve a lot of resources, but it is all worth it.

If pictures say a thousand words, then video blogging goes beyond that. You can make thousands of monthly income by becoming a successful youtuber.

7. Membership Sites 

Having expertise of some sort can be parlayed into passive income as well. You can set up a membership site which charges a monthly fee for access. As long as you can keep a stream of traffic coming to your site, you will have money coming in every month.

8. Digital Info Products

You can create your own info products product and offer it for sale on your website. 

  • This could be an e-book about a topic that you have some knowledge or 
  • expertise in an audio program or a 
  • how-to video series.

You create the product once and you continue to get paid for it each time you sell a product. Once you master the business model, you can generate a good income stream.

9. Cryptocurrency Investing

Cryptocurrencies are the latest big thing in the digital world and have now been recognized as being part of the monetary system. In fact, enthusiasts have tagged it as the revolution of money. If you have extra funds for investing, then you can start buying and selling cryptocurrency to make passive income

10. eBook Publishing

There are plenty of great resources online that will help guide you through the process of formatting writing and publishing your ebook don’t be afraid to use them as a small initial investment in a guide will help stimulate you guide. You save you valuable time and money in the long run.

11. Create A User-Generated Content Website

An article directory website directory can make a lot of money if the system is properly executed. Websites, like hub pages com, make millions every year and share their revenues with the contributors

12. Creating a Contest Management Website

 Creating a contest management website is fun. These websites can be financially rewarding as well. You have to develop a cool professional, user-friendly website to grab attention. Then you have to design contests for the subscribers and visitors if you enjoy quizzing. These contest websites will be an amazing adventure for you that simultaneously makes money without much effort.

13. Sell Stuff on eBay

Go through stuff in your attic or just go through your stuff in general, For sure you can find stuff that you don't use or need, and you can probably sell this stuff on eBay. For some nice Commission’s, you would be surprised to find out how many people are willing to pay for what you call junk

14. Open an Online Store

Ecommerce is a multi-billion dollar industry. Now people are fast becoming fond of online shopping. If you want to take advantage of this huge industry as a stay-at-home worker, then there are many ways for you to start your online store.

Either way, E-commerce sites have made it easier than ever to make money selling items online.

  • Shopify is the all-in-one commerce platform to run your business. Market your shop, sell anywhere, and manage everything using their suite of tools and expert-level support team.

15. Freelancing 

Freelancing, can end up being a great way to make money for individuals who do it part-time or full-time. The way to make money freelancing is to be dedicated and create a good reputation. Without these two things, it will be hard to find jobs and generate new ones in the future.

16. Sell Stock Photos

If you love taking pictures, why not sell them online? This may not ever replace your day job, but if you’ve got a knack for it, you can earn hundreds to thousands of extra dollars per month.

How much you earn depends on how large your portfolio is, experience level, and the number of stock photo agencies you work with. Like with investing, diversification is key. The more photos you have spread across agencies, the better your chances of earning passive income.

Sites like 500px, Shutterstock, iStock, and Adobe Stock are well-known places to start.

17. Sell Your Music

Similar to selling stock photos, you can sell your music (sound effects, audio backgrounds) online too. It’s another numbers game. You most likely won’t make very much in the beginning.

However, as you build your portfolio and audience over time (and get featured on more streaming services), there’s potential for a generous passive income stream. 

  • Epidemic Sound works with artists to distribute their music across multiple platforms. They pay you an upfront rate and then split all streaming revenue 50/50. 
  • Soundcloud lets you monetize uploaded tracks by paying you directly every month. Uploaded songs are instantly available to your audience for streaming.

18. Flip Websites or Blogs

Website flipping is selling and buying websites or blogs for profits. Through website flipping, the most valuable websites can even be sold for billions of dollars. 

You can buy an existing websites or blog that are already making money. People sell successful blogs for all sorts of reasons: they have no longer have time to do it; they have a new venture to focus on; they need immediate money; and so on and so forth.

It takes some research to find a blog worth buying, though, kind of like choosing the right rental property. Some minimum criteria should be met before you delve further. Flippa is a marketplace to buy and sell online businesses. With over 1.5 million registered users, Flippa is the biggest of its kind.

19.  Buy an Existing Online Business

Starting a business is a lot of work. It’s been the hardest thing you can ever do, not just financially or strategically, but emotionally. If you like the idea of owning a business, but don’t want to go through the hurdles of starting your own, you can skip all the early startup headaches and buy an already-profitable and functioning business.

The barrier to buying an online business is much lower than purchasing a brick and mortar business. They can be had much more cheaply, and there aren’t a lot of physical assets to deal with, and there isn’t much overhead.

Brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, online application, or software – you name it, you can buy it. Browse a few businesses for sale on BizBuySell to whet your appetite and see what’s out there.

But if you’re serious about the idea, do in-depth research into the industry, and don’t stop at a single business listing website. Buying a business is an enormous commitment, not just of your funds, but as a business owner, you hold the employees’ careers in your hand. It’s a responsibility that you can’t take lightly.

Do your homework on the business and industry in question. When you think you’ve done all the due diligence, go back and do even more

20. Build An Affiliate Site 

A niche website is a site built to attract visitors online with very focused interests. The goal is to become the authority of a specific topic. Content is exceptionally high quality and addresses specific questions related to that topic. The niche site targets a precise keyword, with high search volume, and provides solutions. Typically, search engines boost these sites to the top of the results page.

An affiliate niche website is one that monetizes the site using affiliate marketing and affiliate programs.

With affiliate marketing, you can earn commissions each time someone clicks on an advertiser’s link posted to your page. When you sign up for an affiliate marketing program, you’ll usually be given a personalized affiliate link. These links take users to the official signup page for the software/service but reward you with credit for each new customer you bring in.

These programs are usually free to join, but you may need to be a current customer to participate.

When you sign-up for an affiliate program with recurring commissions, you’ll often be given access to a member dashboard where you can generate affiliate links, track signups, and choose your payment method.

Most of the time, affiliate programs will pay you every 30 to 60 days via PayPal or bank transfer. Each company is different, though, so make sure that you clarify payment times with the software company.

21. Start a Podcast 

Writing is a skill, and not everyone is interested in developing it. Another medium for generating useful, educational, or entertaining content is by talking!

If you have a touch of charisma and don’t mind a microphone, try starting a podcast rather than a blog. Just like with a blog, you can earn money from affiliates, or advertisers, or by selling your products and services.

You don’t need a $500 microphone or fancy home studio to get started. You can start with a quick Amazon search for the best podcasting headsets under $50.

22. Create an eCourse 

Online courses have skyrocketed in popularity over the last five years. Once again, what are you passionate and knowledgeable about?

If you love it, someone else does too. Online courses can be the perfect complement to your blog or podcast: you provide free content to attract the right prospects, then offer a full-service, comprehensive, step-by-step digital course for the ones who are ready to take the next step.

Online courses are a tricky way to start if you don’t already have a website. But if you’ve been building good content and attracting an audience through your blog or podcast, consider online courses as a way to “level up” your business from affiliate products and advertisers.

23. Outsourcing Your Business 

Although businesses profit from the hands-on activity of the owners, it’s sometimes more prudent to connect your service or product with outsourced labor.

Outsourcing labor can deliver quality results while you spend time working on other areas of your life. It can be a way to increase productivity for your firm, but it’s mostly about giving you more time to live your best life.

Several services exist to connect your business to outsourced talents, like Cloudpeeps, Fiverr, Guru, PeoplePerHour, and Upwork. You can also create your own platform for outsourcing talent through social media or networking sites.

This requires a knowledge of highly technical programming skills, but automating online services like advertising or content creation can be a passive income booster.

For a truly passive income generation, automating modern services is an effective way to trawl the net and gain income. Such services are in very high demand and can be used in any other side hustle or business you may create.

23. Flip Domain Names

Flip domain names for websites and or blogs. A lot of people are building businesses online, and a catchy name is a significant part of a marketable brand. Having the right name is crucial to reaching out to a targeted audience.

Investigating new markets and using some creativity to purchase domain names that organizations would find useful can help you earn some cash. This is also great if you have business ideas and would like to do a market research of your own.

24. Create Software 

You don't need to be a developer to make money creating software. Nowadays, you can easily outsource the software creation to other people. Hire someone else to create the software, and then you can sell it as a passive income stream.

Many of us think of software as having a short shelf life, as becoming obsolete quickly. But that’s not always the case, especially for niche software in specific industries. Even when the software does need frequent updating, you can hire a software engineer once a year to modernize and improve it.

And “software” is a broad term. It can include mobile apps, WordPress plugins, online applications, and countless other types of digital property.

If you’re wondering how to make passive income as a software creator, the options don’t end with a one-time sale. You could offer the freemium model of “free with in-app purchases,” or the subscription model of a SaaS (software as a service) website, or annual subscriptions, or a reseller licensing fee.

The options are only as limited as your vision and passive income ideas!

25. Manage Social Media Accounts 

Small businesses know that to be successful in today’s marketplace, you need to have a social media presence. However, many small business owners do not have the time to keep up with social media.

If you have a knack with social media, you can help local businesses maintain basic social media pages for contracted monthly fees. This isn’t as passive as other options on this list, but you can turn the time spent aimlessly scrolling in the grocery store line into profitable time spent posting for your clients.

26. Design Graphics

Freelance graphic design can help build your toolkit for a career in design and also scratch your creative itch.

Similar to a social media manager, freelance graphic designers work with small businesses or brands who want to improve the look and feel of their brand. You would create content for their website, social media channels, or newsletters. If you are skilled in InDesign or Photoshop, graphic design is a great way to generate additional income.

27. Start an Etsy Store

Turn your crafts into cash with an Etsy store. Etsy is one of the easiest ways to start an online business. Etsy is a platform that lets users buy and sell home-made arts and crafts. Many hobbyists sell their creations online and gain popularity through the site. Etsy also makes it easy to get paid and ship through their site. Depending on what you sell and how popular it is, you can create a legitimate revenue stream through Etsy.

28. Become a Brand Ambassador 

There are plenty of companies looking for people to be the face of the brand. Brand ambassadorship is one way that they accomplish this.

As a brand ambassador, you would help with local marketing efforts and post about the brand on your social media channels. Companies will typically pay you for your efforts and also offer you an affiliate marketing code for any commission sales. You are essentially getting paid twice, once for promoting, and then for any sales you make.

29. Email Marketing 

Small businesses are looking for all the marketing help that they can get. Email marketing, while it may seem mundane, is still a prevalent form of small business marketing.

Many small business owners don’t have the time to do their own email marketing. Through technologies like MailChimp or Emma, you can easily create email templates that you can personalize and automate. From there, you just schedule the emails and forget about it.

30. Create an Audiobook 

Creating an audiobook increases the reach of your potential audience. There are tools out there available to help you, which can partner you with producers or allow you to sell your already created audiobook, such as ACX. The more channels you employ for your product, the broader your scope of sales increase.

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