Passive Income Ideas. 10 ways that work in 2021

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I was an office employee for so many years, and I spent most of my time in the office because I worked 12 hours (9 am to 9 pm). The thing is I did not have quality time for myself, and I was fed up. I wanted to be free. I could not picture myself spending 30 more years working for someone. To be free, I still need to make money; thus, my obsession with passive income ideas and how to make money even when I’m asleep.

After reading lots of books, including Rich Dad Poor Dad, and The 100 Dollar Startup, I knew I could discover new money-making ways that can substitute my full-time income; however, I did not know where to begin. So I started looking for ways to make passive income.

How possible is it to do nothing and still make money?

Passive income – what is it?

You need to know what active income means before you know what passive income is all about.

Most of us make money through Active Income. It’s the money you make when you sacrifice your free time going to work to get paid for the service(s) you offer. If you don’t go to work, then no payment. And if you happen not to receive payment for any reason, you may face different problems or challenges, especially if you don’t have any other stream of income. And there are still bills to pay.

In Passive Income, you make money with little or no effort.  You don’t go to work every day, but you still get paid.

Have at the back of your mind that most passive income ideas may require a lot of work at the beginning, but once everything is set, the income keeps coming in. You will definitely enjoy the rewards it offers for a long period without stressing yourself out.

Know you won’t be able to quit if you feel you can only make money by going to the office.

Passive income requires putting effort into something today that will bring you money for a lifetime. And when the money you make through passive income is able to meet your needs or expenses, you can decide to quit working for like.?


Why should I go for passive income?

If you desire freedom, then you need to consider passive income. The answer to why you should go for passive income lies in this quote from Warren Buffet:

“if you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”

Passive income gives you plenty of time to do anything you want to do with your time; you can travel, spend time with family and friends, enjoy a flexible work schedule, and much more.


Why I love passive income

Your earnings are not dependent on the time you spend working. Once you set up your revenue stream, you can make money with little or no effort.

Passive income requires you to work upfront. Then you can relax and watch your income grow for a long time.

Passive income gives you time to do the things you love and still make money at the same time.

Even if you don’t have plans to quit your job, putting all hopes on a single source of income is very dangerous. There is no 100% job security; you can lose your job anytime; thus, earning through passive income gives you more security.

I need to be frank about something I discovered over the years, do not think passive income is easy. It demands hard work and time to create. Passive income can come from an investment or a product; regardless of the source, you need to motivated and committed to building one. But as long as you put in the required effort and do the necessary research, you can grow your income while doing the things you love.


Best passive income ideas

This section will introduce you to passive income ideas I came across over the years while researching to earn passively (as well as how I’m currently building my income streams). Some of the passive income ideas you will come across in this article may require more upfront work and time than others, some have some risks attached to them, so you need to evaluate these ideas before making a choice.

I classified each income idea by capital, time, profit, and risk.

  • Capital: amount required to earn significantly
  • Time: the time required for work or to set up your income stream
  • Profit: potential income, which is based on average. You can earn high or low from any passive income idea if you execute it the right way or wrong way. Profit can also be influence by some external factors.
  • Risk: Risk involved to earn passively, including losing your funds. This category is also dependent on your risk tolerance.

The score provided in this post is based only on my personal experience and views.

Before you continue reading about these passive income ideas, ask yourself this question:

How many individuals are committed to learning how to earn through passive income?

The truth is, if you want to be financially free, you need to act now—no need to delay.

After going through the passive income ideas in this post, you can select any you find interesting and give it a try. If you start now, I’m certain you will grow your income, and you will live the life you dream about.


My 10 Best Passive Income Ideas

There are so many passive income ideas you can try to grow your income. We will cover some of these ideas in this post. Let’s get started.


1. Create a Blog

Capital: 1/5
Time: 4/5
Profit: 3.5/5
Risk 1/5

Blogging requires plenty of hard work during the setup phase, and it is not 100% passive. It took me three months before I was able to generate enough great content when I started blogging, so don’t think it is an easy task. Do not believe anybody that says you can build a blog that will make you plenty of cash within a week.

From experience, I discovered that if you are committed, put in the necessary work, and you know what you are writing, generating traffic will not be a problem. You will generate quick traffic, and the money starts coming in.

You can make money through affiliate marketing or by adding ads to your blog. Then you’ll earn a commission when people on your site click on affiliate links and make purchases.

If you have the interest to start a blog, I recommend you read this article on How to Earn Blogging without any Skills or Experience.

I got more than 180k views and made more than $3,800 after three months. The article will show you how I did it. I believe you can, as well.


2. Start your online store

Capital: 2/5
Profit: 3.5/5
Time: 4.5/5
Risk: 2/5

One of my best passive income ideas is having an e-commerce store. You can set up your online store as ease using platforms like Shopify.

Online shopping is the new trend, and the number of people who purchase items online keeps increasing yearly. You can create your online store and start earning passively even when you are asleep.

An e-commerce site has different business models like:

  • Sell your own digital products: Requires time and effort when creating your digital products. However, shipment and the product delivery is very easy; no need to stress or worry.
  • Sell your own physical products: Requires plenty of work and capital. You can come up with a unique product with a high-profit margin.
  • Sell products for people: It involves selling different products from the beginning. Standing out and making profits can be difficult since the market is very competitive.
  • Dropshipping: You don’t need to have any product, just an online store. When a customer buys an item from your store, the product manufacture will handle the shipping to the customers. This option is nice as it saves you the stress of handling delivery and returns. Also, you have little control over the product quality as well as customer experience.

Right now, the best e-commerce platform you will find is Shopify. Using this platform gives you access to amazing templates that allows you to design your online store without stress. Shopify also has so many adds-on and tools you can use to process payments, set up promotions, handle product deliveries and returns, and so on.




One of the passive income ideas for people who don’t have enough resources is to create digital content. This idea demands more time and is less passive compared to other passive income ideas. But if you are patient, you will enjoy the benefits it offers and also generates real streams of passive income.


3. License your photos

Capital: 1/5
Time: 3/3
Profit: 2.5/5
Risk: 1/5

If you are gifted with taking beautiful pictures, then you can make money by selling your best pictures online. You can sell your pics online, whether you are a pro or a novice. Most photo sites will pay according to downloads; anytime your picture is downloaded, you will be paid a certain percentage. So all you need to do to start earning passively is to upload your pictures on the site and make money anytime someone purchases them.

You can sell your pictures on Adobe, iStock, and Shutterstock; there are the best platforms so far to sell photographs on the net.

If you are interested in learning how to earn by selling pictures online, you can check Udemy for amazing courses. Picture courses on Udemy have nice ratings (4.5 stars), and more than 1000 people have taken these courses.

Visit the following sites for passive income ideas through photography:

  • Make extra cash online by selling your pictures
  • License your pictures on the internet: Create photos that sell


4. Earn with affiliate marketing

Capital: 1/5
Time: 4/5
Profit: 3.5/5
Risk: 1/5

Another exciting way to earn passively is through affiliate marketing. This passive income idea involves researching a potentially profitable niche, employ SEO tactics and advertising to generate traffic for your site, and make money through commission when you recommend products/services.

Building a large audience will take time and effort, but once you have the right system in place, you can start making money with little effort.


5. Write an E-book

Capital: 1/5
Time: 4/5
Profit: 3/5
Risk: 1/5

Writing e-books is one of the passive income ideas you can try is you are looking for another income source. You will spend a lot of time when writing one, but it is totally worth it since you can earn passively for months or years after publishing. Now is one of the best times to be an author, all thanks to digital technology. If you fancy writing content, then writing an e-book of 80-100 pages on things you like will not be a difficult task. The key to success is to select a profitable niche and use bloggers/influencers in that niche to market your e-book.

You can make more money by writing non-fiction books on educational topics like online marketing, business, finance, and so on. Non-fiction books pay more than fiction books. There are exceptions though; you can write a fictional book like Harry Potter that will make waves and sell. But it’s advisable you go for what will sell fast if you need quick residual income opportunities.

One of the easiest ways to get your book quickly on Amazon and start earning is to use the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform.


6. Create an app

Capital: 2/5
Time: 3/5
Profit: 3/5
Risk: 3/5

Among the passive income ideas listed in this post, app development is not the easiest way to earn. You will spend a lot of money if you want to develop an app, unless if you have the skills to do it yourself. However, you can still make little money when your app is downloaded if you can get people with the right skills and ideas.

The secret to success here is to develop an app that helps people solve problems. Also, you can check for apps with high downloads but bad user experience or bad interface, and create something similar while addressing issues with such app.

If you have the skills to develop an app or you can generate the resources required to build one, you can give this passive income idea a try.


7. Earn by selling printables on autopilot

Capital: 1/5
Time: 3/5
Profit: 3/5
Risk: 1/5

If you fancy design and you love artistic works, you can sell digital products on Etsy as a way to earn passively. There is little maintenance for digital products; all you need to do is send your clients a link to download the product. This saves you the stress of handling shipping and returns. Creating beautiful artwork will take time, but it will be an easy task since it’s something you love to do.

You can earn passive income by selling printables like greeting cards, organizers, decorations, invitations, wall art, and so on. Another way is also to sell calendars, planners, recipe cards, meal plans, or any beautiful product. You will always sell provided your printables are attractive or appealing to your audience.


8. Teach your expertise

Capital: 1/5
Time: 4/5
Profit: 3/5
Risk: 1/5

Another way to earn on our list of passive income ideas is to teach your skills or expertise to people in need of them. You can do so by creating online courses to earn passively. Creating courses on the skills you want to share may be time-consuming at first, but in the end, you will earn a lot of money for a very long time from your courses.

A lot of people are making money through this platform. You can create e-books, videos, checklist, audio files, and virtual illustrations to supplement your teachings as you share what you know with others.

To maximize sales, you can create different online courses and sell at different prices to potential customers.

The best websites you can count on to create online courses and sell your skills at ease include Udemy,, and SkillShare.

A nice place to start if you have a keen interest in generating passive income through online courses is the Teachable free webinar; this platform offers free live training, which you can use to launch your course.

9. Create a YouTube channel

Capital: 1.5/5
Time: 4.5/5
Profit: 3.5/5
Risk: 1/5

To be honest, earning through this means is not that easy. Before you can make significant cash, you will need to create plenty of video content, not just any type of video, something interesting. Generating organic traffic from Google and YouTube is possible if you choose the right target and create interesting/useful content.

You can earn by displaying ads on your video channel; you get paid anytime people watch your videos.

High-quality video contents are scare compared to text-based content. Instead of reading long instructions, people prefer to watch videos. The video market is less competitive. So you can give this a try if you are good at creating interesting videos.


10. Flip domains and social media accounts for profit

Capital: 1/5
Time: 2/5
Profit: 3/5
Risk: 1/5

This passive income idea involves purchasing domain names at affordable prices and reselling them to make profits. The secret is to get names that will be valuable to businesses in the future. Some individuals have made huge profits (in millions) by buying the right name; you can be lucky as well.

Make sure you do proper research and pick keywords with income-generating potentials. A nice place to begin is to choose a particular niche, narrow your focus, and look for domain names in that niche with high selling potentials.

Do not empty your purse trying to purchase a domain name. Keep the price within 10-100 USD. Have at the back of your mind that the money you will make is not necessarily in the domain name but your sales skills. Your negotiation skills will determine if you will make big profits or small profits if you have a domain name for sale, and there is someone who wants it.



You can employ any of the passive income ideas above to make money, but you need to be committed and put in the required work to be successful. Regardless of the passive income idea you go for, you will have to sacrifice your time at first to make money.

My favorite passive income ideas are: make money with affiliate marketing, teach your expertise, flip domains and social media accounts for profit. Currently, I am looking to learn how to sell printables on autopilot, develop an app and create a YouTube channel.

If you want to be independent financially, then you need to look for ways to earn passive income, which should not be an issue since we have covered some ideas in this post. Based on your experience, skills, or likes, which of the passive income ideas will you consider?

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