There is a specific tax definition of passive income, known as “passive activity” to the Internal Revenue Service. Passive income is any income you make without actively working or are materially involved. The IRS defines it as any rental activity or any business in which the taxpayer does not “materially participate.” Nonpassive activities, or active activities, are businesses in which the taxpayer works on a regular, continuous, and substantial basis.

When I purchase an existing online business, I look for cash flow over the past year and where the money comes from. I want the sources to be more passive so that it does not take a lot of my time. Also, typically I will make an offer that is 18 – 24 months of profit so that I know that I will get my money back within the next two years. I hope that helps!


Online business is how I’ve made a living since 2003 and what has helped me retire early.  I make over $40,000 a month through my blog. You can create your own blog here with my easy 15-minute step-by-step tutorial.  You can start a blog for as little as $2.95 a month (less than a cup of coffee!).  Create a blog and leverage it into affiliate sales or product endorsement deals. Consider topics like:
Did you ever see the movie Stripes? It's an 80's classic and one of those timeless comedies with Bill Murray. Click here to see Harold Ramis teaching his English class the Do Do Run Run by Shaun Cassidy. To get started teaching English as a second language to adults, go through your local schools and colleges to find classes where teachers of English are needed.
Are you skilled at a few special recipes or are your friends going crazy over your cakes? You know who you are. It might be time to take your talents to the making some extra money. People love to buy homemade goods, especially when you have a signature item or a story behind it. You can contract your items out for parties, meetings, etc. Or, consider holiday sales for local Christmas parties, birthdays and more.
28. Subscription – If you think of something valuable (newsletter, online magazine, etc.) that you can consistently offer on a certain basis (weekly, monthly, etc.), you may want to offer a subscription service. This could be a fee charged each time your product is sent out or on a monthly basis. Either way, this has to be something that your customers can only get by subscribing to your website.

This can include advertising, but many businesses also need help just filling up their social media profiles with relevant (and consistent) content. If you enjoy learning about social media and want to take things a step further and make extra money, social media management is a great option. If you’re good at it, it can also open up a lot of doors for you down the road. This is a great article from Small Biz Trends on How to Start Your Own Social Media Business.

While this isn’t exactly a long-term solution for making money (since you have to pay it back), it is a reliable way to get some extra cash when you’re in a pinch. It’s also a great way to make money by saving money if you use a personal loan to pay off high-interest debt, such as credit cards. Since getting a loan is one of the easiest ways to make extra money, we felt we had to include it.

A spin-off for web designers is to offer a landing page creation service. Well-optimized landing pages can be the difference between a successful and a failing business. And, as creating the perfect landing page isn’t easy, this is a service many businesses are prepared to pay for. I know people who are earning 6 figures per year and all they do is create landing pages for businesses. There’s serious money to be made.
I collected cans in my teens and made a few extra bills for spending money. If this idea is of interest, you might be motivated to hear the true story of Maisie Devore who was able to raise money collecting cans for a community swimming pool.  She was able to save $73,000 over three decades and is still collecting. Whoa! Learn more about this idea by reading my collecting aluminum cans for cash post.
If you’re strapped for cash but want to work on your own schedule, you might want to consider becoming a driver for Uber or Lyft. You can drive as much (or as little) as you want and set your own schedule. Plus, you get the added bonus of having interesting conversations along the way (or at the very least some colorful stories to tell of your travels with strangers).

As I mentioned in a previous post on the 3 Types of Affiliate Marketing Explained, the way I earn money with affiliate links in ALL of my online businesses is by promoting only products that I have used, and only what I would recommend to my friends who want to achieve similar results. I feel that anyone with an audience has a responsibility to do the same thing.
So, I put together a free master course for you to take that spreads out all of the work involved in starting a blog, into a series of action-packed lessons. My free course breaks the entire process of starting a blog down into an incredibly simple 7-day process for going from 0 to publishing (and promoting) your first blog post in just 1 week. I can't recommend it enough.
For sure! I think that’s something Jeff and I have learned rather quickly is to definitely not put all your eggs in one basket. We had 1-2 affiliates that we promoted for the longest time that were by and large our main sources of income. We realized that if we lost even 1 of those affiliates we would be in for a huge world of hurt when it came to our monthly intake.
Airbnb is a concept that has only been around for a few years, but it has exploded around the globe. Airbnb allows people to travel all around the world and to stay in accommodations that are a lot less expensive than traditional hotels. They do this by staying with participating Airbnb members who rent out part of their homes to travelers. By participating in Airbnb, you can use your residence to accommodate guests and earn extra money just for renting out space in your home.
2. InboxDollars – InboxDollars is similar to Swagbucks, since you’re going to be taking surveys, shopping, etc., so if you want to maximize your return, sign up with both websites. They also offer a search engine that pays you (like Swagbucks) and you get $5 just for signing up.  I won’t continue to list survey sites one after another down the list, but if you want to get paid to take surveys, also check out GlobalTestMarket, E-Poll Surveys and Survey Club.

I read about early withdrawal penalties on IRAs/401Ks very often. Almost always with a statement of “locked up” or “can’t touch” until 59.5. I’m sure you and well informed readers as well know about SEPPs in regard to IRAs/401Ks. For those that don’t SEPPs aren’t perfect but they are a way to tap retirement funds penalty free and I will be using in the future as I have over half of my equity investments within retirement accounts. South of a mil, North of a half. Let me add that I think your blog is outstanding.
This is probably my favorite opportunity on this list because it’s really easy to get started and easy to make your first dollar.  Amazon has an affiliate program that allows anyone to sign up for an account and then earn a commission if someone buys something from Amazon using the special link they give you.  Usually, you’ll earn 8% of the cost of the item on Amazon but that depends on the category the item is in.
Websites such as Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer offer opportunities to do a variety of freelance jobs, such as writing, programming, design, marketing, data entry and being a virtual assistant. Fluent in a second language? Check sites such as Gengo or One Hour Translation, or drum up business through a site of your own. No matter what kind of freelancing you do, keep track of the going rate for the kind of work you provide so you know if you’re charging too much or too little. Learn how to get started on Upwork.

While this isn’t exactly a long-term solution for making money (since you have to pay it back), it is a reliable way to get some extra cash when you’re in a pinch. It’s also a great way to make money by saving money if you use a personal loan to pay off high-interest debt, such as credit cards. Since getting a loan is one of the easiest ways to make extra money, we felt we had to include it.


So, I put together a free master course for you to take that spreads out all of the work involved in starting a blog, into a series of action-packed lessons. My free course breaks the entire process of starting a blog down into an incredibly simple 7-day process for going from 0 to publishing (and promoting) your first blog post in just 1 week. I can't recommend it enough.
To get started with Amazon affiliate marketing you will need to sign up with Amazon Affiliates. Then subtly market products on your site that are relevant to your niche and will be of interest to your audience. Make sure you only endorse high-quality products. If your visitors make a purchase on your recommendation but are not impressed with the item, you could quickly lose followers.
Investing in coins and collectibles: Buffalo nickels and Spiderman comic books are good examples of coins and collectibles that can rise in value, and thus offer opportunity for passive income investors. You'll need to get up to speed on the value of any coin or collectible under consideration, but once you do so, you're on the way to price appreciation on a commodity you'll be paying a lower price to buy, and will garner a higher price when you sell.
Webinars On Air is a powerful webinar tool that will enable you to create professional webinars for your viewers. Harnessing the power of Google Hangouts, this all in one solution will take care of all the technical aspects of hosting a webinar, including payments. Also have a look at our guide to the best webinar software, both free and paid options.
Try Uber EATS or DoorDash. Uber EATS offers part-time work that’s similar to driving for Uber or Lyft. Instead of picking up passengers, however, you will pick up food orders and deliver them in your area. Pay works similarly, letting you earn a per-job rate plus tips. Door Dash works similarly, letting consumers order food from restaurants and connecting drivers to pick up and drop off their meals.
Revenue sharing sites give you the opportunity to earn money online without having a website or a product to sell. If writing is your hobby, for example, then you can earn extra income by writing high quality articles and submit them to different locations on revenue sharing sites. I must admit I’ve never tried it, but I wanted to get it out as it can be a viable option to get started with.
But don't make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you're on call whenever you have a guest and you'll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, consider offering your guests paid add-ons, like Lauren Gheysens', Royal Day Out in London, England—where she gives visitors a local's only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
Write and publish an eBook. You don’t need a traditional publisher and financial backing to publish your own book anymore. In fact, Amazon.com makes it possible for you to publish your own eBook and sell it independently – with no financial investment on your part. And with Kindle eBook publishing, your book will appear on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours. Just be prepared to market it yourself on social media, your blog, or elsewhere if you expect to generate sales.
After these tenants move out, I'm thinking of just keeping the rental empty with furniture. It sounds stupid to give up $4,200 a month, but I really hate dealing with the homeowner association, move-in/move-out rules, and maintenance issues. Given that the condo doesn't have a mortgage and I have to pay taxes on some of the rental income, I'm not giving up that much. The condo can be a place for my sister, parents, or in-laws to crash when they want to stay in SF for longer than a week or two.
Most of these ideas can be scaled up to meet the needs of more customers and can have a huge impact on your financial prosperity. People who land on this page are looking for ways to make money right now. Some of these may be cliche, but that’s because they are proven. You can start making money tomorrow with most of these ideas. You can then, overtime, scale/pivot these active jobs into more passive entrepreneurial efforts. For example, you could start bar tending tomorrow and then one day become a bar owner or beer/wine producer or event planner or whatever you dream up. The point is to get going with something and look for ways to add more value to more people.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
Understand how a niche website works. A niche website focuses on very targeted, specific information. The content must be specific, useful and interesting to your target audience. Successful niche websites get anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 visitors per month.[5] You build content on a particular keyword, and you make passive income with Google Adsense or through affiliate links.[6]

I understand the need to build a profile, but again, after several minutes of answering repetitive questions, I am either told I don’t qualify, or I’m sent an email which contains a broken link, or…you get the idea.  I would gladly spend 30 – 45 minutes answering a survey, submit, and earn the amount of $ it said it would pay.  But, these last four days have been a royal waste of time. 


Become an Amazon Associate and then use Keyword planner to find an in-demand niche: With more than a million different products to choose from and up to 10% commission the sales you drive, Amazon’s affiliate program is a great place to get started. Browse their available products and see what connects with you. Or take it a step further and use Google’s Keyword Planner to quickly check how many people are searching for a specific term. With affiliate marketing, the more relevant traffic you can pull in, the more you’ll make off your site.

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