We’ve discussed how to get started building passive income for financial freedom in a previous post. Now I’d like to rank the various passive income streams based on risk, return, and feasibility. The rankings are somewhat subjective, but they are born from my own real life experiences attempting to generate multiple types of passive income sources over the past 16 years.
If you’ve got experience and expertise in a specific area of business, there are hundreds if not thousands of business owners who would love to jump on a phone call and pick your brain. This can be an easy way to make extra money online and to hone your skills to use in your consulting or freelance business. Sites like Clarity.fm let you create a profile where entrepreneurs and business owners can pre-pay to book a phone call with you for a set amount of time. Whether you’re an expert in raising money for startups, building apps, or running a restaurant, you can make extra money selling a few minutes of your time to people in need.
Did you know you can make money simply by owning a car? It's true, thanks to a company called Turo. Turo is a “car sharing marketplace.” Next time you're in a new city and need to rent a car–instead of using an airport car rental, you could use Turo and rent actual people's cars! (Similar to how Airbnb replaces hotels). Turo lets car owners earn money in three ways: local pickup (renting your car from your own driveway); delivering your car to local places; and also by leaving your car somewhere to be picked up (such as at the airport). Earn Money with Turo.
Tutor students. Many families prefer the flexibility of using an online tutor. Depending on your background, you could be simply helping a child with homework or providing college-level support. You need to have your own computer and high speed internet. Experience required differs among companies. Some require “strong experience,” while others require a specific educational background. However, most companies do require a college degree.
Work as an online interpreter or translator. If you’re fluent in a foreign language, it makes sense to look for work as an online interpreter or translator. Depending on your individual skillset, you could find work translating blog posts or eBooks, transcribing recorded lessons or speeches for clients, or translating through Skype or another online video service. And, thanks to the increased use of foreign languages in the United States, getting started could really pay off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for interpreters and translators is expected to increase 17% nationally through 2026.
Better yet, you can even upload your own book to one of the world’s largest book sellers: Amazon. With Amazon self-publishing, you set the price, retain the rights to your book, and get access to Amazon’s massive audience. For every sale, you keep 70% with Amazon taking the remainder as a fee. If you want to get started, check out Leslie Samuel's great guide to selling eBooks online or follow Tara Gentile on CreativeLive as she shows you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Who knows, you might just write one of the best business books of this year!
If you live near a university, there are likely all sorts of research studies looking for participants. While I was an undergrad at Virginia Tech, I got paid $500 to participate in a 6-week dietary study. The study provided all my meals and paid me, but I had to eat a 5,000 calorie diet of 50% fat for 6 weeks, plus I had multiple muscle biopsies, urine/blood testing, etc.
There’s plenty of work and clients to be found. If you know where to look. To start, you need to know if there is enough demand for your skill to make it worth the effort to go out looking for work. Start by searching for freelance postings on sites like Flexjobs, SolidGigs, Contena or one of the dozens of other skill-specific freelance job boards.
“Donating plasma is similar to giving blood. A trained staff member called a phlebotomist puts a sterile needle in your arm vein to draw blood. The blood is then cycled through special, sterile equipment that separates plasma from the other parts of your blood. Your plasma is then collected in a container, while the other parts are safely returned to your body. This process is called plasmapheresis.”
Investing is arguably the easiest way to make passive income. The problem is most investments sound good in theory but don’t work out so well in practice. And if you don’t have much experience or access to capital, let alone the time to work it all out, it can seem more or less impossible. However, there is one smart way to invest that just might work. Continue reading >
Being a food delivery driver is back in style! People all over the country are signing up to do it. Two companies are dominating the space: DoorDash and UberEats. How it works is easy: When a person places a food delivery order from a local restaurant, the restaurant notifies DoorDash or UberEats (whichever one they use) that they need a driver to pick up and deliver the food to the customer. As the driver, you get a notification that a delivery is waiting and you can choose to go pick up and deliver the food (specific instructions on where to go, etc. included). DoorDash pays a minimum of $10/hour but says drivers can earn $25/hour on average. I've read from various sources that UberEats drivers make between $10-$12/hour after accounting for expenses. I recommend looking into it yourself. Click here to read about DoorDash, or here to read up on UberEats.
It works essentially the same way as the phone apps do above. If you don’t care to let Google know what you do on a daily basis, you can make money from home by letting them monitor your Internet usage. They use the information they gather to help them market/increase the functionality of their advertising programs when targeting users that are similar to you.
Similar to writing reviews, you can become a freelance writer and make extra money writing articles and website copy. While you don't have to be a professional journalist to write for a website, it helps if you've blogged or had your own website where you blog regularly. Even better is showing that you have some experience in the niche in which you're trying to find a job.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.
The idea behind cashback is simple: you get rewarded for purchasing or using products you plan to buy anyway. Cashback sites pay you when you click through them, go to retailers, and spend. For example, check out eBates.com - There are over 2,000 stores to choose from including Walmart, Target, Sears, Calvin Klien, and others. You also get a $10 gift card after your first $25 purchase. Sign up is free. (If you encounter a cashback site where it’s not, avoid it.
If you love animals and live in an urban area then walking dog is a viable side hustle idea. People are busy going to work each day and are forced to leave their animals stuck in the house. This is not good for the dog or the owner. Not only because dogs get lonely and need to be around people, but also because they deserve fresh air and the chance to go to the bathroom outside! Offering to walk a group of dogs once or twice a day can really rake in some extra money. You could create signs and hang them up around libraries and churches, or perhaps take the modern approach and sign up with Rover. Rover is an increasingly popular marketplace that connects dog owners to dog walkers in their neighborhood. Check out Rover today.
Become a freelance writer or editor. If you have a passion for storytelling or a background in writing or editing, it’s possible to find freelance writing or editing work online. To search available job openings, check out sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net. You can also check traditional job sites such as Indeed.com and enter “telecommute” or “anywhere” in the location field.
Sell plasma. After passing an initial screening, you can usually sell your plasma for anywhere from $25 to $50 per donation. To qualify, you’ll have to stand in a long line or show up early, be willing to fill out a very personal questionnaire, and endure a painful needle prick or two. Still, selling plasma is a great way to raise money fast – if you can stand the hassle.
Investing in a business: Another good way to generate passive income is to invest in a business --even a small one -- in return for a percentage of the profits - just like Shark Tank, only smaller. Lending $10,000 to a local business that, for example, is working on a mobile app for Apple phones could lead to a passive income-generated share of the profits when that mobile app starts selling like hot cakes.
If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? My friend, Mark Jackson did just that, making extra money online with his travel consulting side business. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, and then move on and create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals. Eventually you could spin this into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make their dream trip a reality.
I had to get out. I actually had this random Facebook ad come up in my news feed (go figure) and it eventually led me to a webinar that taught on how to start an email marketing business (which is, by the way, the most profitable form of affiliate marketing – or ANY marketing for that matter). I listened through the whole 2 hours, completely mesmerized. By the end of it, I knew what I was going to be focusing on to help my family out of the pit of debt we were in and into a world free of financial stress. I didn’t know if it would actually work, but eventually it lead to EXCESS income!
No one knows your hometown like you do, and you can translate that into cash by leading tours of your city. The website vayable.com allows you to set up and guide tours around a particular cultural experience. If you’re the foremost expert on ghost stories, beer, architecture, or crime (or anything else!) in your town, then you can start leading tours for people who want to hear your stories.
No matter what method you choose to make money online, understand that you might be able to make some money fast, but for the sizable returns, you'll need significant sweat equity. However, a year from now, you'll be happy you started today. Remember, time is far more valuable than money. Focus on creating passive income streams that will free up your time so that you can quit the rat race and focus on the things that matter.